The Big Red Bus Essay

1 Spring 2013 – Syllabus for First Year Composition, English 114 (Section 10) Mark Schleunes/ HUM 429 - The Big Red Bus Essay introduction. Office hours: MW 3:35 – 4:25, Fri. 2:30 – 4:10 and by appt. Office phone: 338-3102. Email: [email protected] edu This syllabus is your contract with me. By continuing to attend this class, you agree to abide by the rules of this contract. If you think you may not be able to follow the rules in this contract, you should drop this class immediately. STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES After completion of any one of SFSU’s three First-Year Composition options, students will be able to: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

read actively and effectively and use information acquired from readings, research and other sources critically in their own writing; use writing processes and strategies for generating, revising, editing, and proofreading their work; collaborate with others during the writing process, developing ways to offer constructive criticism and accept the criticism of others; reflect on their reading and writing processes as an avenue to achieving greater control of these processes and increased effectiveness as readers and writers; demonstrate a basic familiarity with rhetorical conventions, composing effective expository prose with regard to purpose, audience and genre; create and apply a research plan to locate, use and evaluate information from a variety of sources, including library resources; use evidence and analysis to successfully support the central purpose of their writing; demonstrate ethical conduct in their writing and the appropriate use and citation of the works of others; develop knowledge of genre conventions ranging from structure and paragraphing to tone and mechanics; control such surface features as syntax, grammar, punctuation, and spelling; gain and use knowledge of the academic community to support their development as learners, readers and writers. Throughout this syllabus, numbers in parentheses following an assignment’s name indicate which learning outcomes are linked to that assignment. Required Texts: 1. Go to the SFSU Bookstore and buy the reader for this class. Look for the reader for Schleunes, English 114. If you are waiting to add, do not buy a reader until I have officially added you since only 20 readers are printed for each class. Readers are not returnable once you have bought them. Course Work: 1. You will write five essays for this course.

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Each essay must be at least 1500 words long, except the first one which must be at least 900 words long. Essays which have fewer than 1500 words will receive an automatic grade of no credit. You may use your one allowed rewrite to improve such an essay. • Essay 1 “Myself the Writer” (3,7) – You will explain your experiences and concerns as a writer up to this point in your life. (900 words minimum) Essay 2 “Group Essay” (2,3,4,) – You will identify a group you belong to (snowboarders, conservatives, diabetics, vegetarians or whatever ) and write an essay in which you explain what • 2 makes them psychologically different from people who are not in the group.

(1500 words minimum) • Essay 3 “Website Analysis Essay” (1,2,3,4, 6,7) – You will pick the website of some public figure you like and explain how that website appeals to you and others in its target audience. (1500 words minimum) Essay 4 “Media Essay” (1,2,3,4, 5, 6,7) – You will write an essay in which you compare two different news articles written about the same issue by two different authors. One article must be from a mainstream publication and the other must be from an alternative publication (either a left-wing or right-wing publication). (1500 words minimum) Essay 5 “Designer Babies Essay” (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8) – You will write an argument essay in which you take some position about the following question: Should the United States pass a federal law prohibiting human germline engineering?

(1500 words minimum) • • 2. At some point during the semester we will have six continuous weeks of short (ten questions) joining word quizzes. We will have one quiz each week. You will be allowed five minutes to take each quiz. At the end of the semester, I will calculate your average score based on your best four quizzes. This score will be worth one third of your final grade. I will grade the tests as follows: none wrong = A, one wrong = C, more than one wrong = F. In other words, you have to learn this material or your final grade will suffer. The quizzes all cover the same three concepts. Most students (70%? ) are able to pass these quizzes the first time.

But those who don’t bother to learn the three concepts will fail over and over again, doing real damage to their final grade. You must be present on the day I give the quiz at the time I give it. I will not allow makeup tests under any circumstances. In this sense, I have an attendance requirement for my class; you must be present on the day I give a particular quiz at the time I give it. (Since I count only your best four grades, you can miss several quizzes without affecting your grade negatively. It is your responsibility to attend frequently enough to be able to take the quizzes. ) 3. Throughout the semester, you will complete short writing assignments designed to help you develop particular skills or draft your essays.

