Monday, August 30, 2010

ENC 2300-08 Course Policies and Syllabus

NOTE: Class will not be held on Thursday, 9/2, Tuesday, 9/7, or Thursday, 9/9.  We will return to class on Tuesday, 9/14.  View the schedule below for assignments you will need to complete during that time.  E-mail me if you have questions or concerns.    

Dr. Hand
ENC 2300-08: Improving Writing Skills
Fall 2010
Tuesday/Thursday 5:15-6:30
SBI 011

Improving Writing Skills is a class for non-majors who want or need to improve their communication through writing.  This class focuses on writing for different audiences and in different forms to give students a wide range of practical writing experience.  Students will improve critical thinking skills and the ability to analyze texts as well as to write appropriately to specific audiences.  Each class meeting, students will write in class to grow accustomed to writing regularly.  Students will share their writing with their professor and peers regularly in workshops, and portions of class will be dedicated regularly to augmenting knowledge of grammar and mechanics.  Students’ progress will be assessed through in-class written work, at home essay assignments, grammar quizzes, class participation, and a final end-of-course assessment in which students will write on a topic in class. 

Required materials:
Anson, Chris M., Robert A. Schwegler, and Marcia F. Muth.  The Longman Writer’s Companion, Fourth edition.  New York: Pearson/Longman, 2008.

Lined paper for in-class writing, white paper, access to computer and printer

Requirements/percentage weighed:
1) Informal in-class writing and informal homework writing in which the student reflects on a topic or question or completes homework assignments described below: ~500 words/week, due in portfolio form at the end of the semester with regular checks throughout the semester.  15%
2) Thoughtful and courteous participation in class discussion, workshops, and group exercises.  10%
3) Five essays (modes described below, further details provided at the approach of each assignment), ~500-700 words each, due on the dates indicated below (see late penalty policies below). 65% total.
·         Essay 1: 10%
·         Essay 2: 15%
·         Essay 3: 20%
·         Essay 4: 10%
·         Essay 5: 10%
4) Grammar/punctuation quizzes, announced ahead of time, on topics discussed and practiced in class.  10%

Students must submit a FINAL PORTFOLIO of all written work at the end of the semester, including all 5 essays, accompanying drafts, research, process memos, bibliographies, etc.  Students may revise essays to be eligible for a higher grade.  Revised essays must be accompanied by an explanation of the revisions and changes made.  Due Tuesday, December 7, by 5 pm.   

Students who fail to complete all of these requirements will not receive a passing grade.
Attendance policy:  Attendance is mandatory.  Students are permitted 4 excused absences.  Each additional absence will incur a penalty of grade reduction by a partial letter (e.g., a student with 6 absences whose final grade came out to a B+ would instead receive a B-).  Do NOT arrive to class late.  Do NOT e-mail me after class asking me to tell you what we did that day.  Do NOT give me lame excuses.  If you have a genuine family emergency, serious illness, or other legitimate reason for missing class, provide documentation (in writing). 

Lateness: Do NOT come in late.  Every three tardies will equal one absence.  Students who arrive more than 10 minutes after class has begun will be marked absent.  Students who leave more than 10 minutes before class ends will be marked absent.  You will not be excused to leave for social functions, including sorority or fraternity functions. 

Communication: Our class syllabus, notifications, updates, assignment descriptions, and all other related materials will be posted on a blog.  The address is:

The title of the blog is: Dr. Hand’s Fall 2010 ENC 1101 & 2300.  Please save this url in your bookmarks or favorites so you can easily find it anytime you want to view our syllabus, assignment descriptions, etc.  Check this blog before class each week.  I will post notifications, for example, of class cancelation, there.  You are responsible for staying up to date and adhering to the schedule posted online. 

If you need to contact me, please e-mail me at (not case sensitive).  I check my e-mail regularly and will respond as soon as possible.

Participation:  The participation portion of your grade is based on your participation in class discussion, your level of involvement in small group activities (workshops, exercises, and discussions), and your display of respect for me and your classmates.  Just showing up for class each day will not earn you a high participation grade.      
Refer to “Classroom Etiquette” below for activities and behaviors that will have a negative impact on your participation grade.

Plagiarism: Plagiarism is grounds for suspension from the university as well as for failure in this course. It will not be tolerated. Any instance of plagiarism will be reported to the proper authorities.  Plagiarism is included among the violations defined in the Academic Honor Code, section b), paragraph 2, as follows: "Regarding academic assignments, violations of the Academic Honor Code shall include representing another’s work or any part thereof, be it published or unpublished, as one’s own."

