English 1101 English Composition I, Fall 2022

Section 31: TR 11:00-12:15 p.m., Arts & Sciences 364

Section 26: TR 12:30-1:45 p.m., Arts & Sciences 364




Dr. Alex E. Blazer


Office Hours: TR 10:15-10:45 a.m. and 3:30-4:45 p.m. by appointment


Course Description


The undergraduate course catalog describes English 1101 as "a composition course focusing on skills required for effective writing in a variety of contexts, with emphasis on the personal essay and also including introductory use of a variety of research skills." In accordance with both our public liberal arts university's vision and values, this particular section will use the course reader, Reading the World, to explore and analyze seminal ideas about education, law, class, and ethics. We will also employ the course rhetoric, They Say / I Say, to learn effective ways to discuss and explain and those concepts. The dialectical trajectory of the course will be to reflect upon the self, engage a dialogue with a text, and then comment upon, if not engage, the world: self + text + world. Besides informal writing and peer response, assignments include a personal analysis that uses readings about education to reflect upon one's life; a summary and evaluation of a text, an argumentative analysis about how an important idea really functions in America, and a research project about an issue broached in class discussion. This course's academic assessment page describes our topics:

as well as course outcomes:

Students must earn a grade of C or better in English 1101 in order to take English 1102.


Course Materials


required (Amazon or GCSU Bookstore)

Austin, Reading the World, 4th ed.

Graff and Birkenstein, They Say / I Say, 5th ed.

required (GeorgiaVIEW)

course packet


Assignments and Grade Distribution


informal writing, 5%

Throughout the semester, you will write brief informal responses to essays in our textbook that encourage you to practice aspects of the formal writing process. You will also respond to the first drafts of peers' formal papers in order to help them write better drafts and to help yourself become a better writer.

personal reflection, 15%

In this four to five page personal reflection, you will reflect upon an important issue in your own experience.

summary and evaluation, 25%

In this four to six page page dialogue between Self and Text, you will summarize and evaluate the key argument of one of the texts from Reading the World. This essay will be drafted and revised.

analysis and argument, 25%

In this five to six page dialogue between Text and World, you will summarize how one issue is ideally theorized in one article from Reading the World and analyze and argue how you see that topic really functioning in American today with the help of two contemporary scholarly publications. This essay will be drafted and revised.

research project, 30%

In this research project demonstrating the full dialectic of Self, Text, and World, groups of three or four will select any topic broached by the course texts, research that issue more deeply and more contemporaneously with the support of scholarly sources found outside the course reading list, and then present their findings to the class. Finally, each group member will compose a six to eight page research paper defining her individual (as opposed to her group's) analysis of the situation and arguing her position for the world. Here's how to calculate your final grade.


Course Policies



We will use the course site for the syllabus schedule and assignment prompts; supporting documents include an attendance record, a course grade calculation spreadsheet, FAQ, a GeorgiaVIEW walkthrough, a guide to literary analysis, a research methods guide, and paper templates. We will use GeorgiaVIEW for assignment submission and the course packet; if you experience technical issues with GeorgiaVIEW, contact the Center for Teaching and Learning at or 478.445.2520. Check your university email for course-related messages. Use an online backup or cloud storage service to not only save but also archive versions of your work in case of personal computer calamities.


Because this liberal arts course values contemporaneous discussion over fixed lecture, regular attendance is required. Any student who misses seven or more classes for any reason (excused or unexcused) will be dropped from the course and fail. There will be a one letter final grade deduction for every unexcused absence beyond three. I suggest you use your three skip days both cautiously and wisely; and make sure you sign the attendance sheets. Habitual tardies, consistently leaving class early, texting, and web surfing will be treated as absences. Unexcused absences include work, family obligations, and scheduled doctor's appointments. Excused absences include family emergency, medical emergency, religious observance, and participation in a college-sponsored activity. If you have a medical condition, extracurricular activity, or job that you anticipate will cause you to miss more than four days of class, I suggest you drop this section or risk failure. The university absence policy can be found here. You can check your class attendance record here.

MLA Style and Length Requirements

Part of writing in a discipline is adhering to the field's style guide. While other disciplines use APA or Chicago style, literature and composition follows MLA style. Assignments such as in-class exams, discussion board responses, informal/journal writing, and peer review may be informally formatted; however, formal assignments and take-home exams must employ MLA style. One-third of a letter grade will be deducted from a formal paper or take-home exam for problems in each of the following three categories, for a possible one letter grade deduction total: 1) margins, header, and heading, 2) font, font size, and line-spacing, and 3) quotation and citation format. A formal paper or take-home exam will be penalized one-third of a letter grade if it does not end at least halfway down on the minimum page length (not including Works Cited page) while implementing 12 pt Times New Roman font, double-spacing, and 1" margins. Each additional page short of the minimum requirement will result in an a additional one-third letter grade penalty. Before you turn in a formal paper, make sure your work follows MLA style by referring to the MLA style checklist. Feel free to use these templates that are preformatted to MLA style.

