ENG 102-03/04, English Composition II Cara Williams

ENG 102-03/04, English Composition II Cara Williams

ENG 102-03/04, English Composition II Cara Williams

Fall 2011 Office: MHRA 3112 E

MWF 12:00-12:50/1:00-1:50 Office Hours:MW 2-4 and by appt.

BRYN 104/BRYN 105 email:

Evolution, Progress, and Apocalypse: Composing in a Digital Age

Course Overview

Technology inspires visions of future utopias: a world free from sickness, poverty, hunger, inequality, and even death. Technology inspires apocalyptic visions of future dystopias: a world where people are the slaves of the machines they created, earth’s resources have been depleted, destroyed, or consumed, and humanity is slowly extinguished. Whether you believe that technology makes the world better or worse, whether you are a Luddite or you love it, technology and the progress of civilization march hand in hand in our collective imaginations.

We will utilize fiction and non-fiction texts in the course, and while all may not be apocalyptic in nature, they all ask us to question notions of progress and process through a series of digital compositions that stress orality and aurality. Thinking about the process, progress, and performance of civilization will, hopefully, inspire us to think about the process, progress, and performance of composition and communication and maybe, just maybe, ourselves.

The course does not require you to own your own computer, video camera, or purchase expensive software. It does require that you plan ahead to take advantage of the software and technology available to you on campus. Screencasts of basic functions needed to complete assignments are available on Blackboard to help you.

Don’t be afraid of these new forms of “writing.” There is an engagement and alertness that comes from having to work with new forms and mediums that make us highly aware of our own process of composing, revising, and editing, not to mention using these opens up new conceptual modes for composing. The more we understand about how we learn, the better we learn, transform, and grow.

Course Objectives

English 102 is designed to address three of the proficiencies listed under Student Learning Goals in the UNCG General Education Program. These proficiencies are:

  • Ability to write and speak clearly, coherently, and effectively as well as to adapt modes of communication to one’s audience;
  • Ability to interpret academic writing and discourse in a variety of disciplines
  • Ability to locate, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information

English 102 also carries a speaking-intensive (SI) designation. The SI requirement states that “students receive instruction in an appropriate mode of oral communication (interpersonal or small group communication, or presentational speaking), and enhanced opportunities to practice improvement of oral communication skills”

  • To advance and extend students’ knowledge of oral argumentative discourse, and apply this knowledge as a mode of learning how to write, do research, and engage in inquiry;
  • To advance and extend students’ appreciation for writing and speaking as public and community-based processes through the activities of drafting, peer review, and revision, as well as individual and small group oratory exercises;
  • To introduce students to the principles of invention, arrangement, style, memory, and delivery in oral presentations;
  • To help students to develop the habit of synthesizing, versus reporting on or simply summarizing, source information in both oral and written communication.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Students engage in verbal and written dialogues in order to articulate critical, analytical ideas about selected texts.
  2. Students read and interpret multiple examples of discourse in order to develop critical thinking skills and gain familiarity with a variety of texts.
  3. Students identify, interpret, synthesize, and apply rhetorical concepts in both formal and informal speaking and writing.
  4. Students create and compile sequenced assignments in order to illustrate comprehension, interpretation, synthesis, and adherence to the principles of oral presentations.
  5. Students communally review and dialogue about shared communication in order to comprehend its act as a public/community-based process.

Attendance Policy

There are no such things as excused absences or unexcused absences in this course.

Students are allowed a maximum of three absences without a grade penalty (“absences” include those related to work, illness, deaths in the family, children, emergencies, court, the IRS, school functions, mechanical difficulties, community events, and other disasters both natural and unnatural). A fourth absence will result in a half-letter grade deducted from thestudent’s final grade. A fifth absence will result in a whole-letter grade deducted from the final grade. A sixth absence will result in failure of the course per English department policy.

