ENGLISH 110: INTRODUCTION TO COLLEGE WRITING

    Section 033: MW, 5 to 7:15 p.m., HHH 226

    Spring 2008, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire        

                        
    PROFESSOR BOB NOWLAN

    Office: HHH 425, (715) 836-4369
   ranowlan@uwec.edu
    http://people.uwec.edu/ranowlan

    Office Hours:  T 2:40-4:30 pm, T 9:50-10:30 pm,
    W 3-4 pm, and By Appointment


    JENNA KENNEDY,
    ACADEMIC APPRENTICE
    kennedja@uwec.edu



    COURSE FOCUSES


1.    The process of writing–generating ideas, planning, drafting, developing, revising, editing and proofreading.  

2.    Autobiographical writing.

3.    Introduction to critical and argumentative thinking, reading, writing, and speaking.  Finding and integrating sources to produce effective arguments.  

4.    Introduction to creative–and especially dramatic–writing, production, and performance.

5.    Thinking, reading, writing, and speaking insightfully about visual culture texts, and, especially, about graphic novels.
                    

6.   Working effectively in collaboration with peers on critical and creative projects involving reading, research, writing, discussing, debating, arguing, critiquing, producing, presenting, and performing.    
                

    TEXTS
                            

    The following required texts are available for purchase at the UWEC Bookstore in Davies Center:

1.    Kennedy, X.J., Dorothy M. Kennedy, and Marcia F. Muth.  Writing and Revising: a Portable Guide.   Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2007.  ISBN#: 0-312-45458-9.

2.    Moore, Alan and Dave Gibbons.  1986-1987.  Watchmen.   New York: DC Comics, 1995.  ISBN#: 0-930-28923-4.

3.    Auster, Paul, Paul Karasik, and David Mazzucchelli. 1985, 1994. Graphic Novel Edition.  City of Glass: the Graphic Novel.  New York: Picador, 2004.  ISBN#: 0-313-42360-8.

4.    Lutes, Jason.  1994, 1997, 2001.  New Drawn and Quarterly Edition.  Jar of Fools: a Picture Story.  Montreal: Drawn and Quarterly, 2003.  ISBN#: 1-896597-72-6.


    SCHEDULE


    *** Please note well: all reading assignments indicated in the schedule below are due AHEAD of the class meetings in which we will discuss these readings.  You are responsible for bringing the course book or books to class on the days in which we will be discussing readings from this book or these books.  Failure to do so will negatively affect your learning and contribution grade.  Students who consistently fail to bring their books to class, or who fail to come prepared to discuss the assigned readings, will suffer the loss of one full letter grade per each half of the semester. ***

Key: WR=Writing and Revising; W=Watchmen; CG=City of Glass; and JF=Jar of Fools.

1/23: Introduction and Orientation Part One.

1/28: Introduction and Orientation Part Two; Initial In-Class Writing (Autobiographical Essay) Assignment.
                            
1/30: An Introduction to and Overview of the Writing Process; Initial Work on Peer Review and Critique of Autobiographical Essays.

    Read for Class: WR, Chapter 1, 1-10.

2/4: Strategies for Generating Ideas; Practice and Application in Ongoing Writing–as well as Peer Review and Critique–of Autobiographical Essays.

    Read for Class: WR, Chapter 4, 41-59.

2/6: Strategies for Planning; Practice and Application in Ongoing Writing–as well as Peer Review and Critique–of Autobiographical Essays.

    Read for Class: WR, Chapter 5, 60-82.

2/11: Strategies for Drafting; Practice and Application in Ongoing Writing–as well as Peer Review and Critique–of Autobiographical Essays.

    Read for Class: WR, Chapter 6, 83-100.

2/13: Strategies for Developing; Practice and Application in Ongoing Writing–as well as Peer Review and Critique–of Autobiographical Essays.

    Read for Class: WR, Chapter 7, 101-136.

2/18: Strategies for Revising; Practice and Application in Ongoing Writing–as well as Peer Review and Critique–of Autobiographical Essays.

    Read for Class: WR, Chapter 8, 137-154.

2/20: Strategies for Editing and Proofreading; Practice and Application in Ongoing Writing–as well as Peer Review and Critique–of Autobiographical Essays.
 
    Read for Class: WR, Chapter 9, 155-189.   

