English 111K: College Writing Fall 2010 Instructor

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English 111K: College Writing

Fall 2010
Instructor: Mark Spalding, BA, MEd, MA

Office: Administration Building 235 E

Office Phone: (260) 982-5367

Office Hours: MW 9:00 - 10:00 a.m. or by appointment

E-Mail Address: maspalding@manchester.edu / maspalding@earthlink.net

Class Web Site: spalding.pbworks.com
Course Name: ENG 111

Course Title: College Writing

Credit Hours: 3

Meeting Time: MWF 8:00 – 8:50 a.m. (ADM 232)

ENG 111 prepares students for the rigor and practice of college writing and critical thinking. There is a strong emphasis on the essay form, and on the reciprocal processes of clear writing and analytical reading. Students will both analyze model essays and write a sequence of essays that build toward a rhetorical repertoire. They will learn to use language with nuance, clarity, and appropriateness of expression; additionally, they will master the essentials of academic research. Students will learn to incorporate and respect other voices through integration of quotations, standard principles of documentation, and avoidance of plagiarism.
Hacker, Diana. A Writer’s Reference. 6th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2007.
Wyrick, Jean. Steps to Writing Well. 8th ed. Boston: Thomson-Wadsworth, 2011.
Upon completing English 111, students should:

  1. Demonstrate critical thinking through the interrelated activities of reading and writing. To achieve this end, students will:

  • Annotate, analyze, evaluate, and discuss a variety of student and professional texts, focusing primarily on rhetorical principles under study.

  • Practice summarizing and paraphrasing material from a variety of texts as a means of developing and supporting their ideas.

  • Analyze and discuss their own work through reflective memos and journals.

  1. Read critically and write clearly and persuasively in various rhetorical contexts. To meet this requirement, students will:

  • Read and write a variety of texts for distinct purposes and for a variety of personal, public, and academic audiences. Written work should include four out-of-class papers (most of which will be three-to-four word processed pages) and some in-class writing.

  • Compose texts that are focused and well-developed through use of details, examples, comparisons, graphs, and statistics. All citations must be appropriately documented.

  • Practice the recursive stages of the writing process (inventing, drafting, organizing, revising, and editing) for each paper.

  • Practice different ways of organizing and arranging ideas and content, to meet the specific needs of various rhetorical contexts.

  • Demonstrate knowledge of usage, spelling, punctuation, and language conventions.

  1. Apply methods of inquiry appropriate to various rhetorical contexts. To achieve this end, students will:

  • Generate information using a variety of heuristics (freewriting, brainstorming, clustering, cubing, etc.).

  • Make themselves familiar with the Funderburg Library and its services, using computer indexes and the Internet to gather secondary information for papers.

  • Use primary research methods such as observing and interviewing, incorporating the results into their papers.

  • Synthesize materials drawn from such primary and secondary sources with their own ideas and experiences.

  • Move beyond mere reporting of information, so as to make an original intellectual contribution.


  • Freewriting, journaling, exploring, focusing, drafting, critiquing, and revising activities both in and out of class.

  • Writing, writing, and writing.

  • Brief explanations of the principles of writing.

  • Group discussions.

  • Peer review.

  • Individual conferences.

In accordance with the Americans With Disabilities Act, please let your instructor know if you require any special accommodations.

Students will complete four major writing assignments:

  1. A Definition (or Concept) Paper.

  2. An Analysis Paper.

  3. A Compare-Contrast Paper.

  4. A Trend Research Paper.

In addition, there will be minor writing and homework assignments, in-class exercises, classroom presentations, and daily quizzes.

Please note that all papers written outside class must be typed. Use the MLA style for margins, headers, and page numbering. Be certain that all papers are clearly titled and identified according to MLA guidelines.
At the conclusion of the course, all students will be expected to present a Portfolio of their writings. Because we emphasize the Writing Process, the Portfolio will contain all prewriting activities, as well as outlines, initial and polished versions of essays, etc. What this means, of course, is that nothing should be blithely thrown away! The purpose of the Portfolio is to demonstrate the evolution of an essay from initial idea to polished text.

A midterm exam and a final exam will be administered on dates and times to be announced. In order to receive credit for the course (and this cannot be overemphasized), students MUST successfully complete all major writing requirements and all examinations.
The professor may, on the basis of a diagnostic essay given during the first week of class, require some students to meet with an instructor in the Writing Center twice a week (in lieu of the remedial classes demanded by most colleges and universities). If there is a marked improvement in subsequent essays, students so designated may, upon recommendation of the instructor, be excused from attending the Writing Center. Of course, all students are strongly encouraged to take their essays to the Writing Center for general feedback and advice. Every writer needs a reader.
Attendance: Students are expected to attend class (including the Writing Center, if so required) regularly and to be on time; failing to do so will lead to failure in the course. Should students miss more than three class sessions, they may be dropped from the course.
Participation: Because collegial life hinges on group interaction, students are expected to participate in class discussions, in group discussions, and in writing workshops. All students will share drafts of their work in the course of the Writing Process.
Presentations: Each student will be expected to make two in-class presentations. This will include preparing readings in advance (possibly in consultation with the professor), and engaging in some minor research and analysis. Essentially, the student will be responsible for leading the class discussion and for posing significant questions which arise from the readings.
Deadlines: All work must be handed in on time (and may not be submitted via e-mail). Grades on major assignments will be reduced by half a letter grade for each day they are late—and only then with prior consent from the instructor. Homework assignments, class work, quizzes, and take-home tests may not be turned in late or made up at a later time.
Written Assignments: No matter what their final average may be, students MUST turn in all four papers and the portfolio (plus take the exams) in order to pass the course.
Writing Center: Students who are required to visit the Writing Center but fail to do so will be dropped from the course.
Athletic/Extracurricular Participation: Outside activities are an important part of the college experience. However, academics are always a student’s first priority. Those who intend to miss class owing to athletic or extracurricular activities will need to provide a written schedule signed by their coach or sponsor within two weeks of the first day of class. While those engaged in college sports programs may miss class, they are responsible for completing their work before the class period occurs.
Cell Phones: Students should turn their cell phones off in class unless there is a legitimate reason not to do so (the student is an emergency responder or caregiver), in which case the phone should be set on vibrate mode. All calls will be taken outside the classroom. Phones may not be used for texting in class.
Plagiarism: Using another’s words or ideas as one’s own amounts to academic theft and is neither permitted nor tolerated. Plagiarism will result in an “F” grade or dismissal from the course. All of the following constitute plagiarism:

  • Copying word for word from another source without acknowledging it.

  • Paraphrasing or summarizing another source without acknowledging it.

  • Adopting a particularly apt turn of phrase as if it were yours.

  • Using an image or a copy of an image without crediting the source.

  • Paraphrasing another’s line of thinking as if it were yours.

  • Receiving excessive help from a friend (or, indeed, from any source).

  • Using another’s project as if it were yours.

[Adapted from the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. New York: MLA, 2003: 65-75.]

The College provides many resources to help students succeed. Among these are the following:
The Funderburg Library < http://www.manchester.edu/OAA/Library/index.htm>
The Library provides a variety of resources that support both academic and personal inquiry. Please familiarize yourself with all that it has to offer. Computer terminals provide access to numerous electronic resources (among them some excellent databases), most of which are also accessible via computer.
The Writing Center
Located in the College Union Success Center, the Writing Center offers students (and faculty) guidance in all aspects of the Writing Process. Whether you are brainstorming, writing, revising, editing, or proofreading, the Writing Center staff will be glad to assist.
Your Instructor
An often overlooked resource is your instructor. If you are struggling or do not understand an assignment, then feel free to contact your instructor during posted office hours; or where circumstances do not permit otherwise, schedule an appointment.
Some Useful Links

  • Art:  http://cgfa.sunsite.dk/

  • General Reference:  http://www.refdesk.com

  • Manchester College:

    • Home Page:  http://www.manchester.ed

    • Funderburg Library:  http://www.manchester.edu/OAA/Library/index.htm

    • Success Center:  http://www.manchester.edu/osd/successcenter/

    • Writing Center:  http://www.manchester.edu/Academics/Departments/


  • Purdue's Online Writing Lab:  http://owl.english.purdue.edu/

A 100-95

A- 94-90

B+ 89-87

B 86-83

B- 82-80

C+ 79-77

C 76-73

C- 72-70

D+ 69-67

D 66-63

D- 62-60

F Below 60%

Definition Paper 50 points

Analysis Paper 100 points

Compare-Contrast Paper 150 points

Trend Research Paper 200 points

Midterm 100 points

Final Exam 100 points

Portfolio 150 points

Homework/In-Class Assignments/Quizzes 100 points

Miscellaneous 50 points

Reminder: You may miss class three times without penalty or explanation; however, if you are absent more than three times you may be dropped from the course.

Proposed Schedule
We will strive to follow the schedule outlined below. I will, however, make changes and modifications where the need arises. Changes will be announced in class, and it will be your responsibility to make note of them. All reading assignments, unless otherwise indicated, are from Jean Wyrick’s Steps to Writing Well. Any additional readings may be downloaded from spalding.pbworks.com.
Week 1

09/01 Session 1

Introduction: (a) Roll, (b) Personal introductions, (c) Syllabus.

Discussion: Origins of the Academy – Academic Formation – Critical Thinking – Steps of

the Thinking, Reading and Writing Processes – Aristotle and Modern Rhetoric - Shifting

from informative to argumentative and critical writing.

Journal: Your own experiences with writing.

09/03 Session 2

Read Before Class: Chapter 8: “The Reading-Writing Connection,” p. 179.

Read Before Class: Bruce Cameron’s essay “A Day at the Theme Park,” p. 669.

Discuss: Language—An Imperfect Medium: Writer-based versus Reader-based prose.

Principles of rhetorical analysis.

In-Class Reading: Komunyakaa’s poem “Facing It” (handout).

Assignment: Locate examples of particularly fine descriptive writing.
Week 2

09/06 Session 3

Read Before Class: Chapter 11: “Descriptive Writing.”

Read Before Class: Truman Capote’s “A Christmas Memory” (class Web site).

Due: Samples of particularly striking descriptive passages you have encountered elsewhere. I will share some passages from Augusten Burroughs’ writings.

09/08 Session 4

Discuss: Descriptive writing and the five senses.

In-Class Assignment: Choose descriptive topics (see p.331).

Activity: Freewriting.

Discussion and Activity: Sketching. Three in-class sketches, to be fleshed out at home.

09/10 Session 5

Group Work: Descriptive writing workshop.

Write up and share (out loud) one of the sketches you developed yesterday. Seek group feedback.

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