Late Assignments

We're all busy with multiple classes and commitments, and adhering to deadlines is critical for the smooth running of the course. There will be a one letter assignment grade deduction per day (not class period) for any assignment that is turned in late. I give short extensions if you request one for a valid need at least one day before the assignment is due. I will inform you via email if I cannot open an electronically submitted assignment; however, your assignment will be considered late until you submit it in a file I can open. Because your completion of this course's major learning outcomes depends on the completion of pertinent assignments, failing to submit an assignment that is worth 15% or more of the course grade within five days of its due date may result in failure of the course. Failing to submit a final exam or final paper within two days of its due date may result in failure of the course.

Academic Honesty

The integrity of students and their written and oral work is a critical component of the academic process. The Honor Code defines plagiarism as "presenting as one's own work the words or ideas of an author or fellow student. Students should document quotes through quotation marks and footnotes or other accepted citation methods. Ignorance of these rules concerning plagiarism is not an excuse. When in doubt, students should seek clarification from the professor who made the assignment." The Undergraduate Catalog and Graduate Catalog define academic dishonesty as "Plagiarizing, including the submission of others’ ideas or papers (whether purchased, borrowed, or otherwise obtained) as one’s own. When direct quotations are used in themes, essays, term papers, tests, book reviews, and other similar work, they must be indicated; and when the ideas of another are incorporated in any paper, they must be acknowledged, according to a style of documentation appropriate to the discipline" and "Submitting, if contrary to the rules of a course, work previously presented in another course," among other false representations. As plagiarism is not tolerated at GCSU, "since the primary goal of education is to increase one's own knowledge," any student found guilty of substantial, willful plagiarism or dishonesty may fail the assignment and the course. This course uses plagiarism prevention technology from TurnItIn. The papers may be retained by the service for the sole purpose of checking for plagiarized content in future student submissions.

Writing Center

Writing consultants will work with any student writer working on any project in any discipline. To learn more about Writing Center locations, hours, scheduling, and services, please visit Send questions to

Required Syllabus Statements

Additional statements regarding the Religious Observance Policy, Assistance for Student Needs Related to Disability, Student Rating of Instruction Survey, Academic Honesty, Student Use of Copyrighted Materials, Electronic Recording Policy, Academic Grievance or Appeals, and Fire Drills can be found here.

COVID-19 Statement

Both the WHO and CDC recommend vaccinations (WHO, Advice for the public and CDC, Operational Guidance, updated August 11, 2022). Both the WHO and CDC recommend wearing masks in public in areas of community transmission (WHO, Advice for the public; WHO, Q&A; and CDC, Operational Guidance, updated August 11, 2022). The CDC COVID Data Tracker assesses community transmission. If you have COVID-19 symptoms, stay home and contact Student Health Services. If you test positive for COVID-19, stay home and contact Student Health Services. GCSU has a decision path for students. Do not attend class while symptomatic or testing positive. During isolation, retrieve class notes from a classmate and consult with me about make up work. Absences due to isolation will be considered excused if appropriate documentation from Student Health Services or Academic Advising is provided. If you continue to test positive after the date the university gave you for an excused absence, your positive test counts as an excused absence. However, any absence beyond seven class periods, regardless of excuse, will be considered excessive and result in the student being dropped from the course and failing.


Course Schedule

Week 1

T, 8-16

Syllabus Questions

R, 8-18


Tzu, "Encouraging Learning" (Austin 3-11)

Seneca, "On Liberal and Vocational Studies" (Austin 11-8)

Graff, Preface and Introduction (Graff xiv-18)

Week 2

T, 8-23

Douglass, "Learning to Read" (Austin 22-8)

Woolf, "Shakespeare's Sister" (Austin 29-34)

Graff, 1 They Say (Graff 19-31)

Austin, 10 Reading Ideas (Austin 532-45)

R, 8-25

Anzaldúa, "How to Tame a Wild Tongue" (Austin 35-46)

Nussbaum, "Education for Profit, Education for Democracy" (Austin 47-56)

Graff, 2 Her Point Is (Graff 32-46)

In Class Activity 1: Summarizing and Reflecting

Informal Writing 1 Summary and Response Due

Week 3

T, 8-30

Human Nature and the Mind

Mencius, "Man's Nature Is Good" (Austin 65-70)

Tzu, "Man's Nature Is Evil" (Austin 71-80)

Graff, 3 As He Himself Puts It (Graff 47-56)

Austin, 11 Generating Ideas (Austin 546-57)

Writing Center Tutor Visit

MLA Style: Formatting

R, 9-1

Hobbes, from Leviathan (Austin 81-6)

Arendt, from The Human Condition (Austin 87-92)

Graff, 4 Yes/No/Okay, But (Graff 57-71)

Austin, 12 Structuring Ideas (Austin 558-73)

In Class Activity 2: Organizing the Personal Reflection Paper

Informal Writing 2 Brainstorming the Personal Reflection Paper Due

Week 4

T, 9-6

Law and Government

Tzu, from The Tao te Ching (Austin 289-300)

