English 121:  Effective Writing II

AKA Researching Cyberspace and Society

Fall 1999
Dr. Robert Fletcher (office hours, etc.)
The English 121 Student Projects Page
 Description and Goals

Description and Goals

In this section of English 121 you will:
  • continue to hone the skills you acquired in 120, including developing a thesis, outlining, drafting, revising, and editing;
  • continue to practice the rhetorical modes you used in 120, such as summary, description, comparison and contrast, analysis, and argument;
  • be introduced to and guided through the academic research process, that is, the activities of search, collection, discovery, and integration that make up a rewarding research project;
  • learn how to present that research effectively and with proper documentation in several formats:  written essays of varying lengths, a website, and an oral presentation;
  • continue to grow as a critical reader and thinker, through the analysis of both academic and popular discourses, presented through both texts and graphic images;
  • be introduced to the scholarly study of technology and the new media, most significantly the WWW.
  • I sincerely hope that you will find the course challenging and rewarding.  Ideally, its goal is to help you become a practiced thinker-researcher-writer, not just for your college years, but for a lifetime.

    NOTE:  As a starting point, I will expect you to have developed (through English 120 and other work) the college-level writing skills that enable you to compose written discourse that is stylistically competent and relatively error free.  We will not be reviewing conventions of grammar in class, but we will discuss elements of style characteristic of different academic discourses.

    Support Services:  In addition to the help with your writing you'll get during our writing workshops and during conferences in my office, you may seek assistance at the Writing Center (Main 203, 436-2121), where a knowledgable staff offers consultations at any stage in the writing process--prewriting, drafting, organizing, revising, and editing.  (I will be glad to provide you with a written referral detailing areas in need of special attention.) For computing problems, the ACC maintains a Student Help Desk in Anderson 7, and its phone number is x2390.



    Assignments are of two kinds, those checked for satisfactory completion and those marked with a letter grade. For the standards I will apply to letter-graded work, click here.

    Assignments Checked for Completion (total of 25%):

    Class participation work may only be made up upon submission of a valid medical excuse for absence.

    Letter-Graded Assignments:

  • exploratory essay (1250 words) (20%)
  • field research journal or comprehensive, annotated bibliography (10%)
  • argumentative essay or research report (1250 words) (20%)
  • group web project (2000 words each contributor, which may include revised portions of the exploratory and argumentative essays).  (25%)
  • Detailed instructions for each assignment will be added to this website during the semester.



    Late Assignments: Assignments submitted late will have 1/3 of a grade deducted for each day (not class period) that passes after the due date. Weekends don't count. Since many assignments build upon the skills and knowledge developed in previous ones and the final web project is to be completed in steps, I will not accept any assignment until all preceding assignments have been completed satisfactorily (with a checkmark or grade of "C" or better).  In other words, to pass the class you must complete all assignments satisfactorily and in order.

    Plagiarism: "Plagiarism is using another's words or ideas without appropriate acknowledgement" (MLA Style Manual 4). In formal essays, "acknowledgement" means using conventions of citation such as the quotation marks and parenthetical note in the previous sentence. Even if you paraphrase someone's words, you must provide a note showing your debt. In the informal writing of the EBB, as a common courtesy, you should always credit the person whose idea you are mentioning or borrowing. NOTE: If you plagiarize you will receive an irrevocable "F" grade on the assignment and possibly for the course (this is English Department Policy).

    Attendance:  English 121 will include a lot of collaboration among students--in discussion of readings, in research activities, in editing.  Therefore, attendance and participation are important parts of your contribution to class.  You are permitted three
    absences during the semester, excluding those for major medical problems, which will be handled on an individual basis. If you miss too much of the semester--even with a legitimate medical excuse--I may have to ask you to withdraw. After the three cuts, your final grade in the course will be lowered a third of a grade (e.g. from C to C-) for each cut.

    Students with Disabilities:In accordance with ADA guidelines, I am happy to make reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities. Please contact me if you would like such consideration.



    The texts below are required for the course and are available in the bookstore: NOTE:  A handbook, Rosen's Decisions (Allyn & Bacon, 1998) has been ordered for the class as a recommended text.

    In addition, you are required to have

  • a college-level dictionary
  • at least three 3.5" high-density floppy disks (you might want more).
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    Reading and Assignment Schedule

    Section 10
    Section 11
    Section 14


    Dr. Fletcher's Homepage