University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
 

ENGLISH 110: INTRODUCTION TO COLLEGE WRITING

Section 429: MR, 7 to 9:15 p.m., HHH 321

Fall 2001, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
 
 

PROFESSOR BOB NOWLAN

Office: HHH 425, (715) 836-4369

Office Hours: M 4-5 and 9:30-10:30 p.m.; W 4-6 p.m.;

R 4-5 p.m. and 9:30-10:30 p.m.; and By Appointment.

ranowlan@uwec.edu

http://people.uwec.edu/ranowlan
 
 

CHRIS CHASTEEN, Senior Student Mentor

Contact Information and Office Hours

To Be Announced.





COURSE EXPLANATION

Introduction

English 110 is an intensive, five-credit introduction to "college writing." Although all sections of English 110 share common objectives, we who teach these sections interpret meeting them according to a range of different conceptions of precisely what to teach, how to teach, and why to teach.
 
 

Who are 'College Writers' and What is 'College Writing'?

As I teach it, this course presents an opportunity for you to learn how you can join the most serious and important intellectual work of this institution, not as mere subordinates, as people only "passing through" on the way toward taking up your real lives' work elsewhere, but rather as the potential co-equals of university faculty. I conceive "college writers" to be men and women who know and care about what is happening in the world, and who strive to do what they can to make this world a better place, for generations to come, even when and where the obstacles you confront in these efforts are great, and when and where the freedom you enjoy to exercise genuinely democratic rights in pursuit of these objectives is severely limited. In other words, you learn to recognize and accept, to paraphrase the famous words of Frederick Douglass, "that without struggle there can be no progress."
 

I teach "Introduction to College Writing" to people seeking not only to learn but also to act - to join with and contribute toward struggles for needed social change, change that extends beyond the confines of the classroom, the course, or even the university. These are men and women who conceive of college education as entailing a social responsibility, and who commit themselves to do what they can to meet this responsibility.
 

"College writers" are therefore not, as I see it, simply those men and women who have "mastered the rules," who have "learned how to play the game," and who can, as such, write in technically competent and skillful fashion sufficient to enable them to "get by" in their college courses, and to obtain "good jobs" afterward. "College writers" donot approach their writing as a mere means of finding the best way to "fit in," "obey orders," submit to authority, and conform to the dictates of those in dominant positions of power. College writers are people who can, and as necessary who will, fight this power -- a power often deployed in the interest of maintaining and reproducing relations of oppression, exploitation, alienation, and dehumanization - and they are prepared to do so with the critical and oppositional power that their own writing helps provide.

Writing as a Process of Thinking

and a Mode of Committed, Activist Practice


"College writers" conceive of writing not as a mere "product" that displays what these women and men have thought, in an "acceptable form," after the thinking is done, and after these writers have self-censored anything that might "upset" or "disturb" anyone else. On the contrary, college writers conceive of writing as a process of thinking, and as a process, more precisely, of exploring, inquiring, reflecting, interpreting, evaluating, expressing, communicating, and of taking up and pushing forward positions to which the writer can and does commit herself with sincerity, determination, passion, and enthusiasm. College writers do not hesitate to represent unpopular positions, and to advocate for these, when and where they do maintain these positions, because these writers are men and women who have not given way to the cynical and despairing conviction that they are entirely powerless and inconsequential. Instead, college writers believe the issues their positions address are vitally important and they have a right, as well as a responsibility, to make their voices heard. These men and women are willing to risk provoking, challenging, even alienating and offending their readers, when and where it is right and necessary to do so -- when and where, that is, the issues at stake require it.
 


Writing with a Purpose


Writing is always intrinsically connected with reading, thinking, feeling, speaking, and acting. What's more, how we write always depends upon what we write, for whom we write, and, especially, why we write. Writing can be taught as if it involved merely a set of neutral skills and/or empty forms --  yet, in actuality, the skills and forms that are so taught are neither neutral nor empty of content; such formalist approaches in fact teach us to develop, express, and communicate the kinds of thoughts and feelings in the kinds of ways which serve to maintain and reproduce the interests of dominant social groups without us understanding that this is what they are doing.
 


