ENGLISH 101 – Written Expression Winter 2006
Dr. Thomas Pfau
Office: R 230K
Office Hours: by appointment
“The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.”
Dillard, Annie. Teaching a Stone to Talk Harper Collins, 1982. (TST)
Muller, Gilbert. The McGraw Hill Reader. 9th ed. McGraw Hill, 2005. (MHR))
Hacker, Diana. A Writer’s Reference, 5th ed. Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2007.
You should also own and use a good college dictionary and thesaurus.
English 101 is a writing workshop designed to give you extensive practice in college-level critical reading and writing. Through regular assignments of varying lengths and complexity, you will study how to position yourselves within ongoing conversations about issues important to educated readers. It is a course that revolves around thinking and thinking critically as well as producing more effective writing. In the course, you will engage in processes of invention, drafting, revision, problem solving, and editing as you produce a range of writing genres including narrative, exploratory writing, synthesis, analysis, and argument.
1. Attendance – You are expected to attend all class meetings, to arrive on time and prepared to participate in discussions. Much of your knowledge will develop in class. Be sure that you do not need to leave the classroom (excepting an emergency) until class is dismissed. If you are absent you will not be able to make up missed in-class assignments. Seven absences will constitute grounds for failing the course. Absences under the maximum may adversely affect your grade, as can tardiness.
3. Writing Assignments – All out-of-class writing–including response journals–must be typed or word-processed. Assignments must be double-spaced, with one-inch margins on all sides, and should have a reasonably sized font, i.e. a professional look. These papers will be discussed in writing workshops before the final drafts are submitted. On the days of the workshops, bring at least one neat copy to class. If you do not bring a completed draft to the workshop, your essay grade may be reduced. Revision is a vital part of the writing process, and you are encouraged to write multiple drafts of your assignments. Final drafts (hard copies – no electronic submissions) are due at the beginning of class on the date announced, and make a copy of each final draft to protect yourself from loss or misplacement. The grade on late papers will be reduced one letter per class period. Response journals will not be accepted late, but they may be sent electronically by the due date. Once a paper has been graded, it may not be revised for an improved grade. The major papers are as follows:
For this essay you will choose a particular event (or events) from your personal experience, tell of it in a narrative form and to reflect on the meaning of the experience. You have two objectives: to enable readers to enter your experience and feel what you felt, and to convince your readers that the experience is strong evidence of the point(s) you wish to make. Remember that authority in autobiographical writing comes from the care with which you select your material and the richness of the details presented.
Public Discourse Analysis
For this assignment you will choose at least two specific pieces of public (also known as media) discourse (newspapers, magazines, advertising, television, film, music, web sites, art, i.e. texts intended to have an effect on the general public), present what the pieces are and then to analyze the effects of the discourses. You are to ask what the discourses are trying to do and how they try to do it. Consider both the content and the form of the discourses.
This assignment requires that you choose a topic of interest to you and write an essay based on sources you’ve read and not on your opinion about the topic. At least three sources are required and do not limit your essay to a single point of view. You are to explain what the topic is, present the different perspectives on the issue, and to analyze and evaluate those perspectives. The essay is about the arguments of others, not your own arguments. This essay calls for synthesis and ideas about the topic, not just summary.
For this essay you are to choose an essay, topic or theme from Dillard’s Teaching a Stone to Talk and to show in detail what the theme is and how it operates in the book. You may also choose to analyze a formal element, as for example, Dillard’s use of metaphor or her organization. The goal is to examine how the meanings are made.
Further criteria for each individual paper will be discussed in class. Criteria for all papers include the following:
1. Effective organization and narrative pacing.
2. Paragraph development and detailed description.
3. Precise and effective word choice.
4. Use of transitions to achieve coherence.
5. Clear relationship between audience and purpose.
6. Command of spelling, word usage, and grammar.
Personal Essay 15%
Public Discourse Analysis 20%
Exploratory Essay 20%
Literary Analysis 20%
Response Journals 15%
In this course A = 90–100 (excellent college-level writing), B = 80–89 (superior college-level writing), C = 70–79 (adequate college-level writing), D = 60–69 (substandard college-level writing), F (unacceptable writing). Borderline grades will be determined first by class participation and then by effort and improvement. Be aware that I do not employ a mathematical average of your work, and will evaluate overall performance as well as essay grades at the end of the term. Note that strong participation can significantly enhance your grade for this course.
The work you turn in for this course must be your own. The use of sources must be documented properly. If you have questions about how to do this, either ask me or consult The McGraw-Hill Reader and the section on MLA format. Types of academic dishonesty include plagiarism, stealing, cheating, unauthorized collaboration, fabrication, falsification, and complicity in aiding another to commit an act of academic misconduct. Sanctions imposed for cases of academic misconduct include receiving a zero for the assignment.
Students with disabilities who have accommodation needs are required to meet with Disability Support Services to establish their eligibility for accommodation. In addition students are encouraged to review their accommodation requirements with the instructor during the first week of the quarter.
Please refer to the Arts and Humanities Division policies for further information.
Week One (January 2)
Introduction. Strategies for invention. Discuss the writing process. Read “The Writing Life” by Dillard (MHR 58). Discuss the personal essay and topics. Read TST “Total Eclipse” and write response journal with reference to it. Read Douglass and Rodriguez (MHR 257 +262). Discuss writing workshops.
Week Two (January 8)
Draft of personal essay due. Writing workshops. Read Tan, Walker, and Williams (MHR 79 +756 + 819)). Discuss grammar issues. Discuss revision. Read TST “An Expedition to the Pole” and write response journal.
Week Three (January 16 – no class January 15)
Draft of personal essay due. Writing workshops. Personal Essay due. Discuss the strong reading response. Discuss public discourse analysis, the strong reading response and the conventions of communication. Discuss examples of public discourse and reading the visual. Read Dove, Gates and Barry (MHR 529, 534+ 545).
Week Four (January 22)
Read TST “Living like Weasels” and “In the Jungle” and write response journal. Find at least one example of public discourse and bring it to class. Further discussion of analysis. Read “The Deer at Providencia.” Response journal. Further discussion of analysis. Read Winn (MHR 532).
Week Five (January 29)
Read TST “Teaching a Stone to Talk” and write response journal. Draft of public discourse analysis due. Writing workshops. Conferences.
Week Six (February 5)
Draft of public discourse analysis due. Workshops. Public discourse analysis due. Discuss exploratory essay. Discuss topics. Discuss exploration versus argument. Discuss research techniques. Read Atwood, Angier and Sagan (MHR 333+ 336 + 804).
Week Seven (February 12)
Read TST “On a Hill Far Away” and “Lenses” and write response journal. Discuss further examples. Discuss exploratory essay writing strategies. Informal exploratory essay due. Workshops.
Week Eight (February 20 – no classes February 19)
Read TST “Life on the Rocks: The Galapagos” and write response journal. Draft of exploratory essay due. Workshops. Conferences.
Week Nine (February 26)
Read TST “A Field of Silence” and “God in the Doorway” and write response journal. Draft of exploratory essay due. Workshops. Read TST “Mirages” and “Sojourner” and write responses.
Week Ten (March 5)
Exploratory Essay due. Discuss literary analysis. Topics. Read Swift (MHR 501).
Week Eleven (March 12)
Read TST “Aces and Eights” and write response journal. Further discussion of literary analysis. Discuss revision with regard to ambiguity and opposing interpretations. Draft of literary analysis due. Workshops.
Week Twelve (March 19)
Literary Analysis due. Conclusions.