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Syllabus for Freshman Writing Composition

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Syllabus for Freshman Writing Composition I
For non-native speakers of English
EN 120-003
Fall 2013 Semester
MWF 10:00 A.M. – 10:50 A.M
Classroom: Ten Hoor 23
The University of Alabama

Instructor: Courtney BelcherCo-Teacher: Victoria Pei
E-mail: [email protected]: [email protected] Office: Rowand Johnson 203Office Hours: By appointment
Office Hours: MWF 9am-10am or by appointment

Qualifying exam scores. Please contact the graduate TESOL coordinator with any questions. TESOL coordinator: Josh Weathersby
Email: [email protected]

Course Description:
The first in a two-course sequence, English 120 introduces NNES students to college-level expository writing, critical reading, basic citation, and the rhetorical tools to participate successfully in the University of Alabama discourse community.

By the end of the semester, students will know how to:
Use critical thinking and reading skills to analyze topics and source texts. Use the writing process (prewriting, drafting, revising, editing) as a tool for analyzing topics and producing effective writing. Collaborate effectively with peers, instructor, and/or writing center tutors to analyze topics and create writing that meets the goals of its assignment. Tailor their writing (content, organization, mechanics, diction, tone, and style) to the needs of different audiences and purposes. Use grammar and mechanics appropriate to the academic discourse community. Ethically summarize, paraphrase, and quote outside texts to support claims in their own writing.
Employ the basics of citation formatting.

Reflect on their own development as writers.
Required Texts
How to Write Anything: A Guide and Reference, 2nd Edition by John Ruszliewicz. Boston: Bedford, 2012. ISBN: 978-1-4576-0243-6 UA custom edition of Diana Hacker’s A Writer’s Reference, 7th ed. (Bedford) Attendance Policy

Successful students attend class regularly and are not tardy; however, occasionally life intervenes, causing students to miss class. The First-year Writing Program Attendance Policy allows for such problems, while encouraging regular attendance: If you miss more than 20% of class meetings – for any reason – you will receive a grade of NC (No Credit) for excessive absences. Your instructor is required to assign this grade, except in rare cases warranting a policy waiver. However, you may appeal an attendance-related NC grade to the English Department’s Assistant Chair after grades have been submitted if there are extenuating circumstances you feel should be considered. Less than 20% of class meetings is equal to BUT NOT MORE THAN 9 absences in this class. If you miss more than 9 class meetings, including conferencing days, you will receive an NC for the course. Important explanations:

You are considered absent any time you are not in class – no matter what the reason, and making up missed work does not erase absences. Doctor’s notes do not erase absences, either. In a class scheduled for 2 days a week, 20% is 6 classes; in a class scheduled for 3 days a week, 20% is 9 classes; missing more than this number of classes will result in an NC. Instructors do not need to see documentation except in cases of missed major-grade work (papers, tests, projects); however, you should keep up with all documentation in case you wish to appeal your absence-related NC grade after the end of the semester. It is your responsibility to keep in contact with your instructor about absences or problems that may affect your performance in the class.

Making up Missed Work:
Students may make up missed major-grade work (such as papers or tests) if class was missed due to legitimate circumstances beyond their control (i.e., things that do not involve a choice, like documented illness or medical emergency; family funeral; UA-sanctioned athletic travel). You should either make arrangements with your instructor regarding this make-up work in advance (when possible) or immediately upon returning to class. Major-grade work missed due to absences for other reasons (i.e., things that involve choice, like voluntary travel, club activities, poor planning, just not feeling well, etc.) cannot be made up. The lectures, class discussions, conferences, group work, or other daily class work or homework exercises in a writing class cannot be reconstructed for a student who has been absent; therefore, daily work missed due to tardiness or absence (for any reason) cannot be made up. If you are part of a university-sanctioned athletic team, you must provide your instructor with an official travel schedule for the semester.

Grading Summary for Final Grade
The % of Final
Class Grade
Word Count
(Total = 5500)
1000 words
Informative Report
1100 words
Position/Argument Paper
1100 words
Evaluation Paper
1100 words
Academic Presentation
5-7 minutes
Reflection Essays (2 in-class essays)
600 words
Final Reflection Essay
Dec. 11
600 words
Class participation—including attendance, discussion,
quizzes, homework, daily work, etc.

Grading Policy
Written work will be evaluated in five areas: Content/Development, Organization, Style/Tone, Grammar/Mechanics, and Attention to Directions. “A” work must be excellent in all areas; “B” work must be good in all areas; “C” work must be at least competent in all areas; “D” work is marginally below college standards in at least one of the areas; and “F” work is clearly below minimum college standards in one of the areas. Work that does not follow the assignment (though otherwise acceptable) will also receive an “F.” Work that is not done or not turned in is recorded as a zero. All major papers will be graded and returned before the next final draft of a major assignment is due. Freshman-level proficiency in writing is required for a passing grade (see ABC-No Credit policy below). Papers are graded
numerically according to rubrics that will be distributed for each assignment and posted to Blackboard Learn.