Writing as Unity of Form and Content,

as well as of Text and Context, and

What it Means to Think, Read, and Write Critically

It is, therefore, of crucial importance that writing be taught as a unity both of form and content, and of text and context. Writing is not merely form; forms never really exist separate from contents. Neither is writing merely text; texts never really exist separate from contexts. In this course, you will learn how to read and write in ways that involve the uniting both of form and content and of text and context. In particular, you will learn how to do this by learning how to read and write -- and to think -- critically. Learning to read and to write critically means learning to proceed beyond merely describing the ways in which texts work, toward explaining how and especially why -- in particular, for what -- they work as they do. "Composition," in sum, is not manipulation: it is construction, design, and creation. To learn how to compose in written language is to learn how to express, communicate, develop, and refine ideas, beliefs, thoughts, and feelings of significance and urgency. The ultimate goal of learning to read and write critically is to enhance your ability to engage as a critical citizen. Critical citizens are empowered agents able effectively to question, challenge, and contribute toward the progressive transformation of the prevailing status quo within the communities, societies, and cultures of which they are a part.
 
 

The Rhetoric and Politics of Reading and Writing


In the process of learning to read and write critically, it is necessary to focus particular attention upon both the rhetoric and the politics of reading and writing. "Rhetoric" refers to the art of using words effectively to express and communicate thoughts and feelings in speaking and writing. In particular, you will learn how to produce arguments capable either 1. of persuading others to accept and/or identify with a particular position with which they are not already previously in agreement, or 2. of compelling these others to reformulate and rearticulate previously maintained positions in response to the pressure your arguments have exerted upon their previously maintained positions. "Politics" does not refer merely to that which it is conventionally understood to refer -- campaigning and voting for election to legislative and executive positions in government -- but rather to the entire sphere of conflict and struggle, as well as the regulation and adjudication of this conflict and struggle, among individuals and social groups over right of access to, and opportunity for the exercise of, natural and cultural resources, powers, and capacities. The "politics of reading and writing" refers to the ways in which the activities of reading and writing -- and the texts we read and write in the process of pursuing these activities --- are both affected by and in turn affect this conflict and struggle over access to and exercise of resources, powers, and capacities. Rhetoric focuses upon how writing is done: how to make it as effective as possible so as to persuade or compel its audience. Politics focuses uponwhat writing is designed to persuade or compel its audience to do and why this writing is designed to enable such ends and serve such interests.
 
 

Writing with and about Visual, Audio,

and Audio-Visual Texts


We will engage extensively this semester with texts from visual, audio, and especially audio-visual media, as well as in traditional print form. The reason why I believe it is important that we do so is as follows. Visual, audio, and audio-visual texts (especially audio-visual texts organized around the moving image - i.e. film, television, and video), today exert an extremely powerful impact upon the shape and substance of individuals' lived experience of their relationship to the conditions of their own existence. This impact is as powerful, if not indeed often considerably more powerful, than that exerted by traditional print media. In fact, graphic communications, radio, film, television, video, and "cyberspace" have become principal sites for the production and dissemination, as well as the reproduction and reinforcement, of meanings, values, ideas, ideologies, and of social modes of thinking, understanding, feeling, believing, acting, and interacting, even when presented to us as "sheer entertainment." In sum, critical citizens within today's global capitalist culture must be highly literate in the reading and writing of signs and texts from diverse kinds of different sign systems from diverse forms of different media, and not only from linguistic sign systems and not only from traditional forms of print media.
 
 

'What's This Course Got to Do with English?'


Some of you may wonder "what does this course have to do with English"? That's not surprising, as most people in the United States who have had little or no more than a high school education in English identify teaching and study in English with "grammar plus literature." "Grammar" is the general term people tend to use to refer to all the rules for writing "correctly." "Literature" refers to classic poetry, drama, novels, and short stories.
 

Before redefining English it is important to take a closer look at both of these notions, i.e. of what "grammar" is and of what "literature" is. Grammar is actually only one subfield of linguistics, i.e., the study of language. Besides the study of English grammar, English language linguistics studies all the following dimensions of the English language, and more: English syntax, English semantics, English punctuation and mechanics, English morphology, English phonology, English pragmatics, English stylistics, English rhetoric, English language acquisition, English language variety, English language change, English language as discourse, the history of the English language, the sociology of the English language, the psychology of the English language, the economics of the English language, and the politics of the English language.
 

Turning next to literature, I think it is likewise worthwhile to inform you that literature does not simply include "classic" poetry, drama, novels, and short stories, but all forms of writing, of any kind, that any and all cultures (or subcultures) find to be highly valuable, for whatever reasons; as a result, what people understand to be "literature" varies considerably from place to place and changes considerably from time to time; there are many more texts that can and should be studied as "literature" than the traditional "classics" which are usually identified as equivalent with literature when one studies literature in high school.
 

