Overview: All right here’s the catch – English Composition 101 meets the Reasoning and Discourse requirement. Therefore this course is a blend of writing, media studies, and philosophy designed to help you become insightful writers, readers, and thinkers. You will learn the skills necessary to read and write critically, which will help you in other courses, as well as in “real” life. You may encounter some graphic material throughout this semester. The goal is to challenge your viewpoints and to broaden your world through various perspectives; so approach both the subject matter and the course format with an open mind and a willingness to work diligently.
Yes, you will write a lot in this class – this is Composition 101. The
format of this course will center on frequent, small writings in response to
selected readings, life observations, and other topics. Writing will occur
both in and outside of class. Your writing will address various audiences.
You will analyze each others’ texts. You will reflect, respond, argue,
and perform research. Along the way we will talk about how you develop your
own writing style, your own voice, how you develop ideas and change them in
regards to how you understand your audience.
Course Materials and Requirements:
America Now - Robert Atwan (6th ed. ISBN: 0-312-41756-X) Required
Writing Matters – Rita Jones-Hyde, et al. (ISBN: 0-7575-2156-8)
Additional reading materials on E-reserve via Blackboard – you are required to bring printed copies for in-class discussion (and yes, I will check for these).
Rules for Writers 3rd ed. – Diana Hacker (ISBN: 0-312-40685-1) Recommended
It is very important for this class that you are able to use the Internet. You need to get your UNCG login and email (or other email) set up and the address to me by the 2nd class meeting. I would like for us to use the course web site (http://blackboard.uncg.edu) and email as much as possible.
A sturdy folder to hold all (and I do mean ALL) of your writing for this class
Paper/Notebook for in-class writing
A one-inch (or smaller) 3-ring folder (the floppy, flimsy kind) to act as your portfolio at the end of the semester
Disks for saving your typed writing
Portfolio (50%) consisting of:
3 essays (that will total between 10-12 pages of revised, edited writing)
Daily reading responses: journal entries that demonstrate a focused reflection on assigned readings. (These should be typed double spaced with a 12pt Time New Roman font.)
Freewrites – in-class writings
Class Participation (50%) consisting of:
class discussion, “hot topics,” group work, quizzes, and in-class writings in response to media presentations and/or discussions.
Interpret and evaluate argumentative discourse, including writing and speech
Construct coherent arguments and communicate these clearly and effectively
Reading critically - Evaluating and using relevant information and understanding different viewpoints
Understanding the aims and methods of intellectual discourse
Hot Topics: Twice in the semester you will bring in some type of media (brief clips of music, TV or movies, articles that appear in newspapers, magazines, online journals… you get the drift) that relates to the day’s readings. You will spend roughly five minutes presenting the material to the class. Bring in something that grabs you; something you think others might find appealing, appalling, or interesting; and something that should definitely spark discussion.
Classroom Behavior: This course is primarily discussion based. This means that participation is MANDATORY. A lack of participation will significantly affect your grade. Come to all classes prepared to talk about the reading materials. When a majority of the class has not done the reading, class discussion is curtailed and a quiz results. Also, be prepared to give extensive feedback to your fellow students on their writing and on their oral presentations. Class etiquette is extremely important for this course. We will be having several small and large group discussions, as well as presentations. It is extremely rude to carry on another conversation while someone else is talking, whether it is me or one of your classmates. If you can’t possibly pay attention, you should leave, and I reserve the right to ask students to leave the class at any time (and I will record this as an absence).
Have courtesy and respect for yourself, your fellow classmates, and your instructor. I shall endeavor to earn your respect and hope you will do me the same courtesy by complying with some simple rules: NO SEXUAL HARASSMENT, AND NO PERSECUTION OF ANYONE BASED ON PHYSICAL HANDICAP, RELIGIOUS BELIEF, PERSONAL BELIEF, GENDER, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, OR RACIAL BACKGROUND. I would also appreciate it if you try not to speak out of turn. Allow the person speaking to complete their thought before you begin to talk (this not only shows respect, it shows you are listening). Likewise, do not talk-out while I am trying to lecture – this is not the 13th-grade of high school so conduct yourselves properly. There will be plenty of time for in-class discussion thereafter.
Attendance Policy: Because this class is heavily based on in-class discussion, group work, and writing, your attendance is required at every class session. Missing more than two classes (a week’s worth of class) will lower your grade by a ¼ of a letter grade per absence. If you miss more than four classes, you will not pass this course. Absences are excused solely at my discretion. Do not assume that because you have a doctor’s/lawyer’s/parent’s/ employer’s note that I will count the absence as excused. In other words, plan your doctor appointments, work schedule, etc. around your classes, and not the other way around. Also, please try to be on time for class. Two tardies (of 5 minutes or more) will count as one absence. If you are late, please enter quietly. Talk with me in advance if you are worried about missing a class or meeting a deadline.
Also, if I am 20 minutes late for a class you are free to leave (please keep in mind that this is solely up to your instructor and not in the academic handbook).
Grading Policy and Late Work: The grading in this course might be a little different from what you are accustomed to. The final product of this class is a portfolio of polished writing. Therefore grades will be based on your performance and progress in the class. Throughout this semester you will only receive two grades: a tentative grade at midterm and a final grade at the end of the semester. I will not give you a grade on individual papers or journals; instead you will receive comments and a suggested grade that will guide you in the revising process. These should give you a sense of my evaluation of your work.
