This course is composed of four general requirements: a weekly reading/writing journal, four formal essays, attendance, and a final exam. The two former requirements will be on-going throughout the semester, will require regular contributions, and may be comprised of various assignments, like library and writing center visits. Since this is a discussion and workshop course, attendance is crucial to your success and will be calculated into your grade. A final exam will address the course reading and test the students’ ability to write about these texts.
Students are required to keep a weekly hand-written response on assigned readings. Each journal entry must have a minimum of 350 words and must be kept in your spiral notebook. The journal must be complete with all entries receiving a passing mark before the student will pass the course. Follow the directions precisely under the “Journal” tab above; any deviation may cause you having to start over.
Students will complete four, formal, out-of-class essays based on four different journal entries proofread any writing before submission.. In general, you will select your favorite and/or best journal entries and rewrite them as polished, formal essays. These essays must be formatted according to MLA style (see your handbook). Since this is a writing class, essays will be count for over half of your final grade. Two aspects of essays are critical in the grading process: medium and content. Always
Collaborative Wiki Project
Also a part of the essays requirement, students will collaboratively research, organize, write, and edit a project on LitWiki that will count as a fifth essay. This project will be introduced during the second week of classes and be on-going throughout the semester, both in- and out-of-class. Final evaluation will be based on the overall project and individual, consistent student contributions. More details will follow in-class.
Each student starts off with a perfect attendance score. Each class absence subtracts 10 points; tardies will cost 5 points. Note, too, students will also be held accountable for the official attendance policy under course policies.
The final examination is a two-hour essay written in response to class readings. The students will be given at least two readings to study before the final exam. They may take notes on each reading using a 3x5-inch note card. This card may not contain any full sentences, with the exception of documented quotations from the readings. At the exam, students will be given a choice of at least two topics based on these readings. Students will write on one of these options; they will not have access to the readings or to grammar handbooks but may use their note cards, a dictionary, and a thesaurus. The final exam essay should reflect knowledge of the readings, but mere summary of the readings will not be acceptable.
Our introduction to college writing this semester requires:
- Robinson, Michelle Bachelor; Jerskey, Maria (2021). Writing Guide with Handbook. OpenStax. (Available free.)
- PDF essays. Each essay must be printed on dead trees and accompany you to class the day we will discuss it.
- A simple spiral-bound notebook, like these. Go to your local grocery store and get these for $1. You do not want anything too fancy for this.
- Pens for your journal.
- Any writing implement and paper for in-class note-taking.
Your course book(s) or readings should always accompany you to class, as we will make heavy use of them in our daily discussions. Please do not come to class without it: we need the texts for class activities, in-class writing, and all aspects of our study. PDFs must be printed if they are used in class—this includes exams. Failure to do so will earn you an absence .
You should also bring an ink interface of some sort, as well as dead trees on which to take notes. Notes should not only reflect good listening skills, but individual interest in every topic discussed in class.
- This is the general percentage breakdown for these requirements. As I use a point system for evaluation, the percentages are just an estimate.
- Students cannot pass the course with an incomplete journal. See the Journal requirement description on this page.
- This requirement also includes a collaborative wiki project.
- Required by departmental policy.
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