More importantly, however, English today is not just concerned with the study of the English language and of literature written in English. English today is concerned with the study of the reading and writing of all texts, of all kinds, as this takes place in all cultures and subcultures where English is a dominant, or even just a significant, form of written and spoken language. Any discrete entity that someone can and does interpret as meaningful is a text, not just something that makes use of ordinary (written and spoken) language. Reading occurs whenever anyone interprets a text, of any kind, as possessing or bearing meaning. Writing occurs whenever anyone creates or constructs a text that anyone else can interpret as possessing or bearing meaning. People write and read all of the following, and many more kind of texts, and they do so continuously, everyday, all the time: films, television shows, music and video productions and performances, paintings and drawings, sculpture and architecture, sports, trends in clothing and fashion, commercial advertisements, individual dreams and plans, buildings and rooms, kinds of food and drink, roads and vehicles, ceremonies and rituals, personalities and personal relationships. English, in short, inquires into all of the vast multitude of processes involved in making meaning and engaging with meaning in all of its possible forms and varieties, in all places and at all times that "meaningfulness" occurs within cultures and subcultures where English is a dominant -- or just a significant -- form of written and spoken language.
 

At the college level, students of English can expect to learn about many different ways of expressing and communicating meaning in many different textual forms and varieties, and can expect to study how these texts are the products of particular cultures and subcultures as well as how these texts in turn impact and influence the shape and direction of the many different cultures and subcultures within which they exist. Also at the college level students begin to learn how to look at texts critically, not just appreciatively, and they begin to learn how to be able to explain and account for their critiques (in other words, they learn how to argue for their interpretations and evaluations). The foundation course for the English major at UWEC is English 160, "Introduction to Texts." Most of those who have been hired in recent years (approximately the last eight years) as members of the UWEC English department's faculty specialize in such "non-traditional" areas as critical theory, cinema studies, gay-lesbian-bisexual-transgender and queer studies, postcolonial studies, cultural studies, multicultural studies, women's and feminist studies, African-American Studies, South Asian Studies, Asian-American Studies, Native American Studies, writing for electronic media, transatlantic studies, renaissance studies, new historicism, studies in the history of the body and of various forms of embodiment, and so on. What's more, UWEC is actually somewhat behind in moving in this direction. English Studies has been shifting toward becoming "Text and Culture Studies" for the last twenty-five to thirty years.
 

In addition, the dominant ways in which language and literature are still taught at many, if not most, American high schools, are at least thirty-five to forty years out of date in comparison with where advanced scholarly and creative work in English Studies is taking place today. The English language is usually taught on the basis of a pre-Chomskyan understanding of linguistics that is now almost forty years out of date and this is a conception, moreover, that is actually largely oblivious of the much longer history of powerful alternative approaches in structural (and, subsequently, post-structural) linguistics. Literature in English is usually still taught, at the high school level, on the basis of a combination of moral-formalist, classic humanist, psychobiographical, old historicist, and new critical formalist approaches. The first four of these approaches were pretty much widely viewed as out of date nearly fifty years ago, whereas the latter has been widely viewed as out of date for the past approximately thirty to thirty-five years. One other point is probably worth mentioning as well: the general consensus of English faculty in our department increasingly seems to be that the most important skills UWEC students need to learn in English 110 are analytic, critical, and argumentative skills. This means we seek to teach you how to analyze, critique, and argue about texts of a vast multitude of different kinds and forms from myriad different media.
 
 

The Variety of Writing Practices

and the Place of Standard Written English


Our focus this semester on critical reading and writing does not mean we will neglect "other kinds of writing," as effective critical writing necessarily draws upon and incorporates all of the following subsidiary writing practices: paraphrasing, summarizing, citing and quoting, comparing and contrasting, analyzing and synthesizing, reporting and informing, researching and investigating, reflecting and commenting, imagining and inventing, describing and explaining, revising and editing, and demonstrating and presenting. Moreover, we will also continually address questions of grammar, usage, punctuation, and mechanics over the course of the semester, but in this course you will develop and improve your mastery of the rules and conventions of Standard Written English by learning how and why mastery of these rules and conventions will facilitate and strengthen the effectivity of your arguments on issues of substantial social interest and concern.
 


Conclusion: Teaching Against Fascism


In conclusion, I teach "college writing" as I do because I do not want you, as my students, to leave this course equipped simply, passively, to follow others' instructions in solving others' problems without being able to question, challenge, and critique the ways in which these others have conceived and articulated these instructions, and these problems; I do not want you merely to "fit in" and "take orders" as dupes of the rich, the strong, the elite, and the powerful -- I teach instead in direct opposition to education which is designed to make you into good fascist subjects.
 
 

TEXTS

The following two required texts are available for purchase at the UWEC Bookstore:
 
 

McQuade, Donald and Christine McQuade. Seeing & Writing. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2000.

