English 1101: English Composition I, Maymester 2010

Section 01: M-F 1:00-4:00PM, Arts & Sciences 353



Professor: Dr. Alex E. Blazer

Office: Arts & Sciences 330

Office Hours: 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 essay, and a research paper based on a previous paper. Acting Out Culture will not only introduce you to multiple perspectives of human culture 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. Writing and Revising will demonstrate the writing process, and EasyWriter 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

Lunsford, EasyWriter, 4th ed.

Miller, Acting Out Culture

Kennedy, Kennedy, and Muth, eds., Writing and Revising


Assignments and Grade Distribution


informal writing and peer response, ungraded

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. Finally, you will select a reading for the class to discuss that complements our textbook units.

personal reflection, 20%

In this four to six page personal reflection, you will select one of the issues or themes from Acting Out Culture and reflect on your own experience.

summary and evaluation, 30%

In this four to six page, drafted and revised essay, you will summarize the key argument of one of the texts from Acting Out Culture and then analyze and evaluate it.

comparison and contrast, 30%

In this four to six page, drafted and revised essay, you will compare and contrast how one issue is treated in two texts from Acting Out Culture.

research paper, 20%

In this eight to ten page research paper, you will expand and deepen your analysis and argument from a previous paper by researching the prior and integrating sources.


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 for each reading. 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 will not holding regular office hours during Maymester, so feel free to schedule an appointment for directly before or after class. 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, TurnItIn, and Student Email

We will be using GeorgiaVIEW and TurnItIn for assignment submission and GCSU email for class communication (please do not send email inside GeorgiaVIEW). It is your responsibility to learn GeorgiaView and TurnItIn as well as to check your university email for possible course related messages.

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 two days for any reason. Therefore, missing three 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, consistently leaving class early, texting, and surfing the internet will be treated as absences. Excuses like work, family, and scheduled doctor's appointments will be declined. 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. 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. Submitting the same paper in two different courses constitutes academic dishonesty. 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.

Assistance for Student Needs Related to Disability

If you have a disability as described by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504, you may be eligible to receive accommodations to assist in programmatic and physical accessibility.  Disability Services, a unit of the GCSU Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity, can assist you in formulating a reasonable accommodation plan and in providing support in developing appropriate accommodations to ensure equal access to all GCSU programs and facilities. Course requirements will not be waived, but accommodations may assist you in meeting the requirements.  For documentation requirements and for additional information, we recommend that you contact Disability Services located in Maxwell Student Union at 478-445-5931 or 478-445-4233.

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.

Fire Drills

Fire drills will be conducted during the semester.  In the event of a fire alarm signal, students will exit the building in a quick and orderly manner through the nearest hallway exit.  Learn the floor plan and exits of the A & S Building.  Do not use elevators.  Crawl on the floor if you encounter heavy smoke.  Assist disabled persons and others if possible without endangering your own life.  Assemble for a head count on front lawn main campus.


Course Schedule


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

AOC stands for Acting Out Culture and WaR stands for Writing and Revising.


Week 1
M, 5-10

Reading: How We Believe

Igo, "Statistical Citizens" (AOC 10-27)

Twitchell, "Two Cheers for Materialism" (AOC 28-38)

Frazier, "All Consuming Patriotism" (AOC 39-43)


In Class Activity: Thesis, Important Passages, and Questions

Informal Writing: Materialism and Spirituality

Prompt: Paper 1 Personal Reflection

Informal Writing: Brainstorming Topics for Personal Reflection

T, 5-11

Reading: How We Believe

Saxe, "Do the Right Thing: Cognitive Science's Search for a Common Morality" (AOC 46-59)

Newman, "I Do. Not.: Why I Won't Marry" (AOC 60-66)

Brooks, "People Like Us" (AOC 67-72)

Dickerson, "The Great White Way" (AOC 73-76)

Writing: Processing & Formatting

Kennedy, Ch1 Writing Processes (WaR 1-10)

MLA Style: Formatting & Quoting

Informal Writing: Mapping and Outlining the Personal Reflection

W, 5-12

Reading: How We Watch

Johnson, "Unspeakable Conversations" (AOC 92-108)

Cusac, "Watching Torture in Prime Time" (AOC 109-113)

Klein, "Patriarchy Gets Funky: The Triumph of Identity Marketing" (AOC 114-22)

Knight, "Watch Me! Webcams and the Public Exposure of Private Lives" (AOC 150-7)

Writing: Reading & Drafting

Kennedy, Ch2 Reading Processes (AOC 11-25)

In Class Activity: Critical Reading

Informal Writing: Drafting the Personal Reflection

R, 5-13

Reading: How We Watch

Dyson, "Frames of Reference" (AOC 123-33)

Harris, "Cuteness" (AOC 134-43)

Levy, "Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture" (AOC 144-47)