    * First Learning and Contribution Reflection Paper Assigned *

** Friday, February 22: Finished Version of Autobiographical Essay Due, by 5 pm, either in my English Department mailbox, HHH 405, or as an e-mail attachment (but not in Microsoft Works, Microsoft Publisher, or Word for Windows docx formats). **

2/25: Student Group Presentations and Discussion, Watchmen.

    Read for Class: W, Chapters 1-3 (Through the End of the Section Titled “Under the Hood).

2/27: Student Group Presentations and Discussion, Watchmen.

    Read for Class: W, Chapters 4-6 (Through the End of the Section Including a Police Report as well as a New York State Psychiatric Hospital Report on Walter Kovacs along with sections from Walter Kovacs’ writings while in Charlton Home and from a doctor evaluating him at that time).

* Friday, February 29: First Learning and Contribution Reflection Paper Due, by 5 pm, either in my English Department mailbox, HHH 405, or as an e-mail attachment (but not in Microsoft Works, Microsoft Publisher, or Word for Windows docx formats). *

3/3:  Student Group Presentations and Discussion, Watchmen.

    Read for Class: W, Chapters 7-9 (Through the End of the Section Including an Article  from the Daily World, “Villains Vie for Voluptuous Vigilante,” a handwritten letter on personal letterhead from King Taylor to Sal and Larry, a letter from Captain Metropolis to Miss Jupiter, a letter from Larry to Sally, a capsule ‘Screen Review’ of Silk Swingers of Suburbia, and a “Probe Profile” interview with Sally Jupiter).

3/5:  Student Group Presentations and Discussion, Watchmen.

    Read for Class: W, Chapters 10-12 (Through the End of the Book).

3/10: Strategies for Arguing.

    Read for Class: WR, Chapter 10, 190-203.

3/12: Strategies for Finding and Integrating Sources to Support Arguments.

    Read for Class: WR, Chapter 11, 204-218.

3/24, 3/26, and 3/31: Work in Debate Teams (Pro, Con, and Judges) to Prepare for Class Debate.

4/2: Class Debate.  

    * Second Learning and Contribution Reflection Paper Assigned *

4/7: Student Group Presentations and Discussion, City of Glass.

    Read for Class: CG, 1-71.

4/9: Student Group Presentations and Discussion, City of Glass.

    Read for Class: CG, 72-138.

* Friday, April 11: Second Learning and Contribution Reflection Paper Due, by 5 pm, either in my English Department mailbox, HHH 405, or as an e-mail attachment (but not in Microsoft Works, Microsoft Publisher, or Word for Windows docx formats). *

4/14: Student Group Presentations and Discussion, Jar of Fools.

    Read for Class, JF, Part One, 1-70.

4/16: Student Group Presentations and Discussion,  Jar of Fools.

    Read for Class, JF, Part Two, 71-142.

4/21, 4/23, 4/28, and 4/30: Work in Groups to Prepare (Write and Produce) Short Plays.

    * Monday, April 28: Third Learning and Contribution Reflection Paper Assigned. *

5/5, 5/7: Presentations (Performances) of Short Plays Prepared by Each Group Over the Course of the Preceding Two Weeks.

* Monday May 12: Third Learning and Contribution Reflection Paper Due, by 5 pm, either in my English Department mailbox, HHH 405, or as an e-mail attachment (but not in Microsoft Works, Microsoft Publisher, or Word for Windows docx formats). *


    *** THIS SCHEDULE IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE ***


    THE GOALS OF THE UWEC BACCALAUREATE

    Education in the liberal arts 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 include the official goals of the baccalaureate, which all our courses aim to help you achieve.  Here they are (in their newly revised, updated, and streamlined form):

1.    Knowledge of Human Culture and the Natural World

2.    Creative and Critical Thinking

3.    Effective Communication

4.    Individual and Social Responsibility

5.    Respect for Diversity Among People

These goals require your striving to meet them.  Striving means learning actively, completing assignments in a thorough and timely fashion, participating in class discussion, and making connections between what we do while meeting in class and what you do when engaged outside of the classroom.


