Arts and Sciences (COAS) 203
The MGA 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 thoughtful and effective essays. This course will 1) develop your skill building effective analytical and argumentative essays, 2) improve the effective incorporation of secondary materials (i.e. research) into your writing, and 3) improve your competence in independent college-level research. Whatever your present abilities, I guarantee this course will improve your reading and writing and equip you with the essentials for more advanced college writing.
Texts and Materials
Ann Charters & Samuel Charters, Literature and Its Writers, 6th edition.
Writer's Help 2.0 for Hacker Handbooks (online writing resource, essentially an interactive handbook).
"Handouts" from my website (www.chipspage.com).
Attendance: Each class is important, so it is crucial that you be in class on time every day. I record attendance, and absences do affect your grade. Students with more than four absences fail the class, regardless of the reasons for any of the absences—I make no distinction between "excused" and "unexcused" absences. I understand that "stuff happens," and not every student will be able to attend every class meeting. I will try to work with you on any assignments you happen to miss other than reading quizzes, especially when you let me know about the absence missing class: email me anytime you must miss class.
Late work: Late work is 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, and I accept no work more than two weeks late.
Textbooks: The texts ordered for this class, in the correct editions, are absolutely mandatory. Students who fail to acquire the proper texts at the beginning of the semester will fail the course.
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. The final exam is also mandatory.
Plagiarism: Except for assignments expressly calling for collaborative effort, all written work must be your own. Any unacknowledged borrowing from the writings of others will be considered plagiarism, a serious breach of academic integrity. I will 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: The use of cell phones, smart-phones, PDA's, ipods, and other hand-held personal electronics devices is not permitted during classtime. All such devices must be kept out of sight for the duration of class—off of desks and out of laps. I will count absent any student texting or viewing a personal electronic device, and if the problem persists I will ask students not abiding by this policy to leave the classroom. Students who wish to take notes on laptops may do so, but only if they sit in the back row.Instruments of Evaluation
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 several times 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.
The Writing Matters test covers a variety of rules, conventions, and matters of mechanics outlined in several web pages from my site: 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.
Terminology test: a test assessing your mastery of literary terminology which we will cover early in the semester.
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 on the web. You will turn in formal papers printed on paper in "hard copy" and also submit them digitally in the Brightspace (D2L) online learning management system.
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 or underlined or highlighted. Since corrections require a freshly printed draft after the paper has been graded, you should save all your work on disk to avoid having to retype entire drafts. For specifics, see corrections instructions.
Conferences: Conferences are not mandatory, but I strongly recommend them at any stage of the essay-writing processexploring 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 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 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 the original graded papers.
You will keep all drafts of all four formal papers, including corrections, in one "formal paper folder"all drafts of each essay should remain in this folder throughout the semester. By departmental policy, I will keep these folders for a full semester following your completion of this course, at which time I'll be happy to return folders to students who request them. It's a good idea to collect all handouts and class notes as a sort of "evolving textbook" in a second folder or notebook.
Most handouts and assignments will be posted on my website rather than distributed as hard copy in classyou are responsible for printing and reading web-page "handouts" before we discuss them in class. Most handouts are indicated as linked pages on the online schedule of readings and assignments. I may occasionally contact you through email also, and I encourage you to email me with questions on course matters large or small.
Final grade breakdown
Keeping up with grades: You should check your grades periodically in Brightspace (D2L). Let me know if you have 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 those intent on doing their absolute best: Tutoring is available free of charge in the Student Success Centers (SSC) on all campuses for currently enrolled students. The Macon campus SSC is located in the lower level of the Library building. The Warner Robins SSC is located in Oak Hall (Room 128). To schedule an appointment in the Macon SSC, call (478) 471-2057. For an appointment at the WRC SSC, call (478) 929-6770.
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.