COURSE INFORMATION AND SYLLABUS FOR ENGLISH 271: SPRING 2012
Instructor: Mike Beasley Class meets: M/W 1:30-3:40
Office and office hours: in R230 by appointment
The following texts are required for this course:
1. Cohen: 50 Essays (50E)
2. A standard college dictionary
MATERIALS: Pencils/pens, standard notebook paper, stapler
In this class you will critically analyze and evaluate what you read, you will be challenged to express your perspective on a range of subjects, and you will write coherent expository essays that use rhetorical modes to thoroughly and persuasively develop your perspective. In general, to succeed in this class, you must:
*Question what you read; cultivate an inquiring mind; analyze and evaluate.
*Write articulate essays that thoroughly and coherently develop a personal yet credible point of view.
*Use Standard English diction, grammar, and mechanics to make your writing forceful and clear.
Specific Objectives: See also “English 271 Outcomes” in the Arts and Humanities/English courses website.
By the end of this quarter, you should be able to:
*read, analyze, and appreciate well-craft prose
*generate and discover relevant ideas with which to develop a
*use various patterns of exposition to develop your essays
*formulate a thoughtful, engaging thesis
*develop a coherent essay that communicates what your thesis
promises to deliver
*write unified and coherent paragraphs that collectively support
*integrate summaries, paraphrases, and direct quotations into
your MLA formatted research essays that end with a Works Cited
*exercise good judgment in diction: word choice, precise language
*write Standard English sentences, varied in structure and length
*detect and correct your own grammar, spelling, and usage errors
GRADING—Here is what percentage each set of assignments is worth:
Four essays of varied lengths . . . . . . 80%
homework/class work. . . . . . . . . . . . 20%
LATE WORK POLICY
*YOU MAY SUBMIT ONE OF YOUR FIRST FOUR ESSAYS ONE CLASS PERIOD LATE WITH NO PENALTY. All other essays must be submitted by the designated deadline in order to receive credit, no exceptions.
*YOUR LAST ESSAY FOR THE TERM WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED LATE, NO EXCEPTIONS.
Email is for cursory correspondences only. Thus, no emailed course work will be accepted, no exceptions. Also, I do not conduct class or re-lecture via email. Only hard-copy assignments will be accepted. This is not an on-line computer course. This institution offers on-line college courses if you are interested. See the course catalog for details.
SPECIAL CRITERIA FOR ESSAY #1:
Quality writing is the result of a process. Consequently, your out-of-class essay #1 must be submitted in stages. NOTE: To get full credit for essay #1, you must complete and submit a first draft. If you fail to meet this requirement, you will lose grade credit.
Other essays: I will specify what must be submitted.
**NOTE: Consult “Weekly Agenda” below and attend class regularly to keep informed of designated or modified due dates for essays.
MORE ON ESSAYS
Page format for essays--MLA: typed, double-spaced, 12-14 point font, one inch margins all around, indented paragraphs, centered title, name and heading information in the left corner. Do not include a cover page. See PP 712-16 for a visible model of MLA correctly formatted pages. IMPROPERLY FORMATTED PAPERS WILL RECEIVE A GRADE DEDUCTION.
MORE ON ESSAYS, CONT.
SAR—SAR stands for summary/analysis/response. Thus, your essays will be evaluated according to the following criteria:
1) ACCURACY(AC)--Does your writing reflect a close reading and accurate comprehension of the selection? In other words, do you effectively summarize and/or comment on the reading?
2) RELEVANCE(REL)--Does your critical analysis and response sufficiently and clearly address the assignment? Do your evaluations and conclusions reflect a fair assessment of all relevant points of view?
3) EDITING(ED)—did you edit your essay before submitting it?
Fundamental spelling competency, grammatical sentences cast in a variety of structures, diction precision, and legibility are required. Use a dictionary, spell check, etc.
1. Attend class: Your success in this class will largely depend on your attentive presence. PLEASE NOTE: I will take roll promptly at the beginning class. If you do not answer when your name is called, you will be marked absent. Furthermore, if you do not remind me immediately after class that you arrived late, Your tardiness will be counted as an absence. ACCORDING TO ENGLISH DEPARTMENT POLICY, IF YOU ARE ABSENT MORE THAN 10 TIMES DURING THE TERM, YOU CANNOT PASS THIS CLASS. FOR US, THAT MEANS FIVE CLASS PERIODS.