ON INTELLECTUAL CHALLENGES, ACADEMIC FREEDOM, AND CURRICULAR INTEGRITY

    The English Department would like to call your attention right away to one key difference between high school and college.  In short, at this institutional level we will consistently address and treat you as adults, not children.  Our aim as such is to provide you with an intellectually challenging education.  This means we will at times include texts and introduce topics in our courses that may well run sharply counter to your preconceived understanding, based upon high school experience, of what is and is not “appropriate” for direct engagement in class.  We will, in short, candidly explore adult texts and topics, including ones offering representations that may, on occasion, prove unsettling, disturbing, and even offensive to some of you.  


    The higher educational academy is not a “safe space” separate from the rest of the “real world” where you can expect to be sheltered from encountering anything you might find disagreeable or objectionable.  On the contrary, we expect you to take up the challenge to confront these kinds of texts and topics in a mature, responsible way, and that means bringing directly to bear your negative reactions-including any reactions of shock, dismay, and discontent-into class discussions and into your writings and presentations for class.  If you find a position or practice represented by a text or topic included in the assigned readings for class to be objectionable, it is therefore of crucial importance that you raise your objections openly and honestly, not simply claim personal exemption from having to talk, read, and write about these kinds of matters.  After all, disturbing positions and practices exist extensively outside of the classroom as well as in what we read, and otherwise confront in and for class; what we confront in class exists in this institutional space as symptomatic of positions and practices that operate beyond the confines of the classroom, the course, and the university.  If and when you find any  text or topic genuinely appalling, you maintain the ethical responsibility, as a mature adult and as a responsible citizen, not simply to try to hide from these positions and practices but rather to work to critique and change them.  


    Students should expect therefore that you may well on occasion encounter representations that you will find troubling, in this UWEC course and in many others as well; within this Department you will receive no right of exemption from engaging with these and absolutely no welcome for simply complaining (especially to a higher administrative authority) about their inclusion.  Instead you should bring your objections forthrightly to bear in your contributions to class discussion.  


    Finally, to conclude this particular point of discussion, a professor differs from a high school teacher in many respects, but one key difference is that we maintain a principal professional, ethical responsibility forthrightly to represent the most advanced knowledges in our fields of expertise and to proceed from there to work toward their further development and dissemination.   In short, we must create, advocate for, and profess these knowledges; you should expect that your professors may from time to time take strong and indeed controversial positions on difficult and challenging issues, eschewing the pretense of disinterested neutrality.  To do anything less than assume this responsibility, and to do so with alacrity, would be to shirk our professorial responsibility and to render ourselves unworthy of maintaining our professorial positions.


    CONFERENCES/EXTRA HELP


    I encourage you to meet with me in conference during office hours or at another mutually convenient time to discuss any issue of interest or concern related to what we are doing in this course.  Learning that takes place in conferences can at times be equally as important, and in fact occasionally even more important, than what takes place in class.  Please do not hesitate to meet with me 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 outside of class to be an indispensable part of my responsibility as your teacher.   Moreover, I always sincerely do welcome getting to know and work with my students outside as well as inside of class.  I am ready to do whatever I can to help you in your understanding of issues addressed in discussions and readings, as well as to help you in your writing for and participation in this course.  I want to make sure that I do all that I can to help you succeed in this course and I want to help you, as far as I can, to gain as much out of it as possible through your participation in and work for it.   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!

 
    Also, Jenna Kennedy has joined this class as an academic apprentice–a senior student mentor– because she wants to work with and help you.  Jenna will be helping me conducting class sessions, and she will also hold regular office hours and be readily accessible to assist you outside of class.             


* Any student who has a disability and is in need of classroom accommodations, please contact the instructor and the Services for Students with Disabilities Office. *


    THE WRITING CENTER


    The Writing Center provides free tutoring–provided by advanced, trained, UWEC undergraduate and graduate students–to help you with your writing for this and other UWEC courses.  For more information about this assistance, see the Writing Center webpage:

http://www.uwec.edu/english/Resources/writingctr.htm


    ORGANIZATION AND CONDUCT OF CLASS SESSIONS


    Class will proceed according to a variety of discussion formats.   I will, from time to time, make short, relatively informal presentations (and even perhaps somewhat longer and less informal ones on rare occasion, as need be).  Yet, for the overwhelmingly majority of class time, I plan directly to involve you in actively participating as part of the work of educating both yourself and the rest of the class through what you have to say as well as share with us in written form.  You need to work with me in learning; students always learn better, in this kind of class, through active participation and collaboration rather than by remaining quiet and merely taking notes during the course of long lectures.  Many times you will be working in groups in class, and many times you will be sharing your writing with the rest of the class, both as prepared before class meets, and as prepared during class time itself.   At other points, you will be asked to do some research and bring the results of this research to help with the work we will be doing together.  You will also be working outside of as well as inside of class in groups to prepare for presentations on Watchmen, City of Glass, and Jar of Fools, for the class debate, and, for your work together in writing, producing, and presenting a short play. Throughout this process, and in all of these projects and discussion formats, I will help you in every way I possibly can.  I  want you to succeed.
                        