ADA: Students with disabilities needing academic accommodations should in the FIRST WEEK OF CLASS 1) register with and provide documentation to the Student Disability Resource Center (SDRC) and 2) bring a letter to the instructor from SDRC indicating the need for academic accommodations. This and all other class materials are available in alternative format upon request.

Classroom Etiquette: The classroom is a professional environment.  Please conduct yourself as you would in a workplace.  Treat me and your peers with respect.  Be courteous and thoughtful when speaking in class. 

Derogatory statements or inappropriate language, written or spoken, will not be tolerated.

Please note that the following activities will result in you receiving deductions in participation points, being asked to leave, and/or receiving an absence for the day:
  • Texting.  Cell phones should be put away during class.
  • Using laptops.  You may not use your laptop in this class unless you have ADA documentation stating that you are allowed use of a laptop as an accommodation.
  • Sleeping.  People who sleep will be counted absent.
  • Not bringing your book to class.  If you don’t have your book you will not be able to participate in class readings, and you won’t be able to follow along in discussions of specific passages.  That means you will receive a ZERO for participation for every day you don’t have your book.
  • Talking.  Don’t talk while someone else has the floor. 
  • Reading/studying for another class. 
  • Not paying attention.  Come to class and be attentive. 
Class Schedule

This schedule is subject to change.  I will notify you of any changes via our class blog and in-class announcements. 

Week 1, August 24/26: N/A

Week 2, August 31/September 2: Introduction to Class

Week 3: Begin Essay 1, Writing narrative
Sept. 7/9: NO CLASS. 
·         Read Longman Part 1, “Writing for Readers.”
·         Begin Essay 1: “On Writing” Narrative
During Week 3, I will be away at a conference.  This week, your assignment is to write a 500-600 word essay “On Writing.”  View the essay description on our blog.

Week 4: Workshop Essay 1, Grammar/punctuation 
Sept. 14: 
·         Workshop Essay 1 in class.  Bring 2 copies to workshop. 
·         Discuss giving and receiving feedback, discuss essay content—our different experiences with writing.
o        HOMEWORK: Read Longman Part 2, “Critical Reading, Thinking, and Argument.”
o        Revise Essay 1 based on peer feedback.
Sept. 16:
·         Submit revised Essay 1. 
·         Grammar lesson 1.
o        HOMEWORK: Read Longman pp. 371-379, 423-434 (sentence fragments, commas, semicolons).

Week 5: Finish Essay 1, Grammar/punctuation
Sept. 21:
·         Grammar quiz (on Longman reading).
·         Receive Essay 1with my comments.
·         Writing exercises, revision strategies.
o        HOMEWORK: Revise Essay 1 based on professor feedback.
Sept. 23:
·         Submit final Essay 1 with all previous drafts, including drafts with peer and professor feedback
·         Grammar lesson 2.
o        HOMEWORK: Longman pp. 379-405 (pronouns, modifiers, shifts, sentences, parallelism, coordination).     

Week 6: Begin Essay 2, Writing about a text, Grammar/punctuation  
Sept. 28:
·         Grammar quiz (on Longman reading).
·         Discuss essay 2 (~500-600 words) topic.  What is a text?  Examples of texts to write about.  Examples of writing about texts.  See blog description and links.
·         In-class brainstorm, drafting.
o        HOMEWORK: Longman Part 4, “Writing for Specific Communities,” pp. 93-112.
o        Select several texts you may want to write about.  Bring a list to next class.

Sept. 30:
·      Group discussion of text options. 
·      Exercise: writing about texts (examples, practice) in class.
o     HOMEWORK: Read Longman pp. 435-460 (punctuation).
o     Select text to write about for Essay 2.

Week 7: Essay 2, Grammar/punctuation
October 5:
·         Grammar/punctuation quiz (on Longman reading).
·         Begin first draft of Essay 2 in class.
·         Exercises: being concise, identifying wordy and rambling sentences
o        HOMEWORK: Work on first draft of Essay 2.
o        Read Longman, “Word and Style,” pp. 407-421.
o        Find 1 example of a text (in a magazine, newspaper, online) that is overly wordy, lacks clarity, rambles, etc.  Bring it in for editing.
Oct. 7:
·        Exercise and quiz on being concise.  Practice editing for clarity and concision. 
·        Share, review examples of effective description. 
o      HOMEWORK: Finish full first draft of essay 2 for next class.
o      Find 1 example of an effective description (in a literary text, newspaper, magazine, online, etc.).  Bring example in to share.  

