The Mercury Reader
The Little Brown Handbook
English 101 is a course that is designed to assist you in enhancing your writing skills in order to become a better writer. Throughout your college career, regardless of your major, you will be asked to write about a variety of topics in a variety of ways. This course will help you learn to meet these challenges by providing you experience with all steps of the writing process: prewriting, writing, critiquing, rewriting, and editing/proofreading. In order to become better at any activity, practice is essential. Therefore, you will be asked to practice your writing skills both in class and on your own.
1. To learn how to utilize the writing process to be a more effective writer
2. To learn to give and receive constructive comments about writing
3. To develop critical thinking skills and integrate those skills into your writing
4. To be able to write essays that are clear, organized, well-developed and thoughtful
5. To approach a topic/issue, develop an argument and be able to articulate that argument through rhetoric
6. To create a portfolio that demonstrates your growth and development as a writer and thinker
ATTENDANCE: Attendance is crucial to your success in this course because there are many in-class writing activities and workshops. Daily work that is missed due to absences may not be made up. Missing more than FOUR classes will lower your final letter grade by 1/3. Your absences may be used for sickness, trips or that illness known as “I’m sick of class.” Just remember, you only get FOUR absences before your grade begins to suffer. Excessive tardiness is a distraction to the learning environment, so arriving to class more than 15 minutes late and leaving 15 minutes early constitutes an absence.
PARTICIPATION: Participation in class is expected and will be part of your final grade. Participation does not simply mean that you are sitting in your chair. Participation means that you are both MENTALLY and physically present. Workshops are an essential part of this course. In order to receive full credit for workshops and drafts, you must participate fully in workshops and bring a draft to each workshop.
CLASS TOOLS: You will need to bring loose leaf paper and a pen or pencil to class every day for in-class writing. Notebooks will be turned in at least twice during the semester. You will also need a three-ring binder for your portfolio. All work will be turned in at midterm and at the end of the semester, so be sure that you keep up with everything you do for this course. If you use a computer, making a back-up copy of your work onto a floppy disk or jump drive is highly recommended.
CONFERENCES: You must attend at least 3 conferences with me to discuss your progress in the course. You are encouraged to conference with me more often if you feel the need. Missing our scheduled conference time is like missing 2 classes.
LATE PAPERS: Deadlines are a part of life, and learning to meet them is a necessity. Late work will not be accepted. If you are sick or need to turn in work outside of class time, I will take it early, but LATE WORK IS NOT ACCEPTABLE!
COURTESY: Please turn off all cell phones and pagers during class. They are very disruptive to the learning environment.
FORMATTING: All papers should be typed with a 12
pt. font and double-spaced. I will only accept hard copies of papers. This
means that I will not accept
any papers via email. There are multiple computer labs around campus where
you may print out your paper. “My printer is broken” is not an
acceptable excuse for not turning in a hard copy of your paper. When a page
length is assigned to a paper, you are expected to adhere to the assignment.
Failure to do so will result in a deduction of your grade.
Communication: Please check your UNCG email often. If I need to make changes in assignments or communicate with you, this will be how I contact you.
The Writing Center is an invaluable resource for writers from all disciplines. The Writing Center is a place where you can get feedback, support and assistance with you writing (for free!). The Writing Center is located in 101 McIver. You may make an appointment to see a writing center consultant by calling 334-3125 or just drop in!
Students are responsible for reading and understanding the Academic Integrity Policy. Please note that plagiarism is included in this code and carries stiff penalties. All cases of plagiarism will be handled in accordance with the policy and may result in failure of this course. Please familiarize yourself with the Academic Integrity Policy, which may be accessed at http://www.uncg.edu/soe/documents/policy_manual/honorpolicy.htm. Papers that are plagiarized will not be graded, and you will not be allowed to rewrite the paper. If you have any questions about what plagiarism is, please ask me.
If at any time during the semester you have questions, problems or special
circumstances that arise with regards to this course and your performance in
it, please visit my office during office hours or make an appointment. If you
have a disability and feel that you need special accommodations, you must notify
the Office of Disability Services @ 334-5440. Do not wait until the end of
the term if you have concerns.
Portfolio 40%: Although this is a process-based course, eventually the products of this course must be evaluated. Your “product” will be a portfolio. This is a showcase demonstrating your best work, as well as your growth and development as a writer. The portfolio will contain approximately 20 pages of writing. Further information about the logistics of the portfolio will be addressed later in the semester. Since you likely won’t know exactly what you want to include in the portfolio until later in the semester, it is imperative that you keep all you writing for this class in a safe place.
Draft Credit 40%: You will receive credit for turning in each draft. Conversely, if you do not have a draft on the day drafts are due (including workshop days), your grade will be impacted. Drafts should be developed and follow the guidelines I give you. Underdeveloped drafts will be graded as underdeveloped. Part of the writing process is drafting and workshopping. Due to the importance of workshopping, failure to participate fully in workshops will decrease your draft credit for that day.
