Composition I: Expository Writing
Reading and Writing in the 21st Century
Prof. Barbara Barnard Office: Bradley Hall, Y 231
English 101-CF Phone: 572-9778
Spring 2013 E-mail: Barbara.Barnard@ncc.edu
T, Th 8:30-9:45 Office hours: T 10:00-11:15, W 9:30-10:45
Room N213 Conference hours: M, W 12:30-1:45
Turnitin.com class ID: XXXXXXX
Turnitin enrollment password: xxxxxxx
Required text to buy: Seeing & Writing 4, by Donald McQuade and Christine McQuade (St.
Martins, 2010). Bring this book to class every day.
Recommended text: A Pocket Style Manual by Diana Hacker (St. Martin's). This book
is recommended if you need a handbook to help with grammar, syntax, and research documentation. You are not required to buy this book.
Online resources and faculty web pages: This is a web enhanced course. You will find some resources (including this syllabus) on our course web pages in the Learn9 system. You are not required to do any work in Learn9; it is simply provided as a resource. There are also resource links and syllabi available on my faculty web pages (go to faculty.ncc.edu and click on Barbara Barnard).
Turnitin.com: You must submit your papers for this course to the plagiarism screening service Turnitin.com as well as giving me a hard copy in class. See page 5 of this syllabus for Turnitin.com instructions. If you don’t submit to Turnitin.com for plagiarism checking, your paper will not be accepted for grading and you will receive an F. If computer access is a problem for you, you can use a student computer lab on campus to access the site.
T 22 Discussion of syllabus and course requirements
Write in-class essay (Essay #1)
Th 24 Writing matters~~seeing, thinking, writing, revising
Read & View: Introduction (2-25)--RR#1 due
T 29 ÿ ñ ä Observing ordinary life þ 9
Read: (27-29, 71, 81-91)--RR#2 due
“Joyas Volardores” by Brian Doyle
“A Matter of Scale” by K.C. Cole
View & Explore: the rest of Chapter 1
Th 31 H F Place—where we live J B C
Read: (128-131, 179, 188-191, 203-213) RR#3 due
“The Streets Change, But Memories Endure” by Kenji Jasper
“Imagining Homelands” by Bharati Mukherjee
View & explore: the rest of Chapter 2; Deadline for first drafts of Essay #2.
T 5 Film: Amreeka (dir. Cherien Dabis, 2009)
Th 7 Film: Amreeka continued, and discussion--RR#4 due (your analytical commentary
on the film)
T 12 Group discussions—in your small group of 4 or 5 classmates, you will present
your draft of Essay #2--RR#5 credit will be given to those with essay drafts.)
Th 14 Essay #2 due, final draft (analytical essay) and
þ What’s news? and how do we record it? È ¸ 9
Read: (231-235, 270-272, 277, 290-302, 304-307)--RR#6 due
“This Just in: I’m Twittering” by Clive Thompson
“Year One of the Next Earth” by Bill McKibben
“On Photography” by Susan Sontag
View & explore: the rest of Chapter 3.
February 16-24 Winter Break – Classes do not meet
T 26 Documentary film: The Corporation (dirs. Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbott,
Th 28 Film: The Corporation (continued)--RR#7 due (your analytical commentary on the
Deadline for late Essay #2.
T 5 Projecting gender
Read: (317-319, 328-331, 343-359, 380-383)--RR#8 due
“Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid
“The Veil” and “Context” by Marjane Satrapi
“Nature vs. Nurture” by Art Spiegelman
“Why Boys Don’t Play with Dolls” by Katha Pollitt
View & explore: the rest of chapter 4.
Deadline for first drafts of Essay #4.
Th 7 Film: Persepolis [dir. Vincent Paronnaud and Marjane Satrapi, 2007]
T 12 Film: Persepolis continued--RR#9 due (your analytical commentary on the film)
Th 14 Group discussions—in your small group of 4 or 5 classmates, you will present
your draft of Essay #4--RR#10 credit will be given to those with essay drafts.)
