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Expository Writing 1 Fall 2001

Instructor: Dean Hall Office: Eisenhower 05 Office Phone: 532-0389
E-mail: Office Hours: MWF 1:00-2:00 and by appt.

ENGL 100 10410 8:30 MWF Seaton 143
ENGL 100 10510 10:30 MWF GYM 204
ENGL 100 10560 11:30 MWF Seaton 143

CONTACT: You can make an appointment with me before or after class, by telephone (voice mail is available when I am not in the office), by e-mail, by leaving a note in my mail box in Denison Hall, or by leaving a message with the departmental secretary at 532-6716. Be sure to leave a name and number so I can get back to you.

TEXTBOOKS: The Allyn and Bacon Guide to Writing by John D. Ramage and John C. Bean and Expository Writing 100 by Robin Mosher and Deborah Murray; both texts are available in the Union Bookstore and from Varney’s. All the basic course materials including the two textbook, a short guide to using the internet in research, and a supplementary handout should be bundled together. In the syllabus below, AB= Guide to Writing and MM = Expository Writing 100.

SUBMITTING YOUR WORK: Place the essay, any assignment sheet handout, all notes, all drafts, all peer feedback in a manila folder with your name written on the tab. Supply a title for your essay but do not use title pages. Do not submit your work in a report folder. Include your name, date, assignment number and page number in the upper left-hand corner of each page (see page 11 in MM for a correct example). Paper clip your pages together (no staples, no creative folding of corners).

a) In-class essays:
• write in blue or black ink
• use white college-ruled 8 1/2” by 11” paper (not paper ripped from spiral notebooks)

b) Out-of-class essays:
• must be typed on 8 1/2” by 11” white bond paper (no erasable bond because it smears and your work will simply disappear with multiple handlings)
• if you use a word processor attached to a dot-matirx printer, use the “letter quality” setting for printing final drafts; the “draft quality” setting on dot-matrix printers makes a copy too difficult to read.

ATTENDANCE POLICY: University policy requires that students attend all scheduled classes in which they are enrolled. However, my experience tells me that there will be times when coming to class is just not possible. Therefore, you can miss one class without any penalty whatsoever. Reserve this “free” absence for when you really cannot come to class because you are too ill or absolutely have to be somewhere else. You are responsible for finding out what happens on the days you are absent. If you know ahead of time you must be gone when an assignment is due, let me know so perhaps we can make other arrangements.

Attendance counts for 10% of your course grade and is weighted as follows: 0-1 absence = A, 2 = B, 3-4 = C, 5 = D, 6 = F. With your sixth absence you will receive an F for the attendance part of the course. NOTE: If you miss class 9 times, you will receive an F FOR THE COURSE. This is a standard policy across all expository writing sections that meet three times a week. I have no choice in this; keep track of your absences and please don’t fail this course simply because you didn’t come to class.

Attendance is expected from you every day that the course meets, and attendance is an important factor in doing well in this class. Look at attendance this way: you get 10% towards an A if this class if you do nothing else but come everyday. What easier way is there to accumulate course credit than simply showing up?

LATE WORK POLICY: All out-of-class writing assignments are due at the beginning of class on the due date. Late work will lose one letter grade for each calendar day late meaning that a paper or draft that is late one calendar day can receive no more than a B; if it is two calendar days late, it can receive no more than a C. This includes drafts as well as final versions. This also means that you cannot revise a paper that is more than two days late (since the highest grade you could possibly attain is still not passing). Lateness could fail you for an entire unit, then, and could result in your not having enough acceptable papers to submit for the portfolio which in turn would cause you to fail the entire course.

COURSE GRADES: Grades for the course will be determined as follows:

Attendance = 10%,
Participation (both in class and on listserv) = 10%,
Written Work = 80%. This will be the average of the grades for the major essays for the course one of which will be written in class. Major essays will receive a grade of A, B, C or U (for unacceptable). Unacceptable papers must be revised to an acceptable level for them to pass; in other words, an unrevised paper with an original grade of U will be calculated as an F when averaging grades.

Note: Your work must pass the program-wide portfolio examination at the end of the term for you to pass the course (no matter what grades I gave the work during the semester). The portfolio examination has its own machinery which is made clear in MM pages 2-8. We will go over the portfolio requirements in class, and I will work with each of you for both the portfolio dry run and for the final examination.

REVISION RATIONALE: Revision, real revision, is perhaps the most important aspect of becoming a better writer. I want you to become the best writer you can given the constraints you are under during the semester. To improve as a writer, you must be willing to write in ways you have not written before, be willing to try new things, to take risks. Successful writers revise their work several times before they are comfortable that what they have written is the best work they can produce. I know this from having watched hundreds of students struggle to write better and from my own experiences as a professional writer. Remember the goal is to achieve the best possible written work you are capable of producing.

Grading Week to Week: On each essay you submit, I will indicate only whether it has earned an acceptable or unacceptable grade. I hope this method encourages you to concentrate on producing your best work rather than concentrating on grades. I will also give you feedback in the margins and at the end of the paper as to what you might do to improve the essay. Here, then, is where the revision opportunities come into play (subject to the constraints outlined above under late work policy). Your final course grade will be determined by looking at all your work at the end of the semester.

REVISION POLICY: The revision policy is related to the late work policy above so make sure you know how these constraints/opportunities are tied together. You must turn in any revisions no more than one week after I return an essay to you. In-class writing generally will not be able to be revised.

• I require you to attempt revision on any essay which earns a U and to keep revising until that essay reaches the acceptable level. This means that both of us are committed to working together to getting all of your work up to an acceptable level. If you do not turn in a revision of an essay that received a U within the week time limit, that essay will simply receive a permanent grade of U and be calculated as an F when calculating course grades.

