Sample FYC Syllabus

The following syllabus was developed in conjunction with my composition theories and pedagogies class. As a result it uses the CSU Long Beach course description and policies as well as the academic calendar for Fall 2012. As I was assigned, daily readings and activities are planned out for the first third of the course while major due dates are planned for the entire course. I am currently working on completing the readings and activities for the last two thirds of the course and will update this site when I do.

English 100: Composition

Fall 2012

Professor Erin Griesser     Email: erin.griesser@gmail.com
Course Hours: MWF 9:00–9:50am       Room: LA1-302
Office Hours: MW 10:00–11:00am & by appointment

Prerequisite:

A recorded total score of 147 or above on the English Placement Test, or credit in Writing Skills 1 (or its equivalent), ALP 150, or consent of instructor.

Course Description:

English 100 is an expository writing course designed for first-year students who score 148 or above on the English Placement Test (EPT), are exempt from the EPT, or have received credit in a qualifying pre-baccalaureate composition course.

The course satisfies one of the writing requirements for general education at this university. It emphasizes academic writing, focusing primarily on analytical reading and writing, and it introduces argument in the second half of the course. The amount of writing completed in this course should be approximately 8,000-10,000 words, with some of that writing completed through extensive revising and informal, non-graded writing assignments. These informal assignments can be responses to readings, for example, or exercises designed to teach a specific writing strategy.

English 100 is neither a literature nor a creative writing course. Its main activity is expository writing generated through inquiry. Inquiry is carried out through various modes: observation, interview, survey, reading and discussing texts and various media, and through using other methods appropriate for gathering information.

Required Texts:

Hacker, Diana, and Nancy Sommers. Rules for Writers CSULB Custom 7th Edition. Boston:Bedford/St.Martin’s, 2012.

Vie, Stephanie. (E)dentity. Southlake:Fountain Press Head, 2011.

Digital Articles online via Course Reserves through the Library (password: composition) and the Class Ning Site.

Course Objectives:

Learning to write is a complex process that takes place over time with continued practice and informed guidance. After completion of this course, in your formal essays, you should be able to:

A. Content

  • Articulate a clear topic and purpose
  • Exhibit a specific focus
  • Respond to all aspects of the assignment
  • Support claims with appropriate reasons and evidence
  • Provide relevant and necessary supporting details
  • Paraphrase or quote information from sources accurately and consistently
  • Use electronic environments for drafting, reviewing, revising, editing, and sharing texts

B. Organization

  • Write coherently
  • Present ideas and support in a logical order appropriate for the writer’s purpose
  • Relate all parts of the essay to the overarching focus and purpose
  • Use transitional devices to guide readers through the text
  • Give appropriate emphasis to important ideas
  • Articulate an appropriate conclusion

C. Reasoning

  • Relate a clear significance for the topic
  • Recognize assumptions explicitly when appropriate
  • Provide logical, consistent, and well-developed analysis
  • Integrate visual or multimedia material with the analysis
  • Provide a logical conclusion that follows from the claims and evidence presented

D. Rhetoric

  • Choose a genre and form appropriate for the task and the writer’s purpose
  • Demonstrate awareness of audience
  • Acknowledge, respect, and represent other points of view accurately
  • Contextualize claims within existing research
  • Adopt appropriate voice, tone, and level of formality for the topic, task, and audience
  • Write grammatically correct prose to enhance credibility
  • Understand and exploit the differences in the rhetorical strategies and in the affordances available for both print and electronic composing processes and texts

E. Conventions

  • Demonstrate control of sentence structure, grammar, punctuation, spelling, and mechanics
  • Learn common formats for different kinds of texts
  • Develop knowledge of genre conventions ranging from structure and paragraphing to tone and mechanics
  • Cite sources appropriately and understand the assumptions behind various citations systems such as MLA, APA, and the Chicago Manual of Style

Class Policies:

Attendance

Students are expected to attend classes regularly. Classroom attendance is often one of the most necessary and important means of learning and, in many classes, is essential to the educational objectives of the course. If you miss more than three classes you have essentially missed a week of class and your course grade will be lowered by one letter grade. In other words, you cannot get an “A” with four absences. If you are absent more than five times, I may ask you to drop the course. Please be on time. I know that 9am classes are no fun but class is only 50 minutes long so every minute counts! Chronic lateness is unacceptable as is coming to class unprepared or unread.

Academic Integrity

All students should be aware of the University’s definition and policies concerning plagiarism and cheating in the current edition of the CSULB Catalog. Forms of academic dishonesty include: Collusion – lending your work to another person to submit as his or her own; Fabrication – deliberately creating false information on a works cited page; and Plagiarism – the presentation of another person’s work as your own, whether you mean to or not. If you are suspected of academic dishonesty, you will receive disciplinary action. If you are having trouble with proper citations in your work or are unsure if your use of source material is correct or not, please see me and we will work on the problem.