Trimble, John R. Writing with Style: Conversations on the Art of Writing. Second Edition. Upper Saddle Hall, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 2000.


I will supply you with all photocopied handouts of supplementary readings used in the course. I strongly recommend you buy a minimum of 3" wide, letter-sized (8" X 11") notebook as well as a paperpunch, in which to keep photocopied handouts from the course. This will help you greatly in keeping organized. And keep in mind, we use all recycled and recyclable paper here at UWEC; these handouts make readily available to you, for free, information that you would otherwise have to seek out, and often pay for, on your own; and they demonstrate my commitment to making sure that I provide you with a range of materials to help you learn that could not possibly be found in any single published textbook.

I will also periodically post study guides and other learning materials on my UWEC faculty website - http://people.uwec.edu/ranowlan - as well as, potentially, make some resources available to you at an internet classroom I will create for this course, on the UWEC faculty-student shared computer drive, and via electronic reserve through McIntyre Library. I will announce and explain this in class, as I do it, making sure that everyone  can obtain access.

Finally, I will supply copies of all films screened in class. We will screen these in DVD and VHS formats with large-screen projection and high-fidelity stereo sound reproduction.
 

SCHEDULE

Unit 1

R 9/6. Introduction and Orientation.

M 9/10. Collective Discussion: Seeing and Writing: Initial Framing Perspectives. Writing With Style: Thinking Well.

Read for Class, M 9/10: Seeing and Writing, "Introduction," pp. xxix-lvi, and "Appendix: On the Theory and Practice of Seeing," pp. 511-550; Writing with Style, pp. 3-12.

R 9/13, M 9/17. Collective Discussion: Seeing and Writing: Observing the Ordinary. Writing With Style: Getting Launched.

Read for Class, R 9/13: Seeing and Writing, "Chapter 1: Observing the Ordinary," pp. 2-50.

Read for Class, M 9/17: Seeing and Writing, "Chapter 1: Observing the Ordinary," pp. 51-65; Writing with Style, pp. 13-24.

R 9/20, M 9/24. Collective Discussion: Seeing and Writing: Coming to Terms with Place. Writing With Style: Openers, Middles, Closers.

Read for Class, R 9/20: Seeing and Writing, "Chapter 2: Coming to Terms with Place," pp. 68-120.

Read for Class, M 9/24: Seeing and Writing, "Chapter 2: Coming to Terms with Place," pp. 121-135; Writing with Style, pp. 25-52.

R 9/27, M 10/1, R 10/4. Films and Discussion: The Thin Blue Line, The Interview.

Read for Class, R 10/4: Packets (Full Credits Listing, Plot Summary, Select Reviews, Interviews, and Critiques), The Thin Blue Line and The Interview (To Be Distributed).
 

Unit 2

M 10/8, R 10/11. Collective Discussion: Seeing and Writing: Capturing Memorable Moments. Writing With Style: Diction, Readability.

Read for Class, M 10/8: Seeing and Writing, "Chapter 3, Capturing Memorable Moments," pp. 138-180.

Read for Class, R 10/11: Seeing and Writing, "Chapter 3, Capturing Memorable Moments," pp. 181-193; Writing with Style, pp. 53-81.

***Thursday 10/11: Learning Log #1 Due;

Class Contribution Summary and Evaluation Report #1 Due.***

M 10/15, R 10/18. Collective Discussion: Seeing and Writing: Figuring the Body. Writing with Style: Superstitions, How to Write a Critical Analysis, Revising, Proofreading.

Read for Class, M 10/15: Seeing and Writing, "Chapter 4, Figuring the Body," pp. 196-244.

Read for Class, R 10/18: Seeing and Writing, "Chapter 4, Figuring the Body," pp. 245-255; Writing with Style, pp. 82-101.

M 10/22, R 10/25, M 10/29. Films and Discussion: Urbania, The Sweet Hereafter.

Read for Class, M 10/29: Packets (Full Credits Listing, Plot Summary, Select Reviews, Interviews, and Critiques), Urbania and The Sweet Hereafter (To Be Distributed).
 

Unit 3

R 11/1, M 11/5. Collective Discussion: Seeing and Writing: Engendering Difference. Writing With Style: Punctuation.

Read for Class, R 11/1: Seeing and Writing, "Chapter 5, Engendering Difference," pp. 258-312.

Read for Class, M 11/5: Seeing and Writing, "Chapter 5, Engendering Difference," pp. 313-323; Writing with Style, pp. 105-132.

