Rhetoric and Composition

Course Details

Course Number: 1113  Section Number: 103

Fall 2011

Location: Dillard College of Business Administration

Classroom Number: 342

Days & Times:

MWF: 9-9:50am

Course Attachments

Class Schedule  Tentative Class Schedule-20120403-154348.doc


MSU Faculty Member
Rosalie K. Saenz   
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Course Objectives

1.      Write a variety of thesis-based essays that provide strong support and specific details.

2.      Engage in a writing process that includes but is not limited to invention, drafting, and revision.

3.      Demonstrate proficient use of Standard Written English.

(Please remember that these are goals. I will not expect you to be at this level on the first day. However, I expect to see improvement and movement towards these goals throughout the semester.)

Course Expectations

Aaron, Jane. LB Brief. 4th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson, 2011. Print.

Axelrod, et al. Reading Critically, Writing Well. 9th ed. Boston: Bedford, 2011. Print.

1 Three-Ring Binder or 2 Paper Folders with Brackets

1 Set of Folder Dividers

4 Blue Books

Paper and a Pen and/or Pencil…every day.

Grading Standards

4 In-Class, Blue Book Essays (350 word min. each), 4 Formal, Revised Essays (750 word min. each), and 4 Complete Portfolios:


Assignment Type

% of Total Grade

Autobiography Essay

Formal, Revised 1


Observation Essay

Formal, Revised 2


Causes and Effects Essay

Formal, Revised 3


Position Essay

Formal, Revised 4


Autobiography Essay

In-Class Test 1


Reflection Essay

In-Class Test 2


Evaluation Essay

In-Class Test 3


Position Essay

In-Class Test 4


Portfolios (Participation)

In-Class and Revised


Mechanics Quiz

One In-Class Quiz

Averaged into Portfolio Grade

The writing assignments should require you to produce approximately 5000 words of graded writing and count for at least 80 % of your final grade.

In this class, the following numerical equivalents for final grades are used: A = 100-90%; B = 89-80%; C = 79-70%; D = 69-60%; F = 59-0%. The same scale will be used for grades on individual assignments.

I will grade with a rubric based system. A rubric reflecting your grade will be returned with every formal submission. I will grade all Formal Essays and In-class Blue Book Exams with a 50/50 scale, the first 50% being grammar and the second 50% being overall content. I do not count off for a certain number of grammar mistakes or typos, but I do count off for mistakes that affect the readability or clarity of the essay as well as for mistakes that reflect a lack of understanding of the conventions of Standard American English. Your essays should reflect an understanding of these conventions as well as a strong attempt to revise and edit any errors. With Formal Essays, you have many resources available to you, including the Writing Lab, so I will have high standards for your submissions. In-class Blue Book Exams should also reflect some planning, revision, and editing, but the time constraint will be taken into consideration.

Above all, your work should meet all requirements of the assignment. Specific instructions for both Formal and In-Class Blue Book Essays will be handed out in class. As the term passes, my standards for your work will rise. A paper that might have received an A grade at the beginning of the course could receive a lower mark at the end of the course. Your work should reflect a positive progression in terms of skill.

Due to recent changes in school policy, the grade requirement for this course has risen. Even though a D final grade is still considered passing, you must receive a C or higher for this course before you can move on to the next course, which is ENGL 1123. Please note that a C is considered adequate, college level work.

Submission Format Policy

Each formal, revised essay submission must include the following: your stamped, approved topic sheet; one outline, handwritten or typed; at least one rough draft, typed; peer editing activity sheet; and the final draft, completed, revised, edited to the best of your abilities, and typed in MLA format. Each formal essay will be submitted in your folder behind your most recent Portfolio submission.

Portfolios: Every Monday and Friday (unless stated otherwise in your schedule or due to a schedule change), I will assign an in-class writing topic that will be turned in by the end of the same class period. I will critique each piece and give suggestions and tips on certain parts of the piece that need improvement. You are to make amendments to the best of your ability using my critiques as a guide (you are not limited to my critiques). Each Portfolio should be ordered by date with the first draft in front and the revised draft (typed in MLA format) following it. There will be four Portfolio submissions, each being due at the same time as each formal essay. I may also ask that you include other examples of your writing, such as homework assignments. If you miss any class periods, please come see me after class or during my office hours to make sure you have not missed any work. An absence is no excuse for missing pieces in your Portfolio, and I will deduct 10 points for every piece that is missing. Your Portfolios will serve as an example of your ability as well as your progress in this course.

