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Nicole Williams

English 104-69 MW 3:00-4:15

Office: RB 280
Office Phone: (765) 285-0035
Office Hours: Monday and Wednesday 2:00-2:45, Tuesday 11:00-12:00
Online Hours: Friday 12:00-2:00
Email: Nawilliams2@bsu.edu
Website: http://www.nicoleannwilliams.com

Text Required:
Hesford, Wendy S and Brenda Jo Brueggemann. Rhetorical Visions: Reading and
Writing in a Visual Culture. Pearson Education 2007 (ISBN 0-13-1777345-3).

Other Materials: Notebook, pen, folder, and flash drive or other device for storing
files (use ilocker), Ball Point online @ http://www.bsu.edu/english/ballpoint password
is POP.

Course Description

English 104 applies the fundamentals of rhetoric to the research process. This class
introduces students to the methods of research; the rhetorical nature of research; and
the elements, strategies, and conventions common to research writing, including the
visual as well as the verbal organization of new knowledge.

University Core Curriculum

The University Core Curriculum component of the Undergraduate curriculum is
designed to develop the knowledge, skills, and values that should be held in common by
all graduates of the university. The central purpose of University Core Curriculum is to
enable men and women to live rich and satisfying lives and to undertake the broad
responsibilities of citizenship in a free society. Although The University Core
Curriculum seeks to discover and nurture individual talents, its primary emphasis is
preparation for roles people share as human beings and as members of family and
community groups.

The University Core Curriculum consists of more than the requirement that students
have contact with the major fields of knowledge. Program suggests concern for
direction, organization, spirit, appropriate instruction, and the kinds of intellectual
attitudes the university strives to develop in students. Through their core curriculum
courses, students will be able to

1Engage in lifelong education by learning to acquire knowledge and to use it for

intelligent ends.
2Communicate at a level acceptable for college students.
3Clarify their personal values and be sensitive to those held by others.
4Recognize and seek solutions for the common problems of living by drawing on a
knowledge of historical and contemporary events and elements of the cultural
heritage surrounding those events.
5Work with others to solve life’s common problems.

6 Assess their unique interests, talents, and goals and choose specialized learning
experiences that will foster their fulfillment.

Course Goals

At the completion of English 104, students should be able to achieve the following

• Create and complete research projects. This involves generating a research

question, engaging in critical/analytical reading, developing an argument with
evidence collected from both primary and secondary research, and documenting
sources appropriately.
• Align research questions with appropriate research methods
• Employ critical thinking in evaluation, speculation, analysis, and synthesis
required to evolve and complete a research project
• Use a variety of strategies to gather and organize information appropriate for the
context and persuasive to the intended audience
• Use the university research library to forward their research agenda
• Engage in collaborative research
• Employ format, syntax, punctuation, and spelling appropriate to various
rhetorical situations in a stylistically sophisticated manner
• Collect, analyze, and organize research information in verbally and visually
compelling ways
• Take initiative for the development and completion of individual and joint
research projects

Course Content and Format

The content and format of English 104 are designed to enable students to achieve the
course goals; specifically, students in English 104 will:

• Discuss, analyze, and respond to texts composed in a variety of media that

develop an argument by relying on different kinds of research and that are
addressed to diverse academic audiences
• Analyze the connections among research questions, research methods, audience,
and style
• Design various research projects that involve generating a question, collecting
data, analyzing data, and interpreting the analysis.
• Conduct research projects that rely on various means of gathering data, including
but not limited to fieldwork, online research, and library research.
• Analyze data collected through a variety of methods
• Compose proposals, progress reports, and final research reports for individual
• Compose final research reports that are persuasive and appropriate for the
intended audience and context
• Compose research reports in multiple drafts, involving peer feedback, self-
reflection, instructor’s written comments, and teacher-student conferences
• Reflect regularly on the choices available and the decisions made in the creation
and completion of research projects

Course Policies

Successful Completion: In order to successfully pass this course you must

attend class, participate in class discussions, complete in class writings,
outside readings, homework, and complete all four formal writing
assignments. Successful completion of the four formal assignments
includes turning in all required drafts and attending workshops and

Electronic Note: In an effort to do our part to help the environment, all course work
will be electronic based. Assignments will be posted online, all work will be handed in
electronically via blackboard or your own websites, workshops will be conducted
electronically, and grades will be kept electronically through BSU Gradebook. There will
be no printing in the classroom. Be sure to have a flash drive to transport and save work
on. Additionally, we will go over how to use all the technologies required for class. If you
own a laptop you may bring that to class and use it in place of the classroom computers.
Together we can save hundreds of pounds of paper this semester and, essentially, a lot
of trees.

