C0250, Spring 1996, Course Policies
Instructor: Mr. Bruce
Office: 322 Eddy
Office Phone: 491-6417
Office Hours: 1:00-3:00 pm Monday, 1:00-2:00 pm Friday, and by appt.
Required Text - The Aims of Argument, T. Crusius and C. Channell
A good college dictionary
2 sturdy, attractive pocket folders for submitting essays
1 folder or binder for daily work and assignments.
2 IBM-compatible floppy diskettes (one working disk and one for backups). Low or high density will work. Most of the PC's in this room require 3½ inch diskettes.
An open mind, a willingness to work and talk, some patience, and lots of curiosity.
C0250 builds on the writing principles and processes of introductory composition (CO150 at CSU) but concentrates exclusively on argumentation. This course stresses active reading, informed discussion, and critical thinking as interrelated strategies for effective argumentation. You will read and analyze arguments typically seen in newspapers and popular journals as well as some academic arguments on controversial issues. The sequence of assignments will require library and field research. The ultimate purpose of the class is to enable you to discover your point of view on any issue and argue it clearly and persuasively under any circumstances.
Attendance Policy: Since we not only write extensively in class but also discuss, workshop, and revise each other's essays, regular attendance is a must. You have 3 "freebies," no questions asked (not including workshop days). Absences 4 and 5 will result in unfavorable consequences in your final course grade. After that, your course grade can be lowered one letter grade per additional absence.
The grading criteria for individual essays will be discussed in class. Generally, I will return your graded work within two weeks. Your final course grade will be determined as follows:
In-class writing and participation - 15%
Portfolio One - 30%
Portfolio Two - 35%
Portfolio Three - 20%
The Writer's Notebook
One of the best ways to prepare for assignments, explore ideas for potential topics, and cure ol'- fashioned cases of writer's block is consistent writing in a notebook. There will be an in-class writing assignment for every class and some outside writing as well. Each notebook assignment should be at least one page per assignment (more is usually better). This should give you a chance to work out problems, express concerns, and get personal feedback from me without having to worry about grammar or spelling. I'll collect notebook assignments along with your portfolios.
Portfolio grading basically means that you don't always have to get it right the first time. It's also a way for me to evaluate your writing in terms of both product and process. It works like this: for each portfolio, there are two essays. You'll do both of them and turn in drafts to me for comments. For those initial drafts, I'll only make comments--no letter grades yet. Once you've done both the essays, you choose one of them for a substantial rewrite. At the end of the unit, you turn in both essays, your major rewrite, and all the materials that went into them. Then I evaluate the whole lot and assign a letter grade. That way, you get all your feedback before the final grade, allowing you to revise your work before grading time comes.
A few cautions: First, excellent organizational skills are a must for this type of evaluation! You'll need to keep track of and save all your work, drafts, etc. You'll also need a lot of self-discipline for keeping up with the sequence of assignments, even though some may not be collected before your turn in your portfolio. Portfolios that do not have drafts included and do not show that the writer has been revising papers throughout the course will receive an 'F,' so keep track of everything. Also, remember that the drafts-in-progress you submit before you turn in the portfolio are intervention drafts only. I'll make comments on them, but they're only suggestions, not prescriptions. Remember, too, that you are the one who is ultimately in control of your writing. Don't expect the comments from me and your classmates to do all your rewriting for you. Use those comments and your own powers to their fullest, and you'll be fine.
Remember as well that the drafts-in-progress are serious! Failure to turn in a draft-in-progress on a scheduled due date will result in a lower grade on the portfolio.
You must process all your final drafts on computer. If you don't have one of your own, you may use one in the English Department Computer Assisted Writing Lab (see below for details). Each paper must be double-spaced, paginated, and have one-inch margins. Don't use a type size larger than 12 point. Along with each final draft, you must submit all of your rough drafts, workshop sheets, revisions, postscript, and photocopies of all your library sources (for some of the later papers). Papers submitted without these materials will not be accepted.
Lifting or borrowing information from other sources without appropriate acknowledgment will result in a failing course grade and possibly disciplinary action by the university. We'll go over this in more detail in class. Remember, it's much easier to take the time to cover your bases than it is to fail a course.
Always feel free to come talk to me about any questions or concerns you may have before they turn into major anxieties or, worse yet, poor grades. Even if it seems to you like a stupid question, assume that others have the same concern and clear it up. I will always take all of your questions and concerns seriously. If you have a learning disability, please let me know so I can assist you in finding the resources you need. Remember that I am here to help and am always glad to meet with you during my office hours or at any other mutually convenient time.
The Computer Assisted Writing Lab, 300 Eddy, has Windows-based personal computers available for your use. Online tutorials and printed documentation are also available. To save your work, bring a 3½" 1.4mb high density floppy disk (double-density disks will work, too, but won't store as much).
The consultants in the Writing Center, Eddy Hall Room 6, in the basement on the north side--are available to help you solve problems and add the perfect touches to your essays. It's a free service, and you can drop in any time with questions about your essays or with drafts to work on. Keep in mind, though, that the Writing Center staff isn't there to proofread or edit your papers for you (that's your responsibility) nor will they guesstimate grades for you (that's mine). They're there to help you understand your assignments and make recommendations, not to do your work for you.
Writing Center Hours: