English 1B: Composition

Professor Noelle Brada-Williams
Office: FO 110
Phone: 924-4439
Email: awilli@email.sjsu.edu Section 12 Class: 10:30-11:45 AM, SH 413
Office Hours: 2-3 PM Wednesday  and additional times by appointment
Website: www.sjsu.edu/faculty/awilliams

"Self discipline and stamina are two of the most important things to consider...When you are really serious about writing, it's like trying to write with your own blood." --Toshio Mori


Emphasizing persuasive writing, critical analysis, and research, while building on skills learned and practiced in English 1A, English 1B completes the two-semester lower division composition sequence. This course fulfills the Written Communication 1B requirement in area C3 of the university's Core GE.

Course Objectives:
1.  To develop a fluency in the specific language and style of academic discourse;
2.  To increase critical reading, thinking, and writing skills;
3.  To master the mechanics and techniques of writing including diction, sentence structure, paragraph form, and overall organization;
4.  To gain familiarity with a variety of research methods which will in turn be used for written assignments;
5.  To explore a variety of issues including race, class, and gender in America.

Required Texts:


Grading:
The four formal papers must all be submitted electronically to Turnitin.com'sonline site as well as turned in to the professor in hard copy in order to earn credit.  To register at www.turnitin.com the class ID is 1164664 and the enrollment password is "composition."  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 oneís audience.  Library research will form a key component of several assignments.
Course work includes reading assignments (see schedule below); two 4 to 6-page formal essays; a large research project, which will begin with a 1-page proposal and annotated bibliography, and conclude with a 6 to 8-page formal research paper; three in-class exams; a final exam; a series of informal or "journal" writing assignments; and in-class informal assignments which may include reading quizzes.  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/ Comparison 
4-6 page analysis (1400-2100 words)
10%
Paper Two: researched literary analysis
4-6 page analysis (1400-2100words)
10%
Paper Three: Proposal 
1 page proposal (350 words) + annotated bibliography
7%
Paper Four Research Paper
6-8 pages (2100-2800)
25%
In Class Exam 1
essay
7%
In Class Exam 2
essay
7%
Final Exam
1/2 prewrite + hour essay
20%
Class Participation and approx. 15 Informal Writing Assignments
See schedule below
14%
Total
100%

The following statement has been adopted by the Department of English for inclusion in all syllabi:

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.

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 (No Credit) shall replace D or F.  In such classes NC shall also substitute for W (Withdrawal) because neither grade (NC or W) affects students' GPA.

In English 1B this scale is based on the following criteria:
A = Excellent: The "A" essay is well organized and well developed.  The paper has good topic sentences and is virtually free of grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors.  Besides a clear and persuasive use of evidence and fluid transitions, an "A" essay contains a fresh insight that teaches the reader something new about the subject matter and maintains the reader's interest.
B = Above average: The "B" essay demonstrates a good understanding of its subject, a clear and persuasive use of evidence, a certain level of ease of expression, and solid organization.  However, it may contain some minor problem with mechanical flaws, organization, sentence variety, or analysis.  It usually lacks the spark of originality and creativity that characterizes the insight found in an "A" essay.
C = Average: The "C" essay makes a good attempt at all the assignment's requirements.  It has a reasonable understanding of its subject matter but its ideas are frequently simplistic or over-generalized.  The writing style is also more bland and repetitive than the style shown by "A" and "B" essays and it often contains a large number of flaws in grammar, punctuation, spelling and/or word choice.
D = Below average: The "D" essay is poorly organized and generally unclear.  It has inappropriate or inadequate examples, is noticeably superficial or simplistic, or contains serious mechanical and grammatical problems.  A "D" essay may also reveal some misunderstanding of the assignment requirements.
F = Failure: An "F" essay has not addressed the requirements of the assignment and is unacceptable work.
Please note that a grade of C- or lower will not allow you to get credit for English 1B.