T 19 Essay #3 (in-class midterm essay exam; bring your textbook to this open
book exam), and
Essay #4 due, final draft (analytical essay)
Th 21 ü Examining difference ý þ
Read: (391-408, 439, 463-489)--RR#11 due
“The Squint and the Wail” by Michael Hsu
“Double Consciousness” by W.E.B. Du Bois
“What Color Is Jesus?” by James McBride
“The Risks of Multiracial Identification” by Naomi Schaefer Riley
View & explore: the rest of chapter 5
March 25-31 Spring Break – Classes do not meet
T 2 Read & view “Reel Native Americans” (428-434); Deadline for late Essay #4
Film: Smoke Signals (Dir. Chris Eyre, 1998)
Th 4 Read: (435-462)-- RR#12 due (comment on film plus Coates article):
“This Is How We Lost to the White Man” by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Film: Smoke Signals (continued)
T 9 Research & documentation session: How to find reliable sources of information and document your sources responsibly. Explore the topics for Essay #5 before this class, as we will be discussing how to find your required outside sources for Essays #5 and #6. Also, come prepared to take good notes, as we’ll be going online and exploring how to use research and documentation tools.
Th 11 þ Taking a stand ü 9
Read: (581-615, 649)--RR#13 due
View and explore: the rest of chapter 6
“Omayra Sanchez” by Isabel Allende
“Context,” interview with photographer Frank Fournier
“Farmer in Chief” by Michael Pollan
T 16 Read: (650-661)--RR#14 due
“Regarding the Pain of Others” by Susan Sontag
Film: Lord of War [dir. Andrew Niccol, 2005]
Deadline for first drafts of Essay #5
Th 18 Film: Lord of War continued --RR#15 due (your analytical comment on the film)
T 23 Group discussions—in your small group of 4 or 5 classmates, you will present
your draft of Essay #5--RR#16 credit will be given to those with essay drafts.)
Th 25 Essay #5 due, final draft (documented essay, using at least one outside source) and
@ H Confronting Class G
Read: (491-492, 505-512, 528-548)-- RR#17 due
“A Touchy Subject” by Paul Fussell
“The Dispossessed” by William Deresiewicz
“Portfolio: How Class Works,” graphs and charts from Class Matters, Bill Keller
for the New York Times
View and explore the intervening pages
T 30 Read: (549-558)-- RR#18 due
“This Land Is Their Land” by Barbara Ehrenreich
“This Land Is Your Land” by Woody Guthrie
View and explore: the rest of chapter 7.
Documentary Film: Waging a Living [dir. Roger Weisberg, 2004]
Th 2 Film: Waging a Living continued --RR#19 due (analytical response to the film)
Deadline for late Essay #5.
T 7 Group discussions—in your small group of 4 or 5 classmates, you will present
your draft of Essay #6--RR#20 credit will be given to those with essay drafts.)
Th 9 Essay #6 due (persuasive research paper/revision; use 2-3 outside sources, and
submit your previous graded draft, if a revision)
Essay #7: In-class Final Exam Essay (bring your textbook to this open book
T 14 Conferences in my office; Deadline for late Essay #6
Th 16 Conferences in my office
General Course requirements
Attendance and class participation:
You should have no more than four unexcused absences. Excessive absences will result in a lowered grade; extreme absence problems will result in the loss of credit for the course (a grade of F). Also, chronic lateness may seriously affect your grade (two "lates" equal one absence). On the other hand, responsible attendance and diligent participation in class discussion may raise your grade. You will receive a separate letter grade for your class participation. You must attend class; extreme absence problems WILL result in loss of credit for the course (a grade of F or UW), even if your written work is satisfactory.
Small group discussions of essay drafts: On the days scheduled for group discussion, we will break into small groups (of 4-5 students each) for organized discussion of essay drafts. I will circulate among the group discussions and will keep a record of each student’s preparedness for discussion, as this comprises part of your class participation grade. Each person must bring his or her draft of the upcoming essay to present to the group. You will read your essay draft aloud in order to share with your group the ideas you are presenting in the paper you’re working on. If the current assignment involves research, you will also describe how you did your research. Then you will participate in a discussion of your essay and ideas with the group.
