Summer Semester 2013

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Academic Writing Program (ACWR 101)

Summer Semester 2013

Instructor: Paul Newton

Office: SOS 128

Phone: 1148


Office Hours: Tuesdays 11 – 13:45 & 15:30 – 17:00
Course Description
ACWR 101 will lead you to write text-based essays in the context of a particular academic theme, in other words, to do what we do in an academic Community—meaningfully participate in an on-going discourse. As apprentices, you will read texts from various authors to become familiar with what the issues are, how we talk about them, and what positions we might take. Further reading will help you to explore and understand how an argument is effectively constructed. Through summary, paraphrase, and personal response you will develop the skills to formulate your own perspective. This process will include an analytical essay, grounded in one academic text, and for which you will plan, draft and revise your essay. The second assignment will ask you to apply your reading and writing skills to an essay that should synthesize material from two texts. By the end of the course, you should be prepared to move on to your discipline specific ACWR class, in which you should be able to apply the skills they have learned in ACWR 101 and continue to participate in an on-going academic discourse, specific to your field.

Among others, these skills should include:

  • Developing a process based approach to academic writing.

  • Learning to organize and express ideas in a manner appropriate to audience and purpose.

  • Understanding the importance of grammatical accuracy.

  • Becoming familiar with strategies for different kinds of writing.

  • Being introduced to and beginning to accurately use summary, paraphrase & quotation.

  • Being introduced to and beginning to accurately use academic vocabulary.

  • Writing formal papers using basic word processing and proper formatting.

  • A basic knowledge and ability to use MLA documentation and in-text citation.

Course Theme

The topic of this course is the different types of addictions that shape our lives, both the ones we are painfully aware of, and the ones that perhaps we don’t even realize we have. We will examine and discuss differing opinions of why it seems so easy for people to become addicted to such a wide variety of things and consider some of the possible effects of these addictions, both on the individual’s life and on society as a whole. The course will also consider questions such as: Are we more prone to addiction nowadays, or have addictions always been an important part of human existence? What, if anything, can, or should, the individual and/or society do to control these addictions? What can our addictions teach us about ourselves and the world we live in?

Course Requirements & Grading
Two formal academic essays: drafts, revisions, and final drafts 50%
Essay One (Summary/Analytical Response Essay): 25%

In-Class First Draft: 5%

Second Draft: 10%

Final Draft: 10%
This 2-3 page essay should demonstrate understanding of specified texts and provide a thoughtful response to them. It will focus on one main text, but will require the inclusion of and response to, a second text. In this essay, you should selectively summarize material from both texts, based on the task presented.
Essay Two (Analytical Synthesis Essay): 25%

First Draft (for peer review) and Second Draft (for conferences): 5%

Final Draft: 20%
In this 3-4 page essay, your response should focus on a synthesis of two main texts that argue for opposing positions. You should consider the persuasiveness of the two essays, commenting on the rhetorical style and evaluating the arguments in terms of the task provided.
Note: All assignments done outside of class must be typed, double-spaced, spell checked, printed on A4 paper, completed on time AND be your own work.
In-class Essay: 20%

The in-class essay is designed to assess the writing/critical thinking skills you have been practicing over the course of the semester. It will ask you to choose one of three main texts to base an analytical response to the course topic. You will also be required to refer to at least one other text from the course in your essay. The essay will be scheduled for a 2½ hour period.

Oral Component: 10%

In the oral component of the course, you will be asked to present your findings in a Powerpoint presentation on an addiction that we have not covered in depth during our readings and discussions. You will therefore be required to do some research on your chosen addiction and apply skills (such as summary, analysis, argumentation, active reading, quoting, paraphrasing and citation skills) learned throughout the semester during your presentation. Your presentation will be graded based on content, organization, and delivery.

Participation/Quizzes: 20%

As well as reflecting how focused you are during our class time, and how much you participate during class activities, this grade is based on the quizzes that the instructor will periodically administer depending how well the class is reading and understanding the course material. These quizzes may or may not be announced in advance. They will generally be based on the readings for the course, but may also require finding information from the ‘Rules for Writers’ handbook.

Grading Criteria
Essays will be graded based on the following criteria:
Content: 40%

Organization and Development: 30%

Grammar and vocabulary 30%
Required Course Materials
1. Rules for Writers by Diana Hacker, updated 7th edition, (available at Pandora bookstore)

2. Course Packet – This is available at Copyland (located in the student center). Your course packet will be under your instructor’s name.

3. English/English dictionary

4. Binder

5. Writing Implements: pen or pencil, eraser, notebook

6. Stapler

Class Attendance and Participation
Class attendance is required, and any absences will negatively impact your participation grade. If you accumulate more than 5 unexcused absences, it will result in a reduction of your final grade for the course: 6 unexcused absences = 5% penalty, 7 = 10%, 8 = 15%, 9= 20%. If you accumulate more than 9 unexcused absences, you will automatically fail the course. Excused absence forms must be submitted within one week of the absence date, or they will not be honored.

