Composition 1: Expository Writing
Reading and Writing about Today’s Issues
Prof. Barbara Barnard Office: Bradley Hall, Y 231
English 101-KL Phone: 572-7185 (x25648)
Fall 2016 E-mail: Barbara.Barnard@ncc.edu
T, Th 1:00-2:15 P.M. Office hours: M, W 12:30-1:45 P.M.
Room N 208
Turnitin.com class ID: xxxxxxxx
Turnitin enrollment password: xxxxxxxx
Required text to buy: The New World Reader, 5th Edition, by Gilbert H. Muller (Cengage, 2017). 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 Blackboard system. You are not required to do any work in Blackboard; 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 major 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. Fairness demands that every person’s work be evaluated equally. 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 for that paper. If internet access is a problem for you, you can use a student computer lab on campus to access the site.
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Th 1 Introduction to course and in-class essay (Essay #1).
T 6 American Mosaic—Who are we anyway?
Read: (28-44) Ellis Cose, “Red, Brown, and Blue,”
Bharati Mukherjee, “American Dreamer,”
Lee C. Bollinger, “Why Diversity Matters”
[The above three articles are available online (just google the author and title). After this week, however, you will need to have the book. Most of the material in our textbook is not available online.]
Th 8 Film: Amreeka (Dir., Cherien Dabis, 2009)
T 13 Amreeka continued, and discussion
Th 15 Read: (44-55) Randa Jarrar, “Deportation Order”
Dwight N. Hopkins, “Beyond Black and White: The Hawaiian President”
Firoozeh Dumas, “Mall Together Now”
T 20 Review Steve Kelley cartoon (29)
Film: Smoke Signals (Dir. Chris Eyre, 1998)
Th 22 Film: Smoke Signals (continued), and discussion
Read: (3-10, 12-17, and 21-25) Thinking, reading, and writing strategies
T 27 Workshops for Essay #2, small group discussions of first drafts (bring 4 copies of
Th 29 Essay #2 due, final draft (analytical essay) and
Global Relationships—Sex and Gender Roles
Read: (118-120, 135-139, 17-21)
Elaine Sciolino, “The French, the Veil, and the Look”
Susan Bordo, “The Globalization of Eating Disorders”
Film: Persepolis (Dir. Vincent Paronnaud and Marjane Satrapi, 2007)
T 4 Read: (145-152)
Barbara Ehrenreich and Annette Fuentes, “Life on the Global Assembly Line”
Film: Persepolis continued
Th 6 ü The Fate of the Earth—The Global Environment ý þ
Read: (313-15, 320-25, 326-331) Naomi Klein, “The Change Within”
Al Gore, “We Can’t Wish Away Climate Change”
Deadline for late Essay #2
T 11 Read: (332-340) Andy Rooney, “Talking Trash” and
Bill McKibben, “A Place That Makes Sense”
Film: The Corporation (Dirs. Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbott, 2004)
Th 13 Film: The Corporation (continued)
T 18 Day classes meet on a Monday schedule (attend your Monday classes)
Th 20 Workshops for Essay #4, first draft due (analytical essay)—bring 4 copies of your
T 25 Essay #3 (in-class midterm essay exam)
Essay #4 due, final draft (analytical essay)
Th 27 Read: “Conducting Research in the Global Era” (347-368)
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 source/s for Essays #5 and #6. Also, come prepared to take good notes, as we’ll be going online (in the classroom) and exploring how to use research and documentation tools.
T 1 [VZYW Culture Wars—Whose Culture Is It, Anyway? Mÿ
Read: (186-195) Lisa See, “Have Roots,Will Travel” and
Henry Louis Gates, Jr., “Whose Culture Is It, Anyway?”
Deadline for late Essay #4
Th 3 Read: (195-199, 206-210) Luis Alberto Urrea, “Manifest Destiny” and
Richard Pells, “Does the World Still Care About American Culture?”