***M 11/5: Learning Log #2 Due;

Class Contribution Summary and Evaluation Report #2 Due.***

R 11/8, M 11/12. Collective Discussion: Seeing and Writing: Constructing Race. Writing with Style: Quoting, Abbreviations, Tips on Usage.

Read for Class, R 11/8: Seeing and Writing, "Chapter 6, Constructing Race," pp. 326-380.

Read for Class, M 11/12: Seeing and Writing, "Chapter 6, Constructing Race," pp. 381-395; Writing with Style, pp. 133-159.

R 11/15, M 11/19. Film and Discussion: The Battle of Algiers.

Read for Class, M 11/19: Packet (Full Credits Listing, Plot Summary, Select Reviews, Interviews, and Critiques), The Battle of Algiers (To Be Distributed).
 

Unit 4

M 11/26, R 11/29. Collective Discussion: Seeing and Writing: Reading Icons. Writing with Style: Writers Talk Shop.

Read for Class, M 11/26: Seeing and Writing, "Chapter 7, Reading Icons," pp. 398-436.

Read for Class, R 11/29: Seeing and Writing,"Chapter 7, Reading Icons," pp. 437-449; Writing With Style, pp. 165-189.

***R 11/29: Learning Log #3 Due; Class Contribution Summary and Evaluation Report #3 Due.***

M 12/3, R 12/6. Collective Discussion: Seeing and Writing: Writing in the Age of the Image.

Read for Class, M 12/3: Seeing and Writing, "Chapter 8, Writing in the Age of the Image," pp. 452-498.

Read for Class, R 12/6: Seeing and Writing, "Chapter 8, Writing in the Age of the Image," pp. 499-509.

M 12/10, R 12/13. Film and Discussion: Memento.

Read for Class, R 12/13: Packet (Full Credits Listing, Plot Summary, Select Reviews, Interviews, and Critiques), Memento (To Be Distributed).

* M 12/17, 8 to 11 a.m., UWEC English Composition Competency Examination, Room T.B.A. *

** R 12/20: Learning Log #4 Due; Class Contribution Summary and Evaluation Report #4 Due. **


GENERAL EXPECTATIONS OF STUDENTS

While I am providing you an elaborate framework to direct our work together, I firmly believe that the success of any course I teach depends as much -- if not often in fact much more -- on what my students bring and give to the process of learning as what I do. I see college teaching and learning as a collective project and this means its success -- or failure -- depends upon the degree and kind of commitment and the quantity and quality of contribution of everyone involved. Some of the best teachers with whom I have ever worked have insisted that they do not teach their students as much as they teach their students how to teach themselves. Even if this overstates the case, I do think that it is impossible to teach someone who does not want and strive to learn. I will always work equally hard and equally seriously to help students who demonstrate this kind of effort succeed, both within my courses and beyond.

I expect you to work hard in this course and to approach this course with both diligence and enthusiasm. I expect you to become, and to remain, interested in the subject matter of the course as an end in itself and not merely as a means to achieve a grade and five credits. I expect you to be actively engaged in class discussion, in an intellectually serious manner. Some students prefer courses in which teachers simply tell them what is right, what is true, and everything that these students are supposed to do, so that the students need merely repeat all of this back to their teachers to obtain a good grade while not expending much of any intellectual energy or demonstrating virtually any genuine intellectual growth. This is definitely not that kind of course.

Finally, if you experience problems at any point over the course of the semester I expect you to contact me right away and discuss these forthrightly with me; I am ready to do whatever I can to help you if and when you experience problems in this course, or elsewhere, as long as you are candid and sincere, but I can't help if you are not upfront about what's going on and if you don't level with me. I am a compassionate as well as a passionate person, so don't hesitate to talk with me about problems if and when you experience them; we can work past many of these, if you contact me in time and if we work together.
 

SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS FOR THE COURSE GRADE

Introduction
In evaluating all work done for this course, I will take account of how carefully, seriously, intelligently, enthusiastically, and imaginatively students engage with the concepts, issues, positions, and arguments addressed in the course and represented by the films we screen, the texts we read, by me, and by each other.
Attendance
This course cannot contribute effectively to your education if you do not attend class. What happens in class is an indispensable part of this course. I will take note of student attendance and therefore I expect students to adhere to the following attendance policy for this course:
 
  • 1. Students should not exceed a maximum of three unexcused absences.

  •  
  • 2. Students should provide me with written confirmation of a serious, individual or family emergency for any further absences beyond the maximum of three unexcused absences.

  •  
  • 3. Students who miss more than six classes total, for whatever reason, should expect that they are unlikely to pass the course, and therefore should withdraw from the course and enroll again in a subsequent semester.

