English 1A: Composition

Professor Noelle Brada-Williams
Office: FO 110
Phone: 924-4439
Email: awilli@email.sjsu.edu Section 53 Class: M 3:00-5:45 PM, HGH 124
Fall '06 Office Hours: MW 9-10 AM, W 4-5 PM & additional times by appointment
Website: www.sjsu.edu/faculty/awilliams

English 1A is the first course in SJSU's two-semester lower-division composition sequence; it provides an introduction to baccalaureate-level composition.  Students will develop college-level reading abilities, rhetorical sophistication, and writing styles that give form and coherence to complex ideas and feelings.

Prerequisites: Passage of the English Proficiency Test (EPT), or passage of an approved substitute course for the EPT.

Course Objectives: Students shall achieve the ability to write complete essays that demonstrate college-level proficiency in all of the following:

Writing: Writing assignments will give repeated practice in all phases of the writing process:  prewriting, organizing, writing, revising, and editing.  Eight essays are requiredóthree in-class and five out-of-class, for a minimum of 8,000 words.  This minimum requirement excludes the final examination, journal writing, quizzes, and any brief or informal assignments.

Reading: English 1A is a reading-intensive course.  You will have reading assignments to complete for almost every class period, and each reading will be accompanied by some form of writing.  In addition, all or most of the assigned essays will be based on reading.  It is therefore imperative that you complete the readings prior to each class and come with your book prepared to discuss them in class.  Occasionally, there may be reading quizzes.

The University Essay: A common essay final, graded holistically, shall count 20 percent toward the course grade.   The final will be held on Saturday, December 2, This test is mandatory if you wish to pass this class.  The test will consist of an in-class essay on a specific topic.  Please be on time and bring two yellowbooks, pens, and a (non-electronic) dictionary.
"The Department of English reaffirms its commitment to the differential grading scale as defined in the SJSU Catalog ("The Grading System"). Grades issued must represent a full range of student performance: A= excellent; B= above average; C= average; D= below average; F= failure. Courses graded according to the A, B, C, No Credit system shall follow the same pattern, except that NC shall replace D or F. In such cases, NC shall also substitute for W (or Withdrawal) because neither grade (NC or W) affects students' GPA."
Assignments will be evaluated in terms of a studentís ability to express a focused idea clearly and persuasively.  This will require a clear thesis, careful organization, appropriate diction and sentence structure, substantial support for one's points, polished expression, and an awareness of one's audience.
Course work includes reading assignments (see schedule below).  Your attendance and participation in class will also affect your grade, as much of the course work cannot be completed if you are not in class.
Paper One: Analysis 4 to 6-page analysis (1000-1800 words)  10%
Paper Two: Comparison/Contrast  5-6 page analysis of 2+ texts (1250-1800 words)  15%
Paper Three: Proposal  1 page proposal (250-300 words)  7%
Paper Four, Analysis/Argumentation  5-7 pages (1250-2100 words)  15%
Paper 5: Revision  Major revision of a previous essay.  5%
In Class Exam 1 1.3 hours  7%
In Class Exam 2  1.3 hours  7%
In Class Exam 3  1.3 hours  7%
Final Exam 1.5 hours  20%
Class Participation and informal writing assignments  14 class meetings with activities such as informal writing and quizzes 7%
Total 100%

