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Writing 160: Composition II

Oakland University
College of Arts and Sciences
Department of Writing and Rhetoric
Fall 2010

Course: WRT 160: Composition II
CRN/Credits: 44512 (04 credits)
Course Meetings: T/TH 3:00-4:47 (400 WH) & Online
Office Hours: T 2-3:00, online, & by appointment (382 ODH)

Instructor: Dr. Lori Ostergaard
Office: 382 ODH
Phone: 248-370-2075

Course (Catalog) Description:
Emphasizes the process of writing in increasingly complex rhetorical situations with focus on developing analytic thinking and problem-solving strategies in writing. Students learn methods of academic research including evaluation and documentation of sources and are expected to create at least one research paper.
A grade of 2.0 or higher must be achieved to satisfy the university general education requirement in the writing knowledge foundation area.

This class satisfies General Education requirements for Writing Knowledge Foundations.
Course Prerequisite: WRT 150 with a grade of 2.0 or higher, or placement.

General Education Learning Outcomes:
The writing knowledge foundation area prepares students to demonstrate:

  • knowledge of the elements, writing processes and organizing strategies for creating analytical and expository prose
  • effective rhetorical strategies appropriate to the topic, audience, context and purpose

Cross-Cutting Capacities:

  • effective communication
  • critical thinking
  • information literacy

Specific Course Learning Outcomes:
The student will:

  • make connections with the broader community through activities related to civic and community engagement on and/or off campus
  • demonstrate familiarity with basic rhetorical, ethical, and methodological conventions of academic disciplines (such as humanities, sciences, social sciences) to prepare them for further study in their chosen discipline
  • demonstrate the ability to locate and analyze scholarly sources critically and synthesize them to produce various academic genres which include print, visual, digital, or oral elements

Course Objectives:
In addition to reinforcing the outcomes from WRT 150, WRT 160 will instill in students a basic understanding of:

  • primary research methods (quantitative and qualitative) appropriate for academic scholarship
  • secondary research strategies for locating and evaluating sources both through library databases and through external online databases appropriate for academic scholarship
  • ethical considerations in academic scholarship, including responsibility to human subjects, non-biased use of language, fair and accurate use of sources, appropriate documentation, and larger rhetorical purposes of civic engagement
  • stylistic conventions for integrating secondary and primary research to arrive at new knowledge in academic disciplines, including familiarity with APA format

Course Procedures: this class will be partially-online, meeting in Wilson 400 on most Tuesdays and Thursdays of the semester, but you will be required to complete some online course work in place of those in-class meetings. We will follow a workshop format with you completing some of your writing and peer reviews in class, participating in discussions, and collaborating with peers to complete in-clas activities.

Required Texts/Materials :

  • Goldsmith, J. and T. Wu (2006). Who controls the internet: Illusions of a borderless world.
  • Online readings as instructed.
  • Access to Moodle.

Grade determination: grades for all assignments will be based on OU’s 4.0 scale:

Internet Literacy Paper - due at the end of week 4

10 %

Annotated Bibliography - due at the end of Week 7


Academic Composition – due at the end of Week 10


New Media Composition - due last day of class (December 2, 2010)


Portfolio - due last day of class (December 2, 2010)


Reading Responses & Online Class Work


Assignment Descriptions

Internet Literacy Paper: For this paper you will "explore" and analyze your own interactions with online technologies. How do you learn new technologies, how do you decide which online communities to join and which to avoid, what do you know about privacy controls in the various sites you use and visit, what kinds of communication technologies do you use the most and why, how do you work online, how do you play online, what technologies will you need to learn for your chosen major/career? Your Internet Literacy Paper will answer one of these questions or answer a different, but interesting, question about your online literacy practices. This paper will be written in first-person, but you should be prepared to locate and use both popular (magazines, newspapers, news programs, websites) and academic (journals and books) sources to support your analysis. This paper will be 2-4 pages long, double-spaced, and written in a journalistic style. You will also submit a works cited page (APA) and analytical cover letter with this work.

Annotated Bibliography: You will choose a particular technology associated with your chosen major or field and compile an annotated bibliography that examines how that technology has shaped knowledge in your field, how it is used by researchers and/or practitioners in your field, and how those researchers/practitioners think about (or theorize) their use of that technology. During this part of the semester we will discuss the differences between two of the academic styles you may encounter as a student at OU: Modern Language Association (MLA) style and American Psychological Association (APA) style. Your annotated bibliography will include four secondary sources (two academic and two popular) that have been cited according to APA style, summarized (annotated), and responded to (a discussion of the author's credibility, the purpose of the work, the work's relation to other sources you found, what you think of this source). A draft of this annotated bibliography will be due in Week 6, and the final draft will be due in Week 7. As you draft this annotated bibliography, you should also begin drafting Project 2, which is a report using the research you gathered in this bibliography.

Academic Composition For this project, you will further examine the technology you researched for your annotated bibliography to compile a report detailing that technology, its uses, its benefits, and the ways it has impacted knowledge in your field. Your report will contain secondary research that you compiled as a part of your annotated bibliography, and it will be comprised of the following parts: an introduction that previews your analysis of how this technology has impacted knowledge creation in your field; a description of the technology; a review of relevant sources that discuss the use of this technology in your field; the full analysis of how this technology has impacted your field (may include support from secondary sources or from your experiences using the technology to create knowledge or interviews or surveys you conduct with people in the field, etc); a conclusion that summarizes the information; and a list of references. Your report will be 3-5 pages long (single-spaced with subheadings). The overall goal of this report is to inform readers about this technology's impact on your field, but you will also need to illustrate your ethos as a researcher capable of understanding the complexity of this new technology, explaining it to others, and analyzing its role in the construction of knowledge in your field. You will peer review this work in Week 9 and turn it in during Week 10.

