English 201 Syllabus
Instructor Ewan Magie
Office Hours: R230K; Tu, 12:30 or by appointment
1) Writing and
2) Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
3) Essays on BCC Library Reserve
The main purpose of English 201 is to develop skills to research and write a major research paper. In order to do this, much of our time will be spent analyzing various essays and incorporating different points of view into our own written arguments. We’ll learn to reach our own conclusions through summary, critical analysis, synthesis, and the research paper.
In these sessions you will gain feedback from other students to prepare for writing your paper and on your rough draft. Participation in these sessions is required. On the day of the session you need to be prepared to discuss your ideas with your group, and on workshop days, you must bring in three readable draft copies for your group. Non-attendance at the workshops will affect your grade negatively. If you don’t participate in Peer Review your paper cannot get higher than 90/100 points. If you don’t staple your final draft you cannot score higher than 95 points (or 290 on the final paper).
Papers and other assignments will be due in class at the beginning of class on the due date. Response papers later than the due date will not be accepted. If for some exceptional reason you have to email your paper, they must be dated by the beginning of class on the due date or be received as Late. Late major papers will be graded as follows:
1 day late (or received after the 1st 10 minutes of class): 90 points max
2 days late: 80 points max
3 days late: 70 points max
No papers will be accepted 4 days after the due date.
Attendance and Participation:
First of all, there are no excused absences; either you are here or not. If you are late to class, it counts as half an absence; if you miss 20+ minutes of class, it counts as a full absence. I want everyone to take note that the College offers online courses which require students to go online everyday, but without the need to convene in a regular classroom at a given time. If you think that attendance will be a problem for you, then please take another course, perhaps an online course. Participation and mutual self-respect is also a part of attendance; in the college environment you are expected to behave in a mature fashion. I will expect that of you, and your peers will as well. Participation in class means preparing the homework on time, doing the reading before class, bringing your texts to class and having them open while we go over them, bringing pen and paper, taking notes, etc. This is standard college behavior; if you cannot follow this, please go elsewhere until you are able to abide by these basics.
Please turn off all cell phones before class; if you need it for work or emergency calls, please put your phone on buzz. If your phone goes off in class, I will deduct 10 points from your participation grade. By self-evaluating your own capabilities in regards to attendance and participation, you will do yourself, your grade, and everyone else a big favor by deciding in advance which class is suited to your learning style. Since so much of our classroom time is spent in discussion and group work, attendance is vital. As I will be giving random, graded quizzes on the readings, it will be in every students’ interest to attend class and not miss vital points on the overall grade. If you are absent during the quarter, your grade will be affected according to the following scale:
6-7 absences final grade drops one full grade point
8-9 absences final grade drops two full grade points
10+ absences F grade
In order to keep track of attendance, I will be passing around a sign-up sheet during each class session, sometimes at the beginning of class, other times during the middle of our class session. Don’t ask your professor how many absences you have; keep track of your own absences.
Please understand this syllabus as a contract, one that you accept and agree to abide by. When you registered for the course, you agreed to take responsibility for your part as a student; this syllabus is a specific version of what those responsibilities entail.
All major papers must be typed and double-spaced. All of the papers must be done to earn a passing grade for the course. The various checkpoints for the research paper are also extremely important; if these are not completed, your research paper will not be accepted. Response Papers on the readings must be typed and single-spaced.
Plagiarism is the use of someone else’s words or ideas as your own. You are plagiarizing when you copy someone else, in part or whole, or when you receive “help” to the extent that the paper is no longer in your words or is no longer your own idea. Obviously, copying an article or book, or even using a sentence from one of these sources without putting quotation marks around it and citing the author is plagiarism. Plagiarism is grounds for failing the course. BCC provides a website that details both general and school-specific policies on plagiarism, for your use as a guideline; please check with these policies if you have any doubts about whether you are plagiarizing other texts of any sort. In addition to the material in Behrens and Rosen, you may also get information on plagiarism at the BCC Library and/or at the BCC website, www.bcc.ctc.edu/writinglab for any additional clarification or a sense of BCC-specific policies.
Grades will be based on the following 1000 point scale:
The Research Paper is worth up to 300 points, making it the bulk of a passing grade. The following will also affect your grade:
Checkpoints for the research paper must be turned in to gain credit for the final research paper. There are several additional intangibles that also affect your grade. These are judgment calls made by me, but they are important in making your experience of English 201 successful. The following are included:
In the case of in-between final grades, the mid-point must be reached to qualify for the higher grade (for example, you must have at least a 3.85 to earn an “A” rather than an “A-“ for the course). These in-between grades can also be affected up or down by items such as the checkpoints for the research paper, class participation, or workshop participation.
Withdrawal and Z Grades:
Please keep track of how you’re doing, and be aware of the last day to withdraw from the course. I do not issue Z grades except in cases of medical emergency or military service, and certainly not in place of a low grade or lack of attendance.
A Last Word on Grades:
I realize, having been a student much of my life as well as a professional whose own words are “evaluated” for quality, that receiving grades is a central and emotional aspect of our education system. While I am sensitive to students’ feelings on this issue, I also expect the students to direct their own learning, to take responsibility for their own education. This is another way of saying that the student gets out of education what the student puts into it. There are many distractions in the world, most of which are available to the college student; try to self-evaluate and prioritize so that you do not waste the opportunity that your education provides you with. While it can be a difficult task to know exactly what you want, when students determine that they want to dedicate themselves to their own education, most of them excel and achieve their goals. I wish you the best of luck in finding your own determination and sense of personal responsibility in regards to your own education.
Please keep this syllabus with your other materials for this course, and continue to refer to it throughout the quarter. I intend it as a reminder and a guide, and hope that it will provide inspiration to you in your efforts to improve your writing, reading and research skills.
Remember that writing, critical reading and research are difficult skills to master, and that they take time and effort to do so. But this work is also tremendously rewarding; it is your chance to speak your mind in the best way you can. By developing these skills you will become someone who can articulate their own ideas and speak clearly on the ideas of others. These skills will empower you throughout your life; people who are skilled writers and speakers are always needed, in all parts of society. Delve deep, work hard, and enjoy your quarter!