COURSE SYLLABUS: ENGLISH 201
Fall 2003 Instructor: Clay Cooper
Daily Office: R230L
B105 Tel (425) 564-4185
Office Hours: by appt. only
Required Textbooks: Writing Research Papers, James Lester, 10th edition
Current Issues and Enduring Questions, Barnet/Bedau, 6th edition
Recommended Texts: A Writer’s Reference, Diana Hacker, 4th edition
A good standard dictionary
Welcome to English 102. This course is designed to take you step by step through the process of writing a major research paper. We will break the process of writing a research paper down into several manageable phases, each culminating will either a short 2-3 page paper or the presentation of research materials. Throughout the quarter we will read and analyze both our own and previously published writing. We will learn to use the library to locate relevant resources, evaluate which sources are best suited for our needs, and then we will learn to incorporate those sources with our own writing to make our paper a synthesis of original ideas and documented evidence to support those ideas.
My expectations are that you will learn a lot from participating in this class. You will learn to write with precision and power in a number of styles, each one fitted to the specific requirements of each assignment. The source material for your writing will all be previously published material. For that reason, there are some preliminary skills we must continue to develop before the ultimate goal (writing a research paper) is accomplished.
Primary Learning Goals
To understand the concepts and processes of research and research writing. (This will eliminate the slap and dash, stay up all night lifting stuff from the internet approach to writing a research paper.)
To read with a discerning eye, evaluating the intent, method, style, tone, and efficacy of both argumentative and persuasive appeals presented by writers of every ilk. (Essentially, all college level writing is either persuasive or argumentative. Which leads to….
Learning the difference between a persuasive and argumentative piece of writing. Also, we will need to become familiar with the terms and concepts employed with expository writing, such as assumption, proposition, thesis, analogy, implicit and explicit points, style, tone, logic, and audience.
Once we become familiar with all of these components, we can learn to identify, compare and evaluate them in the pieces we read. This is what is meant by “critical analysis”. We will not be concerned so much with whether we agree or disagree with another writer (including your fellow students), but with assessing how the case is stated.
First we will learn to summarize in writing what we read. Then we will learn to compare and analyze, forming opinions about what we have read, and ultimately expressing those opinions clearly in writing, utilizing many of the elements with which we have become familiar.
We will use class periods (at least two) to learn about the many sources of information available at the library. Subsequently, we will become familiar with the various kinds of material available in print—straight journalism, op-ed pieces, scholarly and academic publishing, feature and fluff articles, professional journals, etc.—and their characteristics. We learn how to search databases and use the internet effectively.
We will learn how to choose a topic/thesis conducive to research and how to design the structure of our paper to best incorporate the available research
Proper citation and documentation following M.L.A. style guidelines
You will have the option of re-writing any one of the first three papers, but only one; we will revisit the difference between revising and editing. Because I do not read rough drafts, self-administered revision and peer feedback will form the best opportunities to improve your drafts. You have five class days from the day papers were returned in which to submit rewrites.
Peer review and a group research project (including an oral presentation) are included in the curriculum.
Class Policies and Guidelines
Attendance: As attendance is directly connected to performance, particularly in group-oriented, intense classes such as English 102, you are expected to attend every class, but especially group and checkpoint days. Attendance on group days is taken at the beginning of the period: persistent late arrival and attending a group session without your paper or peer sheet will be counted as absences. If you come in after I have taken attendance, it is your responsibility to come up after class and make sure you have been marked late, rather than absent.
Your attendance will comprise 10% of your grade. Your participation grade will comprise an additional 20%. Participation includes oral participation in class discussions and homework assignments, contributions to group exercises and peer review, and the attitude, demeanor, and sensitivity you display towards myself and other students.
Attendance grade grid:
9+ F (And you will fail the class)
**Note: Absences on peer review days, presentation days, or checkpoints count as double.
The remaining 70% of your grade will be determined by your effort and performance in the following manner:
Paper 1 (Summary) 10%
Paper 2 (Critical Analysis) 15%
Paper 3 (Survey/Synthesis) 10%
Group Presentation 5%
Paper 4 (Research Paper) 25%
Writing Process (Rewrite) 5%
I will give you a more detailed breakdown of how I grade the essays when I pass out the assignment sheets.
Out of respect for everyone in the classroom, I ask that you follow these ground rules.
1. Turn off pagers and cell-phones
2. Do not talk or whisper while I am talking, or when another student is talking
3. Be constructive in your comments and respect the opinions of your classmates.
Rewritten papers may be submitted for grading consideration within one week of the day you receive them.
All papers and outlines for this class should be typed or word-processed. Please make yourself familiar with the various computer labs on campus (D221, NWCET) if you are not already. Limited instruction is available in the Writing Lab.
On Checkpoint days (on which I check your progress on the Research Paper) please note:
Effective group time management:
On discussion and rough draft group days: Be prepared and come on time. Do not consider yourself responsible for people who are not prepared. For discussions, talk with those who have read the assignment. For outlines and writing groups, work with people who are fully prepared first. Each group is responsible for managing class time effectively, and meeting out of class if necessary to complete assignments.
A Final Note: I am here to serve as your guide and then ultimately to evaluate your work. I am interested in helping you do as well as you want in this class. My schedule permitting, I’ll assist you in any way I can. If you’re having difficulty, speak to me about it, and I’ll see what I can do to help. If life interferes with school, as it has a habit of doing, let me know. I am not judgmental, and if you show me that you’re concerned with doing good work in this class, I’ll do what I can to help you around the obstacles. Communication is the key here. Keep me informed of your circumstances, and you should do fine. Talk to me after things fall apart, and there’s nothing I can do. You are the one who will determine your grade for this class, not me.
If you have a disability that affects you as a student in this class, you are encouraged to let me know. It’s also a good idea to contact the Educational Access Center so that appropriate accommodations can be made.