English 110: First-Year English Composition
Winter 1998, T/R 11:30-1:18; Aviation Building 107
This course focuses on multiple, divergent—yet always convergent—conceptions
of literacy, personal, academic, public, and compositional. Our primary goal
is to come to know what literacy is. Though no single definition exists, I have
a strong suspicion that any understanding demands critical thinking, active
reading, and reflective writing. Reading does not exist without writing; understanding
does not exist without practice. Therefore, to read we must write, and vice
versa. To that end we will do much reading in Writing Lives—the course
reader—and Rethinking Writing—the course rhetoric. We will respond
to the reading with informal written response and class discussion. To more
fully develop our thinking on the subjects, we will engage in formal writing.
And finally, so that we may re-view and re-envision our own writing, we will
engage in peer response and substantive revision.
Garnes et al., eds: Writing Lives
Hacker: A Pocket Style Manual
Podis and Podis: Rethinking Writing
Assignments and Grade Distribution
Grades are based upon how well you fulfill the expectations of each assignment,
which in turn are related to the goals of the class. If you don't understand
what is required or being asked of you, please talk with me about it. The course's
grade distributon follows:
Formal Essay 1 20%
Formal Essay 2 25%
Formal Essay 3 25%
Formal Essay 4 10%
Informal Writing 10%
There are a lot of assignments. We will be reading and/or writing for every
class period. Let's take a moment to brace ourselves.
The articles, essays, stories and poems that you are
required to read are designed to stimulate class discussion and your own contemplation
of subjects you may wish to write about in your own examinations. I reserve
the right to give pop quizzes (to affect your peer/participation grade) if I
believe that you are not completing the reading. In order that I not dominate
your class, you will at numerous points in the quarter prepare questions (also
for the peer/participation grade) for class discussion based on a reading.
Approximately every other class period you will react
in informal writing (either inside or outside class) to readings or issues.
These short, three-fourth to one (¾-1) page single-space assignments
are designed to commence your thinking toward the formal papers. If you put
thoughtful, conscientious effort into the work and turn it in on time (at the
beginning of class), you'll get full credit (A); if you don't, you won't (E).
For every informal writing assignment you turn in late, you will lose one-half
(½) of a letter grade from the cumulative informal writing grade. Not
turning an informal assignment in at all, that is by, Monday, March 16, will
result in an additional deduction of one-half (½) of a letter
grade from the informal writing grade.
If you use spiral-bound notebook paper, cut off that
nasty little straggly paper from the margin. Your should head your responses
|| Informal Response
||Alex E. Blazer
Title (which in some way indicates the prompt or assignment)
Skip a line, and then commence your contemplative reaction.
You will write four (4) formal papers, the first three
between four and six (4-6) pages relating, respectively, to personal, academic,
and public literacies and the last three to four (3-4) page essay reflecting
on your course work and progress.
Turn all required drafts (i.e., those designated due
on the syllabus) in on time at the beginning of class. Your peers and I will
be reviewing your work in order to give you feedback the next class period.
If you don't supply us with your paper, we can't prepare our responses. I will
mark down all drafts one (1) letter grade for each day (24 hours, not class
period) that they are late, including Saturday and Sunday. Again, drafts given
to peers or me at any time after this will be deemed one (1) day late and penalized
one (1) letter grade on the essay's final grade, no questions asked and no leniency
given. IF YOU DO NOT TURN IN A DRAFT WITHIN ONE WEEK (SEVEN DAYS, 168 HOURS)
OF ITS DUE DATE YOU WILL FAIL THE COURSE. Turning in Essay Four after 4 P.M.
on Monday, March 16 will result in a two (2) letter grade deduction for each
day it is late. TURNING IT IN AFTER WEDNESDAY, MARCH 18 AT 4 P.M. WILL RESULT
IN YOUR FAILURE OF THE COURSE.
Essays 1, 2, and 3 must be between four (4) and six
(6) pages long. On the first draft of a paper, if the text of your draft does
not extend down at least one-fourth (¼) of the fourth page, you must
compose in that unused space several typed (not spur of the moment),
substantive, reflective questions and concerns about where your paper is going
and where it could go. Second drafts, have less lee-way. I will not accept Draft
2 unless its textual length comes within at least four (4) or five (5) lines
of the bottom of page four (4). I will penalize drafts one-half (½) a
letter grade if they do not meet these expectations. If you have a question
as to whether or not your paper meets the page length or format requirements
(for format, see below), I strongly urge you to contact me before you print
it. Essay 4, which only requires one draft, must be between three (3) and four
(4) pages. Finally, I know padding when I see it. The quantity that I ask for
must constitute quality and not page-lengthening fluff. Your papers should constitute
precise critical thinking and not feather-filled, sleepy-time pillows.