Final numeric grades will be converted to letter grades according to this scale: 100-98=A+; 97-93=A; 92-90=A-; 89-88=B+; 87-83=B; 82-80=B-; 79-78=C+; 77-73=C; 72-70=C-; 69 and below= NC A, B, C, No Credit Policy

Final grades for the class below a C- are given a mark of No Credit (NC), which does not reflect on your GPA but will require you to take the course again. You may also receive an NC for excessive absences; please see the attendance policy.

Policy on Missed/Late Coursework
Late rough drafts and late final drafts will be treated separately. Remember, late = anything turned in after the due date as scheduled by the instructor. Any daily work assigned is due at the end of class. Daily work not turned in by the end of class will not be accepted. Homework assigned is due within the first ten minutes of class. Homework that is not turned in when requested by the instructor will not be accepted. Rough drafts are due at midnight on the due date listed on the syllabus through Blackboard Learn/Turnitin. Rough drafts are not graded, but failure to turn them in will result in a loss of 25 points from the final draft score. All late rough drafts will result in a 1-point penalty on the final paper for each day it is late. Final drafts are due at 11:59pm on the due date listed on the syllabus and assignment sheet through Blackboard Learn. Late final drafts will result in the loss of one full letter grade per day late. For example, a paper earning a B+ turned in one day late will be given a C+. Emergencies will be considered on a case-by-case basis with proper documentation and notification.

Late Instructor

If I am late and there is no notice on the door, please wait ten minutes then send someone to Dr. Liu’s office (Morgan Hall, 210) to tell him I was not in class.

Chain of Command
If you have a problem with anything that happens in this class, please see me first. I am here to work with you on any issues you might be facing regarding this class. If we are not able to resolve the problem, please contact Josh Weathersby, Graduate coordinator of the TESOL program ([email protected]).

Writing Center
The Writing Center, located in 322 Lloyd Hall, is a wonderful free resource for students. They do not proofread papers or write papers for you, but they can help with overall structure, organization, development, and mechanics. Take a copy of the assignment sheet and any work you’ve completed toward the assignment when you go. Go to http://writingcenter.ua.edu/ for more information or to set up an appointment.

Disability Statement
If you are registered with the Office of Disability Services, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible to discuss any course accommodations that may be necessary. If you have a disability, but have not contacted the Office of Disability Services, please call 348-4285 or visit 133-B Martha Parham Hall East to register for services. Students who may need course adaptations because of a disability are welcome to make an appointment to see me during office hours. Students with disabilities must be registered with the Office of Disability Services, 133-B Martha Parham Hall East, before receiving academic adjustments. Policy on Academic Misconduct

All students in attendance at the University of Alabama are expected to be honorable and to observe standards of conduct appropriate to a community of scholars. The University expects from its students a higher standard of conduct than the minimum required to avoid discipline. Academic misconduct includes all acts of dishonesty in any academically related matter and any knowing or intentional help or attempt to help, or conspiracy to help, another student. The Academic Misconduct Disciplinary Policy will be followed in the event of academic misconduct. Turnitin: The University of Alabama is committed to helping students uphold the ethical standards of academic integrity in all areas of study. Students agree that their
enrollment in this course allows the instructor the right to use electronic devices to help prevent plagiarism. All course materials are subject to submission to TurnItIn.com for the purpose of detecting textual similarities. Assignments submitted to TurnItIn.com will be included as source documents in TurnItIn.com’s restricted access database solely for the purpose of detecting plagiarism in such documents. TurnItIn.com will be used as a source document to help students avoid plagiarism in written documents. All papers, including rough drafts, will be turned in through Turnitin on the course Blackboard Learn website. **You may not “recycle” papers written for another class** Severe Weather Protocol

In the case of a tornado warning (tornado has been sighted or detected by radar; sirens activated), all university activities are automatically suspended, including all classes and laboratories. If you are in a building, please move immediately to the lowest level and toward the center of the building away from windows (interior classrooms, offices, or corridors) and remain there until the tornado warning has expired. Classes in session when the tornado warning is issued can resume immediately after the warning has expired at the discretion of the instructor. Classes that have not yet begun will resume 30 minutes after the tornado warning has expired provided at least half of the class period remains.

UA is a residential campus with many students living on or near campus. In general, classes will remain in session until the National Weather Service issues safety warnings for the city of Tuscaloosa. Clearly, some students and faculty commute from adjacent counties. These counties may experience weather related problems not encountered in Tuscaloosa. Individuals should follow the advice of the National Weather Service for that area taking the necessary precautions to ensure personal safety. Whenever the National Weather Service and the Emergency Management Agency issue a warning, people in the path of the storm (tornado or severe thunderstorm) should take immediate lifesaving actions. When West Alabama is under a severe weather advisory, conditions can change rapidly. It is imperative to get to where you can receive information from the National Weather Service and to follow the instructions provided. Personal safety should dictate the actions that faculty, staff and students take. Class Environment

Be respectful of your classmates and instructors. Help create a learning environment that is positive and productive for everyone. Your instructors will not tolerate harassment of any kind (this includes harassment because of gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, economic background, etc). Feel free to contact me or the graduate TESOL coordinator if any person or aspect of this class makes you feel uncomfortable. I want everyone to have a positive learning experience in this class. Rembmer: Cell phones and use of other electronic devices are not permitted while class is in session. This includes laptops or iPads unless being used specifically for a class activity. Repeated violations will result in your dismissal from the classroom and a reduction of your participation grade. By signing below, I hereby state that I have read and understood the above syllabus, including course and university policies and expectations, and all of my obligations and rights as a student in this course. I understand that changes to the syllabus may be made without prior notice, and I take responsibility for following the above policies, honor code, and expectations of my instructor.

