First Year Composition - ENGL 101 171, 186

First Year Composition - ENGL 101 171, 186


ENGL 101 171, 186

First-Year Composition

Fall 2007

Andrew Winslow
Office and hours: CCIT 236 Pod C; W 11-2PM & by appt. 626-1847

Course Description | Required Materials | Course Policies | Major Assignments | Free Downloads | Grading Policy | Syllabus Schedule | Helpful Links | Electronic Reserves | Announcements | Printer Friendly Version | Home

Course Description:.

Course Motto:
”The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance - it is the illusion of knowledge.
Daniel J. Boorstin

Required Materials:

1) Selections from several book chapters and articles have been placed onelectronic reserve through the library, and can be accessed on the library website with the course password: “danielboorstin.” These textbooks are also available by request in office hours.

2) Students will also need access to a computer with a word-processing program, preferably Microsoft Word version 6.0 ’95 or higher. Computers are available on campus at various locations. For information about locations and hours, please consult

3) Two 3.5 floppy disks for standard “A” drives. Flash drives are acceptable substitutes for this requirement.

4) One pair of headphones.

5) Access to the course listserv:

6) A good attitude

Course Texts: These are required texts and we will use them as reference guides often. They should ALL be available at the Bookstore. Students are responsible for these texts, i.e., you need to have a copy, not just “read it online.”

Modarres, Andrea, Kristen Haven, and Kelly Myers. A Student’s Guide to First-Year Writing. 28th ed. Plymouth, MI: Hayden/McNeil. 2007.

Hacker, Diana. Rules for Writers. 5th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s. 2004.

Alvarado, Beth, Barbara Cully, and Michael Robinson. Writing as Re-Vision.Boston: Pearson. 2003.

Supplemental Material: Highly recommended but not necessary.

Hacker, Diana. Research and Documentation in the Electronic Age. 4th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s. 2006.

Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 6th ed.New York: MLA, 2003..

Recommended Materials

1. A college dictionary and thesaurus.

2. Loose leaf paper for quizzes and in-class writing

3. Water bottle with a cap

4. Portable CD/MP3 player for in-class writing days

5. Snacks (as long as they’re small)

6. Good Highlighter marker

7. 2” three ring binder for photocopied articles (if needed)

8. Style manual or technical writing textbook appropriate to your field: MLA handbook or APA Style Manual are the top two. (See Gibaldi Above for MLA)

Course Policies:

ad vitam aut culpam – “For life or until a misdeed”

Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism: All UA students are responsible for upholding the Code of Academic Integrity, available through the office of the Dean of Students and online ( carefully the summary of the Code that appears in the Student’s Guide.

Attendance:Attendance is essential; composition classes are workshop classes that include in-class writing, peer group work, and conferences. Students are allowed only two absences (of any kind) without penalty other than what might be accrued from the absence itself; missed work must still be completed, papers must still be turned in, quizzes made up etc. After such time, a 1% overall course grade deduction will be in effect for each additional absence. In the case that I cancel class for student conferences, a missed conference time counts as an absence, so please be responsible.

Please contact me ahead of time if you must miss class, especially if you know in advance about the absence or need an extension on the work. All extensions are at my discretion.

Lastly, all holidays or special events observed by organized religions will be honored for those students who show affiliation with that particular religion, and absences pre-approved by the UA Dean of Students (or Dean's designee) will be honored.

Class Conduct: All UA students are responsible for upholding the Student Code of Conduct, which can be read online through UA Info ( I reserve the right to dismiss any student who fails to address students or course material with appropriate respect.

Conferences: I may schedule individual or small-group conferences several times during the semester.You should come to your conference prepared to discuss your current work.I may cancel regular classes for these conferences; therefore, a missed conference in this case counts as an absence.

Disabilities Accommodations: Students with disabilities who require reasonable accommodations to fully participate in course activities or meet course requirements must register with the DisabilityResourceCenter. If you qualify for services through DRC, bring your letter of accommodations to me as soon as possible in order to make the appropriate arrangements. Please plan to meet with me by appointment or during office hours to discuss accommodations and how my course requirements and activities may impact your ability to fully participate.


“Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.” -George S. Patton;

Catch a man a fish, and you can sell it to him. Teach a man to fish, and you ruin a wonderful business opportunity.” -Karl Marx

Students are responsible for the timely completion of all required work outlined on the syllabus. All assignments must be completed for a final grade and should always reflect the student’s best work. I will provide an assignment sheet for every major assignment; in addition, I am always available during office hours to discuss papers and strategies for writing. Having said that, I cannot write papers for you. Whatever your comfort level in instruction, there may come a point to where I tell you that you’re on your own – not because I don’t want to help you, but rather because any further participation on my part would cheat you out of independent thought, individual interpretation, and critical thinking.

Students are encouraged to make two copies of each assignment: one for grading and one for records in order to insure credit for all work. In addition, due to the large amount of in-class drafting on PC laptops for this course, students should also make two backups of drafts on disk. Student work my also be displayed via disk for class workshop; therefore, it is necessary for students to keep electronic and hard copies of assignments with them during each class.

Late assignments will be penalized 10% for each day late, starting immediately after the deadline. If a paper is due at 2pm, at 2:01, I take an initial 10% reduction, then again the following day at 2pm, and so on. Weekends are not exempt from this policy. As with any professional working environment, deadlines in this class are firm and students are expected to finish their work on time.
As a rule, I do not accept any assignments by email. It is the student’s responsibility to print out and turn in a hard copy of all materials due for the course. In the case that a student must submit a late paper on the weekend, I will accept an email copy for the purposes of time-stamping only. The student must still print a hard copy, and turn it in to ML 445 in the sign out box. In addition, the copy must match the emailed version to receive credit. If it’s been changed or revised, I will accept the copy turned in later with the appropriate percentage penalty attached.

Grading Policy:

“I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.”

-Thomas A. Edison

Students are graded on the writing product, and not necessarily the effort expended in creating it. I cannot grade papers based on how nice a student is, or on how much they participate in class. Having said this, students should be prepared to see grades that may be lower than their expectations. I have heard the same story many, many times about how a student never got an “E” before, or a “D, C, or B” before in their lives and they don’t understand why they got one in my class. DO NOT take these as a reflection on your character.

“All things are difficult before they are easy.”

-Thomas Fuller

I urge every student to remember that they are part of a line of academic achievement and are used to a certain standard of excellence in comparison to their peers, but this comparison changes in college as every student raises the average of excellence. In short, the bar in college is higher than High School, and there is an expected adjustment period as students refine/refresh skills in diligence, preparation, and organization.

“The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.”

-Vince Lombardi

“A” Ratings:

Exceptional.This is work that might lead to a promotion in the workplace; complete with awareness of rhetorical situation and effective use of rhetorical strategies. Author possesses an engaging style, no mechanical errors, logical organization, clear expression, substantial content, and logical argumentation. In general, this work is extremely difficult but not impossible to achieve – provided the student takes the exceptional amount of time and energy in earning it.

“B” Ratings:

Good.This is above average and acceptable work; work that typically notes consistently above average, though not quite excellent. Author shows awareness of rhetorical situation and effective use of rhetorical strategies. Documents are generally professional and free of mechanical errors. Usually slightly above average in terms of the above criteria, but falls short of excellence in one or more categories.

“C” Ratings:

Competent.Draft level work that would probably be returned for revision in the workplace. Most documents begin in this stage, though should not remain after several editing sessions. Shows few mechanical errors, uses competent style, content, expression, and organization. The constant mark of the “C” category is to say that it is thoroughly average – with nothing to show that it is either good or bad. This work is typically dry, boring, and strictly functional (in the negative sense). Students do this work just for the purpose of completion only, and it warrants no marks of excellence or dangerously poor craftsmanship.

