Instructor: Selena Wolf Office: mhra 3120-d email

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ENG 101-16: English Composition

Thinking Critically about Language, Identity, & Culture

MWF 11am—12p BRYAN 202

The learning process is something you can incite, literally incite, like a riot.” –Audre Lorde

Instructor: Selena Wolf Office: MHRA 3120-D

Email: (allow 24 hrs for response) Office Hours: W 1pm- 3pm

Phone: 334-5837 office & by appointment

Required Texts:

  • Miller, James S. Acting Out Culture: Reading and Writing. Boston: Bedford/ St. Martin’s, 2008.

(ISBN: 0-312-45416-3)

  • Lyda, Laurie. Techne Rhetorike: Techniques of Discourse for Writers and Speakers. (ISBN: 978-1-59871-254-4)

Required Materials:

  • Something to write with

  • Something to write on

  • Something to keep your work organized in

  • Access to printer and word processing program (MS Word)

  • iSpartan and Blackboard accounts ( You will be expected to check both accounts regularly.

Course Description: English 101 is a reading and writing intensive course, in which you will learn how to enter academic discourse by writing and reading complex essays. To facilitate and navigate through the steps of the writing process you will use a variety of tools and services to create these essays, including peer-editing sessions, conferences with me, and the Writing Center, among other options. This course will instill you with the skills and knowledge to apply craft and critical analysis to all aspects of any writing project you may encounter throughout, not only, your academic career, but also everyday life.
Course Goals & Objectives:
English 101: Composition I satisfies the Reasoning and Discourse (GRD) requirement at UNCG, which asserts that students “gain skills in intellectual discourse, including constructing cogent arguments, locating, synthesizing and analyzing documents, and writing and speaking clearly, coherently, and effectively” (
In addition, English 101 is designed to address three of the proficiencies listed under Student Learning Goals in the UNCG General Education Program. These proficiencies are:
Ability to write and speak clearly, coherently, and effectively as well as to adapt modes of communication to one’s audience;

Ability to interpret academic writing and discourse in a variety of disciplines

Ability to locate, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information (2007-2008 UNCG Undergraduate Bulletin 53)
The following English 101 course objectives are thus course-specific objectives and methodologies which correspond to the goals of the GRD, and thereby allow instructors to apply the more general GRD requirement to the first-semester writing course.

English 101 Course Objectives:

  1. To help students develop the ability to analyze texts, construct cogent arguments, and provide evidence for their ideas in writing;

  2. To provide students with multiple examples of argumentative and analytical discourse as illustrated via student and professional/published texts;

  3. To introduce students to rhetorical concepts of audience, writer, message and context, and how to employ these in both formal and informal writing situations;

  4. To help students develop the ability to summarize, paraphrase, and use direct quotations in writing;

  5. To promote to student writers the value of writing-to-learn through sequenced assignments rooted in a common theme or focus;

  6. To introduce students to the act of writing as a public and community-based process through the activities of drafting, peer review, and revision.

Course Requirements & Policies:

  • Attendance: You are expected to attend every class meeting. To do well in this class you must show up. Students in MWF classes are allowed a maximum of three absences without a grade penalty (to be defined by the individual instructor); students in TR classes are allowed two absences without such penalty. Students who miss six classes on a MWF schedule, or four classes on a TR schedule, will fail the course. You’ll be allowed 4 absences, two of which can be “unexcused” to be used as you wish. Each additional absence will require at least 24 hours notice to me and/or a doctor’s note. Failure to provide notice or a note will drastically affect your grade. Ultimately, if you do not come to class you will not pass.

(All University athletes are required to give me their travel schedules by the second week of class.)

  • Tardiness: Don’t be late. Once the door is shut and class begins, you are considered late. It is disruptive and disrespectful to your fellow students and instructor to arrive in the midst of a lesson. If you have issues getting to class on time, please let me know in advanced and we can discuss it. Two lates will be counted as an absence.

  • Laptops: Laptops may be used in class, but at the first sign of Facebook, Myspace, or any other such inappropriate-non-course-related web activity ALL privileges will be revoked for EVERY student.

