Week 1

Aug 22

-Classes start @ 4pm

Aug 23

Aug 24

-Introduction to class, peers, syllabus

-Assign Introductory Letter (Minute Paper #1)

-Read: 657-61, 676-9, 1-8 for Friday

Aug 25

Aug 26

-Read Letters outloud

-Intro to GKL and Vocab “Word of the Day”

-Read: 662-5 for Monday

Week 2

Aug 29

-Audience/Online Journals

-Assign Informational Graphics (D.A. #2)

-Read: 666-9 & Chpt 5 for Wednesday

Aug 30

Aug 31

-Show off Info Graphics in class

-Intro to Memoirs (Narrative – Chpt 5)

-Read: Chpt 4 for Friday

Sept 1

Sept 2

-Intro to Profiles (Descriptive – Chpt 4))

-Try out Memoir/Profile for Wednesday

-Read: 26-44 for Wednesday

Week 3

Sept 5

No Class

Sept 6

Sept 7

-Read Memoir/Profile outloud

-Thesis Development

Sept 8

Sept 9

-Daily Informative Genre (Email) or Exem.

-Assign Personal Obituaries

Week 4

Sept 12

-Read Obituaries outloud


-Read: 670-5 for Wednesday

Sept 13

Sept 14

-Instant Messenger/Chat Rooms

-Revision Exercises for Paper 1

Sept 15

Sept 16

-GKL/Peer Revision Day

-Sign up for Writing Conferences

Week 5

Sept 19

-Writing Conferences in my office (Haverty 223)

Sept 20

Sept 21

-Writing Conferences in my office

Sept 22

Sept 23


-Vocabulary Activity – Quiz on MONDAY

Week 6

Correct Paper 1

Sept 26

-Vocabulary Quiz (Read Vocab stories?)

-Intro to Paper 2/Examples of Research Papers

Sept 27


Paper 1

Sept 28

-Annotated Bibliographies (example)

-Library field trip?

Sept 29


Paper 1

Sept 30

-Work on Annotated Bibliographies in class

-Do more work on Paper #2

Week 7



Oct 3

-Evaluative Genres: Reviews and Compare/Contrast

-Write Reviews in class (in groups or individually)

Oct 4

No Classes 1-5pm

Oct 5

-Read Reviews outloud

-Intro to Commentaries/Examples

Oct 6

Oct 7

-Work on Annotated Bibliographies in class

-Hand in Annotated Bibliographies at end of class

Week 8


Oct 10

-Share mini-Commentaries

-Study for Vocabulary Mid-Term

Oct 11

Oct 12

-Vocabulary Mid-Term

-Hand back Annotated Bibliographies?

Oct 13

Oct 14

No Class

Professional Day

Week 9

Oct 17

-Intro to Articles


Oct 18



Oct 19

-Geeky Knowledge Lessons


Oct 20

Oct 21

-Peer Review of Paper 2

-Sign up for Writing Conferences

Week 10

Oct 24

-Writing Conferences in my office (Haverty 223)

Oct 25

Oct 26

-Writing Conferences in my office

Oct 27

Oct 28


-Bring in pieces of favorite genres for Monday

-Bring in lyrics to three favorite songs for Monday

Week 11


Oct 31

-Bonus for Halloween attire

-Intro to Paper #3: Multi-Genre/Examples

-Intro to Poem Exercise with lyrics

Nov 1


Nov 2

-Intro to Poetry with Beck & e.e. cummings

Nov 3


Nov 4


-Activities TBA

Week 12

Nov 7

-More Poetry?

-Intro to Multi-Vocal/Group Paper


Nov 8

Nov 9

-WORK DAY for Paper 2 Revisions, Paper 3, and the Group Paper

-Have 1 page of Paper 3 done for Monday

Nov 10

Nov 11

No Class

Veteran’s Day

Week 13

Nov 14

-Comedians: The Funny Genre

-Movie Scripts/Fiction

-Vocabulary words for Final Exam handed out

Nov 15

Nov 16

-Sign up for Writing Conferences

-Group Work Time in class/Work on GKL too

-Attend a Cultural Diversity session for Bonus

Nov 17

Nov 18

-Geeky Knowledge Lessons

-Writing Conferences in class during last half of class time

Week 14

Nov 21

-Introduce Portfolio

-Writing Conferences last half of class time

Nov 22

Nov 23


-Work on Group Paper

Nov 24

No Class


Nov 25

No Class

Thanksgivg- Correct Paper 3

Week 15

Nov 28

-Snow Day


Nov 29

Nov 30

-Start on Portfolios (Paper 3 handed back)

-Sign up for Presentation of Group Paper

Dec 1

Dec 2


Week 16

Dec 5

-Portfolios DUE in class

Dec 6


Dec 7

-Group Work

Dec 8


Dec 9

-Presentations of Group Paper

Week 17

Finals Week

Dec 12

-Vocabulary Final Exam


Dec 13

Grade everything

Dec 14

8am-4pm: Hand back everything

*Final grades go in tomorrow

Dec 15

Noon-6pm: Office Hrs?