Classroom Conduct

This course relies heavily on student participation and collaboration. Students should be prepared to share their work with other students, read their work aloud if asked, and help other students through the writing process. It is very important that each student attends class faithfully and is prepared engage in the day’s lesson. You, as a student, are expected arrive on time for class with all required materials, homework, and assignments and behave with attention and respect to both the instructor and fellow classmates.

Chronic tardiness, failure to bring required materials and homework to class, unpreparedness, use of cell phones (including text messaging) and mp3 players in class, inappropriate or untimely use of laptops in class, or disruptive, disrespectful behavior will result in the offending student being asked to leave the class and receive an absence for the day.

Required Materials

McCarthy, Cormac. The Road. New York: Knopf, 2006. Print.

Smits, Sally and Courtney Wooten,eds. TechnêRhêtorikê: Techniques of Discourse

for Writers and Speakers. 3rd Edition. Hayden-McNeil, 2011. Print.

ISBN# 978-0-7380-4669-3

Spiegelman, Art. In the Shadow of No Towers. New York: Pantheon, 2004. Print.

Loose-leaf Paper for in class writing assignments and note-taking

A pen or pencil

Assignments and Grading

Your final grade will consist of the following:

1. Podcast……………………………..…….….20%

2. Television Commercial………………..20%

3. Persuasive Speech………………………20%

4. Blog and participation.…….….………20%

5. Screencast Portfolio……………………20%

1) The Podcast: This assignment asks you to compile a soundtrack of Greensboro (provided they these sounds are reasonably inoffensive) and explain how these sounds reflect, define, and describe the city. You will need to organize sounds or songs, group them in a logical manner (perhaps around a theme or thesis), and to transition effectively between verbal analysis and development and musical examples as you develop a cogent argument about your environment. Your podcast should be 10 minutes in length and no more than 12 minutes.

2) The Commercial: You and your group members need to create an advertisement or persuasive public service announcement for a chosen product/idea/organization that is exactly 30 seconds long. You need to research the demographic you are trying to appeal to as well as your chosen product or organization. You must investigate previous and current campaigns. You will need to consider matters of audience, style, visual appeal, and oral cogency under extreme time constraints.

3) The Persuasive Speech: Choosing a moment of apocalyptic fear from world history of your own interest, you will research that topic (both factual and cultural research) in order to understand the broad conversations surrounding your topic. Then, you will choose a topic and thesis to argue in detail supported by informed research and accentuated by rhetorical appeals. Consider use of verbal and nonverbal inflections as well as visual aids to enhance your argument. Your persuasive speech should be at least five minutes in length but no more than seven minutes.

4) The Blog and Participation Grade: This should be a space for you to brainstorm, to think largely and wildly about what you want to create and do with your assignments. It is a place that multiple modes of composition can be used simultaneously. It is a place for raw ideas, idealism, free-writing. I will ask you to respond to specific questions or ideas in your blog, but I would like for you to also use this as a place for thinking, forming, shaping, and collecting ideas about your assignments and your reactions to them. If you do this, when we get to the end of the course, you will find that you understand your process, your learning style, and yourself a great deal more than you did before.

Your blog and participation grade is calculated based on in-class writing, informal writing assignments, informal speaking assignments, group work, homework, in-class quizzes, tardiness, attentiveness, engagement in class discussions, and productiveness in conferences, presentation workshops, and blog writing. Blogs are due before class begins. Late responses (after the start of class on that day) will not be credited. An “A” is regularly responding in a thoughtful, considerate manner that advances discussion, provokes questions and other responses, and considers the readings or research done over the course of the semester. A “C” is usually responding in thoughtful manner though not always thought provoking. An “F” is a failure to respond regularly or being late with your responses or responses that are unproductive, such as “This was stupid/boring topic,” or “I don’t like this,” other comments that go nowhere, fail to incite further discussion, or fail to be elaborated on by making references to assignments or readings.