• Though I do not require revisions of essays which earn acceptable grades when first submitted, I do allow you to revise such essays once. This is an opportunity you should take advantage of if at all possible. This is how C papers become B papers and B papers become A papers.

Revision defined: To be a revision, an essay must demonstrate significant change in global issues such as focus (what the paper is trying to accomplish), arrangement (how the paper is organized), or development (amount and relevance of detail and/or support for generalizations). If you haven’t actually changed the original essay, I will simply hand it back to without other comments. Note: Simply correcting errors in spelling, punctuation, usage or grammar (though expected in a revision) does not count as revision because such corrections do not meet the above criteria.

Revision processes: To receive credit for revising an essay, you must do all of the following:

• you must mark and explain why you deleted anything in the previous version.

• you must highlight and explain any additions you included in the new version

• you must write a separate summary on a separate page(s) explaining how and why you revised; for example, you need to explain why and how you changed the essay’s focus or why you rearranged or added more information and so on.

• you must include with your newly typed revision all the original materials turned in with the previous version(s) along with the previous version(s) in a manila folder.

LISTSERV: Get on the Expos 1 listserv and participate in discussion. A listserv allows all of us to initiate and continue discussions in that any mail sent to one person via listserv is also received by everyone else on the list (ie., every other student taking this class). I periodically download a log of discussions that accumulate so I can quite accurately assess who is participating and how much in this part of the course.

Tentative Schedule: So early in the semester I can only guess about what we will be doing day to day in class. The schedule below is my best guess at the moment and should indicate to you at least a vision of what we need to accomplish this semester. But, because we know already that some changes may need to be made, we all have to agree to “go with the flow” when necessary. Therefore, you are responsible for knowing any modifications to the schedule below; pay attention in class when we agree to modify an assignment or due date. Also check the listserv regularly; I will also post any changes there as well.

8/20 M Hello, Introduction to Course, Getting to know Each Other, Are we all in the right room?

8/22 W Introductions continued; discuss syllabus and general course policies; discuss diagnostic essay. Discuss concepts of portfolio and plagiarism contract. Collect contracts. Contract appears on p. 9 of MM.

Read AB, pp 2-6 and pp. 23-25 and MM pp. 2-10.

8/24 F Discuss Diagnostic Essay Invention Strategies

8/27 M Write Diagnostic Essay in Class

8/29 Autobiographical Writing Assignment Given Out

General Discussion on Selecting a Topic: Writer's Perspective and Reflection
Why do some people and experiences stick in our memories, by what process do they become important?
8/31 Discussion of Assigned Readings
Chapter 5 especially "show" words vs. "tell" words
In-class practice with showing vs. telling
Sharing of subjects chosen: identify subject, event, place and why important
Bring initial responses to Assignment Worksheet to class
9/3 University Holiday--no class
9/5 How workshops work, preparing for workshop as both reader and writer
Designing a form for use in Friday's workshop
What constitutes "constructive" responses? What would you really like to have as feedback on your own writing?
9/7 Workshop in class on Autobiography

9/10 Responses to Workshop. Show your team specifically what you did or didn't do in response to suggestions from your team.

Rebuttals and reaffirmations.

9/12 Turn in Assignment with all rough drafts, workshop notes, and comments on changes and revisions you made. Sign up for individual conference during week of Sept 17th through 21st.

9/14 Dean is out of town--no class
9/17 to 9/24 Meet with Dean in short individual conference. Assignments returned with comments, grades, and suggestions for revisions. At this first conference, I will return your graded paper and make suggestions for revision, if needed.
9/24 Essay Two Assignment Handed Out
Discuss differences between Personal Essay and Informative Essay
EBB assignment: Before next class, post 3 to 5 possible essay topics.

9/26 Punctuation Review Read in MM pages 122-133 before coming to class.
In-class work on punctuation. Practicing the revision procedure.

9/28 Discuss in class Tarantulas, Face of a Spider, and Brown Recluse
Come prepared to identify in each essay where the writer includes the commonly accepted attitude or point of view on his/her subject, the new information which surprises the reader, details and description which make the essay interesting.

10/1 Mini-workshop in class. You need to have committed to your topic; bring to class 3 pieces of paper with a precise and exact description of your topic written across the top of each page. Under that description make two columns; title one column "What I know" and the other "What I would need or like to know."

10/3 Editing/Proofreading Review Review AB pp. 650-663. Exercise in class.

10/5 Discuss in class Sunday Afternoon Blues and Myth of Violence.
Come prepared to identify in each essay where the writer includes the commonly accepted attitude or point of view on his/her subject, the new information which surprises the reader, details and description which make the essay interesting.

10/8 The World Wide Web as resource. Bring small web resource book to class. Research guidelines
Discuss how one can tell a reliable site from an unreliable site.

10/10 Preliminary List of Sources due for your essay. Key this list of sources to the "What I would need or like to know" sheets from 10/1. Bring four copies of list to class. In-class mini-workshop on MLA style.

10/12 Paraphrasing and tagging Review. Reread pages on paraphrasing, avoiding plagiarism, and incorporating source information into your writing. Bring a copy of the Collegian to class. In-class practice on tagging.

10/15 Prepare in class complete version of criteria by which essay will be graded.

10/17 Complete Draft of Essay Due. In-class full workshop. Bring two
complete clean typed copies of draft to class. Paragraph by paragraph Purpose Sheets Due: indicate what each paragraph's purpose is, how it relates to the meeting the assignment's criteria. NOTE: Students who do not have entire package ready for workshop will not be allowed to participate and will be counted absent. Apply criteria sheet to drafts.

10/19 Finished Final Draft Due at class time. Final proofreading and editing allowed in class.

Page last updated 7 October 2001
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