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WRIT 310: Academic Writing

Instructor: Zack De Piero

Qtr/Year: Fall 2014
Day & Time: Mondays, 9 - 11:50; Tuesdays, 6 - 8:50
Credits: 3 units = 30 classroom hours + 69 hours work outside of class (99 hrs total work)
Office Hours: By appointment
Contact info:, Room 210 (the Writing Center), 805-962-8179 x5110
Course Description:
The foundations of this course are the study of and practice with writing. We will be
reading various texts that explore the fundamental tenets of good writing and rhetoric:
genre, audience, purpose, tone, style, and context. The secondary goals of this course are to
(1) prepare you for academic writing at AUSB and (2) guide your existing interests in
exploring a social justice field. To accomplish these goals, you will step into the shoes of a
writing researcher by conducting empirical field research on a social justice-related
career, then analyzing this data in an argumentative paper. This project will be sequenced
with shorter, individual assignments that will guide your thinking, researching, and writing
process. A cumulative portfolio of these individual assignmentsand the drafts that
youve produced along the waywill demonstrate evidence of your writing development
over the F14 quarter.
B.A. Program Core Purposes:

Critical and Creative Thinking are the necessary thought processes of an effective
thinker who uses divergent and convergent thought patterns to arrive at an
appropriate conclusion in a given situation. This objective cultivates students skills
in reaching conclusions founded on their examination of a variety of authorities
within and across various disciplines and with engaging in innovation and risk

Effective Communication is the co-creation of meaning focusing on how people

use content to generate understanding within and across various contexts, cultures,
channels, and media. It always includes a communicator, an audience, a subject, and
a situation. Effective communicators create a purposeful message designed to
increase knowledge, to foster understanding, or to promote change in the listeners
attitudes, values, beliefs, or behaviors.

Global and Intercultural Awareness is a collection of skills that promote effective

interaction in a variety of cultural contexts. Global awareness is an understanding of
the interconnections between nations, socio-cultural groups, individuals, and the
elements that influence them. Intercultural awareness is knowledge of and

sensitivity to diversity in all its forms, and a variety of factors that shape culture
including worldview, communication, cultural rules, and personal biases.

Holistic Personal Development is the multifaceted process of becoming selfactualized. It involves all aspects of the selfincluding the physical, mental,
emotional and spiritualand includes taking personal responsibility for ones own
learning and development through a process of assessment, reflection, and action.

Competence for Professional Pursuits is an understanding and a disposition that

a student builds across the curriculum and co-curriculum, from making simple
connections among ideas and experiences to synthesizing and transferring learning
to new, complex situations beyond the classroom into a professional field. Students
explore the central knowledge, skills, and professional conduct of their chosen field
or profession to prepare for engagement in meaningful and socially responsible

Praxis for Social Justice combines learning and doing for the purpose of
encouraging critical consciousness, ethical reasoning, and socially responsible
behavior through civic engagement. This objective advances critical awareness of
the social, economic, political, and environmental justice issues that demarcate the
terrain of power, oppression, and resistance. Praxis for social justice includes
developing the commitment, skills, and knowledge necessary to contribute to the
on-going work for justice through activism and engagement that embraces local and
global communities.

Required Reading:
You will not need to purchase any books for this course; all required readings will be
uploaded to our course site on Sakai. The texts that will form the backbone of this course

Dirk, K. (2010). Navigating Genres. Writing Spaces: Readings on Writing. Parlor


Graff, G., Birkenstein, C., & Durst, R. (2012). "They Say / I Say": The Moves That
Matter in Academic Writing (2nd ed.). New York, NY: W. W. Norton &

Losh, E. & Alexander, A. (2013). Understanding Rhetoric. Boston, MA: Bedford/St.


Lunsford, A., Ruszkiewicz, J., & Walters, K. (2012). Everythings an Argument.

Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin.

Thill, J. & Bovee, C. (2011). Excellence in Business Communication (9th ed.).

Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Learning Objectives:
By the completion of this course, students will be able to:

1. produce a research-based analysis of "real world" writing artifacts in a social

justice-related career of interest supplemented by course readings
2. engage in this process by conducting background research on this career, making a
contact in the field, and developing interview questions to ask this person
3. provide constructive written and oral feedback to classmates work in peer review
4. produce drafts of written work in multiple genres and use multiple techniques for
self-revision and editing
5. create a writing portfolio to demonstrate writing development over the duration of
the quarter and reflect on this in a metacognitive reflection essay
The following percentages represent the weighted components of your grade:

Participation and Attendance: 10%

Assignments #1-4: 5% each; 20% total
Research Paper: 20%
Portfolio and Metacognitive Reflection Paper: 50%

