English 201: The Research Paper
Instructor: Karrin Peterson, J.D.
Course Objectives: This course will teach you to research and write documented research papers. You will learn how to research a topic in the library and on the Internet. You will learn how to write argumentatively, or in a way that attempts to persuade other people to accept your opinion on a controversial topic. You will learn how to appropriately cite to official sources through paraphrase, direct quotation, parenthetical annotation, and a works cited page in several formats. You will learn how to edit and improve your writing skills. Finally, you will, hopefully, improve your ability to think critically and analytically.
You may purchase your textbook online, if you have not already done so. Go to the BCC bookstore home page, http://bookstore.bcc.ctc.edu/. From there, click <Textbooks> on the boxes near the top of the homepage. Follow the directions given for the integrated online book ordering and registration system. You may also personally buy your books at the bookstore. You can find store information and hours of operation at http://bookstore.bcc.ctc.edu/.
Policy on Lateness, Student Obligation to Communicate Personal Crisis, and Late Assignment Submission Form: All required assignments must be completed in order to pass the course. Late written work, except the final paper, is accepted up to two (2) calendar (not class) days after a due deadline. There is no grade penalty for work turned in within the two day grace period, but you will lose the potential to rewrite your essay should you receive a grade that is not passing. Obviously punctuality is important to your ability to complete the course.
If you have problems meeting deadlines outside the grace period, communicate with me at once by e-mail at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org or phone me at (425) 898-9562.
After the grace period, I will not accept late work, unless you have a compelling and good reason why the work is late, and you communicate your situation with me and we reach an agreement on when the late work will be turned in. The agreement form is attached to this Syllabus.
Failure to communicate with me in advance that you will be unable to meet the due deadlines of the class may result in a failing grade for the course, at my discretion, and based upon my judgment that you could have responsibly notified me of your conflict and situation. In other words, if you communicate responsibly, I will be much more amenable to helping you resolve your conflict by using the grade options available to us or by allowing you to make up missed work.
Part of college is learning to be a responsible and competent employee, and therefore responsible interaction with me is an “un-graded” part of this course. I expect all my students to treat the course as both an opportunity for learning and an obligation for performance, and act professionally. Frankly, given that you have paid a lot of money for the course, and you want to learn something that will help you become more employable in the future, not attempting to learn all that you can does not make sense to your future well-being. Failure to meet the obligations for your learning is a choice you are always free to make, as adults, but making this choice will result in a lower grade than you might have otherwise had and, thereby, wasted time and money on your part.
Tests: There will be seven readings based quizzes during the quarter. There will be no large written final exam in this class.
Writing Process Assignments: For each major written assignment, you are asked to provide an outline and bring in the research that you have done to begin writing.
Basis for Final Grade: Grades will be based upon writing assignments, writing process assignments, quizzes, and exchanges of preliminary drafts and critiques between assigned Peer Editing partners. The break down on points is as follows:
Quizzes: quizzes are worth 5-10 points each -- 50 points total.
Writing Process Assignments: 5 points for each writing research and outline check-off assignment, except the Interview Questions due on April 17 (which are worth 10 points) -- 50 points total.
Peer Editing: 10 points for each day of peer editing. To obtain the credit, you must attend class with your draft assignment ready for editing -- 40 points total.
Written Assignments: The points for these include points for the annotated bibliography and all required attachments. As stated below, all required attachments must be submitted with the written assignments for the assignments to be considered complete.
1. Arguing a Position in the Private and Public Sectors – 70
2. Evaluating Lab Report – 70
3. Persuading Others to Take Action Letter – 70
4. Problem/Solution Memo - 100
Oral Presentation: Panel Presentation using PowerPoint on the day of the final – 50 points total.
500 total grade points possible.
GRADES: A = 500-460; A- = 459-450; B+ = 449-435; B = 434-410; B- = 409-385; C+ = 384-362; C = 361-339; C- = 338-316; D+ = 315-293; D = 292-270; D- = 269-247; F = 247- and below
Re-writing Work: You may re-write any two (2) of the first three graded written assignments that you receive a B- or lower on as long as you turned your essay in on time and engaged in peer editing as required. Late essays or essays that were not peer edited may not be rewritten. You will not have time to re-write the final paper prior to my having to submit your grade to the college. A re-write may result in your receiving a better grade, if you take this learning process seriously.
