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ENGL 13100: Reading, Writing, & inquiry

Fall 2019 - MW 3-4.15 - LA 116 - Labs in Neff B27

We're here to learn as much as we can about the kinds of writing we do for an academic audience. So we'll develop and practice our skills of observation, analysis, and exposition. We'll focus on the cultures that produced us, the society in which we live, and our relationships to both. (Pretty much, anyway.)


Though we'll attend to the conventions of research writing such as summary, paraphrase, quotation, and formatting, our main focus at all times will be the actual WRITING WE DO. Sentences, paragraphing, rhetorical structures (organizing our thoughts).

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General information and course book

General Information

GENERAL


Dr. M. L. Stapleton

Office:  LA 105  Hours: please contact me

email: stapletm@pfw.edu   phone: 481.6841 (message)

webpage: www.elmlsteach.org

blog: shakespeareinyourface.blogspot.com


TEXT 


Lunsford et al., eds., Everyone's An Author (recommended)

Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL)


ELECTRONIC DEVICES


Yes, feel free, but please use their powers for Good only

Standard Course Outcomes!

13100 has a set of prescribed course outcomes!

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1: ANALYZING A CULTURAL ARTIFACT: ADVERTISEMENTS

TIMEFRAME, PROMPT, SUGGESTED, SPECS

TIMEFRAME


26 and 28 August; 9, 11, 16, 18, 23, 25 September

No class on 2 or 4 September

Presenters: Anthony D., Christian, Moe (9th); Sydney, Sohee, Karina (11th)

Lab in Neff B27: 18, 23, 25 September


PROMPT

  

The purpose of the assignment is to exercise your powers of visual analysis and to translate your insights to expository written form. You’ll choose a print or online advertisement and examine it as a cultural artifact. Your paragraphs should be devoted to the details of the image, and your focus should be at all times on what these details are DOING and how they contribute to the overall effect of the ad. 


Assume that your audience is yourself: someone who understands media but might not always grasp the significance of what she or he sees. Ultimately, what you seek is not simply “selling” something—we take that for granted—but what elements of culture inform your ad. 


You’ll be explaining to a reader what your ad is about, why someone might use it, and why it is important. Then, you’ll re-examine your ad’s significance and try to make a larger point about cultural values and practices. Is the ad manipulative? Exploitative?


SUGGESTED


Choose something that you care about and that will allow you to discuss elements other people might not notice. It doesn't have to be an item you use or necessarily aimed at you.  As you write, you might ask yourself why the thing advertised disguises its real intent, if this is the case. Is the thing important to you? Is it important to the culture at large? 


Since your job is to be objective, it would probably best to avoid PSAs, simply because it would be natural to identify strongly with the subject rather than subjecting it to rigorous, disinterested analysis.


SPECS


3-4 pp.

Attach your paper as a Word document to your email. Do NOT send it in Google Docs. Do NOT send it in .pdf 

Due Friday, 27 September, 9 a.m., by email:

stapletm@pfw.edu




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2: ANALYZING WORDS IN EXPOSITION: ARTICLES

TIMEFRAME, PROMPT, SUGGESTED, SPECS

TIMEFRAME 


30 September;  2, 7, 9, 14, 16, 23  October

Article due 7 October

No class on 21 October

Lab in Neff B27: 14, 16, 23 October


PROMPT


We’ll build on our previous assignment in which we determined the possible cultural significance of an advertisement by visual analysis. Here, we’ll sharpen our analytical powers further by examining the language of a professional writer on a controversial subject. 


To prepare ourselves, our reading materials will not be from pop culture, such as the internet, television news, blogs, or local newspapers. Instead, we’ll look at several articles from the august and longstanding American journals of opinion, The New Republic and National Review, with links below. As you’ll see, however, simply because these media are highbrow and aimed at a sophisticated readership does not mean that they’re free from ideology or political agendas.  As you'll see, each one is devoted in part to Hillary Rodham Clinton, our former senator from New York, First Lady, and Secretary of State.


When you choose your article (subject to approval), you'll need to analyze its language, tone, diction, perspective, intended audience, or anything else that would help you determine what the author's point of view  might be. You're welcome to use one of the examples below.   You're also welcome to find a one- or two-page editorial from a magazine such as Newsweek or Time, or a newspaper such as The New York Times.  Also, it doesn't need to be contemporary.  It can be historical.