  •  
  • 4. Students are responsible for finding out and making up whatever you miss if and when you do miss class.

  •  
  • 5. Students are expected to attend office hours with the instructor and the senior student mentor periodically, and will be given credit for doing so on a regular basis.

  •  
  • 6. Students are required to attend a minimum of two out of the three class extracurricular outings and three out of four of the class workshops run by the senior student mentor to take advantage of the opportunity our participation in the first-year experience program provides.
    1. Class Contribution
        What is This and Why is it Important
    If you don't contribute to the work of this class not only will you fail to derive as much gain from it as would be the case if you did contribute, but also you will deprive everyone else of the benefit of your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, values, knowledge, and experience. In fact, to remain passively silent in class exploits the work of others who actively engage.

    Quality of participation is more important than quantity, although a sufficient quantity is indispensable to insure quality. Quality class participation does not, moreover, involve merely asking questions of me and responding to my questions; quality class participation requires you to work as assiduously as you can to advance a serious and substantial discussion with your peers as well as with me about the texts and topics subject to discussion. Students should, therefore, be prepared to engage with and respond to each other in class discussion, and I will take particular note of how well you do so.

        Alternative Forms of Class Contribution
    Class contribution can extend beyond mere speaking in class: it may include a variety of ways in which you can bring to bear your insights to help all of us gain from the experience of this course. If you believe that you can make significant contributions to the success of our class in ways other than by speaking in our class meetings, please arrange to talk with me about this in a conference as early in the semester as possible. I will be glad to support these efforts if they seem potentially productive to me, but I need to know about them and to discuss with you what I think about them in order to endorse them. I certainly understand some people enter college better prepared and more confident speaking in class than others, but I would like to engage with what each one of you is thinking and feeling as we proceed through the semester, so if you tend to be somewhat shy in class, make up for this by coming to talk with me outside of class and by sending me questions and comments over e-mail. Participation in our first-year experience program class workshops and outings will also count as positive class contribution.
        Class Contribution Summary and Evaluation Reports/The Class Contribution Grades
    I will divide your class contribution grade into four parts, corresponding to the four units of the course. At the end of each unit I will ask you to prepare a brief class contribution summary and evaluation report, assessing your contribution to the class throughout the period in question. I will take what you write into account in determining your class contribution grades. I will give you specific instructions on what I would like you to summarize and evaluate, yet in each case I will ask that you also include some thoughts that you did not have the opportunity or did not feel comfortable enough to share in class; these additional reflections will help me get a better sense of what you have been thinking about and how you have been responding to readings, class discussions, and video screenings than would be the case if I only had to rely upon what you wrote in your logs and papers as well as said in class. Each class contribution summary and evaluation report will be due one week after it has been assigned, together with the learning log due at the same time. These reports may be any length you see fit, yet you should try not to write excessively long reports, as these are likely to prove counterproductive, especially if you are overly defensive about your contribution (or lack thereof). The class contribution grade for units one, two, and three will each be worth 7.5% of the overall course grade, and the class contribution grade for unit four will be worth 12.5%, for a combined total of 35%.
      Learning Logs
    In response to the reading for and discussion during each class period I will assign you one or two short writing assignments. Each of these writings will constitute an entry in a learning log. You will put together and turn in four learning logs over the course of the semester.

    These logs are not casual, informal "diaries" or "journals." Each entry should be typed, double-space, on single sides of standard white, letter-sized (8" X 11") typewriter, computer printer, or photographic reproduction paper. Your margins should be standard, your pages numbered, and your name at the top of the first page of the log. You may use any standard font and any print size between 10 and 12 points. You are yourself responsible for stapling the separate pages of your log together before you turn these in to me.

    You should try to write as cleanly, clearly, and precisely as you can in these logs. It will help considerably if you take the time to pre-write before writing a first draft and to revise and edit this draft before including it as an entry in your learning log, although at times, depending upon the specific nature of the assignment, I will ask you to include your prewriting, your rough draft, and your critique of your rough draft along with your revised and edited draft as part of a log entry.

    Please feel free to seek out my help, Chris Chasteen's help, the help of tutors in the Writing Center, and that of fellow students (whose knowledge and writing ability you respect and trust) as you are working on these logs. This can only benefit you, and, in fact, is likely to do so considerably. For instance, those English 110 students who regularly consult me in the course of working on the writing assignments almost always progress much faster, learn much more, and do much better than those who don't. Take advantage of this opportunity, and remember, seeking out my help and Chris' help is definitely a great way to enhance your contribution to the class.

    Log #1 will be worth 7.5% of the overall course grade, log #2 10%, log #3 12.5%, and log #4 15%, for a total of 45%.
     

