Follow this link to access course schedule
Follow this link to access course assignments
by John Frow
|A Church, a School: Pulitzer Prize-Winning Civil Rights Editorials from the Atlanta Constitution
by Ralph McGill
|Stories of Change: Narrative and Social Movements
by Joseph E. Davis
|Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza, Fourth Edition
by Gloria Anzaldua
|Genre of Power: Police Report Writers and Readers in the Justice System
by Leslie Seawright
To pass this course you must complete all the major assignments, fulfill all the weekly assignments, and submit all the writing assignments on time. You are expected to attend all class meetings and to participate in draft workshops, in-class exercises, and classroom discussions. All proposals, drafts, papers, and final revisions must be handed in on time; failure to turn in a proposal on time, or to appear at a draft workshop without a draft is equivalent to turning in an assignment late (i.e., normally a penalty of one grade per late day).
Bibliography 10 pts
Assignment 1- Profile of a Social Movement or Issue 15 pts
Assignment 2- Genre Analysis 15 pts
Assignment 3- Analysis of Rhetorical Artifact 20 pts
Assignment 4- Complete Couse Research Paper 20 pts
Participation/Class Citizenship 20 pts
(Participation includes attendance, discussion, in-class writing, reading responses and presentations)
Your success, and the success of this course, depends on your active participation; therefore, your regular attendance is required. Excused absences are certainly appropriate. Of course, you should communicate with me about your absences as much as possible. Be aware, though, that excessive absences may lead to a lower grade or a failing grade. You run that risk if you exceed two unexcused absences. If you miss a class, it is your responsibility to get the assignments, class notes, and course changes from a classmate. In addition, if you miss class on a day that written work is due, make arrangements to send that work along with a classmate. In-class work cannot be made up.
There will be at least two mandatory conferences. Also, I am happy to meet with you in advance of a deadline to offer advice. You can come to my office hours or schedule an appointment with me. Please keep in mind that my job is not to proofread or edit entire essays. When you come to a meeting with me, you should have some specific questions or concerns to discuss.
Our peer review sessions will happen in designated class sessions. I take peer review very seriously as it is one of the most efficient ways to grow as a writer. Even professional writers spend countless hours writing, editing, and rewriting their work. Writing is a process that requires revision. Most importantly, this idea of revision goes beyond fixing grammar mistakes. It’s about improving all aspects of writing, including its argumentative, aesthetic, and organizational attributes.
If you miss a peer review day, you must take measures to send your work to a classmate for comment outside of class, or consider visiting the writing center. I will not accept final essays that have not been peer reviewed.
Class Readings and Reading Responses-
You are expected to read all assigned readings, and you are required to have those readings with you in class. Those readings will serve as the basis for class discussions and activities. Students who complete the readings write better papers and get better grades, and I want all my students to do well.
For each reading assignment you will be required to write a short reading response (1-2 pages). These short responses will serve as a way to summarize and comment on the parts of the reading that stand out to you in addition to serving as starting point for your comments during class.
As a student, I always loathed reading quizzes; however, they ensure that everyone reads and improves the quality of our class discussions. These quizzes will be given randomly. Rest assured, my quizzes are very easy—-if you have done the reading. The amount of quizzes depends on the class. If everyone completes their readings, there will be no quizzes.
The class citizenship grade is based on your role as a student and colleague irrespective of essay grades. This portion of your grade will take in account your preparation for class, your completion of any homework assignments, your participation in class discussion and writing assignments, your adherence to the rules for class etiquette, and your presence at conferences with me.
During this course we will discuss a wide range of topics, some of which may be sensitive or even alienating for you; I urge you to keep in mind that we all have different personal experiences, diverse beliefs, and opinions about such topics. We will learn a great deal through discussing various views and perspectives if we make a commitment to listening to each other and to honoring each other’s backgrounds, values, and feelings. We will treat one another with respect and dignity at all times. While I lecture, I expect your full attention. Distractions (talking, laughing, etc.) can be problematic for me as well as for your fellow classmates. Such behavior will harm your grade.
