English 1213H
Honors Composition II
Spring 2006

Dr. Chip Rogers
Phone: 341-8908
Email: chip@chipspage.com
Web address: www.chipspage.com

Office: Baird Hall 104
Office phone: 343-7748
Office hours: MWF 10:00-11:00, MW 4:30-5:30,
   TuTh 1:00-2:30,
and by appointment


The RSU 2005-2006 Bulletin describes English 1213H as "Independent research, reading, and writing as related to selected masterpieces of literature" (120). 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 effective incorporation of secondary materials (i.e. research) into your writing, and 3) improve your competence in independent college-level research. English 1213H will equip you with the essentials for more advanced college writing.

Successful completion of English 1113 and ACT score of 25 or above.

Texts and Materials
Booth, Hunter, and Mays, The Norton Introduction to Literature. 9th edition.
Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, Longman Cultural Edition.
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain, Dover Thrift Edition. [On order]
"Handouts" from my website and readings on reserve in the library.
Theme folder with pockets or clasps to secure formal essays.

Core Requirements

4 formal papers of 800-1500 words. 
Peer response writings for formal papers. 
Corrections of graded formal papers.
Participation in class discussion.
Reading quizzes and writing exercises.
Quizzes and exams on grammar, convention, diction, and mechanics.
A library research project. 
Midterm and final exams.

Each class is important, so it is crucial that you be in class on time every day. I record attendance daily, and absences do affect your grade. In this course there are no distinctions between "excused" and "unexcused" absences. Students with more than five absences will receive an automatic F for the course, regardless of the reasons for any of the 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 major assignments you happen to miss (i.e. any assignments other than reading quizzes), especially when you let me know about the absence before missing class: feel free to call me at home or send email any time you know you will not be in class.

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, and I accept no work more than two weeks late.

Bare minimum course requirements: Regardless of your overall grade average, to be eligible to pass the course you must turn in all four papers and all sets of corrections. The midterm and final exams are 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 any cases of plagiarism or other academic dishonesty for review by the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Penalties for plagiarism are severe, ranging from an F for the course to expulsion from the college. For more on plagiarism, follow the "On Plagiarism" link on my website.  

Course Methodology

Class discussion: Most class periods will involve open discussion of the readings with very little lecture, so your participation in discussion is essential. 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.

Writing exercises: written assignments, usually brief and sometimes collaborative, that will vary as need arises.

In-class essays are like essay exams, often on specific readings, but here your work is evaluated for structural, grammatical, and stylistic quality as well as content.

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 electronically, either as email attachments or 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 direct your criticism for each peer response.

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

Research project: essentially, an annotated bibliography that demonstrates your comprehensive familiarity with the RSU library system and the basic processes of advanced undergraduate research.

Grammar and mechanics quizzes and exams: on basic concepts in grammar, convention, diction, and mechanics following discussion of my "Golden Rules," "Nuggets," "Word Problems," and "Quotes and Documentation" web pages. 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 variety of common problems in diction are described in Word Problems. The Quotes and Documentation page presents basic conventions for citing and documenting sources according to MLA guidelines. 

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.

Midterm and final exams: testing your mastery of the readings and offering proving grounds for proficiency in writing effective essays.  Both will consist of short answer questions (identifying and explaining the significance of specific passages) and one or more 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 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. 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 believe in using the Internet as a teaching tool. Most handouts and all out-of-class assignments will be posted on my website 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 online schedule of readings and assignments. I may occasionally contact you through email also, and I 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 
 Writing exercises
 Research project
 Paper 1 
 Paper 2 
 Paper 3 
 Paper 4
 Midterm exam
 Final exam

You should track your grades throughout the semester by keeping a "Scorecard." You can also track grades and find your cumulative average (overall course grade) by downloading and filling in the "grade calculator" for this class from my website. Feel free to see me any time throughout the semester to check your cumulative grade—I keep grades on computer spreadsheets that are updated weekly.

A note on note-taking: Although this course involves very little lecture, you will have a much easier time on the midterm and final exams and in writing effective papers if you take notes during every class period. Even in discussions where your classmates do more "discussing" than the professor, you would do well to take notes on any significant points made by anyone in the discussion. You would also do very well to underline, highlight, or otherwise make note of all passages from the readings that we take special notice of in class.

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 wrong—the 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 Rogers State: ask for help outside of class, and I'll do my level best to deliver. 

Teaching history
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