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English 106: First-Year Composition

Spring 2016
Regular classroom: Heavilon 106
Conferences: Heavilon 225
Computer classroom: Beering B274
Miss Lindsey Macdonald
Email: macdonl@purdue.edu
Office: Heavilon 214
Office Hours: Mondays and Wednesdays 10:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m., or by appointment
Welcome to English 106, the First-Year Composition course at Purdue. Well be working in three different
spaces this semestera traditional classroom, a conference room, and a computer classroom. And well be
engaging in challenging activities that will involve reading, writing, collaborative work, visual design, and
rhetorical/creative uses of technology.

Required Texts & Course Materials

Wysocki and Lynch, Compose Design Advocate, 2nd Ed


Additional readings as needed
Reliable access to a printer and stapler
A notebook for class notes

Common Goals and Outcomes

English 106 is the standard 4-credit hour composition course for students at Purdue. The course provides
students with the opportunity to interpret and compose in both digital and print media across a variety of
forms. Students engage in active learning, which includes class discussion, learning in small groups, problem
solving, peer review, and digital interaction. English 106 is grounded in the idea that writing provides an
outlet for sharing and developing ideas; facilitates understanding across different conventions, genres,
groups, societies, and cultures; and allows for expression in multiple academic, civic, and non-academic
situations. In short, writing is a way of learning that spans all fields and disciplines.
By the end of the course, students will:

Demonstrate rhetorical awareness of diverse audiences, situations, and contexts


Compose a variety of texts in a range of forms, equaling at least 7,500-11,500 words of polished
writing (or 15,000-22,000 words, including drafts)
Critically think about writing and rhetoric through reading, analysis, and reflection
Provide constructive feedback to others and incorporate feedback into their writing
Perform research and evaluate sources to support claims
Engage multiple digital technologies to compose for different purposes

Course Description

What would happen if we suddenly lost the ability to communicate? Well, for one, the world would certainly
be lonely and boring, but a lack of communication would also prohibit us from accomplishing even the most
mundane, everyday tasks that we often take for granted, like paying for groceries or checking our email.
Communication becomes increasingly important as technology advances into realms that we previously
considered science fiction. With computers and the Internet, we can have business meetings with coworkers
in New Delhi, or give a tour of our house to relatives who live on the other side of the country. We are able to
communicate with more people more quickly and in more ways than we ever have before. Although we still
read books or listen to the radioactivities some would consider more traditional forms of
communicationthose media are continually upgraded and revitalized to fit into the digital age. Therefore,
many argue that how we define and teach literacy and writing should also be rethought to reflect these digital
modes of communication. Although we still read and write, what we read and how we write have changed

significantly and have expanded to digital and visual media. This course aims to introduce and navigate you
through this contemporary literacy all while working within an academic framework.

Essentially, the goal of English 106 is to foster critical thinking and creativity in connection to learning to
write effectively. Although we will write in more traditional formats, we will also challenge the definition of
writing by exploring different textual forms that you may have not previously encountered in the classroom.
We will move beyond the traditional essay and incorporate visual design and alternate media, such as
posters, into your assignments. Additionally, in your textbook, Compose Design Advocate, we will read a
variety of texts, spanning from essays to posters to advertisements. These texts will allow us to rethink how
we receive, respond, and create messages, thereby challenging our current sense of literacy and writing
practices. Although writing is a form a communication, you will come to find that writing is also a tool for
learning and generating ideas, as well as a gateway to understanding humanity and the world.

Since this is an introductory composition course, and the main goal is to improve your writing skills, you will
have multiple writing assignments in a variety of formswith some of those forms requiring visuals.
Furthermore, since writing and reading are intertwined, we will also focus on reading comprehension and
building your critical reading skills. Critical reading will be essential not only during your academic career but
also in your professional and personal lives. Additionally, we will challenge the idea of writing as a solitary act
and emphasize its relationship to society and culture. We look at media like advertisements and posters
because these forms of communication exist to convey and promote certain messages to an array of
audiences. Advertisements and posters also reflect our culture and how we function as a society. It is through
rhetoric (a term you will become more and more familiar with throughout the semester), or what some call
the art of persuasion, that we investigate how these various forms of communication affect and function
within society. But, of course, you will also write academically, which differs greatly from the types of writing
previously mentioned, but also serves a unique and often powerful purpose. By the end of the semester, you
should be more comfortable working in multiple genres and understanding when those genres are
appropriate to the situation.

Conferencing

Half of you are already scheduled to meet with me in Heavilon 225 on Tuesdays, the other half also in
Heavilon 225 on Thursdays. During the first week, I will meet with you in groups of five. We will acclimate
ourselves to the rooms and cover my conferencing guidelines, and I will begin to get you know you better as
students and writers. We will sign up for these groups on the first day of class.
After the first week, I will meet with you all individually for 10 minutes every other week (We will also sign
up for these time slots on the first day of class). During conferences, we will discuss your progress and
address any pertinent issues at the time, whether it be brainstorming, revising, reading comprehension, etc.

Assignments

Major Projects
You have four major projects to complete throughout the semester: a visual analysis, an editorial, a research
essay, and an advertisement. Several of these projects will include multiple parts, involve composing in
various mediums, and require revisions. These projects will be the main focus of the course.

First, for the visual analysis project, you will do a rhetorical analysis of a poster or a print advertisement of
your choosing. You will consider the design choices made in relation to the audience, the purpose, and any
cultural ramifications or social issues evoked in the poster or advertisement. Your analysis should be 4 pages
double-spaced.

Second, you will write an editorial, a public-oriented form of argument commonly found in newspapers,
magazines, journals, and online. You will pick an issue that you care about and construct an ethos for yourself
through research and stylistic choices. This assignment should be 4 pages double-spaced.