In-Class Essays and Quizzes: From time to time, there may be in-class essay questions and/or quizzes in order to assess students’ familiarity with the day’s reading. These quizzes and essays will not be previously announced and will count as part of the letter grade for class participation.
Reading Responses (informal writing): As you see on the calendar schedule, you will be submitting a series of 20 reading response writings. These are worth 5 points each, for a semester total of 100 possible points. Points earned will be converted to a letter grade to be averaged together equally with your other letter grades for the course (90-100=A, 85-89=B+, 80-84=B, 75-79=C+, 70-74=C, 65-69=D+, 60-64=D, 0-59=F). These writings should be typed and should be a half page to one page in length (125-250 words). Responses that are not typed will automatically have one point deducted. Each reading response will be submitted at the beginning of the class period at which it is due. If you are absent, you may submit the missing response writing at the following class. But if you are present and fail to turn in the work, you may not “make it up.” Your response writings are to be your own original, analytical response to the readings assigned for that day, or to the film we are in the midst of watching in class. I am not interested in receiving work a week later that simply repeats what was already said in class by someone else. Instead, please sit down at your computer directly after finishing the assigned reading and write one good, solid paragraph (a page at most) regarding some aspect of the work that interests you. Be sure your response is an analytical one, not a summary. Summaries (in which you simply repeat the main ideas in the readings) will earn a lower grade. Don’t just “retell” what has been said in the readings; instead express an opinion about or reaction to what these authors have written. Also, respond to the group of readings as a whole (not just to the first page of the first article). Demonstrate that you’ve done all of the reading by making an intelligent comment on it. Do not plagiarize your response writing from web sites like Wikipedia; plagiarized responses will receive the grade of F, and a second incidence of plagiarism—on any written work—may result in an automatic F for the entire course. You must do your own work to pass this course. Ideas you articulate in your response writings may end up being part of your formal papers. I will not be marking grammatical errors and so forth on these informal writings; instead I’m simply looking for evidence that you have done the reading and that you are thinking about what you have read.
Essays (formal writing): Six of the essays that you will write during the semester will receive letter grades. Four of the essays (#2,4,5,and 6) will be written outside class and will go through at least two drafts (only the final draft will be graded); the other two graded essays (#3 and 7) will be written in class and will also serve as midterm and final exams. In these formal writing assignments, grammar and sentence structure do count, along with the quality of your ideas and your mastery of the issues and concepts from our reading.
Four ways to get help with your essay drafts: (1) For one-on-one tutoring in writing skills in general, and for help with your drafts for your out-of-class papers, you are encouraged to go to the Writing Center (first floor of Bradley Hall—the Y Building). (2) You may also come to see me during my office hours, if needed. (3) If you give me a typewritten draft of your paper at least two weeks before the due date for the paper, I will give you comments and suggestions for revision. (4) You will be sharing your essay drafts with small groups of classmates before each essay due date, and your fellow writers should offer constructive suggestions for improving your essays.
REQUIRED--Turnitin.com: You must submit Essays #2, #4, #5, and #6 (your papers written outside class) to Turnitin.com (the plagiarism checking service) as well as giving me a hard copy in class. Submit both the hard copy to me and the online copy to Turnitin.com on or before the due date for the paper. Your paper will not be graded until you both submit electronically and provide a hard copy. If the paper is submitted late in either of these forms, then it is a late paper. Registering for Turnitin.com: Go to the Turnitin.com home page. Click on the “Create Account” link to the left of the login boxes. Use the access numbers for your class that appear at the top of this syllabus in order to set up your access to this course on Turnitin.com.
