Summer 2014 Readings and Composition II-02, T/Th

TLC 1-111 (11:00-1:30p.m.)


Instructor: Ms. Mitzi McFarland

Office: Pafford 317

Office Phone:  678-839-4859 (available only during office hours)

Office Hours: T/TR 9:00-10:30a.m. or on an appointment basis after class





Catalogue Description:

English 1102 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. 


Course Rationale and Learning Outcomes

  1. To read, understand, and interpret a broad range of written and visual texts from a variety of genres (including but not limited to nonfiction, fiction, poetry, drama, and film).
  2. To understand literary principles and use basic terms important to critical writing and reading.
  3. To develop skills in all the tools necessary for effective argumentation.
  4. To develop facility with the whole writing process from invention through revision.
  5. To understand and employ a variety of rhetorical modes and techniques of persuasion.
  6. To acquire reasonable mastery of conventions of college-level prose writing.
  7. To incorporate and document additional textual materials to strengthen and support argument.


Required Texts and Materials
I am aware that many students have financial difficulties, and I have therefore have chosen the least expensive editions of the following books possible; you should buy them all at the beginning of the semester, because the Book Store frequently runs out of copies. YOU MUST ACQUIRE THESE EDITIONS OF OUR TEXTS. Kindle or any other electronic editions will NOT do!

·          Gardner, Janet. Writing About Literature, 2nd ed. (Bedford/St. Martin’s). 978-0-312-53752-4.

·          Maimon, Elaine and Janice Peritz, editors. A Writer’s Resource, 3rd ed. (for reference). 978-0-077363581.

·          Cisneros, Sandra. The House on Mango Street (Vintage). 978-0-679-73477-2.

·          Rash, Ron. The World Made Straight (Henry Holt and Co.) 978-0-312-42660-6.

·          Alexie, Sherman. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (Little, Brown and Co.). 978-0-316-01369-7.

·          Dayton, Jonathan and Valerie Faris, directors. Little Miss Sunshine (20th Century Fox). ASIN: B000K7VHQE.

·          One zip disc for computer use, a folder for submitting all drafts and essays, dictionary, etc.

Course Requirements & Policies:


We’re only meeting SIXTEEN times this session--one class period is equivalent to an entire week of regular semester instruction.

Our task this semester is to significantly improve your critical thinking and college-level rhetorical writing. These skills are absolutely essential to your success in college, and you simply must be consistent in your attendance and participation in class.

However, I know that occasional emergencies arise, so I allow TWO no-questions-asked absences—please use them wisely, and keep me informed! I make no distinction between "excused" and “unexcused” absences. If you must be absent, I expect you to keep up with the assignments; if you’re absent on the day an assignment is due, I will still expect you to make arrangements to get it to me on time.

NOTE: I count “lates” (i.e. arriving after class has begun) as 1/2 an arrive to class on time! If a student has only one actual absence but four late arrivals to class, he or she will have reached the absence maximum.

In accordance with the English Department FYW policy, I will deduct five points from your semester grade per absence after the first two, or simply assign a grade of F to students who have accumulated three or more absences.

Participation: Because this is a writing- and reading-intensive course, student participation is both essential and mandatory. As much of this class is discussion and workshop oriented, your presence, careful preparation, and active participation are crucial to your success. Students should come to class prepared to contribute to class discussion, listen attentively and critically to others’ comments and questions, respond collegially to others’ views, and generally conduct themselves in a professional manner. I expect you to take your work very seriously, preparing for each class by carefully reading each assignment, reflecting upon that reading, and thinking about the implications of the reading.

·    Bring ALL required materials to class every day. I dismiss students who come to class without the required materials. The attendance policy also applies with these kinds of dismissals.


Course Writing Component: Writing assignments will be generated by discussions from readings and from personal responses to literary works. Students will develop various essay types—text- and research-based—with practice also on the writing process and the realization that revision is an essential step. To assist these goals, we will commit ourselves to sharing works-in-progress in various workshops that endeavor to help you learn how to be (1) rigorous yet supportive readers of your peers’ work, and (2) more adept, nuanced, and sophisticated thinkers and writers.


Late and/or Make-Up Work Policy:

·     All late essays will be penalized one letter grade per day late and are no longer accepted for a grade past one week of the deadline (unless you make arrangements with me in advance and you have a legitimate medical reason for submitting the work after the deadline). Essays are late when they are not submitted to me in hard copy form at the beginning of class.

·     If you arrive to class late and miss a quiz, or if you miss a quiz or in-class assignment due to an absence, you may not make it up.

·     I do not accept assignments sent to me via email unless approved by me in advance.


Email Policy: Be aware that an email asking questions about an essay cannot replace an actual meeting with me during office hours. It is very difficult to respond to your questions and your needs by only responding to an email, especially if your questions are general. I welcome any email correspondence you wish to have with me; however, this type of correspondence is best used only when you have a very specific question that doesn’t require discussion. Note: The official email communication method is through campus e-mail (MyUWG).