All rewrites are due within seven (7) days of when I returned the essay back to you for grading.
To take advantage of the re-write option, you must submit your essay on the due date stated in the materials (not submitted under the two day buffer given above). You must also have done the peer editing in a timely manner (which indicates that you have tried to produce your best work on your own).
Students in previous classes have found the re-write process, though additional work, to be extremely valuable in teaching them to become better writers.
Do not fall into the trap of producing a poor or sloppy piece of writing initially and then assume that you will have the time and/or ability to re-write it by the re-write deadline. Initially, doing this will result in your putting off really doing an assignment until you have a backlog of work waiting for you that will interfere with the newly assigned work. Secondly, if I receive an extremely poorly written piece, I retain the option of giving it a low grade and prohibiting your re-writing the piece. This action shall take place at my discretion.
Since good writing requires taking the time to edit and re-write the initially produced piece, you should anticipate and expect to have to re-write at least some of your papers to get the grade that you desire. You may expect me to, initially, grade your essays very closely and completely. This is not done to as a gesture of meanness. All advanced writers are very self critical of their writing skills and habits. This is what makes them good writers, over all. What I desire that you learn is what writing habits you use that you need to change for you to become a good writer.
Assignment Requirements Must Be Met: All assignment requirements must be met, per the assignment specification sheets, or I will not grade the assignments. I will return the assignment to you for resubmission in the complete form. The assignment will then be considered late for purposes of rewriting in this event.
My Grading Habits: I do not grade on a pre-determined curve. A review of my grading would show that grades in the B range (B+, B, B-) predominate. I therefore expect most of my students in this course will have grades above the C range. Some students will probably have grades in the A range. However, others may have grades in the C range. They must not feel discouraged. I consider C and C+ writing as entirely respectable for college students. We grow in our writing ability as we meet the challenges of reading and writing in a wide variety of university courses.
Format for Essays and Assignments: The formatting for each assignment is contained in the assignment specification sheets, and incorporated into my Syllabus by this reference.
Correction Symbols and Comments on Graded Essays: I will use some of the correction symbols from the inside of the final page of your textbook in marking your essays (those that I can use in a type written mode of communication). You should make yourself familiar with these symbols at the beginning of the course. They are linked through reference numbers to sections in your grammar handbook (the shaded section near the end of your textbook). I will try to make my comments clear and helpful. If they seem confusing, please ask for further clarification by e-mail.
Communicating with the Instructor and Special Accommodations: You are strongly encouraged to communicate individually with me by e-mail at mailto:email@example.com when you are perplexed by an assignment or when something unusual in your life prevents you from meeting an assignment. With rare exceptions, I read and reply to my e-mail messages five working days a week. I try to read my e-mail on weekends as well, though I make no firm promises to do this (sometimes I go out climbing, particularly when the weather gods smile). You may also communicate with me by phone at (425) 898-9562.
If you require accommodations based on a documented disability, have emergency medical information to share, or need assistance in case of emergency evacuation; please make an appointment with me as soon as possible.
If you would like to inquire about getting assistance from DSS (Disability Support Services), please call 425-564-2498
Communicating with Other Students: You will benefit if you communicate with other students about matters pertaining to the class. Always be polite and respectful with each other, but do not fail to provide good and candid advice on the peer editing functions you perform. This said, it is BCC policy that you do not have to give out a personal e-mail address to another person. Therefore, you can use the BCC e-mail addresses provided to all students for class communications, if that is your preference.
Online Information for the Department of English: You should also review the English Department homepage for information about the department, classes, majors, and scholarships. You can find this at http://www.bcc.ctc.edu/english/default.htm.
Arts and Humanities Student Policies and Procedures (Plagiarism, Academic Honesty, and Class Attendance): You are accountable for the policies contained in this statement. This document may be obtained from: http://www.bcc.ctc.edu/artshum/policy.html. The terms of this policy are incorporated into my Syllabus by this reference. You are responsible for reading these provisions on your own. I will, of course, answer any questions that you have regarding these additional provisions.
I will apply the suggested standard of failing any student who misses more than ten days of class during a quarter, absent extenuating circumstances.
Late Assignment Submission Agreement
Submitted by: ____________________________ Date: ________________
I request _______ additional days to complete the following assignment:
Signed this _____ day of ____________________________________, 2007.