Rhetoric & Composition II

Course Details

Course Number: 1123  Section Number: 302

Summer I 2011

Location: Bolin Hall

Classroom Number: 103

Days & Times:

MTWR 10:10 AM to 12:10 PM



Course Attachments

Class Schedule  ENGL 1123 Sum 1 2011 Schedule-20120402-141925.doc

Textbooks

A Short Guide to Writing about Literature
Sylvan Barnet & William E. Cain 11th edition
  ISBN: ISBN-13: 978-0-205-60295-7

LB Brief
Jane E. Aaron 4th edition
  ISBN: ISBN-13: 978-0-205-75155-6

MSU Faculty Member
Dr. Peter Fields   
view Profile »

Course Objectives

Basic Objectives of all ENGL 1123 courses:

  • Write thesis-based essays that provide strong support and specific details
  • Engage in a writing process that includes invention, drafting, and revision
  • Demonstrate proficient use of Standard Written English
  • Find, evaluate, and synthesize credible sources in support of a research paper
  • Document sources responsibly and follow a designated style guide  
  • Additional information about course objectives can be found on the department webpage, http://libarts.mwsu.edu/english/. 

Objectives in ENGL 1123-302

  • Writing about Literature. During the first week, students must write critically on assigned literary topics, both poetry and prose. Writing must follow MLA standards. This module is design to introduce students to supporting, demonstrating, and reinforcing a thesis with evidence and proper citation of sources—without as yet venturing onto the databases or into the book stacks.
  •  Student Research Project. The rest of the session is devoted to a three stage research project on a topic of the student’s own choosing (subject to instructor approval). Each stage is an essay in its own right. Students then revise and combine the three essays (or stages) into one document. The topic must relate to the student individually, either in regard to the student’s personal experience and/or the student’s prospective career and field of study. The project must address the greater good in regard to a given area of human endeavor relevant to the student’s goals. All writing must follow MLA standards. Sources must be scholarly (recent research in professional journals or serious books) and come from Moffett-supported databases or the Moffett book stacks.

Course Expectations

 Minimum English Department Requirements: Minimum of 2 In Class Essays (350-word min. each); Minimum of 3 Formal Revised Essays (750-word min. each); 1 Annotated Bibliography (incl. both print and web sources); 1 Final Research Paper (1500 words min.). Writing assignments should require students to produce approximately 5000 words of graded writing and count for at least 80% of the final grade.

 Writing about Literature (see sample paper)

Students will write two five-paragraph literary essays based on key texts in A Short Guide to Writing about Literature. Each essay features a Block Quote (BQ) indented an extra 10 spaces on the left. The BQ follows the first paragraph (the introduction) and is immediately followed by the second paragraph, which mines the BQ for ideas that could prove the basis for an argument. The second paragraph does NOT have any quotes, either from the Block Quote or from elsewhere in the poem or story. The third paragraph, regarding character (the motivation of a person in the story), utilizes four Short Quotes (SQs). The fourth paragraph, regarding irony (when the opposite of what we expect proves to be true), utilizes four more SQs. These eight SQs are different from each other and not found in the BQ. The fifth paragraph explains the argument in depth, including three supporting reasons or examples (based on pars. 2-4), and does not require any quotes from the story or poem. The first paragraph, or introduction, begins with the clearest possible explanation (3-5 sentences) of the student’s argument (and, for that reason, the first paragraph is best composed last). In the middle of the first paragraph, students should utilize a quote from the assigned student essay in our book. The significance of the quote in the student’s own words should precede the quote. The first paragraph should end with one or two sentences that provide a context for the Block Quote that immediately follows.

 For the two literary essays, if the Short Quotes are indeed very short, they should be used in the context of the student’s own sentence. Here, for example, we find the use of three very short SQs:

Surprisingly, Mrs. Mallard’s “storm of grief” (22) gives way to a “monstrous joy” (23). She can’t help but delight in the prospect of a life “that would belong to her absolutely” (23).

 In the case of a longer SQ (e.g., two to four lines), the quoted passage should follow a comma or colon. The quoted passage must be preceded by the student’s own insight, a discussion that captures the idea of the quote prior to citing it:

 To our surprise as readers, the terrifying intruder that came through the window turned out to be her own long-repressed desire to live her own life on her own terms. Even the love of a kind-hearted, doting husband was secondary to her sudden need to be free of any constraint: “What could love, the unsolved mystery, count for in face of this possession of self-assertion which she suddenly recognized as the strongest impulse of her being” (26). Never before had she questioned the restraints of her highly-dependent relationship on family and friends. Now she was totally of an opposite conviction. No life except that of uncompromised freedom would be acceptable to her.