Kennedy, Ch3 Critical Thinking Processes (WaR 26-40)

Prompt: Paper 2 Summary & Evaluation

In Class Activity: Summary and Evaluation

In Class Activity: Reviewing Thesis Statements

Paper 1 Personal Reflection Due

F, 5-14

Viewing: How We Watch

This Film Is Not Yet Rated (Dick, 2006, 98 minutes)


Informal Writing: Reviewing a Documentary

Week 2
M, 5-17

Reading: How We Eat

Pollan, "Big Organic" (AOC 174-96)

Pollan, "Big Food vs. Big Insurance" (online) [selected by Meredith Tiller]

Prose, "The Wages of Sin" (AOC 197-203)

Fagone, "In Gorging, Truth" (AOC 204-17)


Kennedy, Ch4 Strategies for Generating Ideas (WaR 41-59)

In Class Activity: Brainstorming and Mapping with a Group

MLA Style: Citing

Informal Writing: Summary & Evaluation: Thesis Statement and Works Cited; Outlining and Drafting

T, 5-18

Reading: How We Eat

Knapp, "Add Cake, Subtract Self-Esteem" (AOC 217-31)

Grescoe, "Maté de Coca: Never Say No" (AOC 235-48)

Schwartz-Nobel, "America's Wandering Families" (AOC 249-62)

Kenner, from Food, Inc. (online) [selected by Rachel Thibideau]


Kennedy, Ch5 Strategies for Planning (WaR 60-82)

In Class Activity: Comparative Theses about Food in American Culture

Paper 2 Draft 1 Summary & Evaluation Due

W, 5-19

Reading: How We Work

Ehrenreich, "Finding a Coach in the Land of Oz" (AOC 278-89)

Byron, "Let's Party Like It's 1999" (AOC 290-98)

Uchitelle, "The Consequences—Undoing Sanity" (AOC 299-309)

Stein, "The Secret Cult of Office Smokers" (online) [selected by Robert Gasper]


Kennedy, Ch6 Strategies for Drafting (WaR 83-100)

Prompt: Paper 3 Comparison & Contrast

Paper 2 Summary & Evaluation Peer Response

R, 5-20

Reading: How We Work

DePalma, "Fifteen Years on the Bottom Rung" (AOC 312-25)

Sullivan, "How to Choose a Career That Will Not Get You Rich No Matter What Anyone Tells You" (AOC 326-32)

Warner, "This Mess" (AOC 333-42)

Leitschuh, "The Changing World of Work" (online) [selected by Tyler Franks]


Kennedy, Ch7 Strategies for Developing (WaR 101-36)

Informal Writing: Brainstorming Topics, Comparisons, and Contrasts

Paper 2 Draft 2 Summary & Evaluation Due (Optional)

F, 5-21

Viewing: How We Fight

Why We Fight (Jarecki, 2005, 98min)


Informal Writing: Outlining and Drafting the Comparison & Contrast Paper

Week 3
M, 5-24

Reading: How We Fight

Dobie, "AWOL in America: When Dessertion Is the Only Option" (AOC 358-67)

Hedges, "War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning" (AOC 368-79)

Vine, "Love and War in Cyberspace" (AOC 380-97)


Kennedy, Ch8 Strategies for Revising (WaR 137-54)

Informal Writing: Revision

Library Research Methods

Informal Writing: Finding and Citing Research Sources

***Class moves to Library Room 240 at 2:40PM

Access Tutorial Due

Paper 3 Draft 1 Comparison & Contrast Due

T, 5-25

Reading: How We Fight

Jones, "Being Strong" (AOC400-418)

Abramsky, "Return of the Madhouse" (AOC 419-27)

Moser, "Make Metaphor No More? Sportspeople Rethink Their Words of War" (AOC 428-33)


Kennedy, Ch9 Strategies for Editing and Proofreading (WaR 155-89)

Informal Writing: Finding & Citing Research Sources

Paper 3 Comparison & Contrast Peer Response

W, 5-26


Associated Press, "Scientists Create Synthetic Life in Lab" [selected by Spencer Fister]

This American Life, Episode 355 "The Giant Pool of Money" (listen to the podcast) OR (read the transcript) [selected by Andrea Robinson]

Ferrara, "Spending America into Oblivion" [selected by Andrea Robinson]


Kennedy, Ch10 Strategies for Arguing (WaR 190-203)

In Class Activity: Annotating Research Sources

Informal Writing: Annotating Research Sources

Paper 3 Draft 2 Comparison & Contrast Due (Optional)

R, 5-27

In class time to work on research paper


Kennedy, Ch11 Strategies for Integrating Sources (WaR 204-45)

Informal Writing: Preparing the Research Paper

F, 5-28

No Class: Individual Conferences

Paper 4 Research Paper Due by 11:59PM