  • Plagiarism: Stealing of another writer’s ideas is not tolerated and will result in failure of the assignment and/or course, depending on the severity of the offense. Please refer to UNCG’s Academic Integrity Policy ( for further information.

  • The Writing Center: The Writing Center is a valuable resource for all UNCG students, especially those in ENG 101. We will be using a class day to visit the center and get acquainted with the services provided there. Students who take advantage of these services will also be rewarded with extra credit opportunities.

  • Conferences: You will be required to meet with me once during this semester to discuss ideas for your Research Paper topic. A schedule will be passed around class for each student to sign-up. On conferencing days, regular class will be cancelled.

  • Late Work: No late work will be accepted.

Cell-phones must be TURNED OFF (not set to vibrate) during class.

  • In-Class Writing: You will regularly be asked to brainstorm and develop ideas in class. You will be provided with specific prompts and write for a set amount of time. These writings will be included as part of your portfolio. KEEP EVERYTHING!!!

  • Reading Responses: Every week (unless it is the week a paper is due) you will be asked to respond critically to the readings of the week on the Blackboard Discussion Board. Reading responses should be no more than 2 or 3 paragraphs, no less than 1 paragraph. Each should have a heading that includes the title of the article or articles you are responding to and the date. You are also required to respond to at least one other fellow student’s post (with at least a few sentences). Reading responses are equivalent to quizzes. They are due by 5pm on their designated due dates.

  • Reading Quizzes: These quizzes will be unannounced and given at random so it is your job to make sure you thoroughly read the assignments BEFORE coming to class.

  • Essays: Research Paper 7-10 pages long, MLA format (double-spaced, 1-inch margins, 12pt Times New Roman font), 2 drafts will be written (rough draft for peer review and a final draft for my review), at least 5 sources will need to be used.

Argumentative Paper (limited outside research) 5-7 pages long, MLA format, 2 drafts

2 short essays (one Interview, one Compare & Contrast) 3-5 pages long, MLA format

ALL DRAFTS of these essays will be included in your portfolios so KEEP EVERYTHING!!

  • Portfolio: Your portfolio is the cumulative collection of ALL your work from this semester. It will include every draft of all essays, and in-class writings. KEEP EVERYTHING!!! You’ll want to make sure you keep all of your assignments organized so keep track of them in a binder or expandable file. All portfolios must be organized in a soft cover 3-ring binder or something comparable. The portfolio is the most important aspect of our class with regard to your grade; so take the assignments, readings, and revisions seriously. Organization is key: if your portfolio is messy and out of order, it will be reflected in your grade. We’ll discuss details in class.

Grading Breakdown Grading Scale

Portfolio/ Reflection Essay 40% 90–100 A

Research & Argumentative 20% 80–89 B

Papers 70–79 C

Interview & Compare/ 15% 60–69 D

Contrast Essays 0–59 F

Writing Journal, Responses, 15%

Assignments & Quizzes

Attendance/Participation 10%

Course Schedule*

(Be prepared to discuss reading assignments the day they are scheduled below. Also, please print out all Blackboard selections and bring them to class with you.)


W 1/20- Syllabus/Introduction

F 1/22- TR- “Introduction” / AOC- “Introduction”/ BB- “Reading Processes”

M 1/25- AOC- “How We Believe: Introduction” & “Statistical Citizens” Sarah E. Igo

W 1/27- AOC- “People Like Us” David Brooks/ TR- “Introduction to Rhetorical Concepts” Will Dodson / BB- “The Assignment: Comparing and Contrasting”

F 1/29- AOC- “The Great White Way” Debra J. Dickerson / BB- “Critical Thinking Processes”/ Reading Response DUE
M 2/1- AOC- “All Consuming Patriotism” Ian Frazier

W 2/3- AOC- “I Do. Not.” Catherine Newman

F 2/5- BB- “Pappadeux & Joe’s Crab Shack” Jona Roy / Compare & Contrast Essay DUE

M 2/8- AOC- “How We Watch: Introduction” & “Frames of Reference” Michael Eric Dyson

W 2/10- AOC- “Patriarchy Gets Funky” Naomi Klein / BB- “Stating and Using a Thesis”

