English 1101: English Composition I Honors, Fall 2010

Section 01H (CRN 80007): MW 3:30-4:45PM, Arts & Sciences 353

In Class Activities

1. Evidence and Purpose

Break into three groups of four or five. Use the evidence and purpose checklists on page 35 and 36 of Writing and Revising to evaluate the critical thinking processes of your group's assigned article:

  1. John Stuart Mill, "The Subjection of Women" (World 815-836)
  2. Margaret Mead, "Sex and Temperament" (World 855-72)
  3. Claude Lévi-Strauss, "Men, Women, and Chiefs" (World 873-88)

2. 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 2010, 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 Durkheim's "Individualism and the Intellectuals."

3. Planning a Summary and Evaluation Essay

Since the in class activity on Fromm allowed you to summarize an essay and the informal writing on Rousseau focused on evaluation, today, referring to Kennedy's "Strategies for Planning" (60-82) you'll plan a hypothetical summary and evaluation essay by breaking into groups to first compose a potential thesis guiding the paper's argument and structuring its organization and second to outline a paper that would support that thesis. Each group's speaker will share their work with the rest of the class.


Here are the groups' tasks:

  1. thesis
  2. outline

Here are the groups:

4. Comparing and Contrasting Ideas of Justice

While the first paper focused on the self and the second paper practiced summarizing and evaluating one text, the remaining papers will require you to make connections and distinctions between texts. Today, we'll break into groups to compare or contrast

two authors' ideas regarding justice. Here are the tasks:

  1. Find the thesis and one or two important passages regarding justice in each work
  2. Explain the thesis and passages
  3. Compare or contrast the two ideas.

Here are the groups:

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. Analyzing and Arguing

Today, we're going to practice analyzing an issue and making an argument about it. Break into four groups and answer the following four questions for your assigned article.

  1. How does the author define and analyze the issue? Use Kennedy's definition (115), analysis (121), and division and classification (127) checklists, when appropriate.
  2. What is the author's ideal argument for dealing with the issue.
  3. How do you analyze the reality of issue in American today?
  4. What is your ideal argument for dealing with the issue in America today?

7. Thesis, Persuasion, Reasoning

Today and Wednesday will be devoted to developing your Analysis and Argument Paper, due Wednesday by 6PM. For Informal Writing 5 due today, you were to write your introduction (including thesis), then outline your paper. Today, you will evaluate your thesis, then develop persuasive evidence and logical reasoning to support your thesis and fill in your outline.

  1. Thesis: Dartmouth provides an excellent handout on developing a thesis: a good thesis will 1) make a debateable claim, 2) control the paper's argument, and 3) structure the paper. A good thesis for the Analysis and Argument paper will represent the World of Idea's article ideal argument regarding the issue and make a claim about how that issue really functions in America today. Use the Thesis Checklist (Kennedy 191) to improve your thesis for the next 15 minutes.

  2. Persuasive Evidence: While you will summarize the persuasive evidence in the World of Idea's article, you will generate your own persuasive evidence regarding how the issue works in America today, and you will use evidence from the two scholarly sources to support your thesis. Use the Persuasive Evidence Checklist (Kennedy 193-4) to build paragraphs from your outline for the next 20 minutes.
  3. Logical Reasoning: While you will summarize the reasoning from World of Idea's article, you will generate your own logical reasoning regarding how the issue works in America today, and you will use reasoning from the two scholarly sources to support your thesis. Use the Logical Reasoning Checklist (Kennedy 197-8) to build paragraphs from your outline for the next 20 minutes.

8. Analysis and Argument Paper Checklist

Papers are due today by 6PM. Use this class period to review and revise your paper before submitting to your professor in TurnItIn and peers in GeorgiaVIEW.

  1. MLA Style: Does my paper follow MLA style rules regarding fonts, margins, heading, header, quotations, and citations?
  2. Thesis: Does my thesis make a clear, debateable, and focused claim that structures, guides, and controls my paper?
  3. Argument and Idea: Does my paper adequately represent, with sufficient quotations and paraphrase, the idea and argument from the World of Ideas essay?
  4. Analysis and Reality: Does my paper analyze (break down) the reality of how the World of Ideas essay functions in America today by providing evidence and logical reasoning?
  5. Scholarly Sources: Does my paper use, through adequate quotation and paraphrase, two scholarly sources (scholarly journal article, book chapter, or book) to support my analysis of the issue in contemporary America?
  6. Organization: Is my paper effectively organized?
  7. Editing and Proofreading: Use the various checklists in Kennedy (155-89) to edit and proofread your paper.

