Please feel free to contact me at anytime about any issue concerning class. Send me an email, call the office number or stop by during office hours.
Course Description: This course is structured as an introduction to writing on the collegiate level. Any vocation or career following college requires competent and effective scholarship, especially in composition. The overall aim of this class is to distinguish between formal and informal writing and exhibit the integral nature of each in what is proverbially dubbed ‘the real world.’
Throughout this course, you will discover the merits and joys (and sometimes burdens) in writing both formally and informally. Tools of grammar and syntax will be emphasized and utilized in formal writing, and freedom and ultimate creative expression will be recommended and encouraged in informal composition.
Finally, this is a writing course, so expect to write a lot! Like any skill, writing only improves with practice: the more you do, the more you realize about your strengths and shortcomings, enabling you to formulate a writing style befitting and comfortable for yourself. Therefore, we will write every day this term, whether it be a short, five-minute free write or a revision of a formal paper you are about to submit.
Goals I Have for You to Achieve:
Becoming familiar and competent at writing three different types of essays:
Understanding basic and advanced tools of grammar and syntax (to be addressed daily):
-Multiple and correct usage of commas
-VERBS (are everything)
-Correct and effective punctuation
-MLA citation and bibliography
Other goals include: to understand, practice, and actively engage in the steps of the writing process; to communicate effectively; to understand the aims of intellectual discourse; to evaluate different view points; to explore individuality in writing; to write effective responses to prompts; to learn about documentation, formatting, grammar, and punctuation to clarify meaning; and to write and evaluate arguments.
What are your goals for yourself?
Tools of the Trade
The Mercury Reader.
Jones-Hyde, Rita; Porter, Chris and Vogel, Liz eds. Writing Matters. University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 2004.
Jordan, A. Van. Macnolia. (All-freshman read).
A binder/folder with loose-leaf paper for journals and in-class writings
Metal tab folder or 3-in. binder for portfolios and any notebooks, pens and pencils you feel necessary.
Writing Processes This Term
-The Journal (Informal) (10%)
Following the first week, this will be due at the end of each week. Take about 20-25 minutes each week to compose your response. Though these will be collected, they will not receive grades per say, so write as freely as possible.
-Daily Free-Writes/Diagnostics (Informal)
These will happen every day! They will only last for about the first five minutes of class and will be in response to prompts that either I or a classmate will give you. Be thinking of prompts now, as everyone will give at least one! Again, these will be free form and will not be collected. These are for your own edification.
-Group Work (Formal)/Class Participation (30%)
Early on in the semester, you will be divided into groups for the purposes of group presentation, peer revision and other activities. This will ultimately count toward class participation, a big deal for this class!
-Essays (Formal) (20%)
I will assign 3-4 formal essays this term based upon the criteria established earlier in this syllabus. Through these, you will become adept at the process of revision, as multiple drafts will be considered! Be careful and plan accordingly, though, for no late papers will be accepted.
-Final Portfolio (Both!) (40%)
This is the ultimate collection of your evolution as a writer over this semester. This will require at least 20 pages of revised writing, plus as much more as you’d like. This needs to include drafts of your essays (only final drafts will count toward the page requirement) and journal entries but can also include any poetry, short fiction, thoughts, illustrations, etc. that you’d like!
Some Important Issues to consider
I am quite the stickler when it comes to attendance but I am not unreasonable. I do expect you to be in class every day this term – however I realize that this world is ever-changing, and certain life events may ultimately preclude you from attending class. Therefore, I only allow 3 absences (that’s excused AND unexcused) from class before your grade begins to suffer. If you feel this is a problem, withdraw from the class before the deadline; missing 3 classes is missing one week and will do nothing but hurt yourself in your education. And, coming late to class will count toward an absence. I can understand 0-5 minutes late, especially early in the semester as you are still getting your bearings. However, if you plan to stroll into class 15 minutes late, don’t bother coming at all. IF you feel there is a problem, please come talk to me.
Because a majority of this class will center on current events and society, you may hear and read opinions expressed that are different or opposed to yours. While healthy debate is encouraged, ridicule of others’ work or feelings will not be tolerated. This classroom will adhere to a natural and healthy respect to further the educational process. Subsequently, I encourage classroom participation and discussion, as these discourses ultimately further and bolster the writing process! Please do not be afraid to talk in class; again, come talk to me if there is a problem.
This is no different, in my mind, than stealing someone else’s personal belongings. This is intellectual theft and will, in no way, be tolerated. The situation will fall under question with the University and may result in failure of the course. In short, do not do it.
If you have any disability that could affect yourself in any way in class, please contact the Office of Disability Services at 334.5440.
Writing Center (McIver 101)
If you need any assistance in your writing beyond class or wish to further your edification in composition, please visit the Writing Center! The staff is there to help you in your process! Call 334.3125 for an appointment or just drop by!
Fall 2005 Schedule of First Three Weeks
Aug. 16 T Course Introduction
Aug. 18 R Discussion of 1st Essay; introduction to the Narrative Essay
Aug. 23 T Discussion of Rhetoric
Aug. 25 R FIRST JOURNAL DUE; Discussion of readings
Aug. 30 T Discussion of Narrative Style – What are you trying to get
Sept. 1 R FIRST DRAFT OF NARRATIVE DUE; JOURNAL DUE; Discussion of readings