F 2/12- AOC- “Watching Torture in Prime Time” Anne-Marie Cusac / TR- “Visual Rhetoric” Daniel Burns / Reading Response DUE
M 2/15- AOC- “Scenes & Un-Scenes: Picturing Disaster” typed two-paragraph response to question 4, 5, or 6 pg.158

W 2/17- AOC- “Watch Me! Webcams and the Public Exposure of Private Lives” Brooke A. Knight / BB- “The Assignment: Taking a Stand”

F 2/19- AOC- “Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture” Ariel Levy/ Reading Response DUE

M 2/22- AOC- “How We Eat: Introduction” & “In Gorging, Truth” Jason Fagone

W 2/24- AOC- “The Wages of Sin” Francine Prose / BB- “Peer Editing and Revising”

F 2/26- Peer Review / ROUGH DRAFT OF Argumentative Paper DUE at least 3-pages typed
M 3/1- AOC- “Scenes & Un-Scenes: Giving Thanks” typed two-paragraph response to question 4, 5, or 6 pg.263

W 3/3- Writing Center session (meet in the Writing Center, MHRA 3211) attendance will be taken!

F 3/5- BB- “Girl” Jamaica Kincaid / FINAL DRAFT of Argumentative Paper DUE
M 3/8- Spring Break/ NO CLASS

W 3/10- Spring Break/ NO CLASS

F 3/12- Spring Break/ NO CLASS

M 3/15- AOC- “How We Learn: Intro” & “Reasonable Disagreements” Michael Berube—briefly answer the “Everbody Knows That” Exercise questions at the end of the Intro pg.447

W 3/17- AOC- “Learning in the Shadow of Race & Class” bell hooks / BB- “None of this is Fair” Richard Rodriguez & “Interviewing a Subject”

F 3/19- AOC- “From Degrading to De-grading” Alfie Kohn / Reading Response DUE
M 3/22- Conferences/ NO CLASS

W 3/24- Conferences/ NO CLASS

F 3/26- Conferences/ NO CLASS
M 3/29- BB- “Lessons from Lockdown” Mathew Batt & “Learning to Read” Malcolm X

W 3/31- BB- “Public and Private Language” Richard Rodriquez / TR- “The Genre of Academic Discourse” Craig Morehead / Reading Response DUE

F 4/2- Spring Holiday/ NO CLASS

M 4/5- AOC- “How We Fight: Intro” & “Return of the Madhouse” Sasha Abramsky

W 4/7- AOC- “AWOL in America” Kathy Dobie / BB- “Writing Your Research Paper”

F 4/9- BB- “Body Ritual of the Nacirema” Horace Miner / Interview Essay DUE
M 4/12- AOC- “Love and War in Cyberspace” Katy Vine

W 4/14- BB- “Letter from Birmingham Jail” Martin Luther King, Jr.

F 4/16- BB- “South Central’s Crip & Hoover Phenomenon” Steven Cureton / Reading response post your response to How We Fight: Putting Into Practice- Dissecting Violence as News pg.441

M 4/19- AOC- “How We Work: Intro” & “Fifteen Years on the Bottom Rung” Anthony DePalma

W 4/21- AOC- “The Consequences—Undoing Sanity” Louis Uchitelle

F 4/23- Peer Review / ROUGH DRAFT of Research Paper DUE at least 5-pages typed

M 4/26- AOC- “How We Talk: Intro” & “ Big World: How Clear Channel Programs America” Jeff Sharlet

W 4/28- AOC- “Stop Them before They Joke Again” Peter Hyman & “You Are Not Alone: College Newspapers Discover the Sex Column” Sheelah Kolhatkar

F 4/30- AOC- “The Perfect Voice” Carl Elliott / FINAL PORTFOLIOS DUE / FINAL DRAFT of Research Paper DUE in your portfolio
M 5/3- TBA

W 5/5- Reading Day

F 5/7- Portfolios can be picked up (upon request through email) in the English TA Lounge in MHRA 3rd floor—if you do not let me know that you want it back in advanced, you will not get it back—grades will be posted on UNCGenie)
TR= Techne Rhetorike

AOC=Acting Out Culture

BB= Blackboard

HO=Hand Out

* This schedule is tentative and subject to change at the instructor’s discretion. Students will be notified as soon as possible of any changes.

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