Composition I offers intensive instruction in the writing process (prewriting, drafting, revising, and proofreading), emphasizing the recursive nature of the process and the importance of the relationship among writer, audience, and subject. The course will also explore the connection between writing and critical thinking and the usefulness of writing as a tool for learning in all fields of knowledge. Students enrolled in Composition I are expected to have a good (working) command of Standard Written English.
Prerequisites: You are expected to possess the following skills before beginning Comp I. If you feel you do not meet these requirements, please register for ENGL 0399 instead:
Compose a variety of texts that demonstrate clear focus, the logical development of ideas in well-organized paragraphs, and the use of appropriate language that advances the author's purpose.
Determine effective approaches, forms, and rhetorical techniques that demonstrate an understanding of the writer's purpose and audience.
Generate ideas and gather information relevant to the topic and purpose, keeping careful records of outside sources.
Evaluate relevance, quality, sufficiency, and depth of preliminary ideas and information, organize material generated, and formulate a thesis.
Demonstrate revision as a means to effective writing through drafting, refining key ideas and organizing them more logically and fluidly, using language more precisely and effectively, and drawing the reader to the author's purpose.
Edit writing for proper voice, tense, and syntax, assuring that it conforms to Standard English, when appropriate.
Locate explicit textual information and draw complex inferences, analyze, and evaluate the information within and across texts of varying lengths.
Understand new vocabulary and concepts and use them accurately in reading, speaking, and writing.
Conduct a research project that includes formulating a topic and questions, selecting information from a variety of sources, and producing and designing a document.
Course Objectives/Measurable Learning Outcomes:
Upon completion of this course you will be able to:
Demonstrate the use of the writing process by producing at least 20 pages of writing using prewriting (invention), organization, drafting, revision (editing), and proofreading.
Demonstrate the skills of an effective college writer who is able to think critically and produce clear, correct, and coherent prose adapted to purpose, occasion, and audience. Along with that comes the ability to discover a topic, develop and organize that topic, and phrase it effectively for a particular audience.
Apply modes of expression (i.e. description, exposition, narrative, argument, and self-expression) in written communication, specifically where that applies to basic principles of critical thinking, problem solving, and the development of exposition and argument.
Demonstrate an understanding of style and voice in writing, including the use of choices in sentence structure, word choice, and punctuation, not only for correctness, but for rhetorical effect.
Develop the ability to research and write a documented essay.
Employ effectiveness in groups with emphasis on listening, critical and reflective thinking, and responding.
Demonstrate effectiveness, confidence, and familiarity with writing and potentially view it as a rewarding activity in school and in life.
Develop personal values for ethical behavior specifically as it relates to the understanding and avoidance of plagiarism as it applies to the scope of this class.
Develop a capacity to discuss and reflect upon individual, political, economic and social aspects of life in order to establish broad and multiple perspectives on the individual in relationship to the larger society and world in which he/she lives, and to understand the responsibilities of living in a culturally and ethnically diverse world.
Core Component Objectives for Composition I Critical Thinking Skills: Students will draw well-reasoned, logically supported conclusions from information. Students will demonstrate the ability to engage in creative thinking, innovation, inquiry and analysis, evaluation, and synthesis of information.
Communication Skills: Students will demonstrate effective written, oral, and visual communication skills
Teamwork: Students will work effectively with others in support of a shared purpose or goal.
Personal Responsibility: Students will be able to connect choices, actions, and consequences to ethical decision-making.
This course will consist of reading, writing, journaling, discussion, occasional group work, and reflecting upon writing. It is a collaborative course, and will include some instruction on MLA style.
Class Activities: Please note that this class is writing intensive. We will spend a majority of the course writing and reading about writing. We will also be collaborating on writings, workshopping papers, and participating in a book club.
Please submit all assignments, aside from in-class writings, via a word processor. If you need access to a computer or a printer, please visit the Student Success Center (MB 2101) M-Th 8am-8pm and Fri. 8am-5pm or the UTPB Library (please go to http://www.utpb.edu/library/ to see current hours). Specific essay assignment sheets will be given out within the course to correspond to the calendar dates of the essays. (Please see the class calendar for a detailed breakdown of assignments, times, and activities)
Journals:This course is writing intensive! Please be prepared to write daily, so that you are always prepared and keep up with assignments. Journal entries about specific assigned topics will be part of this writing as well as in class group work and essay assignments. There will be a total of seven journals submitted. The grade for your journals will be for completion, adherence to the topic, as well as your ability to demonstrate the development of ideas. I will not grade them for spelling, grammar, or punctuation; however, from time to time, I may point out errors if I notice a repeated pattern of specific problems. This method is used to help you grow as a writer. Your journals will be turned back to you periodically with notes so that you may reflect upon any comments and reference them for other assignments in class. I am looking for overall improvements during the course of the semester as well as a depth of insight and topic development.