    ***** IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT THAT YOU WORK ON WRITING YOUR LOG ENTRIES AS THEY ARE ASSIGNED, AND NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MOMENT TO TRY TO WRITE THEM ALL; YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO WRITE THEM AT ALL EFFECTIVELY UNLESS YOU WORK ON THEM OVER THE COURSE OF EACH UNIT AND NOT JUST AT THE END. *****

      Papers
    After reading your first three learning logs I will ask you to select a topic based upon what you addressed in one or more log entries to expand and develop into a short paper. You should feel free to let me know what you would like to write about in these papers and to discuss this with me. The papers should adhere to the same format as required of the log entries, yet will likely turn out to be somewhat longer. They should also demonstrate the benefits of further revision. As we discuss this in class, you will also be asked to cite and document your sources used in these papers according to MLA (Modern Language Association) standards. Paper #1 will be worth 7.5% of the overall course grade, paper #2 will be worth 10%, and paper #3 12.5%, for a total of 30%.
      Extra Credit
    You should note well that the combined total % of the requirements for the course grade listed above is 110%, giving you the opportunity for up to 10% extra credit to begin with, as long as you complete all of the required work on time and in a  satisfactory fashion. In addition, you may select one entry from logs 1, 2, and 3 to revise for extra credit after I return these logs to you with comments and a grade. Together with your extra credit revision of the log entry, you should write and turn in a report describing everything you changed and explaining why you have made all the changes you have. These extra credit revisions will each be worth 5% of the overall course grade. In sum, therefore, you may earn up to 25% extra credit in this course.
      Late Work
    Written assignments should be completed and turned in on time except for exceptional, and especially emergency, circumstances. Please arrange to meet and talk with me outside of class if and when you need extra time to complete assignments. You will suffer a grade reduction for turning in late work without taking the time to explain to me what exceptional, or emergency, circumstance has prevented you from completing your work on time. Keep in mind: turning in late work makes it harder for me, and can be unfair to classmates who do their work on time.

    Students with documented disabilities maintain the right, according to law, to extra assistance and accommodation, including potentially extended deadlines for completing written work, as needed, to give these students equal opportunity to learn and contribute. I will be glad to work with you in making appropriate arrangements should this apply to you.

      Plagiarism and Academic Honesty
    The kinds of assignments you will write in this class will make it quite hard to plagiarize. However, you should keep in mind that UWEC treats plagiarism as a serious offense, and those found guilty of it will face a penalty that may reach as far as expulsion from the University. What's more, plagiarism is unethical - it exploits the work of others - and it is foolish - as it means you are not taking the time and expending the effort yourself to learn.

    THE UWEC ENGLISH COMPOSITION COMPETENCY EXAMINATION

    The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire maintains two requirements in English composition for obtaining the bachelor's degree. The first is that students pass English 110 or the equivalent; the second is that students pass an independent, standard competency examination with a grade of at least a C. Students should note well that the existence of this requirement at UWEC means that you may pass English 110, and yet, if you fail to pass the English Composition Competency Examination, you will still not complete the University requirement in English composition necessary for graduation. The competency examination requires you to write a single essay in response to a short series of readings and a prompt distributed on the last day of class. The best possible training to do well on this examination is exactly the kind we will be pursuing this semester; if you do well in this class this semester and approach the competency exam seriously you should have no problem passing it. I will be responsible for reading and grading your competency examinations. This semester the English Composition Competency Examination, for all sections of English 110 and 112, will be held on M 12/17 from 8 to 11 a.m.; further details, including the room in which our section will meet for this exam, will be announced later this semester.

    FIRST-YEAR EXPERIENCE PROGRAM ACTIVITIES

    This section of English 110: Introduction to College Writing is one of a large number of first-year experience program courses taught across the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. The goals of these courses are as follows:

    1. (1.) To introduce students to liberal education and to awaken intellectual curiosity.
    2. (2.) To enhance skills needed for academic success: reading, writing, speaking, listening, thinking, inquiry, analysis, use of information technology, library skills, and time management.
    3. (3.) To strengthen students' connection to the University.
    4. (4.) To engage students in meaningful academic and non-academic out-of-class activities.
    5. (5.).To enhance students' accountability for their education.
    In order to assist us in meeting these goals, first-year experience program courses are limited in enrollment to a relatively much lower maximum number of students than you will encounter in most, if not all, of the other courses in which you will enroll over the course of your first year at this university. This relatively smaller class size will enable more extensive and inclusive discussion in class as well as greater opportunity for me to work with you individually and in small groups outside of class.