Week 8: Essay 2, Description, Analysis  
Oct. 12:
·         Share examples of description.  Description exercise. 
·         Workshop Essay 2—full-class workshop.  Bring one copy with portion(s) you would like to share with the entire class. 
o        HOMEWORK: revise draft based on feedback
Oct. 14:
·         Submit revised Essay 2 with process memo describing revision process.
·         Watch film clips, trailers in class, write response to clips

Week 9: Finish Essay 2, Begin Essay 3, Research and writing
Oct. 19:
·         Receive Essay 2 drafts with my comments
·         Discuss research strategies, introduce topic for Essay 3, “You’re the expert” (~750 words)—expository research essay on a topic on which YOU are already knowledgeable, but about which you also want to learn more. 
·         Brainstorm, drafting, group discussion of possible topics
o        HOMEWORK: Revise Essay 2 based on professor comments
Oct. 21:
·         Submit Final Essay 2 with all previous drafts, process memo, copies with peer and professor comments. 
·         Continue discussing Essay 3 topics, view examples of “expert” writing, compare authoritative to questionable online sources, understand the difference
o        HOMEWORK: Read Longman “Writing for Specific Communities,” pp. 114-122, and “Research and Writing,” pp. 137-172
o        Come up with topic proposal for Essay 3

Week 10: Essay 3, Research, writing, citation 
Oct. 26:
·         Share Essay 3 proposal.  Group discussions of topic ideas and research strategies.
o        HOMEWORK: Read Longman, “Research and Writing,” pp. 180-200
o        Identify the style of citation most frequently used in your area of study (e.g., MLA, APA, Chicago) and read the appropriate chapter in Longman.
Oct. 28:
·         Plagiarism and citation style quiz.
·         Research plan and outline drafting in class.
o        HOMEWORK: Begin research on your topic. Prepare research notes and preliminary bibliography.

Week 11: Essay 3
November 2:
·         VOTE!
·         Group discussion of research and bibliography
·         Begin first draft.
o        HOMEWORK: Prepare initial first draft.
Nov. 4:
·         Workshop Essay 3 drafts.  Bring in 2 copies to workshop.
o        HOMEWORK: Prepare FULL draft of Essay 3 with research, appropriate citations, and bibliography.

Week 12: Essay 3
Nov. 9:
·         Workshop full draft of Essay 3.  Bring 2 copies to class to workshop.
o        HOMEWORK: Revise essay based on peer feedback. Finish any additional research.  Finalize bibliography and ensure citations are appropriately incorporated into essay.
o        Write process memo on research strategies and experiences.
Nov. 11: Veterans’ Day: NO CLASS
·         Thank any veterans you know for their service to the country.

Week 13: Finish Essay 3, begin Essay 4, Professional Writing
Nov. 16:
·         Submit final draft Essay 3 with process memo, all research notes, outline, bibliography, drafts with peer feedback.
·         Group discussion of professional writing, example of professional writing.
o        HOMEWORK: Find several job advertisements that you may want to respond to.
o        Read Longman 128-136
Nov. 18:
·         Discussion of résumés and job application letters—what to focus on, what to avoid.
·         In-class drafting of job application material
o        HOMEWORK: prepare a polished and job application letter in response to a job advertisement you’ve selected (together, these items will count as Essay 4).
o        Read Longman pp. 123-128

Week 14: Nov. 23 and 25—NO CLASS.  Happy Thanksgiving! 

Week 15: Finish Essay 4, Write Essay 5, Letter to the Editor
Nov. 30:
·         Workshops and submit résumé and job application letter.
·         Group discussion, view examples of editorials, letters to the editor.
o        HOMEWORK: Find a letter to the editor or editorial that effectively conveys the author’s aims and concerns.
o        Write your own letter to an editor.

 December 2:
·         Workshop your letter to the editor.  Discuss placement of your letter.  Bring 2 copies to workshop.
o        HOMEWORK: Revise your letter based on peer feedback. Include the final version in final portfolio.

Final portfolios of ALL written work must be submitted by Tuesday, December 7, 5 pm.


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