Cell Phones: Please turn your cell phone’s ringer off before class starts and do not text during class. I reserve the right to count you absent for such behavior.
Computer: Feel free to bring your laptop to class, but do not be surprised if I ask you to put your computer away during certain parts of class. If you do use a computer, you must use it for class activities only. Violations will result in an absence for that day.
When I return graded essays to you, I ask that you wait 24 hours to contact me about the essay. Please use those 24 hours to look through your essay and read my comments carefully. Once you’ve done that and 24 hours have passed, I will be happy to meet with you to offer further comments or answer questions. Please keep all graded essays until the end of the semester.
By enrolling in this course, each student assumes the responsibilities of an active participant in UMBC’s scholarly community in which everyone’s academic work and behavior are held to the highest standards of honesty. Cheating, fabrication, plagiarism, and helping others to commit these acts are all forms of academic dishonesty, and they are wrong. Academic misconduct could result in disciplinary action that may include, but is not limited to, suspension or dismissal. To read the full Student Academic Conduct Policy, consult UMBC policies, or the Faculty Handbook (Section 14.3).
Choosing a format is a rhetorical decision—it’s all about delivery. Your papers should typically be typed, 12 point font, printed in black ink, and double-spaced with one-inch margins. Place your name, date, and the instructor’s name in the upper left-hand corner of the first page. Number all of the pages, except the first. Most assignments will be submitted electronically to a dropbox on Blackboard.
Before each major assignment you will submit a brief proposal (1 or 2 paragraphs) that explains your ideas and ambitions for the assignment. This will allow us to have a dialogue about what your plans are for the assignment. Proposals will also serve as a space to communicate any questions or concerns you have about the assignment.
Statement on Nondiscrimination
The University of Maryland Baltimore County is committed to the policy that all persons shall have equal access to programs, facilities, admission and employment without regard to personal characteristics not related to ability, performance, or qualifications as determined by University policy or by state or federal authorities. It is the policy of the University to maintain an academic and work environment free of discrimination, including harassment. UMBC prohibits discrimination and harassment against any person because of age, ancestry, color, disability or handicap, national origin, race, religious creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or veteran status. Discrimination or harassment against faculty, staff, or students will not be tolerated.
Note: UMBC encourages qualified persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing any kind of accommodation in this course or have questions about physical access, please tell the instructor as soon as possible.
WARNING: I have high expectations for you. When this semester ends, you will not be given your grade—you will have earned it. This syllabus shows you how it is possible to earn a competitive grade in this course. Turning that possibility into a probability will entail a lot of reading, writing, listening, and speaking; above all, it will involve a lot of thinking. You will have to possess (or quickly develop) intellectual curiosity and a capacity to engage enthusiastically with complex material.
You will also have to work hard. However, as I hope you have already discovered, hard work can be satisfying, not only when it is rewarded but also when it is directed toward a worthwhile goal. If you make an active intellectual commitment to the class, if you are eager to learn, and if you persistently hone your abilities, you will do well. To attain your learning goals, you must recognize that your university education constitutes your full-time job. According to NSSE (National Survey of Student Engagement) guidelines, for every hour spent in class, you need to devote another two to three hours to academic work outside class. To do well, you will thus need to augment your almost six and a half hours a week of work in the classroom with an average of 10 to 12 hours a week of related work outside the classroom. Your ultimate goal, however, should not solely be to achieve a good grade for the course but to make significant progress in your own career of lifelong learning and writing.
Now, you know something about what I expect from you. What can you expect from me? I am here to help you learn to think critically. If you ask me something that I don’t know I will work with you to discover the answer. I will show you why learning to think and write critically is important. By challenging you to reach high standards, I shall help you to educate yourself. The workload will be demanding, but I shall never give you busywork: everything I ask of you will be aimed at making you a more accomplished writer, a more discerning reader, a more effective speaker, a more perceptive listener, and a more astute thinker.