Attendance: What happens in class each day only works if everyone is here to
participate as much as possible; therefore, attendance is mandatory. You are allowed
three absences for the semester free and clear. I don’t need to know where you were or
what you were doing. However, each absence over three will automatically
lower your grade by 1/3 of a letter grade. For instance a B will go down to a B-. If
you miss six classes or more you will fail the course as the Writing Program policy

Tardiness: I value the time we have together in class to accomplish our goals for the
semester. I do not appreciate students that interrupt class by habitually coming in late.
It is distracting to me and to your peers. Please come to class on time.

Participation: This course depends heavily on your readiness and willingness to

contribute to class discussions and activities daily. I expect each of you to work with me
and each other to make this a real community of learners. Therefore, you must
come to class each day fully prepared having done all assigned readings and
work ready to participate in class. A portion of your grade depends upon class
participation. Additionally, class activities are designed to build off of outside work;
therefore, I will know if you are unprepared and your grade will reflect it.

In addition keep in mind:

1Being absent is not an excuse for turning in late work. All
assignments are expected to be turned in at the beginning of the class period
they are due. If you are not going to be in class e-mail your work to me by the
beginning of class time. Late assignments will be penalized half a
letter grade for each day they are late. For example, a B paper will go
down to a C+. Late work will no longer be accepted a week after the
due date.

2In class work cannot be made up so it would be wise to come to class

prepared each day.

Format for Assignments:

All formal writing (except multimodal compositions) should be:
1Computer generated/typed
2Double-spaced in 12 point font
31 inch margins on all sides
4 Name, instructor, course, and date should be listed on the top left, double-
5Do not double space between paragraphs
6Do not include cover sheets unless specified
7Documented using MLA Style

Classroom Behaviors:
1Our class meets in a computer classroom, which may pose several
distractions. Checking e-mail and surfing the web during class time is both
rude and inappropriate. This behavior will not be tolerated and will affect
your participation grade.
2Please remember to turn off all cell phones, ipods, mp3 players, and other
communication devices that pose a distraction to our class. If your phone
rings, vibrates, sings, or makes any other noise during class I get
to answer it. In return, should my cell phone ever ring in class you
get to answer it. Failure to follow the policy will affect your participation
3Class time is not a time for private discussions amongst each other. Such
behavior is rude and disruptive to the class. Please save such conversations
for after class.

Respect: Respect for others in our classroom is non-negotiable. We will be discussing

many ideas and concepts that may challenge your current thinking. This is the fun of
college! Have respect for one another and be open to new ideas.

Academic Dishonesty: Presentation of someone else’s work as your own is dishonest

and unacceptable. If I find out that you have plagiarized you will receive a
zero for the assignment and, possibly, fail the course. In addition, your offense
will be reported to the Associate Provost for Academic Programs. Nothing angers me
more than students who plagiarize work. Be assured that I will find out if you have
plagiarized, therefore it would be wise for you to do your own work and cite any and all
material you take from other sources. Plain and simple-if it isn’t your own words or idea
than tell me where you found it.

Course Adaptations: If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a

disability, if you have emergency medical information to share with me, or if you need
special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an
appointment with me as soon as possible. My office location and hours are located at
the top of the syllabus.

Writing Center: You are encouraged to take advantage of the Writing Center. The
Writing Center offers free one-to-one assistance on all your writing projects for all of
your classes. The Writing Center is located in RB 291. It is open Monday to Wednesday
10-7 and Thursday & Friday 10-5. You may drop by or schedule an appointment online
at http://writing.iweb.bsu.edu. The writing center also offers help via e-mail and instant
messaging. I will be tutoring in the Writing Center nine hours a week this semester so
you are able to make an appointment to meet with me there.

