English 101 DR

Spring 1999 -- MWF 2:00-2:50
Dr. Virginia Crank
Office: CLI-154 Office Phone: 654-4395 or 654-4388 (machines at both)
Office Hours: MWF 1:00-1:50 or by appointment
E-mail: VirginiaC@ednet.rvc.cc.il.us or dengin3@tds.net

Course Objectives: English 101 is designed to increase your confidence and ability in writing expository and persuasive prose. We will approach writing as a process by which one discovers, creates, and expresses ideas. To develop your skill with the English language, we will necessarily focus on critical thinking, effective discourse analysis, unified presentation of ideas, interpretation of written sources, and appropriate grammar and standard usage. I hope that your objectives for yourself will align with these general objectives; in other words, that you will be eager to feel more confident in your ability to express yourself in standard academic English.

Required Texts and Materials:

--Cambridge, Barbara L., and Anne Williams. Portfolio Learning. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1998.
--Warner, J. Sterling, Judith Hilliard, and Vincent Piro. Visions Across the Americas, 3rd ed. Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace, 1998.
--Two manila folders and one pronged and pocketed paper folder.
--Loose leaf notebook paper (NO SPIRAL NOTEBOOKS!!)
--Two high density 3.5" computer disks.
--Blue or black ink pen.
--A good dictionary.

Course Requirements: Your grade in this course will reflect your completion of the following:

Writing Portfolio (60%): Throughout the semester, you will write five formal papers, which will be due periodically for reading and evaluation. I will return these papers with extensive revision suggestions, but no letter grade. Instead, I will place a number between 1 and 5 at the end of the paper. This number will correspond with a "Standards for Evaluation" sheet, which I will give you prior to your first paper due date (see section below on "Initial Evaluations"). These essays will be part of your working portfolio, and you should continue to work on and turn in these essays all semester. At the end of the semester, when you turn in your portfolio, you will have revised, polished, and selected your three "best" papers for my evaluation. These three "perfect" essays, as well as the two essays you did not choose for evaluation, will comprise your writing portfolio. YOUR PORTFOLIO MUST CONTAIN ALL FIVE ASSIGNED ESSAYS IN ORDER TO PASS.

The advantage of the portfolio system is that it allows you to continue to revise your writing, using the input of your classmates and instructor and the insight you've gained from further reading and writing. Each essay is a "work in progress." This system also allows you to feature and concentrate on your best work, setting aside those projects which simply didn't "click" for you. This system requires that you be responsible and disciplined in writing and revising your work; you must work on essays even when there aren't due dates looming before you.

One advantage I see of the portfolio system is that, because you receive no letter grades until the end of the semester, you are not penalized for your early work; also, I expect that not having a letter grade will force you to pay attention to the written comments on your essays. The best way to know "how you are doing" in my class is for you to come to my office and talk to me; I can tell you very specifically what I think your overall strengths and weaknesses are.

The essays we will be doing this semester are:

--"When I Realized I Wasn't a Kid Anymore" (personal narrative)
--"Defining Good Teachers" (definition and explanation)
--Analysis of a Magazine Advertisement (analysis and interpretation)
--Response to a Text (interpretation, evaluation, argument)
--Your choice of either another ad analysis or another response to
a text

Initial Evaluations (10%): As mentioned above, each essay that you turn in will receive, in addition to extensive comments and suggestions, a number between 1 and 5 which corresponds to a description on the "Standards for Evaluation" handout. Each initial evaluation will be worth 20 points toward your final grade. This intial evaluation will be given only once and cannot be changed through revision, although, of course, the final grade of each paper CAN be improved through revision. Papers which are not turned in on the due date will receive a "0," and the writer will forfeit any revision input from the instructor. See "Late Policy" below.

Journal (20%): Another important writing component in this course is a journal, which will contain informal writings about readings and about your own writing. This journal writing should be done on your own, at regular intervals throughout the semster. From the list that follows, choose twelve prompts to write journal entries about; each entry should be approximately 400 words. I will periodically collect and read your journal throughout the semester, so please keep up with the entries. Journal writing is not evaluated for grammatical or structural correctness; it is the writing you may be more relaxed with. When I evaluate journal entries, I look for substantive thought and exploration of ideas.

Journal Topics:

Essays from Visions; read and                         Questions about your own
respond:                                                writing experience:

-Elbow "Freewriting"                                  -What was your first writing
-Bradbury "The Joy of Writing"                         experience?
-Mora "Why I Am a Writer"                             -What was your best writing?
-Chin "Myth"                                          -What is your writing process?
-Parker "Poverty"                                     -What troubles do you have with
-Mitford "Formaldehyde"                                introductions and conclusions?
-Ehrenreich "Splitting Up"                            -What are your rules for
-Laycock "Peyote"                                      writing?
-Mikulski "Polish American"                           -Why should you learn to write

Attendance (10%): Because a writing class is a community, with all members contributing time, ideas, reactions, etc., your attendance is very important. You may miss three classes without penalty; absences 4-6 will result in the loss of twenty points from the students final grade; no student who misses seven classes will pass this course. NO LATE WORK WILL BE ACCEPTED; you must be in class to turn in an assignment.

Your final grade, then, will be figured accordingly:

                              Initial Evaluations 10
                              Writing Portfolio   60
                              Journal             20
                              Attendance          10

Late Policy: I do not accept late work. If you know that you need more time to complete assignment, you may contact me before the due date for an extension. You MUST have either a verbal or written exchange with me and you MUST make the request at least 24 hours before the due date. Otherwise, the paper may not be turned in. By not turning in a paper on the due date or on the agreed-upon extended due date, you forfeit the 20 points earned from the initial evalution and any response, reaction, or revision suggestions from the instructor. THIS IS AN IMPORTANT POLICY; BE AWARE OF IT!

Other Policies:

--Any quizzes or homework cannot be made up.
--I take roll at the beginning of every class; if you are chronically late, I
will begin to count you absent. Please tell me early in the semester if some
mitigating circumstances will force you to be late habitually.
--All formal papers must be typed (word-processed), double-spaced, according
to MLA format (which we will discuss in class). This class meets once a
week in the computer lab; I expect you to make use of the time and
technology. The computer labs available to you are windows-based and are
compatible with MANY word-processing programs, including all versions of
WordPerfect and Microsoft Word.
--We will also be using the college's Ednet computer network in this class.
This system provides you with an e-mail account and will allow you to have
in-class discussions, to turn in papers electronically, and to send messages
both synchronously and asynchronously. Ednet is available on most of the
computers on campus, both in the Tech Center and the library, and is also
accessible through the Internet, so you can use it from home, if you have
Internet access there. CLI-220 is also an open lab when not in use for
classes, and Ednet, the Internet, and word processing programs are available
there for your use. You may also use the computers in the Cyber Nook and
Cyber Cranny at any time.
--Plagiarism will result in failure. Do not represent someone else's ideas,
words, or concepts as your own.
--My doors and ears are always open. Please talk to me about your writing
concerns; it is both my job and my privilege to read and respond to your
--I check my e-mail very regularly, and I highly recommend that you take
advantage of this very easy and reliable way to contact me.