Dr. Dan Kulmala Fall 2008
Office: Rarick Hall 365
Class: RH 348
Office Hours: MWF, 9:30-11:30,
TTh 9:30-10:30, and
English Composition I
Required of all freshmen, English Composition I focuses on the fundamentals of successful expository writing. By completing six different essay assignments, students will learn to tailor their usage, organization, voice, and rhetorical structure to a specific audience and purpose. The course is part one of a six-hour block extending over two semesters and does not count toward the English major.
By the end of the course, students should be able to
1. Focus on a purpose;
2. Respond to the needs of different audiences;
3. Respond appropriately to different kinds of rhetorical situations;
4. Use conventions of format and structure appropriate to the rhetorical situation;
5. Adopt appropriate voice, tone, and level of formality;
6. Understand how genres shape reading and writing;
7. Write in several genres.
Major Issues and Concepts
Writing is revision. Thus, as in a painting course, students will learn primarily by doing—by repeatedly rethinking and reshaping their writing through multiple drafts. The course will also emphasize collaborative and social dimensions of the writing process and, if possible, offer service-learning opportunities so that students may respond to real-life rhetorical situations.
Students will write at least six papers (approximately three-to-four pages in length when typed and formatted according to MLA guidelines). Although students are expected either to correct or rewrite all papers, a limit of one complete revision may be counted toward the total six required papers. All writing projects in English Composition I will emphasize the process approach: prewriting, rewriting, and proofreading.
Lunsford, Andrea. The Everyday Writer. 3rd ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2005.
Epsilen, The New York Times Knowledge Network.
Like all successful writing courses, English Composition I is essentially a semester-long workshop. Lectures, if given at all, will take up a minimal portion of class time. Students will analyze assigned readings through classroom discussion, consult regularly with the instructor (perhaps at one-on-one conferences that may be scheduled in addition to or in place of regular class meetings), and critique one another’s essays and research papers in classroom editing groups. Active participation in such groups is mandatory and may, at the instructor’s discretion, be evaluated and counted toward the final grade. Students will also be asked or required, at the instructor’s discretion, to utilize the services offered by the FHSU Writing Center.
Instructors will evaluate all essays based on the effectiveness with which they respond to a specified audience and purpose, the appropriateness of their level of usage and grammar, and the logic and clarity of their arguments. Final grades on essays typically represent combined scores on content and mechanics.
Regular attendance at class meetings and scheduled conferences is required; unexcused absences may result in a lowered final grade. Students must complete all the essays outlined in the two options above or they automatically fail the course. Late work will accepted only at the instructor’s discretion. Incompletes are generally not given in FHSU composition courses; however, if an instructor sees just cause for awarding an incomplete, he or she should discuss the matter with the Director of Composition, who will then make the final decision.
(See also the Academic Dishonesty policies and definitions outlined in the FHSU Student Handbook).
Plagiarism is cheating that consists of using the work of others without adequate acknowledgement. Any idea, fact, or language borrowed from a source must be documented formally or informally.
Some examples of plagiarism include the following:
1. copying another student’s work and submitting it as one’s own;
2. copying or paraphrasing passages, sentences, phrases, words, data, statistics, and visual aids without proper acknowledgment;
3. using someone else’s ideas without giving credit to that person;
4. buying and submitting an essay produced by a professional paper-writing service;
5. submitting assignments which are the products of inappropriate collaboration (see below).
In regard to plagiarism, students are urged to remember the following policies:
a) All input, whether in the form of suggestions or corrections, on all writing assignments should come from three sources and three sources only-- the instructor, an editing group (as directed and overseen by the instructor), and (if desired) an FHSU Writing Center Consultant. All other input is cheating. Students should not have parents, siblings, friends, roommates, or former teachers “go over” their work. Papers that are products of this kind of inappropriate collaboration will receive a failing grade.
b) All Composition instructors are required to employ sound methods of plagiarism
prevention and detection. As a general rule, at least a portion of each student
essay should be written in class. In addition, all student writing (except for
essays written entirely in class) will be submitted through Safe Assignment.
In the event of proven plagiarism of any kind, the plagiarist will fail the assignment in question or event the course. Disagreements between instructors and students over plagiarism, or any other form of academic misconduct, should be referred directly to the Director of Composition.