Book Club: For our book club this semester, I have selected a memoir by Stephen King, entitled On Writing. This adheres to the overall course themes of writing and reading about writing, and I am looking forward to exploring this side of the famed author together as a class.
Conferencing:During this course we will be doing two conferences. These conferences will need to take place outside of the regular class times. You will be responsible for scheduling times to conference with me. Conferences with tutors will not be accepted.
Workshops: Over the semester we will be workshopping our papers as a group. You will be responsible for providing meaningful feedback on your classmate’s work, and the quality and quantity of your workshop responses will affect your final paper grade.
Papers and Drafts:You will compose essays as assigned, share intermediate drafts, peer workshop, revise, and turn in final drafts by the due dates listed on the calendar. You will take into account responses from your classmates and teacher when revising your drafts. There will be three formal papers in this class. On a separate page at the end of each essay, please write 100 words that detail the workshop experience for the paper and the revision process you went through to reach the final draft. In many cases, papers can be revised for a better grade; yet this is at my discretion. If you are given permission to revise, please accompany any revisions with the original containing my comments and your own comments and workshop responses on the original draft. See calendar for due dates.
Documentation Style:The proper documentation style for Freshman Composition is MLA. There will be a tutorial and test over MLA style, and it's extremely important that you format your papers and cite correctly.
Acceptable Student Behavior:Classroom behavior should not interfere with the instructor’s ability to conduct class or the ability of other students to learn from the instructional program (Code of Student Life). Unacceptable or disruptive behavior will not be tolerated. Students who engage in unacceptable behavior will be instructed to leave the classroom. Inappropriate behavior may result in disciplinary action or referral to the University’s Behavioral Intervention Team. This prohibition applies to all instructional forums, including any electronic class components, communication with the teacher and any other students, the classroom, or discussion groups.
Decorum:Language which demeans people based on race, gender identity, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or age will not be tolerated in this class. Please keep cell phone use to a minimum, as it can become distracting to the learning environment. Texting or checking social media during class is unacceptable. If you must take a call or respond to a text, please let me know ahead of time and step out of the room to take the call. If you would like to use a laptop or tablet/e-reader, only class work or class texts can be referenced or viewed during the class period.
Attendance:You are responsible for all work for the course, even if you are absent. If you miss the day that an assignment is due, it is your responsibility to get the work to me on time, unless you have made arrangements with me in advance, or you will receive a zero for that work. Missed workshops will also receive a zero, unless we have made arrangements in advance. There are no excused absences, except for participation in a school-sponsored activity, or a religious holiday. You are responsible for letting me know at least 24 hours in advance if you will be absent for one of these two reasons. There will be no other excused absences (transportation, health, childcare, etc.) so please do not ask. If you are absent for any reason other than two previously mentioned (school-sponsored activities and religious holidays), you will lose all participation points for that day, however you will still have the opportunity to complete missed work, if you speak with me beforehand.
Academic Dishonesty: We will discuss proper citation techniques throughout the semester, so you will have no excuse for failing to acknowledge sources. Flagrant plagiarism or collusion will result in an automatic grade of zero. This means citing all sources by giving a full MLA citation for each source. Additionally, part of your grade on papers will depend on your ability to cite sources properly. Two offenses of flagrant plagiarism or collusion will result in an automatic grade of “F” in the course and may result in other disciplinary action as well. All cases of academic dishonesty are reported to the Dean of Students. Please see the UTPB Web [http://ss.utpb.edu/dean-of-students/scholastic-dishonesty/] for information about academic dishonesty
Grades are distributed as follows:
·Weekly reading short answer questions 100 Points
·7 journal submissions (1 page each) 100 Points
·2 Group Book Club study questions (Presentation) 100 Points
·Paper 2, Interview with a Writer (4-6)* 200 Points
·Paper 3, Persuasive Essay (4-6)* 200 Points
·MLA Scavenger Hunt 100 Points
·Participation 50 Points
Total Points 1000
Note* each of the three major papers will be graded on the completion of an intermediate draft, peer workshopping, revision, and the final draft as part of the score.
