Eng 110 – College Writing I

            Blackboard Link                                                   Spring 2003

                                 Section 005: MWF, 9:55-10:50, 326 Wimberly

                                 Section 013: TTh, 9:25-10:50, 326 Wimberly

Instructor: Dr. Virginia Crank

Office: Wimberly 425KOffice Phone: 785-6933
E-mail: crank.virg@uwlax.edu or dengin3@centurytel.net  Office Hours: MW 2:00-3:00, TTh 11:00-12:00 or by appointment. 
Required Texts:
---Veit, Richard, Christopher Gould, and John Clifford. Writing, Reading, and Research, 5th ed. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 2001. (available from textbook rental)
---Lardner, Ted, and Todd Lundberg. Exchanges: Reading and Writing About Consumer Culture. New York: Longman, 2001. (available from textbook rental)
---Kischner, Michael, and Edith Wollin. Writers’ Choices: Grammar to Improve Style.Fort Worth: Harcourt, 2002. (available from textbook rental)
---A college-level dictionary
Course Objectives:Eng 110 is designed to increase your competence and confidence in college-level writing. The writing you’ll be doing in this course will give you practice in using writing as a tool of thinking and learning, in understanding and responding to rhetorical situations, and in thinking critically and analytically. These practices are an essential component of general education and are foundations for all further learning. These skills are also, on a larger scale, essential to being a well-educated, contributing member of our society.
In learning more about writing, you must examine some of the assumptions you have about writing, such as “There’s really only one correct way to write,” or “Some people are just born good at writing,” or “The teacher will tell me everything I need to think and do,” or “If I just think about something long enough, I should be able to write it perfectly the first time I try,” or “Well, I really do write best when I procrastinate.”None of those assumptions will serve you well in this course, as it is my belief that writing is a skill (not a talent) that everyone can learn to do and that each writer must explore many writing strategies in order to find her own best process for producing a successful piece of writing. 
In your section of Eng 110, we will also be examining America’s consumer culture and how that culture informs and influences the choices we make. The readings and writing assignments will be designed to move you toward examining the culture and your own contribution to it.

 

Course Requirements:

Portfolio (40%): The largest portion of your grade in this class will be determined by a portfolio of essays you submit at the end of the semester. Throughout the semester, you will write four 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 Polished Drafts"). 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 two "best" papers for my evaluation.These two "perfect" essays, as well as the two essays you did not choose for evaluation will comprise your writing portfolio. YOUR PORTFOLIO MUST CONTAIN ALL FOUR ASSIGNED ESSAYS IN ORDER TO PASS. Your portfolio grade, however, will be an overall evaluation of the two essays you’ve chosen as your best.

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.

Initial Polished Drafts (10%): For each essay assignment, there will be a due date for an Initial Polished Draft. While this draft will not be given a letter grade, I will read it, respond to it, and suggest areas for revision; I will also assign it a number between 1 and 5 (corresponding to the above-mentioned “Standards for Evaluation”), which should give you a general idea of the draft’s overall quality. This number will not affect the number of points you receive for turning in an initial polished draft; turning in a complete draft on the assigned due date will automatically earn you, in addition to some in-depth reader response, 25 points. At any time, and as many times as you’d like, you may submit a revised draft of that essay; my only requirement for re-submissions is that all revisions/changes/additions to the initial polished draft be done in bold type (so you and I can both see those changes easily).

Research Project: The fourth paper you write will actually be a collection of documents, which will constitute your research project. You will write a research prospectus, which will describe what your project will cover and how you plan to research and write about it; you will write a working bibliography of sources used during your research; you will write a final report of your research. This project will not be a traditional research paper, which you might have written in high school or other writing classes; it will be some sort of multi-source project, which connects, with the theme of our consumer culture. We’ll talk more about what ideas would be fruitful throughout the semester. This paper may be one you choose to include in your portfolio or not.

