Composition and Rhetoric

Course Details

Course Number: 1123  Section Number: 106

Fall 2011

Location: Dillard College of Business Administration

Classroom Number: 317

Days & Times:

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 1 to 1:50 p.m.

Course Attachments

Class Schedule  English-1123-106-Schedule-1-20120403-155011.docx


MSU Faculty Member
Mrs. Petra Lorraine Smith   
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Course Objectives
  • 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,

Course Expectations




% of Grade

Research Paper Issue Proposal


In-Class Essay – Argument Style Essay (350 words minimum)


Research Paper Annotated Bibliography (4-5 works), include working bibliography


In-Class Essay – Understanding the Rhetorical Situation (350 words minimum)


Formal, Revised Research Paper Exploratory Essay (750 words minimum)


In-Class Claim and Position Essay (350 words minimum)


Formal, Revised Claim and Position Essay (750 words minimum)


Formal, Revised Rogerian Paper (750 words minimum)


Research Paper Extended Outline


Research Paper Draft (with peer editing exercise) – 1,500 words minimum


Visual Argument


Formal, Revised Research Paper (1,500-words minimum)


Final Exam


Participation (complete participation log)


 Writing assignments require students to produce approximately 5,000 words of graded writing and count for at least 80% of the final grade.

Grading Standards

IMPORTANT: For freshmen or transfer students entering Midwestern in the fall of 2011 or later, a grade of C or higher in ENGL 1113 is a prerequisite for enrolling in ENGL 1123, and a grade of C or higher in 1123 is required for graduation from Midwestern.

Written work will be graded based on the criteria established in the writing prompt.  Students must review the prompt carefully to ensure that all elements of the assignment are complete.  Moreover, students will be graded on grammar, mechanics, punctuation, development, organization, sentence structure, wording, and spelling.  Essay rubrics, marginal comments, and the teacher’s narratives all provide information regarding the grading process.  Students are encouraged to review each assignment to make improvements in subsequent writing.

As noted in the syllabus, the following numerical equivalents for final grades are used:  A=100-90%; B=89-80%; C=79-70%; D=69-60%; F=59-0%

As noted in the MSU catalog (2010-2012), a C letter grade means satisfactory work.  Therefore, a B grade represents good work, and an A grade represents excellent work.  D-level work represents the lowest passing level of performance.  Unsatisfactory work that does not represent a passing level of performance will be awarded an F.

Throughout the semester, students may be awarded more specific letter grades (+/-).  I will use the following numerical system to average the letter grades:

A+=98             A=95               A-=93              B+=88             B=85               B-=83 . . .

Final Exam12/3/2011  10:30 a.m.

Submission Format Policy

Students must submit MLA-formatted essays on double-sided sheets of 8.5x11 white paper.  Students must ensure that all outside sources are properly documented. 


For extenuating circumstances, electronic copies may be considered, provided the student makes advance arrangements.


By enrolling in this class, the student expressly grants MSU a “limited right” to all intellectual property created by the student for the purpose of this course.  The “limited right” shall include but shall not be limited to the right to reproduce the student’s work product in order to verify originality and authenticity, and for educational purposes.


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.

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

Assignments and essays must be submitted at the beginning of class on the due date, or the work will be considered late.  In the event of extenuating circumstances, the student must contact the instructor as soon as practical.  Unless prior arrangements are made for extenuating circumstances, late assignments will be deducted 5% per day.


For excused absences (as per the student catalog), students must make prior arrangements to complete in-class work or to submit assignments.

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

To encourage maximum learning, students must attend class.  Moreover, students are expected to arrive on time to avoid class disruption.


Students are encouraged to contact the instructor directly for any extenuating circumstances, resulting in absences or tardy arrivals.


Students may miss up to three class meetings without penalty.  For students who miss more than three meeting times, the instructor will deduct 2% from the final grade per absence.  Moreover, three tardy arrivals will count as one absence for grading purposes.


 For excused absences, students must ensure that the appropriate paperwork is complete.

Other Policies

In keeping with a spirit of professionalism and respect, students are not permitted to use cell phone (including texting) during class time.  However, please advise the instructor if there are any extenuating family circumstances, relating to this policy. 

 In addition, in accordance with university policy, students are not permitted to eat or drink during class. 

 Students are expected to come to class prepared.  Students must ensure that they have read the assigned reading, as per the schedule.

 I encourage you to begin drafting papers as early as possible and to take advantage of the MSU Writing Labs located in Bea Wood 224 and in the 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 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, or call 397-4131.