Writing Your World
English 101 – Section 15 and 30
MW Curry 238
MW McIver 328
Office: O1H Petty
Office Phone: 334 – 3294
Office Hours: MW 1 – 2, 5 – 6 and by appointment
Email Address: email@example.com
Home Phone: 336 – 760 – 6174**
**USE THIS NUMBER ONLY FOR EMERGENCIES—DO NOT CALL AFTER EIGHT!!!!
What This Class Is About:
This course is designed to give you some skills and strategies for writing, reading, and thinking in your college courses. You will learn some approaches to the composing process, like how to generate ideas, get them down on the page, revise them, and share them with an audience. It takes more than just following grammar rules and mechanics to become a clear and engaging writer, something that is essential for any college student. The best way to improve your writing process is to practice! Forget it if someone has told you that you can’t write. Everyone in this class has something valuable to say. You might just need practice getting your message across effectively.
To this end, we will do a lot of informal and formal writing in class and outside of it. You will write for yourself, for your peers, and even for me! You will learn the value of close reading and how to approach different types of fiction and nonfiction texts. Our class time will be spent in discussions and in groupwork, using discussion as a way of figuring out ideas and differing viewpoints.
Student Learning Goals:
At the end of this course you should be able to interpret and evaluate textual and oral arguments to see how they have been constructed. You should be able to take a position of your own about a topic and convey it clearly and coherently to an audience. You should be able to locate and evaluate supporting information both online and in the university library. You should feel more comfortable in talking in small groups as well as in class with your peers and with me. When you leave this course you should feel that you are a more competent communicator both on the page and in speech. The things you learn in this class will help you in your other classes. When you have to write a paper for business, communications, education, art history, dance, or whatever, you will already know how to set it up and go about it. You’ll be halfway there.
What You Need For This Class:
q Ford & Ford: Dreams and Inward Journeys
q Other handouts I will give you
q Disk(s) for saving writing
q 3 ring notebook for portfolio
q Email account
q A final portfolio of 20 plus pages of revised work. This portfolio will be handed in at midterm for evaluation and at the end of the semester
q Writer’s Notebook (weekly writings)
q In-class writing
q Group activities
q Conferences with me
Since this course relies on peer review, group work, and in-class writing and discussion, attendance is crucial. We will do quite a bit of work each day and will sometimes alter the course to fit the needs of the class. As a result, you need to be here in case we make changes. I will allow you to miss THREE class periods. That’s over a whole week of class. Your final course grade will be reduced one letter grade for each day of class you miss over three.
This is one of the most important things about this course. This class is a discussion class—not just with me, the teacher; you will have to discuss stuff with your classmates as well. So collaboration—working together—is necessary for the whole class to come off successfully. This part of the grade is fairly all-encompassing and subjective. It includes participating in class discussions, peer reviews, and peer group work (participating does not mean just showing up—it means contributing something valuable to the discussion and the work at hand). In addition to collaborating with your peers, it means working with me in everything that you do for this class—showing up, talking in class (about the subject at hand), conferencing, etc. Failure to do these things will result in a poor collaboration grade at the end of the semester. Below I’ve outlined the way a couple of the big collaboration points work:
q Conferences: Several times this semester I will schedule conferences with each of you. You will come at a time agreed on by both of us and we will discuss what you are working on so far. This is the time when you should bring your drafts, inventions, notes, etc. you need to discuss with me. I will read any drafts you have, and discuss directions in which you could go, brainstorm any ideas you might have, revisions you want to make, etc. NOTE: These are not sessions in which you hand me a paper, I read it, mark it up, give it back, and you go home and make corrections. You should come prepared to talk. You’ll talk to me about where the paper is going, what questions you have, what other ideas you may have, problems of any kind that I might help you with, etc.
q Peer Review: Another important part of collaboration is helping your friends in class with their own work. Periodically, we will have peer reviews during class time. You will discuss your ideas and read your work to another student or small group of students, getting comments and advice from them. I’m not the only teacher in the class—because each one of you has a valuable opinion and unique life experience to bring to the class, your comments are just as important as mine.
q Mutual Respect: The most important policy of this course is mutual respect. I will respect you as a writer and fellow learner with valuable ideas to contribute to the class, make myself available to you for questions, return your work in a timely manner, and come to class prepared. In return, I expect you to do your work to the best of your ability, come to class on time, and treat me and the rest of your peers with respect. Any behavior that distracts or is disrespectful is unacceptable. Cell phones and pagers should be turned off during class time. You can be reached during classes or conferences at the department phone number (334 – 5311) in the case of an emergency. Also, don’t plagiarize. It’s wrong and it’s theft. Don’t do it. If you don’t understand what it means to steal someone else’s ideas and use them as your own or if you aren’t sure if you are using someone else’s ideas correctly, come see me.
q Writer’s Notebook: The Writer’s Notebook serves an integral role in this course. In it you will keep informal writing, freewriting, drafts in progress, and reflections on your writing process. You must write three pages a week in your Writer’s Notebook. Some of the topics will be assigned.
Your work will be evaluated in a portfolio system. As a result, you will not be graded on individual papers. You will turn in a midterm portfolio that provides examples of your best revised work. You will have multiple opportunities to revise throughout the semester, so the portfolio will not only show your efforts to revise, but also your progress during the semester. The Final portfolio will count for 50 percent of your final grade. Your midterm portfolio will be 20 percent, and your collaboration will count 30 percent.
q All papers are due at the beginning of the class in which they are due.
q All papers are typed in a professional font and double-spaced.
q Come by during office hours or by appointment with any questions at all, to discuss your writing, or to chat. Enjoy the course!