I. ENGLISH 102-1
COMPOSITION AND RESEARCH
FALL 2009
Helen H. Roulston
English & Philosophy




FH 402
MWF 10:30
Office FH 7B10
Office Hours: MW 11:30-12:30
TTH 9:00-11:00, T 12:30-2:30
Office Phone: 809-4712
E-Mail: helen.roulston@murraystate.edu
Website: http://www.geocities.com/helenroulston

II. Catalog Description: This course is a study of more advanced composition skills, with emphasis on techniques of research.

III. Purpose: This course should improve students' comprehension of composition techniques taught in English 101 and enhance their ability to apply these techniques to analyses of prose works and preparation of a term paper.

IV. Course Objective: To help students refine the skills developed in English 101 and cultivate the following ones as well:
1. Understanding of academic and professional writing situations, audiences, and processes
2. Ability to gather research material from a variety of sources, including the library and electronic sources
3. Ability to analyze, summarize, paraphrase, quote, and document sources
4. Ability to critically evaluate and synthesize material from multiple sources
5. Skillful source-based writing, including adequate support and logical development of arguments

V. Course Outline: The course will be divided into 3 units: discussion and writing of the first 2 papers, related to various selections from the New York Times, discussion of and preparation of the term paper, based in part on various selections from the New York Times on line (http:www.nytimes.com), which incorporates theme 3; and more reading and discussing of the assigned texts. Students will keep a scrapbook journal throughout the semester in which they will include clippings (at least 2 a week) from the New York Times related to their chosen term paper topic and other areas of interest. Students may relate some of these clippings and comments to Ned Vizziniís Itís a Kind a Funny Story. They will write short commentaries on the content of the clippings and reasons for selecting them (minimum of 100 words a week for the total of each week's clippings). This scrapbook journal, to be checked by the professor at least every two weeks, will count as a theme.
             Students will write 3 papers, based in part on primary and secondary sources, especially taken from the New York Times (min. 750 words--each approximately 3-4 pages, depending on font size): 3 on topics assigned by the professor, 1 on the term paper topic. Students will do prewriting exercises, including preliminary drafts, before handing in the final papers to be graded. Rewrites/revisions of final graded papers will be required when appropriate and will count 1/4th of total paper grade. Students must have completed the final graded draft, plus post-revisions, of one paper before starting on the second paper. Final papers late without excuse will be marked down one step of a grade (e.g., A to A- to B+, etc.) for each class period after the due date. Students who turn in final papers not meeting minimum word length will have their papers returned with requests to lengthen them. The revised papers will then be regarded as late and will be penalized in the same manner as above.
             Students must write and type a term paper (min. 2,500 words, approx. 8-10 pages, depending on font size). With the professor's approval, they will select topics, choose their view points, and defend their positions. They will integrate their ideas with the results of their research, especially gleaned from The New York Times, using a minimum of six sources, including at least two from the New York Times, directly related to their topics. Students may relate their topics to Ned Vizziniís Itís a Kind a Funny Story. All sources used must be made available (in the original form, photocopies, printed downloads from the Internet, or other approved forms) to the professor upon request, especially during the rough-draft conference. These source forms, along with a bibliography exercise, a prospectus, and a rough draft approved in conference, are perquisites. Students who do not follow these steps will not be allowed to turn in their term papers and will fail the course.
             Term papers handed in late without an excuse will be marked down one step of a grade (e.g., A to A-, B+, etc.) for each class period after the due date, which will be assigned in class.
             Students who turn in papers not meeting minimum word length will be have their papers returned with requests to lengthen them. The revised themes then will be regarded as late and will be penalized in the same manner as above.
             There will be a two-hour final essay exam on the assigned works.

VI. Instructional Activities: The course, an experimental one, which is based upon incorporating selections from daily paper copies of the New York Times, will consist of a combination of lectures, discussions, especially based on editorials, op ed pieces, and major stories, along with workshops, conferences, writing, and revising. Students will have conferences about themes and related problems when necessary, at least two term-paper conferences (preliminary and rough draft).

VII. Field, Clinical, and/or Laboratory Experiences: Students may use the computer labs to use the Internet, write and revise their papers.

VIII. Resources: Students may use any appropriate reference materials from any reliable source, including the Internet and Waterfield Library, especially from the New York Times. Students are urged to e-mail the professor about their problems with papers and attendance.
             
X. Grading Procedures: Students who do not hand in all required themes, term papers, and revisions that are worthy of being graded will fail the course.
             Since English 102 is designed to help the students improve their writing skills, their final works are more important than their initial works. Hence, to get a certain grade in the course, students must have that grade on at least one of the last two final papers and the term paper--before revisions. If students do very poorly on the final examination, they will have their course grade lowered by at least one grade.
All drafts of papers, plus the term paper, must be kept in a theme folder, which the professor may request to examine at appropriate and convenient times.
             Grades will be based on style, content, organization, spelling and grammatical accuracy, handling of research material, when called for, as well as promptness. Students must have all their work, including revisions, in and graded by final exam time. Unless students make arrangements with the professor about handing in late papers and/or getting an I (Incomplete), they will not receive a passing grade in the course since the requirements will not have been fulfilled.
A=90-100, B=80-89, C=70-79, D=60-69, E=0-59

X. Attendance Policy: Regular class attendance is vital to academic success.
The official Freshman English absence policy will be enforced. Except in truly extraordinary circumstances, missing more than 10% of scheduled classes (4 MWF) will result in a lowering of students' course grades. All students must be aware that missing more than 25% of scheduled class sessions (10 classes) without excuse will result in automatic failure of the course. To avoid this penalty, students must offer plausible excuses, preferably written authorized, whenever they miss classes.

XI. Academic Honesty Policy: Students will be responsible for following the College of Humanistic Studies policy on academic integrity.
"Cheating, plagiarism (submitting another person's material as one's own or doing work for another person which will receive academic credit) are all impermissible. This includes the use of unauthorized copying of examinations, assignments, reports or term papers, or the presentation of acknowledged material as if it were the student's own work. Disciplinary action may be taken beyond the academic discipline administered by the faculty member who teaches the course in which the cheating took place." Students are also responsible for the Academic Honesty policy statement in the latest edition of the Undergraduate Bulletin.

XII.Texts and References:

Behrens, Laurence, and Leonard J. Rosen. Writing and Reading across the Curriculum. 10th ed.

Raimes, Ann. Keys for Writers. 5th ed.

New York Times Newspapers to Be Picked up at the Waterfield Library: Mandatory M-F

Vizzini, Ned. Itís a Kind a Funny Story

XIII. Prerequisites: English 101 or the equivalent

XIV. STATEMENT OF AFFIRMATIVE ACTION AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY: Murray State University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability or veteran status in employment, student admissions, financial aid, student employment and placement or the provision of services and provides, upon request, reasonable accommodation including auxiliary aids and services necessary to afford individuals with disabilities an equal opportunity to participate in all programs and activities. For information regarding nondiscrimination policies contact the Office of Equal Opportunity, 270-809-3155.

Teaching