Engl&101 – English Composition I
Spring Quarter 2010
Instructor Ewan Magie
Office Hours: R230K/Mondays, 12:30-1:20 P.M., or by appointment
Syllabus for English 101: Spring 2010
Save this syllabus and keep it with you as a reference guide throughout the quarter. Use it to keep on track with the course thematically, as you would use the Time Schedule to keep on track temporally.
The following texts are required for this course:
1. Diana Hacker, A Writer’s Reference, 6th edition
2. Travels with Herodotus by Ryszard Kapuscinski
3. A standard college dictionary
4. The rest of the required readings are on reserve at the BC Library; you will need to go to the Library and make your own copies on the copy machine there. Please copy the readings as you need them, rather than copying all of them at one time. As I have put these materials on Two-Hour in-Library Reserve Only, please do not remove the originals from the Library.
This course aims to help you write better, clearer English. This will require a lot of writing, re-writing, reading, and critical analysis. There will be four major papers, weekly response papers, in-class writings, and a noticing log. The major papers will use different rhetorical forms (such as narrative, analysis, comparison/contrast, etc.) in order to hone your skills for future college classes and the world beyond school. The response papers will require a combination of summary and critical analysis. This analysis is much more than “I didn’t like it,” or “It’s awesome!”; rather, the response papers are an opportunity to briefly restate what an author has written, and to pick a particular aspect or idea from the text in order to discuss it in detail. This is known as critical analysis, or close reading. Be assured that this class is a lot of work; writing is both demanding and rewarding. The opportunity to develop and expand your writing skills is an opportunity that provides immensely usable skills, as well as satisfaction and pleasure. The student who devotes her or his energies to writing will be commensurately rewarded by his or her own efforts. Towards this end, the course will require students to work independently, as well as in seminar groups where they will share their work and learn to provide constructive criticism amongst one another.
WHAT IS A SYLLABUS FOR?
A syllabus explains the nature of a college course, and it outlines both expectations and standards for the students. It helps clarify what the students will be required to do, and why. You should understand this syllabus as a contract, one that you agree to abide by when you register for the course. By registering for the class, you accept the terms it imposes, in terms of attendance, participation, class behavior, assignments and due dates, respect for yourself, your classmates and your professor. This is standard for college classes and you will be expected to abide by that standard. Please keep a copy of the syllabus (and time schedule) with you in your course folder; I will be asking you to carry them with you like a textbook and will be referring to them periodically throughout the term.
PROGRESS OF THE COURSE
We will read a wide variety of essays, as well as the book by Kapuscinski, in order to acquaint you with a wide range of prose styles and types of essays. On one hand we will examine personal essays, such as memoir and travel essays, and on the other we will look at the academic essay style, as this analytical style will dominate your academic career. The major papers that you will write will utilize a variety of these styles, in order to allow you to develop skills and a sense of your own style.
Please be aware that this is a college course and that all students will be expected to complete all assignments, including readings (and other textual materials) that may contain adult content. As per BC and Arts and Humanities Division policies, all students are adults (including students under 18) and will be expected to participate fully without the option for alternative assignments. All students will be expected to complete all the assignments without exception. Please keep in mind that the college environment is one that promotes and expects everyone to respectfully participate in the learning process. This includes the Affirmation of Inclusion statement posted in every classroom, and applies also to the expectations of mutual respect in speaking and listening in class. This course will follow the guidelines for course content explained more fully in the Arts and Humanities website, www.bcc.ctc.edu/artshum.
AFFIRMATION OF INCLUSION
Bellevue College is committed to maintaining an environment in which every member of the campus community feels welcome to participate in the life of the college, free from harassment and discrimination.
We value our different backgrounds at Bellevue College, and students, faculty, staff members, and administrators are to treat one another with dignity and respect. http://bellevuecollege.edu/about/goals/inclusion.asp
THE STUDENT CODE
“Cheating, stealing and plagiarizing (using the ideas or words of another as one’s own without crediting the source) and inappropriate/disruptive classroom behavior are violations of the Student Code of Conduct at Bellevue College. Examples of unacceptable behavior include, but are not limited to: talking out of turn, arriving late or leaving early without a valid reason, allowing cell phones/pagers to ring, and inappropriate behavior toward the instructor or classmates. The instructor can refer any violation of the Student Code of Conduct to the Vice President of Student Services for possible probation or suspension from Bellevue College. Specific student rights, responsibilities and appeal procedures are listed in the Student Code of Conduct, available in the office of the Vice President of Student Services.” The Student Code, Policy 2050, in its entirety is located at: http://bellevuecollege.edu/policies/2/2050_Student_Code.asp
DISABILITY RESOURCE CENTER (DRC)
The Disability Resource Center serves students with a wide array of learning challenges and disabilities. If you are a student who has a disability or learning challenge for which you have documentation or have seen someone for treatment and if you feel you may need accommodations in order to be successful in college, please contact us as soon as possible.
