English 1101: English Composition I Honors, Fall 2009

Section 02H (CRN 80161): TR 3:30-4:45PM, Arts & Sciences 240

In Class Activities

1. Summarizing an Essay: Erich Fromm, "The Individual in the Chains of Illusion"

Each of you will be assigned two of the essay's 24 paragraphs. Spend ten minutes answering the following questions and be prepared to report your findings for #2 and #3 to the class.

  1. What is the thesis or controlling idea of the overall essay?
  2. What is the topic and main idea of your assigned paragraph, and how does it fit into the essay's overall argument?
  3. What is the evidence or proof of your assigned paragraph?
  4. If he were updating his essay in 2009, how might he amend his controlling idea and/or evidence?
  5. Compare and contrast Fromm's conception of the individual and thesis regarding individuality with "Individualism and the Intellectuals."

2. Brainstorming and Freewriting: Lao-Tzu, "Thoughts from the Tao-te Ching"

3. Summarizing and Freewriting: Jean-Jacques Rousseau, "The Origin of Civil Society"

Today, we're going to practice summarizing and freewriting.

  1. For the first five minutes, freewrite everything you already knew about civil society from Rousseau's article (either from political observation or a high school civics class, for instance) as well as what you learned from reading the article.
  2. For the second five minutes, freewrite questions or issues you have regarding the ideas.
  3. For the final five minutes, freewrite on what ways America is and is not a civil society as Rousseau defines it.

4. Outlining and Drafting

Use this class to create an outline (Kennedy 73-82) from your working thesis and, if time permits, draft your essay (Kennedy 83-100).

5. Debating

Karl Marx and Andrew Carnegie's respective social/economic world views could not be more different. Today, we'll debate the topic of economic justice. Divide into groups and spend approximately 20 minutes preparing your position for the debate. While Marx and Carnegie will define key terms, explain important arguments, and select central quotations, the Moderator will construct evaluative questions for Marx and Carnegie based on key terms, arguments, and quotations. Here are the groups' positions:

  1. Karl Marx
  2. Andrew Carnegie
  3. Moderator

6. Developing

Divide into groups of 4. First, define the two terms from Kennedy, Ch7 Strategies for Developing (Writing 101-36) and then find one example of the term being used in Galbraith's "The Position of Poverty" (World 405-18) and one example in Reich's "Why the Rich Are Getting Richer and the Poor, Poorer" (World 419-46)

  1. Defining and Reasoning
  2. Analyzing a Subject and Dividing and Classifying
  3. Comparing and Contrasting and Cause-and-Effect

7. Comparing and Contrasting

Divide into your research project groups to discuss the essay assigned to your group, either Nietzsche's "Morality as Anti-Nature" (713-28), Murdoch's "Morality and Religion" (729-44), or Singer and Mason's "The Ethics of Eating Meat" (767-90). Elect a recorder to report your conversation to the class.

  1. What is the thesis, the guiding ethical principle of the author, the way philosopher thinks the Self should act in the World?
  2. Explain two of the most significant passages in the piece.
  3. Compare and contrast the author's system of moral principles with your members of your group. How do they overlap, how do they differ, and why?
After we compare and contrast these ethical systems, groups will spend the rest of the class working on their research topic.

Informal Writing

The goal of the informal writing assignments is to get you to think actively about the readings and write analytically about the humanities. These short assignments of 1-2 double-spaced, typed pages with 1" margins and 12-point fonts will also prepare you to write the longer, formal papers.


Out of class responses will be due by the start of class on the due date, either as a typed hard copy or a word-processing file such as Word, WordPerfect, Works, or OpenOffice in GeorgiaView > Assignments > Informal Writing #. Hard copy submissions will be returned as hard copies in class; electronic submissions will be returned in GeorgiaView > Assignments > Informal Writing # on the same day as hard copy submissions are handed back. Click here for grading rationale and calculation of informal writing assignments.

  1. Nawal El Saadawi, Woman at Point Zero
    • What does the character Firdaus in particular and the novel Woman at Point Zero in general compel you to contemplate about your own life and existence? Reflect beyond the obvious statement, "you have it better than Egyptian women."
    • Due: Tuesday, August 25 by the start of class
  2. Carl Becker, "Ideal Democracy" or Hannah Arendt, "Total Domination"
    • Choose one of the essays. First, quote, summarize, and explain its thesis and two main arguments or points supporting that thesis. Second, evaluate the essay's idea. Do you agree with it or not, and why? Is it still applicable today or not, and why?
    • Due: Tuesday, September 15 to be written in class

Peer Responses

The dual goals of this course are for you to read and write scholarly essay in the humanities. Peer response sessions extend the reading and writing process by allowing you and your peers to engage in direct oral and written dialogue regarding the writing process, with the ultimate goal of improving your formal papers. You have the opportunity to revise two formal papers based upon comments by your peers and myself.

Note: If a peer does not submit her paper in .doc or .rtf format at least two days before the peer response session, the rest of the group is not responsible for responding to her paper.

Paper 2 Peer Response

Note: Everyone will respond to everyone else's papers. Prepare six responses for Tuesday and the remaining six responses for Thursday.

Paper 3 Peer Response

Note: Everyone will respond to everyone else's papers. Prepare six responses for Tuesday and the remaining six responses for Thursday.


Written Responses


Use the following issues to help you to formulate your one page, double-spaced response to each peer's paper. Even if you find the paper good, you must still comment on these issues, particularly thesis, argument, and organization. You can always engage a conversation with the writer about how you're analyzing the issue differently, for that dialogue can also help the writer in the revision process.