9. Reasons to Believe: Reactions and Definitions

We've discussed gender, individuality, justice, government, and wealth and povery. We've explored issues that define who we are, and we've engaged in dialogues with the key ideas in texts of important thinkers. For our final unit, we're going to probe the relationship between the Self and the World in the ethical and spiritual issue of religion, and we're going to do so in a manner that privileges intellectual inquiry regarding and respect for others' belief systems.


Break into 4 groups to answer the following questions about, first, your initial reaction to John Marks' book and, second, your academic understanding of his cultural and religious analysis.

  1. Why did you say last week that the book is "offensive" and/or "pointless" and/or "boring"?
  2. How do you think faith is actually discussed in our culture and how do you think it should be discussed?
  3. Answer the questions for three chapters:
    • Group 1: Chapters 1-3
    • Group 2: Chapters 3-5
    • Group 3: Chapters 5-7
    • Group 4: Chapters 7-9

1 The Prodigal

What does "being left behind" mean according to Marks' book? Does this agree with your prior understanding of the phrase?

2 The Nation

What is the relationship between religion and American history according to Marks? According to your understanding of history?

What is the difference between the nation and the country, according to Marks?

3 Lillies

Describe Marks' family upbring compared to how you were raised.

4 The Country

Marks describes a survey finding that African-American and white evangelical protestants believe that God is authoritarian, Catholics think God is benevolent, mainline Protestands and some African-American Protestants consider God to be critical, and Jewish and unaffiliated believers think God is distant (50). Do you agree with these definitions?

Why do you think African Americans are statistically the most religious people in the country? (51)

5 Heaven

What are some of the pop cultural and lay depictions of heaven? How is heaven conceived by the Evangelicals whom Marks interviews? Do you have an image of heaven?

6 The Man Himself

Don McWhinney, the parent with a schizophrenic son, asks Marks, "How is my sorrow different than the sorrow you experienced in Bosnia? And yet I still believe. My faith has been strengthened. Why not yours" (77)? Why do you think Don's faith was strengthened but Marks' was not? How do you evaluate Don's reasons for his increased faith? How do you evaluate Marks' reasons for his loss of faith?

7 The Fundamentals

What is Marks' definition of evangelic and where does it come from? Do you have a definition of evangelical; and, if so, where does it come from?

8 Man of Shadows

How does Jim interpret the McWhinneys' motives in taking Marks to church after the death of their son? How does Marks?

9 Words

How does Tommy Nelson use the Bible to comment on American culture? How do you read Marks' attitude toward this sermon? Do you agree with Nelson's criticism and solution? Why or why not? Are there other commentators you know of who speak about the Bible in American culture? Do you have positive or negative opinions of them?

10. Reasons to Believe: Day 2

For our second day of discussion, as a large group we'll talk about Book 2: The Way. Which chapters would you like to discuss?


10 The Great Commission

What is the truth, and what should be one's duty regarding the truth, according to an evangelical like Tommy Nelson who practices the Great Commission? Are there truth(s) you believe in; and if so, what are your responsibilities according to those truths?

11 The World

Define the term worldview. What is the Truth Project's worldview?

Why do you think churchgoing has declined from 65% of Greatest Generation Americans in the 1940s, 35% of baby boomers in the 1960s, 16% of bridger generation Americans in the 1980s, to a projected 4% in the 2000s? Where did Marks obtain these statistics? Use GALILEO's Statistics: CAUSEWeb to verify these statistics. Do you believe churchgoing will continue to decline? If so, or if not, why?

12 Specklebird

What is your view of the proliferation of megachurches? What do you think Marks' opinion is of these reenactments and performances? What do you think the term specklebird means to Marks?

13 Shepherd

Marks writes, "I have to confess an ambivalence about churches in general" (141). What does he mean? He talks about his upbringing as a reason for his feelings. What is your attitude toward churches; and has your upbringing influenced your feeling or not?

Marks is tolerant toward being evangelized (153). Do you have the same tolerance?

14 Weather

Marks writes, "Many of today's Christians cite their faith as a reason to go to the polls" (160). What do you think about the relationship between religion and politics?

Marks writes, ". . . nothing spoke more eloquently to believers, and to nonbelievers who were paying attention, than the success of a population of believing volunteers measured against the massive and near-total collapse of secular government efforts" (168). What is Marks' view of church responses to Hurricane Katrina? Do you think the same type of Christian response to natural disasters, compared to government action, will continue?

15 Nineveh

What is the purpose of Christian charity in a global context, according to Jerry Rankin, head of the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention (183)?