“D-E” Ratings:

Weak. Would be detrimental to the worker’s career. Below average in one or more of the above categories.This may also include major mistakes regarding the purpose of the assignment, a failure to include all requirements of the assignment, carelessness, or withheld grades.

Major Assignments and Weights:

Assignment / Date / %
Paper 1: Text Analysis / Tues. 09/18 / 15
Paper 2: Text Analysis / Tues. 10/16 / 20
Paper 3: Text-in-Context Analysis / Tues. 11/15 / 25
Final Exam / Revision Essay / Fri. 12/07 / 25
Homework & Quizzes / Various / 15

Students must accumulate between 90%-100% of the total pts for a grade of A, 80%-89%, for a B, 70%-79% for a C, and so on. All assignments must be completed to receive a grade for the course. Due dates are inflexible and will not be changed for any reason. Extensions must be approved at least 24 hours beforehand and only at my express discretion. All assignments are due in class on the day posted without exception. Late papers must be signed in to ML 445; though there will be a 10% grade reduction for each day late.

In some rare cases, I may “withhold” grades from assignments that are complete in lieu of a rewrite. In these cases, students are required to have at least one mandatory, scheduled conference with me, and will need to make up the assignment.

I administer three types of pop-quizzes: 1) spot-checks (did you bring required materials, etc.), 2) comprehension quizzes (did you understand the previous lecture, homework, etc. These are always open note), and 3) short essay questions. Essays are always reading-intensive and will test students’ knowledge of the assigned readings—particularly short stories and articles—and test students’ ability to apply some arguments from the text to a real-world scenario. These are also open-note (but not open book) unless otherwise indicated in the instructions.
Round Robins:On four separate occasions this semester, five members of the class will participate in a Round Robin exchange of papers. Each member will read the group’s remaining essays and give thorough, written feedback along with annotated drafts during the exchange. On the assigned day, the group will co-lead discussion with me as we compare our evaluations and “norm” our grading evaluations. Students who are not in the main group will be assigned one essay to read and comment on, and must submit their written comments and annotated draft to receive credit for the exercise. The leading group will need to bring copies of the group’s work, and the remaining students must bring a hard copy of the assigned essay.

Peer Reviews: We will have several days to peer review drafts. Similar to the Round Robins, this will be a more functional and intimate review with an exchange of no more than two other peers. Like the Round Robins, students will evaluate their work and provide feedback. Since the whole class will submit drafts on this day, it’s necessary to bring three copies (two for review, one for you).

Extra Credit & The “Magic Bullet”:

In almost every semester and class that I’ve taught, I’ve had at least one student who was desperately behind the pack, looking for a way out, and really looking for a “magic bullet.” The “magic bullet” is an extra credit assignment (or assignments) that would let them make up the difference for a semester of problems. Let me be clear: THERE IS NO MAGIC BULLET IN THIS COURSE. I do not offer extra credit. Like the real world, your best bet for success is to 1) be here, 2) be responsible, and 3) do the work. Stay on top of your grades and don’t fall behind. “Fortune favors the prepared.”
”The Cure”: I only have one exception to the extra credit policy as stated above, and students need to have a failing grade prior to the last assignment to even be eligible. Suffice it to say, this is a desperation only measure to raise the grade from an “E” to a “D” (passing), and I assure you, “The Cure” is worse than the disease! See me for this option only if it applies to you. Formula: (Needed) Homework pts x5; + (N) Quiz pts x4; + (N) Paper points x3 = number of pages to write.

Syllabus Schedule*:

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”–Aristotle

“I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence, I can reach for; perfection is God's business.”-Michael J. Fox
perfer et obdura; dolor hic tibi proderit olim – “Be patient and tough; one day this pain will be useful to you”

DAILY SYLLABUS: Please note that this is a tentative syllabus of course assignments. As such, it issubject to change, but never with less than 24 hours notice either through an in-class announcement, notification on the listserv, or a posting on the website. In short, it is the responsibility of each student to remain aware of any changes in assignments or deadlines.


