ENGLISH 1101--Composition I (Section 37): From the Personal to the Political
Instructor: Lisa Propst
Office: Humanities 153
Office Phone: 678-839-4155
Office Hours: W 1.00-4.30, Th 1.30-5.00, and by appointment
DESCRIPTION AND LEARNING OUTCOMES
“Perhaps we share stories in much the same spirit that explorers share maps, hoping to speed each other’s journey, but knowing that the journey we make will be our own.”
– Gloria Steinem
This course will take you on a trajectory from the personal to the political. You will move from writing about your lives to writing about the lives of others. You will analyse social conditions and political institutions as well as strategies for effective writing. Throughout the semester, you will continually write, revise your work, and edit the work of your classmates.
This is a composition course focusing on skills required for both effective writing for various rhetorical situations and critical reading of texts. In writing, students must demonstrate competency in argumentation, and writing that is strengthened by the use of multiple textual sources. General and specific learning outcomes are listed in the department website:
The first half of this course centers on personal narratives -- from autobiography and biography to fictions about personal lives -- and considers how personal stories intersect with social and political ones. In the second half of the course, the class will collectively choose a social or political issue, for example:
Together, we will draw up a set of texts on that issue, including essays, news articles, short stories, poems, and/or films. The class will produce a set of topics for discussion and design a schedule for the last third of the term.
COURSE MATERIALS, ASSIGNMENTS & GRADING
All assignments must be completed in order to pass this course. NOTE: You must earn a letter grade of C or better in order to go on to English 1102.
Numerical grade equivalents: A+ = 98; A = 95; A- = 91; B+ = 88; B = 85; B- = 81; C+ = 78; C = 75; C- = 71; D+ = 68; D = 65; D- = 61; F = 50
The Writing Center:
I encourage you to visit The Writing Center at various points in the writing process. Regardless of writing skill level, one may always benefit from an intelligent discussion with knowledgeable peers. The Writing Center is located in TLC 1-201. To make an appointment, call (678) 839-6513.
Click here for Writing Center Guidelines
I encourage you to meet with me during my office hours any time you have questions or would like to discuss the course. If you cannot make it to my office hours, set up an appointment to meet with me at another time. You are also welcome to drop by my office, outside of scheduled office hours, whenever I am there. I welcome e-mail correspondence. However, e-mail cannot replace an actual meeting. It is difficult to respond to your questions and needs solely through e-mail, especially if your questions are general. E-mail is most effective when you have specific questions that don’t require in-depth discussion.
The Regents’ Examination:
The Regents’ Examination is a two-part test of minimum-level reading and writing proficiency. Students must take this examination after passing English 1102 or after 30 hours of coursework. In the hour-long written portion of the Regents’ Exam, students are required to write an essay based on personal experience and a general understanding of current events. The essay is expected to be clearly focused, well articulated, and relatively free from patterns of error; however, no particular studying should be necessary for the exam besides a few general rehearsals, a general cognizance of current events, and close attention to the lessons of English 1101 and 1102. Students who do not pass the Regents’ Exam by the time they have completed 45 hours of coursework are automatically placed in classes which provide additional writing support.
General Information: http://www.gsu.edu/rtp
Sample Topics: http://www.gsu.edu/~wwwrtp/topics.htm
Plagiarism & Academic Dishonesty:
The Department of English and Philosophy defines plagiarism as taking personal credit for the words and ideas of others as they are presented in electronic, print, and verbal sources. The Department expects that students will accurately credit sources in all assignments. An equally dishonest practice is fabricating sources or facts; it is another form of misrepresenting the truth. Plagiarism is grounds for failing the course.
You can find information about the University policies for handling Academic Dishonesty in the student handbook: http://www.westga.edu/assets/docs/studentHandbook2007.pdf (see “Student Rights and Responsibilities”).
The English Department has assembled the following resources to help prevent plagiarism: http://www.westga.edu/%7Eengdept/Plagiarism/index.html
By the end of the term, students should demonstrate the ability to produce independent writing (writing without collaborative assistance of peers, writing tutors, or professionals in the field) that shows a level of competency in both ENGL 1101 and 1102. Although classroom activities and out-of-class assignments may highlight collaborative learning and collaborative research, excessive collaboration (collaboration that results in the loss of a student's voice/style and original claims to course-related work) is considered another form of academic dishonesty and therefore will not be permitted.
I will deduct five percent from the overall grade of an assignment for each day (not each class period) that an assignment is late. An essay is late if it is not submitted to me at the beginning of the class period. If you find it necessary to miss class on a day that work is due, you should submit your work to me before the class period in order to avoid losing marks. I will not accept assignments more than one week past the deadline. All assignments must be submitted in hard copy unless I specifically approve e-mail submission in advance. Extensions may be granted, at my discretion, only under exceptional circumstances (for example, medical emergencies). If you have a serious problem that will affect your ability to complete your work on time, talk to me about it as early as possible.