4. After I hand back each essay, I meet with students to work on grammar issues that showed up in that essay. Since many people have similar grammatical issues, I will conduct workshops for each grammar issue during the last 15-20 minutes of class occasionally. For example, on the day I had back the second essay, I will meet with the “comma splice” people during the last part of class. At the next class meeting, I will meet with the “fragment” people and so on. My end comment on your essay will tell you which workshop you must attend. If I don’t request you to come to a workshop, you will simply leave class 15 minutes earlier on workshop days.

If you miss a workshop I assigned you to, it is your responsibility to schedule a conference appointment with me so I can explain the grammar issue to you. 5. Since not all writing issues can be addressed in the workshops, I may ask you to come to my office at a time we have both agreed upon to discuss your essays or your rough drafts. These conferences are very important to your development as a writer, and they are required if I request them in my comment at the end of a graded essay. You may, of course, request a conference whenever you have any questions about your work or your grade. I’m more than happy to help you with your writing. The number of conferences can vary depending on your needs. If you can’t come to an appointment we have made, call or email me. 3 6.

This course requires that you regularly access the Internet. See the last page of this document. Essay Format: The first essay “Myself the Writer” must be submitted only as a hard copy (paper). All other essays must be submitted electronically through the “Turnitin” function on ilearn. I will not accept hard copies of these essays. My grading and comments on your essays will be done online through the GradeMark function of “Turnitin. ” Submissions must be in the Microsoft Word (doc or docx) format or any other format listed as acceptable by Turnitin. If you do not own Microsoft Word, use a free application such as Openoffice for Windows, Neooffice or Bean for Mac, or Google Docs.

These free apps allow you to save a Microsoft Word formatted document to submit to “Turnitin. ” Use the document upload function of “Turnitin. ” Do NOT use the text paste function of “Turnitin” because your formatting may not translate correctly. Essays should be double-spaced to make it easier for you to see the GradeMark comments I will post on “Turnitin” when I grade your essays online. I am willing to help anyone who needs help with proofreading. You should keep a copy of every essay you write so that if I don’t receive your essay, or I somehow delete it, you will easily be able to give me another copy. Grading: The average grade of all your essays counted equally will be worth two-third of your semester grade.

The first essay “Myself the Writer” will not be included in this average essay grade because it will be graded as a credit/no credit essay. Your average quiz score (see Course Work #2 above) will be worth one-third of your semester grade. The lowest passing grade for this course is a C. To pass this class, you should attend regularly and turn in your essays by the deadlines. If you fail two essays you will receive an automatic semester grade of no credit, regardless of the score you have earned on your classwork. I have set up this course so that people who do not attend regularly or do not meet submission deadlines will have difficulty passing the class.

You are allowed to submit one late essay and you can wait until the final week of the semester to turn it in. Any additional late essay will get an automatic grade reduction of one full grade (A to B for example). Peer review sessions are an extremely important part of this course. You are allowed to miss one peer review session without penalty. The penalty for any subsequent missed peer review sessions will be an automatic grade reduction of one full grade on that essay (A to B for example). To receive credit for the peer review session you must be present in class on the day of peer review, and you must have a rough draft of at least 3 pages double-spaced. If you have personal problems which cause you to have more than one late

paper or more than one missed peer review, you should consider withdrawing from or dropping the class and taking it again when you are able to attend regularly. You may rewrite one essay for a better grade. You must meet with me to discuss your plans for a rewrite before you rewrite a paper. If you don’t, I won’t grade the rewritten paper. You cannot rewrite the final essay. 4 Proofreading Policy By the next-to-last essay you will be responsible for catching and correcting the following proofreading items: comma splices, sentence fragments, subject/verb agreement, pronoun agreement, preposition/pronoun patterns, unintelligible sentences, spelling errors, and citation of sources. These are all explained in the reader on page 7. For each student, I will keep a list of the errors I find in your essays.

I will post these on a homework assignment at the top of our ilearn website, so you know what errors you are responsible for. I will work individually with you in workshops or conferences to show you how to correct your most frequent error patterns. On the last three essays of the semester I will lower the grade on a particular essay in the following manner if you have an average of more than 13 proofreading errors per 1500 words on that particular essay (approx 3 per page): Essay Grade Reduction 1 1/3 grade off (A to A-) for errors on your list only Next-to-last 2/3 grade off (A to B+) for all errors listed above Final One full grade off (A to B) for all errors listed above Ethics and Attendance: Plagiarism can destroy your college career.

