|Engl.1-A & Engl.1||Informal writing||
|Structure & goals||Collaborative writing||week 1||week 6||week 11|
|Course texts||The debates||week 2||week 7||week 12|
|Ground rules||Electronic Democracy Project||week 3||week 8||week 13|
|Grades||The Writer's Journal||week 4||week 9||week 14|
|Writing Center||Handing in work||week 5||week 10||week 15|
English 1-A is a writing workshop where you will improve your critical thinking and reasoning skills, strengthen your writing, and learn strategies for writing academic papers. The course will focus on argumentation as a way to achieve these things.
Our first step will be to explore some of the basic components of argumentation and effective college-level writing, especially how we can use style, grammar, and word choice to create specific effects in written prose. In this section of the course you will practice writing definitions, summaries, classifications, comparisons, and, of course, arguments. We will analyze the prose of others in an effort to identify effective strategies for argumentation, and differentiate them from description, explication, narration, and comparison. Your goal will be to develop the skills to support an argument and recognize a well supported argument when we see one.
In the second section of the course we will focus on specific writing strategies, beginning with what academic writers must do before they begin to write. You will learn how to analyze a topic/assignment, how to use all that you know to best respond to it, how to focus your knowledge and organize your ideas, and how to focus a topic. You will learn different strategies for paragraph development and overall paper organization. This section will end with a debate in which you will work collaboratively with others in the class to convince your audience to support an argument of your design.
In the third section of the course, you will learn how to refine your relationship with your audience and structure an argument, and therefore a paper, accordingly. In this section we will focus on revision and refining prose so that it achieves maximum effectiveness. You will turn the skills you learned in the first part of the course onto your own prose so that you can critique what you have written.
At each stage of this course you will learn how to evaluate your own arguments and those of others, making you a more effective editor and writer. As you become more of an expert writer, you will learn how to understand the writings of others more fully: how to perceive their thesis, analyze the assumptions they make about their audience, and follow their overall patterns of organization. This, in turn, will make you more able to analyze questions and understand what you read. You will also expand your active vocabulary (the words you can actually use rather than just recognize).
English 1 and English 1-A
English 1-A precedes English 1. When you complete this course you must register for a section of English 1 in the Spring (if you do not, the registrar will automatically register you). The year long writing program (1-A and then 1) will earn you a total of 4 college credits, 2 in the Fall and 2 in the Spring. Placement in English 1-A is based upon a combination of test scores (SAT verbal scores, and any other test scores available to the English department, including writing placement tests) and a personal interview with the director of composition and/or one of the following: the ESOL coordinator, a member of the EOS staff, or the director of the CUE program.
In many ways, 1-A prepares you for English 1, but it also teaches whatever
skills the students in the class need to develop, and a large component
of it is determined by the students who are registered in any given semester.
Each student will be assigned an individual tutor with whom he or she will
meet for at least half an hour each week. Some of the tutors are especially
trained to work with students for whom English is a second or third language;
others can focus on general writing skills, grammar, punctuation, or the
development and structure of papers. The tutors will work closely with
the instructors of the class, and will always know what you are assigned
to do and when it is due.
Course structure and goals
Most of your college papers will ask you to make an argument. Your task is not to create one perfectly unified argument that might appear to be "truth." Rather, your purpose is to explore in writing the debate--the similarities, differences, and overlaps--between the authors you study to help the people who read your paper come to a fuller understanding of the complexity of the issue and the factors which influence one's position on it. The work in this class is designed to help you develop these skills.
English 1-A is designed as a writing workshop where you will learn strategies
for writing academic papers and improving your overall writing skills.
You will work on the basic skills of effective college-level writing, especially
how we use style, grammar, and word choice to create specific effects in
written prose. You will work specifically on analyzing arguments and using
what you learn in that analysis to write effective arguments of your own.
In order to do this we will participate in the
Project, and you will also write arguments on a number of other topics.