 Notice that this quote is sandwiched. The student writer anticipates and follows this longer quote with her own understanding of what that quote implies for her argument. The quote is merely a nice thing that corroborates or backs up the student’s own insight into the significance of the material.

 The Works Cited page (for literary papers) must indicate three items: the book itself, the specific story or poem, and the student essay provided in the book (see sample paper).

 Using the essays in A Short Guide to Writing about Literature:

In the middle of the first paragraph (following the student’s argument), we should find mention of one of the essays in our book—including the use of ONE SQ from that essay. The SQ should be about one to three lines (NOT a Block Quote). For the first essay, students MUST quote from the essay by Mark Bradley (265-268).

Mark Bradley argues that this poem is really a veiled allusion to the atrocities committed by the old south during the segregation era: “Hughes is attacking the evil of lynching, by which black men were hung, shot, or burned to death on the mere suspicion of having committed a crime” (266).

Notice: this quote is anticipated by a complete thought that end ends on a colon followed by the quote itself. For the second essay (on Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour”), students must quote (in the middle of the first paragraph) from either the anonymous “Ironies in An Hour” (34-35) or from “Spring Comes to Mrs. Mallard” (144-147) by Amy Jones.

Remember: At the end of the first paragraph, students still need to provide a sentence or two that provides context for the Block Quote that follows (see sample paper).

 The Student Research Project

 Some of the topics students have chosen in recent semesters:

The Problems of Bariatric Surgery, Elementary School Bullies, Palliative Care, Nursing Students and Stress, Racism in Hiring of College Coaches & Athletic Directors, Surrogate Mothers, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Praise & Classroom Discipline, Shaken Baby Syndrome, Concussions & College Athletics, Epidural Anesthesia, Enforcing Title IX in Collegiate Sports, Spiritual Counseling in Nursing, The Importance of Breast Feeding, Coaching for Life, Attention Deficit Disorder: Holistic Solutions, Antidepressants and Suicide, The Advantages of Radio Frequency Identification for Inventory, Bilingual Education, Problems in Accounting Education, The Importance of Pre-School Education in the Developing World, Telemedicine in Developing Countries, Regulation of Nanotechnology, Video Games as a Virtual Classroom, MOND Theory: An Alternative to Dark Matter, International Adoption, Enhanced Interrogation at Guantanamo, Forensics and DNA Profiling, Blaming Vaccines for Autism, Genetic Causes of Obesity, Teacher-Student Romances, Government Accreditation of Religious Colleges, Paying for the Restructuring of Air Traffic Control, Natural Remedies for Alzheimer’s, Against Filtering Software for Children, Prescription Drug Abuse, Maternal Smoking & SIDS, Lorenzo’s Oil for ALD, Female Body Image & the Media, Alcohol Abuse in College, Hooking Up on Campus, The Ethical Business Model & Profitability, The Global Business Model, Government Set-Asides for Minority Businesses, Wind Power, Negative Effect of Military Deployments on Children, Physical Therapy & Post-Traumatic Stress, Treating Pedophilia, Educating Incarcerated Students, Ecological Problems of Fractional & Horizontal Oil & Gas Drilling, Engineering Challenges in Rebuilding New Orleans, and The Limitations of Levodopa for Treating Parkinson’s.

Students must have at least FOUR sources, THREE of which are the basis of the three parts of the research project. Each part, or stage, is a five-paragraph essay in its own right that utilizes one of the three major sources (i.e., a position source for the position essay, an opposition source for the opposition essay, and a refined position source for the refined position essay). The fourth source is supplemental and will be used in a limited fashion in the third stage—the refined position essay.

The three essays—or stages—of the three-part research project will be submitted on the same due date.

Students will then revise the three stages for one combined (15 paragraph) FINAL DOCUMENT which carries the largest grade value.

The diversity of student topics is made possible by the Moffett-supported databases which feature free full-text SCHOLARLY SOURCES. In our course, the position, opposition, and refined position sources (three of the required four sources) must be full-text articles from scholarly professional journals as found on a Moffett-supported database (e.g., Academic Search Complete). These three must be at least three pages long. The fourth source may be any length, but it also must come from a Moffett-supported database. The alternative to the Moffett-supported database would be a serious title from the Moffett book stacks.