Grading Policy:
In English Department courses, instructors will comment on and grade the quality of student writing as well as the quality of ideas being conveyed.  All student writing should be distinguished by correct grammar and punctuation, appropriate diction and syntax, and well-organized paragraphs.  Grades issued will represent a full range of student performance and will adhere to the following SJSU academic standards of assessment:
The "A" essay will be well organized and well developed, demonstrating a clear understanding and fulfillment of the assignment.  It will show the studentís ability to use language effectively and construct sentences distinguished by syntactic complexity and variety.  Such essays will be essentially free of grammatical, mechanical, and usage errors.
The "B" essay will demonstrate competence in the same categories as the "A" essay.  The chief difference is that the "B" essay will show some slight weaknesses in one of those categories.  It may slight one of the assigned tasks, show less facility of expression, or contain some minor grammatical, mechanical, or usage flaws.
The "C" essay will complete all tasks set by the assignment, but show weakness in fundamentals (usually development), with barely enough specific information to illustrate the experience or support generalizations.  The sentence construction may be less mature, and the use of language less effective and correct than the ìBî essay.
The "D" essay will neglect one of the assigned tasks and be noticeably superficial in its treatment of the assignmentóthat is, too simplistic or short.  The essay may reveal some problems in development, with insufficient specific information to illustrate the experience or support generalizations.  It will contain grammatical, mechanical, and usage errors that render some sentences incomprehensible.
The "F" essay will demonstrate a striking underdevelopment of ideas and insufficient or unfocused organization.  It will contain serious grammatical, mechanical, and usage errors that render some sentences incomprehensible.
Note:  This is an A, B, C, No Credit course, but individual essays will be graded on an A to F scale.  There are no C- grades in English 1A.  You must earn at least a C (73%) in order to pass.  Any student with a final grade below a C will receive an NC and must repeat the course.

Late Policy:  Out-of-class essays must be turned in at the beginning of class.  Late out-of-class essays will be dropped one full letter grade (a "B" paper will receive a "C").

Academic Honesty:  All students are responsible for knowing and observing University policies regarding academic dishonesty. See University publication: "Academic Dishonesty and its Consequences," or go to The policy on academic
 integrity: http://sa.sjsu.edu/judicial_affairs/index.html
Avoiding Plagiarism:  Plagiarism is the unacknowledged use of somebody elseís words or ideas and is considered an instance of academic dishonesty that instructors must report.  Repeated instances of plagiarism will result in a studentís expulsion from the University.  You commit plagiarism by

Plagiarism or cheating in English 1A will result in a failing grade.  The incident will also be reported to the university for possible further action.  All quotes must be enclosed in quotation marks or, when more than three lines, put in an indented block like the quotations above from the department grading policy.  Full citation of the original author and source must also be included.  See the Bedford Handbook for help.   Remember that the classroom is a professional setting and rules that govern a business meeting apply here.  For example, devices such as cell phones need to be turned off; coming to class late is unacceptable.  Disrespectful behavior (toward the professor or classmates) will result in possible removal from the class.

Campus policy in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act
"If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, or if you need special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible, or see me during office hours.  Presidential Directive 97-03 requires that students with disabilities register with the DRC to establish a record of their disability."

Required Texts:
Diana Hacker. The Bedford Handbook for Writers. Bedford.  7th Ed.  Boston: Bedford Books, 2005.
Broadview Anthology of Expository Prose
Kite Runner
Students should purchase a good dictionary if they do not already possess one, or learn how to access the Oxford English Dictionary via the SJ library website.
You are responsible for ensuring that the professor has your most up to date and accessible email address.

Tentative Reading and Assignment Schedule:
The following reading schedule may be modified during the course of the semester, but students will be notified of any change at least one week in advance. You must attend class regularly in order to receive directions for the almost daily written assignments that will accompany the daily reading assignments.  The assignment is listed next to the date by which it needs to be completed.  Plan on visiting me in office hours sometime during the semester.  Expect additional reading assignments from the Bedford Handbook.

Week 1: Introduction
August 28:  Explanation of and introduction to the course. In-class diagnostic exam (about 1 hr. 20 minutes).

Week 2:
September 4: Labor Day Holiday

Week 3: Diction, Conventional Mechanics, Writing Accurate Summaries
September 11: Read Henry David Thoreau, "Civil Disobedience" (Broadview 50-70); and Martin Luther King, Jr., "Letter from Birmingham Jail," (165-180)
Write a one-page summary of one of the essays read for today.
Review your Bedford Handbook, focusing on sections with which you believe you have a weakness in preparation for quiz on grammar on this day.
September 12: Last day to add classes.