Student name: ______________________________

Signature: __________________________________

Date: _________________________
Schedule of Topics and Assignments for EN 120
Fall 2013
Subject to change—any changes will be announced in class and/or posted to Blackboard Learn GENERAL SCHEDULE OF CLASSES AND ASSIGNMENTS
**May be changed**

Week 1: August 21-23
Overview of university policies, class goals, and class objectives

Icebreaker Game: Competitive Crossword
Diagnostic Essay, notecards
Go over the schedule of assignments
Writing Process
Show writing center resources/schedule
Go through sample/model writing process; brainstorming boggle game Signed policies sheet due
Week 2: August 26-30
Narrative Paper Introduction
Pages 10-42 in How To Write Anything
Line-by-line story game
Read pages 4-6 in How To Write Anything
Sample Narrative
Identifying structure and features
Read aloud a short story

Last day to drop a course without a grade of “W”
Bring in a narrative topic

MLA style
Citation activities

Figurative Language
Word choice activity

Bring to class: Hacker book
Bring outline of narrative
Rough draft of Narrative paper due by 11:59 P.M. on Sunday, September 1st Week 3: September 2-6
No class – Labor Day



Final draft of Narrative paper due by 11:59 P.M. on Sunday, September 8th Week 4: September 9-13
In-class reflection on Narratives
Report paper overview
Structure and key aspects

Read pages 45-50 in How To Write Anything

Reputable Sources
Evaluating sources activity
Show library website
Bring your report topic
Evaluating Sources, continued
Bring in at least one source
Get narrative paper grades
Rough draft of informative report due on Sunday, September 15th at 11:59 P.M. Week 5: September 16-20
Paraphrasing and Summarizing
Worksheet & Activity
Bring a draft of your essay (and your sources if possible)



Second draft of informative report due on Sunday, September 22nd at 11:59 P.M. Week 6: September 23-27
Grammar games
MLA style – review
Academic/Reporting verbs worksheet

Bring your report to class




Final draft of informative report due on Sunday, September 29th at 11:59 P.M. Week 7: September 30 – October 4
Introduction to arguments
“Lifeboat” activity
Hand out assignment sheet

Read the sample argument in How to Write Anything on pages 75-78 Wednesday
Arguable topics
Making claims
Qualifying Language
Read pages 79-90 in How To Write Anything
The argumentative writing process (continued)
Sample argumentative essay
Thesis statements due
Get graded reports back
Rough draft of argumentative essay due on Sunday, October 6th at 11:59 P.M. Week 8: October 7-11
Peer review of argumentative drafts
Bring printed draft!!!!
Receive midterm grades


Second draft of argumentative essay due on Sunday, October 13th at 11:59 P.M. Week 9: October 14-18
Specific struggles/issues
Special topics in How To Write Anything (business letters, lab reports) Bring questions
Sign up for conferences

Optional conferencing

Free day for specific needs

Final draft of argumentative essay due on Sunday, October 20th at 11:59 P.M. Week 10: October 21-25
In-class reflection essay (arguments)
Chapter 4 in How To Write Anything
Look over Chapter 4 in How To Write Anything
Overview of evaluation essays
Evaluating advertisements activity
Evaluation topic
Go over thesis statements
Special topics in How To Write Anything (business letters, lab reports) Thesis statement due
Rough draft of evaluation essay due on Sunday, October 27th at 11:59 P.M. Week 11: October 28 – November 1
Peer evaluations
Bring printed draft
Self-editing day in the computer lab
Last day to drop a course with a grade of “W”
Bring peer evaluation and draft!
Second draft of evaluation essay due on Thursday, October 31st at 11:59 P.M. Friday
No class – Fall break

Week 12: November 4-8
Questions and specific issues

Optional conferencing day
Bring questions & draft

Final draft of evaluation essay due on Friday, November 8th at 11:59 P.M. Week 13: November 11-15
Overview of presentations
Read pages 346-352 in How To Write Anything
Presenting well – what not to do
Turn in presentation topic
Practice talking to your classmates
Receive evaluation grades
Week 14: November 18-22



Week 15: November 25-29
Reflecting on presentations; activity
Receive presentation grades
No class – Thanksgiving Break

No class – Thanksgiving Break

Week 16: December 2-6

Special topics activity

Semester review Jeopardy!

Class evaluations
Bring an electronic device

Final Reflection Paper is due at the end of the scheduled final exam period for this class, which is set by the university. FINAL EXAM DATE: WEDNESDAY, DEC. 11 from 11:30 A.M until 2:00 P.M. Therefore, the reflection papers will be due before 2:00 P.M. *Late reflection papers will NOT be accepted for any reason*

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