|Participation (10% of course grade)||Resources|
|Regular Writing (20% of course grade)||Academic Integrity|
|Formal Writing (70% of course grade)||Grading scale|
Participation depends upon your being a present, prepared, and engaged member of the class. Your preparation should be accompanied by an attention to the good of the classroom community, which will be seen in collaborative work and in classroom discussion. Peer response and group work factor into your participation grade.
An important feature of the experience of this course will be your ongoing conversation with your peers and with the writers whose work we will be engaging. The course schedule and assignments will structure the discussion that we have in this class, but how that discussion happens and the various directions it takes are determined by you, collectively. This, needless to say, requires your active presence and engaged participation in the discussion each class meeting.
The concern of this course is not simply content—the ideas expressed in the essay—but rather the strategies the writer uses to convey those ideas. Thus, your focus in your reading should be how the writer sets about conveying his or her ideas. This, as much as the ideas themselves, will be the subject of our study.
Don’t imagine yourself preparing to come to class to respond to my questions and prompts, but instead come prepared to influence the direction of the discussion yourself. Your texts should be filled with your notes and responses before you arrive, and you should have generated some questions and comments that you think might encourage productive conversation in class. Prepare to head to class each time with a couple of passages circled that you believe might generate fruitful discussion, and bring as well any questions that might’ve arisen as you read. Ideally, I should be able to participate in the daily discussion to the same extent that each of you does.
To be considered “present,” do all of the following:
1. Arrive on time, with the day’s work prepared in advance.
2. Bring all texts that will be discussed.
3. Turn off your cell phone, iPod, and so on.
4. Give me and your classmates your full attention.
5. Do not text, chat, or surf the internet.
6. Remain in the room until the class ends.
7. Conduct yourself in a manner respectful to all present.
I know that there may come a time when you will need to miss class. My compromise: you are granted 3 absences for the semester, no questions asked (which is to say that I make no distinction between excused and unexcused absences). Of course, when you are not in class, you are not participating, so your grade will inevitably be affected in that regard. With a 4th absence, you fail the course. If you miss a class, you are still responsible for that day’s work, including turning in (on time) any work due, understanding assignments, and getting the gist of class discussion. Get another (dependable) student’s email address early in the semester, so you can contact him or her in the case of absence.
The “fourth hour”:
This refers to the scheduled lab time each week for each section of ENGL 110. For us, that is 5:30-6:30 on Tuesdays. We will do a variety of activities during this fourth hour, some weeks all together in the scheduled classroom, some weeks with only a portion of the class meeting for conferencing, and some weeks you will use the time to complete exercises outside of class that are part of the Informal Writing. The course schedule indicates what will happen each week during the fourth hour, so you will know in advance if you need to meet in person. When we are scheduled to meet in person, missing the fourth hour meeting is the equivalent to missing a class. So if you miss both the class meeting and that day’s scheduled fourth hour meeting, this equals two absences.
Meetings (20% of participation grade):
Many of you will find yourselves coming to meet with me regularly outside of class, but for those of you who wouldn’t automatically do so, I am requiring two out-of-class meetings with me in my office. These will be done individually and will address anything course-related that you find useful. We will schedule these at appropriate times in the semester. Consider them a substitute for the days class will not meet.
Your weekly writing will take the form of once-a-week blog posts and one Review of the Week that you will create and publish on the blog over the course of the semester.
Weekly Blog Posts (17% of course grade)
Each week you will make a post to the course blog. The post should address that week’s reading and/or writing assignment, and/or class discussion. In other words, it needs, in some way, to be grounded in what we are doing that week. You may write in response to an assignment before we discuss it in class, or you may write in response to something that comes up (or doesn’t, and you think it should’ve) in class discussion.
The posts are to be around 250 words long. They are due by 8am on Friday. They will be graded 0 (missing), 1 (just adequate), or 2 (fulfills expectations).
These posts may be of three types:
1. Present your thoughts on anything related to the reading or discussion for that week, connecting (as the semester progresses) to ideas and concepts addressed in previous weeks. Such posts may be formal analyses or they might be more personal and reflective. (Posts of this sort should be marked with the category “Musings.”)
2. Respond to questions I post in the “Previewing” section of each week’s “Weekly Review and Preview” post. Such posts may be formal analyses or they might be more personal and reflective. (Posts of this sort should be marked with the category “Response.”) Sometimes I will require everyone to respond, in their blog posts, to a particular prompt. In that case, I will email everyone at the start of the week with the particular instructions.
3. Note a challenging term, concept, or event in a text that we are reading for class. In your response, you will describe the kind of challenge it presents and offer some discussion of it–even if you don’t feel at all prepared to “answer” the challenge to which you’re drawing attention. (Posts of this sort should be marked with the category “Challenges.”)
Your main aim will be to present an observation or provocation that might encourage others in the class to enter a conversation with you. These and all posts on the blog will need to be in academic English (rather than textspeak).
To get full credit, TAG your post with relevant key words (the name of the text and, where relevant, author of the items you’re discussing in that post is a place to start; note also any key concepts or issues, etc.), so that we can make good use of the archive we build up over the semester.
