English 1101 Honors: English Composition I, Fall 2012

Section 01H: MW 3:30-4:45PM, Bell Hall 340



Dr. Alex E. Blazer


Office Hours: MW 1:00-1:50PM and 4:55-5:25PM A&S 330


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 philosophy as well as the Honors Program's aim of integrating global issues across all Honors courses, this particular section will use the course reader, Reading the World, to analyze in writing and speech seminal ideas about education, law, war, and class. 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 involving law or war, an argumentative analysis about how an important idea really functions in America, and a research project about an issue broached in class discussion. They Say, I Say will demonstrate the writing process, and A Pocket Style Manual will serve as a grammar and usage handbook. 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

Graff, They Say, I Say

Hacker, A Pocket Style Manual

required (online)

various stories and articles


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

summary and evaluation, 25%

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

analysis and argument, 25%

In this five to seven 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 seven to nine 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


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 quizzes.

Office Hours and Email

I encourage you to stop by my office hours to discuss any aspect of the course. 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 etiquette in both email and in person.


We will be using GeorgiaVIEW and TurnItIn for assignments. Check your university email for course-related messages. Use an online backup or cloud storage service such as Dropbox to save your work.


Any student who misses seven or more classes for any reason (excused or unexcused) will automatically failure of the course. There will be a one letter final grade deduction for every unexcused absence beyond three. 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. Unexcused absences include work, family obligations, and scheduled doctor's appointments. Excused absences include a death in one's immediate family, one's own medical emergency, religious observance, and participation in a college-sponsored activity. If you have a medical condition or an extracurricular activity that you anticipate will cause you to miss more than four days of class, I suggest you drop this section or risk failure. You can check your attendance online. A note about religious observances: Students are permitted to miss class in observance of religious holidays and other activities observed by a religious group of which the student is a member without academic penalty. Exercising of one's rights under this policy is subject to the GC Honor Code. Students who miss class in observance of a religious holiday or event are required to make up the coursework missed as a result from the absence. The nature of the make-up assignments and the deadline for completion of such assignments are at the sole discretion of the instructor. Failure to follow the prescribed procedures voids all student rights under this policy. The full policy and prescribed procedures can be found here.

MLA Style and Length Requirements

While in-class exams, discussion board responses, informal/journal writing, and peer review may be informally formatted, formal assignments and take-home exams must adhere to the Modern Language Association (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) header, heading, and title, 2) margins, font, 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 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 one-third letter grade penalty. 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.

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 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. Failing to submit an assignment that is worth 15% or more of the course grade within a five days of its due date will result in automatic failure of the course. Failing to submit a final exam or final paper within two days of its due date will result in automatic 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 submission of another's work as one's own is plagiarism and will be dealt with using the procedures outlined in the Undergraduate Catalog. Allowing another student to copy one’s own work is considered cheating; and submitting the same paper in two classes (recycling or double-dipping) is dishonest. As plagiarism is not tolerated at GCSU, any student found guilty of substantial, willful plagiarism or dishonesty will fail the assignment and the course. Click here to see how I have dealt with plagiarists in the past. This course uses plagiarism prevention technology, The papers may be retained by the service for the sole purpose of checking for plagiarized content in future student submissions.

Passing or Failing 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 Lanier Hall 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 annually. In the event of a fire alarm, students will exit the building in a quick and orderly manner through the nearest hallway exit. Learn the floor plan and exits of the building. Do not use elevators. If you encounter heavy smoke, crawl on the floor so as to gain fresh air. Assist disabled persons and others if possible without endangering your own life. Assemble for a head count on the front lawn of main campus or other designated assembly area. For more information on other emergencies, click here.

Student Opinion Surveys

Given the technological sophistication of Georgia College students, the student opinion survey is being delivered through an online process. Your constructive feedback plays an indispensable role in shaping quality education at Georgia College. All responses are completely confidential and your name is not stored with your responses in any way. In addition, instructors will not see any results of the opinion survey until after final grades are submitted to the University. An invitation to complete the online opinion survey is distributed to students near the end of the semester. Your participation in this very important process is greatly appreciated.


Course Schedule


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


Week 1
M, 8-13


W, 8-15


Tzu, "Encouraging Learning" (Austin 8-15)

Seneca, "On Liberal and Vocational Studies" (Austin 16-23)

Graff, Preface and Introduction (Graff xvi-16)

Week 2
M, 8-20

Al-Ghazālī, "Manners to Be Observed by Teachers and Students" (Austin 24-31)

Wollstonecraft, "On National Education" (Austin 35-45)

Graff, Ch1 They Say (Graff 17-29)

Austin, Ch8 Reading Ideas (Austin 549-65)

W, 8-22

Freire, "The Banking Concept of Education" (Austin 62-7)

Feynman, "O Americano Ouutra Vez" (Austin 68-75)

Graff, Ch2 Her Point Is (Graff 30-41)

Informal Writing 1 Summary and Response

Week 3
M, 8-27

Douglass, "Learning to Read" (Austin 46-52)

Okakok, "Serving the Purpose of Education" (Austin 76-82)

Graff, Ch3 As He Himself Puts It (Graff 42-52)

Austin, Ch9 Generating Ideas (Austin 566-77)

