WRT 120: Effective Writing I

Sections 03 (MWF 10; Main 300) and 31 (MWF 11; Main 202)

Description
Objectives
Texts
Requirements
Policies
Schedule

Dr. Robert Fletcher

Main 524
Office Hours: M 2-4, 6-7, WF 2-3
Phone: x2626
Email: rfletcher@wcupa.edu
Homepage: http://courses.wcupa.edu/fletcher

 

 
Course Description:  This general education writing course is designed to foster your growth as writer, reader, and thinker.  The catalog description says that the course will emphasize “explanation of the writing process, practice in writing, and feedback.”  Consequently, though I may occasionally take some time to talk about key concepts and methods of composition, the main instructional methods in the course will be discussion and workshop, with me coordinating activities and guiding you, collectively and individually, in your own work.  In class you can expect to read and discuss your own writing, the writing of other students, and the published writing of professionals.  You should expect to be challenged to write in new ways, to reflect on your writing experiences, and to learn the rhetorical conventions of a variety of social and academic contexts.  We will focus on writing as a process that involves planning, drafting, revising, editing, and reflecting.  Some of these activities will be done on your own, some in class workshops, and some in conference with me or a Writing Center tutor.  Your growth as a writer will probably depend on how much time and enthusiasm you put into these course activities.

 

Course Objectives:  As with other general education courses, this course is designed to meet a specific set of general education goals. In this course, students should

Texts:

Course Requirements and Evaluation:  All students are expected to come to class prepared for discussion or workshop and to complete all assignments on time.  Formal writing assignments will receive letter grades, which will be assigned grade points at semester’s end.  Quizzes will be given a numerical score, and other activities will be graded on a check, check+, check- basis.  Here is more specific information about the activities:

Formal writing assignments.  There are four formal writing assignments in the course, totaling approximately 4500 words or eighteen pages.  Two I have predetermined: a literacy essay (memoir and/or analysis) and a website.  The genres of the other two will be chosen by class vote from among selected genres in our textbook (see Sept. 23 on schedule). Part of your grade for these assignments will be determined by your completion of drafts on time.  Your writing for this course will be evaluated against explicit standards for formal writing(75% of grade)

Informal writing assignments.  Other than the argument exercise (two pages, assigned Sept. 25), these will be occasional and at my discretion.  They may include reading quizzes.  (10% of grade)

Participation. Reading, writing, and contributing to discussions and group work are all included here. Note: reading assignments should be completed before class on the date specified in the schedule.  (10%)

Portfolio. Your are required to submit a portfolio of all your finished work for this course at the semester's end. In addition to your papers, it should include a completed portfolio checklist, which you can download and print out from the Department website (http://www.wcupa.edu/_academics/sch_cas.eng/portlist.htm). Your portfolio must also contain a completed self-assessment survey, which will be distributed to you later in the semester.  (5%)
 


Course Policies and Other Information:

Late Assignments: Papers or other assignments submitted late will have 1/3 of a grade deducted for each day (not class period) that passes after the due date. I will not accept any assignment more than 1 week late.

Academic Dishonesty or Fraud: "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. When in doubt about how to use sources in your writing, come to me with your questions. NOTE: If you plagiarize in your formal essays, you will receive an irrevocable "F" grade on the assignment and possibly for the course.

Attendance: You are permitted three absences during the semester, excluding those for major medical problems, which will be handled on an individual basis.  You may use these absences for any reason (death in the family, sick days, job interview, car breakdown, field trip, whatever).  In cases of extreme illness or emergency that will require prolonged absence, you are responsible for contacting Dean Bricketto (Student Affairs), whose office will contact your professors and make appropriate recommendations.  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 participation grade in the course will be lowered a grade for each cut.

Students with Disabilities:  We at West Chester University wish to make accommodations for persons with disabilities.  Please make your needs known by contacting me and/or the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities at ext. 3217.Sufficient notice is needed in order to make the accommodations possible.  The University desires to comply with the ADA of 1990.

Support Services:  The Writing Center (Main 203) can provide you with free help with any aspect of your writing.  Call 610-436-2121 for an appointment.

 
 
Schedule of Readings and Assignments
(Note: This schedule is an ideal that I hope we can approximate; check with me if you miss class to see if anything has changed.)
Topic
Reading
Assignment
August
26
Introduction to course
28
The role of writing; paper #1 presented
Trimbur 2-31; Troyka ch. 19
30
Brainstorming and planning workshop
Troyka ch. 5
Come to class with three possible topics for paper.
September
4
Approaches to paper #1 
Trimbur ch. 5
Come to class having selected your topic for paper# 1.
6
Drafting workshop
Trimbur 461-74
Bring your notes and other materials (draft in progress?) to class.
9
Revising workshop
Trimbur 475-91
Complete rough draft of paper #1 due at start of class
11
Revising workshop
Troyka ch. 7
Bring draft(s) to class.
13
Reflecting on the first paper
Final draft of paper #1 due
16-20
Out-of-class conferences
Mandatory attendance at conference
23
Understanding persuasion
Trimbur ch. 2
This week my two WRT 120 classes vote on which genres to study
25
” 

Results of vote announced and reading schedule amended

Trimbur ch. 3
Argument exercise assigned
27
Genre #2 (Paper #2 assigned)
Trimbur ch. TBA
Exercise on analyzing arguments due
30
Drafting workshop
Bring your notes and other materials (draft in progress?) to class.
October
2
Drafting workshop
Bring materials for paper #2 to class.
4
Revising workshop
Troyka chs. 10-11
Complete rough draft of paper #2 due
7
Revising workshop
Troyka ch. 12
Bring draft(s) to class.
9
Reflecting on the second paper
Final draft of paper #2 due
11-18
Out-of-class Conferences
Mandatory attendance at conference
21
Genre #3 (Paper #3 assigned)
Trimbur ch. TBA
23
Drafting workshop
Bring your notes and other materials (draft in progress?) to class.
25
Drafting workshop
Bring materials for paper #3 to class.
28
Revising and editing workshop
Troyka chs. 13-14
Complete rough draft of paper #3 due
30
Revising and editing workshop
Troyka chs. 15-16
Bring draft(s) to class.
November
1
Revising and editing workshop
Troyka ch. 18
Bring draft(s) to class.
4
Reflecting on the third paper
Final draft of paper #3due
6-8
Out-of-class conferences
Attendance voluntary
11
Writing for the WWW
Trimbur ch. 8; Troyka ch. 37
Choose which paper to revise into a website.
13
WYSIWYG editors
TBA
Meet in computer classroom.
15
Basics of HTML
A Beginner’s Guide to HTML (NCSA)
Meet in computer classroom.
18
Web Style
Yale Web Style Guide, second edition
Meet in computer classroom.
Submit website plan.
20
Website workshop
Meet in computer classroom.
22
Website workshop
Meet in computer classroom.
25
Website workshop
Meet in computer classroom. Revision of previous assignment into website due
27-29
Thanksgiving Break
December
2-9
Presentation of class websites and other activities; Common final exam (if required) TBA
Trimbur ch. 20