By the end of this course, you will have strengthened your ability to select
and focus a topic, generate ideas, develop a thesis, plan an argument in
support of it, write out that argument, and revise it. You will also be
mucg more adept at evaluating, critiquing, and responding to the arguments
The writing you will do will be frequent and varied, ranging from informal journal writing, through formal papers to a formal debate, with many revisions and writing work-outs in between. At times I will ask you to hand in two or more copies of a piece of writing so that we may evaluate it in class during workshops. In order for you to practice writing in response to a number of different stimuli, I will assign some of the writing topics from the text The Elements of Persuasion, while the focus of others will be collectively determined by the class, and yet others will be of your individual choosing in response to what you have been reading and thinking over the course of the semester. Because students come to college with different levels of preparation, we will work on issues of grammar, style, and general language use both in class in the context of our readings, and in conferences and individual projects. Each student will help me to design an "individual writing program," which will build on areas of strength and develop two specific skills of each student's choosing. Students will work on their program at their own pace, and will be graded on that work as part of the final grade for the course.
INFORMAL WRITING--Research shows that frequent writing produces stronger, more fluent, and more comfortable writers. Writing is a skill, and all skills need practice, so I would like you to practice writing by keeping a Writer’s Journal. Many of you have probably already kept a journal at some point in your lives, but in this class you will keep a Writer's Journal in which you will respond to assignments, the class, and anything else to do with writing, argument, or language use in general.
During the Electronic Democacy Project (Oct. 6 to Nov. 3) you or another member of your group will also post at least once a day to the newsgroup we will share with the other section of English 1-A and read and respond to the postings of others.
In addition to all of this, you may send me questions, and comments via e-mail). I will try to reply to each message as soon as possible, although at certain points in the semester I might take up to 24 hours to do so.
COLLABORATIVE WRITING--in the world of the work place, and in many academic disciplines too, collaboration is the name of the game. Corporations organize workers into teams responsible for conducting necessary research, identifying problems, brainstorming solutions, and then writing up what they find. For Portfolio #4 you will work with your team to compile a candidate log and a collaboratively written introduction to the log tracing the themes and patterns the log reveals. At first you may not like this kind of writing, and with some cause because it involves cooperation, trust, and some loss of ego--things we have learned to avoid if possible. Yet these team skills are also the very things that will make you successful in the workplace and, more important to me, in college. There are a number of ways to work collaboratively, and you will learn them in this class. There are also strategies to make it less painful, and you'll learn those too. The end result will be worth it. Carefully produced, collaborative research, planning, and writing are better than any of the individuals in the team could have achieved alone.
DEBATE--On Oct. 27 & 29 we will hold in-class formal debates in which each team will adopt the position of the candidate it is following and try to persuade classmates to vote for that candidate based on his or her arguments, policies, and history. Although you will work collaboratively on the debate, you will write up your findings individually as a traditional argument paper for Portfolio #5.
Due dates for Writing portfolios:
The Writer's Journal:
Because extensive research has shown that writing every day has the same impact on a person's writing as working out has on his or her body, every student will keep a Writer's Journal as part of this class. You will be required to write in your Writer's Journal five days a week (just try--I know it isn't always realistic, but on those days when you are overwhelmed with work, write a sentence explaining why you can't write that day). While you will not be graded on the content of the Journal, you will be graded on the seriousness with which you address the issues raised and the frequency with which you write (I will give extra consideration to people who write an entry every day). Therefore it is important that you read the following instructions carefully, and ask questions if they are not clear.
A Writer's Journal is not a daily record of events--I do not want to know about parties, dates, heart-throbs, arguments, gossip, or other things which might prevent you from running for political office in later life. Instead, a Writer's Journal is a place for you to practice thinking-in-writing, which is the fundamental skill demanded of members of the academic community. Your entries should quite literally be mental work-outs, and, like physical work-outs they demand that you do them when you are awake. If you try to write when you are tired you will not help yourself, nor will you produce an interesting entry. If you try to do a week's worth of entries at once you will be wasting your time (just as doing 5 hours of exercise one day a week does not help your body as much as doing 30-45 minutes a day). You might fool me, but ultimately you will be the fool because you will waste the opportunity to become a better writer . . .
