Syllabus

Class Time

Tuesday/Thursday 9:35–10:50

Office Hours

Tuesday/Thursday 8:30–9:30, and by appointment

Any student needing to arrange a reasonable accommodation for a documented disability should contact Disability Concerns at 350 Fell Hall, 438-5853 (voice), 438-8620 (TDD).

Course Catalog Descriptuon

Eng 101 or 145 req. Extensive writing of essays developed in greater depth and sophistication in subject matter than those written in previous writing course. Computer-assisted.

From your Senior Editor...

This section of English 246 will focus upon the publication of texts in multiple electronic and paper sites. You will be asked to make your work public, to move your discourse beyond the classroom we share, and to construct an ethos for your audience that will make them recognize your authority, respect your approach to a topic, and seek out other texts you have written. While verbal style will be important in each of the works you construct for the class, you will also have to consider the visual style you affect for each new publication and recognize the possibilities and limitations of each new medium.

Students in this class will...

  • gain experience composing a variety of web- and paper-based publications
  • construct materials that are meaningful and useful to professionals in their fields
  • understand the relationship between written and visual rhetorics
  • develop projects that utilize a variety of genres and styles
  • utilize some of the rhetorical strategies used effectively by other writers in their fields
  • conduct and write critical examinations of their fields
  • move beyond basic vocational preparation (continuing to learn to write in/for their fields) and into a more professional engagement with the issues and movements that have shaped their professions

Texts

Required

  • Coursepack (at Rapid Print, basement of Old Union)
  • Peer-publications (which you'll read as they are composed)

Suggested

  • The Non-Designers' Design Book, Robin Williams
  • Style: Ten Lessons in Clarity and Grace, Joseph Williams

Editorial Groups

Throughout the semester you will work with two other writers, acting as both the writer of your own project and the editor of theirs. We will change groups for each project so that you will get a fresh perspective each time you embark on a new composition. As editors, you will assist one another with all aspects of the planning and implementation of your projects, from the idea stage strait through to copyediting the final project. As a group you will determine your own deadlines for drafts and for giving one another feedback, decide if/when/how you will work with one another in and out of the class, and evaluate one another’s performance in the group. In the event of conflicts among your editorial group, I expect you to try first to work it out among yourselves. If you cannot reach a satisfactory compromise, you may ask another classmate or me to act as mediator; however, in the event of mediation, the decision of the mediator will be final.

Senior Editor

As your writing instructor, I will act as senior editor for each of your projects, offering you assistance, reassurance, guidance, and critique throughout the process. While you will work at your own pace completing different aspects of each project according to the order you feel you need to follow, we will spend class time discussing some of the bare-bones software, design, and composition issues you will need to do your work.

Types of Projects

Individual (and group) projects must be approved by your editorial committee and by me. Because the projects will vary to a great extent in the amount of work (verbal, visual, tactile and electronic construction), we will negotiate how much work you will need to do to fulfill the assignment. For example, the writer constructing a web page is taking on a greater rhetorical challenge than the student who is writing an academic essay (one writer is trying something new and facing new challenges while the second is relying upon and building upon skills s/he has already had some experience developing).

You will complete three major works this semester. The first will be a rhetorical performance, a public text you construct about your area of specialization or future career. So, if you are an education major, you may choose to write a class web page complete with lessons and links Or you may choose to develop an Internet Classroom with lessons and links. You may also choose to create and maintain (throughout the semester) a personal blog in which you sound in on a single issue related to your field. Or you may wish to create a documentary film, radio broadcast series, a series of feature articles, or a zine focused upon your field/career.

The second will be a project of your own choosing. You may develop a personal web site, a series of professional materials (portfolios, resumes, web pages, coverletters), an academic essay, a zine, a work of creative nonfiction, a documentary, a radio broadcast series, a presentation for the undergraduate research forum, a political comic book, a parody newspaper or magazine, a personal narrative, an ethnographic report, a writing sample for your portfolio or applications to graduate schools, etc.

The third will be a research project in which you trace some aspect of your professional training to determine when the need for that aspect emerged, from whence it emerged, how it was answered by the profession, and what this says about the direction your profession has taken since its inception. Fancy words, but it will become clearer as you begin to lay hands on some documents, conduct some alternative research, analyze the data, and construct your historiography. How you write this project will, again, be up to you. You may wish to keep the format academic so that you can use the essay to apply for awards in your department and/or graduate school or so that you can present your research at a symposium or forum. Or you may wish to turn this material into some other kind of published material including (almost...I think a zine or comic or parody might be inappropriate genres for this type of material) any of the above.

Smaller Projects

A Journal that you will write in every week. I will typically give you time to do this in class and I will collect journal entries periodically throughout the semester to respond to and grade, so it is in your best interest to keep up with the assignments.

Readings from the course pack and from online sources will be assigned periodically, and you will usually write a single page response to these readings.

While not everyone will choose to develop a web page, blog, or Internet Classroom, I will take some time in class to introduce everyone to the technology. This way should you choose, later in the semester, to try a different forum for your work, you will have an idea of how to begin. I also believe that as writers it is important for all of us to explore some of the options we have for getting our work out there: precious few of us will ever publish a novel, but many of us may be asked to design web materials at some point in our careers.

Revision Policy

This will not be a portfolio class. To a certain extent, you will be creating works that you will have to abandon to a "published" form at some point, so there will be a point when you will have to stop working on one project, publish it, and move on to the next. If you are doing an electronic publication you can obviously return to your work any time you want, but in the interest of fairness to those creating paper publications, we will have deadlines for the work.

You will hand in a "final" version of your work on the due date. When that work is returned to you, you will have a two week grace period during which you may revise and resubmit the work for reevaluation. The revision protocol involves you emailing me with a detailed revision plan no more than one week after I have returned your graded project. You then have an additional week to revise the work. I will not accept any "late" revisions, and you must send me the revision plan and be present in class on the day you hand in your revised project. I will not average the original grade with the revised grade. Instead, I will simply erase the original grade and give you the revised grade...which means that if you make a C on the original and an A on the revision, I will not average the two grades, giving you a B for the project. Your grade will be an A. So, it may be in your best interest to take full advantage of this policy.

Division of Grades and Responsibilities

  • Attendance, participation, editorial responsibilities, reading responses, short assignments: 20%
  • Journal: 20%
  • First Project: 20%
  • Second Project: 20%
  • Third Project: 20%


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