T 8 ü Clash of Civilizations—Is Conflict Avoidable? ý þ
Read: (222-224, 242-251)
Karen Armstrong, “Fundamentalism Is Here to Stay”
Amartya Sen, “A World Not Neatly Divided”
Th 10 Who’s a Terrorist?—Many Views About Terrorism
Read: (252-254, 275-281, 115-117) Paul Krugman, “Why We Fight Wars”
Reza Aslan, “Losing the War on Terror”
Robin Tolmach Lakoff, “The Power of Words in Wartime”
Film: Lord of War (Dir. Andrew Niccol, 2005)
T 15 Film: Lord of War continued
Th 17 Workshops for Essay #5 (bring: the draft of your documented essay, using at least
one outside source; bring a copy or printout of your source to show and discuss with your group; your draft should include your Works Cited list)
T 22 Essay #5 due, final draft (documented essay, using at least one outside source) and
Class Divide—The Growing Income Gap
Read: (25-26) Chrystia Freeland, “The Rich are Different Than You and Me” and
Reread/Review: (145-152) Barbara Ehrenreich and Annette Fuentes, “Life on the
Global Assembly Line” (We also read this earlier in the semester.)
Film: Waging a Living (Dir. Roger Weisberg, 2004)
Th 24 Thanksgiving – college holiday – classes do not meet
T 29 Film: Waging a Living continued, plus a bonus film, and interview with the
writer/director (if time permits)
Deadline for late Essay #5
Th 1 ü America & the World—How Do Others Perceive Us? ý þ
Read: (57-59, 75-80, 86-90) Mehdi Hasan, “Why I Could Never Hate America”
Alkman Granitsas, “Americans Are Tuning Out the World”
Fouad Ajami, “The Anti-Americans”
T 6 Workshops for Essay #6 (bring your draft and copies of your 2-3 outside sources)
Th 8 Essay #6 due (persuasive research paper, using 2-3 outside sources). If submitting
a revision of an earlier paper, you must turn in the previous graded version as
well; otherwise, you will not receive credit for the paper!
Read: (71-74, 78-86) Elie Wiesel, “Why I Love America”
Sasha Abramsky, “Waking Up from the American Dream”
T 13 Essay #7: Final Exam Essay
Th 15 Conferences in my office (I’ll be available in my office for those who
need to see me, but you are not required to come by.)
Deadline for late Essay #6
T 20 Conferences in my office (as above)
Th 22 Day classes meet on a Friday schedule (attend your Friday classes)
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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 or UW). 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. Please be aware that the college averages the UW grade into your GPA as an F.
Essays (in-class essays and out-of-class papers): 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, sentence structure, and organization do count, along with the quality of your ideas and your mastery of the issues and concepts from our readings, films, and discussions.
Late papers will be dropped one half of a letter grade, and the deadline for late papers is one week after the due date. An F will be entered in the grade book for papers not received by the late paper deadline. If you have internet, printer or computer problems at home, you are responsible for going to a student computer lab on campus to print your paper. Excuses related to your home equipment will not be acceptable; use the facilities on campus when you have equipment or access problems at home. It’s also your responsibility to begin work on your essays early in order to avoid last-minute problems.
Five 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 Essays #2, 4, 5, and 6 you are encouraged to go to the Writing Center (first floor of Bradley Hall—the Y Building). (2) On days set aside for small group discussions of drafts, you will receive feedback from your classmates in your group; also, I’ll be circulating among the groups to check for drafts and to answer questions about the assignment. (3) You may also come to see me during my office hours. (4) Appendix A in the back of your textbook (347-368) contains useful information and advice on writing essays, including a brief version of MLA documentation guidelines. (5) You may want to participate in the Writing Center’s skills workshops, held at various times during the semester. The Writing Center posts schedules for Grammar Workshops plus Research/Documentation Workshops (MLA and APA) linked from their web page here: http://www.ncc.edu/programsandcourses/academic_departments/english/writingcenter/default.shtml and I will forward to the class any Writing Center announcements I receive by email.