Grades: Your in-class midterm exam (Essay #3) and final exam (Essay #7) will be averaged together equally with the grades on your out-of-class essays (#2, 4, 5 and 6), your composite grade for reading response writings, and your class participation grade. Thus, you will have six essay grades, a grade for response writings, and a grade for class attendance and participation (eight grades altogether) to be averaged together equally. To add and average your grades yourself, convert them to grade points (A=4, B+=3.5, B=3, C+=2.5, C=2, D+=1.5, D=1, F=0). You must attend class; extreme absence problems will result in loss of credit for the course (a grade of UW or F), even if your written work is satisfactory. Please review the college’s new policy on withdrawals. If you stop attending a class and you have not submitted a withdrawal form to the Registrar’s office, you will receive the grade of F or UW (unauthorized withdrawal). The UW grade is averaged into your GPA as an F grade. This is the college’s policy for all of your courses.
Accommodations and Learning Differences: If you have a physical, psychological, medical, or learning disability that may have an impact on your ability to carry out the assigned coursework, I urge you to contact the Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD), Building U (516-572-7241, TTY 516-572-7617). The counselors at CSD will review your concerns and determine reasonable accommodations you are entitled to by the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. All information and documentation pertaining to personal disabilities will be kept confidential.
General Instructions for All Essays: Use standard one-inch margins on the top, sides and bottom of each page. Please double-space and use a standard size type face (use 12-point type—no oversized type). Each of your essays should have a title. Be sure you have a backup copy of every essay you submit. Late papers will be dropped one half of a letter grade during the week following the due date. The deadline for late papers is one week after the due date for each paper (except Essay #6, which may have a shorter window of time). An F will be entered in the grade book for any paper not received by the late paper deadline. It is important to keep up with the assignments as scheduled.
Citing Sources for Essays 5 and 6: We will be discussing this in class. Keep a careful record of information about the outside sources that you use. You must provide complete bibliographic information on your Works Cited list. A website created by an academic institution or department, a museum, or scholarly association would be an appropriate source. A personal website would not be an appropriate source. Also, Wikipedia is not an appropriate source of information for an academic paper. You must know who wrote the web page and who sponsors the site. Study guide sites and student essay sites are obviously not appropriate sources for college level work.
Plagiarism Warning: If you try to pass off someone else’s words as your own writing, then you have committed plagiarism. Plagiarism will not be tolerated; plagiarized papers will receive the grade of F and may not be rewritten. A second incidence of plagiarism will result in the grade of F for the entire course.
v v v
Essay #1 In-Class Essay (first day of class). This brief, ungraded essay will serve as a sample of your writing. I may advise you to attend the Writing Center for tutorial help if I see serious problems with sentence-level writing skills or English usage in this sample essay. You will write the essay in class, during the last half hour of the period, and one handwritten page will be a sufficient length. I will provide a choice of topics.
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Essay #2 Analytical Essay (500-750 words; 2-3 pages typed)
Assignment: Read the assigned essays and articles for this segment of the course closely, and use them as guides to what good analytical writing might include. Write an analytical essay of your own, based on one of the following topics. You must include discussion of a written text or texts, in addition to whatever visual texts you focus on. Choose a topic that interests you:
1. Former New York mayor David Denkins first articulated the idea of New York (and the American society in general) as a mosaic of cultures. Do you think this is an apt metaphor for our multicultural society? Bharati Mukherjee, in “Imagining Homelands,” asks (on page 204) “What is America? Is it a place or an idea, is it a patchwork of diverse communities, or a nuanced, accented, multi-colored myth of shared values? Are we heading […] toward the ancient dream of unity through diversity—e pluribus unum—or have we already taken the first steps down the long slope to chaos?” Read the remainder of Mukherjee’s article carefully and then discuss your own characterization of American society. You may also want to refer to information and ideas from Cherien Dabis’s 2009 film Amreeka, which we’ll be viewing in class, or from other relevant films you have viewed. You may want to organize your essay around your comments and reactions to passages in the article, photographs in our textbook, and ideas and scenes from Amreeka.
2. Mukherjee and Dabis (see question #1) also focus on issues related to immigration. Instead of the somewhat broader topic suggested above, you may want to write an essay that focuses in on immigration.