Accumulated Writing: I expect you to become a writing packrat: KEEP EVERYTHING that you do for this class – in-class writing, pre-writing activities, progress reports, group work, rough drafts, reading responses, etc. Aside from the in-class writings, all writings that are turned in are to be typed (double spaced with 12pt Times New Roman font and one inch margins). The material that you keep will be useful to you when you decide what to revise and what to place in your portfolio. Please put a date on everything you put in this folder (and making a note of what exactly the writing is may help you as well). Also, please keep in mind that I have an “open draft” policy – a draft is never finished – you may reedit/rewrite/restart to your heart’s content before submitting the portfolio.
Conferences: Class meetings are not always the best place to receive individual attention on your writing concerns. While you are always welcome to come and visit me during my office hours, you will also be required to come by and meet with me at least twice during the semester. Failing to show up or arriving unprepared for an assigned conference will negatively affect your grade.
The Writing Center:
Visits to the UNCG Writing Center are strongly encouraged. The Writing Center is located in 101 McIver and is open Monday through Thursday 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., Friday 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., and Sunday evenings from 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. You can call 334-3125 for an appointment, or just drop in.
Academic Misconduct: Using someone else’s words or ideas as your own
on any assignment is plagiarism. It is a violation of the Academic Integrity
Policy as defined in the Student Handbook on-line. Plagiarism is grounds for
failing an assignment or possibly failing the course.
(Check the Academic Integrity policy on-line: http://studentconduct.uncg.edu/policy/academicintegrity.)
Special Accommodations: The Americans with Disabilities Act provides for special considerations for individuals with certain disabilities, including learning disabilities. Students with documentation of special needs should arrange to see me about accommodations as soon as possible. You must first register with the Disabilities office on campus before such accommodations can be made. Please contact me and/or the office of Disability Services at 334-5440.
Last day to drop course with refund: Aug. 19th
Fall Break: Oct. 10-12
Last day to drop without academic penalty: Oct. 7th
Last day of class: Dec. 5th
Essay Due Dates
Send the rough draft via email on the due date and have a complete hard copy with you for our conference.
Essay #1: Sept. 6th
Essay #2: Oct. 4th
Essay #3: Nov. 1st
Portfolio Due: Nov. 29th
Late work will not be accepted without prior notification (and I do not mean the afternoon before the assignment is due).
Week 1: Aug. 16, 18 Intro to class. Dealing w/ Anxiety
Readings: Introduction (Roman numerals are good for something!)
Week 2: Aug. 23, 25 Dealing with anxiety
Readings: Writing Matters (pgs. xi-xii, 3-14, 19-28, and 51-59), Melix “From Outside In” (e-reserve)
Week 3: Aug. 30, Sept. 1 Is the world for sale?
Readings: Writing Matters (pgs. 35-36, 39-47), Is America a Nation of Shoppers? (ch. 5), What Should We Drive? (ch. 11), and “The Singer Solution to World Poverty” (er)
Week 4: Sept. 6, 8 Essay one due: No class - conferences
Week 5: Sept. 13, 15 Media Myths Start presenting “hot topics”
Readings: Writing Matters (pgs. 65-67) Is Our News Media Reliable? (ch. 10) and Do Words Matter? (ch. 6)
Week 6: Sept. 20, 22 Body Image
Readings: Body Image: Is it a Serious Issue? (ch. 2), and Schlosser “What We Eat”
Week 7: Sept. 27, 29 Body Image cont.
Readings for 27th: Sanders “Looking at Women” (er) magazine day
Week 8: Oct. 4, 6
Essay two due
Week 9: Oct. 13 Gender Studies
Fall Break Oct. 11th!
13th: Do Gender Differences Make a Difference? (ch. 4)
Week 10: Oct. 18, 20 Gender Studies cont’d
Readings: Same-Sex Marriage: What Is Its Future? (ch. 13) and Sullivan “Pursuit of Happiness” (er)
Week 11: Oct. 25, 27 Diversity
Readings: Do We Really Value It? (ch. 9), Can We Transcend Racial Conflict? (ch. 12) and Staples “Just Walk on By: Black Men and Public Space” (er)
Week 12: Nov. 1, 3
Essay three due: No Class – conferences
Week 13: Nov. 8, 10 “These colors don’t run”
Readings: How Should We Define Patriotism? (ch. 7), What Is an American Identity? (ch. 8)
Week 14: Nov. 15, 17 Fear! Fear! Fear!
Readings: What Are We Afraid Of? (ch. 3) and “U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security: Get Ready Now” (er), The Dialogue of Democracy: Whose Voices Get Heard? (ch. 14) and West “The Moral Obligations of Living in a Democratic Society” (er)
Week 15: Nov. 22
Readings: TBD – Possible Portfolio Workshop
Nov. 24 – Turkey Break!
Week 16: Nov. 29, Dec. 1 Last week of class!
Final portfolios are due and wrap up
This weekly schedule is tentative and is subject to change. I will provide you with the necessary handouts if that should happen.