Rhetoric and Composition

Course Details

Course Number: 1123  Section Number: 101

Fall 2012

Location: Prothro-Yeager Hall

Classroom Number: 201

Days & Times:

MWF 8-8:50 PY 201

Course Attachments

Course Syllabus and Schedule  fall 12 1123 syllabus-20120827-121526.docx


LB Brief 4th ed.
  ISBN: 978-0-205-75155-6

Writing Today 2nd ed.
Course Textbook
  ISBN: 978-0-205-21008-4

MSU Faculty Member
Sarah Leeth   
view Profile »

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, http://libarts.mwsu.edu/english/.

Course Expectations


Assignment                                                                              % of Grade

Minimum of 2 In-Class Essays (350-word min. each)                    

Minimum of 3 Formal, Revised Essays (750-word min. each)       

1 Annotated Bibliography (including both print and web sources)

1 Final Research Paper (1500-word min.)

Writing assignments should require students to produce approximately 5000 words of graded writing and count for at least 80% of the final 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%.

Graded work in this class will receive the following weight.  Missing assignments will receive 0 credit.


       Argument                                     5%

       Pitch                                            10%

       Final Exam                                  15%


         Rhetorical Analysis                  10%

         Commentary Essay                  10%

         Proposal Essay                         10%

         Annotated Bibliography           10%

         Research Essay                         15%

Non-Essay Grades

         Participation/Quizzes               10%

         Group Project                            5% 

Note: For Freshmen and transfer students entering MSU 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.


Final Exam12/11/2012  10:30-12:30

Submission Format Policy

All essays will be submitted at the beginning of class typed in MLA format with stamped prewriting, peer editing, and all required drafts in a folder containing all previous formal essay assignments as described on each assignment sheet.  Failure to submit any of the required materials will result in a 3 point deduction from the assignment’s grade per missing item

Note: if a peer editing is missed for an excused absence, the student has the option of visiting the writing center or completing the exercise outside of class with two classmates. 

Revisions—Students may submit a single revision of each formal essay (no including the final research project) for an improved score.  The grade earned on the revision will be averaged with the original earned grade.

By enrolling in this class, the student expressly grants MSU a “limited right” in 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

No late work will be accepted unless arrangements have been made with the instructor in advance. Any assignment submitted in class but after the instructor has called for it will lose 10 points, and an additional 10 points will be deducted for each additional calendar day.  Missing assignments will receive 0 credit.

In the event that an “authorized absence” occurs on the day an essay is due, the essay must be submitted to the instructor no later than 5pm of the due date.  Final drafts may be submitted by email with the folder and other requirements being submitted as soon as possible.

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


My policy is very simple and straightforward: if you have more than 9 absences (the equivalent of 3 weeks of class), excused or not, you fail the class.  Please note, however, that this is not an invitation to miss 3 weeks of class—class time will provide the instruction you need to meet the objectives of this course and to learn how to develop as a rhetor and a writer.  When you miss class meetings, you miss out on the instruction for which you pay tuition.  In the unfortunate event that you accrue 10 or more absences before the last day to withdraw, you have the responsibility of withdrawing from the class. 

In addition, every THIRD late arrival will count as ONE absence. For this class, a late arrival is defined as a student entering the class room after the instructor has begun lecturing.

Other Policies

This University is part of the academic community in which certain standards of behavior are upheld.  In addition, a university education is expensive, and part of the responsibility of the instructor is to ensure that each student has an equal opportunity to receive that education.  Thus, certain guidelines will be observed during class:

Any student behaving in any disruptive manner will be asked once to stop.  If the disruption continues, the student will be asked to leave and marked absent for the class.  If a student is consistently disruptive in class, he or she will be reported to the Dean of Students and potentially dropped from the course.

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.