MTWR 10:10 AM to 12:10 PM
Basic Objectives of all ENGL 1123 courses:
Objectives in ENGL 1123-302
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
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)
Bias and Alt Views Quote (the B-item is the quote)
Parenthetical References (not to be confused with quotes)
Supplemental Source (the fourth source)
Proper Format and Submission of all Work
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
Grading and Evaluation
Proper Format and Submission of all Work
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.
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):
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.