Class: English 120.. and so much more.. "Controversy, Self, and Society"

Instructor: Sybil Priebe

Semester: Spring 2002


quick links:

the library

the eng. dept. comp. site

the ndsu homepage

my assignment descriptions and the general ed. outcomes

my assessment

quotes and questions

Course Description:
This course takes the "average" English 120 and adds technology (use of hypertext, weblogging, web-based research, etc), alternative forms of writing (small subjective pieces, fractured narratives, etc), and a different twist on teaching (students learn more from students, presentations, use of film, out-of-the-ordinary activities). So, not only will you receive the same knowledge and information as a regular English class, but I will be adding other aspects that I find important, fun, and helpful for me and for you, the student.

This class came from a collaboration of ideas from other T.A.s in the English department, as well as key strategies taken from everything's an argument and many writing topics occurred to me while reading Elements of Alternate Style: essays on writing and revision (Wendy Bishop, 1997). George Carlin also inspired me with his book Brain Droppings.

Rationale for Teaching/Taking this Course:
1) Controversial/Radical teaching often creates more excitement in students.. to learn, listen, speak up, try new things, etc. 2) The ways we teach now (writing-wise) are not reaching all students and all ways of learning- some still don't know how to write well. By opening up the classroom to new and different techniques, perhaps we can catch those students that are not "getting it". 3) Taking a 'normal' English 120 plus web-based readings is already non-traditional as far as classrooms go (getting information from the web, placing conversations through weblogging on the web) so why use traditional exercises and assignments in an already 21st Century atmosphere- It calls for 21st Century teaching. 4) The ways of arguing or proving points come in all shapes: billboards, handouts from people at the Union, commercials, etc- The papers we write nowadays need to attract the interactive learner, the visual learner, etc. More on Rationale and Goals.

Required Book:
Lunsford, Andrea A., et. al. everything's an argument: with readings. Bedford/St. Martin's: Boston, 2001.

Other Requirements:
Time set aside to search/research on the internet (write on class blog too) as well as in the library.
Backup disks for papers.

Schedule: The activities and due dates in the schedule’s table are not set in stone. Notice: These units overlap.
∑ Unit One: Jan. 14- Jan. 30. The Writing Process and What to Write About. {Simple Persuasion Paper #1}
∑ Unit Two: Feb. 6- March 13. Using Fractured Narrative/Double-Voices/New Research Writing. {Paper #2}
∑ Unit Three: March 4- April 29. Controversy and Definition. {Papers #3 and #4}
∑ Portfolio: May 1, 6, and 8. Online Portfolio Creation. {Paper #5}

Jan. 14: Intro to class, me, your peers, and the book.
Introduce weblogs: our class weblog and expectations, student large and small presentations.
Possible quiz?
Read George Carlin's stuff.
Writing Assignment (WA#1) assigned.

What makes a class/way of teaching controversial?

What kind of writing is controversial?

Jan. 16: Meet in Computer Lab?
Log into class blog, start blogging about who you are and why you are here. List controversial issues you want to discuss in this class.
WA#1 due. WA#2 assigned.
Revision Activity?
Conduct revision activity. WHY is revision so important. Process over Product? Introduce Paper #1. Create rubric and brainstorm. Show examples. For Tuesday: Read Chapter 1/2 in EAA

Jan. 21: Sticking in Research/Citation Activity
Discuss Chapter 1/2 in EAA.
Look at Chapters 18/21/22 (groups) in class. How can what others have said help out your paper? How should other sources be placed in a piece of writing? How do we cite them? Show examples. Some part of class devoted to research time in labs or library? WA#2 due. WA#3 assigned. Read Chapter 3 for Thursday.

Jan. 23: Audience.
Assign chapter presentations for Feb.4.
Have a rough draft for class= Hold our first peer revision in class. WA#3 due. Scavenger Hunt to take place next week.
Jan. 27- 30: No Class- 10 Min. Writing Conferences.
Sign up Thursday for Writing Conferences with me. Be sure to bring another revised rough draft with you and hand in WA#2.

Jan. 30: No Class. Paper #1 Due Jan. 31 by 5pm.
Go to class blog or my teaching blog to get online readings and assignment for Tuesday. Report on Scavenger Hunt Feb. 4. Also, read Chapter 3 in EAA. 

