About this class

This class is Introduction to Rhetorical and Analytical Writing.

For those of you in Section 98 it meets Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9:00 a.m. For those of you in Section 97 it meets Tuesdays and Thursdays at 12:00 p.m.

This class is required to obtain a bachelor’s degree.

More specifically, the purpose of this class (and your instructor) is to help you become better at thinking through writing, which will help you perform better in college in general.

What this class is

• Time and effort focused on critical thinking expressed through the medium of the written word.

• An opportunity to practice the English standards of craft and grammar.

• A place where you will read and write, and discuss what you have read and written.

• An instruction on how to analyze written (and other mediums of) expression by others, and how to formulate arguments in your own works.

• Based on craft, standards, style, and rhetorical techniques.

• A place where you will be asked to take stands.

This class is not

• Necessarily linear, though assignments will increase in complexity, building on your accumulating skills and knowledge.

• Based on right and wrong answers, though your continued excellence in writing requires you to know and implement standards in style, organization, and grammar.

• Creative writing, whereby you will write fiction and poetry, though you may read and analyze fiction and poetry.

In this class you will work to

• Understand the writing process, from free writing and brainstorming to revision and editing
• Produce a variety of writing assignments with different purposes and audiences
• Build skills that will allow you to critically evaluate your own writing and respond in helpful ways to other writers
• Analyze, evaluate, and respond to a variety of texts
• Construct arguments that include effective logical, ethical, and emotional appeals
• Find, evaluate, and use both primary and secondary resources
• Summarize and paraphrase source material and integrate this material into your own writing

To achieve this you will

• read and respond (in class and in writing) to a variety of materials
• complete assignments that are largely writing-based
• conduct research
• engage in critical thought
• review the work of your class peers

You will need

Textbooks. The texts are Seeing and Writing by Donald McQuade and Christine McQuade, The St. Martin’s Handbook by Andrea Lunsford, and The Best American NonRequired Reading 2008 edited by Dave Eggers with introduction by Judy Blume. Your instructor will let you know which books to bring to class in advance, but please bring all of them for the first few weeks.
A notebook and a writing utensil. Use of computers is not allowed during the class period unless specifically called for by your instructor. However, we will be writing in class often and you will also want to take notes, so one notebook specifically for this class is necessary. It may also be helpful to you to have a folder, though all attempts are being made to make this class paperless. Please bring your notebook and a writing utensil to every class.
Regular internet access. All attempts are being made to make this a paperless class. You will need to check this blog and the D2L system regularly to access assignments and receive information, as well as to communicate with your instructor outside of class.
Attendance. 15 percent of your points in this class are participation points. Participation includes class attendance, adherence to classroom etiquette policies (being awake, alert, and on task), promptness, and general attitude. In other words: you must attend class, be on time, seem alert, be willing to contribute, and be tuned into the discussions and activities.
Completed assignments. Assignments will be given to you in advance in class as well as posted on the D2L system and/or on this blog. Some assignments can only be completed in class, and therefore will require your attendance. Other assignments will be turned in via the D2L system.

A few words about attendance

The English Department has a policy that if a student misses 20 percent (twelve class sessions) of a course’s regular class meetings, then the student may not receive a passing grade for the course. Depending on the circumstances, the student may receive a Failed Grade, Incomplete, or Withdrawal status for the course. Exceptions to this rule include:
• Any illness for which you have a doctor’s excuse
• Funeral attendance for which you have proof of attendance
• School sponsored sporting events in which you are a participant
However, if you are having difficulties attending class for whatever reason, I strongly encourage you to contact me. Often, I can direct a student to appropriate resources on campus if I am aware of his or her needs.
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