Course Requirements

Formal Essays: For this class you will write four essays that are 5-6 pages each
outside of class that will culminate in one 20-24 page paper at the end of the semester.
Each essay will require a draft that will be responded to by me and your peers.
Assignments will be discussed throughout the semester as the time for each approaches.
Detailed assignment sheets can be located on my website. Assignments are due at the
beginning of class as stated on the course schedule. All assignments will be turned in

Blogs: You will be required to create and maintain a blog throughout the semester. We
will create the blogs together in class. Each week you will be required to write at least
one blog post on your own blog and respond to at least one of your classmates blog
posts. Your blog entries each week should discusses your thoughts and ideas on any of
the assigned reading for that class week and how they may relate to your own writing.
This is your chance to reflect on the reading and writing you do each week. We will
discuss the conventions of blog writing in class. Your blog can be thought of as your
electronic journal to track your learning and progress during the semester. It is also a
tool to communicate and share ideas with your peers and the world.

In-class Writing: During class time you will be asked to write on a variety of issues,
ideas, and prompts that relate to readings and class material. These writings will assist
in class discussion and serve as a tool for both of us to reflect on the work you are doing.
These will be completed on blackboard during class time. You will find that each of you
has your own section on the discussion board where you will produce these
assignments. This will allow you to view them all in one place when it comes time to put
together your portfolio.

Portfolios: The best way I have found to help students understand and appreciate
what it means when I say “writing is a process” is to include a portfolio component in
my writing classes. Twice this semester, once at midterm and once at the end of the
semester, you will be responsible for collecting and revising the work you’ve done in and
outside class. You will turn in both formal and informal writing, some of it revised,
some of it not. You will also include an introduction that discusses what you’ve learned
and provides a self-evaluation of your writing. These portfolios will be returned with a
formal letter grades attached that evaluate the work in the portfolio as well as your
success in the class. These portfolios will be electronic web texts.

Group Project: Once this semester you will get together with a group of your peers to
deliver a power point presentation. A detailed assignment sheet will be handed out and
posted on blackboard.

Readings: Outside readings will be assigned for each class period. They are listed on
the schedule. It is vital to your grade that you complete all readings and come to class
prepared to discuss them.

Conferences: You will be responsible for meeting with me twice during the semester
outside of class. One conference will be at midterm to talk about the progress of
your portfolio revisions. The meetings will be about fifteen minutes long and I will
cancel class for the week to accommodate these conferences. I will tell you very
specifically what you should bring to the meeting at the time we schedule it. Failure to
come to these conferences and/or failure to come to these conferences prepared with a
draft to work on will count as one week of absences-furthermore, do not waste my
time or your own by not showing up or showing up unprepared. I am just as busy as you
are, but if you are prepared to invest time in your writing then I am too. A sign up sheet
will be passed around as the time approaches for conferences. It is your
responsibility to schedule a second conference with me at the end of the
semester as you prepare your final portfolio. Failure to schedule and attend will
result in an absence. Additionally, feel free to come to my office hours at any time during
the semester.

Note: All writing you do in this class-drafts, revisions, in-class writing, blogs-should be
saved so you have a wide selection to choose from when putting together your portfolio.
It is imperative that you save all your writing so you can see how you have developed as
a writer throughout the course of the semester.

Evaluation and Grading Policies

In this course you will not receive letter grades on individual drafts and assignments. I
know many of you are probably thinking that I am completely crazy for doing this. I
also know not receiving a letter grade on each paper will make some of you nuts
however; it really is for the best. Using this portfolio system of evaluation allows me the
opportunity to give you credit for the things that grading individual papers does not:
such as effort and revision and improvement. Although you will not receive individual
letter grades on each draft you turn in, you will receive extensive comments and
feedback from me that will help you understand the quality of the work you are doing as
well as assist you in improving your writing. You will receive a letter grade at mid-term
and at the end of the semester when you turn in your portfolio. These two grades will be
based on the following criteria:
1Meeting all of the requirements described above.
2The quality of your written work, including how successful your revision
work is.
3The quality of your effort in class, in workshops, in discussion, in groups, in
conferences, and in general.
4Your demonstration of a willingness to try new things, think in new ways,
and explore different perspectives as both a reader and a writer.
My comments should provide you with a clear understanding of your progress in the
class; if you ever feel as though you are unsure, come see me and we will discuss it.