Disability Pledge:

·     I pledge to do my best to work with the University to provide all students with equal access to my classes and materials, regardless of special needs, temporary or permanent disability, special needs related to pregnancy, etc.

·     If you have any special learning needs, particularly (but not limited to) needs defined under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and require specific accommodations, please do not hesitate to make these known to me, either yourself or through Disability Services in 272 Parker Hall at (770) 839-6428.

·     Students with documented special needs may expect accommodation in relation to classroom accessibility, modification of testing, special test administration, etc. This is not only my personal commitment: it is your right, and it is the law!

·     For more information, please contact Disability Services at the State University of West Georgia.


Resources for Writing Instruction: 1) I will gladly assist you in the writing process and with any concerns you may have in the course; 2) The Writer’s Resource; 3) my online website, A Writer’s Archive; 4) the Writing Center, located in the Parkman Room, TLC 1200, is a student support centre designed to offer consultation in which tutors question, respond to, offer choices, and encourage revision in student essays. Tutors do not evaluate or prescribe solutions to problematic areas in student essays, and tutors are specifically trained to avoid appropriating the student’s work. For more information on appointments, hours, and policies, visit the Writing Center online at


Disruptive Behavior Policy: Students may be dismissed from any class meeting at which they exhibit 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 visual devices. Each dismissal of this kind will count as an absence and will be applied toward the attendance policy above. (Department Policy)


Plagiarism and Academic Honesty: All work you turn in for this class (from quizzes, writing prompts, to out-of-class essays) must be your own original work, with all outside reference sources properly cited and acknowledged. The English Department, in adherence with the University’s code for academic honesty, defines plagiarism as “using the words and/or ideas of another without properly giving credit to the source(s)” ( and offers the following descriptive list: submission of material that is wholly or substantially identical to that created or published by another person or persons, without adequate credit notations indicating authorship; “false” attempts at paraphrasing and/or documentation (as in making up sources); substitution for, or unauthorized collaboration with, another individual (excessive collaboration is considered plagiarism). Note well: unintentional plagiarism is plagiarism nonetheless.


This is a no-tolerance policy, not open to negotiation. If caught and substantiated, plagiarism results in an F for the course and will be reported to the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs for possible probation or suspension from the University. Click here for the University’s policies for handling Plagiarism and Academic Dishonesty: Faculty Handbook, sections 207 and 208.0401 (; Student Undergraduate Catalog, “Academic Honor Code”: ( See also the Preventing Plagiarism link in my website’s “A Writer’s Archive.”


Course Assessment & Guidelines:

  • Response essays (75%). Three full-length essays, each with varied lengths and requirements, dealing with analyses of chosen literary works. ALL essays must conform to specified length and topic requirements, be meticulously proofread and edited, be analytical in nature, and use MLA Style essay format and in-text citation of quotations (refer to Tab 6 in A Writer’s Resource for MLA guidelines). Essays must be submitted in a folder along with all rough drafts and peer evaluation forms. Essays that do not meet these requirements will likely receive a failing grade. Click here to check the English Department’s guidelines for Out-of-Class Writing Assessment. The following chart will be used when calculating your numerical grade at the end of the semester with regard to letter grades received on out-of-class essays:

A+=98 A=95 A-=92
B+=88 B=85 B-=82
C+=78 C=75 C-=72
D+=68 D=65 D-=62

(***At times, I will “split” grades to indicate work that falls between two standard grading categories. For example, a student might receive an A-/B+, which translates mathematically to a 90.)

  • Daily quizzes and writing responses (10%). Quizzes, announced and unannounced, along with in-class and out-of-class writing responses will be given weekly; the writing assignments may take the form of short explications or brief analytical responses to questions on the text being discussed. For this reason it is wise to read the text in advance of class discussion. If you arrive to class late and miss a quiz, you may not make it up. Peer evaluations and in-class workshops (including all draft workshops) also comprise a certain percentage of this grade. Portions of drafts, to be posted online for draft workshops, will constitute the greatest percentage of your daily grade average. Click here for a rubric for homework and short-explication writing responses.
  • In-Class Writings (15%). Two in-class essays, the second one optional. Written in preparation for extemporary writing assignments of all kinds, the in-class essays will have a minimum of 500 words with a clearly assigned format. Click here to check the English Department’s guidelines for In-Class Writing Assessment. The following chart will be used when calculating your numerical grade at the end of the semester with regard to the number grades (0-4) received on the in-class essay:



Note: In order to complete all English 1102 requirements, students must pass with the final letter grade of a C or higher. The last day to withdraw with a W is Tuesday, June 24th. Make this decision wisely.


Questions or Concerns:

I am here to make sure you receive a quality education. If ever you have a question, comment, or concern regarding your success in my class, please feel free to use any of the following options:


·      Call and leave a message for me at the office: 678-839-4859

·      Send me an email:

·      Call the English Department’s main office to schedule a conference with me: 678-839-6512.


Please understand that the life of a teacher can sometimes be hectic. Therefore, allow me at least 24 hours to return your email or voicemail. If you do not get a response, please do not give up. Feel free to try back at a later time.