English 1101: English Composition I, Fall 2008

Section 43: TR 3:30-4:45PM Arts & Sciences 238



Professor: Dr. Alex E. Blazer

Office: Arts & Sciences 330

Office Hours: MW 4:30-5:20PM, TR 1:00-1:50PM, and by appointment

Phone: 478.445.0964




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." This particular section of 1101 will use informal writing and peer responses to draft and revise four formal papers, including a personal analysis, a summary evaluation, a comparison/contrast, and a research essay. We will use the Freshman Convocation novel, Tayari Jones' Leaving Atlanta as a jumping off point for the personal reflection of childhood, family, gender, race, and/or class issues.The New Humanities Reader will not only introduce you to multiple perspectives on the human condition that you will study in greater depth at this public liberal arts institution but also stimulate topics for discussion and model modes of analysis in your last three essays. The Academic Writer will demonstrate the writing process, and Rules for Writers will serve as a grammar and usage handbook. This course's Academic Assessment page describes our topics:

as well as course outcomes:

All students, regardless of their degree program, must earn a grade of C or better in English 1101, as it, along with English 1102, fulfills the Area A. Essential Skills requirement in the Core Curriculum.


Course Materials


required (GCSU Bookstore or

Ede, The Academic Writer

Hacker, Rules for Writers, 6th ed.

Jones, Leaving Atlanta

Miller and Spellmeyer, eds., The New Humanities Reader, 2nd ed.

required (online)

supplemental articles


Assignments and Grade Distribution


Informal Writing and Peer Response, 15%

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 narrative, 10%

In this four page personal narrative, you will select one of the issues or themes from Jones' Leaving Atlanta and reflect on your own experience.

summary and evaluation, 20%

In this four to six page, drafted and revised essay, you will summarize the key argument of one of the texts from The New Humanities Readerand then analyze and evaluate it.

comparison and contrast, 25%

In this four to six page, drafted and revised essay, you will compare and contrast how one issue is treated in two texts from The New Humanities Reader.

research paper, 30%

In this six to eight page research paper, you will select any topic broached by the course texts and analyze it more deeply with the support of scholarly sources found outside the class.


Course Policies


Class Preparation and Participation

I expect you to come to class having read, annotated, and reviewed the assigned reading. Moreover, you should prepare at least two comments and two questions. We're going to be working with challenging texts; therefore, we'll all benefit from sharing our ideas and questions. If I feel that you're not participating because you're not keeping up with the reading, I will give a pop quiz.

Office Hours and Professor Email

I encourage you to stop by my office hours to discuss any aspect of the course, literature, or life. I'm happy to answer minor questions such as due dates over email, but I prefer face-to-face conversations for more substantive topics like papers and exams. Please use email etiquette.

GeorgiaVIEW Vista and Student Email

We will be using GeorgiaVIEW Vista and/or for assignments and GCSU email for class communication. It is your responsibility to learn Vista as well as to check your university email for possible course related messages. I suggest that you forward your university email to your private email account (or vice versa).

MLA Style

Formal assignments should adhere to the Modern Language Association (MLA) style. Formal papers and take-home exams require MLA style while in-class exams; discussion board responses, informal writing, and peer review may be informally formatted. 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) header, heading, and title, 2) margins, font, and line-spacing, and 3) quotation and citation format. Before you turn in a formal paper, make sure your work follows MLA style by using the checklist on the MLA style handout. I encourage students to use my MS Word template.


There will be a one letter final grade deduction for every absence beyond three days. Therefore, missing four class periods will result in a one letter final grade deduction and missing seven classes will result in automatic failure of the course. I suggest you use your three days both cautiously and wisely; and make sure you sign the attendance sheets. Habitual tardies or consistently leaving class early will be treated as absences. Excuses like work, family, and scheduled doctor's appointment will be declined. The only acceptabled excuses are death in one's immediate family and one's own medical emergency. If you participate in an extracurricular activity that you anticipate will cause you to miss class, I suggest you switch sections now. You can check your attendance online by looking for your course number and the last four digits of your student identification number.

