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WRIT 1133: Writing and Research

Winter 2011, Section 5

Online from Jan 5 to March 10, 2011

Instructor: Jeff Ludwig

Office: Penrose Library 352 | Phone: (303) 871-7835
Hours: Mon & Wed–4-6 and by email appointment
Email: jludwig5@du.edu | Blackboard: http://blackboard.du.edu

**Emails sent to the instructor during the week will receive a response within 24
hours of having received them.
** You are encouraged to meet with me physically at any time during the quarter.
Simply send me an email to set up an appointment.

WRIT 1133 teaches rhetorical strategies needed for successful research-based

writing in diverse academic and nonacademic situations. Students will apply the
principles and practices introduced in WRIT 1122 to write in at least two broad
academic research traditions, including interpretive (the analysis of texts or
artifacts), qualitative (analyses based on observations or interviews), or
quantitative (analyses based on measurement).
• Demonstrate practical knowledge of academic research traditions (for
example, text-based/interpretive; measurement-based/empirical; and
observational/qualitative) through effectively writing in at least two of those
• Demonstrate an understanding of rhetorical/conventional differences
among various academic disciplines or groups of disciplines.
• Demonstrate practical knowledge of rhetorical differences between writing
for academic audiences and writing for popular audiences, through both
analysis and performance.
• Demonstrate proficiency in finding, evaluating, synthesizing, critiquing, and
documenting published sources appropriate to given rhetorical situations.
For more on these course goals, visit: http://www.du.edu/writing/1133info.htm

This section of WRIT 1133 focuses on using research to “write” the academic and
social community of DU. What characterizes the academic community of the
University of Denver? What is DU’s history? What current social cultures exist at
DU, and how do they affect the climate on campus? What attitudes about
learning are held by current students, faculty, or administrators? We’ll pursue
these questions as academics, using different research methods alongside
process-based writing to explore the relationship between the social and
educational environment at our university. While the research we’ll conduct will
drive our inquiry and writing, you’ll also get a significant amount of hands-on
practice in gathering, synthesizing, and analyzing research for a variety of
academic and popular situations.

Required Materials:
• Internet access: Because this is an online course, you MUST have—and use
—consistent and reliable internet access to view course materials and
• Marshall, Margaret. Composing Inquiry: Methods and Readings for
Investigation and Writing. New Jersey: Pearson, 2009. ISBN: 978-0-13-
• Troyka, Lynn Quitman and Douglas Hesse. Quick Access. 6th Edition. Upper
Saddle River: Prentice Hall, 2010. ISBN: 0-205-66501-2.
• Articles and links to readings available on Blackboard under the “Readings”

Expectations: Writing, research, and argumentation take a lot of practice. Expect

to spend at least 6-8 hours (or more) each week reading, researching, and writing
for this class. The writing may involve posting to our discussion board,
responding to a prompt, completing an exercise or writing a Process Assignment,
drafting or revising an essay, helping each other brainstorm or revise an essay, or
helping your peers to revise. You can also expect to spend time every day writing
and researching at home, or, because writing is the result of revision, revising
your writing regularly with guidance from me and your classmates.

The writing and learning in this course will happen entirely online, which means
we will also “meet” as a class through Blackboard. In addition to needing to be
comfortable with using email, the web, and a word processing program such as
Microsoft Word, it is crucial that you be familiar with how to access and use the
Blackboard site. To access Blackboard, go to http://blackboard.du.edu, click the
login button, and then enter your DU username and password. Once you enter
the site, you’ll see WRIT 1133 listed as one of the courses you’re taking; click on
this for our class. There you’ll find all materials and links for the course, from
announcements to readings to our Discussion Board and major assignments. If
you are having trouble logging in or navigating Blackboard, email me at

As an online course, the learning experience differs from face-to-face learning in

important ways. Chief among them is that you must take greater personal
responsibility for keeping up with course- work and completing assignments. The
work that you do for this class will be just as interactive as it would be if we were
meeting in a classroom. Our “class time” will primarily be spent through
Discussion Board. I will post discussion questions for each week of class, in
multiple threads. You are responsible for posting one original post (of at
least 250 words) in response to one or more of these questions, and for
responding to at least two of your classmates’ posts (in at least 150
words each) each week. And you will also be responsible for
contributing these posts/responses on at least two days each week. (For
example, you might post on Monday or Tuesday, and then respond on
Wednesday or Thursday.) This way, we will keep a lively discussion going
throughout each week, and throughout the course. It is expected that you log
in at least three days each week, if not daily. All posts/responses will be
due before 5 pm each Friday. See the link for “Grading Rubrics” on Blackboard
for more information, but your participation through Discussion Board will be
graded for the quality and quantity of responses.

Course Work:
1) Readings: Assigned readings will facilitate discussion and model the kinds of
rhetorical moves made in the research strategies under analysis. Readings will
often become discussion questions posted on our Discussion Board, which means
that it is expected that you read before posting/responding, and that you
understand all readings you write and revise your work. Readings will be
assigned primarily from Composing Inquiry and readings posted in .pdf and online
versions available on Blackboard under the “Readings” link. Quick Access will be
a vital reference in knowing the basic principals of MLA and APA citation.