DON’T PLAGIARIZE! Here is a relevant quotation from the “College of Humanities Plagiarism Resources”: Plagiarism occurs when a student misrepresents the work of another as his or her own. Plagiarism may consist of using the ideas, sentences, paragraphs, or the whole text of another without appropriate acknowledgement, but it also includes employing or allowing another person to write or substantially alter work that a student then submits as his or her own . . . All instances of plagiarism in the College of Humanities will be reported to the Dean of the College, and may be reported to the University Judicial Affairs Officer for further action.

* If I can prove you have plagiarized an essay, I will give you a no credit grade for that essay. I am also required to forward your name to college administrators who decide on punitive action. SFSU has acquired a new plagiarism database called “Turnitin” which can catch almost all cases of plagiarism. I can run any suspicious paper through this database, and I will. Email I do not accept essays by email as attachments or plain text. You must submit essays through “Turnitin” on the class ilearn site. Most questions you will have about class will be answered in the class summaries I will post on ilearn for each day of class. So check those before you email me with questions about the class. Attendance Be on time!

Your regular attendance is crucial for developing as a writer and for becoming a valued participant in the class. I therefore have a policy on attendance. I keep a record of how many classes students miss. If you arrive more than 20 minutes late or leave more than 20 minutes early, I will count that as a missed class. If you miss 8 classes, you will get an automatic semester grade of No Credit and you will not be allowed to attend any more classes. If you must be absent, check the class ilearn website to see what you have missed. You are responsible for work covered or assigned in class, whether or not you were there. You should come prepared to participate, having completed assigned reading and written work.

IF YOU MISS EITHER WEDNESDAY (1/30) OR FRIDAY (2/01) CLASS MEETINGS WITHOUT NOTIFYING ME BY EMAIL OR PHONE, I WILL DROP YOU FROM THE CLASS AND ADD ONE OF THE MANY PEOPLE WAITING TO GET IN. After 2/01 you no longer need to notify me if you will be absent. 5 The Internet Component of English 114 You must regularly check the class ilearn website, whose URL is http://ilearn. sfsu. edu I am not responsible for telling you in class what the homework will be for the next class. It is your responsibility to check on ilearn before every class to see what the homework is. If you do not have access to computer and/or Internet connection, you should use one of the computers in the many computer labs on campus.

Browser Issues You may use either Mozilla Firefox browser (version 3. 0 or above) or Microsoft Internet Explorer (version 7. 0 or above). Apple Safari will work to some extent, but it won’t give you all the ilearn functions. Basic Policies and Rules I will post all ilearn materials as . PDF documents which are easily accessible from Mac or PC. I will post all the various assignments and homework after I assign them. I will post the due dates for essays and assignments. I will occasionally send out a mass email if I have something really important to communicate to everyone. I will occasionally give you an assignment which requires you to access the ilearn website.

The ilearn website is only a SUPPLEMENT to the class meetings. Every day I post on ilearn summaries of everything that happens in class and all the homework assigned. SO IF YOU HAVE TO MISS CLASS, CHECK THE ILEARN SITE BEFORE YOU SEND ME AN EMAIL ASKING ME WHAT WE DID IN CLASS. However, I am not designing it so that students can skip class meetings and use it as an alternative way of taking the class. You will fail the class if you attempt to do this. The ilearn site is there to create less work for both you and me and to make the class more fun. We will be following typical rules of conduct for online interactions. To read about these rules in detail see the link called “Netiquette” on the ilearn site.

Most of these rules are common sense and involve the golden rule: treat others as you would like to be treated. Feel free to argue with each other. This is natural. After all, writing often involves discussion of opposing views. And arguing can be a lot of fun. But be polite. Do not call other people names. Do not threaten other people. Do not make nasty comments about people. Do not make sexual advances to people. Do not post links to pornographic websites or websites engaging in any kind of illegal activity. I will be monitoring activity on this site and will take all legal steps available to me to prevent bad behavior on our ilearn website.

You can use everyday language (including curse words as long as they are not directed at someone or some group of people). If people think you cuss too much, they’ll tell you! You can use slang and internet shorthand (LOL, etc) as long as you’re pretty sure everybody knows what you mean. The idea is to communicate freely on this site, so I won’t try to limit the kind of language you use. Do what feels comfortable. If someone needs a definition of a term, then help her out. I might need a lot of help 😀 LMAO. You might have to explain things to me if I ask. I may ask you to write a paragraph online in “college essay language” once in a while so I can give you feedback for upcoming essays. But that will be pretty rare.

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