SUGGESTED

  

  • Organize your paper by topic, devoting each paragraph to a single element, even if one of your paragraphs makes reference to both of your essays. 
  • Use significant words and phrases from your sources to make your points.
  • Consult the Writing page on Analytical Writing and Lead-ins and Quotations.
  • Consult the textbook on paraphrasing, quoting, and summarizing.
  • We'll use the updated MLA Works Cited style. 


SPECS


First: send me via email a copy of an article you might use, plus a 1-page summary of its content and perspective.   This is due Monday, 7 October, by 9 a.m.


Second: the finished product itself: 4 pp.

Attach your paper as a Word document to your email. Do NOT send it in Google Docs. Do NOT send it in .pdf  

Let’s use MLA style. Our textbook has examples. 

Here is a handy guide from Purdue OWL if your textbook is not within reach.

Due Friday, 25 October, 9 a.m. via email.

stapletm@pfw.edu


CLINTON ESSAYS


New Republic

Sasson, "Who Is the Hillary Voter?"

Hitt, "Hillarys for President"

Heer, "The Magic of Silly Putty"

Crispin, "Feminist Fail"

 

National Review

McCarthy, "Impeach Her"

Roy, "The Queen of Faction"

Williamson, "The Empty Pantsuit"

Coffin, "Hillary Rules"


  


Don't plagiarize

Most plagiarism tends to be accidental, a result of carelessness or ignorance rather than malice. Ultimately, it's simpler than they say. It's yours, or it's not.

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3: ANALYSIS BY ARGUMENT: WHY SHOULD WE BELIEVE YOU?

TIMEFRAME, PROMPT, SUGGESTED, SPECS

TIMEFRAME 


28 and 30 October; 4, 6, 11, 18, 20 November

No class on 13, 25 or 27 November

Lab in Neff B27: 18 and 20 November


PROMPT


Let's build on the previous assignments by refining your paraphrasing, quoting, summarizing, and reporting skills, stretching your powers of observation and explanation, and informing these entities with argument. 


Find a topic that allows you to argue a position. This will be more fun if this idea interests you. Research it in reputable sources, not internet blogs, Facebook, or unsourced media.  Google will always suggest Wikipedia first, but since these articles tend not to be properly reviewed or sourced, the site's offerings are not considered reputable.


Your topic should be arguable: a stance that can be disagreed with as well as defended. You will be more convincing if you display understanding and comprehension of your research. Quote something only when you can't summarize it better yourself. Demonstrate rhetorical awareness: make purposeful and effective writing choices. Impress us with your critical thinking skills, drawing reasonable conclusions about meaning.


Assume that your audience is yourself and your peers. You might know more than most people, but you aren't an expert. You want to find out more and develop your intellect in the process. 

 

Avoid hackneyed topics and excessive breadth: no essays on gun control, abortion, legalizing pot, immigration, and the like. "People Should Be Free" would be a poor choice, too. 


Personal observations are fine as long as you include them appropriately, effectively, and infrequently. Using your own experience as an argument is a bad strategy. Avoid using the second person (“you“).


SUGGESTED


Find an arguable idea that's specific and observable and fairly concrete, one that is easily researched, so that you will have more material than you need.


Avoid hackneyed subjects like abortion, gun control, drug legalization. Try also to write about something that does not interfere with your objectivity.


Choose a topic that accords with a hobby or skill or process with which you are familiar:  a good method or practice for doing something; a recommended behavior or process that would be best avoided.


SPECS


At least three reputable sources. Print media that can be accessed online, as with the previous assignment, would be best.

4 pp.

Attach your paper as a Word document to your email. Do NOT send it in Google Docs. Do NOT send it in .pdf  

MLA style, Works Cited page

Due Friday, 22 November, 9 a.m. via email

stapletm@pfw.edu


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4: THIS IS WHAT I CARE ABOUT

TIMEFRAME, PROMPT, SUGGESTED, SPECS

TIMEFRAME 


25 November; 2, 4, 9, 11 December

We'll schedule the presentations for the December dates, though early birds are welcome.


PROMPT


This assignment should tell us something about you that you want to share with the class.  Its only parameters are that it shouldn't be too personal, because then telling us about it would be awkward. If you can write about it for 4-5 pages, put it easily into a PowerPoint (or equivalent) presentation, make yourself understood about it, and treat it with relative academic gravitas, that would be best.  If your idea fails any of these four elements, I'd strongly suggest you choose another topic.