2. Participate fully in class discussions and activities.
3. Please follow classroom etiquette. The college classroom is a public space, a group learning environment. Thus, whatever impedes your and your fellow students' learning cannot be tolerated.
Refrain from the following behaviors as they are inconsiderate and disruptive in a college classroom environment:
*Answering and/or sending phone calls or text messages. If during class you get a call that you decide you must answer, leave the room and don’t return until the next class or next break, whatever the case may be. You can later email me or schedule an office session with me as you deem necessary.
*Talking out of turn. The rule: one person talks at a time so the whole group can benefit from what someone has to say.
*Sudden and random departures and entrances: rude, disruptive.
If you find it impossible to refrain from these behaviors, this may not be the class for you.
CLASS PARTICIPATION, CONT.
The upshot? Respect others as you would want them to respect you. Consult your student manual for clarifications on student responsibilities.
NOTE: Avoid Plagiarism: copying or otherwise falsely representing another writer’s words or ideas as your own without referring to the author. It is strictly forbidden, subject to penalty. Any questions? Ask me and/or consult PP “Appendix C”, 729-732.
DISABILITIES: If you have a documented disability which affects your academic performance, please visit Disability Services on this campus. They are ready to assist you.
TENTATIVE WEEKLY AGENDA AND ASSIGNMENT SCHEDULE
*The following schedule is subject to change. It is your job to keep apprised of any schedule changes by attending class regularly.
*Homework and class work assignments generated from the readings will be assigned throughout the course.
*All readings must be completed by the dates I announce. Furthermore, other readings not appearing below may be distributed and/or assigned throughout the course. Again, attendance is crucial.
Specific due dates for essays are included below.
WEEK 1—April 2, 4 INTRO. TO COURSE
50E 1-14: Reading critically; the academic college essay; the writing process
Discuss modes of exposition: narrative, description, process analysis, exemplification, cause and effect
Read “A Hanging” (Handout).
Read “Just Walk on By: A Black Man. . .” 50E 383-
WEEK 2—: April 9, 11 THEME ONE: EXPOSITION OF PERSONAL EXPERIENCE.
Discuss modes of exposition: Cause and Effect
Read “Shooting an Elephant” 50E 284-
Read “Why Don’t We Complain?” 50E 76-
WEEK 3—April 16, 18: THEME ONE, CONT.
Mode of exposition: Comparison/contrast
Read “Once More to the Lake” 50E 431-
Read “Two Ways of Belonging in America” 50E 280-
WEEK 4—April 23, 25: THEME ONE, CONT.
MONDAY: FIRST DRAFT OF ESSAY ONE DUE FOR FEEDBACK
Mode of exposition: definition.
Read “Conspiracy Theory 101” (handout)
Read “Dumpster Diving” 50E 146-
WEEK 5—April 30, May 2: THEME TWO: EXPOSITION OF A DEBATABLE ISSUE
WEDNESDAY: ESSAY ONE DUE
mode of exposition: argumentation
Read “The Case for Torture” (handout)
Read “Shooting Dad” 50E 412-
WEEK 6—May 7, 9: THEME TWO, cont.
Read “Letter to a Birmingham Jail” 50E 203-
Read Articles on first amendment speech issues tba
WEEK 7—May 14, 16: THEME TWO, CONT.
MONDAY: ESSAY 2 DUE
Discussion of controversial issues, cont.
WEEK 8—May 21, 23: THEME 3: EXPOSITION OF THE MOTIVATIONS AND ACTIONS OF A FICTIONAL CHARACTER
Read “A Modest Proposal” 50E 387-
WEEK 9—May 28, 30: FILM ANALYSIS cont.
MONDAY MAY 28: HOLIDAY
WEDNESDAY: ESSAY 3 DUE
Reading for Wednesday tba
WEEK 10—June 4, 6: FILM ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION, CONT.
WEEK 11: June 11-15: FINALS WEEK
MONDAY JUNE 11: ESSAY 4 DUE: NO LATE PAPERS, NO EXCEPTIONS
FINAL: CHECK YOUR SCHEDULE.