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.
CHRIS CHASTEEN, Senior Student Mentor
Contact Information and Office Hours
To Be Announced.
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
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.
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).
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),
Sweet Hereafter (To Be Distributed).
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).
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
IntroductionIn 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.
AttendanceThis 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:
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.
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. *****
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.
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:
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:
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.
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.
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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