This is a writing class. Everything in it is about your writing (even, and especially, the reading assignments). Specifically, this class is intended to introduce you to the formal technical requirements of academic writing (i.e. Standard Written English mechanics, MLA formatting, and on and on) and to the broader, but ultimately more important, stylistic vaguenesses that are paramount to clearly and effectively conveying the ideas behind the writing (working from the axiom that a good idea poorly expressed is a bad idea). Well expressed ideas are rarely first efforts, though, so these technical and stylistic notions are most useful as tools for developing a writing process (with the planning and the drafting and the revising) that will lead to wonderful, interesting, persuasive final products.
Four formal, revised essays (min. 750 words each):
5% + 10% +15% + 20% = 50% of final grade
Four in-class essays (min. 350 words each):
5% + 5% + 10% + 10%* = 30% of final grade
The weekly things, whim:
20% of final grade
* This, the last in-class essay, is also the final exam.
The vast majority of your grade in this class is determined by your writing, by your performance on four formal, revised, printed-out-and-given-to-me writing assignments (WA1-4), four hand-written in-class essays (ICE1-4), and fifteen informal weekly things. They are weighted as follows:
WA1-4 (750+ words each): 5% + 10% + 15% + 20% = 50%
ICE1-4 (350+ words each): 5% + 5% + 10% + 10%* = 30%
Weekly things + group thing, whim: 15% + 5% = 20%
* This, the last ICE, is the final exam.
Numbers: F = 0-59; D- = 62; D = 65; D+ = 69; C = 72-79: B = 82-89; A=92+; n- = n2; n=n5; n+=n9
Weekly essays and drafts of formal essays will be submitted via Google Docs. Final drafts of formal essays will be printed on real paper. Each assignment will indicate specific formatting and composing requirements. All typed essays will be submitted in MLA form, information about which will be discussed before the first essay is due and is readily available (of all surprising places) online.
For each day (not class day or weekday, day) an essay is late, that essay’s grade will be lowered by one letter grade (ten points). Essays handed in on the due date, but after class, will lose five points. Late work will be accepted via email.
Regular class attendance will be expected. Roll will be taken at every class. After the third not-excused* absence, each absence will lower the final grade by five points. Late arrivals and early exits will count as half absences. A late arrival will be defined as an arrival after I have taken roll. If you arrive while I am taking roll, or after I take roll, it is your job to make sure I know you are present.Thus, please keep track of attendance.
* An excused absence will be an absence for which a general, meaning I don’t need to know the gory details, explanation is given (via email or etc.) before the next class.
When You’re Writing
You (yes, you!) are encouraged to take advantage of MSU’s writing labs, located in BW224 and the Moffett Library Lounge (opposite the computer lab). The very clever and credible folks there will offer specific feedback on any writing assignment you bring them, but will not edit that assignment for you. You may also give me a draft no later than two days before the relevant assignment is due, and I will go through it and be helpful and all sorts of wonderful things.
Intellectual property rights
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 in advance the written permission of me and the other instructor involved.