English 110: First-Year English Composition
Autumn 1997, T/R 1:30-3:18; Aviation Building 107
This course focuses on multiple, divergent—yet always convergent—conceptions
of literacy, personal, academic, public, and compositional. Our primary goal
is to come to know what literacy is. Though no single definition exists, I have
a strong suspicion that any understanding demands critical thinking, active
reading, and reflective writing. Reading does not exist without writing; understanding
does not exist without practice. Therefore, to read we must write, and vice
versa. To that end we will do much reading in Writing Lives—the course
reader—and Rethinking Writing—the course rhetoric. We will respond
to the reading with informal written response and class discussion. To more
fully develop our thinking on the subjects, we will engage in formal writing.
And finally, so that we may re-view and re-envision our own writing, we will
engage in peer response and substantive revision.
Garnes et al., eds: Writing Lives
Hacker: A Pocket Style Manual
Podis and Podis: Rethinking Writing
Assigments and Grade Distribution
Grades are based upon how well you fulfill the expectations of each assignment,
which in turn are related to the goals of the class. If you don't understand
what is required or being asked of you, please talk with me about it. The course's
grade distribution follows:
Essay 1: 20%
Essay 2: 20%
Essay 3: 20%
Essay 4: 10%
Informal Writing: 15%
Approximately every class period you will react in informal
writing to readings or issues. These short, three-fourth to one (¾-1)
page assignments, are designed to commence your thinking toward the formal papers.
If you put effort into the work and turn it in on time at the beginning of class,
you'll get full credit (approximately two  percentage points of the fifteen
 percentage points in the informal writing grade); if you don't, you won't.
For every informal writing assignment you don't turn in, you will lose one-half
(½) of a letter grade from the cumulative informal writing grade.
These are three-fourth to one (¾-1) page legible,
handwritten exercises done in response to questions posed in class.
The same length as in-class writing assignments, these
exercises—preferably word-processed or at least extremely legible—require
you to react to assigned readings in order to prepare for the next class.
You will write four (4) formal papers, the first three
between four and six (4-6) pages relating, respectively, to personal, academic,
and public literacies and the last three to four (3-4) page essay reflecting
on your course work and progress.
Turn all required drafts (i.e., those designated as
due on the syllabus) in on time at the beginning of class. Your peers and I
will be reviewing your work in order to give you feedback the next class period.
If you don't supply us with your paper, we can't prepare our responses. I will
mark down all drafts (that's both the first and second drafts) one (1) letter
grade for each day (day, not class period) that they are late. Turning in Essay
Four after 4 P.M. on Monday, December 8 will result in an automatic E (zero,
zip, nada) for that assignment, no questions asked. As this is a composition
course in which essay writing is crucial to evaluation and assessment, failing
to turn in a formal writing assignment—Essay One, Two, Three, or Four—at all
(that is, by 4 P.M., Thursday, December 11) will result in an E for the entire
All drafts (including the first) of your essays
should be stapled (not paper clipped), double-spaced (except for your
name, class, and so on), and fully marginalized with one inch (1") margins.
The 12 point font should be Courier, Times/Roman, or similarly appropriate.
Instead of using title pages, commence your paper in single-space like this
|| Essay Number
|| Draft Number
||Alex E. Blazer
After skipping one line begin your paper in double-spaced.
On subsequent pages your last name and page number should appear on the upper
right corner as a header positioned approximately one-half inch (½")
from the top margin. In order to maintain the one inch (1") top margin border,
the body of text should start a bit less than one-half inch (½") from
the page header. Refer to the top of this page as an example of margin format.
I will not accept papers that do not meet this format. You will have
until the end of my office hours (5 P.M.) to make appropriate changes and hand
the paper in again in order that it not be considered one (1) day late
and penalized one (1) letter grade.