5) This Is What I Did In My Class: A Screencast Portfolio

Reflections are great, because they look backward and forward at once. Reflections insist on a sort of capturing, thinking about project and process and moment as well as extending these through the performance of a composition. The reflection has elements that are familiar to you, such as explorations of literacy or discussions of composing mores, but it also much more. It connects with the viewer. It plays. It extends this is what I did to this is what I know. And it offers rhetorical awareness as it reflects on its own composed nature. It teaches us that learning itself is a performance.

Screencasts do a great job of utilizing and shifting the modes of composition that are available to us. They make use of visual and audible elements to move us beyond the written essay. It’s a great tool for convergence, understanding how things come together, conflict, and interact. Screencasting requires us to think about pacing, layering messages and meanings, and engagement of writer and audience. We can be deliberate and guide our audience or abstract and leave much more to the interpretation of our audience. It requires synthesis, compression, and distillation of our message.

For all assignments, there is a detailed prompt and explanation of criteria as well as grading rubric posted in Blackboard.

Late Work: Work is due on the date listed on the calendar by the start of class. Late work will receive a deduction of one letter grade per day (including weekends and days we do not have class). Please remember that emails and electronic submissions are time stamped. Make sure that your assignment is submitted by the designated time.

Grades will be given by letter scale and be graded according to standards in the Essay Rubric.

Laptops, Blackboard, and Electronic Submission

This class requires you to use Blackboard and your UNCG email regularly. If you have a laptop, you are encouraged to bring it to class to compose, conduct research, for electronic copies of readings, to take notes, and to edit digital presentations. Any student found using instant messaging, social networking sites, email, gaming sites or programs, or other internet and computer functions not directly related to class work will be automatically dismissed from class, receive an absence for the day, and have his/her participation grade negatively affected.

I take assignments by email () as an attachment only if they are submitted in format specified in the assignment. Otherwise, please print your work and bring it to class. If you submit via email, it will be returned via email. If you submit via paper, it will be returned on paper. Some assignments will require you to post to YouTube or other websites.

I reserve the right to revoke the use of laptops in the classroom at any time during the semester if I feel the privilege is being abused.

Academic Integrity Policy

“Academic integrity is founded upon and encompasses the following five values: honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility. Violations include, for example, cheating, plagiarism, misuse of academic resources, falsification, and facilitating academic dishonesty. If knowledge is to be gained and properly evaluated, it must be pursued under conditions free from dishonesty. Deceit and misrepresentations are incompatible with the fundamental activity of this academic institution and shall not be tolerated” (from UNCG’s Academic Integrity Policy). To ensure that you understand the university’s policy on academic integrity, review the guidelines and list of violations at <

I expect you to abide by the Academic Integrity Policy. Students found plagiarizing, cheating, falsifying, misusing academic resources, or facilitating academic dishonesty will not be tolerated in this class and will be subject to disciplinary action by the Office of the Dean of Students, automatic failure of the assignment, and possible automatic failure of the course.

Disability Services Accommodations

Students with documentation of special accommodation requirements from the Office of Disability Services should see the instructor as soon as possible to make the necessary arrangements. Please do not attempt to hide your needs or decline assistance as accommodations cannot be made retroactive. If you believe you require special accommodations, you must first register with the Office of Disability Services in the Elliott University Center.