Consult with your instructor if you believe there are extenuating circumstances that have made it impossible for you to regularly attend class. Please come to class on time; each three times you arrive to class more than five minutes late will count as one absence.

Policy on Late Work:

No work submitted after the deadline for the next assignment has passed will be accepted. For example, the first essay submitted on or after the deadline for the submission of the second essay will not be accepted. No student work will be accepted unless all previous stages of the assignment have been completed. For example, a student who has not submitted a first draft on or before the deadline for the final draft may not submit the final draft. An instructor may accept work submitted late, but before the next deadline, in order to validate the grading of the next stage, but the instructor is not obliged to award a grade, read, or provide feedback on work that is excessively late (see below).

Students may hand in late work, but the student’s grade will be deducted by 5% for each day late. No work will be awarded a grade after 5 days late. If you are not able to hand in work due to an emergency situation, please see your instructor as soon as possible.

Plagiarism and Collusion Policy:

Plagiarism is presenting someone else's words or ideas as your own, without proper reference. You are graded on your own individual work, not another's masquerading as your own. Any student found plagiarizing on or colluding in writing assignments may fail the assignment, fail the course, and/or be referred to the university's disciplinary council. This may result in suspension from the university. You commit plagiarism when:

  • You copy someone else's writing and do not put it in quotation marks and identify the source.

  • You take someone else's writing, change some of the words, and do not identify the source.

  • You take someone else's ideas or sequence of ideas, put them into your own words, and do not identify the source.

  • Someone else writes your assignments or changes your writing and thus creates a false impression of your abilities.

You engage in collusion when:

  • You receive unauthorized help with your writing by paying or otherwise inducing another person to do the writing for you.

Koç University Statement on Academic Honesty with Emphasis on Plagiarism
Koç University expects all its students to perform course-related activities in accordance with the rules set forth in the Student Code of Conduct ( Actions considered as academic dishonesty at Koç University include but are not limited to cheating, plagiarism, collusion, and impersonating. This statement’s goal is to draw attention to cheating and plagiarism related actions deemed unacceptable within the context of Student Code of Conduct:
All individual assignments must be completed by the student himself/herself, and all team assignments must be completed by the members of the team, without the aid of other individuals. If a team member does not contribute to the written documents or participate in the activities of the team, his/her name should not appear on the work submitted for evaluation.
Plagiarism is defined as “borrowing or using someone else’s written statements or ideas without giving written acknowledgement to the author.” Students are encouraged to conduct research beyond the course material, but they must not use any documents prepared by current or previous students, or notes prepared by instructors at Koç University or other universities without properly citing the source. Furthermore, students are expected to adhere to the Classroom Code of Conduct ( and to refrain from all forms of unacceptable behaviour during lectures. Failure to adhere to expected behavior may result in disciplinary action.
There are two kinds of plagiarism: Intentional and accidental. Intentional plagiarism (Example: Using a classmate’s homework as one’s own because the student does not want to spend time working on that homework) is considered intellectual theft, and there is no need to emphasize the wrongfulness of this act. Accidental plagiarism, on the other hand, may be considered as a ‘more acceptable’ form of plagiarism by some students, which is certainly not how it is perceived by the University administration and faculty. The student is responsible from properly citing a source if he/she is making use of another person’s work. For an example on accidental plagiarism, please refer to the document titled “An Example on Accidental Plagiarism”.
If you are unsure whether the action you will take would be a violation of Koç University’s Student Code of Conduct, please consult with your instructor before taking that action.

Grading Scale

A = 100 – 90% B+ = 86 – 83 % C+ = 76 – 73 % D+ = 66 – 63 %

A- = 89 – 87% B = 82 – 80 % C = 72 – 70% D = 62 – 60 %

B- = 79 – 77% C- = 69 – 67% F = 59 – 0%

Grade Disputes

If you dispute a grade for a formal assignment, you must contact your instructor or the Director of Academic Writing by email within two weeks of the date the grade has been issued to discuss the situation.

Note: The Academic Writing Program has a firm policy regarding petitions for re-grading assignments, and will not accept petitions filed after the two week deadline. For more information regarding this policy, contact your instructor.

Course Guidelines and Expectations

  • Come to class prepared!

  • Behave respectfully toward the instructor and fellow students

  • Submit neat and Professional work

  • Keep up with work and expectations

You should only email your instructor if you have something to tell him that cannot wait until the next class. Do not expect your instructor to respond to email sent after 6pm or before 9am. If you do email your instructor, please follow these guidelines. If you do not, your email will not receive a response:

  • Ensure that your email has a specific Subject Line with a clearly defined question, suggestion or piece of information.

  • If you need to communicate more than one point, number your points for clarity.

  • Always be specific. Don’t say, “I do not understand the assignment.” Instead, think specifically about what it is that you need to know. For example, “Can I write about….?”, “Can I organize my essay by….?” or “To support my argument, can I….?”

  • Always end your email with your full name as it appears on the class list and your ACWR101 section number or class day/time.

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