 To find a Moffett-supported database, go to the MSU main page, click on the “library” tab, and then on “databases.” Click on “A-Z databases” and notice the diversity of databases. Academic Search Complete is the most popular and serves most ENGL 1123 student needs.

 Virtually all of these scholarly sources were free full-text articles instantly downloadable from Academic Search Complete and the other Moffett-supported databases. Accordingly, this course requiresthat students develop an expertise in utilizing the Moffett-supported data bases. Training is provided during the sessions with Faculty Partners.

 Each of the three major sources (Position, Opposition, and Refined Position) must be highlighted for argument, bias, and alternative views passages, each passage clearly labeled and clearly divided into A, B, and C. The B is always the quote.

 Students will revise the three stages according to the instructor’s remarks in class and in the margins. The FINAL document combines the three 5 paragraph stages into one 15 paragraph document with a four item MLA-styled Works Cited.

 PREPARATION FOR THE PROJECT

  • In each of the three significant sources (position, opposition, and refined position), students highlight and identify three passages: the argument passage (the main idea of the source), the bias passage (the source’s core convictions, overview, history, or theoretical assumptions), and the alternative views passage (where the source acknowledges a specific opposition or a range of views other than its own, and/or the problems and limitations of its own study or model).
  • The passage must be a manageable length (not stretched out over several pages). A passage that is more than one column of a scholarly article is too long. The argument passage is going to be longer than bias or alt views because the middle part of the argument passage will be the BLOCK QUOTE.
  •  Students should highlight each of the three passages, clearly identifying which one is argument, bias, or alt views. Each of these passages must themselves be divided into three parts, each part clearly labeled “A,” “B,” and “C.” THE “B” IS ALSO A QUOTE. In the bias and alt views passages, the “B” should be equal to about two to four lines of the student’s typing because the “B” will receive quotation marks. 
  • There should NOT be gaps or skipped material between the A, B, and C. These three parts of a significant passage must immediately follow one another. Students cannot piece together a significant passage from widely-separated places in the source. 
  • The mid-section, or B, is always the quoted material. The quote cannot come from the A or C. 
  • ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY: Students must cite a source and briefly summarize in their own words the nature of the source’s argument, bias, and alternative views. 

WRITING PARS 2-4 OF THE STUDENT RESEARCH PROJECT

Par 2 begins In regard to argument, the source asserts or advocates or claims or makes the point that ….

Par 3 begins In regard to bias, the source assumes, thinks, believes, or feels ….

 Par 4 begins In regard to alternative views, the source concedes or admits or acknowledges ….

Students may chime in with a source, In regard to alternative views, the source and I concede or we admit or we acknowledge ….

 Students make three points in each of pars. 2, 3, and 4. Each point corresponds to the A, B, and C of the relevant highlighted passage (three sentences for each point) in that order, A, B, and C.

 Do not just restate the language of A, B, or C. Mere restatement leads to plagiarism.

 Instead of restatement, student must express the SIGNIFICANCE of A, B, and C, using at least three sentences for each point—at least 9 sentences in all for a given paragraph.

 The student makes three points (three sentences each) in the same order as the passage in the source (not B before A, or C before B).

 WRITING PARAGRAPH FIVE

The fifth paragraph starts with the thesis (what the student believes is the most important point). The thesis is followed by a concession. The student acknowledges or concedes one of the points raised in the alt views paragraph. The student follows the concession with three sub-points: i.e., three points based on the A, B, or C of the argument and/or bias paragraphs.

 NOTE: The fifth paragraph of the OPPOSITION essay should feature the rationale (thesis, sub-points) of the opposition source: My opposition argues that ….

 In the OPPOSITION essay, the concession of the fifth paragraph alludes to one of the points the opposition source made in the student’s favor in the alt views paragraph. Only after writing the fifth paragraph is a student truly ready to write the introductory paragraph.

 WRITING PARAGRAPH ONE

Each five-paragraph essay requires an introductory paragraph that begins with three to five sentences solely devoted to the rationale (thesis & sub-points) of the source. 

NOTE: The Opposition essay (the second stage of the project) begins with a rationale that is clearly not the student’s. The introduction of the Opposition essay ought to begin with My opposition argues that ….

 Following the rationale (thesis & sub-points), the student must provide attribution, i.e., the author (s), article title (in quotation marks), and journal name (italics or underlined) of the relevant source. Attribution should include a one sentence summary of the source.

