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English 367.

01 – The American Experience (Intermediate Composition)

Section 08571-1, Spring 2008

Instructor: Ms. Jessica E. Clements

Instructor E-mail: (No e-mails after 10 p.m., please!)
Class Meets: Monday and Wednesday, 3:30 – 5:18 p.m., Denney Hall 268
Office Hours: Monday and Wednesday, 12:30 – 2:30 p.m., Denney Hall 449 (and by

Postmodern America: (Re)Reading, (Re)Thinking, (Re)Writing

Course Description and Objectives

English 367 is an intermediate-level composition course with an emphasis on the American

experience. This course satisfies General Education Curriculum category 1.B by developing
students’ skills in writing, reading, critical thinking and oral expression and by adhering to the
following learning objectives: students will apply basic skills in expository writing, will
demonstrate critical thinking through written and oral expression, and will retrieve and use
written information analytically and effectively. This course also satisfies General Education
Curriculum category 6.A by fostering an understanding of the pluralistic nature of institutions,
society, and culture in the United States and by upholding the following learning goals:
students will describe the roles of such categories as race, gender, class, ethnicity, and religion
in the institutions and cultures of the United States, and students will recognize the role of
social diversity in shaping their own attitudes and values.

The theme for this section of English 367 is “Postmodern America: (Re)Reading, (Re)Thinking,
(Re)Writing.” The keystone text will be Don DeLillo’s White Noise with supplementary readings
from Harry G. Frankfurt’s On Bullshit and On Truth. These texts will help us to explore our
contemporary postmodern condition, which refers to a cultural, intellectual, or artistic state
lacking a clear central hierarchy or organizing principle and embodying extreme complexity,
contradiction, ambiguity, diversity, and interconnectedness or interreferentiality. Examining
these topics in literature will help us better understand how to tackle difficult, real-world
postmodern questions such as: What is truth? What is reality? How can we best investigate
reality so that all humanity can understand the world in which we live and prosper from such
knowledge? This course is premised on the idea that answering difficult questions (i.e.,
producing good writing), takes time and commitment; therefore, significant emphasis will be
placed on revision (rereading, rethinking, rewriting) throughout the quarter.

Required Texts
∗ DeLillo, Don. White Noise. New York: Penguin, 1985. ISBN#: 0-14-007702-2
∗ Frankfurt, Harry G. On Bullshit. Princeton: Princeton UP, 2005. ISBN #: 0-691-12294-6
∗ ---. On Truth. New York: Knopf, 2006. ISBN #: 0-307-26422-X
Recommended Text
∗ Kirszner, Laurie G. and Stephen R. Mandell. The Pocket Wadsworth Handbook. 3rd Ed. Boston:
Heinle, 2006. ISBN #: 1-4130-1168-3
Course Policies
Attendance is important to the success of this class and to your development as a writer;
therefore, each unexcused absence after two will result in the lowering of your final
grade by a third, and it is program policy that five unexcused absences will
automatically result in failure for the course. Excused absences accompanied by official,
written documentation, such as illness, family tragedy, religious observance, or travel
for inter-collegiate athletics, will not affect your grade. Whether the absence is excused
or unexcused it is your responsibility to contact the instructor for compensatory work.

Tardiness is disruptive to the classroom environment, and prevents you from fully
participating and assimilating the information and materials discussed in class.
Excessive tardiness will lower your participation grade: showing up more than five
minutes late will constitute a tardy, and three tardies will constitute one unexcused

Plagiarism is the unauthorized use of the words or ideas of another person. It is a serious
academic offense that can result in referral to the Committee on Academic Misconduct
and failure for the course. Please remember that at no point during the writing process
should the work of others be presented as your own.

Student Work must be completed and submitted on time. All assignments must be
turned in during the class period when they are due.

1. Draft assignments: Turning in draft assignments late will mean that you cannot
receive a timely or full response from the instructor. Failure to turn in an
assignment draft at all will result in the deduction of one-third of a letter grade
on the final version of the paper (for example, B+ to B). Further, if the
assignment draft was part of a peer group exercise, failure to turn in the draft
will lower your participation grade.
2. Final graded assignments: Late submission of a final graded assignment will
result in the deduction of one full letter grade for each day past the due date
(for example, B+ to C+).

The grade will not be affected when a draft or final graded assignment is late for
reasons that would result in an excused absence. Students who know they will miss the
class when the assignment is due must contact the instructor as soon as possible in
advance of class to arrange for submission of the assignment.

Please pick up all late-quarter work as soon as possible. Materials will be held until the
end of the second quarter subsequent to the quarter in which you take English 367.
Paper Format: double spaced, 12 point font, standard 1 inch margins, your name,
instructor’s name, the class, and the date should appear in the upper left corner of the
first page; pages should be numbered according to MLA standards; paper should have
a title.