If you are a person who requires assistance in case of an emergency situation, such as a fire, earthquake, etc, please meet with your individual instructors to develop a safety plan within the first week of the quarter.
The DRC office is located in B 132 or you can call our reception desk at 425.564.2498. Deaf students can reach us by video phone at 425-440-2025 or by TTY at 425-564-4110. . . Please visit our website for application information into our program and other helpful links at www.bellevuecollege.edu/drc
Bellevue College Email and MyBC
All students registered for classes at Bellevue College are entitled to a network and e-mail account. Your student network account can be used to access your student e-mail, log in to computers in labs and classrooms, connect to the BC wireless network and log in to MyBC. To create your account, go to: https://bellevuecollege.edu/sam .
BC offers a wide variety of computer and learning labs to enhance learning and student success. Find current campus locations for all student labs by visiting the Computing Services website.
ATTENDANCE AND CLASS BEHAVIOR
First of all, there are no excused absences in this class. Either you are present in class or you are absent. If you are late to class, it counts for half an absence. If you are 20 minutes late, it counts for an 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. By self-evaluating your own capabilities in regards to attendance, you will do yourself, your grade, and everyone else a big favor by deciding in advance which class is suited to your learning style.
Regular attendance in this class is mandatory. If you miss class you will not be able to keep up with the coursework and this will adversely affect your grade. We will be doing a great deal of in-class writing and group discussion, which is not replaceable with outside work, such as extra papers. I will also be giving random in-class quizzes on the readings. Therefore, coming to class prepared and on time will be a key to keeping a good grade up. Being prepared for class means having your texts with you in class, including your dictionary and syllabus and time schedule. “Being prepared for class” means completing assignments on time and reading the materials before coming to class. Consistent tardiness is nearly as bad as lack of class preparation, and will also not be tolerated, as it disrupts the class session and the quality of learning therein. Frequent tardiness will result in a talk with me and point deductions from the grade book.
The attendance policy for this class is: 1-5 absences, no grade change; 6-7 absences, grade drops one full letter grade; 8-9 absences, grade drops two full letter grades; 10 or more absences, “F” grade. Coming to class late or leaving early can also be counted as an absence, especially if it happens frequently. Please keep track of your own absences; don’t expect me to report on your attendance habits. In other words, be responsible for yourself and your own behavior. This attendance policy is structured like that in the BCC Arts and Humanities website, www.bcc.ctc.edu/artshum.
If you don’t want to be in this class, or if you feel you must read the newspaper or favorite magazine during class time, please do everyone a favor and leave. The class depends on participation for students and instructor alike, and if you find it necessary to do other things, such as talk on your cell phone, send or read text messages, etc., please go elsewhere and let the rest of us work without disruption. If I perceive that you are a disruption, whether to yourself, to classmates or to me, I reserve the right to ask you to leave the class. Thank you.
PAPERS AND PORTFOLIOS
All major papers and weekly response papers must be typed and double-spaced, with a 10-12 point font. Please put your writing on a computer or word processor, and save them, as this will save you much time and effort during the revision process. Your computer use fee pays for free access to our computer labs if you need them. Paper topics will be related to the readings, so be sure to keep up.
The portfolios are a way of keeping all your work together as you compose and revise and then present it. Like painters do with their work-in-progress, your portfolio will become a collected document of your writing and its evolution. These portfolios will teach you how to edit and revise your own writing, and give you the time and additional input to do it. The four major papers will receive grades during the quarter, and the revised essays will be graded again in the portfolios at the end of the term. Your completed portfolio will consist of:
a self-evaluation essay (approximately two to three pages)
3 of your best major papers, revised
1st drafts of these three major papers
the noticing log: including a mid-term and final self-evaluation
NOTE: all in-class writing assignments and out-of-class papers must be done during the quarter. If you fail to complete all the assignments, your portfolio will not be accepted.