A – an “A” essay is not merely engaging – it is convincing. The “A” essay is also marked by stylistic finesse: the title and opening paragraph are engaging; the transitions are artful; the phrasing is tight, fresh, and highly specific; the sentence structure is varied; the tone enhanced the purpose of the paper. Finally, the “A” essay, because of its careful organization and development, imparts a feeling of wholeness and unusual clarity.
B – a “B” essay delivers substantial information – that is, substantial in both quantity and interest value. Its specific points are logically ordered, well-developed, and unified around a clear organizing principle that is apparent early in the paper. The opening paragraph draws the reader in; the closing paragraph is both conclusive and thematically related to the opening. The transitions between paragraphs are for the most part smooth; the sentence structure is pleasingly varied. The mark of “B” writing is that it engages and entertains its reader.
C – a “C” essay is an average essay. It serves to convey an idea to the reader; it demonstrates knowledge of the subject it treats; mechanical errors are few and do not jeopardize the sense of the essay. However, the reader will be aware of improvements that could have been made. For instance, several paragraphs may not be fully developed; the opening paragraph may not draw the reader in; the concluding paragraph may offer only a perfunctory wrap-up; the organization may not be well suited to the topic; the sentences may follow a few predictable patterns; the diction may not always be precise and effective. Thus, while “C” writing will serve its writer in most academic and life situations there is room for improvement. A “C” in our writing courses is our way of expressing confidence that the writer who earns it is able to function at the college level.
D – a “D” essay is appropriate to the assignment but does not successfully fill one or more to the next level of expectations regarding student writing. It does not communicate an idea, treat a subject or demonstrate mastery of written language and conventions well enough to be considered adequate. It may in some manner be incoherent, so that the reader must guess at the meanings of sentences or whole paragraphs; the reader may be unable to see how the thoughts of the writer are connected from paragraph to paragraph. Language may be used incorrectly, grammar may be so consistently poor that it detracts from a reader’s attention to the material the essay covers; the whole idea may be improperly or hastily examined and poorly conveyed. Nevertheless, the reader will find that his/her struggle to understand the essay is in some measure rewarded by the exposition of a subject that the writer has earnestly engaged.
F – we require that all work be done by the person asking to receive credit for it, that the work done suits the assignment given, and that the writing be an act of communication. Any failure in regards to the first or second requirements, no matter how good in other respects, must be graded “F.” An essay that does not manage to communicate the thinking of its author, or does not treat a subject adequately, will also earn an “F.”
Important Dates: Please refer to the UTPB Academic Calendar for important dates such as institutional drop/enrollment deadlines-http://www.utpb.edu/services/academic-affairs/office-of-the-registrar/academic-calendar (Links to an external site.)
ADA Statement: Americans with Disabilities Act: Students with disabilities that are admitted to The University of Texas of the Permian Basin may request reasonable accommodations and classroom modifications as addressed under Section 504/ADA regulations. The definition of a disability for purposes of ADA is that she or he (1) has a physical or mental impairment that substantively limits a major life activity, (2) has a record of such an impairment or, (3) is regarded as having such an impairment.
Students who have provided all documentation and are eligible for services will be advised of their rights regarding academic accommodations and responsibilities. The University is not obligated to pay for diagnosis or evaluations nor is it obligated to pay for personal services or auxiliary aids. Your success in this class is very important to me. If you have a disability or other condition which may interfere with your success, please see me or the Testing Services & Academic Accommodations Department,http://www.utpb.edu/academics/undergraduate-success/TSAAD (Links to an external site.), phone (432) 552-2630, to discuss possible accommodations no later than 30 days prior to the start of the semester. All disability related information remains confidential.
Teacher's Responsibilities: I will respond to all journals, and drafts within one week of date received. I will respond to emails within 72 hours. I will evaluate and respond to formal work (papers, tests) within two weeks of the due date.
Student Responsibilities: This is a rigorous and challenging course, and you must act responsibly and of your own initiative. All work must be saved in at least three separate places such as the hard drive on your computer, and to discs or USB drives. You should also e-mail it to yourself. Double check to make sure attachments are attached. There will be NO EXCUSES for lost work due to computer or human error, failure, or malfunction. Always make a hard copy (print out) of your work just in case, and have a backup computer plan in case of technical problems. You are responsible for keeping track of due dates and turning in work on time. If you will not be present in class because of an excused or unexcused absence, it is your responsibility to keep up with due dates and class work that you might have missed, as well as getting notes about material covered from a classmate when you were gone.