Sometimes I will require that you write on a specific issue as homework for the class. This will generally take the form of a continuation of discussion started in class, a topic we did not cover in class, or an issue raised in class but not discussed. I may also ask you to consider a particular topic in writing to prepare you for discussion the next day or in response to an assignment. At other times I will leave you to come up with a topic for the day. Unless I tell you that you must write on the topic listed, you are welcome to come up with your own topic. You might select a story from a newspaper and summarize, analyze, and respond to it; or you might do the same for some event that occurred during the day, a conversation you overheard, a discussion from another class, etc. Writer's Journal entries may be written in response to an event, discussion, reading, film or conversation which inspired, angered, or otherwise aroused your interest. You may analyze and respond, or summarize and respond; however, you may not simply summarize--you must say something ABOUT the issue you raise (preferably something which you have not already worked out and drawn conclusions upon). Writer's Journal entries may also take the form of "dilemmas" where you to consider a particular dilemma or argument you have observed. The structure for these entries will be as follows:
A seminar is only as strong as its laziest member, so it is essential that each member of the seminar accepts her or his responsibility to the other members. Thus:
The grades for this course are assigned on the basis of the distance each writer travels during the semester in addition to the place each person has reached by the end of the course. Specifically, grades will be based on the following:
Please buy the following:
This class meets in a seminar room for good reason. Classes will be spent writing, workshopping or discussing writing, writing assignments and examples of writing produced by writers from a variety of discourse situations, including this class. In some class periods we will be using material from the LAN and/or the internet in class. You must bring your computer and network cable when the syllabus tells you to do so.
Drew is blessed with an excellent Writing
Center and an On-line Tutoring service (OWL).
Both are free, so there is no excuse for not using them except your own
folly. Professors ask other people to read drafts of their papers and articles;
books are edited by professional editors before being published; and graduate
students regularly take papers to the Writing Center. Some foolish undergraduates
think they "don't need any help." Don't be one of them. Think smart: get
a second opinion!!
Sept. 3 (Thur): Discussion about
trust and peer response. Students present their interviews to class.
Homework: Read from Elements of Persuasion (EP) pp.1-12. Make notes and bring them to class Thursday.
Write a writer's journal entry on the process of persuasion. Are you good at it? Why do you think you are/aren't good at persuasion? What is your most memorable experience of successful persuasion? How did you achieve it?
Sept. 8 (Tue): Hand in your notes. Practice finding ethos, logos, and pathos in a "Newsweek" article on the minimum wage debate.
Homework: Write up your findings about the effect of ethos, logos, and pathos in the article you read in class today. How do they work together? Is one more effective than the others? This is paper #1 and is due Thursday Sept. 10.
Reread your writer's journal entry from Thursday and analyze the story you told of persuasion using the principles of ethos, logos, and pathos. Write another entry exploring the persuasive strategies you used the most the time you were successful. What do you learn from this?
(Thur): Paper 1 (a) due in class today.
Discussion of thesis, introduction, and topic sentences. Creation of a
revising outline from these aspects of the paper. Working in your interview
pairs, review these aspects in each other's drafts of the paper due today
(underline the thesis and the topic sentences or add them, and trace the
connections between topic sentences and the thesis).
Sign up for individual conferences with the instructor for Thur. 17th or Fri. 18th (the list will be posted on the office door--don't forget!).
Homework: Revise the paper based on the work we did in class today. Due in class Tuesday (bring the first draft and any notes, prewriting, etc.).
Write a writer's journal entry on the relationship between revision and ethos.
Sept. 15 (Tue): Portfolio #1 due in class today (Final paper, notes, and previous draft, and your Writer's Journal in a manila folder--available from the bookstore).
Introduction to the electronic democracy project., the Internet, the class newsgroup, and basic web-searching. We will meet in the new computer classroom. BRING YOUR COMPUTER, NETWORK CABLE, AND POWER CABLE. The class will analyze the web pages of selected members of the House of Representatives and discuss the ways that ethos, logos, and pathos are used to support the implicit argument that we should vote for that candidate..