    I will maintain ultimate responsibility, authority, and control for the direction of our class discussions, assisted by Jenna, yet I aim to insure that we hear extensively from everyone else.  We will seek to enhance and develop your own preexisting strengths as writers, readers, thinkers, speakers, listeners, and doers–and we will seek to help you in teaching and learning from each other as well as from yourself.


    GENERAL EXPECTATIONS OF STUDENTS


    While I am providing you a 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 collaborative project and this means its success–or failure–depends upon the degree and kind of commitment as well as 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.  It is impossible to teach someone who does not sincerely want and who does not assiduously 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 approach this course as one that you sincerely want to take, and in which you sincerely want to learn.  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 passing grade and five credits.  A liberal arts undergraduate education means giving priority emphasis to a broad–general–education, not giving priority emphasis to a narrow–major–area of specialization.  You will do well at UWEC if you keep this in mind: this university values general education courses as much as, if not in fact more than, specialized courses within specific major fields.


    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, and if you approach your work in and for this section of English 110 as a passive learner you will do very poorly.


    I also expect that you will recognize that this is a university, not a high school, class.  At all times you need to engage as a mature adult, not as an immature child.  I maintain zero tolerance for immature–and especially disruptive–behavior.  You must treat me, Jenna, your classmates, your self, and this class with genuine respect–at all times.  Anyone who doesn’t do so on a consistent basis will suffer a serious grade penalty, making it difficult to pass the course, and, as need be, will also be asked to withdraw from the class.  


    If you experience problems at any point over the course of the semester I expect you to contact me right away to 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.  Likewise, please do seek out assistance from Jenna as well if you should experience problems; Jenna is prepared to help and committed to doing so.


    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 texts we read, by me, by Jenna, and by each other.

    Attendance

    This course cannot contribute effectively to students' learning if students do not attend class.   What happens in class is an indispensable part of this course.  Therefore, the following attendance policy will apply for students enrolled in this section of English 110:

1.)    Students who exceed a maximum of two unexcused absences will suffer a penalty of a loss of one full letter grade for each additional unexcused absence.

2.)    Students should provide me with written confirmation of a debilitating injury or illness, or of any other serious individual or family emergency, for the excusing of any further absences beyond the maximum of two unexcused absences.
                                
3.)    In addition to the maximum of two unexcused absences, students may miss a maximum of three excused absences without suffering a grade penalty.  Six total absences will result in a loss of  two full letter grades.  Students who miss more than six classes total should withdraw from the course and enroll again in a subsequent semester; otherwise they will receive a grade of F.

* Students are expected to arrive for class on time and to stay through the very end of class.  If you don’t do so, you won’t be counted as attending class.  In addition, you need to be awake, alert, and attentive while in class; this means you can’t expect to sleep or rest in class.  Again, if you do so, this will count as an absence from class.  And the same is true of doing other school work in class or attending to other–personal– matters irrelevant to the focus of what we are about in this course (e.g., text-messaging, or web-searching, facebook, or youtube [if you regularly bring a laptop computer to your classes].). *

** In addition, IT IS VERY IMPORTANT IN THIS CLASS THAT YOU COME TO CLASS HAVING DONE THE READING REQUIRED OF YOU PRIOR TO CLASS.  The quality of your own learning, and that of the rest of your classmates depends upon you taking this seriously and carrying it out conscientiously. **
                    

    Autobiographical Essay

    Students will begin work on this essay in response to an assignment for an in-class writing exercise you will engage with at our second class meeting.  You will then work to develop and revise this essay over the course of the next four weeks.  In doing so, you will apply concepts and practices from your readings in and our discussions of chapters from Writing and Revising.  You will have the opportunity to work on this assignment both during our class meetings (in class) as well as outside of class.  Throughout this period of time you will be working frequently in peer groups to assist each other as you develop and revise your respective essays.   Jenna and I will assist and supervise the process of peer review and critique.  We will also be available outside of class to help you work on writing your autobiographical essay.  I will give you more details with the initial assignment as well as throughout the process of your working on writing this essay.  Your grade for your autobiographical essay–in finished form–will be worth 15% of the overall course grade.