2) Process Assignments: Process assignments will service your composing of

major assignments at different stages (invention, drafting, revision). You will be
expected to turn in Process Assignments on due dates outlined in the Weekly
Content section of Blackboard, and also with formal assignments. All Process
Assignments will be given a “2” (“Good”), “3” (“Excellent”), “1” (“Needs work”),
or “0” (Not completed or turned in). Regular process assignments include:

• Research Blog: Through Blackboard’s blog tool, you will create a weekly
Research Blog that will act as a journal of secondary research you conduct
for each major assignment. At the end of each week (Friday at 5pm, or
before) write a brief blog entry that lists the secondary sources used to write
each major project. First, provide a citation of the source (using either MLA
or APA format), and then a brief abstract of the source that identifies its
major argument, research strategy, and relevance to your project. There
will be 9 total entries (weeks 1-9), with at least 3 sources listed in
each blog entry.

• Writer’s Memo: With each major assignment, write to the instructor as editor
concerning how you wrote and revised your draft to meet the course’s
writing goals. These are:
o Demonstration of practical knowledge and understanding of academic
research traditions (interpretive, quantitative, or qualitative)
o Demonstration of practical knowledge and understanding of the
rhetorical differences between writing for academic versus popular
o Demonstration of practical knowledge and understanding of finding,
evaluating, synthesizing, critiquing, and documenting published sources
in your writing
Successful Memos will be approximately 350-500 words long, use examples
from writing done in major projects, and discuss ways your draft might be
revised to make it more effective. Submit Memos with Advisory Drafts of
each major assignment (see Writing Guidelines below).

• Workshop Groups: For each major assignment you will be asked to spend
some time receiving written feedback from your peers and offering written
feedback to others (usually about a page, for two peers). You will be
assigned to a Workshop Group early on, and each Group will have their own
Forum on Discussion Board for exchanging and responding to drafts of major
assignments. Be sure to check the Weekly Content link for response due

3) Formal Assignments: There will be 3 major projects, each covering (briefly)

different approaches to inquiry-based research writing. Each formal assignment
will be read by your Workshop Groups and revised and polished before
evaluation. See the “Assignments” link on Blackboard for more details.
• Interpretive Research and Analysis: A History of DU (5+ pgs, 4-6
sources, MLA) In this essay you’ll be asked to select a photo taken from
DU’s history, analyze it’s meaning, and write your own argumentative
history of the university based on the photo’s context and significance.
DUE: January 21st
• Qualitative Research and Writing: Ethnography (5+ pgs, 4-6
sources, APA) Using primarily interview-based, qualitative research, you’ll
examine the social behaviors of a particular group or groups on DU’s
campus. DUE: February 11
• Quantitative Research: Measuring Technology in the Classroom (5+
pgs, 4-6 sources) Using the results of the 2009 CTL study of technology
use on campus, you’ll create an argument concerning the learning
environment at DU. DUE February 25
• Final Writer’s Memo/Introduction to your Writing Portfolio (3-4 pgs)
DUE: March 10th with the Final Portfolio
Specific requirements and criteria for individual assignments will vary, but in all
cases evaluation of your writing will consider your overall incorporation of primary
and secondary research, appropriateness to the rhetorical situation, content and
development, organization, style, and mechanics.

Advisory Grades: All Formal Assignments will receive an Advisory Grade, a

“what-you-would-have-if-this-were-graded-now” grade, or where you sit according
to the goals of the course and assignment. Advisory Grades are required for
you to have in order to complete your final portfolio. If you have a question about
graded comments or a grade you have received, email.
4) Final Portfolio: As you will note below (under Grading Distribution), a significant
portion of your grade for the course will be determined by the final portfolio. The
final portfolio will consist of all of your writing for the course, and only those
that have received an Advisory Grade. The writing in this portfolio will be
evaluated holistically according to the overall course goals to determine your
grade, and will include:
• 2 of the 3 assignments that have undergone significant global revision:
One by approaching a similar topic using either a different research
methodology or combined methodologies, and another by re-purposing a
previous assignment for a popular audience.
• 1 assignment that has received an Advisory Grade during the regular
course of the quarter, which will count in determining your overall grade for
the portfolio
• A Writer’s Memo analyzing the writing included in the portfolio
• Supplementary documents that led up to the final, polished pieces,
including: Advisory Drafts and comments from peers and the instructor

Grading Distribution:
Final Portfolio: 60%
Process Assignments: 15%
Student Engagement: 25%