Computer Setup and Technical Support: Since a computer is required for much of the classwork, the following information may be helpful. If you use a computer on campus, it should be equipped with the necessary programs needed, but if you use your own make sure that it has the necessary programs that are compatible with the assignments. UTPB provides all students with UTPB email address upon enrollment into classes. Microsoft Office 365 is the email software which delivers a cloud productivity suite of tools to UTPB students. Besides email, students have free use of Microsoft OneDrive, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote, Class Notebook, People (UTPB directory), Tasks, Delve, and Skype for Business (IM). Access Office 365 information and UTPB email at http://www.utpb.edu/office365 (Links to an external site.
Class Calendar Subject to Change at My Discretion.
Class Activity & Assignments
Overview of course
Reading assigned: Excerpt from Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave. Written by Himself, found on p. 33-40 of Reading about Writing. Be prepared to discuss this in class on January 11.
Reading discussion, introduction of journal assignments
Journal #1 Assigned over Frederick Douglass reading. Due Jan 16.
Discussion about reading.
Composition Handbook Chapter 5, p. 37-51 MLA
Book Club Reading: Although the book club will not begin until later in the class, it is essential that you begin reading On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft as soon as possible so that you are prepared.
MLA lecture and textbook review cont.
MLA PowerPoint presented
Journal #1 Due (Submit Electronically)
Composition Handbook Chapter 5 cont. p. 37-51 MLA
Exercise #1 & #2 from p. 52 & 53, completed. Collaboration
Discussion about 1st journal. Questions
Reading assigned: Excerpt from The Story of My Life, on p. 41-44 of Reading about Writing. Be prepared to discuss this in class on 9/6.
Two assignments given
Journal #2 Assigned over The Story of My Life. Due Jan 25.
Discussion about reading.
Reading assigned: Composition Handbook Chapter 1, p. 1-10. Be prepared to discuss in class on Jan 25.
Short lecture over the writing process
Journal #2 Due (Submit Electronically)
Review of Composition Handbook Chapter 1.
Discussion about student’s personal writing process.
In-class writing question over reading
Individual journal assignment work time
Journal #3 Assigned: Reflections on writing process
Short answer reading questions over chapter 1 – in class writing
Book Club Group Question #2 Due (group presentation)
Individual in class time for help and writing paper #3
Journal #7 Assigned: Why is citing important? Due April 17.
Group discussion and review of paper criteria
Individual work time
Journal #7 Due (Electronic Copy)
Individual in-class time for help and writing paper #3
Conference #2 sign-up
Paper review of intermediate draft
Paper #3 Intermediate Draft Due for Workshopping (Paper and Electronic)
Workshopping as a class.
Student/instructor Conferences Held
Last Regular Class Day
Individual Conferences/review of paper #3 with instructor
Please refer to the specific time you signed up for
Paper 3 Due
Class discussion and reflection on the writing process and paper assignments
Final questions on Paper #3 (Due 11:59 PM)
Student Support Services:
Testing Services & Academic Accommodations Department
http://www.utpb.edu/academics/undergraduate-success/TSAAD (Links to an external site.)
UTPB E-Advisor athttp://cas.utpb.edu/academic-advising-center/e-advisor/ (Links to an external site.)
http://www.bkstr.com/texas-permianbasinstore/home (Links to an external site.)
Email, Outlook 365, my.utpb.edu
Information Resources Service
http://www.utpb.edu/services/ird/how-to-submit-a-service-request (Links to an external site.)
Financial Aid and Scholarship
http://www.utpb.edu/campus-life/financial-aid (Links to an external site.)
The J. Conrad Dunagan Library Online athttp://library.utpb.edu/ (Links to an external site.)
http://www.utpb.edu/services/academic-affairs/office-of-the-registrar (Links to an external site.)
http://www.utpb.edu/campus-life/studentactivities/student-senate/committees/student-affairs (Links to an external site.)
Tutoring & Learning Resources
If you are taking courses through UTPB the following links provide services:Smarthinking Online Tutoring (Links to an external site.) (provides tutoring services),SmarterMeasure (Links to an external site.) (measures learner readiness for online course).
Student Success Center: HYPERLINK "http://www.utpb.edu/academics/undergraduate-success/success-center" http://www.utpb.edu/academics/undergraduate-success/success-center (Links to an external site.)
The survey is anonymous and your responses are confidential. Your feedback is critical to us and to your instructor as we strive to improve our offerings, and our support of you, the students.
Disclaimer & Rights: Information contained in this syllabus was to the best knowledge of the instructor considered correct and complete when distributed for use in the beginning of the semester. However, the instructor reserves the right, acting within the policies and procedures of UTPB, to make changes in the course content or instructional techniques without notice or obligation. The students will be informed about the changes, if any.