    At the same time as maximum enrollment is limited to a relatively low number of students, all first-year experience program courses also have senior student mentors who work with course instructors to help you make a successful transition to the life of a student at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. In this section of English 110, your senior student mentor is Chris Chasteen. He will work together with me to help you on diverse matters of curricular and extracurricular interest and concern, and he will be responsible, in consultation with me, for organizing a series of extracurricular class outings and workshops for us to participate in as a class. Further details concerning these activities will be forthcoming as the semester proceeds. Chris will also hold regular weekly office hours at times and places where it will prove convenient to meet with you; these will be determined after surveying your schedules early this semester. You are required to attend a minimum of five extracurricular activities and events as part of your participation within this first-year experience program class. Students who do not do so will suffer a full letter-grade debit as a result.

    THE PORTFOLIO PROJECT AND THE GOALS OF THE BACCALAUREATE

    Finally, another purpose of FYE courses here at UWEC is to introduce you to the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire portfolio project. Details will be explained in class, yet at this point you should know that the university administration asks you to keep a portfolio of select papers and/or projects you complete while at UWEC. You will turn these in before you graduate to the University's portfolio assessment committee who will review students' portfolios to assess how well we are doing in providing you with a liberal arts education.
     

    This university is, as many of you know, a liberal arts institution; education in the liberal arts (and sciences) represents the historic and central commitment of what we do together on this UW campus - not vocational training and pre-professional development. The university administration and faculty support this commitment so strongly that they have asked that all syllabi elaborate the official goals of the baccalaureate, as well as identify which ones the course in question will help you achieve. According to the UWEC administration, the baccalaureate degree shall work to develop the following for UWEC students:

       
      1. an understanding of a liberal education.

      2. an appreciation of the University as a learning community.

      3. an ability to inquire, think, analyze.

      4. an ability to write, read, speak, listen.

      5.  an understanding of numerical data.

      6.  a historical consciousness.

      7.  international and intercultural experience.

      8.  an understanding of science and scientific methods.

      9.  an appreciation of the arts.

      10. an understanding of values.

      11. an understanding of human behavior and human institutions.

         
    UWEC strives to help you meet these objectives in the course of the "higher education" you pursue here. Please note that in making these our foremost aims, we at UWEC clearly distinguish ourselves from technical colleges as well as from all other UW schools, especially places like Stout and River Falls. This section of English 110, Introduction to College Writing will  help you meet goals 1-4, 6, and 9-11.

    CONFERENCES/EXTRA HELP

    I encourage students to meet with me in conference during office hours or at another mutually convenient time to discuss any issue of interest or concern. Please do not hesitate to drop by during office hours or to ask for an appointment at any time you think this might be helpful; I regard making myself available for conferences with you to be my responsibility as your teacher. Furthermore, I always welcome getting to know and working with my students outside as well as inside of class. I recognize that learning which takes place in conferences can at times be equally as important, and in fact occasionally even more important, than what takes place in class. I am ready to do whatever I can in conference to help you in your understanding of issues addressed in presentations, discussions, and required readings and screenings, as well as to help you in your writing for and participation in this course. You may also feel free to write me via e-mail, and to call me -- or leave a message for me on the answering machine -- at my office. I enjoy meeting and working with students outside as well as inside of class; I really do. I would rather talk with you during my office hours than do anything else, so please do not worry about "disturbing" me in coming to talk with me; my office hours are time that I have set aside to meet, talk, and work with you. PLEASE DO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS OPPORTUNITY! And, remember, once again, taking the time to meet and talk with me periodically in conference is a great way to contribute to the class. Likewise, please keep in mind that Chris Chasteen is joining this class as a senior student mentor to help you; seek him out and take advantage of his assistance. Finally, the Writing Center, located in HHH 385 (the program assistant's office is HHH 352, phone 836-4621) provides free peer tutoring for students enrolled in English 110 and 112. Further details concerning the availability of tutoring assistance will be announced in class early this semester.

    CONCLUSION

    I strive to be as responsible and as accountable to my students as possible. I believe it is crucial that students become aware of the ideas and the values which shape and direct their education, and I believe students should expect that all of their teachers will be prepared to explain why they teach as they do. Please, therefore, take the time, as early as you can this semester, to read through and think carefully about my "Statement of Teaching Philosophy" that I have posted on this, my UWEC faculty website . This statement explains WHY I teach as I do. I think It is extremely important that you know and understand where your teachers are coming from in teaching you as they do. You will find me one who trusts you sufficiently always to be frank and honest about this with you.
     
     

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    Professor Bob Nowlan

    Last Updated September 21, 2001