    Group Presentations–Readings from Watchmen, City of Glass, and Jar of Fools

    As we read and discuss Watchmen, City of Glass, and Jar of Fools you will be responsible, as part of a group of your classmates, for making short presentations in relation to particular sections of these books to help initiate, generate, and focus our discussion.  I will give you instructions on what to prepare to present when I give you the specific assignment, and I will also ask to meet with you in a group conference prior to your presentation so we can discuss what you will present ahead of the actual presentation–so I can assist you in making this as useful and effective as possible.  Each student will participate in two of these presentation groups–one for a section of Watchmen and one for a section of either City of Glass or Jar of Fools.  Each presentation will be worth 5% of the overall course grade, for a combined total worth 10% of the overall course grade.  I will give you individual grades for your work on these assignments, although the grades may well turn out to be the same for all group members, depending on how well you work together and how equitably you each contribute to the overall effectiveness of the presentation.  All students should be prepared to discuss each section of Watchmen, City of Glass, and Jar of Fools, as it comes up for discussion in class–not just on the days you will be making a presentation.  Students who are not prepared to engage with their peers’ presentations on sections from these graphic novels as we discuss them in class will suffer a significant grade penalty each time that this occurs.
    
    
    Class Debate

    On this assignment you will work in teams to prepare for, and then actually debate a significant and controversial issue connected with–sparked by–our reading and discussion of Watchmen.  Here you will also make use of lessons learned from our immediately prior week’s discussion focused on strategies for arguing and on strategies for finding and  integrating sources to support effective arguments (chapters 10-11 in Writing and Revising).   The class will divide into three teams–one pro (arguing for the proposition), one con (arguing against the proposition), and judges (responsible for researching and thinking through the best possible arguments for both sides, as well as preparing criteria for evaluating the pro and con sides, as they prepare and perform, and, finally, for judging the debate all the way through–including determining a winner).   The proposition will be included in the specific assignment for the class debate.  This assignment will also provide considerably greater and more precise detail on exactly what you should do in preparing–as well as on exactly how the debate itself will run.  You will have three whole class periods to work to prepare for the debate, while the debate itself will take place over an additional entire class period.  Your teams will also need to do further work preparing for the debate outside of class.  Preparation for the debate will include research as well as critical analysis, synthesis, and judgment, the building of a logical case with strong rational appeal, the supporting of this case with effective ethical and emotional appeal, and the effective anticipation and refutation of opposing points.  Your grade for your preparation and performance with the class debate assignment will be worth 15% of the overall course grade.  Students will be graded individually even as you will be working as part of a team, and you will have the opportunity to evaluate yourself and each other member of your team to help determine these grades.  The grades may turn out to be the same or similar, depending on how effectively you work together as a team and on how equitably you each contribute, both in preparation and performance.   Jenna and I will be working extensively to assist you throughout the entire process of preparation and will moderate the actual debate itself.
         

Group Project–Preparation and Presentation (Writing, Production, and Performance) of a Short Play


    Over the course of the last three weeks of the semester you will be working to prepare and present a short play as part of a group of classmates.  You will be responsible for writing, producing, and ultimately performing the play (in class, for the rest of the class).  The play will be based upon–and inspired by–your readings and our discussions of City of Glass and Jar of Fools.  You will be extrapolating ideas from both of these books, combining them, and adding your own to the mix.  You will be drawing on elements of content, form, and style from both of these graphic novels.  I will give you precise instructions and detailed assistance on how to proceed in this work with the specific assignment for this project.  You will have four class periods to work in writing, producing, and preparing to stage and perform your short play; you will also be expected to work to prepare for the presentation of your play outside as well as inside of class.  During our last two class meetings of the semester, groups will present their plays in class.   Throughout the process of preparing your plays, Jenna and I will work extensively to assist you.  Your grade for your preparation and performance with this assignment will be worth 15% of the overall course grade.  Students will be graded individually even as you will be working as part of a group, and you will have the opportunity to evaluate yourself and each other member of your group to help determine these grades.  The grades may turn out to be the same or similar, depending on how effectively you work together as a group and on how equitably you each contribute, both in preparation and performance.


