Rhetoric and Composition

Course Details

Course Number: 1113  Section Number: 201

Spring 2012

Location: Dillard College of Business Administration

Classroom Number: 323

Days & Times:

MWF 8-8:50am

Course Attachments

Class Schedule  Spring 2012 Class Schedule-20120403-154506.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.


Course Expectations


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


Reflection Essay

In-Class Test 1


Explaining Concepts Essay

In-Class Test 2


Evaluation Essay

In-Class Test 3


Position Essay

In-Class Test 4


Portfolios (Participation)

In-Class and Revised


Mechanics and Reading Quizzes

In-Class Quizzes


Averaged into Portfolio Grade


Grading Standards

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 Essays with the same standards as any professional, college-level essay. This means you will know what is expected of you before the first paper is due and can look at those expectations as a goal to be reached over the course of the class. I do not count off for a certain number of grammar mistakes or typos, but I do count 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 against the overall assessment of the work. Your essays should reflect an understanding of these conventions as well as a strong attempt to revise and edit. 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. You should follow all of these instructions if you wish to succeed in this class. Your work should also 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.


Final Exam5/7/2012  1-3pm

Submission Format Policy

With each formal, revised essay submission, the assignment will require that you include some of your preparation materials (each assignment will list what materials specifically. The final draft must be edited to the best of your abilities and typed in MLA format. You will turn in each formal essay submission in a folder behind the preparation materials and behind the most recent Portfolio submission.

Every Monday (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 the same class period. I will critique each piece and give suggestions and tips on certain parts of the piece that need improvement (typically focusing on grammar). You are to make amendments to each piece 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. Please note that Portfolios are separate assignments from Formal Essays. 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 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, (such as a medical emergency or a death in the family) 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. I will deduct for weekends. Papers can be turned in on Saturday or Sunday, but arrangements must be made to do so. 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.

For in-class exams, please make arrangements with me to take the in-class test early if you have a planned and/or excused absence. If you have sudden extenuating circumstances that cause you to miss an exam, we may still reschedule the exam, but that exam will not have the same prompts as the one missed. Please make every attempt possible (and within reason) to inform me of your absence.

If you miss an in-class writing assignment or homework, 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. “Authorized Absences,” as defined by the MSU catalog, will not be counted against your attendance. However, if you accrue more than nine absences (the equivalent of three weeks of class, not including “excused” absences), you will fail the course. You will have the ability to check your absences online. 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.

You will be considered late if you arrive five minutes after class begins. I will not count this against you in any way, but I will not repeat any information you may have missed. You will have to see me after class to find out what you missed. If you arrive under ten minutes 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 an absence. 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

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 disrespectful to 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.

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.


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.