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 discussion of essay drafts. I will circulate among the small groups and will keep a record of each student’s preparedness. 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 discussing in the paper you’re working on. You will also describe how you did your research and where you found your source(s), if you’re working on a paper that requires research. Then you will participate in a discussion of your essay and ideas (and your classmates’ essays and ideas). Those who bring and share their essay drafts will receive credit toward the class participation grade; those who are unprepared will receive a zero for the draft. You will not be turning these drafts in to me; they are only for sharing and getting classmates’ feedback during the group sessions.
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.
REQUIRED--Turnitin.com: You must submit Essays #2, 4, 5, and 6 (your out-of-class papers) to Turnitin.com (the plagiarism screening 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 button. After you have created your account, then 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. If you already have an account with Turnitin, you can log in and register for this class within your existing account.
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), and your class participation grade. Thus, you will have six essay grades, and one grade for attendance and participation (seven 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 be aware of the college’s policy on withdrawals. If you stop attending a class and you have not formally dropped the course with 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. This is the college’s policy for all credit-bearing 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 size 12—no oversized fonts). 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 each due date. 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 #2, 4, 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, government agency, or scholarly association would be an appropriate source. A personal website would not be an appropriate source. Also, Wikipedia and other user-sourced sites are not appropriate sources of information for a college-level paper. You must know who wrote the web page and who sponsors the site. Study guide sites and sites that post and sell student essays are obviously not appropriate sources. Also, user comments on web sites are not appropriate sources.
Plagiarism Warning: If you try to pass off someone else’s words and ideas as your own writing, then you have committed plagiarism. If you change every fifth word of someone else’s writing and try to pass it off as your own, that is still plagiarism. Do your own thinking. If you use the words or ideas of others, cite your source(s). 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.
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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 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 our written texts (articles in your textbook), in addition to whatever visual texts (photographs or film) you focus on. When you use quotations, ideas, and/or statistics from any of our class readings, be careful to cite your source(s) in parentheses following the quotation or information.
1. It was former New York City mayor David Denkins who 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? Discuss your own characterization of American society. You may also want to refer to information and ideas from the films Amreeka and Smoke Signals, 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 articles we have read in our textbook, and/or photographs in our textbook, and ideas and scenes from the films we’re viewing.
2. The film Amreeka as well as some of our readings focus on issues related to immigration. Instead of the somewhat broader topic above about the nature of American society, you may instead want to write an essay that focuses in on a specific aspect of immigration.
3. A complexity of tensions and cultural strains surround the discussions related to the current national election cycle; and during this semester, we—the American people—will be going to the polls to cast our votes in this crucial election. How do you see the readings and films we’re experiencing in class as being related to election year issues in our society such as: immigration, the justice system, race relations, cultural diversity, social activism, rights and responsibilities in a diverse society, or any other current issue that you see as related to our readings and films discussed so far in class.
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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 be given several essay topics to choose from, and you will write on only one. You may use your textbook (The New World Reader), your syllabus (for the list of readings and films) and a dictionary, if you wish. No class notes may be used, no outside sources, 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. You must include discussion of our written texts (articles in your textbook), in addition to whatever visual texts (photographs or film) you focus on. When you use quotations, ideas, and/or statistics from any of our class readings, be careful to cite your source(s) in parentheses following the quotation or information.
1. Write an essay dealing with any of the environmental issues raised by the Klein, Gore, Rooney, and/or Schell articles we have read and by Achbar and Abbott’s documentary film 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, or climate change and storms) or you may choose to focus on an issue such as the food supply and the quality of our food (such as GMOs vs. organic, long-distance transportation of food vs. local production for local consumption, processed foods vs. natural or “whole” foods, agribusiness vs. local small farms and sustainable, organic farming).