Grading Percentage Breakdowns

Different assignments in this course require different levels of effort. The following
breakdowns should provide you with an idea of the amount of time and energy needed
for each.
1Blogs 10%
2Group Project 10%
3Participation- this includes attending class having completed all outside
reading and assignments, participating in class discussion, completing in-
class writing assignments, coming to conferences, and participating in other
class activities.
4Formal Writing Assignments
4 essay Drafts (5% each) 20%
5 Portfolio (mid-term 25% and final 25%) 50%

Please Note: A minimum course grade of C is required to receive credit for this course. I
will be using the BSU Gradebook to manage all grades.

I will be using the Writing Program Grading Rubric below to grade all formal
assignments included in the portfolio.

A = Superior – Convincingly and ardently communicates a noteworthy idea to an

audience through sophisticated use of rhetorical strategies.
1Thesis/Focus-demonstrates an awareness of audience, is sophisticated, and
clearly established and maintained throughout.
2Organization-has a clear sense of logical order appropriate to the content and
3Development-demonstrates critical thinking that is clear, insightful, in depth, and
relevant to the topic.
4Syntax and Diction-uses sophisticated language that engages the reader;
manipulates sentence length to enhance the total effect of the essay; uses precise
language that expresses complex ideas clearly.
5Format and Design-fully integrates elements of design to best serve rhetorical
6Research (if applicable)-uses sources effectively and documents sources
7Mechanics-contains very few errors of spelling, grammar, paragraphing, or
manuscript format.
B = Strong – Effectively conveys an insightful idea to an audience through consistent
and controlled use of rhetorical strategies.
1Thesis/Focus-is intelligent, clearly established, and consistently addressed
2Organization-is logical, clear, and controlled.
3Development-demonstrates critical thinking that is more than adequate, with
significant detail; may show depth in thinking and research.
4Syntax and Diction-demonstrates knowledge of and skill with complex and
varied sentence constructions and vocabulary.
5Format and Design-consistently contributes to the persuasive aims of the
6Research (if applicable)-uses sources effectively and documents accurately.
7Mechanics-may contain errors, but these errors do not interfere with the essay’s
overall effectiveness.
C = Competent – Communicates an idea, but does not consistently address the needs
of its audience.
1Thesis/Focus-has a central idea that is conventional or general.
2Organization-the essay’s organization is choppy and may, at times, be difficult to
3Development-demonstrates limited critical thinking and limited knowledge of the
4Syntax and Diction-demonstrates competency with language use, but sentence
constructions and vocabulary may be limited or repetitive.
5Format and Design-unevenly incorporates elements of design to aid its
6Research (if applicable)-lacks sufficient research for the topic, poorly incorporates
sources, or fails to document accurately.
7Mechanics-contains multiple errors that hinder the essay’s readability.
D = Inadequate – Ineffectively communicates its idea to its intended audience.
1Thesis/Focus-is superficial and inconsistently addressed; reveals limited
awareness of audience.
2Organization-reveals no apparent strategy and lapses in focus and logic.
3Development-displays little knowledge of the subject, does not form conclusions,
or fails to exhibit critical thinking or clear reasoning.
4Syntax and Diction-contains repetitive, incorrect, or ineffective sentence
structure; displays a limited vocabulary.
5Format and Design-bears little relevance to the assignment’s rhetorical purpose
or guidelines.
6Research (if applicable)-lacks sufficient research for the topic, poorly incorporates
sources, or fails to document sources accurately.
7Mechanics-contains many errors that garble the meaning or intent.
F = Incompetent – Fails to present its ideas to the audience and does not meet some
or all of the criteria for the assignment.
1Thesis/Focus-lacks a central idea, has no awareness, or limited awareness, of its
audience and purpose.
2Organization-is random and without focus.
3Development-displays little or no knowledge of the subject, does not form
conclusions, or fails to exhibit critical thinking or clear reasoning.
4Syntax and Diction-fails to demonstrate competency with language use; sentence
constructions and vocabulary may be inappropriate, facile, or incoherent.
5Format and Design-makes no attempt to use the elements of design to help
persuade its audiences.
6Research (if applicable)-fails to include sufficient sources for topic, incorporates
irrelevant or inadequate sources, or plagiarizes.
7Mechanics-contains serious and multiple errors that seriously hinder the reading
of the paper.