Dec 16

*The above daily schedule is not set in stone. Updates will be in given in class, through email, on the instructor’s teaching weblog, and/or on the instructor’s website. Attending class regularly will keep you up-to-date on assignment changes, due date changes, and other announcements.







Contact Information:

                Instructor’s Name- Sybil Priebe 

Instructor’s Email-

Instructor’s Website-          

Instructor’s Weblog-

Office- Haverty 223                     

Office Phone- (701) 671-2346  

                Office Hours- 9-11am MWF and by appointment


Course Description:

A basic composition course which covers an introduction to the essay, to poetry, and to many of the genres of literature. This course answers the following questions (and more):

What are some of the basic genres of writing and literature?

What is the difference between each genre?

How do I write in each genre?


Course Focus:

This course is designed to build basic writing and reading skills. These skills provide students with the basic knowledge for good written communication in both life and work.


Text and Materials:

>Book- Eschholz, Paul and Alfred Rosa. Subjects/Strategies: A Writer’s Reader. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2005.

                >3.5” computer disk or USB storage device


Class Rules:

            1.When you miss class, you will be “missing something important.”

                2.Respect each others’ writing, opinions, responses, and property.

                3.Packing up your things before class time is over is disrespectful. Please wait until I dismiss the class.

                4.No food or drink in class.

5.Respect goes both ways. If you are talking, I will listen (as will the rest of the class). If I am talking, I’d like all of you to listen.

6.Turn off cell phones.

7.Be on time.



>Attendance is crucial to understanding all of the course materials and to earning a passing grade.

>Students with excused absences (illness with a doctor’s note, school-sponsored activities, military duty, or family emergencies) have two weeks to make up missed assignments.

>If a student misses 5 class periods due to unexcused absences, 10 points will be deducted from his/her final points. If a student misses 7 class periods, 20 points will be deducted from his/her total points. If a student were to miss 9 or more class periods, he/she would receive an F for the course.


Late Work:

Late work will not be accepted. If you are going to be gone on a due date, arrange to hand in the assignment earlier or talk to me about other arrangements. [Employers will not accept late reports, so this is why this rule is in place.]



Students with Disabilities:

Any student with disabilities or special needs, who requires special accommodations in this course, is invited to share concerns or requests with me as soon as possible.



If any amount of plagiarism is found in a student’s paper (copying from the internet without quotations or parenthetical citations, copying parts or whole pages from another student, or any other sign of plagiarism), that student will be subject to disciplinary action which could result in no credit for the paper or a complete revision of the paper with a large reduction in points. If a student repeatedly plagiarizes, more severe actions will take place.


Assignments and Point Breakdown:

                Minute Papers and/or Daily Assignments (D.A.) = 25 pts each x 10 = 250 pts total

                Paper 1 = 50 pts (must be handed in in order to receive credit for I.P.)

                Paper 2 = 50 pts (must be handed in in order to receive credit for I.P.)

                Paper 3 = 50 pts (must be handed in in order to receive credit for I.P.)

“Word of the Day”/Vocabulary Mid-Term = 75 pts (Divided between Sept 26 -25 pts & Oct 12- 50pts)

“Word of the Day”/Vocabulary Final = 100 pts

Geeky Knowledge Lesson = 25 pts (Open dates: Oct 19 & Nov 18)

                Group Paper = 100 pts

Individual Portfolio = 100 pts

Writing Conferences = Attending a conference with me before the paper is due = 5 bonus points on the paper



900-1000 pts = A

800-899 pts = B

700-799 pts = C

600-699 pts = D

599 and below = F

(See next page for definitions of each letter grade.)


Details of Assignments: (All assignments are subject to changes or deletion.)

Minute Paper/D.A. #1: Students will write an introductory letter addressed to the class telling the class the following: who they are, what they like to talk about, and what they think of when they think of “English class.” This assignment should not be more than a page which is why it is called a “Minute Paper;” it should only take a minute to read. Be concise.


D.A. #2: An Info Graphic is a graphic which shows what kinds of knowledge or hobbies a student has and how all that information is connected to one another. Various examples of Info Graphics will be shown in class, and this assignment will help later on in the class with brainstorming for paper topics.


Minute Paper/D.A. #3: Personal Obituaries.