New Media Composition For this project you will create a video, digital story, slideshow, or podcast "trailer" that highlights the research you have done for your Academic Composition. Your "trailer" will act much like a movie preview, providing your audience with relevant clips of information that will make that audience long to read your Academic Composition to learn more about the technology you researched. You will present your New Media Composition to the class during our last class of the semester.

The Portfolio Assignment The majority of your research will be completed by the end of Week 10 in this class, which will leave us time for both the construction of your New Media Compositions and for the compilation and editing of your final portfolio. Your portfolio will be presented in electronic form (as a hyperlinked folder or website) burned to a disc, and it will contain all of the drafts and revisions you've done for each project in WRT 160 as well as the reading responses you wrote, analytical cover letters you composed, in-class work you did, peer and instructor feedback you received, and samples of the peer feedback you gave. Your portfolio will also contain any optional final (global and significant) revisions you've made to your projects and a 3-5 page introduction that critically analyzes your work.

Reading Responses: For each book chapter, article, lecture, video, or website you read/view for homework, you will be required to write a 100-word summary of the chapter, article, lecture, video, or website that includes the bibliographic information for that source and a 150-word response to that chapter, article, lecture, video, or website.

Online Class Work: In addition to completing reading assignments, coming to class prepared with your research and paper drafts, and actively engaging in classroom discussions and activities, you will be required to complete several online class assignments. These assignments will often take the place of our in-class meetings, so your participation is required and failure to complete online class work before the deadline for that work will result in you receiving a 0 for that work and being counted absent for that online class. Note that there are no makeups for missed online class work. You will also complete an online library instruction module and exam, and attend a single library instruction day in the library. Both the online (virtual) and real library instruction days will factor into your online class work and reading response grades.

Course Policies

Accomodations: Students with disabilities who may require classroom or pedagogical support should make an appointment with campus Disability Support Services (DSS).  Students who are registered with DSS should also bring their needs to the attention of their instructor as soon as possible.

Academic Conduct Policy:  Cheating on examinations, plagiarism, falsifying reports/records, and unauthorized collaboration are considered serious breaches of academic conduct.  The Oakland University policy on academic conduct will be strictly followed with no exceptions.  See the university catalog under Academic Policies and Procedures for more information.

Attendance PolicyWriting classes are conducted as relatively small workshops so that you, your classmates and your teacher can develop in a community of readers and writers. Your regular attendance is vital because, as a member of this community, you are expected to do in-class writing as well as contribute to class discussions, peer editing groups and other course activities.

Because your full participation is expected, regular class attendance is a course requirement. Teachers understand that unavoidable events occasionally prevent you from attending class--for example, illness, car trouble, or other emergency. Therefore, absences are not labeled "excused" or "unexcused," but they are strictly limited.

After 1 week’s absence, department policy specifies that your instructor will deduct points from your final grade:
.1 for each MWF class
.15 for each TTh class
.3 for each once-a-week class

Your eligibility to receive a final grade is determined in part by your attendance. Students who miss more than three weeks of class are not eligible to receive a grade above 0.0.

The university’s excused absence policy:

Social Practices: I hope for lively, interesting, and informed discussion throughout the semester. I expect that you will respect your classmates and me by coming to class on time, prepared, and, if not entirely excited to be here, at least willing to fake it for our sakes. I expect you to be respectful to your peers, to me, and to anyone else you encounter in the course of completing research for this class. I expect your responses to your peers’ projects to be constructive and generative; and I expect your participation in your group projects to be professional and productive.

Late Work: Work submitted late will be graded one full grade lower for each class period (this includes online class periods) it is late. I reserve the right to fail any work submitted a week or more after the deadline. I also reserve the right not to respond to or return late work until after I have caught up on my other work. After you have submitted two late assignments, any additional projects submitted late will not receive a grade above 0.0. Late projects cannot be revised for a better grade.

Please Note: any work completed after the deadline on Moodle will not receive a grade.

The Evil Computer Ate My Homework Excuses: are rarely acceptable these days (their only real chance of working is in the event of a whole system--like the entire OU network--failure and even then you're skating on very thin ice). We're all expected to deal with technology and deal with it responsibly everyday of our adult lives, so err on the side of obsessive when it comes to saving the documents you're working on: save them to your OU homespace (I'll show you how a few weeks into the semester), email them to yourself, save them to disc and jump drives, save them to your MP-3 player, save them to your desktop at home, send copies to family members' email account just for kicks; in sum, save each and every new draft you compose in a variety of places. Write your Moodle responses in Word or Notepad and copy/paste them into the Moodle forum after you have spell-checked them and saved them. This will prevent you from experience the heartbreak of writing a response only to find that Moodle didn't save that response for you. And just to be safe, you shouldn't ever assume that a document you saved to a computer in our computer classroom (or anywhere on campus) will be there when you return to it days later. I'm going to show you a couple of different ways to save your work, but don't be afraid to use every available means to make absolutely certain that all of the work you compose in college is available to you when you need it.

Adds/Drops:  The University add/drop policy will be explicitly followed.  It is the student’s responsibility to be aware of the university deadline dates for dropping this course.

Writing Center:  The Oakland University Writing Center is open to OU students, faculty, and staff in all disciplines at any stage of the writing process. The center provides writers with an interested and supportive audience of well-trained consultants who help both novice and expert develop ideas and revise drafts into polished products.  Students in WRT classes are strongly encouraged to visit the Writing Center.

I've found that WRT 160 is one of the most challenging and exciting courses I get the privilege of teaching here at OU. I hope this semester will prove to be challenging, educational, and fun for you, and I look forward to working with you!