Late/Missing Work

Late assignments will be penalized a letter grade for each day they are late.

Rewrites

A fundamental part of the writing process is revision. While all of our major writing assignments are structured to force some degree of revision (rough drafts and final drafts), it is possible that your final draft may not reflect what you believe to be your best work. Therefore if you receive a grade of C or below on any assignment you may revise the assignment for a better grade and turn it in within two weeks of the original assignment due date. Grades will be an average of the original assignment grade and the rewrite grade. So if your original paper was a 67 (D) and your rewrite was an 83 (B) your grade for the purposes of determining your class grade will be a 75 (C). It is your responsibility to collect and keep all of the work that you do in this class until after final course grades have been released.

Withdrawal

The deadlines listed in the current CSULB Schedule of Classes will be followed.

Special Conditions and Disabilities

If you have a disability that requires special accommodations, please see me within the first week of class to arrange such accommodations.

Grade Determination:

Free Writing Journal                           10%
Blog Posts on Readings                       10%
In-class Essays (2)                                 10%
Formal Essays (2)                                 15%
Research Essay                                     20%
Short Writing Activities                       5%
In-class Activities and Participation 5%

Final grades and longer assignment grades will be determined as follows:
A = 100 – 90
B = 89 – 80
C = 79 – 70
D = 69 – 60
F = 59 – 0

All essays will be graded on a 100 point scale based on the standard CSU Long Beach First Year Composition Rubric and weighted according to the class grade breakdown above. If you are worried about your standing in the class, I am happy to help you calculate various potentials and possibilities for your grade.  Please make this request in person, during my office hours. It is your responsibility to collect and keep all of the work that you do in this class until after final course grades have been released.

I believe that a collaborative learning environment is vital to making this class both interesting and effective. Whenever possible I would prefer to have full class discussions rather than just lecturing at you which is no fun for either of us. This requires your active participation. Thus, your participation will be taken into account when assigning your grade in the “In-class Activities and Participation” category. The more you offer up to the benefit of your fellow students, the better your grade will be. Please don’t be shy or nervous about being “wrong.” A great many of the issues we will be dealing with in class don’t have a “right” or “wrong” answer and are open to debate so let’s talk it out!

Assignments:

Free Writing Journal – 10%

The first 5 minutes of class every day will be devoted to a free writing exercise to be explained the second day of class. I expect you to keep a notebook with all of your free writings to be reviewed by me at various points during the semester. Bring this notebook to class every day! The point of free writing is to exercise your writing muscle and get your thoughts flowing. There is no “right” answer for this assignment as long as you write! You will not be graded on content or style and will instead be graded based on completeness. This is basically “gimme” points, so do it!

Blog Posts on Readings – 10%

You will be required to post weekly on the class Ning site about the readings we have read and discussed for the week. Initial posts are due by midnight on Friday night so that you have time to reflect upon the readings and formulate your opinions. You must respond to at least two classmates’ posts in order to facilitate critical discussion. These response posts are due by class time on Monday morning. Flaming will not be tolerated and will result in no credit for that week’s posts.

Short Writing Activities – 5%

A number of short take home writing activities will be assigned throughout the semester. They will typically be assigned on a Friday as part of an in class workshop activity and will be due the following Monday. Grading will be on a 10-point scale where 10-9 = A, 8 = B, 7 = C, etc.

In-class Essays (2) – 15%

There will be two graded in class essays – one on 10/12 during our regular class session and one on 12/14 during our final exam period. Expectations for these assignments will be discussed in the class periods leading up to the activities.

Formal Essays (2) – 15%

There will be two formal essay assignments to build writing and documentation skills leading up to the research essay. Individual requirements for each essay will be handed out in class at least three weeks in advance of the due date to give you adequate time to prepare each essay. Typically, the rough draft will be due on a Friday and that day in class we will conduct a peer review workshop to help with the revision process. Rough drafts will be returned to you with comments by the following Monday and that Friday your final draft will be due.

Research Essay – 20%

The research essay is the culminating assignment of the class. Instructions for the completion of this essay will be handed out in class at least four weeks in advance of the due date to give you adequate time to prepare the assignment. As with the formal essays, the rough draft will be due on a Friday and that day in class we will conduct a peer review workshop to help with the revision process. Rough drafts will be returned to you with comments by the following Monday and that Friday your final draft will be due.

Course Calendar:

Please note that this schedule is subject to change, and will almost certainly be revised at some point during the course.  For this reason, all students are responsible for maintaining contact information for at least two students in the course.  Students should use this contact information to stay current with any changes in the event of an absence.

All assigned readings are to be completed before class on the day they are assigned.