MLA Style: Formatting

W, 8-29

Writing Day: Bring your laptops or notebooks

Graff, Ch4 Yes/No/Okay, But (Graff 53-67)

Informal Writing 2 Due

Week 4
M, 9-3

No Class: Labor Day

W, 9-5

Law and Government

Tzu, from the Tao te Ching (Austin 158-69)

Al-Farabi, "Perfect Associations and Perfect Rulers" (Austin 170-4)

Graff, Ch5 And Yet (Graff 68-77)

In Class Activity: Summarizing and Responding to The Way

Paper 1 Personal Reflection Due

Week 5
M, 9-10

De Pizan, from The Treasure of the City of Ladies (Austin 175-83)

Machiavelli, from The Prince (Austin 184-92)

Graff, Ch6 Skeptics May Object (Graff 78-91)

Austin, Ch10 Structuring Ideas (Austin 578-93)

In Class Activity: De Pizan Says / Machiavelli Says

W, 9-12

Tse-Hsü, "A Letter to Queen Victoria" (Austin 193-8)

King, "Letter from Birmingham Jail" (Austin 202-18)

Graff, Ch7 So What? Who Cares? (Graff 92-102)

Informal Writing 3 Due

Week 6

M, 9-17

Suu Kyi, from In Quest of Democracy (Austin 219-226)

Tutu, "Nuremberg or National Amnesia: A Third Way" (Austin 227-37)

Graff, Ch8 As a Result (Graff 103-20)

Austin, Ch11 Supporting Ideas (Austin 594-612)

W, 9-19

War and Peace

Tzu, "Against Offensive Warfare" (Austin 253-5)

Tzu, from The Art of War (Austin 256-9)

Aquinas, from Summa Theologica (Austin 260-5)

Graff, Ch9 Ain't So/Is Not (Graff 121-8)

In Class Activity: Reviewing the Templates

Informal Writing 4 Due

Week 7
M, 9-24

Mead, "Warfare: An Invention—Not a Biological Necessity" (Austin 274-81)

Orwell, "Pacifism and the War" (Austin 282-7)

Graff, Ch10 But Don't Get Me Wrong (Graff 129-39)

Austin, Ch12 Synthesizing Ideas (Austin 613-26)

Developing Your Thesis (Dartmouth Writing Program)

W, 9-26

Oe, "The Unsurrendered People" (Austin 288-92)

Elshtain, "What Is a Just War?" (Austin 293-304)

Graff, Ch11 I Take Your Point (Graff 141-4)

MLA Style: Quoting and Citing

In Class Activity: Q&A

Informal Writing 5 Due

Week 8
M, 10-1

Writing Day: Bring your laptops or notebooks

Graff, Ch12 What's Motivating This Writer? (Graff 145-55)

Austin, Ch13 Incorporating Ideas (Austin 627-48)

W, 10-3

Wealth, Poverty, and Social Class

Malthus, from "An Essay on the Principle of Population" (Austin 324-31)

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

Paper 2 Summary and Evaluation Draft 1 Due

Week 9
M, 10-8

No Class: Fall Break

W, 10-10

Paper 2 Peer Response Groups 1-3

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

Week 10
M, 10-15

Paper 2 Peer Response Groups 4-6

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

W, 10-17

Paz, from The Day of the Dead (Austin 345-51)

Lameck, "Africans Are Not Poor" (Austin 352-6)

Hardin, "Lifeboat Ethics: The Case against Helping the Poor" (Austin 357-68)

Graff, Ch13 The Data Suggest (Graff 156-74)

Austin, Ch14 Revising and Editing (Austin 649-54)

Paper 3 Prompt

F, 10-19

Paper 2 Summary and Evaluation Draft 2 Due

Week 11
M, 10-22

Student Selection: Obama, "A More Perfect Union" (Austin 238-49)

Student Selection: Darwin, from "Natural Selection; or, Survival of the Fittest" (Austin 405-18)

Graff, Ch14 Analyze This (Graff 175-92)

Research Methods

W, 10-24

Student Selection: Carson, "The Obligation to Endure" (Austin 419-26)

Student Selection: Suzuki, "The Sacred Balance" (Austin 427-34)

Week 12
M, 10-29

Writing Day: Bring your laptops or notebooks

Group Project Signup

W, 10-31

Student Selection: Gore, "The Climate Emergency" (Austin 454-66)

Student Selection: Anzaldúa, "How to Tame a Wild Tongue" (Austin 527-38)

Paper 3 Analysis and Argument Draft 1 Due at 11:59PM

Week 13
M, 11-5

Meet in the Library, Instruction Room 241

Group Project Topic Due

W, 11-7

Paper 3 Peer Response Groups 1-6

Week 14
M, 11-12

Paper 3 Analysis and Argument Draft 2 Due

Research Groupwork

Research Bibliography and Plan of Action Due

Conferences Groups 1-2

W, 11-14

Research Groupwork

Conferences Groups 3-4

Week 15
M, 11-19

Research Groupwork

Conferences Groups 5-6

W, 11-21

No Class: Thanksgiving

Week 16
M, 11-26

Research Presentations Groups 1-2

W, 11-28

Research Presentations Groups 3-4

M, 12-3

Research Presentations Groups 5-6

W, 12-5

Paper 4 Research Due at 3:30PM