D.A. #4-D.A.#10: TBA


Paper 1: For this paper, students will be able to choose from the following types/genres of

writing: narration in the form of a memoir (Chpt 5), description (Chpt 4) or exemplification (Chpt 3). Ideas for each are found on pages: 103, 155, and 207. This paper needs to be 3-4 pages in length in MLA style. More details will be given in class, and a rubric will be handed out explaining how many points will be deducted for particular areas (spelling, grammar, organization, etc).


Paper 2 (a.k.a. “Stretch Project): For this paper, students will be able to choose from the following types/genres of writing: process analysis (Chpt 6), comparison and contrast (Chpt 7), a simple informative research paper, or argumentation (Chpt11). Ideas are found on pages: 270, #2 on 319, and 384. This paper needs to be 3-4 pages in length in MLA style. More details will be given in class, and a rubric will be handed out explaining how many points will be deducted for particular areas (spelling, grammar, organization, etc).


Paper 3: For this paper, students will be able to choose from the following types/genres of

writing: definition (Chpt 9), combined strategies (Chpt 12), or a multi-genre paper. Ideas are found on pages: 424 and 649. This paper needs to be 2-3 pages in length

in MLA style. More details will be given in class, and a rubric will be handed out explaining how many points will be deducted for particular areas (spelling, grammar, organization, etc).


Group Paper: This paper asks students to write something together  in groups of no more than 3 students. Various possibilities will be explained in class (movie scripts, commercials, multi-vocal pieces, etc). The length of this paper will be between 3-5 pages.


Individual Portfolio: Essentially, a portfolio contains one’s best work. Students will take two of their three individually written papers, revise them more thoroughly, and present them nicely in a well-designed container (folder, box, website, etc). A reflection letter will also be included in the portfolio, and a more detailed list of what is expected in the reflection letter will be handed out after Thanksgiving Break.


“Word of the Day”: In order to expand everyone’s vocabulary and spelling skills, we will, as a class, assign words daily to learn. These words can be words that are difficult to spell, difficult to pronounce, or just easily confused with other words (ex – defiantly vs. definitely). A few quizzes, a mid-term and a final will be given on the words we decide to learn on a daily basis.


Geeky Knowledge Lessons: Students will (individually or in groups of two) present one very short lesson throughout the semester on grammar concepts. When should you use a comma? What’s the difference between a comma and a semi-colon? What is MLA format all about? When should you use ‘who’ and when should you use ‘whom’? Students can make these short lessons fun and as creative as they’d like. [Please feel free to use the OWL site created by Purdue University for ideas.]


Assessment and Grading Information

I will comment on the following areas in your papers/writing assignments. They provide an outline for you to look at and use when writing.

Material- Is the material well-chosen for the particular situation, audience, and purpose?
A.Generalizations backed up with adequate specific supporting detail.
B.All points adequately covered, with no unnecessary material.
C.Accurate information.
D.All points logically presented and supported.
E.Material free of contradications.

Organization- Is the material well organized for the particular situation? Does the format support
the organization?
A.Clear, logical overall structure, signal (where appropriate) by headings, etc.
B.Clear, logical paragraph structure.
C.Smooth transitions.
D.Appropriate introduction and conclusion.
E.Well-placed material (for logical, psychological effect, and emphasis).

Style- Is the style appropriate for the situation, audience, and the writer's ethos?
F.Diction: Appropriate, avoids cliches and unnecessary jargon.
G.Sentence Structure: Avoids monotony or an over complex style.

Mechanics- meets at least a general standard for mechanical correctness (one error per 100

Definition of Letter Grades:

 A-Outstanding Work. Shows a superior completion of assignment. Provides excellent selection of content, organization, and wording of material to fit the rhetorical needs of the particular situation. Uses a style that is fluent and coherent. Has few if any mechanical errors. Shows clear understanding of readings, insight, perceptiveness, orginality, and thought.
B-Good Work. Significantly above level necessary to meet course requirements. Has a thorough, well-organized analysis of the assignment. Shows judgment and tact in presentation of material appropriate for the intended audience and purpose. Supports ideas well with concrete details. Has an interesting, precise, and clear style. Is free of major mechanical errors. Strong, interesting work, although minor problems remain.
C-Meets all basic requirements of the course and assignments. Provides a satisfactory analysis of the writing task, subject, and audience. Accomplishes its purpose with adequate content and detail. Uses detail, organization, and expression appropriate for the rhetorical context. Has acceptable mechanics. Nothing remarkably good or bad about the work.
D-Meets the assignment, but is weak in one of the major areas (content, organization, style, mechanics) or offers a routine, inadequate treatment. Shows generally substandard work with some redeeming features.
F-Unacceptable Work in one or more of the major areas. Fails to meet one or more of the basic requirements of the course or the assignment. May fail to cover essential points, or may digress to nonessential material. May lack development, organization, show poor tone, or simply may be unclear quite often.


Possible “Words of the Day” (in addition to the list on the following sheet):