ENGLISH 101 - WRITTEN EXPRESSION
Winter Quarter 2007
English 101 has the job of working out whatever bugs, phobias, or grammatical snags you may still have which could keep you from writing acceptable college-level essays. It can also be an opportunity to get answers and to clear up any misconceptions you may have about writing papers. We will focus on ideas and their development more than mechanics, working under the assumption that the most correct paper in the world is still empty if it doesn't have anything to say; at the same time, it is the belief of this section of 101 that a writer must be capable of successfully using standard English, or the readers will not take the piece seriously. Therefore, we will touch on some basic grammar constructs just to refresh ourselves and make sure we're all on the same page, so to speak. Essays and writing other than thread discussions should make every attempt to be grammatically correct.
There are two textbooks for this class, both of which are required and will even be used. A Writer's Companion by Richard Marius (Fourth Edition) is our basic guide to writing, and the course refers to it extensively. The McGraw-Hill Reader (Eighth Edition) is our general pool of essays. We'll use it for examples, models of what we do and don't like, and for topics to generate our own writing and thought. Neither of these books has in-depth explanations of grammar rules. If you're interested in something more thorough for your own reference, I recommend The Harbrace College Handbook as a guide you can haul around through the rest of your college career and probably your professional one, as well. It covers just about every form and grammatical snag you'll ever need to know about. If you're not interested in buying books, the website has a link to a wonderful grammar site built by the Connecticut Community College. Check under the icon Hot Links and click on there.
Throughout the quarter, English 101 will generate 5 essays, 2-5 pages long. These will be run through different levels of development, beginning with a draft that will be edited in group sessions. Participation in the editing, as well as written notes on one student essay per session, will factor in with the essays as part of the quarter grade.¬ Participation in threaded group discussion is also required. Topics will be posted weekly, and each student must make a minimum of one, three-to-four line comment responding directly to each question in the topic, and at least one further reply to another student's thread. (More comments are warmly encouraged.)
Assignments will be posted with the weekly lecture modules under the Course Content icon.
The largest part of your grade (70%) will come from your writing; however, you will also have the group editing and written editing notes, and your threaded discussion participation factored in at 15% each.
Work turned in late will lose credit points every day it's past the due date, roughly to one-third of the grade. For instance, if your paper would have been an A- on the day it was due but you turned it in the next day, it would now be a B+; if you turn it in another day later, it will be a B. You can see the trend.¬ Essays turned in one week past the due date will not be accepted.
If something genuine and difficult prohibits you from turning your essay in on time, let me know as soon as possible; I can be reasoned with in some instances. Also, be sure to let me know if you're having trouble with or are confused by an assignment; again, we can work from there. But due to the nature of the on-line class, punctuality needs to be respected.
A WORD ABOUT HONESTY
This being an on-line course, we will never actually see each other as a whole, trapped in a class room together on a cold winter evening or fighting to stay awake on a sleepy, overheated afternoon. Be advised, though, that teachers actually can pick up a student's individual style fairly quickly, and therefore, can detect when essays come from sources other than the student's own hand. What's more, we actually now have the ability to run a web-check for plagiarized work, and I will use it at the slightest provocation. If any work done for this course is plagiarized, the student will receive a zero for the assignment with no chance of rewriting it, and the Dean of Students will be notified. . More than one such episode, and the student will receive an F for the course. Do not be tempted by on-line essays floating out there in the ether (to tell you the truth, most of them aren't really all that good anyway.)
A FINAL WORD ABOUT HONESTY AND THE ON-LINE FORMAT:
This being an on-line course, we will never actually see each other as a whole, trapped in a class room together on a cold winter evening or fighting to stay awake on a sleepy, overheated afternoon. Be advised, though, that teachers actually can pick up a student's individual style fairly quickly, and therefore, can detect when essays come from sources other than the student's own hand. We also now have software which runs checks on suspected plagiarized essays, and I will run such a check at the slightest provocation. If any work done for this course is plagiarized, the student will receive a zero for the assignment with no chance of rewriting it. More than one such episode, and the student will receive an F for the course. Do not be tempted by on-line essays floating out there in the ether; to tell you the truth, most of them aren't really all that good anyway.
Lecture One: The Nature of 101 Essays
Writer's Companion Preface, Chapter 1, Appendix
McGraw-Hill Reader pgs 2-19
First Essay Topic Posted
Beginning Thread Questions and Opening Exercises Posted.
LectureTwo: Rhetorical Modes and Getting Rolling
Writer's Companion Chapters 2, 3
McGraw-Hill Reader pgs 22-45
"Freewriting," by Peter Elbow, pg 61
"Of A Monstrous Child" by Michel de Montaigne (attached by Link to Lecture Page)
Lecture Three: Grammar: Why Bother?
Writer's Companion Chapters 10, 11
McGraw-Hill Reader "I Just Met a Girl Named Maria," by Judith Cofer Ortiz, pg 367
"In the Lab With Agassiz," by Samuel Scudder (essay attached here::
"In The Lab with Agassiz," by Samuel Scudder)
First Essay Due¬ 1/16
Weekly Thread Questions
First Group Editing Sessions Begin (with draft of Essay Two) Post Drafts to Groups preferably before the weekend, no later than 1/19
Writer's Companion Chapters 5,6
McGraw-Hill Reader "New Superstitions for Old" by Margaret Mead, pg 621
"My Creature from the Black Lagoon," by Stephen King, 537
Editing Notes (for Essay Two) Due 1/25
Still More Thread Questions
Lecture: Audience, Audience, Audience
McGraw-Hill Reader "Reflections on U.S. Manners," by Alexis
de Tocqueville, pg 449
"Red, White, and Beer," by Dave Barry, pg 545
Essay Two Due 2/1
Post Drafts to Groups¬ by Sunday, if possible!¬ (Monday, at the latest)
Lecture: Critical Reading, Critical Thinking
Writer's Companion Chapter 7
McGraw-Hill Reader¬ "Delusions of Grandeur," by Henry Louis Gates Jr., pg 464
"Professions for Women," by Virginia Woolf, pg 459
"Cake Mixes," Consumer Reports, attached to lecture page
Editing Notes Due 2/9
Writer's Companion Chapters 8, 9, Appendix
"the Clan of One-Breasted Women," by Terry Tempest Williams, pg 819
"The Environmental Issue from Hell,"¬ by Bill McKibben,¬
Third Essay Due 2/13
Editing drafts posted 2/16
Lecture: Argument Versus Persuasion
Writer's Companion 59-71
McGraw-Hill Reader "American Dreamer" by Bharati Mukherjee, pg 432
"The Cult of Ethnicity" by Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. pg 8
Editing Notes Due¬ 2/23
Writer's Companion pgs 71-87
McGraw-Hill Reader "Sex Ed," by Anna Quindlen pg 270
"Cyberspace: If You Don't Love it, Leave it", by Esther Dyson, pg 419
Fourth Essay Assignment Due 2/27
Post drafts no later than 3/2
Lecture: What Happens Now?
¬ "The Allegory of the Cave" Plato, pg 643
"The Divine Revolution"¬ Vaclav Havel 636
Editing Notes due 3/7
Closing Thread discussions
Fifth Essay Due 3/12
There is no final exam for this class.