Process/ Participation 20%: This grade includes your in-class writing, vocal participation, and workshop engagement.
You will get more detailed information about what is expected for each paper when we get to the appropriate unit. I will give you specific directions for each draft. Sometimes a draft will be inventive types of writing (free writing, clustering, etc). Other times there will be a page requirement and a task assigned to you. This is a brief breakdown of the papers:
Learning Letters – You will do 2, one at the beginning of the semester and one at the end. (2-4 pp)
Cover letters for your portfolio pieces. (2 pp)
Paper A – This will be a narrative style paper. (3-5 pp)
Paper B – For this unit we will focus on reaction and analysis of a text. (3-5 pp)
Paper C – This is the dreaded research/argumentative paper. (5-7 pp)
You will receive more information about the portfolio and the requirements for the portfolio at a later time.
For the first learning letter you should address the following questions: How do you feel about writing in general? What are your strengths as a writer? What are your weaknesses as a writer? Do you have any anxieties or fears in this course and what are they? What would like to improve about your writing?
Since we will be jumping right into Paper A, here if the breakdown for the
A1 – This will include a cubing exercise and 1-2 pages describing an object that is very important to you. Give some thought to the object you choose because you will be using it throughout this unit. You should try to make this description as detailed as possible. We will do exercises in class to help you with this.
Draft A2 – This draft will build on A1. You should think of a special moment or experience in you life that centers upon the object you described in A1. This is an extension of A1. Be sure you include all the wonderful descriptions of your object, and use the same techniques you learned in class to help you describe your experience. This should be a bare minimum of 2 pages. I suggest you shoot for at least 3 pages.
Draft A3 – For this draft you will analyze you experience to find something
relevant to the world at large. For example: Jim chooses his guitar for his
object. His important moment was when he received the guitar. Jim realizes
that the reason the moment was so special is because his mother’s gift
demonstrated her confidence in him. His experience shows that it is important
for parents to have confidence in their children.
These tasks may seem daunting now, but once we work on them in class and you have some coaching, you’ll be up and running with your writing in no time.
Date Topic Required Reading/Homework– To be done BEFORE class!!!!
August 18 Syllabus, The Learning Letter
August 23 – Learning Letter 1 Due Unit: Words to Essays MR p. 26-42
August 25 Describing, Seeing Cube Object & write 1-2 p. description of object (A1), Read WM 3-6, 51-53
August 30 – A1 Due The 3 Rs – Rethink, resee, revise ~ moving from description to narrative WM 15-16, draft personal narrative (A2)
September 1- A2 Due for Activity Experience Activity with A2 Revise A2 for your conference
September 6 - 8 Conferences – bring your A2, writing notebook WM 8-10, 97-99, 32-34 for Sept 13
September 13 Changing Audiences – Are you talking to me? Draft A3 to be workshopped
September 15 – A3 Due for WS Workshop, Grammar Review *Bring LBB*
September 20 – A3 Due to me New Unit: Read, Analyze, Engage & MACNOLIA MR 274-284, WM p. 19-22, 46-47
September 22 M-A-C-N-O-L-I-A part 1, group assignments M-A-C-N-O-L-I-A 1-71
September 24 – B1 Due
M-A-C-N-O-L-I-A, group preps M-A-C-N-O-L-I-A 75-131, B1 due
September 27 Mini-Presentations, Analyze This – moving from reaction to analysis B2 Analysis Due for workshopping
September 29 B2 Due for WS Analysis WS, explanation of midterm portfolio reviews Organize portfolio and writer’s notebook for conferences. You will turn in B2 at our conference.
October 4 – 6
NOTE: Oct. 7 last drop date Midterm Conferences Bring portfolio, including B2 and writer’s notebook
October 13 Prepare for Van Jordan reading, Compare and Contrast
October 18, NO CLASS Remember Van Jordan 10/19 You must see Jordan for class!
October 20 Van Jordan Discussion, wrap-up for unit Draft B3 for Workshop
October 25 B3 Due for WS Workshop, Intro to next unit: Research and argument based writing WM 68-73, 100-105
October 27 C1 Due Library (confirmation pending) C1 due to me
November 1 Writing Research Papers 101 *Bring LBB*
November 3 Transferring research into argument C2 due to me
November 8 C2 Due Portfolio Information Session
November 10 Library/Research Day (Instructor at a conference) C3 due for WS
November 15 C3 Due for WS Workshop C3 C3 Due to me
November 17 C3 Due You have portfolio questions – I have answers
November 22 Discussion of Final Learning Letter
November 29 Group Meetings about Portfolios, learning letters
December 1 PORTFOLIOS DUE!!!!!!!!
KEY: MR = Mercury Reader WM = Writing Matters LBB = The Little Brown Handbook
Thursday December 8th 3:30-6:30 – This is the time when you will pick up your portfolios and talk to me about any final questions or concerns.