  • WAR = Writing As Revision
  • ER = Electronic Reserve
  • RW = Rules for Writers
  • R&D = Research and Documentation in the Electronic Age (Companion book to HM)
  • SG = Student’s Guide to First-Year Composition (11.1 = Chap. 11, Sec. 1)
  • TBA = To Be Announced
  • Reading Due / Homework Due = Readings or Homework Due that day in class
  • (Cont.) = Reading continued from the previous class – bring a copy on all days listed

Phase One: Rereading Romance
08/21 /
Introduction to the Course: Reading Due: NoneHomework Due: ENGL 101 or equivalent
08/23 /
Close Reading: Finding meaning and purpose in the textReading Due: SG Chapter 3 (all of it).Homework Due: Be ready to show your chapter annotations (mwah-ha-ha!)
08/28 /
Romance 1 & Basic Analysis: Our first delve into the readings; Functional analysesReading Due: SG Chapter 9.1-9.3; WAR: Atwood – Happy Endings; Carver – What we talk about…Homework Due: One paragraph response to Carver: Which main character seems to be in the most suffering? Explain your answer.
08/30 /
Basic MLA Conventions & Line Editing For Clarity: Starting to write and reviseReading Due: RW: 448-55; 155-184; 266-286Homework Due: Ex 19.1 (pp. 162-3); 20.1 (pg. 171); 21.1 (pg. 183)
09/04 /
Romance 2: ExplanationReading Due: WAR: Carver – So Much Water; ER: Twenge – Army of One Homework Due: Three definitions of “Narcissism” from any source.
09/06 /
Evaluating Student Essays: Reading and Responding to Peer Work (Practice)Reading Due: SG Chapter 15.6, ER – Forzano Essay; Homework Due: Print two copies of the Evaluation Sheet. Group 1 members only – 5 hard copy drafts for your group, and one electronic copy for me.
09/11 /
Paper 1 Round Robin: Group 1 co-leads discussionReading Due:(for Group 1 members only- Comments and evaluations on teammates’ papers) All else: Preliminary Comments for assigned group 1 member (seeAssignment sheetfor details).Homework Due: See above under “Reading Due”
09/13 /
Peer Review for Paper 1: Peer paper exchange for detailed reading/commentsReading Due: NoneHomework Due: Everyone brings enough hard copies for peer evaluation (2-3 depending on reviewer team size). Seeassignment sheetfor details.
Phase Two: Rereading Science
09/18 /
Science and Control 1: Tools, Toys, and TakeoversReading Due: None; We will watch either “33” or “Litmus” from BSGHomework Due:Paper 1 DUE
09/20 /
Writing Good Introductions and Body Paragraphs: Rule of thirds, PIEReading Due: White – Rereading ScienceHomework Due: None
09/25 /
Science and Control 2: Science (the method) vs. Science (the belief)Reading Due: WAR: Asimov – Multivac; Barthes - The Brain of Einstein; SG – Chapter 4; Reread MacDonald – Urban Outfitters from the SG.Homework Due: None
09/27 /
Science and Skepticism: Building better natureReading Due: WAR: DeMarinis – Weeds; Kadrey – Carbon CopyHomework Due: Answer the following prompt in a 1 page, single-spaced essay: “Compare and contrast the ideology of science in these two essays. What philosophies guide the process of science? What assumptions are being made about the results? What is the relationship between nature and science?”
10/02 /
Intermediate MLA formatting: Punctuation and the Basic Works Cited pageReading Due:NoneHomework Due:None
10/04 /
Science and Rhetoric: The Construction of ScienceReading Due: Kuhn – TBA; WAR: Quinn – Science; Selzer - SoulHomework Due: Group 2 only – Bring 5 copies of your first draft for exchange.
10/09 /

Paper 2 Round Robin: Group 2 co-leads discussionReading Due:(for Group 2 members only- Comments and evaluations on teammates’ papers) Everyone else: Comments on 1 assigned draft from a Group 2 member (TBA)Homework Due: See above under “Reading Due” and the Assignment Sheet for details.