Journals, Homework, and Online Assignments (30%):

Journals: In some weeks, you’ll read an assigned essay from Exchanges. In response to that assigned reading, you will write a “one-pager”, which is one full typed page, single-spaced, in 10, 11 or 12 point Courier New or Times New Roman font. Look at the attached sample to get an idea of how that should look. Your one-pager should contain your reactions to the content and writing of the assigned essay, your responses to the ideas it presents, your questions about the meaning or consequences of those ideas, your interpretation of the author’s rhetorical context, your reflection on the content of the essay and your own relationship to it. Journals are graded for content, not structure and style, so I’ll be looking for journals which show substantive thought about and interaction with the essay. You needn’t worry about spelling, grammar, focus, development, and correctness, as you will with a polished paper. These one-pagers will be collected in class as listed on the course schedule. I will not accept any late journal entries. 
Homework: As you read the Veit, Gould, and Clifford text, I’ll ask you to do some of the practice exercises in each chapter in order to prepare to incorporate the skills into your own writing. These responses will be used in class discussion as well as submitted for grading; they can be handwritten. I will not accept late homework. 
Online Assignments: Your section of Eng 110 is a hybrid class, meaning we meet twice a week face-to-face and once a week online. Each Friday, rather than meeting in our classroom, you’ll have an assignment to complete and post to our class Blackboard site. These assignments will usually be due by midnight on Fridays, although there will be a few exceptions. The assignment for each week will be posted by Wednesday of that week, so you may complete it any time between then and the final due time/date. Be sure to check the posted assignments regularly. These online assignments will be graded. I will not accept any late online assignments.

Vocabulary (10%): In order to help build your fluency with written text, we will be studying some college-level vocabulary words. For each paper you write, I will collect a list of words from the related reading assignments. Many times, I hope, these will be words with which you are already familiar; occasionally, you will get to learn a new word. Twice during the semester, you’ll take a vocabulary quiz to test your understanding of the new words and how they’re used in writing. You may not make up a missed vocabulary quiz.

Final Essay (10%): During our final exam time, you will submit a final reflective essay which discusses both the ideas we’ve explored about consumer culture and the things you’ve learned about writing. The final exam time is listed on your course schedule; since I do teach two sections of 110, you may come to either of my final times (ask me when the other one is).

Your final grade for this class, then, will be calculated as follows:
                         Portfolio                             400 pts.
         Initial Polished Drafts               100 pts.
         Journals/Homework/Online Assignments  300 pts.
         Vocabulary                            100 pts.
         Final Paper               100 pts.
The total of 1000 points will be converted to a percentage, to which the following letter-grade scale will be applied:
A  100-94
A/B  93-90
B  89-84
B/C  83-80
C  79-70
D  69-62
F  61-0
Attendance: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; each absence after the 3rd will result in the loss of twenty points from your final grade. Seven absences or more will earn you an F for this course. Signing up for a conference and then not coming or calling to reschedule will also be counted as an absence.
Late Policy: I do not accept late work. If you know that you need more time to complete an initial polished draft, 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 evaluation and any response, reaction, or revision suggestions from the instructor. THIS IS AN IMPORTANT POLICY; BE AWARE OF IT! Extensions apply only to INITIAL POLISHED DRAFTS, not to homework, journal entries, or vocab quizzes.

Other Policies:

 --Any quizzes or homework cannot be made up.
--I take attendance 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 drafts must be typed (word-processed), double-spaced, accordingto MLA format (which we will discuss in class). Journals (one-pagers) must be typed, single-spaced.
--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 writing.
--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. You will also find, when I remember to post them, copies of our class handouts on my website at http://www.uwlax.edu/faculty/crank. Go to “Courses” and then the link for your course. 
--In addition to my e-mail address and the class website, this class has a Blackboard course site. You should use this site to post online assignments, to correspond with your instructor and classmates, and to find handouts and assignments that you either didn’t get in class or have misplaced. Your success in the online portion of this class is dependent upon your becoming familiar with how to use Blackboard and your checking the course site regularly. ALL POSTED ATTACHMENTS MUST BE READABLE IN MICROSOFT WORD.