The Research Paper
Instructor:†††††††††††† Steve Yarborough††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Office:††† R230R
Phone:††††††††††††††††††† (425) 564-3095†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† E-Mail:†† firstname.lastname@example.org
Office Hours:††††††† 10:30-11:30 Daily
Barnett and Bedau, Contemporary and Classic Arguments.
Rosenwasser, Writing Analytically.
Gibaldi, MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers.
Hacker.† A Writerís Reference.† Bedford/St. Martinís, publisher.
A good dictionary.
Participation (including Attendance) 20%; Daily Work and Quizzes 20%; Research Paper 25%; Portfolio 35%.
At the end of this course, students will be able to write a humanities-style research paper which includes as part of its composition or process:
∑ An objective summary of college-level material which identifies primary and supporting assertions
∑ An evaluation of different types of evidence (i.e., tone/diction, logical reasoning)
∑ A synthesis of source material with own writing
∑ An original and clearly supported thesis
∑ Proper in-text citations and works-cited page (MLA format)
∑ A breadth of varied primary sources which demonstrates a familiarity with library research skills
There are multiple ways to earn credit for your participation grade: in-class discussion, group work, and presentations.† Most class periods will be discussion oriented so participating in these discussions is the easiest way to improve your participation grade.† I will take attendance daily as this helps me keep track of individual participation.† There will be some group work and presentations, but these will not be sufficient for you to earn full participation credit.
Daily Work and Quizzes
You can expect 10-20 pages of reading every night.† You will be given a reading schedule before each week so that you know what to expect and can read ahead if necessary.† It is vital that you do the reading before each class session since discussions will be based primarily upon the reading.† We will be reading some sophisticated essays so I suggest giving yourself time to read the selections twice to improve comprehension.† Each week there will be at least one reading quiz.† These quizzes will not be open book, however you will be allowed to use any notes from the reading or class discussions.
You will be expected to write four short (2-4 pages) essays.† The essays will vary in topic but all will have the same basic focus.† We will be learning about proper form and for research and argument papers so I will expect you to incorporate what we learn in each essay that you write.††† Each of these papers will be subject to peer review.
A long (8-10 pages not including outline, title page, or works cited) research paper is required.† You are free to choose your own topic but the paper must make a point.† This means that the paper must have a narrow, focused topic that results in a final conclusion.† We will be discussing the format and process for this paper throughout the quarter.
At the end of the quarter, each student will organize their work into a portfolio.† The portfolio must include all drafts of each essay written this quarter with the three best at the front.† Each essay must be clearly marked (final, draft #1, etc.).
Assignments are due by noon on the due date.† All late assignments will be reduced one full grade (the equivalent of ten percentage points) for each day late.† Assignments submitted after the beginning of class on the due date may be turned into the Arts and Humanities office (R230).† Be sure to include the date and time that you turned in the assignment.
1.† I expect respect.†† All discussions will be handled in a way that is not judgmental, degrading, or derogatory. Even though we may disagree with the interpretations of others, please use some self-restraint and compassion in dealing with these issues. Logical and questioning responses are encouraged. Choose your words and the tone of your response with utmost care. I also expect tolerance for others' abilities and learning styles.
2.† I expect honesty. I expect that you will neither do work for others nor use work done by others. Cheating and/or plagiarizing will not be tolerated. Plagiarizing is cheating, as is copying answers on a test, glancing at nearby test papers, swapping papers, buying papers, using ideas from other sources without proper documentation, writing papers for others, or having them written for you. I spot check almost 100% of essays for signs of plagiarism. If you cheat or plagiarize, the following actions may be taken:
∑ A grade of "0" on the work.
∑ A failing grade for the course.
∑ A report of the incident filed in the Dean of Students' Office. This report may become part of your permanent record or the Dean may choose to pursue further disciplinary action.
3.† I expect communication.† It is the student's responsibility, not the instructor's, to initiate communication about progress or concerns with the course. Instructors are under no obligation to inform students that work is overdue, to nag students to complete assignments, to call students who fail to attend class. Similarly, students need to keep themselves informed about syllabus changes that may have been made in class. I suggest finding a partner the first week of classes and keeping each other up to date if one is absent.
4.† I expect maturity.† Essential to a liberal arts education is an open-minded tolerance for ideas and modes of expression which might conflict with oneís personal values.† By being exposed to such ideas or expressions, you are not expected to endorse or adopt them but rather to understand that they are part of the free flow of information upon which higher education depends.† To this end, you may find that certain books, films, or other materials are assigned which may, in whole or in part, offend you.† These materials are equivalent to required texts and are essential to the course content.† If you decline to view or read material you consider offensive, you may still be required to respond to its content, and you may not be able to fully participate in required class discussions, exams, or assignments.