English 2 (002)-- Research Writing --Jamieson, Spring 2000

Click on the links below to learn more about this class.

  Meeting time, location, my office, office hours, etc.

  Class meetings: Tues. & Thurs. 1:15 Embury 205.
  Office: 118 SWBowne.
  Office hours: Tues. & Thurs. 3:00-5:00, Wed. 1:00-5:00, & by appointment. 
  Office telephone: (973) 408-3499.
  Home telephone:  (908) 757-1051 (please call between 10am and 9pm only!).
  Email: Office: sjamieso@drew.edu     Home: sjamieson@compuserve.com

The Course:

English 2 is designed as a writing workshop where you will learn strategies for writing academic papers, conducting and writing up research, and improving your overall writing skills. The course will focus on academic writing, beginning with what academic writers must do before they write a research paper: you will learn how to use the Internet to build a base of background knowledge on a new subject; how to develop in-depth research questions based on a general knowledge of a subject; how to read and annotate discipline-specific texts; how to evaluate, summarize, synthesize, and analyze a range of different print and electronic texts; how to analyze a topic/assignment and use all that you know to respond to it; how to focus your knowledge and organize your ideas; and how to focus a topic for research. You will select a research topic, find sources, and practice the skills you learn in the course by compiling an annotated bibliography and a background synthesis. Next you will learn how to refine your relationship with your audience and structure a piece of writing accordingly. As you read the texts you have selected for your research, you will practice summary, analysis, classification, synthesis, and comparison by writing about that material. This will lead you to the major component of the course: a 10-page thesis-driven research paper or a well developed hypertext document or web site on the subject of your research.

At each stage of the process you will learn how to evaluate your own writing and that 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 understand what you read and read more quickly. I hope it will also make you a more confident and enthusiastic writer. 

  Computers and the LAN:

Computers and the Internet play a crucial role in the life of a modern academic.  All of your college papers will be written on the Drew computer, and many of your classes will include web sites, on-line syllabi, and use of the K: drive.  If these things are not familiar to you now, they will be by the end of this course!  As an advanced writing and research course, English 2 is designed to teach you how to effectively use the latest technology.  In order for you to do this, of course, your computer technology must work!  You must have a working Drew computer, a network card and cables, and a network account.  PLEASE TALK TO ME AT THE END OF CLASS IF YOU DON'T HAVE THESE THINGS.

This class meets in a seminar room with LAN connections 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. 

Individual Writer's conferences:

Every writer works at a different pace and has different concerns, strengths, and weaknesses.  Because of this fact, you will have four writer's conferences with me over the course of the semester.  In these meetings you will meet with me in my office to discuss various aspects of your writing.  In the first class you will identify specific aspects of your writing that you'd like to work on, and in our meetings we will focus on them and on your research in general.  Each meeting time is marked on the syllabus and takes the place of one class (you'll get to sign up for a time that is convenient for you). It is essential to the success of the class that you show up ON TIME to your meeting and reschedule if you have a conflict.  Missing a meeting is even more serious than missing a class because in addition to your not learning anything, my time is wasted.

  Ground rules:

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:

  1. You will be expected to attend every class prepared to participate and share your ideas and writing with your writing colleagues. If you are unprepared, the workshop will not work, your colleagues will suffer, and you will be marked as absent. Three unexplained absences may result in your final grade being lowered by one letter;
  2. You must respect your fellow writers. This means that you must take them and their ideas and writing seriously and comment constructively with sensitivity to their feelings. Failure to do this will result in a collapse of the trust necessary for a workshop and you will be asked to leave (and marked as absent). Lack of respect ranges from discriminating comments (homophobia, racism, sexism, etc.), to yawns, the pulling of faces, drumming fingers, laughter, asides to other members of the seminar, and so on;
  3. You must respect academic property rules--this means no plagiarism please! (It is your responsibility to know what constitutes plagiarism and how to avoid it. Please familiarize yourself with the "College Academic Standards" document. We will discuss it in class too.)

Due Dates

The due dates are marked on the syllabus, but please note them in your daily planner too so you don't forget! 

Tues. Feb. 1--midnight in the K: drive.  "Research ideas."
Tues. Feb. 15--in class or in the K: drive.  Three summaries.
Mon. Feb. 21--midnight in the K: drive.  Draft comparison paper.
Thur. Feb. 24--6pm in the K: drive.  Final comparison paper.
Fri. Feb. 25--midnight in the K: drive. Research proposal & list of 40 potential sources.
Thur. Mar. 23--midnight in the K: drive. Research paper plan, draft of research paper, 
                       and annotated bibliography (approx. ten correctly cited sources).
Thur. Mar 30--for conference #3. revised draft or thoughts on how you will revise.
Wed. Apr. 19--at my office by 5pm (no extensions).  Final portfolio containing finished 
                       paper and all of the work you've done for this class.


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:

  1. Preparedness and contribution to class discussion and writer's workshops (10%). Obviously if you do not attend class, sleep through it, or otherwise fail to participate I cannot assess the extent of your preparation, and will be forced to assume there was none. Failure to attend conferences with me will lead me to the same conclusion.
  2. Overall effort toward improvement (20%). I will judge this on the basis of your notes, drafts, and general writing for the course, thus it is important that you keep drafts and notes, bring them to class, and put them in your final portfolio. I will also determine your effort from our conferences and your visits to my office hours or conversations before or after class.
  3. Application of the material covered in the class (70%). This will be determined from the final portfolio of all of your writing for the term (the notes, prewriting, and drafts for your synthesis paper, your annotated bibliography, and the final research paper/web site). 


Please buy the following if you don't already own them:

Anson & Schwegler. The Longman Handbook for Writers and Readers.
      (Longman, '97)
LAN cables and a LAN card if you do not have them (if your computer does not have 
      the capacity to connect to the LAN please talk to me on the first day of class!)
a good dictionary--the heavier the better,
pens of several colors (at least one green, purple or red) for editing drafts,
two plain loose paper manila folders to hold portfolio work, and for handing in work,
and a computer disk to back up your work for this class. 

Our main text will be your writing, so you must bring all of the handouts and homework assignments for Engl. 2 and all of the work you have done on them to every class and conference. You must also save all of your computer work on the LAN, on your hard drive, and on a separate disk (computer failure is not an acceptable excuse for lost or incomplete work in this class. Don't take any risks).


Students get exactly the same amount of learning out of a writing class
as the amount of effort they put in. This puts the onus on you--if you 
don't put anything in, you won't get anything out (except a bad grade).

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Last updated, January 11, 2000