Because most of the classes during the semester will be based on discussion and YOUR IDEAS, a great deal of the work for the semester will be done in class. As a result, excessive absences–more than six class hours–will mean that you have failed to do a significant amount of the course work. This will result in the deduction of five class participation points for each day missed. If, however, you must miss a class for a GOOD REASON, please come and speak with me. I will be cooperative in suggesting extra credit work for you as a means of compensating for the missed classwork. Please remember that you are still responsible for the readings, work and notes from the classes that you miss; so ask either a classmate or me for notes and assignments.
Students who represent the university in some capacity (such as athletes) and who must miss class are excused but must make up all assigned work. Students who suffer from a documented chronic illness or family emergency will also be excused (up to three additional absences—total of nine) provided they notify me in writing. But again, all assigned work must be made up. If I do not receive an official notice of the problem as soon as it arises, then I will count the absences, regardless of the legitimacy of the absences. Be aware that even excused absences in excessive amounts can affect your grade. Contact me as soon as possible should a problem arise.
Below I provide the basic point values for the semester:
Essay One—Description 100
Essay Two—Narration 100
Essay Three—Place 100
Essay Four—Digital Work 100
Essay Five—America 100
Essay Six—Revision 100
Class Participation 75
During our conferences over your essay drafts, we will go over the point value of your essay. However, since I emphasize revision in this class, final point value will not be assigned until after you hand in the final draft of the essay. Grade breakdown:
U Points Below 479
Any student in this course who has a disability that prevents the fullest expression of abilities should contact me as soon as possible so that we can discuss class requirements. See page 30 in the University Catalog for FHSU’s policy on non-discrimination.
M 8/25: Introduction to course. In-Class Essay Writing Assessment.
W 8/27: In-Class Essay Writing Assessment.
F 8/28: In-Class Essay Writing Assessment.
M 9/1: Labor Day Holiday—No Class.
W 9/3: Introduction to Epsilen.
F 9/5: YouTube Description Assignment Assigned
M 9/8: Analysis Day—Take your subject apart. What is it?
W 9/10: Description Day—Portray its components.
F 9/12: Details Day—What are the particulars?
M 9/15: Synthesis and Purpose Day—Pull your information together. What’s significant about your subject?
W 9/17: Work on drafts of essay—Workgroups
F 9/19: No Class—Fall English Workshop
M 9/22: Essay One—Description Essay. Assign Essay Two—Narration.
W 9/24: Conferences. Digital Experiments.
F 9/26: Conferences. Digital Experiments.
M 9/29: Analysis Day—What are the parts of the story?
W 10/1: Description Day—Portray the event.
F 10/3: Details Day—Isolate the important parts.
M 10/6: Critical Thinking Day—What’s important about this story?
W 10/8: Synthesis and Purpose Day—Pull it together and highlight the story’s significance.
F 10/10: Draft of Essay Two—Workshop.
M 10/13: Essay Two—Narration Essay. Assign Essay Three—Place.
W 10/15: Conferences. Digital Experiments.
F 10/17: Conferences. Digital Experiments.
M 10/20: Inquiry Day—Find a place.
W 10/22: Analysis Day—Take that place apart.
F 10/24: Description Day—Portray that place.
M 10/27: Details Day—Isolate the important components of this place.
W 10/29: Critical Thinking Day—Why is this place important?
F 10/31: Synthesis and Purpose Day—Why would you tell others about this place?
M 11/3: Draft of Essay Three. Class Workshop.
W 11/5: Essay Three—Place Essay.
F 11/7: Conferences. Digitize that place.
M 11/10: Conferences. Digitize that place.
W 11/12: Conferences. Digitize that place.
F 11/14: Conferences. Digitize that place.
M 11/17: Digitized Essay Four Due. Assign Define America Essay.
W 11/19: Inquiry Day—Search for evidence.
F 11/21: Analysis Day—Take America apart.
M 11/24: Fall Break/Thanksgiving Vacation.
W 11/26: Fall Break/Thanksgiving Vacation.
F 11/28: Fall Break/Thanksgiving Vacation.
M 12/1: Description Day—What is America?
W 12/3: Synthesis Day—Pull your evidence together
F 12/5: Critical Thinking Day—What is America?
M 12/8: Reflection Day—What is America’s future? Start Revision Week
W 12/10: Revision Week—Essay Six.
F 12/12: Revision Week—Essay Six.
Final e-Portfolio Material Due:
Tuesday, December 16 by 5:00 pm.