Your achievement will be assessed based on your performance in the following

1. Exploratory Social Justice Paper: Identify a social justice issue or problem that
youre interested in, then (1) describe the problem and why youre interested in it,
(2) explain why this is a social justice issue which should concern citizens, and (3)
discuss how you would use sources to comprehensively research the issues, ideas,
and facts that can shed light on this problem. Your essay should be 2-3 pages.
(Note: you will be doing a similar paper, albeit in much greater depth, for your
capstone projectthe project that you will need to complete in order to
2. Emails to Social Justice Contact: You will be required to send three emails to a
social justice contactan individual working in a specific a social justice career or
organization that you are interested in. The purpose of the first email will be to
introduce yourself, explain why you are reaching out to them, and request 3-5
writing artifacts. The second email will be to schedule (or confirm) a 30-minute
interview about questions that youve developed about their writing artifacts,
themselves as writers, and/or good writing in their profession. The last email will
be a follow-up thank you with your final paper attached. To successfully write each
email, you will need to write according to the genre conventions of a professional
email which we will discuss in class.
3. Preliminary Artifact Analysis: Using the 3-5 writing artifactsdocuments that
your interviewee has to interpret or produce (read or write)that you have
collected, write up a preliminary 2-3 page analysis of their rhetorical features: the
genre, audience, purpose, tone, style, and any other features of each artifact that you
believe are worth analyzing.

4. Interview Questions: You will develop 10-15 questions that you will be using for
your interview with a professional in the social justice field. When you reach out to
your interviewee (Assignment #2), set up potential times/places to conduct your
interview. With their permission, record the interview so you can transcribe it at a
later date and use it as data for your final research paper. Your interview needs to
be conducted during Week 5, once you have analyzed your interviewees writing
artifacts (so you can directly tailor some of your interview questions to the writing
5. Research Paper: Using your research site data as your primary evidence (the 3-5
artifacts that you collected and the interview that you conducted), develop an
argument about writing. To most effectively construct your argument, refer to
course discussions, your notes, handouts, or the readings. Anything is fair game
its up to you to carve out a thesis statement-driven argument that is supported by
your evidence.
Requirements: at least 6 pages, double-spaced; APA format; 3-5 sources in addition
to your artifacts.
6. Metacognitive Reflection Paper: Reflect on what you learned about the study of
and practice with writing. How do you now see the writing world? How have you
developed as a writer? Which topics that surfaced in our course have helped you
the most? Why?
Requirements: 3 pages, double-spaced
7. Writing Portfolio: Note: very little extra work is required to put this together! The
purpose of submitting a writing portfolio is to showcase the breadth of work that
you completed throughout the course and, hopefully, demonstrate the progress that
youve made as a writer. Your portfolio must include drafts and final copies of all
your work: (1) your email to your interviewee and their response, (2) your
interview questions, (3) your interview transcription, (4) your thesis statements,
(5) your research paper, and (6) your metacognitive reflection. Your (7) in-class
journal responses are optional.
Weekly Schedule
The following schedule is subject to change. Please check your AUSB email account and
Sakai on a regular basis for any updates.
Week 1


Week 2

Writing Process(es)

Course Expectations
Academic Writing
Social Justice

(Completed Prior to Class)
If time permits, well read these in class:

Assignments Due
(At the Start of Class)
No assignments due

What is Academic Writing?

Navigating Genres
Understanding Rhetoric, Intro:
Spaces for Writing (pp. 1-22)

Assignment #1:
Exploratory Paper


Understanding Rhetoric, Issue 1:
Why Rhetoric? (pp. 35-54)
Everythings an Argument, Ch 1:
Everythings an Argument (pp. 3-29)

Week 3

Professional Writing
Writing in Different

Excellence in Business Communication, Ch 7:

Crafting Electronic Messages, pp. 175-195

Assignment #2:
Email (Draft)

Excellence in Business Communication, Ch 8:

Crafting Electronic Messages, pp. 208-213
Understanding Rhetoric, Issue 3:
Writing Identities (pp. 113-139)

Week 4
Week 5

Rhetorical Analysis
Interview Prep

Everythings an Argument, Ch 6:
Rhetorical Analysis (pp. 90-119)
Everythings an Argument, Ch 17:
Finding Evidence (pp. 395-409)

Academic Writing

What is Academic Writing? (Irvin, pp. 3 -16)

Thesis Statements

They Say, I Say, Ch 11: I Take Your Point

Entering Class Discussions (pp. 141-144)
They Say, I Say, Ch 9: Aint So/Is Not
Academic Writing Doesnt Always Mean
Setting Aside Your Own Voice (pp. 121-128)

Week 6

Thesis Statements

Everythings an Argument, Ch 16:

Academic Arguments (pp. 367-394)
Understanding Rhetoric, Issue 4:
Arguable Assertions (pp. 148-159)

Assignment #3:
Artifact Analysis
(Remember to bring your
writing artifacts to class!)
Assignment #4:
Interview Questions
(Note: schedule your
interviews sometime this
Thesis Statements
(Stage 1 of the Research

Shitty Rough Drafts (Lamott, pp. 21-27)

They Say, I Say, Ch 7:
So What? Who Cares? Saying Why it Matters
(pp. 92-99)
Week 7

(No class this week)

(1-on-1 conferences)