Third, for the research essay, you will compose a formal argument for a professional or academic audience.
You will need to perform extensive research using various library resources and also address counter points
that go against the stance that you take. You will also be expected to complete an annotated bibliography for
this project. The annotated bibliography must include at least five sources with annotations of 250 words
each, and your research essay should ultimately be 6 pages double-spaced.

Lastly, using persuasive and visual design principles discussed throughout the semester, you will design your
own advertisement. Your advertisement can be in video, audio, or print form. For this project, you will also be
expected to give a 3-5 minute presentation and compose a design plan (3 pages) and explication (4 pages).

Participation
One hundred points (or 10%) of your grade will be based on your class participation. After every class period,
I will make notes about your level of participation that day. You will be graded on how well you participate in
class discussions, in group activities, and in any other activities we do in class. You will be docked points if
you are texting, sleeping, surfing the web (or just not paying attention), or if you do not contribute during
class activities.
Short Homework and Writing Assignments
Short homework and writing assignments will be integral to the composition of the larger projects, and I will
be making such assignments regularly. For example, a homework assignment might ask you to answer a
question that emerged from our class discussion. To prepare for class, I may ask you to respond to a couple of
our readings in specific ways, or practice some kind of analysis. In class, I may ask you to revise parts of your
projects. Take-home writing assignments will usually be 1-2 pages typed and double-spaced, and in-class
writing assignments will typically be -1 page written.
All short homework and writing assignments will be graded on a check scaleyou receive a check if you
do the assignment and do it well, a check minus if you half-heartedly complete the assignment, and a zero
if no effort at all is present in the assignment, or if you fail to turn it in. At the end of the semester, if you
receive a check for at least 90% of the writings, you will receive the full points (an A) for your short writing
grade. Between 80% and 90% gets you a B, and so on.
You are also responsible for keeping up with all the readings and for participating in class. If you miss class,
keep in mind that you are responsible for making up the work.

Grading
Points
125
125
225
225
100
200
1000

Assignment
Visual Analysis
Editorial
Research Paper
Advertisement
Participation
Short Homework and Writing Assignments
Course Total

Letter Grades
A (94-100, 935-1000 points); A- (90-93, 895-934 points)
B+ (87-89, 865-894 points); B (84-86, 835-864 points); B- (80-83, 795-834 points)
C+(77-79, 765-794 points); C (74-76, 735-764 points); C- (70-73, 695-734 points)
D+ (67-69, 665-694 points); D (64-66, 635-664 points); D- (60-63, 595-634 points)
F (59 or below, 594 or fewer points)

Attendance
This class requires you to participate in discussions and hands-on writing activities. For the course to be a
success, everyone's participation is necessary. For that reason, attendance is required. You will be allowed 4
absences; after 5, I will lower your final grade by one full letter grade. After 7 absences, I will lower it two full
letter grades. Conference attendance is also mandatory; if you miss your conference, it will count as an
absence. If you are sick or know that you will need to miss class for a legitimate reason (sickness, a
death in the family, a conference, a job interview, etc.), then you must let me know before the start of
class on the day that you will be absent. Otherwise, your absence will be unexcused. I know that
emergencies do happen, so if you are having a medical or family emergency and cannot get in contact with me
before the start of class, then the proper documentation (like a note from a doctor) will result in an excused
absence.
Additionally, it is also imperative that you are on time to class. Consistently showing up late to class is both
disruptive and disrespectful, and you miss valuable information. Therefore, I will mark each time you are late
to class. Accumulating four tardies will count as one absence. If you accumulate eight tardies over the course
of the semester, that will be two absences (and so on). If you know you will be consistently late for class due
to a medical or logistical reason (like a previous class that is far away), please let me know ahead of time.
The days we do peer review are days you are required to have a rough draft of your project. If you do not
have a rough draft, you cannot participate effectively in class that day, and, therefore, you will be considered
absent, and you will lose points on your final paper grade.

Plagiarism

This is the copying, deliberate or not, of another persons work and/or ideas without the proper citation. This
can result in failure of the project, the course, and other disciplinary action. We will discuss it further in class,
but you also need to be aware of what it is and how to avoid it. When in doubt, you can always check with me.

Late Work

I will count off a letter grade for each day a major project is late unless you make arrangements with me prior
to the due date. Informal writing assignments will not be accepted late unless you have an excused absence.
Problems can arise, but the key to their successful resolution is communication. Dont be afraid to talk with
me if you are having difficulties.

Rewrites

The first two projects may be rewritten once each within the time period before the next project is due. You
may only rewrite an assignment if you received a grade lower than a B, and the rewrite grade will be
averaged with the first attempt. Keep in mind that a rewrite is a substantial reworking of the project, not just a
correction of my markings. Turn in all rewrites with the original graded version.

Cell Phones and Laptops

Since we will be working with various media throughout the semester, computer and cell phone use is
permitted during class time, BUT that does not mean you can browse Facebook or text during the entire class.
If I see that you are not paying attention or not staying on task, I will ask you to put your device away, and you
will get points taken away from your participation grade.

Disability Accommodation

If you have a disability that requires special accommodation, please see me privately within the first week of
class to make arrangements. This information is kept confidential between you and I, so do not be afraid to
talk with me.

Campus Emergency
In the event of a major campus emergency, course requirements, deadlines, and grading percentages are
subject to changes that may be necessitated by a revised semester calendar or other circumstances beyond
the instructor's control. Information about possible changes will be communicated by me through email. If
you have questions, please email me, and for more information, see ITAP's Campus Emergency website:
http://www.itap.purdue.edu/tlt/faculty/ .