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

Formal essays and portfolios must be turned in to me personally or placed in the box outside my office by no later than 5pm on the day that the each is due. If you will be absent that day for any reason, please make arrangements with me to turn the work in early. If you have an absence for that day that was not planned, then other arrangements can be made, but you must notify me through e-mail or by phone the day that the paper is due. Please include a brief explanation for your absence (you do not have to go into detail). Otherwise, late work will be accepted, but I will deduct 10 points for the first day the essay is late and 5 points for every day after that until the work is turned in. Please note that turning in a paper more than one week late will result in a failing grade because of these deductions. Additionally, the final Formal Essay cannot be turned in late.

The same absence rules apply to in-class tests. If you have a planned and/or excused absence, please make arrangements with me to take the in-class test early. If you have sudden extenuating circumstances that cause you to miss an exam, we may still reschedule the exam, but you must make every attempt to contact me before the exam begins (a simple e-mail will not suffice). If you do not contact me, you cannot take the exam later. Please note that if you have a medical emergency, you do not need to contact me immediately, but you will need documentation for proof.

If you miss an in-class writing assignment or homework that is required for your portfolio submission, you may make up this work by arrangement outside of class. However, that is something you must keep track of yourself. If you miss class, I will not approach you about making up missed assignments. All in-class writing assignments that are not tests will be listed in the class schedule, but, since that schedule is tentative, you should just ask me about any missed work in person or through e-mail.

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

It is both expected and required of you to both attend class regularly and to arrive to class on time to avoid class disruption. For a MWF class, you are allowed up to three unexcused absences without penalty. After the third unexcused absence, five points will be deducted from your final grade for each additional unexcused absence. “Authorized Absences,” as defined by the MSU catalog, will not be counted against your attendance. You may be dropped from the course for excessive absences. If you are going to be absent or late for reasons that are out of your control, please notify me by phone or through e-mail that day.

Every three late arrivals (after the first one) will be counted as one unexcused absence. I will consider you late if you arrive ten minutes after class begins. If you arrive late, please make sure that I mark you as present. If you leave early without notifying me ahead of time, I will make a note of it and treat the early leave the same as a late arrival. Unless there is an emergency or a previous arrangement you have made with me, you should not leave class before I conclude the lecture or activity for the day.

Other Policies

Disruptive Behavior Policy:

This classroom is part of the academic community in which certain standards of behavior are upheld, especially that of respect. Disruptive behavior of any kind is disrespectful to fellow students, especially because of the high cost of higher education, as well as me. This is why I ask that all electronic devices be turned off and put away during class. If you are seen using an electronic device during class, you will receive one warning before being asked to leave class and being counted as absent for the day. If you are seen using an electronic device during a quiz or exam, I will immediately take up the quiz or exam, and you will receive zero credit. The same actions will be taken with any other attempts to cheat. If you have a reason to keep your cell phone on, such as a potential family emergency, please inform me directly before class, and please keep your cell phone on vibrate.

Any disrespectful, rude, or hostile behavior towards me or other students will not be tolerated. We are all adults and should treat everyone in accordance with the Safe Zone Statement. I will ask you to leave class immediately for the first offense and count you as absent for the day. After the second offense, I will drop you from the course with an F for your final grade. This means no shouting, insults, or harassment or any kind.

Being Prepared:

I expect each student to come to class fully prepared. Please come to class with all required materials. Please read the assigned readings as I assign them. Please come to class prepared to discuss those readings and prepared to answer questions about them.

MSU Writing Labs:

I encourage you to begin drafting formal essays as early as possible and to take advantage of the MSU Writing Labs located in Bea Wood 224 and the first floor of Moffett Library. The Writing Lab is not an editing service; it is a tutoring service. Writing tutors will provide you with specific suggestions for improving your writing. I also work in the Writing Lab, but I will not work with you in the Writing Lab if you are enrolled in my class. If you wish to work with me specifically, please visit me during my office hours or make an appointment with me.

Contacting Me Via E-mail:

This is a professional environment, and your e-mails to me should reflect that. I request that you set up your student e-mail account through the university website and that you only contact me through that e-mail. This is so that your e-mail does not end up in the “Spam box” and so that I know to whom I’m speaking with. I also ask that you be courteous, include salutations and a subject line, and treat me with the same respect in the e-mail as you would in class. I will not respond to “text speak.”

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.