Homework: Analyze the webpage for your own Representative (non-residents, select the Representative for the district in which you live; International students, select the Representative for Drew, which is in the 11th District). Write up your findings as a journal entry, due in class Tuesday Sept. 22nd.
Attend at least one of this week's Multi-Cultural Awareness activities and make notes analyzing the way the speaker(s) utilize ethos, logos, and pathos. Bring your notes to class Tuesday (22nd).
Write a writer's journal entry in response to the event(s) you attended.
(Thur): No class today. Conferences with the professor (the
list of times will be posted on my office door. Don't forget--and don't
Homework: Read from Elements of Persuasion (EP) pp.12-17. Make notes and bring them to class Tuesday.
Write a writer's journal entry describing any kind of persuasion you have experienced recently, analyzing it in terms of Speech Act Theory.
Sept. 22 (Tue): Hand in your notes. Discuss "Speech Act Theory." Discussion of the importance of sentence structure and punctuation to help us achieve the perlocutionary force we desire. In class revision of "Dear John" letter.
Homework: Working with your political analysis group (in real or cyber time) find one example of an explicit performative utterance, one example of an implicit performative utterance, and one example of an indirect performative utterance in the source you were assigned to analyze, and post them to the newsgroup. Finally, find an example of an utterance that has a different illocutionary and perlocutionary force and post a copy of the utterence and a description and brief analysis of the differences you found to the newsgroup. We will discuss these in class so be sure to post them before class on Thursday..
In your writer's journal, speculate on the potential consequences of any aspect of this difference.
Sept. 24 (Thur): Finish discussion
of the "Dear John" letter, and of punctuation and sentence structure in
general. Read and discuss "Man on Death Row" article. Brief discussion
of last night's homework, and a general discussion of instances where the
perlocutionary force of an utterance has caused problems for you. Introduction
to prewriting strategies (see the Longman Handbook pp. 28-43 ) and
cause and effect writing (see handout, too).
Homework: Read the sections on prewriting strategies and on cause and effect writing in the Longman Handbook and practice two different strategies as you prepare to write a cause and effect paper about an instance where the perlocutionary force of a speech act has caused a problem for you or someone you know. Your prewriting is due in class Tuesday 29th.
Write a writer's journal entry about your reaction to prewriting. How did you decide which two methods to try? Which was the most successful? Why do you think that is? Will you use either of them again?
Sept. 29 (Tue): Discussion of cause and effect writing and ways to turn prewriting into an outline. Discussion of peer review and agreement on guidelines for review (consider these in terms of cause and effect). Class revision of some examples of prewriting, then work on revising your prewriting in groups of three in class.
Homework: Finish revising your prewriting, and then write a draft of your paper, due in class Thursday. This is paper #2.
Oct. 1 (Thur): THREE
copies of paper #2 due in class today. Small group revision of two
copies. Editor will write his or her name on the edited paper and return
it to the author. The clean copy will be handed in to me at the end of
class (I will grade this draft). Review of revising outlines. Each reviewer
will make a revising outline of the paper he or she is reviewing, noting
aspects of the general organization or development of the paper (thesis,
topic sentences, etc.) that need to be revised. Reviewers will also note
whether the sentence structure and punctuation used in the paper help the
author achieve the perlocutionary force he or she seems to desire.
Homework: Revise your paper based on the feedback you received from your peers and your writing center tutor. Final copy due in class Tuesday 6th.
Write a writer's journal entry on your reaction to peer response. Do you like other people looking at your paper? Did you expect their feedback to be useful? Was it useful? Discuss how and why you decided to follow or ignore certain pieces of advice. Hand this entry in with your paper on Tuesday.
Oct. 6 (Tue): Portfolio #2 due in class today (Final copy of the paper, both forms of prewriting, both peer edited drafts, and your writer's journal in a manila folder).
