Rhetoric and Composition

Course Details

Course Number: ENGL 1113  Section Number: 280

Spring 2014

Location: Prothro-Yeager Hall

Classroom Number: PY 205

Days & Times:

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 5:30 p.m.--6:50 p.m.

Course Attachments

ENGL 1113 Syllabus & schedule (Spring 2014)  ENGL 1113-280 Spring 2014 Syllabus and schedule-20140124-163131.doc


MSU Faculty Member
Scott Ramsey   
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Course Objectives

·         Write original, thesis-based essays that provide strong support, specific details, and demonstrate familiarity with MLA format.

  • Engage in a writing process that includes critical thinking, invention, revision, and which culminates in your becoming a better writer—our ultimate goal, after all, is improvement—regardless whether you’re a seasoned wordsmith or a fledgling amateur, there always exists room for improvement with regard to the process of writing; ergo, improvement/progress via learning and participation will be the fundamental impetus which propels this class forward in beneficial fashion.
  • Demonstrate proficient use of Standard Written English as well as the ability to think critically and convey your ideas in an appropriately academic manner.
  • Learn to identify, synthesize, and incorporate credible secondary sources to bolster your argument/position/essay.

Additional information about course objectives can be found on the department webpage, http://libarts.mwsu.edu/english/.

Course Expectations

o   4 In-Class Essays (350-word minimum each; includes final exam, which will be the fourth In-Class Essay).

o   3 Formal, Revised Essays (750-word minimum).

o   1 Research Paper (1500-word minimum) which incorporates 3 legitimate secondary sources.


Writing assignments will require students to produce approximately 5000 words of graded writing and will count for 90% of the final grade:


In-Class Essay 1 = 5%, In-Class Essay 2 = 10%, In-Class Essay 3 = 10%,   In-Class Essay 4 = 15%


Formal Essay 1 = 10%, Formal Essay 2 = 10%, Formal Essay 3 = 10%


Research Paper  = 20%


The other 10% of your grade will consist of:


In-class quizzes and grammar exercises = 5%


Preparedness and participation in class activities, discussions, readings = 5% 

Grading Standards

Grading Policies

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%. Note: As per official MSU policy, you must earn a C or higher in order to pass this course.


A indicates excellent work

B indicates good work

C indicates satisfactory work

Essays that meet the basic requirements will earn a C, not an A or a B. If you desire to earn As or Bs, you will have to work hard to produce writing that is better than average/satisfactory.


Final Exam5/3/2014  1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Submission Format Policy

Papers may be printed and handed in or submitted via e-mail.

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

Unfortunately, life sometimes intervenes and prevents one from turning his or her assignment in on time. If extenuating circumstances prevent your turning in an assignment on its due date, please inform me in advance via e-mail, an office visit, or a phone call (e-mail is the best option). Late papers/assignments MAY be accepted, but points will be deducted for every day the assignment is late (and that includes weekends). The amount of points deducted shall depend upon the specific circumstances regarding each late assignment. If one has a legitimate, verifiable reason for turning in an assignment late, there may be no loss of points at all. Students without legitimate and verifiable reasons for handing in late work will see their grades decrease by 5 to 10 points per day—including weekends—that it is late. This policy is somewhat subjective, so please contact me ahead of time if you are unable to complete an assignment by its due date. If you work with me, I’ll be much more inclined to work with you. However, this is not an invitation to turn in late work continually. If students take advantage of this policy it will be abrogated in favor of a zero tolerance policy whereby no late work will be accepted. Late work includes anything that is turned in after the beginning of class on the due date. 

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

Regular class attendance is expected and required. Roll will be taken at the beginning of each class. After four unexcused absences, each additional absence will lower your final grade by one-half a letter grade (some 5 points). If you have an emergency, please contact me ahead of time (or as soon as possible afterword) and you may, depending on the circumstances, be able to get your absence excused, in which case it will not count toward the four unexcused absences. Please note, however, that this is not an invitation to miss four classes without consequences. Your goal in this course is to learn and to endeavor to become better writers, and missing class hampers your capacity to do that. Moreover, class attendance will be taken into account with regard to the participation element of your final grade.  

Other Policies

Cell phones are taboo in the classroom. Please turn off your cell phones upon entering class. If you have an emergency and need to monitor your cell phone, please inform me beforehand and I’ll attempt to accommodate you. Otherwise, cell phones will not be allowed in class. If you have your cell phone out I reserve the right to confiscate it. And anyone using a cell phone during a quiz, exam, or in-class writing assignment will receive an automatic F for that assignment. Multiple infractions will result in your being expelled from this class. Moreover, disruptive behavior WILL NOT be tolerated. You all are adults and are expected to act as such. Those who insist on acting like children and/or inhibiting other students’ ability to concentrate and learn will be dealt with accordingly. 

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.