Thucydides, "The Melian Dialogue" (Austin 301-8)

Graff, 5 And Yet (Graff 72-81)

R, 9-8

Writing Day: Bring your laptops

Paper 1 Personal Reflection Due

Week 5

T, 9-13

De Pizan, from The Treasure of the City of Ladies (Austin 314-21)

Machiavelli, from The Prince (Austin 322-30)

Graff, 6 Skeptics May Object (Graff 82-95)

Austin, 13 Supporting Ideas (Austin 574-95)

In Class Activity 3: Summarizing and Objecting

R, 9-15

Madison, "Memorial and Remonstrance against Religious Assessments" (Austin 334-41)

Al-Hakim, from The Sultan's Dilemma (Austin 342-9)

Graff, 7 So What? Who Cares? (Graff 96-106)

Informal Writing 3 The Significance of Debates Due

Week 6

T, 9-20

King, "Letter from Birmingham Jail" (Austin 350-66)

Tutu, "Nuremberg or National Amnesia: A Third Way" (Austin 367-76)

Graff, 8 As a Result (Graff 107-22)

Austin, 14 Synthesizing Ideas (Austin 596-608)

In Class Activity 4: "My Dear Fellow Clergymen"

R, 9-22

Wealth, Poverty, and Social Class

"The Law Code of Manu" (Austin 380-4)

Epictetus, "To Those Who Fear Want" (Austin 385-9)

Graff, 9 You Mean I Can Just Say It That Way? (Graff 123-37)

In Class Activity: Reviewing the Templates

Week 7

T, 9-27

Chü-I, "The Flower Market" (Austin 390-2)

Malthus, from "An Essay on the Principle of Population" (Austin 393-400)

Graff, 10 But Don't Get Me Wrong (Graff 138-48)

Austin, 15 Incorporating Ideas (Austin 609-29)

Developing Your Thesis (Dartmouth Writing Program)

R, 9-29

Gandhi, "Economic and Moral Progress" (Austin 332-40)

Sanger, "The Case for Birth Control" (Austin 409-15)

Graff, 11 What I Really Want to Say Is (Graff 149-71)

MLA Style: Quoting and Citing

Informal Writing 4 Reviewing the Main Ideas Due

Week 8

T, 10-4

Menchú, from I, Rigoberta Menchú (Austin 419-24)

Stiglitz, "Rent Seeking and the Making of an Unequal Society" (Austin 425-32)

Graff, 12 I Take Your Point (Graff 172-6)

Austin, 16 Revising and Editing (Austin 630-6)

R, 10-6

Writing Day: Bring your laptops

Paper 2 Summary and Evaluation Draft 1 Due

Week 9

T, 10-11

No Class: Fall Break

R, 10-13

Paper 2 Peer Response Groups 1-3

***Only students in Groups 1-3 attend class today at the assigned times

Week 10

T, 10-18

Paper 2 Peer Response Groups 4-6

***Only students in Groups 4-6 attend class today at the assigned times

R, 10-21

Ethics and Empathy

Confucius, from the Analects (Austin 436-44)

The Quran, "The Chambers" (Austin 445-8)

Graff, 13 Don't Make Them Scroll Up (Graff 177-86)

Paper 3 Prompt

Week 11

T, 10-25

Shantideva, "The Way of the Bodhisattva" (Austin 449-55)

Smith, from The Theory of Moral Sentiments (Austin 456-62)

Graff, 14 What's Motivating This Writer? (Graff 187-202)

Graff, 15 But as Several Sources Suggest (Graff 203-31)

Research Methods

Paper 2 Summary and Evaluation Draft 2 Due

R, 10-27

Bentham, "The Principle of Utility" (Austin 463-8)

Buber, "from I and Thou (Austin 472-8)

Graff, 17 The Data Suggest (Graff 250-68)

Week 12

T, 11-1

Bloom, from Against Empathy (Austin 487-500)

Adichie, "Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions" (Austin 501-9)

Graff, 18 Analyze This (Graff 269-88)

Group Project Signup

R, 11-3

Writing Day: Bring your laptops

Paper 3 Analysis and Argument Draft 1 Due

Week 13

T, 11-8

Research Methods

Group Project Topic Due

Paper 3 Peer Response Groups 1-6

R, 11-10

Research Groupwork

Research Bibliography and Plan of Action Due

Week 14

T, 11-15

Research Groupwork

Conferences Groups 1-3

Paper 3 Analysis and Argument Draft 2 Due

R, 11-17

Research Groupwork

Conferences Groups 4-6

Week 15

T, 11-22

Research Presentations Groups 1-2

R, 11-24

No Class: Thanksgiving Holidays

Week 16

T, 11-29

Research Presentations Groups 3-4

R, 12-1

Research Presentations Groups 5-6


R, 12-8

Paper 4 Research Due (11:00 a.m. Section)

F, 12-9

Paper 4 Research Due (12:30 p.m. Section)