 After attribution and summary, the student should provide context for the Block Quote—some one or two sentences that anticipate a key idea in the Block Quote. The introductory paragraph ends on a colon and then, indented 10 spaces on the left, follows the Block Quote.

 QUOTING THE SOURCE (the middle section of a passage is always the quote)

Block Quote

  • The B-item of the argument passage is also the Block Quote: about 5 to 8 lines word-for-word (verbatim) from the passage. We don’t use quotation marks even though it is a quote. Instead, because it is so long, we indent it an extra 10 spaces (one inch) all the way down on the left. The parenthetical reference comes after the period.

 Bias and Alt Views Quote (the B-item is the quote)

  • The B-item of the bias passage is the bias quote, which should be about 2 to 4 lines; the same is true of the alt views passage—the B-item is the quote and should be about 2 to 4 lines of student typing. 
  • The quote for the bias and alt views paragraphs is not long enough to be a Block Quote. Instead, this quote should be enclosed by quotation marks and followed by a parenthetical reference prior to the period. 
  • VERY IMPORTANT: Students must express the B-item’s significance prior to the quote itself. This significance should be about three sentences. The third sentence ends on a colon followed by the B-quote followed by a parenthetical reference after the quotation mark and before the period.

 Parenthetical References (not to be confused with quotes)

  • A parenthetical reference is a pair of parentheses enclosing the relevant page number of the source. We reference the number of the page when we’re using a book or PDF online source; e.g., (24) means page 24.  We don’t use “p” or “pg” for page—just the number in parentheses.  
  • Parenthetical references IMMEDIATELY follow quotation marks: i.e., after the quotation mark and before the period: e.g., “I think I need help” (24). “Help!” (24). “Do you need help?” (24). 
  • For an HTML source, students must number the paragraphs of the printout. In their essay, they would cite by the number of the paragraph: e.g., (par. 3) or (pars. 4-5). 
  • Block Quotes don’t use quotation marks. They are indented 10 spaces on the left (all the way down). In that case, the parenthetical reference comes after the period. 
  • There should be a parenthetical number at the end of every third sentence (if the student is devoting three sentences to each key point, A, B, or C). If the student takes longer than three sentences, the parenthetical reference may come at the end of the fourth or fifth sentence, as the case may be. Three sentences is just an estimate or minimum figure. Often students will require more than three sentences to express and illustrate the significance of A, B, or C. 
  • KEY: In pars. 3-4 (bias and alt views), when students are done making the A-point, there should be a parenthetical reference just before the period of the last relevant sentence. The three (or so) sentences of the student’s B point end on a colon or comma followed by a direct quote of the same B section (thus the “B” quote backs up the student’s three sentences in regard to the B-material). The parenthetical reference for B comes after the quotation mark and before the period. The C-point is three (or so) sentences and a parenthetical reference for C comes at the end of the final sentence (the last sentence of the paragraph).

 Supplemental Source (the fourth source)

  • Students highlight just one passage from their fourth source. They do not divide the passage into A, B, and C. At the end of either the bias or alt views paragraph in Refined Position, students must tell the story of the highlighted passage, illustrating its main point in an original and creative manner for three to five sentences (or more if necessary, but not a separate paragraph). 
  • There is NO quoting from the Supplemental source, but it must be acknowledged right away (following the C point of either bias or the alt views paragraph in Refined Position): e.g., “According to Jane Smith in her article “Preventing Concussions” for the journal College Coaching, <span class="scayt-misspell" data-scayt_word="…." "="" data-scaytid="9">….” There should be a parenthetical reference at the end of the last sentence of the paragraph.

 Proper Format and Submission of all Work

  • All writing must be typed (12 point Times New Roman), double-spaced, with a header for the student’s last name (in the default .5 setting in upper right corner), page numbers inserted (upper right, .5 setting), and MLA format for citing, including the Works Cited. However, while the top, right, and bottom margins should be set at one inch, the left margin should be an inch and a quarter to accommodate the folder.On the first page of an essay, the student name, instructor name, course, and date should be in the upper left, double-spaced.

 Students must submit, and retain, all their typed hole-punched assignments in the clasps (i.e., “brads”) of a folder (which has both brads and pockets) in the order that they were assigned. The photocopy or printout of the relevant sources must be in the left pocket. Each source should be bracketed or highlighted for argument, bias, and alt views. In each source, each of these three passages is clearly divided into three sections which are marked as A, B, or C. The most recent assignment that needs to be graded is always the last item (hole-punched and fixed in the brads).