You will, of course, be expected to comment on others’ posts. Each substantial, worthwhile comment will earn you extra points on that week’s blog post grade.
Review of the Week (3% of course grade)
In addition to these weekly blog posts, you will at one point in the semester produce a “Review of the Week” in which you will generate a reflection on the week’s class discussions. This Review of the Week will include three sections: Overview, Noteworthy Quotes, and Key Terms. I will produce the Review of the Week for Week 1, as a model, and then the following weeks will be assigned.
You will submit your review in OAKS by Saturday at noon. Then I will post this Review, accompanied by my Preview of the coming week, on the course blog by Sunday at noon. Where necessary, I will edit these Reviews before posting.
The writing projects are formal papers with a different set of expectations from the more frequent informal writing. Each formal paper will be a cohesive, carefully organized, fully developed essay in which you present your ideas in much more depth, and with much more forethought, than you will generally do in informal writing. In each project, you will extend and aggressively revise ideas and strategies encountered in the informal writing. Each project (except number 3) will go through a revision process involving peer and instructor feedback.
Drafts will receive a grade, as will Revisions. These two grades will, together, account for your grade for the assignment, with the Draft making up 1/3 of the overall grade and the Revision making up 2/3 of the grade for that assignment.
Since the deadlines for all written work are so clearly spelled out on the syllabus, late papers will not be accepted except in very extraordinary circumstances. All assignments will be submitted in OAKS before class begins. OAKS will automatically reject your assignment if you try to submit it after the deadline. Late drafts and late revisions are not accepted. Assignments that are not turned in receive zero points.
As we will discuss in some detail in class: Per MLA style, all formal writing projects should be double-spaced, in Times New Roman 12-point font. The document should have 1-inch margins all around, and you should include your last name and page number in the top right hand corner of each page. (This should be in the “header” of each page, not the first line of text. You can access the header toolbar, in Microsoft Word, by clicking “View,” then “Header and Footer.”) The first page of the essay should have the following in the upper left hand corner of text (NOT the “header” where the page number is): your name, my name, the course number and section, and the date.
Project 1: Summary and Response (3 pages) [10% of course grade]
Project 2: Analysis of visual text (4 pages) [15% of course grade]
(Group) Project 3: Summary and Evaluation of a Source (2 pages & presentation) [5% of course grade]
Project 4a: Annotated Bibliography and Project Proposal (3-5 pages) [15% of course grade]
Project 4b: Researched Analysis (8-9 pages) [25% of course grade]
Office hours are reserved for you to drop in as suits your schedule, to discuss your writing and/or the course: TR 1-1:30, TR 3-3:50, and R 5:20-5:50. Should that not suit your schedule, please email me to arrange an alternative time. Emailing is the most efficient way to communicate with me outside of class; I would discourage contacting me by phone except during office hours.
The Writing Lab is located on the first floor of Addlestone Library, within the Center for Student Learning. Here you will find many resources for your writing (for this and other classes): handouts, reference books, sample bibliographies, and consultants who have been trained to assist you in generating materials for your essay, organizing your ideas and materials, revising and editing your writing, and any step in the writing process. You can find information, including hours and schedule, at the link above.
Academic accommodation for a documented disability can be arranged through the Center for Disability Services: 953-1431, Lightsey Center, Suite 104. If you are approved for accommodations, you should let me know as soon as possible so we can organize appropriate arrangements.
All students, needless to say, must follow the College of Charleston’s academic integrity policy, which forbids cheating, attempted cheating, and plagiarism. Any case of suspected cheating or plagiarism (on any written response for the course) will be sent to the College’s Honor Board, and any student found guilty will receive a grade of XF, indicating failure of the course due to academic dishonesty.
“Recycled” papers written for other courses are not acceptable in this class.
College of Charleston Honor Code and Academic Integrity, from the Student Handbook:
Lying, cheating, attempted cheating, and plagiarism are violations of our Honor Code that, when identified, are investigated. Each incident will be examined to determine the degree of deception involved.
Incidents where the instructor determines the student’s actions are related more to a misunderstanding will handled by the instructor. A written intervention designed to help prevent the student from repeating the error will be given to the student. The intervention, submitted by form and signed both by the instructor and the student, will be forwarded to the Dean of Students and placed in the student’s file.
Cases of suspected academic dishonesty will be reported directly by the instructor and/or others having knowledge of the incident to the Dean of Students. A student found responsible by the Honor Board for academic dishonesty will receive a XF in the course, indicating failure of the course due to academic dishonesty. This grade will appear on the student’s transcript for two years after which the student may petition for the X to be expunged. The student may also be placed on disciplinary probation, suspended (temporary removal) or expelled (permanent removal) from the College by the Honor Board.
Students should be aware that unauthorized collaboration–working together without permission– is a form of cheating. Unless the instructor specifies that students can work together on an assignment, quiz and/or test, no collaboration during the completion of the assignment is permitted. Other forms of cheating include possessing or using an unauthorized study aid (which could include accessing information via a cell phone or computer), copying from others’ exams, fabricating data, and giving unauthorized assistance.