ENG 101 Syllabus

Required Texts

McQuade, Donald and Robert Atwan.  The Writer’s Presence, 3rd ed.  Boston:  Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2000. 

Lunsford, Andrea.  The Everyday Writer.  2nd ed.  Boston:  Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2002.

Recommended Texts

A good dictionary

Required materials

Notebook for journal (looseleaf is preferred)
Notebook for class notes
Folder for essays
Computer disk for this class (and some kind of backup)

Course Objective

Anyone can learn to write, and everyone can learn to write better.  From a grocery list to a love letter, a job proposal to a dissertation, writing will always play an important role in your life. This course will help you explore and practice a variety of strategies to invent, draft, revise, and edit different pieces of writing, taking into account the nature of the writing task and its audience.  You will become more aware of your process of writing through this course, which will help you in any writing task you face in the future. 

The course readings will play an important role in how we look at writing.  We will look at them closely for content, method, and their larger connection to how we view the world.  You will learn effective reading and analytical strategies, and by the end of the course, will approach a text from a multitude of perspectives. 

While writing is an individual activity, it also depends on varying reader perspectives and feedback.  This course will provide lots of individual attention and responses from me as well as from other students in class.  I also encourage you to seek reactions to your ideas and drafts from people outside of this course.  In addition to family and friends, consider soliciting advice from tutors in the Loft (2nd floor in the Library).

You will complete four essays in this course, in addition to a number of small writing assignments and a compilation of your work at the end of the quarter. 

Course Requirements

Attendance and Participation—Because this class depends on your input, if you are absent more than 7 times, you will not pass the course.  If you are absent 5 or more times, your participation grade will be an automatic 0.0.  If there is an emergency or a reason you know you will miss class ahead of time, please let me know as soon as possible.  All homework is due on its due date.  No late assignments will be accepted unless you have spoken with me beforehand.  If you encounter an unexpected illness, accident, or emergency, please contact me as soon as possible so arrangements can be made for you to turn in your assignments.  What constitutes an “emergency” is up to my discretion and includes documentation of that emergency.  However, an absence is an absence; no matter how noble the reason, if you’re not in class, you’re not participating.  There’s no such thing as an “excused” absence. 

Since we have a limited amount of time every day, you must make every effort to be to class prepared and on time.  On time means arriving before class starts at the top of the hour.  I will mark you late if you arrive up to 15 minutes after the hour.  After that, you will be marked absent, and all absences follow the above policy.  No matter how late you are, it will affect your participation grade at the end of the quarter. 

I realize some of you may be uncomfortable talking in a large group, but the course, your work, and the work of your colleagues depends on your input.  Therefore, 15% of your final grade will be based on participation.  This will include leading class discussion in a small group at least once during the course of the quarter.  Be prepared to participate in this way. 

Process Journal: A major part of the revising process is to see how your writing progresses.  You will be required to keep an informal journal throughout the course, in which invention strategies, freewriting, in-class writing, and responses to model essays and textbook readings will be included.  I will collect journal entries with each essay during the quarter.  It is important to note that they will be graded on completion, not quality, so feel free to express yourself, doodle, reflect on class, on recent readings, and your writing progress informally.  However, the grade will be based on how much its work helped propel your writing to a different, more formal place.  Bring your journal every day to class.

Essay Format:  All drafts of essays must be typed or computer printed, and double-spaced.  Please use a 12-point standard font such as Times New Roman.  Margins should be set at 1.0 inches.  Place your name, my name, course title, date and title of the essay at the top of the first page.  Make sure to number all pages. All use of outside references should follow strict MLA format.  All other assignments may be handwritten provided the handwriting is legible.

Keep Your Work:  Students should keep their own papers and all their process work.  Among other things, any student who appeals a course grade will need to submit copies of all graded course papers with the appeal. 

Portfolio:  Keep all of your writing for this course, including in-class and out-of-class working notes, drafts, revisions, and final drafts, reader response answers, and journal entries.  At the end of the quarter, you will review your portfolio to analyze and evaluate your progress.  More on this assignment will come during the semester. 

Plagiarism:  Plagiarism is cheating yourself and someone else.  The consequences can be severe.  Whenever you borrow a phrase, sentence, paragraph--or even an idea stated in your own words--from any outside source (newspaper, magazine, TV show, book) without giving credit to that outside source, you have plagiarized. If you use the exact words (or too close to the original text) of another source, even if it is cited, it is plagiarism.  If at any point you have questions about how to acknowledge someone else's words or ideas, see me.  Double submission of papers--passing in a paper written for another class--is considered a form of plagiarism.  All of the writing for this class must be written for this class.  Please see the attached plagiarism policy for more information. 

Revisions:  Since writing is a circular process, you will have the opportunity to revise either of the first two essays for a higher grade.  This revision will be significant in content, tone, editorial changes, and format.  Do not enter into revision lightly; revision is not simply correcting typographical errors.  You must notify me in writing of your plan to revise at least three days before the due date, which is one week after the return of your essays (despite any other work you have for the class).  Without a detailed revision plan that I have approved, I will not accept revisions. 


·    3 Essays 30%

·    Portfolio 25%

·    Reading Journal 15%

·        Homework/in-class work 15%

·    Attendance & Participation 15%

Note:  No late essays will be accepted for a passing grade.  However, all essays must be completed and turned in to complete the course.  Late in-class and take-home assignments will not be accepted for credit.  If you have an extenuating circumstance, discuss it with me.  Computer mishaps (crashes, outages, lost disks, no print ink or paper, etc.) are not valid excuses for a late essay. 

Students with Disabilities:  Students with disabilities needing accommodations such as accommodated testing, interpreting, note taking, taped textbooks, assistive technology, accessibility arrangements, tutors, etc. must contact the Education Access Center at 527-3697 (2nd floor of the College Center near Registration).  The Educational Access Center can assist individuals with both physical and learning/academic disabilities.  If you feel you may have a learning disability, please go and speak with the Educational Access Center.  All of their services are strictly confidential. 

Classroom Behavior:  The following are principles of respect you are expected to follow while in our classroom.  Respect yourself, your classmates, and your instructor by behaving and participating in our college classroom in a positive and appropriate manner. 

·        Please enjoy all food and beverage before coming to class (a spill-proof bottle or mug is acceptable).

·        Turn off the ringers on cell phones, pagers, or beepers, and please don’t listen to headphones.  The potential for these to be confiscated for a day or two is possible.

·        Please treat others the way you would like to be treated. 

·        Do not fall asleep during this class.  You will be asked to leave if this happens.  Make sure to get enough rest to attend class.

·        Please don’t do homework for another class while in this one.  You will be asked to leave and marked as absent. 

The Public Nature of This Class:  Part of becoming a good writer is learning to appreciate the ideas and criticisms of others, and in this course our purpose is to come together as a community of writers.  Remember that you will often be expected to share your writing with others.  Avoid writing about things that you may not be prepared to subject to public scrutiny or that you feel so strongly about that you are unwilling to listen to perspectives other than your own.  This does not mean that you are not entitled to an opinion but that you adopt positions responsibly, contemplating the possible effects on others.  In particular, please do not write about any criminal activity that you have knowledge of—as a witness, a victim, or a perpetrator.  This may seem like an odd thing to caution you about, but if you were to write about such an activity, I may be legally required to report it to the authorities. 

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