English 1102: English Composition II – Fall 2023
Office: Arts and Letters (SOAL) 239
The MGA Undergraduate Catalog describes English 1102 as "a composition course that develops writing skills beyond the level of proficiency required by ENGL 1101, that emphasizes interpretation and evaluation based on an introduction to fiction, drama, and poetry, and that incorporates a variety of more advanced research methods." My fundamental aim is to help you improve your ability to read and think critically and to write effective essays.
Required Texts and Materials
Kelly J. Mays, The Norton Introduction to Literature, Shorter 14th edition, eBook in D2L
"Handouts" from my website (www.chipspage.com).
Attendance: Each class meeting is important, so it is vital that you be in class on time every class. I record attendance, and absences do affect your grade. Students with more than four non-illness-related absences fail the class. Students who must miss class because of illness (COVID or otherwise) should notify me before the missed class meeting. I will try to work with you on any major assignments you happen to miss (assignments other than reading quizzes), especially when you notify me of the absence missing class: email me whenever you must miss class.
Late work: Late work receives a letter-grade penalty for each class day (e.g. Monday or Wednesday) the assignment is late.
Minimum course requirements: Regardless of overall grade average, to pass the course you must turn in all five essays (four papers and an in-class essay) and all sets of corrections and take the final 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 considered plagiarism, a serious breach of academic integrity. Note that "writings of others" includes work produced by Artificial Intelligence such as ChatGPT. I submit cases of plagiarism or other academic dishonesty for review by the Student Conduct Officer. The penalty for plagiarism in this class is an "F" for the entire course, not just the assignment in question. See the more specific definition of plagiarism in the English 1102 Syllabus Supplement; also see "On Plagiarism."
Cell phones/personal electronics: Generally, the use of cell phones and other hand-held personal electronic devices is forbidden in the classroom. All such devices must be kept out of sight for the duration of class—off of desks and out of laps.
Content advisory: This is a college class, at a State University, and although some students may legally be minors, I will consider all college students adults. We may read and discuss material that makes you uncomfortable or that some deem offensive or counter to their beliefs, including matters relating to religion, race, sex, and sexuality.
Class discussion: Most class periods involve open discussion of the reading assignments with little lecture, so your participation in discussion is essential. I will call on reticent or "quiet" students. To participate, obviously, you must be present in class; to score higher than B- in participation you will need to contribute in discussion spontaneously and appropriately each class meeting.
Reading quizzes: unannounced quizzes testing your close attention to the readings.
Writing exercises: written assignments, usually brief and sometimes collaborative, that vary as need arises. At most they are paragraph-length.
Terminology test: a test assessing your mastery of literary terminology which we will cover early in the semester.
The Writing Matters test covers a variety of rules, conventions, and matters of mechanics outlined in several web pages from my website: the Golden Rules are important rules of grammar and style; the Nuggets cover a variety of conventions and problems, especially in the handling of quotations; a number of common problems in spelling and diction are described in Word Problems; the Quotations page presents basic conventions in MLA-style citation and documentation of sources.
The in-class essay is like an essay exam, but here your work is evaluated for structural, grammatical, and stylistic quality as well as content.
Formal papers: the guts of the courseformal papers present carefully structured and polished argumentation or analysis of issues arising from the readings and discussion. I will post detailed options and instructions for all four papers.
Peer responses involve close reading of classmates' essays and guided written criticism and advice on how to improve them.
Corrections: After I grade and hand back each essay, you will hand in corrected drafts with all changes indicated in bold type. For specifics, see corrections instructions.
Conferences: I encourage conferences especially at any stage of the essay-writing processexploring topics, drafting, revising, editing, or rewriting. My 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 an in-class essay on specific readings from the end of the semester.Paper "rewrites": You may rewrite and resubmit graded formal papers (the four out-of-class essays) for re-grading. Rewrite grades replace original grades completely. Note that rewriting involves 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 papers; rewrites should also address comments and questions written in the margins of the original graded papers. The deadline for all rewrites is the date of the final exam.
Final grade breakdown
Keeping up with grades: Check your grades periodically in Brightspace (D2L). Let me know of any concerns about your class average or grades on specific assignments before you consider withdrawing from the course.
A note on note-taking: Although this course involves little lecture and we do not have unit tests on the readings and discussions, you will have a much easier time writing effective paperspapers that receive higher gradesif you take notes during every class period. "A" students typically take extensive notes. Even in discussions where your classmates do more "discussing" than the professor, you should take notes on any significant points made by anyone in the discussion. You would also do well to underline, highlight, or otherwise make note of all passages from the readings that we take special notice of in class.
For high achievers: Tutoring is available free of charge in the Writing Center and in Student Success Centers (SSC) on all campuses. The Macon campus Writing Center is in TEB 226 and the SSC is in the lower level of the Library building.
To check the schedules for subjects tutored and tutor availability, visit the SSC website at http://www.mga.edu/student-success-center/. On the Macon campus you can book tutoring sessions by visiting mga.mywconline.com/. The SSC website also posts tutoring schedules for other centers across the five campuses, including the Writing Center (in Macon, TEB 226: 478-471-3542). All tutoring centers across the five campuses are free of charge. Other services at the SSC include online academic workshops and a robust website with resources for academic assistance. The centers also have computer workstations, free printing, and Internet access.
The Bottom Line:I hope every member of this class gets an A, and I will do all I can to make this happen. Don't get me wrongthe standards for "A" work are high. The number-one key to succeeding in this class is that you take responsibility for your own success, meaning that you attend to all assignments with careful, earnest diligence, that you respond positively to any setbacks and heed my feedback on all assignments, and that you seek my help as much and as often as you need it. I guarantee you have one of the most accessible professors at Middle Georgia State: ask for help outside of class, and I'll do my level best to deliver.