Composition and rhetoric

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Spring 2002

Dr. Joseph Flanagan

357 Stansbury Hall

Office Hours: MWF 11:30-12:30 (and by appointment)

Telephone: 293-3107 x 426

Mailbox: 231 Stansbury


English 102 is designed to introduce students to the argumentative strategies and research skills necessary for success in college. As an English 102 student, you will be encouraged to develop your own ideas as you seek to understand, analyze, and thoughtfully respond to the written ideas of others. You will also learn how to gather, analyze, and present information from print and electronic sources.


  • Rottenberg, Annette T. Elements of Argument: A Text and Reader. 6th ed. Bedford


This class will involve you directly in writing, responding, and reporting on reading and writing processes. English 102 encourages collaborative learning through small and large groups, formal and informal writing activities, and peer response workshops. Because the course depends on your active preparation for every class and your active involvement during every class period, regular (and on time) attendance and participation are critical to your success in this class.
Absences: Any more than 5 absences will adversely affect your grade. Here's the reasoning behind the attendance policy. Without attending class, you cannot perform your job as a student involved in learning, planning, drafting, discussing samples, or practicing strategies. Situations may arise that, on a rare occasion, make it impossible for you to be in class. Remember, however, that's why one absence is allowed; please reserve it for an emergency. If you do have to miss class, you are responsible for obtaining any handouts or assignments you may miss. If you are worried about meeting a deadline or missing a class, make sure you talk with me in advance.
Participation. Participation includes coming to class prepared and on time, taking part in class discussions, asking questions, contributing your knowledge and insights in whatever form is suitable, and striving to make all your contributions excellent. It also includes doing the required reading and writing for each class. Note: Please come to class on time. If the door to the classroom is shut, then you’re late. Lateness will hurt your grade because it is an unnecessary interruption and because latecomers are likely to miss valuable information.
Late work. Late work hurts everyone. If you miss a draft deadline, you've missed a crucial chance for feedback on your work in progress. If you aren't ready with a response to a group member's draft, you're letting down someone who is counting on you for help. If you aren't prepared for class, you limit your own voice and your contributions to the class and the community of writers. For all these reasons, late work is unacceptable. If you ever have a problem with an assignment, talk to me ahead of the deadline and you may be able to negotiate some special arrangement. Deadlines are not negotiable after you've missed them.

So we're clear on what is considered cheating and plagiarism, the following definitions are from the West Virginia University Undergraduate Catalog. Please see the section on Academic Integrity/Dishonesty for the full definition and discussion of procedures.

Plagiarism: material that has been knowingly obtained or copied in whole or in part, from the work of others . . ., including (but not limited to) another individual's academic composition.
Cheating: doing academic work for another student or providing one's own work for another student to copy and submit as his/ her own.
Scholastic dishonesty involves misrepresenting as your own work any part of work done by another; submitting the same paper or substantially similar papers to meet the requirements of more than one course without the written approval and consent of all instructors concerned; depriving another student of necessary course materials; interfering with another's work.
Plagiarism and cheating are serious offenses. Clear cases will result in an unforgivable F for the course and appropriate academic discipline. If you have any question about when and how to document sources, or any other question that will help you avoid unintentional plagiarism, please talk to me.
Special needs. If you have a learning disability, hearing or vision problems, or any other special need that might affect your performance or participation in class, please be sure to talk to me. Also, please be aware of the support services available to you through Disability Services, located in room G 30 of the Mountainlair (phone 293-6700).
Social Justice. English 102 supports WVU's commitment to social justice. The classroom community will work to create a positive learning environment based on open communication and mutual respect. We welcome your suggestions.

Now that you have a sense of the focus, purpose, and policies for English 102, I'd like to give you a sense of the major writing assignments. You will write four essays (totaling about 15-20 pages of revised writing). The following assignments allow you to develop strategies for inquiry, observation, interpretation, research, and analysis.

  1. Editorial Analysis

  2. Definition Essay

  3. Research Paper

  4. Argument Analysis

In addition to these four core writing assignments, English 102 will encourage you to reflect periodically on your learning and discovery process as a reader and writer. These reflections (totaling about 6+ pages) will take the form of one-page letters to your reader as you complete each for the four essays, and one longer reflection (2+ pages) that will serve as the preface or conclusion to your final portfolio.