Week
Date
Readings
In Class Activities
Due
1
Mon 8/27
None Course Overview, Syllabus, and Ice Breaker Activities
Wed 8/29
None Free Writing explanation and activity
Assign “About Me” essay
Fri 8/31
None Hand out and discuss the 1st paper assignment
2
Mon 9/3
Labor Day, No Class
Wed 9/5
(E)dentity – Vie
Hacker – “First Year Composition at CSULB” (CSULB 2-8)
Introduction to and Reading Discussion for the (E)dentity reader “About Me” due
Fri 9/7
Excerpts from Macrorie – “Telling Writing” (Ning)
Hacker – Academic Writing
Modes of Writing
Audience and Purpose
Assign “Audience and Purpose” activity
Initial Blog Posts due by midnight
3
Mon 9/10
(E)dentity – Palfrey/Gasser, Johnson Writing Processes Discussion
(Hacker 1-68)
Response Blog Posts due by the beginning of class
“Audence and Purpose” due
Wed 9/12
(E)dentity – Munroe, Puente Reading Discussion for the week’s (E)dentity reader readings
Fri 9/14
Excerpts from Rhohman and Wlecke – “Pre-Writing” (ning) Pre-Writing Workshop
Assign “Brainstorm” activity
Initial Blog Posts due by midnight
4
Mon 9/17
(E)dentity – Kiesow, Gladwell Thesis Writing Workshop
(Hacker 460-463)
Response Blog Posts due by the beginning of class
“Brainstorm” due
Wed 9/19
(E)dentity – Rott, Turkle Reading Discussion for the week’s (E)dentity reader readings
Fri 9/21
Hacker – “Research” Research & Summarizing Sources Workshop
Assign “Summary” activity
1st Paper rough draft due
Initial Blog Posts due by midnight
5
Mon 9/24
(E)dentity – Sullivan, Kolbert Review “Summary” assignment
MLA format & quoting workshop
Response Blog Posts due by the beginning of class
“Summary” due
Wed 9/26
Hacker – “Writing Papers in MLA Style” 1st Paper Drafting Workshop
Writing Organization
Fri 9/28
None 1st Paper Peer Reviews 1st Paper Rough Draft due
Initial Blog Posts due by midnight
6
Mon 10/1
Excerpts from Sommers – “Revision Strategies” (Ning) Review Rough Draft common errors
Sentence-Level Clarity
Response Blog Posts due by the beginning of class
Wed 10/3
Hacker – “Clarity” Sentence-Level Clarity Workshop
Assign “Clarity” activity
Fri 10/5
None Paper-Level Clarity Workshop
Hand out and discuss 2nd paper assignment
Initial Blog Posts due by midnight
“Clarity” due
7
Mon 10/8
1st Paper Final Draft Due
Response Blog Posts due by the beginning of class
Wed 10/10
Reading Discussion for the week’s readings
Fri 10/12
Initial Blog Posts due by midnight
8
Mon 10/15
Response Blog Posts due by the beginning of class
Wed 10/17
Reading Discussion for the week’s readings
Fri 10/19
In Class Essay #1 Initial Blog Posts due by midnight
9
Mon 10/22
Response Blog Posts due by the beginning of class
Wed 10/24
Reading Discussion for the week’s readings
Fri 10/26
Hand out and discuss research essay assignment Initial Blog Posts due by midnight
10
Mon 10/29
Response Blog Posts due by the beginning of class
Wed 10/31
Reading Discussion for the week’s readings
Fri 11/1
2nd Paper Peer Reviews Initial Blog Posts due by midnight
2nd Paper Rough Draft due
11
Mon 11/5
Response Blog Posts due by the beginning of class
Wed 11/7
Reading Discussion for the week’s readings
Fri 11/9
Initial Blog Posts due by midnight
12
Mon 11/12
Class Moved to Tuesday 11/13 Because of Veteran’s Day, Per University Policy
Tue 11/13
2nd Paper Final Draft due
Response Blog Posts due by the beginning of class
Wed 11/14
Reading Discussion for the week’s readings
Fri 11/16
Initial Blog Posts due by midnight
13
Mon 11/19
Response Blog Posts due by the beginning of class
Wed 11/21
Reading Discussion for the week’s readings
Fri 11/23
Thanksgiving, No Class
14
Mon 11/26
Response Blog Posts due by the beginning of class
Wed 11/28
Reading Discussion for the week’s readings
Fri 11/30
Research Paper Peer Reviews Initial Blog Posts due by midnight
Research Paper Rough Draft due
15
Mon 12/3
Response Blog Posts due by the beginning of class
Wed 12/5
Reading Discussion for the week’s readings
Fri 12/7
16
Fri 12/14
Final Exam 8-10am – In Class Essay #2 Research Paper Final Draft due