Late Assignments

There will be a one letter assignment grade deduction per day (not class period) for any assignment that is turned in late. I sparingly give short extensions if you request one for a valid need; however you must make the request 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. I neither read nor grade assignments that are turned in more than five days late for whatever reason, be it extension or computer error. Failing to submit (or resubmit) an assignment that is worth 15% or more of the course grade within five days (not class periods) of its due date will result in automatic failure of the course. Failing to submit (or resubmit) a final exam or final paper within two days of its due date will result in automatic failure of the course.


Do not do it. 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." Section 3.01 of the Academic Affairs Handbook elaborates other examples of academic dishonesty and outlines disciplinary procedures and appeals for academic misconduct. As plagiarism is not tolerated at GCSU, any student found guilty of willful plagiarism will fail the assignment and the course. Students must submit all formal papers to

Failure of the Course

There are three ways to fail the course: 1) failing to regularly attend class, 2) plagiarizing, 3) failing an assignment that is worth 15% or more of the course grade, be it from poor quality, lateness of submission, or a combination of poor quality and lateness. By contrast, students who regularly attend class, complete their work with academic integrity, and submit assignments on time will pass the course.


The last day to add a course is August 22. The last day to drop a course without fee penalty is August 26. The last day to withdraw without academic penalty (unless previously assigned an F by professor for absences) is October 16.

Disability Services

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and GCSU's Policy For Students with Disabilities that Affect Learning, if there is a student in this class who has a disability that may affect her learning and progress, please meet with me so we can discuss your particular needs. Notification will be kept confidential. Students with disabilities should also contact Mike Chambers, or 445-5931, at Disability Services in Maxwell Student Union 133.

The Writing Center

The Writing Center is a free service available to all members of the university community. Consultants assist writers in the writing process, from conception and organization of compositions to revision to documentation of research. Located in Lanier Hall 209, the Center is open Monday through Friday. Call 445-3370 or email for more information.

Special Notice to Students in the Arts & Sciences Building

In the event of a fire alarm signal students should exit the building in a quick and orderly manner through the nearest hallway exit.  First and Second floor classes should exit through ground level exits; Third floor classes through nearest stairwell to a ground level exit.  Do not use elevator.  Third floor stairwells are areas where disabled people may communicate with rescue workers.  Be familiar with the floorplan and exits of this building.

Regents’ Writing and Reading Skills Requirement

Students enrolled in undergraduate degree programs leading to the baccalaureate degree must complete the Regents' Writing and Reading Skills Requirement as a requirement for graduation. Check your reading and writing test status. Regents' Test dates for Fall semester are Friday, October 31, Monday, November 3, and Tuesday, November 4. More information such as qualifying test scores and the registration process can be found on the Regents' Testing Program webpage.


Course Schedule


This schedule is subject to change, so listen in class and check online for possible revisions.

AW stands for The Academic Writer and NHR stands for The New Humanities Reader.


Week 1
R, 8-21


Week 2
T, 8-26

Jones, Leaving Atlanta (3-82)

Ede, Ch 8 Strategies for Reading (AW 216-34)

Informal Writing 1 In Class

R, 8-28

Jones, Leaving Atlanta (83-140)

MLA Style

Week 3
T, 9-2

Jones, Leaving Atlanta (141-255)

Ede, Ch 1 Writing as Design (AW 1-20)

R, 9-4

Boyarin, "Waiting for a Jew: Marginal Redemption at the Eighth Street Shul" (NHR 78-100)

In Class Activity: Cultural Identity

Personal Narrative Due

Week 4
T, 9-9

Nafisi, selections from Reading Lolita in Tehran (NHR 334-56)

Nussbaum, "Women and Cultural Universals" (NHR 357-85)

Ede, Ch 2 Understanding the Writing Process (AW 21-41)

R, 9-11

Faludi, "The Naked Citadel" (NHR 130-165)