Essays 1, 2, and 3 must be between four (4) and six
(6) pages long. On the first draft of a paper, if the text of your draft does
not extend down at least one-fourth (¼) of the fourth page, you must
compose in that unused space several typed (not spur of the moment),
substantive, reflective questions and concerns about where your paper is going
and where it could go. Second drafts, have less lee-way. I will not accept Draft
2 unless its textual length comes within at least four (4) or five (5) lines
of the bottom of page four (4). I will penalize drafts one-half (½) a
letter grade if they do not meet these expectations. If you have a question
as to whether or not your paper meets the page length or format requirements
(for format, see below), I strongly urge you to contact me before you print
it. Essay 4, which only requires one draft, must be between three (3) and four
(4) pages. Finally, I know padding when I see it. The quantity that I ask for
must constitute quality and not page-lengthening fluff. Your papers should constitute
precise critical thinking and not feather-filled, sleepy-time pillows.
The First-Year Writing Program and I encourage revision,
the continual process of (re)writing. To that end, I will not grade first drafts.
But this does not mean that you should not strive to produce the most developed,
thoughtful, and polished paper you can because you will be showing all essays
to your peer group and me. Your peers and, for the first essay, I will respond
to and evaluate them. You then have the opportunity to (let's not mince words,
you must if you desire a good grade) improve your papers with substantive
changes based on our critical feedback in a second draft due one week after
the first. Even an "A" paper can be improved; any writer can make her work better.
The degree of revision depends upon both the response to your paper and your
evaluation of those responses. However, be aware that grammatical correction
does not constitute revision, although it is expected. This second draft will
receive a grade. But, even the second draft/grade is not final. You can, if
you so choose, utilize all of the responses to your first two drafts in order
to (re)envision a third and, for the time-constrained purposes of this class,
final revision. All previous drafts must accompany revised drafts. You can turn
these papers in to me at your leisure, but no later than Monday, December 8,
the same day that you must hand in Essay Four. I will not access any revisions
received after this date.
At least once in the quarter, we will have an individual
conference to talk about your work. As you will sign up for a time when we can
meet, this will be considered a class meeting. Attendance will be mandatory
and the attendance policy will be in effect. Though no more individual conferences
are required, I encourage you to see me during my office hours to talk about
your progress in the course.
Don't do it. Using someone else's words, ideas, or
work without proper citation and representing them as your own is the most serious
of academic offenses. Please note the information on plagiarism in Hacker's A Pocket Style Manual (91-5) and the additional policy sheet I've provided.
Read them carefully and be sure to ask any questions you might have. All cases
of suspected plagiarism will be reported to the Committee on Academic Misconduct.
All assignments are due at the beginning of class.
I do not tolerate late work. If you've forgotten, refer to the above sections
on informal and formal writing assignments for the relationship between late
work and grade deductions. If you foresee a problem with turning in an assignment,
especially a first draft which needs to undergo peer response, on time, see
me about it before it's due.
Because much of our work in this class is discursive
and peer-responsive, unexcused absences will not be tolerated. Family emergences,
illness/injury with doctor's note, jury duty, athletic or other collegiate competition,
religious holidays, and so forth constitute excused absences (You don't need
a doctor's note for an illness if you contact me before class). One-third ()
of a letter will be deducted from your final grade for every unexcused absence
beyond two (2). (For example, a B+ will be lowered to a B.) Peer response days
are especially critical. If you miss one (1) of these days without providing
an excuse, your peer/participation grade will be marked E. Miss another, and
I will deduct one (1) letter grade from that particular essay who peer response
you missed. Five (5) unexcused absences will result in your failure of the course.
I do not tolerate tardiness either. Two (2) tardies equals one (1) unexcused
absence (Note, therefore, that ten (10) tardies results in your failure of the
course). If you know in advance that you have to miss or arrive late to a class,
please notify me before that class.
On the Monday after finals week, I will make available
any work not yet returned to you (including Essay Four and any revisions and
drafts of the previous essays). Contact me to make an appointment to pick up
your work. Otherwise, I will keep your work for two quarters, during which time
you can pick it up. If you do not retrieve it, I will discard it.
The staff of the Writing Center serve as readers
and responders to writing for English 110 and other university disciplines.
Besides giving feedback, these English graduate students can help with other
writing issues such as topic development, organization, coherence, clarity,
and self-editing. To make an appointment, call 292-5607 or stop by 338 Denney
Hall M/W 8:30-5:30, T/R 8:30-7:30, and F 8:30-1:30.