Week 4: Writing Theses, Structuring Paragraphs, Moving from Summary to Analysis-- In -Class Essay Exam # 1óAnalyzing one or more of the assigned texts
September 18: Read Charles Darwin, excerpt from On The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection (73-78), Stephen Jay Gould, "Entropic Homogeneity Isn't Why No One Hits .400 Any More" (367-383); and Emily Martin, "The Egg and the Sperm: How Science has Constructed a Romance Based on Stereotypical Male-Female Roles" (423-440).
Write a one-page summary or analysis of one of the essays read for today.
Bring a blue or yellow book for in-Class Essay Exam # 1

Week 5: Paper 1, Analysis, Due
September 25: Read Mary Wollstonecraft, "To M. Talleyrand-Périgord" (37-41); Virginia Woolf, "Professions for Women" (101-105); Adrienne Rich, "Taking Women Students Seriously" & "Invisibility in Academe" (283-293); Stevie Cameron, ìOur Daughters, Our Selves (411-413); and Larisa Lai, "Political Animals and the Body of History" (587-596).Draft of formal paper #1 due.
Final version of formal Paper 1, 4 to 6-page analysis of one of the assigned readings due September 27 by 5 PM.

Week 6: Comparison/Contrast and the Structure of Paragraphs and Documents
October 2: Jonathan Swift, "A Modest Proposal" (20 -28); Fran Lebowitz, "Children: Pro or Con? "(274-276); W.E.B. Du Bois, "A Mild Suggestion" (92-95); Raymond Williams, "Correctness and the English Language" (163-164); Lewis Mumford, excerpt from The Highway and the City (146-150).

Week 7: Paper 2, Comparison/Contrast Essay, Due
October 9: Formal Paper 2 due in draft form, a comparison/ contrast. Read first half of Kite RunnerFinal version of Paper 2 due October 11th by 5 PM.

Week 8: Analyzing Fiction
October 16: Read second half of novel Kite Runner

Week 9: In-Class Essay Exam # 2
October 23: Read Robert D. Putnam, "Bowling Alone: Americaís Declining Social Capital" (462-478) ; Witold Rybczynski, "One Good Turn" (597-601); Naomi Klein, "The Swoosh" (611-625).
In-Class Essay Exam # 2, bring a blue or yellow book.  This exam will focus on Kite Runner.

Week 10: Paper 3, 1-page proposal, due.
October 30: Read Stanley Milgram excerpt from Behavorial Study of Obedience (151-162) and George Orwell, "Politics and the English Language" (117-129).
In-class film.
Formal Paper 3 due (in final form).

Week 11: Making an Argument, Using Evidence
November 6:  Read Henry Louis Gates Jr., "The Passing of Anatole Broyard" (499-527); Philip Gourevitch, excerpt of "We Wish to Inform You..." (574-581); and Gwynne Dyer, "How People Power Topples The Tyrant" (582-586).

Week 12: In-Class Essay Exam # 3
November 13: Read Peter Singer, "Speciesism and the Equality of Animals" (277-282); Robert Darnton, "Workerís Revolt: The Great Cat Massacre of the Rue Saint-Séverin" (323-349). Bring a blue or yellow book for in-Class Essay Exam # 3

Week 13: Paper 4 due.
November 20: Read Samuel Johnson, "To Reign Once More in Our Native Country" (33-36); Ngugi Wa Thiong'o, excerpt of Decolonising the Mind (384-393) and Ursula Franklin, "Silence and the Notion of the Commons" (443-449).
Formal Paper 4 due.

Week 14: Preparation for Final Exam, Workshop on Revision
November 27: Read Mike Royko, "Another Accolade for Charter Arms Corp." (314-317); Adam Gopnik, "Saving the Balzar" (564-573); Margaret Cavendish, "On Social Class and Happiness" (16-19); and Tim Devlin, "Does Working for Welfare Work?" (602-610);

Saturday, December 2 8:00-10:00 AM: Common Final for English 1A: this is mandatory so plan your schedule accordingly.  Bring an unmarked yellow communication booklet with you to the exam.

Week 15:  Revision and Wrap up: Formal Paper 5 due
December 4: Paper 5, major revision of a previous essay due.  Discussion of student self-assessment.