Academic Writing 101 Fall 2013

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Academic Writing 101

Fall 2013

Richard L. Crain SOS 122 ph: 1730

Office Hours: tentatively scheduled Monday through Thursday 14:30—15:30
Course Description:
ACWR 101will lead you to write text-based essays in the context of a particular academic theme, in other words, to do what we do in an academic community—meaningfully participate in an on-going discourse. As apprentices, you will read texts from various authors to become familiar with what the issues are, how we talk about them, and what positions we might take. Further reading will help you to explore and understand how an argument is effectively constructed. Through summary, paraphrase, and personal response you will develop the skills to formulate your own perspective. This process will include an analytical essay, grounded in one academic text, and for which you will plan, draft and revise your essay. The second assignment will ask you to apply your reading and writing skills to an essay that should synthesize material from two texts. By the end of the course, you should be prepared to move on to your discipline specific ACWR class, in which you should be able to apply the skills they have learned in ACWR 101 and continue to participate in an on-going academic discourse, specific to your field.
Among others, these skills should include:

  • Developing a process based approach to academic writing.

  • Learning to organize and express ideas in a manner appropriate to audience and purpose.

  • Understanding the importance of grammatical accuracy.

  • Becoming familiar with strategies for different kinds of writing.

  • Being introduced to and beginning to accurately use summary, paraphrase & quotation.

  • Being introduced to and beginning to accurately use academic vocabulary.

  • Writing formal papers using basic word processing and proper formatting.

  • A basic knowledge and ability to use MLA documentation and in-text citation.

Course Theme: Biogenetic technology is the course theme. The principle text will be Philip K. Dick’s 1968 novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? There will also be several other readings related to biotechnology.

Course Requirements & Grading:
Two formal academic essays: drafts, revisions, and final drafts 50%
Essay One (Summary/Analytical Response Essay): 25%

In-Class First Draft: 5%

Second Draft: 10%

Final Draft: 10%

This first essay is a response to David Shenk’s “Biocapitalism” essay. This 2-3 page essay should demonstrate understanding of the essay and provide a thoughtful response to it. Your essay will focus on one main text, but may include, or respond to, knowledge gleaned from additional materials. Your essay should selectively summarize material from the text, based on the task presented, provide a response, and must refer substantially to the text. The response might take several forms. For example:

  • Apply ideas from the essay to another context

  • Do a specific type of rhetorical analysis, such as analyzing the argument

  • Evaluate the persuasiveness of the text

  • Agree or disagree with a part or the whole of the text.

Essay Two (Analytical Synthesis Essay): 25%

First Draft (for peer review) and Second Draft (for conferences): 5%

Final Draft: 20%
This second essay is a synthesis of ideas from the essay “Biocapitalism” and the novel Do Androids Dream . . . In this 3-4 page essay, your response should focus on a synthesis of ideas from two main texts. Your essay should summarize relevant parts of two texts, and then analyze their similarities and/or contrast their differences. This might also take several forms, for example:

  • Apply the ideas in the more theoretical text to a case study.

  • Compare the persuasiveness of the two texts.

  • Discuss how the two texts complement each other.

  • Discuss how one text might respond to another.

In-Class Essay: 20%

The In-Class Essay is designed to assess the writing/critical thinking skills you have been practicing over the course of the semester. It will ask you to respond to one main text (in approximately 3 handwritten pages) by using both summary and analysis/argumentation skills. The essay will be scheduled for a 2 ½ hour period, the equivalent of one week of class. For example:

  • Apply ideas from the text to another context

  • Do a specific type of rhetorical analysis, such as analyzing the argument

  • Evaluate the persuasiveness of the text

  • Agree or disagree with a part or the whole of the text.

The text on which this assignment is based will be read and covered in class ahead of time; however, the specific prompt for this essay will not be given until the time of the In-Class Essay.

Oral Component 10%

This presentation, done either individually or with a classmate in the last week of classes, will ask you to apply skills (such as summary, analysis, argumentation, active reading, quoting, paraphrasing, and citation skills) learned throughout the semester in order to “present” a particular issue, topic, or text(s) related to the specific course material and/or theme. It will be graded based on content, organization, and delivery.

Other (Participation, Quizzes, Homework, etc.): 20%

Participating in class is more than simply attending class. You are expected to come to class prepared and to contribute to discussions and activities. Consistent active engagement in class will have a positive impact on your participation score; however, texting or talking with your classmates at inappropriate times will have a negative impact on your participation grade.

Your participation grade will reflect your level of participation throughout the semester, which means you should make every effort to regularly participate in class.
Grading Criteria:
Essays will be graded based on the following criteria:
Content: 40%

Organization and Development: 30%

Grammar and vocabulary 30%
Note: All assignments done outside of class must be typed, double-spaced, spell-checked, printed on A4 paper, completed on time AND be your own work.
Required Course Materials:
1. Rules for Writers by Diane Hacker and Nancy Sommers, 7th edition, (available at Pandora bookstore)

2. Course Packet – This is available at Copyland (located in the student center). Your course packet will be under my name: Mr. Richard Crain

3. English/English dictionary

4. Binder

5. Writing Implements: pen or pencil, eraser, notebook, proper A4 paper

6. Stapler

Class Attendance:

Class attendance is required, and any absences will negatively impact your participation grade. If you accumulate more than 3 unexcused absences, it will result in a reduction of your final grade for the course: 4 unexcused absences = 5% penalty, 5 = 10%, 6 = 15%, 7= 20%. If you accumulate more than 7 unexcused absences, you will automatically fail the course. Excused absence forms must be submitted within one week of the absence date, or they will not be honored.