Class Cancellation Policy: In the unlikely event due to emergency, I will contact you via
email and request that a note on department letterhead be placed on the door. In
addition, I will contact you as soon as possible following the cancellation to let you
know what will be expected of you for our next class meeting.

The Ombudsman of the Writing Programs, Dr. Matthew Cariello, mediates conflicts
between teachers and students in 110 and 367. You can contact him at 292-5778 or Spring 2008 office hours in Denney Hall 412 are Monday, Tuesday,
and Wednesday 1:30 – 3:00 p.m., but other times are available by appointment. All
conversations with the Ombudsman are strictly confidential.

Writing Center consultants hold one-to-one writing tutorials with any member of the
OSU community at 475 Mendenhall Laboratory (Monday-Friday, 9:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.),
at the Younkin Success Center (Monday-Thursday, 5:30-7:30 p.m.), and through the
Carmen chat system ( In addition, clients can have face-to-face
tutorials recorded to CDs and can schedule appointments online. Please visit to make an appointment or to have an online tutorial. Clients may also
call 688-4291 to take advantage of this free, professional writing tutoring and
consultation service.

The Office for Disability Services, located in 150 Pomerene Hall, offers services for
students with documented disabilities. Contact the ODS at 292-3307.

Course Requirements

Please note that you must complete all assignments in order to pass the course.

Participation/Portfolio: (Re)Reading, (Re)Thinking, (Re)Writing Journal-- 25%

Good participation takes place both inside and outside the classroom. In-class
participation includes coming to class on time and remaining in class for the entire hour
and 48 minutes, active listening, in-class writing, being prepared to contribute your
views on the assigned readings, showing a positive attitude, collaborating
appropriately, and showing respect to your classmates and to me. Bear in mind that if
you come to class to sleep, you will receive the same grade as if you were at home in
bed. Outside participation includes completing assigned readings and writing
activities. Should there be any reason that hinders your ability to participate, please
speak with me (in person or by e-mail), and we will work together to resolve the
situation (7%).

Each of you will participate in a group (Re)Reading, (Re)Thinking, (Re)Writing Journal

for this course, posting in it regularly (at least once weekly), using that space primarily
as an ongoing portfolio of your reading responses. Each reading response should be at
least 250-500 words in length (one to two double-spaced pages) and show that you
have closely read and analyzed a passage in the text assigned for the day by
articulating critical insight into important issues, contexts, and key ideas. This part of
the course also requires you to keep up-to-date on your fellow students’ journal entries
and to comment frequently on their posts. The (Re)Reading, (Re)Thinking, (Re)Writing
Journal may also be used to post your thoughts about course discussions, links to
material relevant to the course, drafts of writing done for course papers, and response
to peers’ drafts of course papers. Entries must be posted prior to 3:30 p.m. the day the
reading you are responding to is due (8%).

No later than the final class day of the quarter (Wednesday, May 28, 2008), you will
submit a portfolio of three representative (Re)Reading, (Re)Thinking, (Re)Writing
Journal entries. Your choice of entries should showcase your highest quality
compositional craftsmanship in content and style per the guidelines suggested
immediately above. Entries may be edited prior to portfolio submission but should stay
true to the original topic and should not exceed 500 words each. These entries will also
be accompanied by a 250-500 word “reflection.” More information about this portfolio
will follow (10%).

Collaborative Assignment (Analytical Summary and Leading Class Discussion)-- 15%

You will sign up in pairs to make presentations and to lead class discussion. Firstly, you
and your peer will compose separate two- to three-page analytical summaries of your
assigned reading. Analytical summary involves writing to uncover a text’s strategy, to
understand how a piece is constructed, in what ways it persuades us, and in what ways
it directs our focus. The analytical summary will show evidence of your engagement
with the reading, your ability to use analysis to understand and to articulate the key
ideas and the underlying structure of a text, and your understanding of how the text
employs rhetorical and/or literary strategies to express its ideas.

Secondly, after presenting your analytical summaries, you and your peer will lead the
class in a twenty-minute comprehensive and analytical discussion of your assigned
reading. You must come prepared with at least five to ten discussion questions and
should provide a handout for your classmates (which may or may not include a copy or
outline of your analytical summaries and a list of the discussion questions for the day).
You should also consider using some form of visual support (Power Point presentation,
overheads, etc.), but, most importantly, you must involve your fellow students in
lively discussion. Be creative in finding ways to engage the class in a productive

Midterm Paper (Articulating an Argument: Using a Reading as a Critical Lens)-- 25%

Learning how to further articulate an engaging question is important to reconsidering
ideas. In this four- to six-page paper, you will develop an idea, pushing yourself to
analyze the main text using a secondary text as a lens. This formal essay will propose a
thesis and will engage more than one text; the primary text will be Don DeLillo’s White
Noise, and the secondary text will be one of an alternative genre of your choice (audio,
visual, etc.). More information about this paper will follow.

