syllabus: assignment descriptions/ general education outcomes.

Assignment/Paper/Project Descriptions:

Blogging- Every week, I would like you to blog on the class blog. You will use the class blog to talk about controversial topics for papers, readings we have read in class, class discussions, questions on what to do with papers, comments on how the class is going, etc. I would appreciate everyone keeping personal comments to a minimum- Start your very own person blog for that type of commentary. (10 weeks x 5pts= 50 points possible)

In-Class/Out-of-Class Activities - Attending class will keep you updated on when this work (ranging from simple freewriting to quizzes, etc) is assigned. (10 days x 5pts= 50 points possible)

Writing Assignment #1: *Minute Paper: Should not be longer than two pages. 25 pts.
∑ Assigned Jan. 14. Due Jan. 16.
∑ What are the five top controversial topics in your life that make you angry, embarrassed, or unsure of to argue about/on. Elaborate on why those topics make you feel the way they do. How are you different/controversial than others? What sets you apart right now? Do you fit a stereotype? Have you ever been thrown into a stereotype? In the last half of the Minute Paper, try to see yourself at age 30. What will you be doing then? Who will you be? What will make you different than others?

Writing Assignment #2: *Minute Paper: Should not be longer than two pages. 25 pts.
∑ Assigned Jan. 16. Due Jan. 21.
∑ Over the weekend, pick a show (preferably something controversial: South Park, The Simpsons, The Real World on Mtv) and find a chunk of controversy in it. Then, in a Minute Paper descrive the controversial piece (summarize the episode), why it's controversial, and what questions arise about life/society/culture because of it. [Can be put onto class blog, but a copy should be brought to class too.]

Paper #1: 3-5 pages. 50 points.
∑ Assigned Jan. 16. Due Jan. 31.
Defend or Undermine (make less of) a myth: Blondes have more fun, Toads give you warts, Chocolate gives you pimples, etc.(use personal experience as well as other sources= at least 3!)

Writing Assignment #3: *Minute Paper: Should not be longer than two pages. 25 pts.
∑ Assigned Jan. 21. Due Jan. 23.
∑ How does your audience influence what you write in papers? in e-mails? in the class blog? in cards to friends? etc.... With your audience in mind, what types of sources would they value that would help your argument? Ex: would your g'ma want to see a Mtv statistic or one from the Washington Post? How does your audience determine the strategy you take in writing something? Even this Minute Paper?

Group Chapter Presentations: 25 points each time= 50 points possible.
∑ Assigned Jan 23. Present Feb. 4./ Assigned April 17. Present April 29.
∑ TBA in class on the days they are assigned.

Scavenger Hunt: 25 points.
∑ Assigned Jan. 23. Due Feb. 4.
∑ TBA in class.

Student Presentations/Debates of Controversial Topics: 100 points.
∑ Assigned Feb. 4. Present twice between Feb. 11- March 4.
In groups no more than 4, you will find at least 2 articles on the internet and at least 2 in our book (at least one from each 'side') covering the controversial topic you will be presenting to us. One person will defend one side, another person- the other side, and the third person can try to present to us the middle/gray ground of the issue. Before your day to present comes up, inform the class and me which essays to read in the book. Within the class period then, you'll copy off enough copies of the internet articles for everyone to read and give us time to read them (make sure they are not too lengthy and come from reliable sources). After we've read them, give us questions (about the articles and essays) to discuss in small groups (put these on the board or type up a handout). Once it looks like we've all discussed enough in small groups, the three who are presenting will tell us what you/they thought- defend your/their sides, and then lead us in a large group discussion/debate, etc.

*Two groups will present each day so your group has 1/2 the class time to present.

Paper #2: 6-9 pages. [4-5 pages single-spaced] 100 points.
∑ Assigned Feb. 6. Due March 13.
Fractured narrative with music- use music to prove your point about something controversial OR write about a song that is controversial- for both, place lyrics in the writing. Cite music, and at least 2 other sources of information. {The format for this doesn't have to be a paper- it can be a website, Flash! movie, or powerpoint essay..}

Paper #3: 5-7 pages. [3-4 pages single spaced] 100 points.
∑ Assigned March 4. Due April 3.
Defintion essay: define something not usually easily defined: a "slut", a "good" person, "normal", etc.

