MWF: 9-9:50 a.m.
Room: McIver 139A
Instructor: Laura Savu
Office: McIver 137
Office Hours: MWF 8-9 a.m. or by appointment
Ford, Marjorie and Jon Ford. Dreams and Inward Journeys. Fourth Edition. New York: Longman, 2001.
Writing Matters: A Guide to Freshman English. 2001-2002
Reynolds, Nedra. Portfolio Keeping. A Guide for Students.
The Little Brown Handbook
Photocopied readings and/or handouts on e-reserve
Optional readings: Quick Study Charts (English Composition and Style and English Grammar and Punctuation) available at the UNCG Bookstore.
2 binders of your choice for your portfolios
4 two-pocket folders for your essays
a loose leaf notebook for your in-class writing assignments
Although the strategies we cover should apply to any writing task you face, our emphasis will be on the processes and forms of academic writing. By the end of this course you should be able to do the following:
4 essays that make up the core of your final portfolios
Class participation (including group work/presentations)
You must meet all the above requirements in order to do well in this class. Your final grade will be based on the quality of your written and oral work, on your willingness to revise, rethink your writing, and challenge yourself. For evaluation criteria, or degrees of good writing, read Writing Matters, 99-101.
Our focus is on writing as an ongoing creative
process rather than a final product that is beyond revision. Therefore,
throughout the term I will provide extensive feedback on your writing, calling
your attention to both its strengths and weaknesses, but I will not assign
grades to individual papers. Instead, I will give you a midterm
Portfolios: As records of your accomplishments in reading, writing, and critical thinking, the portfolios provide you with the opportunity to have your best work evaluated. Thus, they will include not only the polished versions of the four essays you are required to write in the course of the semester but samples of revised journal entries and in-class writings as well. For each essay, you will produce a rough draft for a peer review, and then a revision of that draft for me to read. I will ask you to turn in your final draft in a two-pocket folder with the current draft for me on one side, and your prewriting, peer review comments, outlines, notes, etc. on the other. When a draft is due for a workshop in class bring at least two copies. When I return your papers, I strongly advise that you read my comments and suggestions carefully and ask for clarifications where needed.
The mid-term portfolio will include
about 8-10 pages of polished writing, while the final portfolio will have 20 or
more pages of polished writing. Both portfolios will include a reflection paper
on your progress as critical thinkers, readers, and writers this semester. For more about keeping a portfolio, read
carefully Nedra Reynolds
All papers written outside of class must follow the MLA format (typed, double-spaced with 1 inch margins, in Times New Roman or an equivalent). All papers are due at the beginning of class in which they are assigned. NO LATE PAPERS WILL BE ACCEPTED. Failure to turn in any one of these essays is grounds for failing the course.
Journal: This is a loose-leaf notebook for your journal entries (JE) and reading responses (RR). The first will allow you to engage the course material on a deeper, more personal level, so feel free to record your dreams and those daily experiences/observations from which you have learned something new about yourselves and/or others. While you might use an entry to describe something that happened to you, part of the entry should contain some analysis of the event. How did it make you feel? Why did you react the way you did? Sometimes topics will be assigned, but if one is not, you can create your own topic, continue with the topic assigned in class, or use one of the prompts provided on the sheet attached to this syllabus. I expect you to be as creative and provocative as possible and to experiment with various types of writing.
Reading responses work in the same manner as regular journal entries except that you will be responding to one of the works you will have read for this class.
Hold on to these entries, for you can always revise them for your portfolios and expand on them while in the process of writing formal papers. Sometimes I will ask you to add in-class writings to your journal. And since teaching this class is going to be a learning experience for me, too, I would encourage you to give me some feedback about what is going on in class and what you think I could do differently. You may choose to do this as often as you think fit.
Each week, unless notified otherwise, you will write 1 journal entry and 1 reading response, each about 1 page in length (typed, double-spaced with one inch margins). They will be given a check plus, a check, or a check minus. The overall grade will be based on the number of entries you do out of the number possible. No entries will be accepted late. For more on journaling and for samples of journal entries written by other UNCG students, read WM, 20-22 and 79-86.
Group work: During group activities you will share ideas and writings with your peers, working together through the revision process. It is important that throughout these sessions you work together supportively and cooperatively. One of the activities I have in mind will require each group to choose a topic of current interest for debate, take a position on it, and convey that position clearly and coherently to the rest of the class. You should be able to locate and evaluate supporting information both on-line and in the university library. You will receive a more detailed handout concerning this activity in due course.
Since group work counts for your final grade, I will ask each of you to reflect not only on the group work as a whole but also on your individual contribution to it. These reflections will make up a separate entry of your final portfolio.
Conferences: You will sign up for three individual and informal meetings with me in the course of the semester. The purpose of these meetings is for me to gain a better understanding of your writing-related interests and concerns and for you to receive feedback on your work. Missing a conference will count as a class absence. You are welcome, however, to stop by my office any time during my office hours.
It is important that I see the
writing you do in class as well as the papers you produce outside of class. For
every formal paper that you write, you will move through drafts and revisions,
working with your peers to rethink, revise, edit your work, and help them with
theirs. Consequently, it is important that you attend class regularly and
participate in class activities that demonstrate your writing process in
addition to the
Classroom behavior: Any behavior that disrupts, distracts, or is disrespectful will not be tolerated. Tardiness is rude and so is coming to class unprepared. Sleeping in class, putting your head down, and working off topic will be grounds for removal and thus counted as absences. Cell phones and pagers should be turned off during class time. You may be reached during classes or conferences at the department phone number (334-5311) in the case of an emergency.
Students with learning differences: If you have a disability that could affect your performance in this course or for which you need accommodation, please contact me and/or the office of Disability Services at 334-5440.
The readings listed below
will inform our class discussions and form the basis of most of your journal
reflections. The schedule is tentative and will inevitably change as we move
through the semester. Remember that you
Introduction to course and to each other
JE: letter to me about your past writing experiences
Assign essay # 1: Imagine Your Composing Process
RR: response to Stafford
In-class: Diagnostic essay
Sign-up for conference # 1
Last day to change courses without special permission.
Conferences to be held this week (W and F)
01/21 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday; no class
01/22 Last day to drop a course for tuition and fees refund
JE: annotate a favorite reading (one page from a short-story, novel, editorial, etc.)
Revision Workshop on Draft of Essay #1
Revised copy of essay # 1 due
Assign essay # 2: The Story Behind the Picture
In-class: group analysis of a rhetorical situation
RR: the advantages and limitations of on-line reading
Workshop on reading the picture
Sing-up sheet for in-class writing leaders (WL)
Visit to the Weatherspoon Gallery (TBA)
A Way With Words: an exhibition considering one of the most important artistic developments of the 20th century: the incorporation of text into works of visual art.
Writing to Remember
JE: see prompt on p. 128 (DJ) or find your own topic
Read: Portfolio Keeping (9-16).
RR: compare-contrast the authors
WL # 2
Revision Workshop on Draft of Essay # 2
Assign essay # 3: Personal and Cultural Myths
WL # 3
Dreams and Myths
RR: double-entry notes on the poem
WL # 4
In-class: Intro to Myths (handout)
Read: Portfolio of Creation Myths (DJ 198-201)
WL # 5
Library Tour (date TBA)
Bring myths for comparison-contrast (e.g. the Greek myth of creation, found on e-reserve)
Discuss your findings in groups
WL # 6
JE: record a dream
Group discussion on the readings
WL # 7
Revision Workshop on Draft of essay # 3
WL # 8
In-class group work
Revised copy of essay # 3 due
Assign essay # 4: Joining the Conversation
WL # 9