Class will meet in the Embury 2nd computer classroom. BRING YOUR COMPUTER, NETWORK CABLE, AND POWER CABLE. Discussion of part two of the Electronic Democacy Project. Each group will be assigned a candidate to follow. Consult the sources identified on the class web page and begin your analysis in class. Note the rhetorical strategies used by the campaign/candidate and pay attention for any differences in illocutionary and perlocutionary forces. Consider the use of ethos, logos, and pathos. Between now and November 3 at least one member of your group will be expected to post to the newsgroup every day--even if it is to say that your candidate did nothing today. Everyone will be expected to read the postings and note any similarities or differences between the campaigns.
Homework: Read from Elements of Persuasion (EP) pp.18-27. Make notes and bring them to class Thursday.
Oct. 8 (Thur): Hand
in your notes. Discuss Burke's pentad
and the way it parallels college papers. Write out answers to questions
1-6 in class, p. 27 (small groups, each group answers 2 questions and reports
to the class).
Homework: Work on the electronic democracy project. In addition to posting to the newsgroup, keep a progress log for your candidate using your team folder on the network--you can access this folder and the Internet from your room, the library, the snack bar, residence hall lounges, and the computer center if you have computer problems, so there are no excuses for failure to complete this assignment! [Note: Procrastinators beware. Professors Chase and Jamieson can also access these folders, and they won't be amused by empty folders or tardy posts.]
Write a writer's journal entry about the electronic democracy project. What are your initial responses to it?
Oct. 13 (Tue): Class will meet in the Embury 2nd computer classroom. BRING YOUR COMPUTER, NETWORK CABLE, AND POWER CABLE. Groups will review their sources in class and work on their progress log. In class discussion of any problems any group has encountered. Discussion of the ways candidates have used ethos, logos, and pathos in their campaigns. Discussion of any observed differences between illocutionary and perlocutionary forces. Identification of two topics that each candidate seems to be addressing. These will be the topics for in-class debates to be held on October 27th and 29th.Your next paper (paper # 3) will select one rhetorical strategy discussed so far in this course that you think is the most effective strategy for political candidates to adopt and make an argument in favor of the importance of that strategy using examples from the campaign (you should use examples from your own candidate and those analyzed by other groups, quoting from the newsgroup and/or class discussion)
Homework: Continue reviewing your sources and posting to the newsgroup and your progress log. Read from Elements of Persuasion (EP) pp.28-30. Write out a pentad as described in #10 on p. 30. Your paper will have a thesis, so once you have written out the pentad, begin prewriting and write a preliminary thesis. Bring this to class Tuesday. The final paper will be paper #3.
Oct. 15 (Thur): Reading day.
NO CLASS TODAY: Read a lot!!!
Homework: Continue reviewing your sources and posting to the newsgroup and your progress log. Keep reading . . . . . . (and get some sleep!!)
Oct. 20 (Tue): Prewriting, pentad and thesis due for paper #3 in class today. Brief discussion of in-class writing and strategies for writing timed essays. In class draft of paper using your prewriting, pentad, and thesis statement.
Homework: Revise the paper written in class today using a revising outline as discussed in class and paying close attention to the effect of your sentence structure and punctuation. Paper due in class Thursday along with in-class draft and prewriting.
Oct. 22 (Thur):
#3 due in class today (the paper, your notes, the pentad, your prewriting,
the in-class draft, your revising outline, and your Writer's Journal ).
Discussion of the in-class debates. Each political group will present the argument of its candidate on the topic with the goal of persuading the other students to vote for the candidate. Your task here is to achieve effective persuasion using the strategies of argumentation learned so far in this class--regardless of how you really feel about the candidate.
Homework: Prepare for in-class debate, topic 1. Each group will compile and print out their candidate log and write a brief, collaborative, introduction to the log discussing the strategies used by the candidate and the issues of most importance to him/her. This, along with the notes/text used in the two in-class debates are due by 5pm on Thursday October 29 and will be graded as portfolio #4.
Oct. 27 (Tue): In-class debate, topic 1.
Homework: Prepare for in-class debate, topic 2
(Thur): In-class debate, topic 2."
Homework: Write an argument in favor of voting for one candidate in Tuesday's election. The candidate can be local or national, but your task is to use the information you have gathered in the electronic democracy project to support your assertion that your candidate is the one to vote for. This candidate does not need to be the one your group followed. This is paper #5 and is due in class on Tuesday.