Peer Response Discussion


In the peer response meeting, we will share our responses in verbal form. Specifically, the group should address:

  1. what they think the writer's thesis is,
  2. how well the paper summarized the original article,
  3. how well the paper evaluated the original article,
  4. any other comments for revision

Paper 1 Personal Narrative

You've informally written about what Nawal El Saadawi's Woman at Point Zero compelled you to contemplate about your life; and in class, we've discussed issues of gender and sexuality, power and justice, culture and class. In this first formal paper, reflect upon your own adolescence and emerging adulthood and compose a minimum five page personal narrative that conveys an issue that was and may still be crucial in your formative experience. What does Saadawi's case history novel make you think about in your own life? You could, for instance, write about how gender shaped your life. Or class. Or the justice system. Alternatively, what is/was your own predominant coming-of-age issue not included in Woman at Point Zero? How did your parents raise you? Your mother? Your father? Are/were you affected by a hypocritical or patriarchal culture? Choose one issue that has deeply affected your identity and world view, and analyze how it functioned in your life. Your personal and self-analytical narrative essay should break the issue down in order to reveal its complex operations. Your paper should have a controlling idea, be well-organized, provide specific details to support its analytical claims, and follow the rules of standard written English.

Paper 2 Summary and Evaluation

In this five to seven page dialogue between Self and Text, you will summarize the key argument of one of the texts from A World of Ideas and then evaluate and respond to it. This essay will be drafted and revised.


During in class activities, you've made initial summaries of authors' arguments, and in the first formal paper, inspired by Woman at Point Zero, you analyzed how an issue affected your life. The goal of the the second formal paper is for you to fully enter into one of the issues in one of the essays we've read in class. Choose an author we've read from A World of Ideas whose argument you wish to either expand upon or refute. In either case, your paper should summarize, fairly and accurately, the author's argument. Evaluate that argument: analyze and criticize, affirm and interrogate, but always be fair to the author's argument. Finally, your paper should provide your own perspective, your own argument (analysis and ideas) by either agreeing with the essay but furthering its point with your own ideas, or disagreeing with the essay and offering counterargument of your own.

Paper 3 Analysis and Argument

In the first paper, Self, you analyzed how an issue or event affected your self, your view of the world. In the second, Self and Text, you summarized and evaluated an essay read in class. In this four to six page dialogue between Text and World, you will summarize how one issue is ideally theorized in one article from A World of Ideas (not one used in the prior two papers) and analyze and argue how you see that topic really functioning in American today with the help of two scholarly publications. For example, you could briefly summarize Carnegie's idea of the wealthy philanthropist in the 1850s, analyze how capitalists operate today with the help of two scholarly journal articles or book chapters, and argue how Carnegie's ideal fits the contemporary reality. Or you could explain Thoreau's idea of civil disobedience and analyze how civil disobedience is used today, arguing how Thoreau's ideas have been applied or modified in current practice. What does the Text say about the issue, and how does the World respond?

Paper 4 Research Project

In this research project demonstrating the full dialectic of Self, Text, and World, self-selected groups of three will select any topic broached by the course texts, research that issue more deeply and more contemporaneously with the support of at least 18 scholarly sources (at least 6 scholarly journal articles and at least 6 books/book chapters) found outside the course reading list, and then present their findings and own analysis of the topic to the class in a 20-25 minute multimedia presentation with 5 minute question and answer period. Finally, each group member will compose a 7-9 page research paper integrating at least 6 scholarly sources, defining her individual (as opposed to her group's) analysis of the situation, and arguing her position for the world. For instance, if a group chooses to focus on health care, it could research and analyze the issue from a variety of angles (consumers/patients, insurance companies, healthcare providers, government) while individual group members could write a research paper analyzing and arguing from just one of those perspectives. Alternatively, a group interested in the contemporary position of poverty could research the government's obligations, nonprofit charities' actions, private industries' duties, and the impoverished themselves; and individual members could focus their papers on just one of those subtopics.

A. Group Selection

Due Tuesday, November 10: You will choose your three person groups.


Freud Group Sophia Markowich
Danielle Mullen
Mackenzie Mullins
Dream Group Drew Corley
Scott Moore
Matt Tucciarone
Anarchy Group Maggie Brackett
TJ Cornay
Daniel Jones
Gender Group Ala Bishop
Will Hanna
Hilary Lassetter

B. Topic Selection

Due Thursday, November 12: Groups will finalize a topic.

C. Bibliography and Plan of Action

Due Tuesday, November 17. Groups will construct a working bibliography (18 scholarly sources composed of at least 6 scholarly journal articles and at least 6 books/book chapters) and draft a plan of action dividing the research labor. Use the Composition Research Methods handout to help you navigate GCSU's Library Website.

D. Conferences

Due on the dates below, groups will meet with the professor to discuss the parts of their presentation, and individual group members will share their individual research paper's working theses and research questions.


Thursday, 11-19
Ala Bishop
Will Hanna
Hilary Lasseter
Drew Corley
Scott Moore
Matt Tucciarone
Tuesday, 11-24
Maggie Brackett
TJ Cornay
Daniel Jones
Sophia Markowich
Danielle Mullen
Mackenzie Mullins

E. Group Presentation

Due on the dates below, groups will present their findings and analysis of the topic to the class in a 20-25 minute multimedia presentation with 5 minute question and answer period. If a group member falls ill and cannot present, class will meet during the scheduled final exam time for the group presentation..


Tuesday, 12-1 Freud Group (Sophia Markowich, Danielle Mullen, Mackenzie Mullins)
Dream Group (Drew Corley, Scott Moore, Matt Tucciarone)
Thursday, 12-3 Anarchy Group (Maggie Brackett, TJ Cornay, Daniel Jones)
Gender Group (Ala Bishop, Will Hanna, Hilary Lassetter)

F. Individual Research Paper