THE NOTICING LOG
You will write one complete, fully grammatical sentence in your noticing log each day of the term, excluding weekends. The idea is to notice something unusual or out-of-the-ordinary each day, and record that something in correct, grammatical English. I don’t want paragraphs of description, but rather one concise and correct sentence about something unusual you perceived in the world that day. These aren’t your own personal thoughts or ruminations, but spur-of-the-moment perceptions transcribed into language. Please use your senses, all five of them, and open yourself to the process of actively perceiving the world. I don’t want you to arrange for unusual things or perceptions to occur, but only to notice things as they happen. Think of yourself as the reporter-recorder of the world. This is what writing does; it makes connections between people and the world, and tries to render them precisely using the most exact language. In order to better fulfill the Noticing Log assignment, it is handy to purchase a small, portable notebook, something you can tuck into a back pocket or a purse, to carry with you in order to record things you notice daily. By jotting down things you notice, and by writing sentences about them close to the moment of your noticing, you will be better able to create a running log of sentences. Each week, you should type in your sentences into a Word document; by saving this document, you will build your log week by week through the end of the quarter.
Papers are due in class at the beginning of class time. For Major Papers, any papers later than the due date will lose 10 points per day. Papers that are handed in five minutes after the beginning of class will be considered late and will lose the standard 10 points. No Major Papers will be accepted on or after the 4th day after the original due date. Rough drafts must also be turned in on time; incomplete rough drafts or substandard rough drafts will lose 10 points on the final draft grade. If you fail to turn in a rough draft and/or participate in Peer Review, you will lose 20 points off your final draft grade. That means you could not score higher than 80/100, even if your paper were a perfect paper.
PLAGIARISM AND ACADEMIC HONESTY
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. This is an immensely serious issue that goes to the heart of writing and learning; this course is an opportunity for each student to learn how to write and read English better, and plagiarizing someone else’s work destroys that opportunity. Do your own work and you will learn all the more for your effort.
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. If you do use other sources, whether they are books, magazines, or literary journals, etc., you must document them. Since many of the papers in this course focus on the writings of others, we’ll learn early on how to document sources, using the MLA (Modern Languages Association) method. Plagiarism can be grounds for failing the course. If I catch you plagiarizing an assignment, you will certainly fail that assignment; plagiarizing found in the portfolio would be more serious yet. If I suspect you of plagiarism, I reserve the right to place more weight on your in-class writings to calculate your final grade. Be aware that BCC provides a website guide (http://www.bcc.ctc.edu/writinglab) to plagiarism that you can use if you have any doubts as to general and school-specific policies on this issue. Please use this guide if you are at all uncertain if you might be plagiarizing other texts of any sort.
Grades will be determined on a point system as follows. All assignments must be turned in to receive credit for the course.
MAJOR PAPER POINTS
Four Major Papers 400 points (100 points each)
(three will be graded during the term, the last in the portfolio)
Three revised Major Papers 150 points (50 points each)
Self-Evaluation Paper 100 points
Noticing Log 50 points
Critical Response Papers 100 points
Homework and Quizzes 100 points
This I Believe Assignment 100 points
TOTAL POINTS: 1000
GRADING SCALE FOR FINAL COURSE GRADE:
A = 950-1000 B = 830-869 C = 690-759 D = 550-599
A- = 900-949 B- = 800-829 C- = 650-689 D- = 500-549
B+ = 870-899 C+ = 760-799 D+ = 600-649 F = 0-499
GRADES AND PRIVACY:
The FERPA guidelines (see BC student handbook) strictly and legally bind instructors and students in regards to grades and privacy. Your grade is between me the instructor, and you, the student. Obviously, you may share your grades with anyone you choose to, but I will not share grades with anyone but you. This applies to Running Start students who are still attending high school as well; as long as you are at the college, you are treated like any other student here. Do not have parents or girl/boy-friends act as a surrogate contact or delivery person regarding grades or any graded document pertaining to class. Consequently, I will not discuss grades via email, as it is highly accessible. Please look for your grade at the official BC online posting site.
A LAST WORD ON GRADES:
I realize, having been a student for 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 student 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. As a faculty member, I am here to aid you with your developing English skills and literacy, but I am also here as the standard bearer, the person who articulates and clarifies the standards of achievement in this field. The professor helps the student throughout the term, but the student has to be dedicated and determined, has to put in the hard work that leads to improvement and achievement. Simply completing all the assignments is not a guarantee of a passing grade. 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 as a guide, and hope that it will provide inspiration to you in your efforts to improve your writing and reading skills.
Remember, writing isn’t easy and it takes a lot of work, even for accomplished professionals. But writing is also tremendously rewarding; it is your chance to speak your mind in the best way you can. By developing your writing skills you will also gradually develop skills for critical thinking, becoming 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!