Revision and Late Policy:
Formal written assignments are due at the beginning of the class on the day in which the paper is due. Late formal paper policy: keeping in mind the many emergencies and unforeseen events that can occur in the average SJSU student's life, students may receive an extension if I receive the request in writing (complete with a new deadline) before the paper is due.  If the original deadline is passed by a student who has not received an extension or an extended deadline has been passed, 10% of the total points possible will be taken off for lateness.  After 14 calendar days have elapsed since the original or extended deadline, no paper will be accepted.  As much of class time is devoted to the revision of essay drafts prior to their final due date, revision of graded work is allowed only in extreme cases; the original grade will also be a factor in determining the final grade of the revised assignment.  If you are confused or having difficulties with an assignment, use office hours or email to ask about clarification (or even an extension) before the assignment is due.

Cheating and Plagiarism:
The university has defined plagiarism as "The act of incorporating the ideas, words, sentences, paragraphs, or parts of, and/or the specific substance of another's work, without giving appropriate credit, and/or representing the product as one's own work;" (excerpt from the complete policy at http://www2.sjsu.edu/senate/S04-12.htm). Plagiarism or cheating in English 1B 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 quote above on the 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 a loss of participation credit and possible removal from the class.

Disabled Student Services:
Students with disabilities who need special accommodations should register with the Disabled Student Services Department.  Please advise the professor of any special needs as soon as possible.

Reading and Assignment Schedule  (Informal Writings Assignments are described at the end of the schedule):
The following reading schedule may be slightly modified during the course of the semester, but students will be notified of any change at least one class day in advance.  Expect to have additional reading from The Bedford Handbook for Writers assigned to you during the course of the semester as well as one meeting in the library to review research methods.  For questions relating to library research on language and literature, contact Librarian Judy Reynolds (judyr@sjsu.edu).  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 on or by which it needs to be completed.  Plan on visiting me in office hours sometime during the semester.
 

Week 1: Introduction
August 25, W: Introduction: In-class diagnostic test (IW #1)

Week 2:
August 30, M: Read Fields of Reading pages 1-24 & 517-523 (Hample and editors on writing basics and "Arguing"). Anne Frank excerpt (171-180) is recommended reading.
September 1, W: Read Fields of Reading pages 163-170, 217-229 and 308-318 (editors on "Reporting"; Tuchman, "'This the End of the World': Black Death"; and Schlosser on "McDonaldís Fries"). (IW #2 Due)

Week 3:
September 6, M: Labor Day, no class meeting
September 8, W: Read Fields of Reading pages 189-216 (Coyne, "The Long Good-Bye"; Boufis, "Teaching Literature at the County Jail"; and Kamber, "Toil and Temptation"). (IW#3 Due)

Week 4:
September 13, M: Read Fields of Reading pages 321-327 and 335-344   (editors on "Explaining" and Brunvand "Urban Legends"). (IW #4 Due)
September 15, W: Read Fields of Reading pages 379-404 (Milgram "Some Conditions of Obedience and Disobedience to Authority"). (IW #5 Due)

Week 5:
September 20, M: In-Class Essay Exam # 1 (IW# 6 due)
September 22, W: STUDENTS' CHOICE: Read Fields of Reading pages 412-429  (Moore "Nonverbal Courtship Patterns in Women") OR Read Fields of Reading pages 470-487 (Ackerman & Sacks). (IW #7 Due)

Week 6:
September 27, M: First draft of Paper One due, peer editing in class.  Bring Bedford Handbook to class.
September 29, W: Meet at King Library, room 217.  Final version of Paper One due, 4-6 pages.

Week 7:
October 4, M: Read Gabriel Garcia Marquez's "A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings" and explanatory piece on the story (Xerox).
October 6, W: Read Karen Tei Yamashita's Tropic of Orange (to 54). (IW #8 Due)

Week 8:
October 11, M: Read Tropic of Orange (to 96)
October 13, W: Read Tropic of Orange (to 134)
:
Week 9:
October 18, M: Read  Tropic of Orange (to 174)
October 20, W: Read Tropic of Orange (to 210).

Week 10:
October 25, M: Finish Tropic of Orange (to 268).
October 27, W: Read your Voter Information packet and choose one proposition to report on to the class. (IW #9 Due)

Week 11:
November 1, M: First draft of Paper Two due (a research paper related to our reading of Tropic of Orange).  Peer editing in class.
November 3, W: Final version of Paper Two due.

Week 12:
November 8, M: Read Fields of Reading pages 604-611 (Swift "A Modest Proposal"). (IW #10 & 11 Due)
November 10, W: Read Fields of Reading pages 612-631 (T. Jefferson "The Declaration of Independence" & M.L. King "Letter from Birmingham Jail").

Week 13:
November 15, M: Student's choice: Read Fields of Reading pages 669-692 (Martin  "The Egg and the Sperm" & Gould "Women's Brains") OR two of the following: Read Fields of Reading pages 68-73 & 532-547 (Tan "Mother Tongue", Baldwin "If Black English Isn't a Language, Then Tell Me, What Is?" & Orwell "Politics and the English Language") (IW #12 Due)
November 17, W: First draft of Paper Three due.  Peer editing in class.

Week 14:
November 22, M: Final version of Paper Three: Proposal and Annotated Bibliography due; In-Class Exam #2.
November 24, W: Read Fields of Reading pages 729-753 (Mills "White-Collar Work"). (IW #13 Due)

Week 15:
 November 29, M: Read Fields of Reading pages 753-780 (Gornick, "Working in the Catskills"; Ehrenreich , "Nickel and Dimed";  Schlosser & Lowenstein "Making it Work") (IW #14 Due)
December 1, W: In-class practice exam for the final.

Saturday, December 4 10:00-12:00 AM: Common Final for English 1B: this is mandatory so plan your schedule accordingly.  Last day to turn in Informal #15

Week 16:
December 6, M: First draft of Paper Four due.  Peer editing in class.  Paper Four is a 6-8 page research paper that builds an argument based on substantial research outside of class.
December 8, W: Final version of 6-8 page Research Paper due.  Reading Assignment TBA.
 

Tentative List of Informal Writings Due During the Course of the Semester
1 In-class diagnostic test (Day one)
2 Due Sept.1: Write no more than one page in response to one or more of questions 1-6  on pages 227-228 AND gather evidence in response to question 5 on page 318 of Fields of Reading.
3 Due Sept. 8: Write a minimum of one page of reading notes and/or exercises on the sections of the Bedford Handbook that have been personally assigned to you.
4 Due September 13: Page on the article we select for that day.
5 Due September 15: Page in response to one or more of the questions on page 403.
6 Due by Sept. 20th***Infopower online tutorial (http://tutorials.sjlibrary.org/infopower/index.html)
7 Due Sept. 22: Page on the articles we select for that day.
8 Due Oct. 6 through 25: One-page assignment on background for Yamashitaís Tropic of Orange (topics to be assigned). Students will present the knowledge they acquire from their research in class.
9 Due October 27: One-page analysis of one of the propositions in the Voter Information pamphlet.
10 ***Due by November 8: 10 & 11 Interview of professor in your chosen/potential field regarding the writing done in his or her discipline (2 page write-up).
12 Due Nov. 15th: Page on the articles we select for that day.
13 Due Nov. 24th: One-page on Mills OR one-page on of the sources you are using for your research project.
14 Due November 29th: one-page analysis using at least two essays (questions 1 & 2 on page 780 and 773-774 are good topics)
15 *** Due no later than December 4th Review of an event on campus/in the community:  performances, museum exhibits, lectures, are all important possibilities.
***These informals should be considered "due immediately" as they rely on events outside the confines of the 1B section 12 schedule.  Please make plans far in advance of their due-dates so that you can be sure of completing the assignment.