First-Year Writing Ombud
The Ombud is a resource for students and teachers
of English 110. If you have any concerns about the course but feel you cannot
speak with me, please feel free to consult with the Ombud. All conversations
|Ombud: Sandee McGlaun
||Office Phone: 292-5778
|Office: Denney Hall 363
|Office Hours: M/W 1-5; T/R 8:30-12:30
Office of Disability Services
If you have any specific needs or concerns, please
feel free to discuss the issue with me during office hours. Students with disabilities
who need accommodations should be registered at the Office for Disability Services
Once again, I welcome you to come and see me during
my office hours. I encourage you to talk with me about your writing, the class,
or anything else you may be concerned with.
RW = Rethinking Writing; WL = Writing Lives
Like thought, this schedule is subject to change.
WL: O'Brien, "The Things They Carried" (50-62)
Eigner, On Dumpster Diving" (63-74)
RW: Chapter 1 (1-23)
Due: Response: O'Brien Exploration 1 and/or Eigner Writing before
WL: Mellix, "From Outside, In" (75-85)
Torgovnick, "On Being White, Female, and
Born in Bensonhurst" (109-20)
RW: Chapter 1 (23-39)
Essay 1 Prompt
Due: Response: RW Exercise on page 29
WL: Douglass, Ch7 from Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (103-8)
Scribner, "Literacy in Three Metaphors"
RW: Chapter 2 (40-61)
Due: Essay 1, First Draft
||Due: Essay 1 Peer Response
WL: Hughes, "Theme for English B" (140-1)
Moraga, "It's the Poverty" (192-4)
Heath, "The Fourth Vision: Literate Language
at Work" (142-61)
Eliot, "Gerontion" (handout)
RW: Chapter 2 (62-73)
Due: Essay 1, Second Draft
WL: Hughes, Moraga, and Eliot continued
RW: Chapter 3 (74-95)
Due: Response: WL Stafford Explorations 1 and 4
WL: Stafford, "Final Exam: American Renaissance"
Freire, "The Banking Concept of Education"
Levine, "M. Degas Teaches Art & Science
at Durfee Intermediate School" (246-7)
RW: Chapter 3 (95-112)
Due: Response: WL Anyon Explorations 5 and 6
Essay 2 Prompt
WL: Anyon, "Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of
RW: Chapter 4 (113-29)
Due: Response: WL Zitkala-Sa Writing before Reading
WL: Zitkala-Sa, From The School Days of an Indian Girl (268-81)
Barber, "America Skips School" (282-93)
RW: Chapter 4 (129-46)
Due: Essay 2, First Draft
WL: Adatto, "The Incredible Shrinking Sound Bite" (357-66)
Katz, "Rock, Rap, and Movies Bring You
the News" (367-77)
Due: Essay 2 Peer Response
WL: Sizer, "Public Literacy: Puzzlements of a High School
Charles, "Always Real: Coke Chillin' in
The Hood" (352-6)
RW: Chapter 5 (147-79)
Video: South Park
Due: Essay 2, Second Draft
WL: Solomon, "Masters of Desire: The Culture of American
Zinn, "Move Over, Boomers: The Busters
Are Here—and They're Angry" (342-51)
RW: Chapter 6 (180-198)
Essay 3 Prompt
||No Class: Veteran's Day
Wexner Center: Surrealism Tour
***meet at Film/Video Theater at 1:30PM
WL: Ventura, "Report from El Dorado" (385-97)
Guterson, "Enclosed. Enclyclopedic. Endured.:
"One Week at the Mall of America" (398-412)
Ferlinghetti, "Director of Alienation"
RW: Chapters 6-7 (198-229)
Due: Response: Ventura Explorations 1 and 2
Due: Response: Guterson Exploration 1
WL: Kantrowitz, "Men, Women, and Computers" (441-48)
Tannen, "Gender Gap in Cyberspace"
RW: Chapter 8 (256-73)
Due: Essay 3 First Draft
||Due: Essay 3 Peer Response
||No Class: Thanksgiving
WL: Molloy, From John T. Molloy's New Dress for Success (416-30)
RW: Chapter 9 (275-320)
Essay 4 Prompt
Due: Essay 3 Second Draft
Due: Essay 4
Due: Any Further Revised Essays (with all numbered and evaluated