 On a due-date, students must submit their work in person (from their hands into the instructor’s hands). Submission for a due-date is never by e-mail attachment or under the office door, or left on a desk, or by surrogate (classmate or relative). Late work also must be submitted in person.

 Work submitted apart from the guidelines of this syllabus will not be evaluated and must be resubmitted and penalized for lateness (e.g., not hole-punched and not fixed in the brads of a folder with pockets).

Submission occurs as soon as class starts on the scheduled due date. The document is penalized as LATE if submitted after the instructor has dismissed the class.

 Grading and Evaluation

  • There are four due dates and four grades. The Hughes essay is worth 10 percent; the Chopin essay, 20 percent. The three stages of the research project (Position, Opposition, and Refutation) are together one due date and worth 30 percent. The due date of the FINAL combined (revised) document is worth 40 percent.

 FINAL Document

  • The instructor evaluates the three 5 paragraph stages (i.e., Position, Opposition, and Refined Position essays) all together (as one due date) and hands the folder back to students. Students must revise the three stages according to the instructor’s remarks on their essay and in class.
  • There is one WORKS CITED page with the minimum four sources formatted according to MLA requirements. This page is the last page. 
  • The instructor must approve (and sign) the Works Cited before the due date of the combined document. Otherwise the instructor will deduct points for a less than perfect Works Cited. 
  • Students are encouraged to put any revision of content (for instance, a rewritten sentence or sentences) in bold. It is not necessary to put punctuation and surgical format changes in bold. 
  • Evaluation of the combined document is solely based on whether or not, and to what degree, students have made the corrections and revisions mandated by the instructor.

 Late Work

  • Essays submitted after the instructor has dismissed the class period of a scheduled due date are penalized 10 points. If submitted after the next class period is dismissed, the essay is now late by two class periods and penalized 20 points. BUT THE LATE PENALTY IS CAPPED AT 20 POINTS. 
  • A class period is officially over when the instructor dismisses it. 
  • No late work is accepted after the instructor has dismissed the last official class period. 
  • If students are too ill to submit their work personally, they may submit it when they return to class. They may avoid penalty for late submission, or any absence, by obtaining signed documentation from their doctor or the Vinson Infirmary, or some relevant professional in a timely fashion. Absence for the sake of others requires similar documentation.

Grading Standards

Grading and Evaluation 

  • There are four due dates and four grades.
  • Grammar and punctuation errors will affect a given grade.
  • The Hughes essay is worth 10 percent; the Chopin essay, 20 percent.
  • The three stages of the research project (Position, Opposition, and Refutation)--each an essay in its own right--are together one due date worth 30 percent. The final revised Research Project (combined document) is worth 40 percent.
  • All documents are drafted in class.
  • The instructor must approve (and sign) the Annotated Bibliography before students begin the first stage of the research project.
  • The instructor must approve (and sign) the Works Cited before the due date of the combined document.
  • Students are required to send the computer file of the final research project to Dr. Fields by e-mail attachment for archival purposes.
  • In lieu of a final exam, students will come to the instructor’s office on the day of the final exam, any time between 10:10 AM and 12:10 PM, and receive their folder with the grade for their research project and the course as a whole.

Final Exam6/30/2011  Projects returned.

Submission Format Policy

Proper Format and Submission of all Work

  • All writing must be typed (12 point Times New Roman), double-spaced, with a header for the student’s last name (in the default .5 setting in upper right corner), page numbers inserted (upper right, .5 setting), and MLA format for citing, including the Works Cited. However, while the top, right, and bottom margins should be set at one inch, the left margin should be an inch and a quarter to accommodate the folder.On the first page of an essay, the student name, instructor name, course, and date should be in the upper left, double-spaced.
  • Students must submit, and retain, all their typed hole-punched assignments in the clasps (i.e., “brads”) of a folder (which has both brads and pockets) in the order that they were assigned. The photocopy or printout of the relevant sources must be in the left pocket. Each source should be clearly bracketed or highlighted for argument, bias, and alt views. In each source, each of these three passages is clearly divided into three sections which are marked as A, B, or C. The most recent assignment that needs to be graded is always the last item (hole-punched and fixed in the brads).
  • Students must submit their work in person (from their hands into the instructor’s hands). Submission for a due-date is never by e-mail attachment or under the office door, or left on a desk, or by surrogate (classmate or relative). Late work also must be submitted in person.
  • Work submitted apart from the guidelines of this syllabus will not be evaluated and must be resubmitted and penalized for lateness.


Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Late Paper Policy

An assignment is late if submitted after the class period it is due. If late by one period, the assignment will be penalized 10 points. If late by two class periods, the essay is penalized 20 points (the penalty is capped at 20 points). No late work may be submitted after the last official class period.  A class period is officially over when the instructor dismisses it. All late work must be submitted IN PERSON.

If students are too ill to submit their work personally, they should submit it when they return to class. They may avoid penalty for late submission by obtaining documentation from a relevant professional in a timely fashion (e.g., a doctor or the Dean of Students’ office). Absence for the sake of others requires similar documentation.


Plagiarism Policy Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception. Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters. We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student. We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed. Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements

Attendance Policy: Roll is taken right away as soon as class begins. The instructor is not obliged to count people present who arrive late. A student with three unexcused absences receives a warning from the instructor. As of the fourth unexcused absence, the instructor reserves the right to notify the Dean of Students and to initiate removal of the student from the course.

Workshop Decorum (ENGL 1123 is a WORKSHOP, not a lecture--but courtesy is paramount):

  • In the Bolin 103 lab there should be no eating or drinking.
  • Students should not spend time on computer sites the instructor has not authorized.
  • Except for emergencies, students shouldn’t text or talk on their “cells” during class.
  • Students may consult with each other during class as long as they don’t hinder the progress of those around them.
  • Students may go to the restroom as the need arises except when the instructor is explaining a detailed point to the whole class.
  • In this course students must allow other class members to see their works-in-progress, including on the big screen. Most importantly, students should know that we write in class. Students are well-advised to have their own memory device applicable to the lab computer. Students MUST demonstrate progress in the lab on the computer.
  • Students must have the instructor’s permission to leave class early.
  • If students know they are going to be absent, they MUST e-mail the instructor or leave a message at 940-397-4246.
  • If students have been absent, they MUST e-mail the instructor or leave a message at 940-397-4246 or otherwise explain the absence to the instructor.
  • The above messages, however, do NOT constitute an excused absence. But if reasonable or otherwise plausible, these messages may influence the instructor to assume the student is still in the class.
  • An excused absence is when students follow up on their e-mail or voice-mail message to the instructor by showing him documentation from a doctor or clinic or court. The instructor will also count any message from the Dean of Students on the student’s behalf. Students are well-advised to contact the Dean of Students with relevant information about an absence

Other Policies

Plagiarism and use of sources:

ENGLISH DEPARTMENT POLICY: Plagiarism is the use of someone else’s thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")—whether you use that material in a quotation, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

 Language too close to the student’s own documented sources: In our course, restating language word for word (or close to word for word) from the student’s own documented sources without using quotation marks or setting it off as a Block Quote puts an essay at risk of penalty in regard to the grade, even if the student provides a parenthetical page at the end of a sentence and includes the source in the Works Cited.

The three stages of the research project are opportunities for the instructor to have teachable moments with students regarding language which is TOO CLOSE to their own documented source (e.g., any four words in a row verbatim from the documented source must be revised; use of the same key nouns, verbs, adjectives, and phrases must be revised). Students must revise such lapses in the three stages of the research project—fully, dynamically, creatively, and insightfully—by the due date for the combined document. Students who persist even at this final stage in using language too close to their own documented sources risk failing the course.

 Non-Documented Sources: Students who use information and/or phrasing from sources that are not documented in the Works Cited bibliography are guilty of plagiarism and will receive a failing grade of 0 (no points) for the assignment even if the rest of the essay is original and the other sources are properly documented. Use of undocumented sources is an infraction of the university’s policy on academic dishonesty and may be reported to the university.

Disabilities Act: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, 397-4140.

Safe Zone: The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being – regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor’s expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Writing Tutors: I encourage you to begin drafting papers as early as possible and to take advantage of the MSU Writing Labs located in 224 Bea Wood and RC246 Moffett Library.  Writing tutors will not edit your papers for you, but they will provide you with specific suggestions for improving your writing. 

Writing Proficiency Exam after 60 earned credits: All students seeking a Bachelor’s degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they have 1) passed English 1113 and English 1123 and 2) earned 60 hours.  You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113.  Please keep in mind that, once you have earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit-hour course.  If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at http://academics.mwsu.edu/wpr, or call 397-4131.


Writing Proficiency Requirement All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed English 1113 and English 1123 and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at http://academics.mwsu.edu/wpr, or call 397-4131.