Feb. 4: Presentations: Scavenger Hunt/ Group Chapter Presenations

Presentations on Chapters 4-7 by groups. Scavenger Hunt reports and discussion. Intro. to Group Presentations: they start next Tuesday. Time to work in groups for next week's presentations. ReRead Chapter 2 (8) of EAA for Thursday.

Feb. 6: Introduction to Paper #2.
Media: The Straight Truth?
Our everyday lives are full of persuasions. List a few in class, in small groups, and then let's talk about them. "Use this toothpaste and your teeth.." "This gum is recommended by 17 stupid dentists.."
Talk about Paper #2. I'll bring in examples. Create rubric. Give some time at end of class for research online or at the library. First rough draft due March 6.

Feb. 11: Student Presentation/Debate: Please be considerate throughout all student presentations!

Feb. 13: Student Presentation/Debate.
Feb. 18: Student Presentation/Debate.
Feb. 20: No Class- Collaboration! Conference.
Look for assignment on class blog.
Feb. 25: Student Presentation/Debate.

Feb. 27: Student Presentation/Debate.
Read Chapter 9 of EAA for Tuesday's discussion on Paper #3.

March 4: Student Presentation/ Make- Up Day. Intro. Paper #3 and Defintion Topics.

March 6: My Controversial Topic Day

Peer Review/Revision Day.
Bring in a rough draft of Paper #2 to be looked at by 3-4 peers. 

March 10-13: No Class- Writing Conferences for Paper #2.
Sign up March 6 for Writing Conferences with me. Be sure to bring another revised rough draft with you!

March 13: No Class. Paper #2 Due by 5pm.
Have a Relaxing Spring Break! WA#4 assigned.
Read Chapter 12 of EAA for the Tuesday we return. Also bring copies of Papers 1/2 as well as WA#1.

March 18: Spring Break
March 20: Spring Break
March 25: Introduction to Paper #4/ Group Brainstorming.
WA#4 due: Read in class. Go over Chapt. 12. Examples of proposals.
March 27: Time for Group Work.
April 1: Time for Group Work.
Come to class, set a goal with your group, and reach it. Group points for doing this April 1 and 3. April 8 is optional.
April 3: Group Work/ Paper #3 Due.
Possible in-class activitiy?
April 8: Time for Group Work: Optional day in class/ Group Conferences April 8-9.

April 10: Student Oral/Visual Presentations.

April 15: Student Oral/ Visual Presentations.

April 17: Student Oral/Visual Presentations.
Read Chapters 14-17 (group chapt. presentations) of EAA for April 29.

April 22: TBA: Controversial movie clips w/ discussion?
April 24: TBA: Controversial movie clips w/ discussion?
Extra credit for attending RRCWL.
April 29: Intro to Online Portfolio/ Group Chapter Presentations.
May 1: Planning the Portfolio/ Introduce Paper #5.
May 6: Computer Day.
Putting your portfolio online.
Write up reflection and goals - part of portfolio.
May 8: Computer Day: Presentations.
Take care of any final details.
Paper #5 due by Friday, May 9 at noon.


my info:

Office: Minard Hall 322B

Office Number: 231-7154

Class Hrs: 8 & 9:30 am TR

Office Hrs: 7-8 am TR, 10:45-11:45am TR, and by appt.


My Teaching Weblog

Our Class Blog

Chapter notes found on the web.

Basic Rules:
∑ Respect. Respect other's opinions, writing styles, and property.

How to Succeed:
1.Attend class. If this is not possible, contact me with the truth.
2.Try your hardest. Learn. Read the assigned readings. Be prepared for class.
3.Discuss in class. Talk. Listen. Get out ideas. Get to know your peers. Blog.
4.Hand in assignments on time. Only papers can be handed in later than the due date and then the paper loses 10 points every late school day. All other assignment must be handed in during class time. No e-mails of assignments (late or not) will be tolerated! If you will miss class, hand in the assignment early to me or my mailbox in Minard.

∑ To encourage and support students in their active learning, quality collaboration, and critical thinking skills and activities.
∑ To allow students to develop strong reading skills, research skills, and writing skills.

Special Needs:
I encourage students with disabilities who need accommodations in this course to contact me as soon as possible so that appropriate arrangements can be made.

Academic Dishonesty/Plagaiarism:
In the unfortunate incident of plagiarism.."Faculty members may fail the student for the particular assignment, test, or course involved, or they may recommend that the student drop the course in question, or these penalties may be varied with the gravity of the offense and the circumstances of the particular case.


This syllabus was made with Tinderbox.