Do you agree with Marks' view that a missionary like Niki McDonnall could be "under the spell of complete delusion" (187)

16 Sweet D

Have you ever seen media representations that conflict with your values, and how do you reconcile this when you are amongst your peers?

17 Shofar

What do you make of the relationship between faith, music, and commerce depicted in this chapter?

11. Reasons to Believe: Day 3

For our final day of discussion, we're going to answer some questions from Book 3 and some general questions about the entire book.


Book 3: The Life

18 Wretch

Do you have a conversion story of your own or know someone with a conversion story?

Is John Marks' conversion story convincing or understandable to you?

19 Daddy

After examining the stated liberal arts mission of GCSU, how do you think this differs from the descriptions of Christian colleges that Marks provides? What tenets of liberal arts colleges and Christian colleges do you find admirable?

20 Young Life

Does each member of your family hold the same beliefs? Do each of your friends? What do you perceive as the advantages and disadvantages, if any, of this?

21 Girlfriend

Marks recounts the story of Daniel and how his beliefs affect his relationship with his girlfriend. How do you think Americans as a whole are influenced by religion in their romantic relationships?

22 Submission

Do you perceive Christianity as having different meanings for women as compared to men? Do any of the belief systems or institutions you adhere to have different expectations for women and men? Do you agree with these differences?

23 Skin

What do you think Marks' view is of the African-American influence on Christianity? Do you agree or disagree with his view?

24 Geist

Does Marks believe that members of the gay community can nurture a belief in and relationship with God? Do you agree or disagree with Marks' view?

25 The Castle

What are the components of Marks' dilemma between Dawkins and Meier (330)? What do you make of Marks' crisis?

26 Habakkuk

Marks reports on the work of David Barton in this chapter. Do you think Barton's claims about the contributions of religion to American history are valid or a worthwhile pursuit?

27 Burn

Marks predicts "an incompatibility in the body politic will only ever resolve itself through a massive act of violence" (349). What do you think of his forecast? his comparison of this act to civil war?

28 Eunice

Throughout the book, Marks continues to join evangelicals in worship and in prayer. Despite his asserting that he has been left behind, Marks has said that he wanted to his portrayals of evangelicals to be compassionate. Do you think he has achieved his goal?

Afterword to the Paperback Edition

Marks writes, ". . . I felt the inadequacy of both faith and reason to answer our deepest questions" (370). Are faith and reason, separate or combined, adequate to answering your deepest questions?


General Questions after Reading the Entire Book

    Informal Writing

  1. Brainstorming the Personal Reflection Paper: Reasons to Believe is a blend of John Marks' faith memoir and cultural reportage. As one can tell from his Friday Q&A in Russell Auditorium, belief constitutes a significant concern in his life and thing. For the first formal paper, you will reflect upon an important issue in your life. For the first informal writing assignment, spend 20 minutes simply brainstorming topics and freewriting about them. What are some subjects that have personally affected you and how so?
    • Due: Monday, August 23
  2. Evidence for and Purpose of the Personal Reflection Paper: Write a 1-2 page (typewritten or handwritten) informal response that begins to decide on the evidence for and the purpose of your first formal paper. In other words, use the checklists on pages 35 and 36 of Writing and Revising to help you evaluate your evidence and purpose in writing the personal reflection paper.
    • Due: Wednesday, August 25
  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.
    • Due: To Be Written in Class, Monday, September 13
  4. Brainstorming the Analysis and Argument Paper
    • Spend 15 minutes brainstorming topics for the analysis and argument paper, which asks you to differentiate the ideal of how an idea or issue in A World of Ideas should work from the reality of how it actually works in contemporary America.
    • Due: To Be Written in Class, Wednesday, October 13
  5. Introducing and Outlining the Analysis and Argument Paper
    • Write your introduction (including thesis statement) for the analysis and argument paper, then outline the paper.
    • Due: Monday, October 18

Peer Responses

Paper 2 Summary and Evaluation

  1. Writers upload their papers to both TurnItIn > Paper 2 and GeorgiaVIEW > Discussions > Paper 2 by the start of class on Wednesday, September 22.
  2. Everyone reads, take notes on, and prepares to respond to the papers before the two peer response classes.
    • Monday, September 27: Ashley Anderson, Alana Blankenship, Katelyn Callahan, Jason Edmondson, Caroline Janiszewski, Lauren Kuenzi, Hayley Lambert
    • Wednesday, September 29: Katlyn Mobley, Kelly Morris, Feliscia Parrish, Victoria Perret, Christopher Phillips, Chelsea Rutherford, Allison Smith
  3. For each peer response class, either bring your laptops or bring paper print outs. The class will collectively complete the peer response sheet for each writer, then upload the completed response to GeorgiaVIEW> Discussions > Paper 2.