Term Paper (Researched Analysis)-- 35%

In your eight- to ten-page final paper you will use the analytical skills you have
developed in this course to analyze a topic related to the course theme in more detail.
Your paper will analyze a primary source and incorporate scholarly secondary sources
in order to help you develop your analysis. An Annotated Bibliography will preface
this Researched Analysis. More information about this paper will follow.

This class requires the regular use of Ohio State’s course management system, Carmen.
You will use Carmen to participate in online class discussions, to download and to print
additional course materials, to gain easy access to helpful resources, to turn in some
daily and all larger drafts and final assignments, and to track your grades, among other
things. Navigate to, double click “log in,” and sign in with your
OSU Internet User name and Password. Click the “+” next to “Spring 2008” under “My
Courses” in the middle of the page, then click an additional “+” if necessary, until you
find “ENGLISH 367.01 (CLEMENTS) -10.” Click this once, and you will find you are
already enrolled in the course. Additional navigation techniques will be discussed on
in class if necessary, and help is available at I
rely heavily upon Carmen and communication via e-mail; therefore, you will need to
check your university e-mail account at least once or twice daily.

Daily Schedule

!!Note: Readings should be completed before coming to class on the day under which they are listed!!

Day 1—Monday, March 24 Day 3— Monday, March 31

Introduction to instructor, classmates, Reading: White Noise (pages 3-53)
and course (syllabus, texts, and Skills: Quality of Ideas
Carmen). Presentation #1 (pages 3-26):
Day 2—Wednesday, March 26 ______________________
Skills: Quality of Ideas
Presentation #2 (pages 27-53): Day 8— Wednesday, April 16
______________________, Reading: White Noise (282-326)
______________________ Skills: Introduce Midterm Paper
Presentation #11 (pages 282-303):
Day 4—Wednesday, April 2 ______________________,
Reading: White Noise (pages 54-105) ______________________
Skills: Quality of Ideas Presentation #12 (pages 304-26):
Presentation #3 (pages 54-79): ______________________,
______________________, ______________________
Presentation #4 (pages 80-105): Day 9— Monday, April 21
______________________, Reading: On Bullshit
______________________ Skills: Plagiarism/Documentation,
Sample Midterm Paper
Day 5—Monday, April 7
Reading: White Noise (109-63) Day 10— Wednesday, April 23
Skills: Quality of Ideas Reading: Workshop participants’ papers
Presentation #5 (pages 109-37): Skills: Workshopping
______________________, In-class workshop:
______________________ ______________________,
Presentation #6 (pages 138-63): ______________________,
______________________, ____________________,
______________________ ____________________
!!Draft of Midterm Paper due!!
Day 6— Wednesday, April 9
Reading: White Noise (167-223) Day 11— Monday, April 28
Skills: Quality of Ideas Reading: Workshop participants’ papers
Presentation #7 (pages 167-89): Skills: Organization and Development
______________________, In-class workshop:
______________________ _____________________,
Presentation #8 (pages 190-223): _____________________,
______________________, ____________________,
______________________ ____________________

Day 7— Monday, April 14 Day 12— Wednesday, April 30

Reading: White Noise (224-81) Reading: Workshop participants’ papers
Skills: Quality of Ideas Skills: Organization and Development
Presentation #9 (pages 224-56): In-class workshop:
______________________, _____________________,
______________________ _____________________,
Presentation #10 (pages 257-81): ____________________,
______________________, ____________________
Day 13— Monday, May 5 Day 18— Wednesday, May 21
Reading: Re-read Reading: Workshop participants’ papers
Skills: Organization and Development Skills: Clarity and Style
!!Final of Midterm Paper due!! In-class workshop:
Day 14— Wednesday, May 7 _____________________,
Reading: Re-read ____________________,
Skills: Organization and Development, ____________________
Introduce Term Paper !! Draft of Term Paper due!!

Day 15— Monday, May 12 Day 19— Monday, May 26

Reading: On Truth !!No regularly-scheduled class meeting
Skills: Clarity and Style, Sample Term in observation of Memorial Day!!
Day 20—Wednesday, May 28
Day 16— Wednesday, May 14 Reading: Workshop participants’ papers
Reading: Re-read Skills: Mechanics
Skills: Clarity and Style In-class workshop:
!!Annotated Bibliography due!! _____________________,
Day 17— Monday, May 19 ____________________,
Reading: Workshop participants’ papers ____________________
Skills: Clarity and Style !!Participation Portfolio Due!!
In-class workshop:
Finals Week: !!Final draft of term paper
due by 5:18 p.m., Thursday, June 5