Monday, May 19, 2008

English 101-Composition Syllabus, Summer 2008

Professor Diana Joseph Office: Armstrong 201L

Interns: Dan DeWolf Office Hours: MW 12:30-1:30

Kaitlyn Flynn E-Office Hours: TTH 8:00-10:00

Office Phone: 389-5144


On-line Syllabus:

English 101--Composition

In this class, you’ll practice strategies for generating and developing ideas, locating and analyzing information, analyzing audience, drafting, writing sentences and paragraphs, evaluating drafts, revising, and editing in essays of varying lengths. You’ll also become experienced in computer-assisted writing and research.

The goal of this course is to develop writers who use the English language effectively and who read and write critically. By the end of the class, you will be able to:
a.) demonstrate and practice strategies for idea generation, audience analysis, organization of texts, drafting, evaluation of drafts, revision, and editing;
b.) write papers of varying lengths that demonstrate effective explanation, analysis, and argumentation;
c.) become experienced in computer-assisted writing and research;
d.) locate and evaluate material, using PALS, the Internet, and other sources;
e.) analyze and synthesize source material, making appropriate use of paraphrase, summary, quotation, and citation conventions;
f.) employ syntax and usage appropriate to academic writing and the professional world.

Making Sense: A Real-World Rhetorical Reader, ed. Cheryl Glenn, 2nd edition

Approximately $20 for copying expenses


1. Essays

You’ll write 3 formal essays:

Personal Narrative = 25% of final grade

Exemplification Essay = 25%

Summary/Response Essay = 25%

Each essay will be generated by a prompt/exercise assigned in class; at least one of these will go through a large group workshop. TWO COPIES of each essay is due in hard copy (not emailed) at the beginning of class on the assigned date. You’ll receive a criteria sheet for each essay that details its specific requirements.

2. Quizzes on assigned readings = 15%

Expect daily quizzes on the assigned readings and occasional quizzes on workshop material. I’ll drop your three lowest scores.

3. Participation = 10%

I define participation as your active engagement with the class, demonstrated through evidence of preparedness, and thoughtful contributions to discussions and workshops. Each of you will offer an assessment of your peers’ workshop responses; I will take this into consideration when determining participation grades.


A 90-100
B 80-89
C 70-79
D 60-69
F 59-0

You’ll receive an assigned day for a large group workshop. As a workshop writer, you need to bring enough copies of your draft for everyone in the class on the day BEFORE your workshop. We’ll read your essay with an interest in what your piece is about, and in how it’s told. As a workshop participant, you must read the drafts up for workshop. You’re expected to write feedback, positive and critical, on the manuscript(s), and you should have suggestions in mind for class discussion. Expect to be called on.

Workshops are a give-and-take experience. If someone fails to provide evidence of reading and analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of your draft, then you’re not obligated to give that individual much feedback, either. But if someone gives a reading that shows time, effort, and thought – whether or not you agree with the comments – then you owe that person equal consideration. Workshops are about giving what you get. Finally, workshops are not about egos – fragile, super, or otherwise. Workshops are not about being defensive, nor are they about hurling insults. Workshops are about the text, locating its strengths and weaknesses, and finding ways to make it stronger. Be critical, but be constructive.

Class Policies
Each absence over 3 will lower your final grade by 5%. I do not distinguish between excused and unexcused absence.
If you fail to turn in workshop material on the day it’s due, you lose your workshop spot—and participation credit. If you don’t come to class on the day of your workshop, it won’t be rescheduled—and you lose participation credit. Frequent tardiness will affect your participation grade.
All coursework must be completed to pass this class.
Writing done for this class is considered public text.
Assignments are tentative and subject to change.
Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated; it may result in failure of the class.
I’m available for help outside class during my office hours or by appointment.

I encourage you to take advantage of the services offered by MSU’s Center for Academic Success located in Memorial Library. Services include tutoring sessions in nearly all subject areas, including composition.

Center for Academic Success: Memorial Library 125
CAS Phone: 507-389-1791 CAS Website:

Any student who qualifies for accommodation for any type of disability should see me.

Due Dates

Monday, May 19 First Day of Class

Tuesday, May 20 Orlean, 68

Wednesday, May 21 Sedaris, 157

Thursday, May 22 Soto, 190

Friday, May 23 Drayer, 169

Monday, May 26 Memorial Day

Tuesday, May 27 Personal Narrative Workshop

Wednesday, May 28 Personal Narrative Workshop

Thursday, May 29 Personal Narrative Workshop


Monday, June 2 Stacey, 237

Tuesday, June 3 Stepp, 310

Wednesday, June 4 Ehrlich, 223

Thursday, June 5 Costas, 383

Friday, June 6 Exemplification Workshop

Monday, June 9 Exemplification Workshop

Tuesday, June 10 Exemplification Workshop


Thursday, June 12 Banjo, 605

Friday, June 13 Sylves, 509

Monday, June 16 Hatfield, 388

Tuesday, June 17 Summary/ Response Workshop

Wednesday, June 18 Summary/Response Workshop

Thursday, June 19 Summary/Response Workshop


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