Carl N. Peay
MWF 10:00 am Office: McIver 136G
Ferguson 100 Office Hours: MW 5-6:00
YADDA, YADDA, YADDA:
The Written Word in a Short-Attention-Span, Biggie-Size World
Overview: In this course we will explore language and the written word through the lens of media and pop culture. Issues we will discuss and write about include: television, advertising, technology, celebrity, movies, music and art. As skilled and conditioned consumers, most of us know how to watch television and movies, listen to music, and surf the Internet, but what does it all mean? How does it inform our identities as individuals and a society? What do we discover when we transform ourselves from passive spectators of our culture to active critics? We will spend the semester unearthing answers to these questions, using language and the process of writing as our primary archeological tools.
Education Guidelines: At the completion of this course, you will be able to:
· Interpret and evaluate argumentative discourse, including writing and speech
· Construct cogent arguments
· Communicate those arguments clearly, coherently and effectively
· Locate, synthesize, and evaluate relevant information
· Demonstrate an understanding of the aims and methods of intellectual discourse
· Weigh evidence and evaluate the arguments of differing viewpoints
Grading: Each of you arrives at this course with different strengths and weaknesses as writers. Thus, your final grade will be based primarily on your progress and effort over the semester. Letter grades will only be assigned to your final media portfolio, which will represent the best of your writing this spring, though you will receive comments from me on formal assignments and credit toward your final grade for work completed on time and in the proper format. Though you may be unaccustomed to a system that assigns letter grades infrequently, this method of evaluation has proven most effective in cultivating good writing and fostering regular improvement over the length of the semester. Additionally, please be aware that I am accessible at any point during the semester to discuss your development as a writer and your progress in the course.
Required Texts and Other Materials:
Media Journal: Reading and Writing about Popular Culture, ed. Harris, Rosen, and Calpas
White Noise, Don DeLillo
The College Writer’s Reference, ed. Fulwiler, Hayakawa
composition notebook, 9 ¼” X 7 ½” (for your media journal)
electronic reserve readings (through the library’s web page)
the world of media
8+ formal essays, along with revisions
media journal, submitted to me periodically
final media portfolio
group activities/presentations/peer workshops
Attendance: Attendance is mandatory. Your participation is vital to the success of the class as a whole and your performance as an individual; each absence beyond four will lower your final grade by 1/3 of a letter grade, and eight or more absences will result in a failing grade. In addition, you are expected to arrive on time, fully prepared to engage in writing exercises and class discussions. Two late arrivals to class will be treated as one full absence. Please discuss any problems affecting your attendance with me as soon as they arise.
Plagiarism: The attempt to submit even a small portion of someone else’s work as your own is plagiarism. Intentional plagiarism is cause for automatic failure of the course and will be reported to the Academic Integrity office. If you have questions on what constitutes plagiarism, see me before completing the assignment. When in doubt, cite your sources.
· All papers are due at the beginning of the class for which they are assigned. NO LATE WORK WILL BE ACCEPTED.
· It is important to create a classroom environment that encourages learning and respect for diverse voices and opinions. Behavior that distracts others or is disrespectful is unacceptable. Cell phones and pagers should be turned off during class time. The professor reserves the right to answer any ringing cell phones in an embarrassing manner.
· Unless otherwise noted, papers should be typed and double-spaced in 12-point Times New Roman font or an equivalent.
Finally, feel free to stop by McIver 136G during my office hours or make an appointment if at any time you have concerns or questions, would like to discuss your writing, or simply want to chat. I look forward to working with each of you in making this a productive and enjoyable semester.