Learning and Contribution Reflection Papers


    My foremost aim in teaching this course is to help you to learn something of significance and value.  I will judge you to a significant degree on what you learn, how–and how hard–you strive to learn, and on how–along with how well–you contribute to the learning for the rest of the class.


    You cannot learn or help others learn if you do not contribute.  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.


    Class participation represents an important opportunity to learn, not just a place in which to demonstrate what you have learned.  By raising questions, testing and trying out ideas, taking risks and making mistakes, you learn a great deal–and help others learn a great deal as well.  You learn through talking, not just talk to show what you have learned.  Don't hesitate to speak forth in class if you have anything at all to throw into the mix.  At the same time, just talking a great deal does not necessarily mean that you are making a quality contribution to the class by aiding the learning that we aim to accomplish.  Quality of participation is much more important than quantity, although a sufficient quantity is indispensable to insure quality.  Still, I want to emphasize here that I perceive talking which pulls us off on far-fetched tangents, which remains disconnected from and disengaged with the reading and the rest of the class, or which effectively silences others, to be negative participation.  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 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.


    Contribution to the class certainly can extend far beyond mere speaking in class: it may include a variety of ways in which you can bring to bear your insights to help yourself as well as the rest of us gain from the experience of this course.   Excellent  writings for and in response to class can help make up for any limitations as far as participation in class goes.   At the same time, listening carefully, respectfully, and thoughtfully in class discussions is yet another important means of contribution.


    Learning and contribution will constitute a significant proportion of your overall course grade.   As part of this grade, you will write three learning and contribution reflection papers.  For these papers I will ask you to reflect on what you have been learning as a student enrolled in this course, and to assess how, along with how well, you have been contributing to your own learning, and to that of others in the class.


    As I see it, these papers provide you a useful opportunity to communicate with me how you believe you are doing with the course, as well as why so, and to demonstrate your critical self-reflexivity, the hallmark of a liberal arts education.  As you are assessing your own learning and contribution, you may include thoughts in reaction to issues raised in class discussion 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 class discussions, as well as to the readings.  I will take into account what you write in determining your learning and contribution grade for the preceding semester period; performance on these papers represents a vital component of your learning and contribution grade.


    I  will provide you specific directions in the assignments I give you for each of these papers; please note well that the questions you address will change with each reflection paper.  Each learning and contribution grade (for which each learning and contribution reflection paper constitutes a substantial component) will be worth 15% of the overall course grade, for a combined total worth 45% of the overall course grade.


    Late Papers

    Late papers will lose 1/3 of a letter grade per day late unless you have made arrangements ahead of the time with me to turn in these papers late due to a serious personal or family problem.

                            
    Plagiarism and Academic Honesty

    Plagiarism, cheating, and other forms of academic dishonesty are serious offenses.  They not only undermine the goal of learning but also are exploitative of the work of others.  Dishonesty in written work as part of this course will result in a failing grade.  In addition, dishonesty may result in further disciplinary action on the part of the University administration; dishonesty can ultimately lead to expulsion from the University.  Also, if you directly echo someone else’s thoughts as articulated in the course of class discussion you should add the last name, followed by the letters CD (for class discussion), followed by the date, in a parenthetical citation right after the end of the sentence, viz: (Nowlan, CD, 9/17/07).


    CONCLUSION

    In the interest of accountability–me to you–I am here providing you links: 1.) to my statement of philosophy as a college teacher: http://people.uwec.edu/ranowlan/philosophy.htm; 2.) to my autobiographical profile: http://people.uwec.edu/ranowlan/PROFILE_.htm and http://www.myspace.com/insurgentseanmurphy (if you too are on myspace feel free to contact me to become myspace friends); and 3.) to my professional vita (the academic equivalent of a resume): http://people.uwec.edu/ranowlan/VITA.htm.  I encourage you to check these sites out; it is useful for you to know who your teacher is, what he’s about, and where he’s coming from–and I like to be very open, honest, and forthright with you about all of that.  I look forward to a great semester working together with you!