Writing is an on-going process. You'll turn in a collection of your work for each of the four main assignments, but I'll also ask you to collect all of your work for the semester in one place--your portfolio--which you will turn in at the very end of the course. A portfolio lets both you and me keep track of your progress over the course of the semester. Think of your writing portfolio as a place where you collect and reflect on the reading and writing texts that represent who you are as a first year college student.
During the last few class meetings, you’ll review everything you've collected: your notebook, in-class and group writing, your drafts and revised essays, and your reflections and comments. Although the final portfolio must contain about 20 pages of edited, polished prose based on the four essay assignments and one short, reflective paper, you'll be making some choices about what else to include or exclude.
Before you submit your portfolio for your final course grade (and in place of a final exam), you will provide a preface that introduces your portfolio and describes how you view your progress and development as a reader and writer.

4 essays (totaling about 20 pages of revised writing). You will have the chance to develop all of your essays through a process of drafting and revision. You'll draft and revise papers in and out of class, alone and with your small group.
Final Portfolio Preface/Conclusion (about 2 pages). This is the writing that will frame your work and progress as a writer prior to your final evaluation.

Writer’s Notebook. A notebook lets you experiment in form, style and content. Experimentation will improve your writing in a number of ways. First of all, writing a lot leads to writing better. Second, you need to experiment to learn to hear your own voice and develop that voice. Finally, writers who learn to think about their thinking and articulate it become more critical and creative interpreters of everything they read and write. Each week, you'll hand in 1-3 pages from your notebook. No late entries will be accepted. You'll select your best entries for the final portfolio.
In-class writings. Short, in-class writing activities will often focus on some sort of inquiry or rhetorical problem solving. These activities will help you see the connections between reading and writing assignments, and they will help you analyze your own and others' reading and writing processes. Some samples of these writings may contribute to your final portfolio.
Group activities. It's important for writers to read and explore different voices and approaches to subjects and to articulate what works or doesn't in a piece of writing. Groups provide an immediate audience for your work. In addition to responding to each other's drafts, the group may be asked to lead a discussion. Samples of your group work may contribute to your final portfolio.
Conferences with your instructor. Conferences let you to talk with your instructor about your writing as you plan and carry out revisions. Some representative drafts and conference notes may contribute to your final portfolio

You will not receive a grade on individual papers. You will, however, always receive comments on your notebook and papers to give you a sense your progress.
Success in this class depends on:

1. Meeting all the requirements

2. The quality of your written and oral work
3. Your willingness to try new perspectives, to revise and rethink, to take risks
Your final grade will be based on the following percentages:

  • Final Portfolio: 60%

  • In-class Participation: 10%

  • Weekly Writer’s Notebook: 30%



14. Introduction to course

16. Argument and Audience (3-17).

18. Analysis: Declaration of Independence 18-23. Last Day Drop/Add. Notebook Entry #1 Due

21. Martin Luther King Day

23. Class meets in Computer Lab.

25. Critical Reading. Notebook Entry #2 Due.

28. Claims continued.

30. Claims continued.


01. Rough Draft Paper #1 Due. Bring 5 copies of paper to class.

04. Group Work.

06. Grammar Review.

08. Final Draft Paper #1 Due.

11. Definition

13. Definition Debate: “What Sexual Harassment Is – and Is Not” (618-626).

15. Definition Debate continued. Notebook Entry #3 Due.

18. Group Work.

20. Rough Draft Paper #2 Due. Methods of Research I.

22. No Class.

25. Group Work

  1. Final Draft Paper #2 due.


  1. Mid-Term Point. Support (152-179).Thesis and Bibliography for Research Paper due.

04. Support (Animal research 193-196).

18. Support (312-316).

11. Warrant (199-215). Notebook Entry #4 Due.

13. Warrants. (Cloning 224-236)

15. Warrants. (Cloning continued)

18. Rough Draft Paper #3 Due.

20. Group Work.

22. Final Draft Paper #3 due.

Spring Break


  1. Conferences. Prospectus of Research Paper Due.

03. Conferences.

05. Conferences.

08. Plagiarism.

10. Parenthetical Citation/ Works Cited List.

12. No Class.

15. Conferences on Research Paper. Complete Rough Draft and Works Cited

Page due.

17. Conference on Research Paper.

19. Conferences.

22. Fine-tuning the Research Paper.

24. Research Paper Due.

26. Revising the Portfolio.

29. Revising the Portfolio.

01. Revising the Portfolio.

03. Final Day of Class. Portfolio Due.

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