Consult with me ahead of time if you believe there are extenuating circumstances that make it impossible for you to attend class. Please come to class on time; each three times you arrive late will count as one absence.

Policy on Late Work:
No work submitted after the deadline for the next assignment has passed will be accepted. For example, the first essay submitted on or after the deadline for the submission of the second essay will not be accepted. No student work will be accepted unless all previous stages of the assignment have been completed. For example, a student who has not submitted a first draft on or before the deadline for the final draft may not submit the final draft. An instructor may accept work submitted late, but before the next deadline, in order to validate the grading of the next stage, but the instructor is not obliged to award a grade, read, or provide feedback on work that is excessively late (see below).
Students may hand in late work, but the student’s grade will be deducted by 5 points for each day late. No work will be awarded a grade after 5 days late. If you are not able to hand in work due to an emergency situation, please see your instructor as soon as possible.
Plagiarism and Collusion Policy:

Plagiarism is presenting someone else's words or ideas as your own, without proper reference. You are graded on your own individual work, not another's masquerading as your own. Any student found plagiarizing on or colluding in writing assignments may fail the assignment, fail the course, and/or be referred to the university's disciplinary council. This may result in suspension from the university. You commit plagiarism when:

  • You copy someone else's writing and do not put it in quotation marks and identify the source.

  • You take someone else's writing, change some of the words, and do not identify the source.

  • You take someone else's ideas or sequence of ideas, put them into your own words, and do not identify the source.

  • Someone else writes your assignments or changes your writing and thus creates a false impression of your abilities.

You engage in collusion when:

  • You receive unauthorized help with your writing by paying or otherwise inducing another person to do the writing for you.

Grading Scale:
A = 100 – 90% B+ = 86 – 83 % C+ = 76 – 73 % D+ = 66 – 63 %

A- = 89 – 87% B = 82 – 80 % C = 72 – 70% D = 62 – 60 %

B- = 79 – 77% C- = 69 – 67% F = 59 – 0%
Grade Disputes:
If you dispute a grade for a formal assignment, you must contact your instructor or the Director of Academic Writing by email within two weeks of the date the grade has been issued to discuss the situation.
Note: The Academic Writing Program has a firm policy regarding petitions for re-grading assignments, and will not accept petitions filed after the two week deadline. For more information regarding this policy, contact your instructor.
Course Guidelines and Expectations:

  • Come to class prepared, with all your materials and tools, having read all assigned materials.

  • Behave respectfully toward the instructor and fellow students

  • Submit neat and professional work

  • Keep up with the readings, work, and expectations

  • Be alert, engaged, and in charge of your own learning

Student-Instructor Conferences

Students will be expected to attend occasional meetings (individually or in groups) with the instructor. The purpose of these meetings is to discuss and review drafts of papers and assignments, or deal with issues relevant to the course matter. These meetings will count towards attendance.


If you have an issue or question that cannot be dealt with in class time, contact me via Remember to fill in the “subject” field to give me some idea of your concern. Please be as specific as you can be and identify yourself by full name and class section. 

Students are expected to use e-mail sensibly. I check mail every weekday during business hours, so in most cases you can expect to get a reply within a reasonable time. If you send an e-mail outside business hours, the reply will probably come sometime in the next business day. All messages must be written in clear grammatically correct English. Please remember that some issues are not suitable for e-mail and better handled in face-to-face meetings.

Academic Writing 101 Schedule (subject to change)


Reading Texts & Activities

Assignments/ Due Dates

1 Sept. 16—20

2 Sept. 23—27

Diagnostic essay

Summary practice

3 Sept. 30—Oct. 4

Read Do Androids Dream . . . Chs. 1-4

Read “Biocapitalism”

Paraphrase practice

Summary assignment

4 Oct. 7—11

Read Do Androids Dream . . . Chs. 5-7

Quotation practice

Essay 1: In-Class First Draft

Kurban Bayramı

5 Oct. 21—25

Read Do Androids Dream . . .8-12

Essay 1: 2nd Draft Due

6 Oct. 30—Nov. 1

90th Anniversary of the Founding of the Turkish Republic (No classes Oct. 28 & 29)

Read Do Androids Dream . . .13 & 14

Essay 1: Conferences

7 Nov. 4—8

Read Do Androids Dream . . .15-17

Essay 1: Final Draft Due

8 Nov. 11—15

Read Do Androids Dream . . .18-22

View Blade Runner

9 Nov. 18—22

Essay 2: Peer Review for Essay 2

10 Nov. 25—29

Essay 2: Conferences to discuss Essay 2 second drafts

11 Dec. 2—6

Essay 2: Final Draft Due

12 Dec. 9—13

(Instructor available for drop by tutorials earlier in the week.)

In-Class Essay

13 Dec. 16—20

Oral Presentations

14 Dec. 23—27

Dec. 27: Last day of classes

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