English 101
Composition and Literature I
Fall 2003
Sections 04 & 07

Dr. Chip Rogers
Phone: 769-4328
Email: chip.rogers@citadel.edu
Web address: www.citadel.edu/faculty/rogers
Office: 121A Capers Hall
Office phone: 953-7907
Office hours: MWF 11:00-12:00,
     TTH 2:30-4:00, and by appointment


The Citadel's 2003-2004 Catalogue describes English 101 as "reading and evaluating essays; writing paragraphs and essays." The stated objective of the course is to develop "basic skills of writing, reading, and analysis" (228).  Further, the English Department's stated goal for the course is "to help students produce clear, correct prose in a unified, coherent piece sustained for 750 words."

My fundamental aim is to help you improve your ability to read, think, and write critically.  This course will 1) develop your skill building effective analytical and argumentative essays, 2) improve the smooth incorporation of secondary materials (i.e. research) into your writing, 3) familiarize you with the basic processes of independent college-level research, and 4) give you a thorough and precise understanding of plagiarism.  Whatever your present abilities, I guarantee this course will improve your writing and equip you with the essentials for more advanced college writing. 

Texts and Materials
The Little, Brown Reader, 9th edition, by Marcia Stubbs, Sylvan Barnet, and William Cain.
The Bedford Handbook, 6th edition, by Diana Hacker.
"Handouts" from my web site and readings on reserve in the library.

Theme folder with pockets or clasps to secure formal essays.

Two floppy disks, one to turn in with formal essays (must be formatted for PC, not Mac).

Core Requirements

5 formal essays of 750-1200 words. 
Peer response writings for formal essays. 

Corrections of graded formal essays. 

Participation in class discussion.
Reading quizzes and in-class writing exercises.

Quizzes and exams on grammar, convention, diction, and mechanics.
An exercise in understanding and avoiding plagiarism. 

A final exam. 


Each class is important, so it is crucial that you be in class on time every day.  I record attendance daily, and absences will affect your grade.  I will issue warnings to students with three unexcused absences—students with four unexcused absences will be dropped from the roster or given an automatic F.  You cannot make up assignments missed through unexcused absences.  If you become ill or there is a death in your family, or if there is any other reason you cannot attend class, let me know to excuse your absence and make arrangements for missed assignments before you miss class: call me at home or send email.  Doctor's notes, police reports, parental phone calls, even handwritten notes by President Bush himself will not excuse absences after the fact.
  • Note that "excused" is not the same as "authorized": for my purposes an absence is excused only if you notify me beforehand, in person or by telephone or email, that you will not be in class—for whatever reason.  Whenever you do not personally give me advance notice, any absence is unexcused—regardless of reason, including officially authorized absences for guard duty, corps squad events, etc.
  • In accordance with Citadel policy, I will submit daily attendance reports recording both absences and lateness to the Dean of Undergraduate Studies.
  • Also in accordance with Citadel policy, any cadet who misses more than 20% of our scheduled class meetings—i.e. more than eight MWF classes—will fail the course regardless of whether the absences are excused, unexcused, authorized, or unauthorized.

Late work: Late work will be penalized one letter grade for each class day the assignment is late.  Work turned in more than three class days late will receive no higher grade than F.

Bare minimum course requirements: Regardless of your overall grade average, to be eligible to pass the course you must turn in all five essays and all sets of essay corrections, complete the assignment on avoiding plagiarism, and take the exam.

Plagiarism: Except for assignments expressly calling for collaborative effort, all written work must be your own.  Any unacknowledged borrowing from the writings of others is an infraction of the Honor Code, and penalties for plagiarism are severe, ranging from an F for the course to expulsion from The Citadel.  For a fuller definition of plagiarism, follow the "On Plagiarism" link on my web site.  Also see both the passage on cheating in your Honor Manual and the attached "Instructions for the Preparation of Work Performed Outside the Classroom."

Course Description

Class discussion: Most class periods will involve open discussion of the readings with little or no lecture.  Your participation in discussion is mandatory.  I will call on reticent or "quiet" students frequently, and class participation does factor into your semester grade.

Reading quizzes: unannounced quizzes testing your close attention to the readings.

In-class exercises: written assignments that will vary as need arises, usually no more than paragraph-length.

Formal essays: the guts of the course—formal essays present carefully structured and polished argumentation or analysis of issues arising from the readings and discussion.  I will post detailed options and instructions for each essay on the web.  You will turn in formal essays printed on paper in "hard copy" and also saved on PC-compatible floppy disks. 

Peer responses involve close reading of classmates' essays and written criticism and advice on how to improve them.  I will provide handouts to help focus your criticism for each peer response exercise.

Corrections: After I grade and hand back each formal essay, you will 1) identify and record all marked errors on corrections worksheets, and 2) hand in corrected drafts with all changes indicated in bold type or underlined or highlighted.  For specifics, see corrections instructions

Grammar and mechanics quizzes and exams: on basic concepts in grammar, convention, diction, and mechanics following discussion of "Golden Rules," "Nuggets," "Word Problems," and "Quotes and Documentation."  Golden Rules are important rules of grammar and style.  The Nuggets cover a variety of conventions and problems, mostly in the handling of quotations.  A variety of common problems in diction are described in Word Problems.  The Quotes and Documentation handout presents basic conventions for citing and documenting sources according to MLA guidelines. 

The exercise on understanding and avoiding plagiarism will involve illustration of different types of plagiarism and your written demonstration that you know when and how to document source materials correctly.

Conferences: Conferences are not mandatory, but I strongly recommend them at any stage of the essay-writing process—exploring topics, drafting, revising, editing, or rewriting.  My typical aim in conferences is to head off potential problems in your papers and to offer helpful, critical response to your work before you submit it for grading.

Final exam: The exam will consist of two essays based on specific readings from the end of the semester.

"Rewrites": You may rewrite and resubmit graded formal essays for re-grading.  Rewrite grades replace original grades completely.  Note that rewriting involves far more substantial revision than correcting grammatical errors: rewrites should also address larger problems in focus, structure, content, and style.  The starting point for revision is my typed comments on your graded essays; rewrites should also address comments and questions written in the margins of your graded papers. 


You will keep all drafts of all five formal essays, including corrections, in one "formal essay folder"—all drafts of each essay should remain in this folder throughout the semester.  It's a good idea to collect all handouts, quizzes, and exercises as a sort of "evolving textbook" in a second folder or notebook. 


As you will see, I am a firm believer in using the Internet as a teaching tool.  Most handouts and all out-of-class assignments will be posted on my web site rather than being distributed as "hard copy" in class—you are responsible for printing and reading these web-page "handouts" before we discuss them in class.  Most handouts are indicated as linked pages on the schedule of readings and assignments.  I also encourage you to email me with questions on any course matters large or small. 

Final grade breakdown

 Class participation
 Reading quizzes
 Golden rules exam
 Nuggets exam
 Quotes and documentation exam
 Word problems quiz
 Peer responses 
 In-class exercises
 Exercise on avoiding plagiarism
 Essay 1 
 Essay 2 
 Essay 3 
 Essay 4
 Essay 5 
 Final exam

You should track your grades throughout the semester by keeping a "Scorecard."  See me to check your cumulative grade at any time—I keep grades on computer spreadsheets that are updated weekly. 

The Bottom Line: I hope every member of this class gets an A, and I will do everything I can to make this happen.  Don't get me wrongthe standards for "A" work are high, and I make no exceptions in course policies on absences, missed assignments, plagiarism, or late work.  But I guarantee you have one of the most accessible instructors at The Citadel: ask for help outside of class, and I'll do my level best to deliver. 

Teaching history
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