Informal Writing 2 Due

Week 5
T, 9-16

Scott, "Behind the Official Story" (NHR 520-36)

Tannen, "The Roots of Debate in Education and the Hope of Dialogue" (NHR 600-32)

Ede, Ch 4 Analyzing Texts and Contexts (AW 80-116)

In Class Activity: Critical Reading

R, 9-18

Greider, "Work Rules" (NHR 212-32)

Personal Narrative - Optional Revision Due

Week 6

T, 9-23

Frontline: "The Merchants of Cool"

Ede, Ch 3 Analyzing Rhetorical Situations (AW 42-79)

Summary and Evaluation Draft 1 Due

R, 9-25

Postrel, "Surface and Substance" (NHR 420-44)

Schlosser, "Global Realization" (NHR 493-519)

In Class Activity: Rhetorical Situations

Week 7
T, 9-30

***Due to peer response group meetings, regular class will not be held. You are only responsible for coming to your class on the day your peer response group meets.

Summary and Evaluation Peer Responses Due (Groups 1-3)

R, 10-2

***Due to peer response group meetings, regular class will not be held. You are only responsible for coming to your class on the day your peer response group meets.

Summary and Evaluation Peer Responses Due (Groups 4-5)

Week 8
T, 10-7

Gladwell, "The Power of Context: Bernie Goetz and the Rise and Fall of New York City Crime" (NHR 178-95)

Chua, "A World on the Edge" (NHR 101-19)

Ede, Ch 12 Strategies for Revision (AW 280-304)

R, 10-9

Kaldor, "Beyond Militarism, Arms Races, and Arms Control" (NHR 267-84)

O'Brien, "How to Tell a True War Story" (NHR 386-99)

Ede, Ch 9 Strategies for Invention (AW 235-49)

In Class Activity: Comparing and Contrasting Views on Violence and War

Summary and Evaluation Draft 2 Due

Week 9
T, 10-14

Chua and Kaldor, continued

Ede, Ch 5 Making and Supporting Claims (AW 117-40)

R, 10-16

Dartmouth Writing Program: Developing Your Thesis

Informal Writing 3 In Class

Week 10
T, 10-21

Frontline: "Growing Up Online"

In Class Activity: Documenting Oneself

Analysis and Argument Draft 1 Due

R, 10-23

Regents' Test Preparation

Informal Writing 4 In Class

Week 11
T, 10-28

Sanders, "Buckeye" and "The Geography of Somewhere" (online)

Analysis and Argument Peer Response Due (All Groups)

***Scott Russell Sanders will be speaking Wednesday, October 29th in A&S Auditorium at 7:30PM

R, 10-30

Study for Regents' Test

No Class: Professor at Conference

Week 12
T, 11-4

Krakauer, selections from Into the Wild (NHR 285-308)

Ede, Ch 10 Strategies for Planning and Drafting (AW 250-64)

GCSU Library Access! Information Literacy Tutorial

R, 11-6

Stout, "When I Woke Up Tuesday Morning, It Was Friday" (578-99)

Research Paper Prompt

Analysis and Argument Draft 2 Due

Week 13
T, 11-11

Library Visit: Meet in Library Room 241

Ede, Ch 6 Doing Research (AW 141-82)

R, 11-13

Stock, "The Enhanced and the Unenhanced" (NHR 553-77)

"Biotech Revolution Promises to Alter Human Nature" (online)

Bring magazine or newspaper article on posthumanism that you found online during the library visit.

MLA Style: Works Cited

Week 14
T, 11-18

Thurman, "Wisdom" (NHR 662-80)

Informal Writing 5 In Class

R, 11-20

Research Question, List of Sources, and Copy of One Journal Article Due

Informal Writing 6 In Class

Week 15
T, 11-25

No Class: Individual Conferences

R, 11-27

No Class: Thanksgiving Holidays

Week 16
T, 12-2

No Class: Individual Conferences

R, 12-4


Research Paper Thesis and Topic Sentence Outline Due

T, 12-9

Research Paper Due by 2:00PM