Oct. 30 (Fri): Portfolio #4 due at my office by 5pm today. I will give one grade to each member of the team unless I see that one member has not been pulling his or her weight (that person will earn a U).
#5 due in class today (the final draft of the paper, your notes, prewriting,
drafts, and peer revisions--make sure that you correctly cite all sources--and
your Writer's Journal).
In-class writing. An argument about free speech on the Internet (taking into account Burke's discussion of scene and truth). Four teams, two for and two against. List arguments and write a rationale for each argument. I will collect these at the end of class.
Homework: Write up an outline for the argument you made in class today and write the first draft of a paper. (Paper #6) The outline and rough draft are due in class Tuesday. The completed paper is due in class Thursday.
Consult the web page for the Free Speech On-Line Campaign and consider the arguments made there. Write a writer's journal entry on your response to the page and any ways that it might influence your paper.
Nov. 10 (Tue): Brief discussion of your findings on the Internet Free Speech Campaign Website and ways that you can use them in your argument. Discussion of evidence and counter evidence in argumentation, and of the structure of arguments and ways to avoid logical fallacies.
Homework: Read from EP pp.33-49. Make notes and bring them to class Tuesday.
Revise your argument based on our discussion of logic, the discussion in the reading, and on the revision strategies we have practiced so far this semester. The penultimate draft of the paper is due in class Thursday.
(Thur): Three copies of Paper # 6 due
in class today. General discussion of the ways that structure and
logic enhance ethos and logos. Follow the normal structure for in-class
Homework: Revise your paper based on the discussion in class. Final draft due in class Tuesday.
Nov. 17 (Tue): Portfolio #6 due in class today (your final draft, both rough drafts and all of your notes, peer revisions, etc. and your Writer's Journal).
Discussion of the Scopes Monkey Trial and Covino's analysis of the persuasion used by each side. Find examples of specific kinds of speech act in each excerpt.
Homework: Read from EP pp. 49-60. Write out answers to the questions on pp.60-61.
Write a writer's journal entry in response to the reading so far. You can respond to anything you like, but make an argument!
(Thur): Discuss the writing exercise on p. 61, class prewriting
and small group prewriting on the topic.
Homework: Using the prewriting developed in class today, write a draft of the paper with a thesis (this is paper #7) Due in class Tuesday.
Nov. 24 (Tue): Bring three copies of your paper to class (two for peer response, one for me to grade). In class peer response using the questions on pp.29-30 and 61-62 as guidelines (write out answers and/or indicate relevant sections in the paper and then write out an overall evaluation).
Homework: Revise your paper and make it perfect. Due (along with drafts etc.) in class on Tues. Dec. 1 (after the break).
Wed 25-Sunday 29 Thanksgiving recess -- no
Homework: Sleep, eat, and relax....
Dec. 1 (Tue): Portfolio #7 due in class today (your final draft, your notes, drafts, and peer responses, and your Writer's Journal). Discussion of sentence structure. Select the best and worst sentences from your paper, write them out, and fix the worst ones. Discussion of best examples. General discussion of the final portfolio, the preface essay, and the process of grading for this course.
Homework: Reread all of the work you have done this semester and write an analysis of the progress you see, the things you still need to work on, and the piece of work of which you are most proud. This is Paper #8. Your thesis will be a general statement about yourself as a writer, and you will use your work as evidence to support your claim. This paper will be the preface for your final portfolio due at 5pm Friday.
Dec. 3 (Thur): Last class. Final
discussion of paper #8 and the final portfolio (due Friday). Evaluations
of the course, sign up for appointments to collect portfolio and final
Homework: Final perfecting of the portfolio and paper #8. Give your portfolio a title.
4 (Fri): Final
portfolio due at 5pm tonight (containing a clean copy of every final draft
you have written for this class this semester. Paper
#8 is the preface to the portfolio and should be placed at the beginning
after the table of contents and the acknowledgments page).
10 - 11 Reading days
12 - 18 final exam period
No exam, you're done.
See you next semester!