Project Presentation Grading Rubric

(0-12 points) / Developing
(13-16 points) / Advanced
(17-20 points) / Score
1. Organization
(20 points) / Ideas may not be focused or developed; the main purpose is not clear. The introduction is undeveloped. Main points are difficult to identify. Transitions may be needed. There is no conclusion or may not be clear the presentation has concluded. Conclusion does not tie back to the introduction. Audience cannot understand presentation because there is no sequence of information. / Main idea is evident, but the organizational structure many need to be strengthened; ideas may not clearly developed or always flow smoothly and the purpose is not clearly stated. The introduction may not be well developed. Main points are not clear. Transitions may be awkward. Supporting material may lack in development. The conclusion may need additional development. Audience has difficulty understanding the presentation because the sequence of information is unclear. / Ideas are clearly organized, developed, and supported to achieve a purpose; the purpose is clear. The introduction gets the attention of the audience and clearly states the specific purpose of the speech. Main points are clear and organized effectively. The conclusion is satisfying and relates back to introduction. (If the purpose of the presentation is to persuade, there is a clear action step identified and an overt call to action.)
2. Topic Knowledge
(20 points) / Student does not have grasp of information; student cannot answer questions about the subject. Few, if any, sources are cited. Citations are attributed incorrectly. Inaccurate, generalized, or inappropriate supporting material may be used. Over dependence on notes may be observed. / Student has a partial grasp of the information. Supporting material may lack in originality. Citations are generally introduced and attributed appropriately. Student is at ease with expected answers to all questions but fails to elaborate. Over dependence on notes may be observed. / Student has a clear grasp of information. Citations are introduced and attributed appropriately and accurately. Supporting material is original, logical and relevant. Student demonstrates full knowledge (more than required) by answering all class questions with explanations and elaboration. Speaking outline or note cards are used for reference only.
3. Audience Adaptation
(20 points) / The presenter is not able to keep the audience engaged. The verbal or nonverbal feedback from the audience may suggest a lack of interest or confusion. Topic selection does not relate to audience needs and interests. / The presenter is able to keep the audience engaged most of the time. When feedback indicates a need for idea clarification, the speaker makes an attempt to clarify or restate ideas. Generally, the speaker demonstrates audience awareness through nonverbal and verbal behaviors. Topic selection and examples are somewhat appropriate for the audience, occasion, or setting. Some effort to make the material relevant to audience needs and interests. / The presenter is able to effectively keep the audience engaged. Material is modified or clarified as needed given audience verbal and nonverbal feedback. Nonverbal behaviors are used to keep the audience engaged. Delivery style is modified as needed. Topic selection and examples are interesting and relevant for the audience and occasion.
4. Language Use
(Verbal Effectiveness)
(20 points) / Language choices may be limited, peppered with slang or jargon, too complex, or too dull. Language is questionable or inappropriate for a particular audience, occasion, or setting. Some biased or unclear language may be used. / Language used is mostly respectful or inoffensive. Language is appropriate, but word choices are not particularly vivid or precise. / Language is familiar to the audience, appropriate for the setting, and free of bias; the presenter may “code-switch” (use a different language form) when appropriate. Language choices are vivid and precise.
5. Delivery
(Nonverbal Effectiveness)
(20 points) / The delivery detracts from the message; eye contact may be very limited; the presenter may tend to look at the floor, mumble, speak inaudibly, fidget, or read most of the speech; gestures and movements may be jerky or excessive. The delivery may appear inconsistent with the message. Nonfluencies (“ums”) are used excessively. Articulation and pronunciation tend to be sloppy. Poise of composure is lost during any distractions. Audience members have difficulty hearing the presentation. / The delivery generally seems effective – however, effective use of volume, eye contact, vocal control, etc. may not be consistent; some hesitancy may be observed. Vocal tone, facial expressions, clothing and other nonverbal expressions do not detract significantly from the message. The delivery style, tone of voice, and clothing choices do not seem out-of-place or disrespectful to the audience or occasion. Some use of nonfluencies are observed. Generally, articulation and pronunciation are clear. Most audience members can hear the presentation. / The delivery is extemporaneous -- natural, confident, and enhances the message – posture, eye contact, smooth gestures, facial expressions, volume, pace, etc. indicate confidence, a commitment to the topic, and a willingness to communicate. The vocal tone, delivery style, and clothing are consistent with the message. Delivery style and clothing choices suggest an awareness of expectations and norms. Limited use of nonfluencies is observed. Articulation and pronunciation are clear. All audience members can hear the presentation.

ENG 102 SyllabusWilliams