This course is an introductory level writing course, designed to enable you to figure out the what, how and why of style as you find your own voice within academic writing. We will develop these particular skills through critical reading, writing and discussion of the assigned texts, your papers and your experiences. As the course progresses, the central goal becomes even more involved—you will be come critical thinkers about your own writing in preparation for further academic study. Underscoring the critical thinking and reading is an attention to writing. Be fairly warned, this is a writing intensive class.
1) To understand and practice the steps of the writing process
2) To communicate effectively
3) To understand the methods associated with intellectual discourse
4) To learn how syntax, grammar, and punctuation clarify meaning
5) To read critically and write effectively
6) To learn to apply and write a variety of differing essay styles appropriately
7) To evaluate differing viewpoints
8) To develop your voice in your writing
Required Texts and Materials:
Writing Matters. The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. 2005 edition.
The Mercury Reader. Janice Neuleib, Kathleen Shine Cain, and Stephen Ruffus, Eds. Pearson Custom Publishing, 2005.
The Little, Brown Essential Handbook. Fifth edition. Jane E. Aaron, Ed. Pearson Education, Inc, 2006.
Macnolia. A. Van Jordan. W.W. Norton and Co., 2004.
Various texts on E-Reserve in Jackson Library
Writer’s Notebook (see below)
Copies (as needed)
Pen/ Pencil, Paper
Your notebook for this class needs to be a 3-ring binder with 4 dividers (minimum) and loose-leaf paper. It should be with you in class each day. It will hold all of your writing over the course of the semester, both the formal and the informal. The sections of your notebook: 1) journals or responses, 2) in-class free and timed writings, 3) drafts of formal papers, and 4) revisions/ final portfolio material.
Journals are either typed or cleanly hand-written reactions or responses to a reading, an idea from class, a question or questions. They will be turned in weekly. I would like you to spend a minimum of twenty-five (25) minutes (possibly more) writing on each journal topic.
In-class free writing is writing that I will not read. This type of writing is for you to work out ideas, think questions and reactions through, locate your position among many differing positions. We will begin most classes with a focused free write that you may or may not choose to talk about. When the time comes for your final portfolio, you will choose several items from this section of your notebook to expand, revise, refigure into the polished writing appropriate to the portfolio assignment.
Timed writing is designed to help you prepare for the timed essays that will come to be central to your study at the university. Some will be announced, some will not be announced.
Drafts of formal papers are exactly that. You will be required to bring to class at least one draft of each paper for workshop. You will need to hold onto each subsequent draft and turn the whole lot in with your portfolio.
We will talk about the portfolio later in the semester. YOU SHOULD NOT THROW OUT ANY OF YOUR WRITING DURING THE SEMESTER.
Group work, or rather, the establishment of smaller reading/writing/thinking communities within the composition classroom, is essential to your success in this course. I’ve put it on the syllabus to stress to you just how important it is. You are responsible then not just for your own learning but the learning of others. We will go over the reasons behind group work, and we will discuss at some length the expectations that are implicit in group work.
You are allowed two non-penalized cuts or absences from class. After that, missing class will have negative consequences on your grade for the course. Remember, this course requires you to be here and to be actively engaged in the learning. After SIX ABSENCES (three whole weeks of class), you will either be dropped from the course or you will fail the course for the semester. It is your responsibility to get the missed assignments and notes either from a fellow student or Blackboard. If you are absent, you should come to the next class with the assignments completed. Please note that missing a conference is the same as missing a class. Lateness. If you are more than fifteen minutes late, it too counts as an absence. And, in order to be counted as present, you must be prepared for class.
All typed papers must be in MLA format (The Little, Brown Essential Handbook 142).
1) 12 Point, Times New Roman font, Double-spaced, 1-inch margins all around, stapled or paper clipped (no folding down the corners).
2) Your name, course name and number, date, and title in the upper left hand corner, bold on the first page.
3) Every paper is to have a working title.
4) Citation: All cited material following MLA guidelines.