All drafts of your formal essays should be stapled (not paper clipped), double-spaced (except for your name, class, and so on), and
fully marginalized with one inch (1") margins. Do not skip lines between paragraphs
as I do here. (This syllabus has different formal and format conventions than
your essays in interests of conservation.) The 12 point (not 13, 14, 15, 16,
17, or 18) font should be Arial, Courier, Times/Roman, or similarly appropriate
(Don't use bold, block fonts; they reek of filler.) Instead of using title pages,
commence your paper in single-space like this:
|| Essay Number
|| Draft Number
||Alex E. Blazer
After skipping one line (not two) begin your
paper in double-spaced (I know, my syllabus isn't double-spaced; but I'm trying
to save paper). On subsequent pages (not the first page, only the second
through final) your last name and page number should appear on the upper right
corner as a header positioned approximately one-half inch (½") from the
top margin. In order to maintain the one inch (1") top margin border, the body
of text should start a bit less than one-half inch (½") from the page
header. Consult your computer/word processor manual or find a computer lab assistant
to help you meet these margin and page header specifications. Refer to the top
of this page as an example. If you think your format does not meet these requirements,
contact me before you print it out because I will deduct one-half (½)
a letter grade from papers (both draft 1 and 2) that do not meet all the requirements of this format.
The First-Year Writing Program and I encourage revision,
the continual process of (re)writing. To that end, I will not grade first drafts.
But this does not mean that you should not strive to produce the most developed,
thoughtful, and polished paper you can because you will be showing all essays
to your peer group and me. Both your peers and, for the first essay, I will
respond to and evaluate them. You then have the opportunity to (let's not mince
words, you must if you desire a good grade) improve your papers with
substantive changes based on our critical feedback and your own consideration
in a second draft due one and a half weeks after the first. As I will be looking
over you peers comments, be sure to include their responses with your second
draft. (I advise turning in Draft 2 along with accompanying drafts in a folder
in order that papers not be lost; further, peers may wish to make a copy of
their responses in case they get lost in the paper shuffle.) Even an "A" paper
can be improved; any writer can make her work better. The degree of revision
depends upon both the response to your paper and your evaluation of those responses.
However, be aware that grammatical correction does not constitute revision,
although it is expected. This second draft will receive a grade. But, even the
second draft/grade is not final. You can, if you so choose, utilize all of the
responses to your first two drafts in order to (re)envision a third and final
revision due no later than one week after graded Draft 2 is returned to you.
All previous drafts must accompany revised drafts.
Because your work deserves attention and criticizing
others' work helps you in your own writing, not only I but also you will be
giving constructive, critical feedback. To that end, you will respond to first
drafts in writing and small group discussion. As with informal assignments,
if you compose a well-thought out response, you will receive full credit.
At least once this quarter, we will have an individual
conference to talk about your work. As you will sign up for a time when we can
meet, this will be considered a class meeting. Attendance will be mandatory
and the attendance policy will be in effect. Though no more individual conferences
are required, I encourage you to see me during my office hours to talk about
your progress in the course.
Don't do it. Using someone else's words, ideas, or
work without proper citation and representing them as your own is the most serious
of academic offenses. Please note the information on plagiarism in Hacker's A Pocket Style Manual (91-5). Read Hacker's and my policy carefully and
be sure to ask any questions you might have. All cases of suspected plagiarism
will be reported to the Committee on Academic Misconduct.
All assignments are due at the beginning of class.
I do not tolerate late work. If you've forgotten, refer to the above sections
on informal and formal writing assignments for the relationship between late
work and grade deductions. If you foresee a problem with turning in an assignment,
especially a first draft which needs to undergo peer response, on time, see
me about it before it's due.
Because much of our work in this class is discursive
and peer-responsive, unexcused absences will not be tolerated. Family emergences,
illness/injury with doctor's note, jury duty, athletic or other collegiate competition,
religious holidays, and so forth constitute excused absences. One-half (½)
of a letter grade will be deducted from your final grade for every unexcused
absence beyond two (2). (For example, a B+ will be lowered to a B.) Peer response
days are especially critical. If you miss one (1) of these days without providing
an excuse, your peer/participation grade will be marked E. Miss another, and
I will deduct one (1) letter grade from that essay whose peer response you missed.
Five (5) unexcused absences will result in your failure of the course. I do
not tolerate tardiness either. Two (2) tardies equals one (1) unexcused absence
(Note, therefore, that ten (10) tardies results in your failure of the course).
If you know in advance that you have to miss or arrive late to a class, especially
one near a peer response day, please notify me before that class.
On the Monday after finals week, I will make available
any work not yet returned to you. Contact me to make an appointment to pick
up your work. Otherwise, I will keep your work for two quarters, during which
time you can pick it up. If you do not retrieve it, I will discard it.
