ENGLISH 102:  EFFECTIVE WRITTEN DISCOURSE

Facilitator: Stephanie Dickey
Office: 106 Oelman
Phone: 775-3716 (office)
           775-3136 (EnglishDepartment)
           and by appointment
Spring Quarter 2002
            section 03, A230 CA
            section 07, A230 CA
Office Hours: 7:30-8:30 a.m. MWF
E-mail: stephanie.dickey@wright.edu
Fax: 775-2707

THE PROBLEM

We are writers with something important to say. How can we write critically and persuasively so that readers will seriously consider our points of view? This course focuses on writing academic prose, reading critically and carefully, thinking logically, arguing successfully and fairly, and collaborating with others, both in the classroom and on paper. We’ll be using a workshop writing environment to tackle the problem so that means you can expect to write several drafts of each paper and share them with both your fellow classmates and me during the quarter. As a student in a writing course, expect to write (and read) copiously for each class.

THE GOALS

The English Department here at WSU has neatly outlined the goals for ENG 102 in The Guidebook for College Composition. You’ll want to read them thoroughly before the next class, but my goal in ENG 102 is to help you develop your abilities to think, read, and write in ways appropriate for writing tasks/problem-solving both in college and out. The assignments require that you build on the skills you learned in ENG 101 to further sharpen your writing acumen. By the end of this quarter, you should be able to:

  • Read critically, identifying the main idea in a piece of writing, the ways in which that idea is supported or argued, the assumptions from which the writer is starting, and the audience for which the text was originally written.
  • Argue fairly and appropriately, finding suitable sources of information, informing yourself of your        topic  and the range of potential viewpoints on it, and using authoritative sources to back up what you say. You will use appropriate forms of argument in terms of logic and emotion. Further, you will be able to demonstrate an understanding of your readers by establishing a common ground, seeking to understand that people may disagree with good will and good intentions, and developing appropriate counter-arguments to and acknowledgments of other points of view.
  • Communicate clearly and effectively through accurate summaries, analytical papers, documented        essays, and presentations of your work.
  • Collaborate effectively through the writing process and group presentations.

In addition, we’ll be identifying a few classroom goals of our own to cultivate insight into our own communities and the larger world community.

TEXTS AND MATERIALS

The Language of Argument, 10th Ed., by Daniel McDonald and Larry Burton
The Guidebook for College Composition, published by the WSU English Department
Selected offprints supplied by me
A homework folder to keep all your work collected, supplied by you

For those of you concerned about grammar issues, I recommend A Writer’s Reference by Diana Hacker, but it’s not a required text for this class.

THE TASKS

The theme for this quarter is critical examination of current social issues with an eye for how they affect our lives. You will generate your own topics within this theme, producing over the quarter:

    1. One summary/rhetorical analysis

    2. A persuasive essay promoting your viewpoint on a current social issue.

    3. Homework responses and in-class writing assignments.

    4. A collaborative presentation on a selected campus issue or problem, with a written handout that you have        designed collaboratively.

    5. An individual letter to the Editor of The Guardian, relating to your collaborative presentation.

    6. A Final Portfolio containing a prescribed selection of the above work and cover pages introducing and evaluating each selection. This portfolio is due by Noon on Monday, June 3, 2002, in my office, 106 Oelman Hall.

* * * * NOTE* * * *

Final Portfolios are evaluated for pass/fail by instructors for other sections of ENG 102, not by me. Therefore, I don’t determine whether your Portfolio passes or fails--you do by the quality of work you invest in it. No Portfolio will be accepted if required drafts, peer reviews, invention materials, and documentation are not included. Likewise, no Portfolio will be accepted if you have not satisfactorily completed all the required essays/major assignments for the class (#1, 2, 4, & 5 above) by Friday, 5/24/02. Please note that I will only accept one late paper from you in any given week. No multiple submissions are acceptable.

THE POLICIES

Behavior:

General rules for class deportment and other policies not addressed in the syllabus are outlined in The Guidebook. Please read it. Further, please turn off all audible pagers or cell phones before coming to class.

Late assignments:

All assignments are due at the beginning of class on the specified date. I will accept assignments for credit at no other times. While late work will not earn any homework points, any work submitted late will be evaluated and noted as "late" in my record book. Keep in mind that essays that are submitted late might not be evaluated and returned before the next essay is due. Any late assignments turned in during the last 2 weeks of regularly scheduled classes will not be evaluated before Portfolios are due.