You may revise and resubmit any out-of-class essay that earns a C- or lower. Your revision is due one week after you receive your graded paper and can receive no higher than a C+. Some revisions may result in a lower grade. In this case, I will count the higher of the two grades. If you choose to revise and resubmit a paper, I encourage you to consult me AND the writing center during your revision process.
Format for All Papers:
All work should be typed and stapled, in 12-point Times New Roman font, with 1-inch margins, and should use MLA format.
Extra Credit and Previous Work Policy:
· There is no extra credit work in this course
· Work completed for another class will not be accepted for fulfilling the requirements of this course.
Students will be administratively withdrawn from class based on the following attendance policy. For classes that meet three times a week, a student is allowed four absences. Upon the fifth absence, the student will be withdrawn. For classes that meet twice a week, a student is allowed three absences. Upon the fourth absence, the student will be withdrawn. Be aware that no distinction exists between excused and unexcused absences.
The official communication method for this class will be through campus e-mail (MyUWG). You will be responsible for checking your MyUWG email, since I will be using that address to correspond with you. You should also look under “My Courses” on your MyUWG for relevant files, announcements and so on.
Students will be administratively withdrawn from class for exhibiting behavior that disrupts the learning environment of others. Such behavior includes—but is not limited to—arriving late for class, allowing cell phones to ring, speaking disrespectfully to the instructor and/or to other students, checking email or surfing the web, and using personal audio or video devices. If you miss a quiz or a written exercise because of lateness, you cannot make it up. If you are sleeping during class, I will count you as absent.
If you have a registered disability that will require accommodation, please see me at the beginning of the semester. If you have a disability that you have not yet registered through the Disabled Student Services Office, please contact Dr. Ann Phillips in 137 Parker Hall at (770) 836-6428.
While this syllabus is carefully planned, I may occasionally change portions of it (for example, readings, assignments, and due dates). I will announce changes in class. You are responsible for periodically checking the online syllabus for modifications, particularly if you have been absent. Unless otherwise noted, all readings and assignments are due the day they are listed on the syllabus.
Part I: Personal Narratives
Thursday 8 / 16 Introduction
Tuesday 8 / 21 Past experiences (i):
Richard P. Feynman, “He Fixes Radios by Thinking”
Writing thesis statements and main body paragraphs
Thursday 8 / 23 Past experiences (ii):
Michael J. Fox, “A Wake Up Call”
Writing introductions and conclusions
Tuesday 8 / 28 Describing place:
Virginia Woolf, “The Mark on the Wall” and “Kew Gardens”
Documentation and MLA format
Thursday 8 / 30
Essay 1, draft 1 due. The second half of the class period will be spent in peer editing.
Do not read “Chromium” for today.
Tuesday 9 / 4
Essay 1, final draft due.
No new reading; we will discuss "The Mark on the Wall" and "Kew Gardens"
Thursday 9 / 6 Health and Illness:
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, “The Yellow Wallpaper”
Tuesday 9 / 11 Customs:
Primo Levi, “Chromium”
Individual conferences on Essay 2 held this week.
Thursday 9 / 13 Family histories:
Excerpts from Marina Warner, The Lost Father and Andrea Levy, Fruit of the Lemon
Tuesday 9 / 18 Local history:
Ron Rash, The World Made Straight (pp. 1-58)
Thursday 9 / 20 The World Made Straight (pp. 69-102)
Tuesday 9 / 25 The World Made Straight (pp. 103-146)
Thursday 9 / 27 Peer editing
Essay 2, draft 1 due.
Tuesday 10 / 2 The World Made Straight (pp. 147-224)
Essay 2, final draft due.
Thursday 10 / 4 The World Made Straight (pp. 225-289)
Tuesday 10 / 9
Thursday 10 / 11 No classes: Fall break
Part II: Political Narratives
Tuesday 10 / 16 -- Thursday 10 / 18 Collectively choose a topic
Tuesday 10 / 23 Class cancelled. Ron Rash talking at 11 AM in the Townsend Center.
Thursday 10/25 Class discussion. Assign topics for presentations. Assign Essay 3.
Tuesday 10 / 30 Class discussion
Thursday 11/1 Class presentations
Tuesday 11/6 Class presentations
Thursday 11/8 Peer editing.
Essay 3, draft 1 due.
Tuesday 11/13 Collectively draw up list of readings for the rest of the semester. Class discussion. Assign Essay 4.
Essay 3, final draft due.
The readings and discussion topics for the rest of the course will depend on the decisions that the class makes over the preceding few weeks. A few dates to note:
Monday 11/19 Paper Clips screening: Humanities 207, 7 PM.
Tuesday 11/20 Discuss Paper Clips. In preparation for this class, you must either watch the film on your own or attend the film screening Monday night.
Thursday 11 / 22 No classes: Thanksgiving
Tuesday, 11/27 "Brownies"
Thursday 11 / 29 Peer editing
Essay 4, draft 1 due.
Individual conferences on essay 4 during week 16.
Tuesday 12 / 4 Conclusion
Essay 4, final draft due.
Final in-class essay: Tuesday, Dec. 11, 11 AM, in your regular classroom.