SUGGESTED


hobby, passion, non-religious belief, non-cliché ethical position, art, reading, sport, relationship. 


SPECS


4-5 pp.

Attach your paper as a Word document to your email. Do NOT send it in Google Docs. Do NOT send it in .pdf  

Any source material should be MLA formatted.

10 minute presentation with at least one visual aid.

Due Friday, 20 December, 9 a.m. via email

stapletm@pfw.edu

Let’s Learn More

about YOU!


You are interesting!


YES, YOU.

STANDARD PAPER FORMATTING

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SOFTWARE

As a PFW student, you are entitled to free software, which you'll need. If you follow this link, you can dowload your own copy of Office 365 from IT services.

EVERYTHING IS DOUBLE-SPACED

Everything in your regular papers should be double-spaced. There are no extra spaces between paragraphs, and block quotations are double-spaced.  Go into your copy of Word, find the Paragraph menu, and make sure that it looks like the picture to the left.


Note: paragraphs for minor presentations can be single-spaced. Doesn't matter there.

CHECK YOUR HEADING

It can be on the left or the right side


Your Name

My Name

ENGL 13100

Date


On the next line after the heading, center a title for the paper.

Begin your text on the next line after that title.


OTHER FORMATTING

  • Don't use "fun" fonts or all-caps.
  • Your font size should be 12-point.
  • Don't use 'single quotation marks' for emphasis, or, for that matter, for most any reason at all.

EVERYTHING IS ELECTRONIC

You'll compose your papers and shorter assignments in Word and email them to me, so there is nothing in hard copy.  Attach your paper as a Word document to your email. Do NOT send it in Google Docs. Do NOT send it in .pdf.

course policies

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ATTENDANCE AND GOOD MANNERS

You are allowed five (5) absences for any reason you choose. Students who miss more than this will fail the course, without exception, regardless of circumstances. I do not distinguish between “excused” and “unexcused” absences, nor am I responsible for material that you miss because you are absent. Students who miss the attendance call (the first five minutes of class) will be marked absent; students who get up and leave in the middle of class will be marked absent


PLEASE

  • take care of your rest room issues BEFORE class. If you must leave, give us the high sign. 
  • stay awake in class, do not put your head on your desk. If you are ill or exhausted, ask and ye shall be excused.
  • use your electronic devices for good, not evil, e.g., watching videos, texting your friends.


NOTE: if you signed up for the class, it is understood that you can attend it regardless of family or employment obligations. If you have emergencies, this is why you have absences allowed.  Doctors's notes, team travel letters, and other personal effects do not entitle students to extra absences. If circumstances prevent you from observing the attendance policy, drop the course

DUE DATES

Your papers are due on the scheduled non-class dates via email by 9 a.m. Late papers = 0.  You may revise all your papers (with the exception of the last) after meeting with the instructor in his office at our mutual convenience. Your revisions are due on the day your last project is due, 20 December by 9 a.m., email. 

DON'T BE A PLAGIARY

it should go without saying that students are also expected to do their own work; indebtedness to secondary materials (either printed or electronic) must be clearly indicated so as to avoid plagiarism: 

  • (piecemeal) using someone else’s words and phrases as if they were your own, not paraphrasing or summarizing properly, even with proper documentation; 
  • (grotesque) using someone else’s ideas as if they were your own, without proper documentation; 
  • (more grotesque) allowing someone else to write your paper for you.  

  

THERE IS NO NEED TO PLAGIARIZE IN HERE! NONE WHATSOEVER! AVAUNT, YE CHEATERS!

GRADING

Your course grade is determined by a rough averaging together of your four paper grades, including your revisions.

COMMUNICATION

Feel free to communicate with me at any time via email: stapletm@pfw.edu

I will usually get back to you sooner than you expect.


I always acknowledge an email submission with a reply confirming receipt. If you DON'T hear from me after a reasonable period of time, it means I didn't get the paper. It is YOUR responsibility to follow up in this case, not mine. 

PRESENTATIONS

We'll sometimes present on assigned topics during our class periods. Before 3 p.m. on the due date, you'll email me a one-page summary of your presentation. It can be single-spaced, and must include a picture that will help your audience understand your point. 


Your major presentation at the end of the semester must explain your final project, THIS IS WHAT I CARE ABOUT. You'll create a PowerPoint slide show to accompany yourself. We'll try and do three of these a day. It should be fun.