Attendance:

Attendance is critical in a workshop class such as this one. Since homework assignments will only be accepted during the class period for which they are due and in-class assignments often cannot be made up, you will get no credit for the work due on days you are absent. Further, many assignments completed in class are required parts of the Portfolio, so if you don’t come to class workshops, your Portfolios will be deficient (if not unacceptable altogether). Will I cave on this issue? Not a chance. An attendance sheet will be circulated at the beginning of each class for my records. You are responsible for signing the sheet within the first few minutes of class. Failure to do so constitutes a de facto absence. In short, if you don’t sign the attendance sheet, you weren’t here. You must sign the attendance sheet personally–someone else signing your name won’t count. Coming to class without drafts and sources on workshop days constitutes and absence. Combinations of three tardies and/or early departures from class, and/or missing 50% or more of any class also constitutes absences as well. Absence from class does not excuse you from being prepared for the next class. You are responsible for any changes made to the syllabus or any assignments given during your absence.

Bad Weather:

Since Wright State rarely closes for severe weather, we will cancel this class if Sinclair College cancels its classes due to bad weather during our class time. Please tune in to local TV or radio stations for cancellation announcements of either WSU or Sinclair. You may also call the WSU hotline for cancellation notices: 775-3500. In case class is canceled, assume that all assignments are still due according to the published schedule.

Conferences:

I will schedule conferences with you periodically throughout the quarter. If you are scheduled for a conference, you must show up or phone in advance to let me know you won’t be coming or risk a deduction of your final grade.

Grades:

    Collaborative Presentation:        15%
     Final Portfolio:                          60%
     In-class work/homework:         25%

Just doing what you’re asked to do to complete the assignments and homework = C; higher quality or greater depth in each assignment = A or B; incomplete or unacceptable work = F. I do not round scores to the next highest grade. On a 5-point scale (5=A, 3=C, 1=F), a 3.5 is still a C.

Changes:

Throughout the quarter we may find that amendments to the syllabus and schedule are necessary for whatever reason. We’ll negotiate these changes as the need becomes apparent.

Homework:

All homework must be typed or word-processed. Each assignment should be clearly labeled with your name, due date, and the assignment topic. NEVER THROW ANYTHING AWAY that you prepare for this class until final grades are posted. Instead, put all written work into a folder. Invention work of this type is often a required part of finished papers!

Academic Integrity (from the Director of Writing Programs)

"In this class as in your others, the assumption is that you are submitting work that is your own creation. It’s a matter of trust, really. Violating that trust can lead to severe penalties, so don’t cheat, and know what is considered cheating. See the Guidebook, pp. 17-21, for detailed information on what counts as academic dishonesty in writing. Also, please be aware that the university subscribes to a service called ‘Turnitin.com,’ which maintains a large database of student essays from WSU and the web and a search engine for matching text to the database. Any writing you submit for a class may be compared with that database and plagiarized material will be identified." As such, every "essay" that you submit for this class must be accompanied by the same paper on disk in Word.

Special Considerations

If you have special learning considerations that affect your ability to perform the required tasks for this class, please inform me at the end of the first period today so that I might help you meet your learning goals. You may consult with the Office of Disability Services by phoning 775-5680 during regular office hours.

The Schedule

Since this is your class, we will determine the schedule according to what it is you hope to accomplish this quarter. We’ll establish your goals in the first class period, and I’ll develop the assignment schedule accordingly. Until then, follow this schedule for the next few class periods:

For Wednesday 3/27:

  • Read, annotate, and prepare a one-page or less summary of the chapter entitled "Induction" (pp.24-31) in our textbook, The Language of Argument (LA). A summary pulls out all the main ideas of a text and recombines them in your own words in paragraph form.
  • In addition, prepare a 1-2-page response to any one article following the content material in that same chapter (pp.32-45). A response gives your reactions to the information in the article, the way the article is reasoned/argued, the author’s persuasive strategies, etc. If you have trouble responding to the article, try answering the questions at the end as a prewriting technique before writing your response. You will be handing in both the summary and response for homework, so make them good. For summaries, highest homework points will be given for thoroughness and conciseness, as well as using your own words rather than the authors’. For responses, highest marks will be given for critical insight into the topic and new perspectives you add to the authors’ conversation.

For Friday 3/29:

  •     Read and annotate the chapter on "Induction" ;
  •     Also, write a response to one of the articles on pp. 53-67.

Be thinking about a current social issue (excluding ABORTION, EUTHANASIA, CAPITAL PUNISHMENT, or GAYS IN THE MILITARY) that you’d like to explore in writing this quarter. I won’t accept papers on the above topics for several reasons, chief of which is that they almost always fail.

Questions? Call or email me MWF. Since I’m usually not in my office on Tuesdays, Thursdays, or weekends, any message you leave either by phone or email those days won’t be received until I arrive on campus the next morning.

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