5) Papers must meet the page requirements.
Don’t. Simple enough, yes? You are now a scholar. You need to accept the rules and the underlying ethics of writing. The university has an Academic Integrity Policy (185-194 in the UNCG Student Calendar Handbook) for which you are responsible. Read it. We will talk at some length about the kinds of violations that typically occur and how to avoid making those mistakes. You can also read all about both the academic integrity policy and the disruptive student policy online:
I will not accept late assignments. If you know you will miss class, it is your responsibility to turn the work in ahead of time (you know, before the class).
The Writing Center:
The Writing Center is an excellent resource for you at this university. It is located in 101 McIver. The WC provides free, one-on-one assistance at any stage of the writing process. Call them at 334.3125 or see their website at www.uncg.edu/eng/writingcenter. They will make an appointment for you; they will also take you as a walk-in. Hours: M-R 9am-8pm, F 9am-3pm, Su 5pm-8pm.
End of Course Portfolio 50%
(20 polished, revised pages of student work, subsequent drafts, notes and commentary)
In class writing, response papers, short essays 25%
Active participation, class attendance 25%
There will be a mid-term conference about your portfolio and a spot check to guide you through the remainder of the semester. However, your only real “grade” will be determined at the end of the semester.
8/18—Introduction to Rhetoric (Journal)
Writing Matters xi-xiii, 1-14
8/23—Writing Matters 51-55, 32-34
8/25—Draft 1 Advertisement Paper (Journal)
8/30—“A Modest Proposal” Mercury Reader 146-154
Classical Style, Rhetorical Situation (Journal)
9/1—Advertisement Paper Due
Introduction: Observation and Description
9/6—Observation/ Description: Setting, Objects and Places
“The Things They Carried” Mercury Reader 66-83
9/8—“Reading the River” Mercury Reader 3-4
“Cathedral” Mercury Reader 243-257
(Journal on either)
9/13—Draft 1 Observation Paper Due
9/15—“The Yellow Wallpaper” Mercury Reader 26-42
(Journal), Timed Writing
9/20—Narrative and Rites of Passage
Observation Paper Due
“Graduation” Mercury Reader 285-296
9/22—“The Story of an Hour” Mercury Reader 227-230
“Mid-term Break” Mercury Reader 332-333 (Journal)
9/27—Draft 1 Rites of Passage Paper
Group Workshop (more copies)
9/29—Group Workshop Rites of Passage Paper
“Allegory of the Cave” Mercury Reader 191-195
(Journal) Midterm Conferences Begin
10/4—“Everyday Use” Mercury Reader 218-226 (Journal)
Draft 2 Rites of Passage Paper in class
Midterm Conferences Continue
10/6—Rites of Passage Paper Due
Midterm Conferences End
“Daddy” Mercury Reader 311-314
“The Second Coming” Mercury Reader 100-101
10/7—LAST DAY TO DROP COURSE
10/13—Macnolia 15-71 (Journal)
10/18—Macnolia 73-131 (Journal)
Group work, Research Project Assignment--topics
A. Van Jordan Reading 10/19 3:00 EUC (REQUIRED)
10/20—CLASS IS CANCELLED
Topics in Hand, Portfolio Requirements and Revision Work
Macnolia Response Due
11/1—Group Work on Project
“The Human Cost of an Illiterate Society” Mercury Reader 355-363
“Stereotyping of Arabs by the U.S. Ensures Years of Turmoil”
Mercury Reader 364-367 (Journal)
11/3—Revisions of Paper 1, 2, or 3 due in class
11/8—“A Vindication of the Rights of Women” Mercury Reader
“Letter from Birmingham Jail” Mercury Reader 335-352 (Journal)
11/10—Presentations of Research
11/22—Portfolio Work (Bring to class)
Revision as Process
11/29—Portfolio Work, Group Work
12/1—PORTFOLIO DUE IN CLASS
12/8—Exam Period: Portfolios Returned
You must come pick up your portfolio.