Writing Assignment#4: *Minute Paper. 25 points.
∑ Assigned March 6. Due March 25.
∑ Controversial Talk. Listen to conversations you have with others (or that you observe on tv, radio, in person, etc) and find a statement (or two or three) that could be considered controversial. In your minute paper, tell us the statement (within the conversation, if needed), and why it's controversial. What was your reaction to the statement? Why? Did the audience have anything to do with it?

Paper #4: 10 pages Total. [5 pages single-spaced] 200 points for entire project.
∑ Assigned March 25. Due on Oral/Visual Presentation Day (April 10-22).
∑ Collaborative Proposal Paper: Your Utopia. This group project is based on the discussions/essays we've done thus far. You will be preparing a proposal for how your group can form world where everyone is able to all live together peacefully and still retain your individuality. Obviously, you will need to look at what makes each of you individual and create a society where each of you will feel comfortable and creative. Society in present day America is not ideal for everyone (noticeable in discussion and essay topics), and you need to overcome individual differences to invent your utopia.

Online Portfolio/ Paper #5 (a.k.a. Final Essay): Portfolio- 50 points. Paper #5- 50 pts.
∑ Assigned April 29. Due May 9 by noon.
∑ Portfolio: Revise, edit, and proofread your essays. Then format (visual layout/ good web design?) them for publication on your own web site.
Paper #5: What have you learned about yourself? Others? Society? Writing arguments? Our media? Controversy itself?

Presentation of Online Portfolio: May 8 during class time.

*More Elaboration on Assignments* can be found by clicking the blue underlined assignment above.


 hierarchy of work.

It is mandatory for you to hand in the 5 Papers in order to pass this course. The Writing Assignments and In-Class/Out-of-Class Activities are not mandatory but their collective points are important in receiving a good grade. Of the In-Class/Out-of-Class Activities, you are allowed to miss 5 of them. There will be 15 of them scattered throughout the semester (they are not listed on the syllabus).

 general ed. outcomes.

General Education Outcomes Applicable for English 120:

∑ Outcome #1: Communicate effectively in a variety of contexts and formats.
∑ Outcome #2: Locate and use information for making appropriate personal and
professional decisions.
∑ Outcome #4: Comprehend intrapersonal and interpersonal dynamics.
∑ Outcome #6: Integrate knowledge and ideas in a coherent and meaningful manner.

Course Description: Concentrates on the process of writing analysis and persuasion essays requiring library research and emphasizes the appropriate use of information from sources, sound reasoning, and strategies for persuading readers.

Course Objectives:
1. Students will learn to write clearly for a variety of specific purposes and audiences, specifically to write convincing, researched arguments.
2. Students will practice effective and efficient writing strategies. The writing process (inventing; developing; focusing; drafting; revising to improve focus, organization, development, and clarity; and editing) is emphasized in a series of researched essays. Instruction is given in writing unified paragraphs, effective beginnings and endings, and appropriate transitions as well as the importance of standard English spelling, grammar, usage, and punctuation when writing for an academic audience.
3. Students will practice active reading strategies: to discover and acknowledge opposing views, to analyze and summarize claims and grounds from alternative perspectives, and to evaluate the arguments of other writers.
4. Students will begin to learn to construct arguments: to present a clear and significant thesis; to defend that thesis with claims that are supported with appropriate evidence; to persuade their readers through the use of appropriate rhetorical strategies; and to recognize common pitfalls in reasoning.
5. Students will learn to conduct library research. In addition to the basic resources used in English 110, they will learn to use specialized references, professional journals, databases, and, perhaps, fieldwork to gather specific, relevant, reliable information, to analyze alternative perspectives, and to use that information to write arguments. Correct and responsible use of MLA documentation is emphasized.