2. Elaine Sciolino (“The French, The Veil, and the Look”) is an American journalist currently living in Paris, and she is considered an expert on Iranian society and other predominantly Muslim societies. Marjane Satrapi (Persepolis) is a filmmaker and graphic memoirist also currently living in Paris, and she is herself of Iranian origin (as depicted in her autobiographical graphic memoir and film). What do you think is most striking about what we can learn from these two writers regarding women in Muslim societies, and about relations between Muslim societies and the global community of which they are a part?
3. Barbara Ehrenreich and Annette Fuentes, in “Life on the Global Assembly Line,” imply that women in many parts of the world are exploited more than men. Write an essay in which you agree or disagree with their arguments. In building your essay, you may include information from articles we have read, films we have seen, your own experience, and/or the experience of friends or relatives.
4. Write an essay dealing with any of the issues raised by the film The Corporation. Do you think the film is an honest depiction of the problems arising from the growth and behavior of corporations in the U.S. and internationally? Also make use of articles we have read on this topic (Klein, Gore, Rooney, Schell, and Ehrenreich and Fuentes) in building your essay. What are your own views on these issues? What is your thesis? Do you think of globalization as a good thing, a bad thing, or a mixed bag? Articulate your own current understanding of the benefits and consequences of globalization.
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Essay #5 Documented Essay (750-1,000 words; 3-4 pages typed; use at least one outside
Source and submit a Works Cited list)
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. This does not have to be a comparison/contrast essay, but you may wish to compare two ideas, two alternative courses of action, two opinions on an issue—comparison and contrast is a thinking process we use every day. 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 and create a Works Cited list. I urge you to use the on-line databases made available to you by the NCC library, and/or 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 documentation guidelines (at http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/) for citing your sources and creating a Works Cited list. There is also a brief version of the MLA guidelines in the back of your textbook (362-368), along with advice about developing a research paper (347-362). 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; review the plagiarism policy on page 6 of this syllabus. Choose a topic that interests you:
1. Write an essay in which you discuss the ideas about American cultural tensions and cultural intersections explored in the articles in this section (See, Gates, Urrea, Pells). You may also use ideas from the other relevant essays we have read, as well as 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 cultures. In addition, you will need at least one relevant outside source of information.
2. Write an essay in which you discuss the ideas about global cultural tensions and cultural intersections explored in the relevant articles by Armstrong and Sen. You may also want to tie in relevant scenes and information from any of our other readings or any of the films we have viewed.
3. The war in Liberia (which spanned the 1990’s and early 2000’s) 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 concern. Make use of any resources in your textbook (articles and photographs) 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 articulating what you think should be done nationally and/or internationally to address them. Articles in our textbook that will be helpful include those by Krugman, Aslan, and Lakoff.
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Essay #6 Persuasive Research Paper (1,000-1,250 words, 4-5 pages typed; at least
2 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 relevant essays in our textbook and any of the films we have viewed. In addition, you will need to use at least two outside sources. Remember: (1) You must have a thesis guiding your essay: what is your controlling idea or argument? 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.
Choose one of the following topics:
1. Analyze the views about social class and the economy expressed in the articles by Freeland and by Ehrenreich and Fuentes, as well as the issues raised in Weisberg’s documentary Waging a Living. Also, integrate a discussion of what you agree or disagree with in your related outside sources. Argue for your own view about these important contemporary issues.
2. Analyze and compare the views on America’s image in the world that are presented in the articles by Hasan, Ajami, Granitsas, Wiesel, and/or Abramsky, as well as the views expressed in your related outside sources. Argue for or against any of these views.
3. Rewrite and expand any previous essay. If you choose this option, your revised, expanded essay must conform to the requirements of this Essay #6 assignment, and you must do additional research (at least 2 outside sources altogether). 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 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 and grade 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 several essay questions based on 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 (The New World Reader), 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, no outside sources, and all electronic devices must be silenced and put away during the exam.
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