Paper 3 Analysis and Argument

  1. Writers upload their papers to both TurnItIn > Paper 3 and GeorgiaVIEW > Discussions > Paper 3 Group # by the start of class on Wednesday, October 20.
  2. Each group reads, take notes on, and prepares to respond to just fellow group papers before the peer response classes.
    • Group 1: attend class Monday, October 25 only: Katelyn Callahan, Hayley Lambert, Feliscia Parrish, Allison Smith
    • Group 2: attend class Monday, October 25 only: Jason Edmondson, Katlyn Mobley, Christopher Phillips
    • Group 3: attend class Wednesday, October 27 only: Caroline Janiszewski, Lauren Kuenzi, Kelly Morris
    • Group 4: attend class Wednesday, October 27 only: Ashley Anderson, Alana Blankenship, Victoria Perret, Chelsea Rutherford
  3. For the peer response session, either bring your laptop or bring paper print outs. The peer response group will collectively complete the peer response sheet for each writer, then upload the completed response to GeorgiaVIEW> Discussions > Paper 3 Group #.

Selected Reading

We've read, discussed, and written about many seminal essays in A World of Ideas, and we're going to focus on the Convocation Book, Reasons to Believe by John Marks. These were essays and a book chosen by your instructor. Now, you get to research and select scholarly journal articles and scholarly book chapters that complement the issues broached in Reasons to Believe.

On Monday, October 18, you will select your research project groups and your group will be assigned a section of Marks' book to find a complementary scholarly essay. On Monday, October 25 or Wednesday, October 27, depending on when your peer response occurs, groups will provide the professor a copy of the scholarly journal article or scholarly book chapter so he can post it to GeorgiaVIEW for all to read.

Paper 1 Personal Reflection

You've informally written about what John Marks' Reasons to Believe compelled you to contemplate about your life; and in class, we've discussed issues of gender and sexuality and power and justice. In the 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 Marks' cultural memoir 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. In other words, what is/was your own predominant coming-of-age issue? 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 reflective 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 and informal writing, you've made initial summaries of authors' arguments, and in the first formal paper 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 paper, Self and Text, you summarized and evaluated an essay read in class. In this five to seven page dialogue between Text and World, you will summarize how one issue is ideally theorized in one article from A World of Ideas (not an essay 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 (scholarly journal articles, book chapters, and books available through the university library). 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, 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.






October 18

choose groups

November 1

choose topic

November 15

18 source bibliography

plan of action

November 17

group 1-2: conferences

November 22

group 3-4: conferences

November 29

group 1-2: presentations

December 1

group 3-4: presentations

December 7

paper 4

A. Group Selection

Due Monday, October 18: You will choose your three or four person groups.


Group 1

Christian Media

Katelyn Callahan

Hayley Lambert

Feliscia Parrish

Allison Smith

Group 2

Religion and Politics

Jason Edmondson

Christopher Phillips Katlyn Mobley

Group 3

Gender and Society

Caroline Janiszewski

Lauren Kuenzi

Kelly Morris

Group 4


Ashley Anderson

Alana Blankenship

Victoria Perret

Chelsea Rutherford

B. Topic Selection

Due Monday, November 1: Groups will finalize a topic.

C. Bibliography and Plan of Action

Due Monday, November 15. 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.


Wednesday, 11-17


Katelyn Callahan

Hayley Lambert

Feliscia Parrish

Allison Smith


Jason Edmondson

Christopher Phillips

Katlyn Mobley




Caroline Janiszewski

Lauren Kuenzi

Kelly Morris


Ashley Anderson

Alana Blankenship

Victoria Perret

Chelsea Rutherford

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 on Monday, December 8 for the group presentation.


Your presentation will be assessed on organization and unity (how well the parts come together to make a coherent whole), analysis (how well the issue is examined), participation (how well individual members contribute to the speech), and length. The research project is 30% of the course grade; the group presentation comprises 5% and the individual research paper 25% of the total, respectively.




Group 1

Christian Media

Katelyn Callahan

Hayley Lambert

Feliscia Parrish

Allison Smith

Group 2

Religion and Politics

Jason Edmondson

Christopher Phillips Katlyn Mobley



Group 3

Gender and Society

Caroline Janiszewski

Lauren Kuenzi

Kelly Morris

Group 4


Ashley Anderson

Alana Blankenship

Victoria Perret

Chelsea Rutherford

F. Individual Research Paper