3. In his article “Streets Change, But Memories Endure,” Kenji Jasper writes of the changes that have taken place in his Washtington D.C. neighborhood over time. Discuss your views on his experience, and particularly on his opinions regarding how his neighborhood changed due to gentrification. Gentrification is due to social and economic (and sometimes political) forces. Many of us have recently experienced changes in our own neighborhoods due to the natural (and perhaps partly man-made) forces of hurricane Sandy. How would you relate your experience of a changing neighborhood or town to Jasper’s experiences?
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Essay #3 is the in-class Midterm Exam
BE SURE YOU BRING YOUR TEXTBOOK TO THIS OPEN BOOK EXAM.
You will have three essay topics to choose from, and you will write on only one. You may use your textbook (Seeing & Writing 4), your syllabus (for the list of readings and films) and a dictionary, if you wish. No class notes may be used, and all electronic devices must be silenced and put away completely during the exam.
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Essay #4 Analytical Essay (500-750 words, 2-3 pages typed)
Assignment: Read the assigned essays closely and use them as guides to what good analytical writing might include. Also, be sure to be clear about your purpose for the essay, and be sure to articulate a thesis. Write an analytical essay of your own, based on one of the following topics.
1. Write an essay dealing with any of the issues raised by Bill McKibben’s “Year One of the Next Earth” and by Achbar and Abbott’s documentary The Corporation. You may want to focus in on issues related to the environment (old sources of energy and alternative sources of energy, environmental pollution and toxins, climate change and storms) or you may choose to focus on an issue such as the food supply and the quality of our food (GMOs vs. organic, long-distance transportation of food vs. local production for local consumption, processed foods vs. natural or “whole” foods).
2. Marjane Satrapi (“The Veil” and Persepolis) and Art Spiegelman (“Nature vs. Nurture”) believe that comic books (or, graphic storytelling) are a natural medium for dealing with serious subject matter. Do you agree or disagree? Use examples from their works that we have read and that we’ve viewed in class in order to illustrate and support your points about serious graphic storytelling. There is also a graphic essay on this topic in Appendix A of your book: Scott McCloud’s “Show and Tell,” a chapter from his book Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art (712-735). You may also wish to include discussion of how your textbook uses this method in an effort to visually represent ideas about the composition of essays.
3. The title of Katha Pollitt’s article (381-383) is “Why Boys Don’t Play with Dolls,” but is this actually true? Having raised a son, I believe that male superhero figures are as popular with boys as Barbie dolls are with girls. What is your reaction to Art Spiegelman’s “Nature vs. Nurture” (380) and to the points Katha Pollitt makes in her article? Do you think that the popularity of super-muscled hero figures and unrealistically endowed Barbie dolls is harmful to children? Argue for or against the marketing and popularity of these ubiquitous toys. Regarding boys’ superhero figures, you may also want to discuss the value of the various related comic book series, TV shows, video games and films. Are these toys, programs, films, games, and comics detrimental to boys’ and girls’ development and values, or are they beneficial, or does it not matter? Be specific. State your thesis and cite evidence to support it.
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Essay #5 Documented Essay (750-1,000 words; 3-4 pages typed; use at least one
outside source; submit a Works Cited page)
Assignment: Choose one of the following topic areas and write a well-developed analytical documented essay. In addition to using any films we have viewed and any source or sources in your textbook, you must use at least one outside source for facts, ideas and/or statistics, and you must cite your sources. I urge you to use the on-line databases made available to you by the NCC library, as well as the library’s on-line catalogue for books. We will discuss in class how to do this, and I will also show you how to use the online MLA Guidelines (at http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/) for citing your sources and creating a Works Cited list. You must use in-text citations to cite your sources and you must have a Works Cited list at the end of your essay. Document your sources responsibly. Plagiarism will not be tolerated. Plagiarized papers will receive the grade of F and may not be rewritten.
1. Read Ta-Nehisi Coates’s article on Bill Cosby (447-462). Coates writes, “As Cosby sees it, the antidote to racism is not rallies, protests, or pleas, but strong families and communities” (448). Write an essay in which you discuss Coates’s views about Bill Cosby and about race in America. You may also use ideas from the other relevant essays in this chapter (for instance, Alexander, McBride, or Riley), our relevant films Amreeka or Smoke Signals, and you may want to refer to some of the photographs in our text also, as examples or statements about race. In addition, you will need one relevant outside source of information.
