Composition and Literature I
Sections 013, 026, 058 and 065
Phone: (843) 769-4328
Web address: www.cofc.edu/~rogersa
Glebe St., Room 102
Office phone: (843) 953-4833
Office hours: Monday-Thursday
11:00-12:00, and by appointment
|Texts and Materials
Ann Charters, The Story and Its Writer, 5th edition.
Heffernan, Lincoln, and Atwill, Writing: A College Handbook, 5th edition.
Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights, Dover Thrift edition.
A Guide to Freshman English (CofC publication available at the College Bookstore).
"Handouts" from my web site and readings on reserve in the library.
Theme folder with pockets or clasps to secure loose-leaf paper.
The Undergraduate Bulletin describes English 101 as "A study of expository and argumentative writing. Composition stresses organization, coherence, structure, mechanics, and the fundamentals of research. Essays and short stories are used for stylistic analysis and composition topics."
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, and 3) familiarize you with the basic processes of independent college-level research. Along the way, we will also learn much about fiction and about ourselves. Whatever your present abilities, I guarantee this course will improve your reading and writing and equip you with the essentials for advanced college writing.
4 formal papers 700-1200 words in length
2 in-class essays
Correctionscorrected drafts of graded formal papers and essays
Reading quizzes and in-class exercises
Quizzes and exams on grammar, diction, and mechanics
Peer response writings for formal papers
A final exam
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 after the due date will receive no higher grade than F.
Minimum course requirements: You must turn in all six essays and all six sets of corrections (four papers and two in-class essays) and take the exam to pass the course.
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 College. For a fuller definition of plagiarism, see p. 7 of the Guide to Freshman English.
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 grade.
Formal papers: the guts of the courseformal papers present carefully structured and polished argumentation or analysis of issues arising from the readings and discussion. Detailed options and instructions for each paper assignment will be posted on the web.
Peer responses involve close reading of classmates' papers and written criticism and advice on how to improve them. I will provide handouts to help focus your criticism for each peer response exercise.
In-class essays are like essay exams on specific readings, but here your work is evaluated for structural, grammatical, and stylistic quality as well as content.
Corrections: After each formal paper and in-class essay is graded, you 1) identify and record all marked errors on corrections worksheets, and 2) hand in corrected drafts with all changes underlined or highlighted. Since corrections require a corrected and freshly printed draft after the paper has been graded, you should save all essays on disk to avoid having to retype entire drafts. For specifics, see Corrections instructions.
Reading quizzes: daily quizzes testing your close attention to the readings.
Grammar and mechanics quizzes and exams: on basic concepts in grammar, diction, and mechanics following discussion of "Golden Rules," "Nuggets," "Word Problems," and "Quotes and Documentation." Golden Rules are important rules of grammar and style taken from the Writing Handbook and restated informally in handouts. The Nuggets cover a variety of rules and problems, mostly in the handling of quotations. A variety of common problems in diction and spelling are described in Word Problems. The Quotes and Documentation handout presents basic conventions for citing and documenting sources according to MLA guidelines.
In-class exercises: written assignments that will vary as need arises, usually no more than paragraph-length.
Conferences: Conferences are not mandatory, but I strongly recommend them at any stage of the paper-writing processexploring topics, drafting, revising, or editing. 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 tests your mastery of the readings and offers a proving ground for proficiency in writing effective essays. The exam will consist of short answer questions (identifying and explaining the significance of specific passages) and one or two essays.
Paper "rewrites": You
may rewrite and resubmit graded formal papers 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 papers; rewrites should also address comments and questions written
in the margins of your graded papers.
You will keep all drafts of all four formal papers, including corrections, in one "formal paper folder"all drafts of all papers should remain in this folder throughout the semester. It's a good idea to collect all handouts as a sort of "evolving textbook" in a second folder or notebook; I strongly suggest you also keep in-class essays, exercises, quizzes, exams, etc. in this 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 classit will be your responsibility to print these handouts from the web before we discuss them in class. Most handouts are indicated as linked pages on the syllabus of assignments. I also encourage you to email me with questions on any course matters large or small.
You should track your grades over the semester by keeping a "Scorecard." See me to check your cumulative grade at any timeI keep grades on computer spreadsheets that are updated weekly, if not daily.
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 College of Charleston: ask for help outside of class, and I'll do my level best to deliver.