Spring, 2010 Instructor: Jeffery White
10:30 - 11:20 M-F Office: R230
Room R209 Tel: 425.564.3084 email: email@example.com
Office Hour: 8:30 – 9:20 M-F
Textbooks: The Little, Brown Handbook (11th ed.) Fowler, Aaron
This course is designed to 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 with 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 various research tools, including those located in the library as well as online locate relevant resources. Once material is located, you will be introduced to methods for reading and effectively evaluating it. You will also be introduced to effective note-taking strategies, methods of constructing and organizing a bibliography, and proper source citation. The final paper will present evidence of your ability to summarize and critically analyze outside material while synthesizing it to effectively support a clear and engaging original thesis.
It's been said before: You get out of this experience what you put into it. At its heart, this course is about exploiting resources: hunting down, identifying, analyzing and then extracting information that helps you develop an informed position which you then attempt to persuade your audience to adopt. This is a course in creative writing and thinking. Everything you need--your raw materials--are presently available to you; I am a resource, just as your books are a resource, and the library is a resource, and the newspaper and your relatives and TV.... Your grade depends upon the degree to which to you make use of your resources. My job is to cultivate some independent thinking and confidence in your own judgment. Those of you who need to be told what to do and what to think will find this class frustrating. Those of you with an interest in being more than spectators will be limited only by certain academic conventions and your own imaginations.
It can't simply be learned;
It must be participated in. -- Barry Lopez
This is not a "Warm Body" class -- one of those classes which you attend half conscious, take the occasional note and leave after fifty minutes. Because we'll be trying to do too much in too little time, we'll need to divide the workload equally; every student will be responsible for more than simply his or her own success or failure. If you, for whatever reason, aren't prepared or able to be an active, responsible member of this learning community, another class may more suit your expectations. What follows are our course policies. While they seem somewhat rigid and daunting, they soon fade to the background while making your work easier. These policies serve to keep all involved on task, on schedule, and attempt to keep stress and related neurosis to a minimum.
All assignments are due in class on the specified date. I will accept papers either in person or in my mailbox until 12:30 p.m. on the day they are due. (You take your own chances with Checkpoints or other assignments that are confirmed in person.) I'll accept nothing after that time unless specific arrangements are made with me before the class in which it is due. I'll permit such an arrangement only once.
Not surprisingly, you will need to execute nearly all of your work according to specific guidelines. Work that doesn't meet these guidelines will suffer. I outline the guidelines daily in class, each day supplementing the previous. Most often the first five to ten minutes are crucial to work that is to follow. If you want the information, be there when it's given or cultivate a friendship with a member of class who takes good notes.
You're tardy if you're more than five (5) minutes late for class. I will allow you to be tardy three (3) times. For every time that you're late after that, you risk forfeiting one (1) final grade point. Walk into class late ten (10) times, and you'll receive no credit for the course.
1. Miss the first week of class: no credit.
2. Students who miss fewer than 5 classes receive a 1-5 point bonus on their final grade. You forfeit 2 final grade points for each absence over four.
3. TEN ABSENCES, NO CREDIT.
4. As stated above, you’ll need to get missed information from another class member. I will supply you with any missed handouts provided you know which they are.
5. Those with exceptional circumstances should speak to me in person BEFORE those circumstances affect their attendance record.
Papers and Assignments
All papers must be double-spaced and typed or computer-generated. In addition to the rough and final drafts of an 8-10 page research paper, three shorter papers (2-3 pages, one of which may be revised and resubmitted) are required for you to receive credit for this course. Throughout the quarter, you will be required to meet various Checkpoints (evidence of research done to that point). For each "Paper Checkpoint" met, you receive 2 points; failure to meet a "Paper Checkpoint" results in a loss of two points from your overall grade points. Also, those without drafts on paper checkpoint days will be excused to go work on them and receive an absence for that class. Failure to meet "Mandatory Checkpoints" will result in no credit for the course.
1. Descriptive Outline, Summary Outline, All Paper Checkpoints, and your Oral report receive either a minus
(-): 2 points; a check ( ): 3 points; or a plus (+): 4 points (bonus) 10% OF FINAL GRADE POINTS
2. Summary paper: 10% OF FINAL GRADE POINTS
3. Critical Analysis paper: 20% OF FINAL GRADE POINTS
4. Synthesis paper: 20% OF FINAL GRADE POINTS
5. Preliminary Review of Research: 20% OF FINAL GRADE POINTS
6. Final Research paper: 20% OF FINAL GRADE POINTS
For those of you interested in keeping score: There are 200 possible grade points (excluding bonus points). A score below 120, 60% of 200, represents a failing grade. With the exception of the Summary paper, all scores translate directly as final grade points (for instance, if you get a 32 on your Synthesis paper, you receive 32 final grade points). To calculate grade points for your Summary paper, divide the scores that appear on your paper by two. However, avoid converting your number grade to a letter grade through percentages. Your final grade is based on the total of your paper points as well as points awarded for meeting other requirements. An average of a B (32) on your papers does not mean that you will receive a B as a final grade. You also receive points simply for doing some assignments (checkpoints) regardless of the quality of that work. And there is ample opportunity to receive bonus points for attendance, rewrites and exceptionally well executed checkpoints.
Total Grade Points translate to letter grades in the following manner:
193-200 = A 177-184 = B+ 153-160 = C+ 129-136 = D+
185-192= A- 169-176 = B 145-152 = C 120-128 = D
161-168 = B- 137-144 = C-
Plagiarism: Should you use another's words or ideas and represent them as your own, you are plagiarizing. Should you get help with your writing to such a degree that it, in any part, is no longer your own; then, too, are you plagiarizing. Plagiarism is grounds for failing the course, and possibly for dismissal from school. Please consult your handbooks for suggestions on how to avoid these rather dire consequences.
If you require accommodation based on a
documented disability, have emergency medical information to share, or need
special arrangements in case of an emergency evacuation, please make an
appointment with me as soon as possible. If you like to inquire about becoming
a DRC student you may call 564-2498, check their website (http://bellevuecollege.edu/drc/)or go in person
to the DRC (
A FINAL NOTE: I am interested in helping you do as well as you want in this class. If you're having difficulty, speak to me about it. If life interferes with school, as it has a habit of doing, let me know. 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 will be little that I can offer beyond my sympathy.