The staff of the Writing Center serve as readers
and responders to writing for English 110 and other university disciplines.
Besides giving feedback, these English graduate students can help with other
writing issues such as topic development, organization, coherence, clarity,
and self-editing. To make an appointment, call 292-5607 or stop by 338 Denney
Hall M/W 8:30-5:30, T/R 8:30-7:30, and F 8:30-1:30.
First-Year Writing Ombud
The Ombud is a resource for students and teachers
of English 110. If you have any concerns about the course but feel you cannot
speak with me, please feel free to consult with the Ombud. All conversations
|Ombud: Sandee McGlaun
||Office Phone: 292-5778
|Office: Denney Hall 363
|Office Hours: M/W 12-4; T/R 9-1
Office of Disability Services
If you have any specific needs or concerns, please
feel free to discuss the issue with me during office hours. Students with disabilities
who need accommodations should be registered at the Office for Disability Services
Once again, I welcome you to come and see me during
my office hours. I encourage you to talk with me about your writing, the class,
or anything else you may be concerned with.
WL = Writing Lives; HO = Handout; RW = Rethinking Writing
Like thought, this schedule is subject to change.
Unit 1: Personal Literacies
WL: O'Brien, "The Things They Carried" (50-62)
Eigner, On Dumpster Diving" (63-74)
RW: Chapter 1 (1-23)
Essay 1 Prompt
Due: Response: O'Brien Exploration 1 or Eigner Writing before
WL: Mellix, "From Outside, In" (75-85)
Torgovnick, "On Being White, Female, and
Born in Bensonhurst" (109-20)
HO: Hurston, "How It Feels to Be Colored Me" (35-9)
RW: Chapter 1 (23-39)
Due: Response: RW Exercise on page 29
WL: Douglass, Ch7 from Narrative of the Life of Frederick
Scribner, "Literacy in Three Metaphors"
RW: Chapter 2 (40-61)
Due: Essay 1, Draft 1
Unit 2: Academic Literacies
WL: Heath, "The Fourth Vision: Literate Language at Work"
RW: Chapter 2 (62-73)
Due: Essay 1 Peer Responses
WL: Hughes, "Theme for English B" (140-1)
Moraga, "It's the Poverty" (192-4)
HO: Eliot, "Gerontion" (488-90)
RW: Chapter 3 (74-95)
WL: Stafford, "Final Exam: American Renaissance"
Freire, "The Banking Concept of Education"
RW: Chapter 3 (95-112)
Essay 2 Prompt
Due: Essay 1, Draft 2
WL: Levine, "M. Degas Teaches Art & Science at Durfee
Intermediate School" (246-7)
Anyon, "Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work" (248-67)
RW: Chapter 4 (113-129)
Due: Response: Anyon Explorations 5 and 6
Unit 3: Public Stuff
WL: Hirsch, "Cultural Literacy" (195-206)
Barber, "America Skips School" (282-93)
RW: Chapter 4 (129-146)
Due: Essay 2, Draft 1
WL: Adatto, "The Incredible Shrinking Sound Bite"
Katz, "Rock, Rap, and Movies Bring You
the News" (367-77)
Due: Essay 2 Peer Responses
WL: Sizer, "Public Literacy: Puzzlements of a High School
Charles, "Always Real: Coke Chillin' in
The Hood" (352-6)
RW: Chapter 5 (147-179)
WL: Solomon, "Masters of Desire: The Culture of American
Zinn, "Move Over, Boomers: The Busters
Are Here—and They're Angry" (342-51)
RW: Chapter 6 (180-198)
Due: Essay 2, Draft 2
WL: Ventura, "Report from El Dorado" (385-97)
RW: Chapter 6 and 7 (198-229)
WL: Guterson, "Enclosed. Enclyclopedic. Endured.: "One
Week at the Mall of America" (398-412)
HO: Ferlinghetti, "Director of Alienation" (185-8)
RW: Chapters 7 and 8 (229-256)
Essay 3 Prompt
Due: Response: Guterson Exploration 1
HO: Rich, "Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence"
RW: Chapter 8 (256-273)
Video: Barber, "Jihad or McWorld?" (C-SPAN, February 1998)
Video: Barber, continued
Due: Essay 3, Draft 1
HO: Huxley, "Conditioning the Children" (592-5)
Three Rivers, " Cultural Etiquette: A
Wright, "The Ethics of Living Jim Crow"
Due: Essay 3 Peer Responses
HO: Herzog, "The Death of Lies" (15-27)
RW: Chapter 9 (275-320)
WL: Molloy, From John T. Molloy's New Dress for Success (416-30)
HO: Ellison, "On Becoming a Writer" (433-40)
Essay 4 Prompt
Due: Essay 3, Draft 2
||Due: Essay 4