Writing Guidelines:
1. All assignments will be turned in through Blackboard, and will have a
specific file format.
2. For Process Assignments, use the following filename format:
3. For Formal Assignments, use the following file format:
“LastName_FormalAssignment#.doc.” Formal Assignments will include
multiple parts in ONE DOCUMENT, and in this order: 1) Writer’s Memo, 2)
Cover Sheet, 3) Final Draft, 4) Works Cited or Reference page, 5) Rough
Draft, 6) Peer Response given and received.
4. Following the Modern Language Association, margins will be: 1” from the
top and bottom of the page and 1” from the left and right margins. Use
Times 12pt.. The same paper formatting applies to APA citation, which we
will use in addition to MLA during the quarter.
5. Starting on the second page, pages should be numbered in the upper, right
6. The upper, left-hand corner of the first page should look as such:
Your name
WRIT 1133, Section 5
Jeff Ludwig
Assignment and Draft #
Due date
7. Skip one line and place your title in the center of the first page.
8. We use both MLA and APA citation styles. Consult any handbook—
especially Quick Access—for general guidelines.
9. Cover Sheets: Before every peer workshop or teacher conference, and
when you turn in projects, attach a Cover Sheet to guide reader response.
Include brief explanations of:
Possible Audience or Forum:
If I had time, I would…
Three things I need your help with:

Student Participation: "Attendance" in an online class can really only be measured

by your participation. You are expected to participate in each assigned discussion
posting with sustained engagement. Because participation is a component of your
final grade, I will evaluate each discussion activity both for quality and quantity.
It is expected that your engagement be active and participatory, that you be
helpful collaborators, committed to the material, your writing, and your online
peers. Your level of engagement is made manifest in a number of ways, including
participation in online discussions, in peer review feedback in your Workshop
Group, and efforts to improve your own learning and that of the entire class. Your
engagement will be evaluated as follows:
“Average” engagement means that the student seems prepared. Generally,
his or her participation in online discussion and feedback on writing seems to
encourage and support others in the class. The student’s presence is
“Superior” engagement means that the student is always prepared, often
adding additional insights to online discussion and providing extensive
feedback on writing. He or she demonstrates active learning through several,
consistently good comments or comments that bring productive perspectives
and outside sources in class discussion, or it may be insightful and extensive
commentary in peer review. Students who take steps outside of the common
classroom space to build a better learning environment demonstrate superior
“Weak” engagement means that the student participates in class, but he or
she does not seem prepared or that his or her presence detracts from the
quality of class experience for others. The student consistently and
deliberately disengages from online activities and discussion, or only engages
in class in a lackluster fashion, or intermittently.

Late Work: Assignments are due at 5PM on days listed under the week’s Content
section on Blackboard. Late work will be accepted only at my discretion, and
often only if you have communicated in advance of delayed work. If you turn in
late work, expect: a lowered grade, delayed response, or no credit. Weekly class
participation cannot be made up. Any Major or Process Assignments will not
be accepted after 7 days, and will receive a zero for that assignment.
Plagiarism: Due to the course being taught online, easy access to online sources,
and the course’s shortened time frame, the temptation may exist to incorporate
writing that is not your own as if it was your own work. When any deliberate
attempt to deceive happens in such a way, it constitutes plagiarism—no matter
where the source comes from. As defined by the Council of Writing Program
Administrators: “In an instructional setting, plagiarism occurs when a writer
deliberately uses someone else’s language, ideas, or other original (not common-
knowledge) material without acknowledging its source”
(http://wpacouncil.org/node/9). DU’s Honor Code also maintains that all members
of the University must responsibly use the work of others. If an instructor
suspects a work has been plagiarized, the work will be submitted to SafeAssign
through Blackboard, or the work’s originality will be validated through some other
means. Students who have plagiarized a project will receive an F on that project
or portfolio, and the instructor will inform the Director of Writing and the Office of
Community and Citizenship Standards, who may take further action.

Civility: 1. The Writing Program affirms DU’s Code of Student Conduct

(http://www.du.edu/ccs/code.html), which “expects students to recognize the
strength of personal differences while respecting institutional values.” Because
writing courses rely heavily on interactions among individuals, students and
teachers must act in a manner respectful of different positions and perspectives. I
will act to reduce behaviors that may compromise a productive, online learning
environment. These actions may range from informal conversations, to formal
communications, to requested action by the Office of Citizenship and Community
Standards. 2. Even online, students must respect the classroom environment.
Any “flaming” or inflammatory, disrespectful, or otherwise disruptive comments
will not be tolerated, and will be responded to by a) contacting the student
directly, b) contacting the Office of Citizenship and Community Standards to
determine what appropriate actions need or should be taken.

Technological Responsibilities: You are responsible for maintaining a copy of each

draft of your essays. Occasionally, essays are stolen, lost, or destroyed; keep
additional copies of and a back-up disk in safe places. Make sure you are saving
copies of projects as multiple drafts (using the "Save As") option. I suggest
creating an account with Google Docs.

ADA Statement: DU complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. If
you have a documented disability, please contact the Disabilities Service Program
(DSP) at: http://www.du.edu/disability

Final Note: I reserve the right to modify this syllabus at any time if it benefits the
students of this class.