2. Reread Michael Pollan’s article “Farmer in Chief,” composed as a letter to the President-Elect shortly before the 2008 presidential election. Pollan writes about the connections between food production, oil, climate change, and health care. If you wrote about any of these issues for the related Essay #4 topic (Essay #4, topic 1., on The Corporation and the McKibben article about the environment), then you may build on that previous essay, revising and expanding it. You must include substantial discussion of the ideas in the Pollan article, and you must find an additional outside source. Also, if you are expanding your Essay #4, you must submit that previous, graded version of the essay (the original with my comments on it) along with your Essay #5.
3. The war in Liberia (depicted in Lord of War) is one of many wars that have come to be called resource wars, referring to the various wars and conflicts related to struggles over the earth’s resources. This is a topic that involves interwoven issues of environmental exploitation as well as human rights, economic globalization, the international arms trade, and many other areas of interest. Make use of any resources in your textbook (such as the images on pages 584-585, 640-643, and 656-661), the article by Susan Sontag (“Regarding the Pain of Others”), as well as what you have learned from the film Lord of War, plus at least one outside source. Write an essay discussing these issues and attempting to articulate what you think should be done domestically and/or internationally to address them.
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Essay #6 Persuasive Research Paper (1,000-1,250 words, 4-5 pages typed; at least
2-3 outside sources; a Works Cited list)
Assignment: Write a well-organized persuasive essay on one of the following topic areas. You may use as sources any of the essays in our textbook and any of the films we have viewed. In addition, you will need to use two or three outside sources (books, newspaper or magazine articles, or online sources). Remember: (1) You must have a thesis guiding your essay: what is your controlling idea or argument? How will you explain and support that argument, using information from your sources (as well as from your own experience, if you wish). (2) It’s often effective to argue against views you disagree with, as well as offering ideas from writers who share your opinions. (3) You must use textual sources, along with any discussion of films, images, or personal experience. (4) Document your sources carefully. You must use in-text citations and you must have a Works Cited list that includes complete information on all of your sources. When writing your paper, please refer to the MLA documentation guidelines (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/), as demonstrated during our research session in class. Document your sources responsibly. Plagiarism will not be tolerated. Plagiarized papers will receive the grade of F and may not be rewritten.
Choose one of the following topics:
1. What do you think of William Deresiewicz’s ideas about working class values and middle class values in “The Dispossessed” (529-535, and 538)? Consider this article, along with the portfolio of graphs and charts (540-548), the documentary Waging a Living, any of our other readings, films and images related to social class, and two or three outside sources.
2. Whose land is this? Write an essay that responds particularly to Barbara Ehrenreich’s “This Land Is Their Land” (549-553) and Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land” (554). You may also use the other materials suggested in question #1, as well as ideas from any of our relevant films (Amreeka, Smoke Signals, The Corporation, Waging a Living), as well as two or three outside sources.
3. Rewrite and expand any previous essay. If you choose this option, your revised, expanded essay must conform to the requirements of this assignment. It must be a persuasive essay (taking a stand and offering supporting evidence), it must be at least 4-5 pages in length, and it must include sources from our text as well as at least 2-3 outside sources. In addition, if you submit a rewrite, you must also turn in the previous, graded version of the paper (the original with my comments on it). If you do not have your original, previously graded paper, then you may NOT choose this rewrite option.
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Essay #7 In-class Final Essay Exam
BE SURE YOU BRING YOUR TEXTBOOK TO THIS OPEN BOOK EXAM.
The final is an in-class essay exam. You will receive three essay questions based on three different topics. You will choose one topic to write on. The topics will be drawn from readings and films discussed in the second half of the semester (since the midterm). During the exam, you may use your textbook (Seeing & Writing 4), your syllabus (for a list of the readings we’ve done and films we’ve seen), and a dictionary (if you wish). No class notes may be used, and all electronic devices must be silenced and put away completely during the exam.
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