Week 8


RSW: Responding to Student Writing

Homegrown Resource

Peer Review

Annoying Ways that People Use Sources

(Stedman, pp. 242-255)

Everythings an Argument, Ch 20:

Plagiarism and Academic Identity (pp. 436 445)

Beginning Rough Draft

(Stage 2)

Rough Draft
(Stage 3)

Week 9

APA Formatting

No readings due

Assignments #6:
Metacognitive Reflection

Week 10

Next Steps

No readings due

Assignment #5 and 7:
Final Draft (Stage 4)
and Portfolio

Additional Information:
Your weekly readings are intended to prepare you for completing your weekly
assignments, so try to finish your readings before you begin writing. When your
assignments are complete, upload them to Sakai as an MS Word attachment unless other
specified. Each assignment must be turned in on time (by the start of class) to receive
credit. If you are unable to complete individual assignments on time, you can still earn
final draft points when you submit your portfolio.
Absence Policy:
If you have an excused absence, you will need to make up the work by the following week
for credit. Please know being unpreparedie, not completing your assignments by the
start of classis not a good reason to miss class! Even if you arent prepared, I still want
you to attend class.
In the event that you miss class, contact your classmates to find out what we covered
during class and get detailed notes. If you believe that your absence should be excused,
email beforehand and explain why. *Note: more than two unexcused absences will result
in automatic no credit evaluation.
Academic Integrity Statement:
Plagiarism is the representation of someone else's writing, graphics, research, or ideas as
ones own. Paraphrasing an authors ideas or quoting even limited portions of the work of
others without proper citation are considered plagiarism. Extreme forms of plagiarism
include submitting a paper written by another person or from a commercial source, or
turning in a paper comprising selections from other sources without appropriate
acknowledgement of those sources. Plagiarism is a violation of the principle of intellectual
integrity and inquiry and, as such, is taken seriously when it occurs. If there is any question
about the nature of plagiarism, students are encouraged to meet with their advisors or
course instructors for clarification or referral to resources. Academic integrity is expected of
students in all interactions with the university, including participation in courses and other
formal educational activities, interactions and relationships between students and
university personnel, as well as in the use of all university educational resources. Students
are expected to uphold the tenets of academic integrity, and may not engage in conduct that
is in violation of these tenets, which includes plagiarism
Confidentiality Statement:
Classes at Antioch University Santa Barbara are interactive, drawing on the experiences of
faculty and student alike. Often in the course of these discussions, information of a personal
nature is shared. It is the expectation of the University that such information will remain
confidential, allowing all to share freely without fear of disclosure outside the classroom.
Breaches of confidentiality damage the building of community and trust.
BA Policy on Incompletes:
Students are encouraged to complete the course on time. In very rare circumstancessuch
as personal or family emergenciesstudents may petition to take an incomplete if they

have already completed at least 75% of the work before the end of the enrolled quarter. To
do so, the student must fill out the Incomplete Form and submit it to the instructor for
approval. This written document must contain a list of the work to be completed with a
final deadlineboth student and instructor must sign their agreement to the terms. The
completed and signed form must be turned in to the BA Program no later than the Friday of
Week 12. All make-up work must be submitted to the instructor by the agreed deadline,
usually by the end of Week 2 of the following quarter, or else the incomplete converts to a
no credit. Once work is submitted, the instructor will update the narrative evaluation by
no later than the end of the following quarter.
IMPORTANT: In Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) review, an Incomplete grade is
counted as attempted but not completed units. If a grade change from an INC to CR occurs
during the following term it does not have a retroactive impact on your Academic Progress
status for the term in which you were awarded the Incomplete. However, the new grade
(CR or NC) will be included in your Cumulative Requirement calculation when the next SAP
review takes place at the end of the following quarter.
For more information please visit:
Narrative Assessment Statement:
Antioch University Santa Barbara is a non-grading institution and provides a letter grade
equivalent (LGE) only when requested by a student. If you would like a LGE to appear on
your Evaluator Learning Assessment (ELA), in addition to the credit/no credit, you must
request one online by the add/drop deadline using the Letter Grad Equivalent Request
Form located here:
4menwMbrUbdI/viewform?usp=send_form .
Further instructions may be found on the Student Center site in Sakai. The LGE will not
appear on your transcript, even if you request a LGE be assessed on your ELA. Students
may request a LGE formal letter from the Registrars Office. Faculty has until the last day of
the instructional period (Friday of week 12 each quarter) to complete and submit narrative
assessments to the Registrars office.
Reasonable Accommodation for Students with Disabilities:
Antioch University is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified
students with disabilities in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 2008. Students with disabilities may contact the
Disability Support Services office to initiate the process and request accommodations that
will enable them to have an equal opportunity to benefit from and participate in the
institution's programs and services. Students are encouraged to do this as early in the term
as possible, since reasonable accommodations are not retroactive. The Disability Support
Services office is available to address questions regarding reasonable accommodations at
any point in the term. For more information, please contact Donna Mathes, (805) 9628179, extension 5337, Office #342, email:
Antioch University Policies:
Antioch University is committed to building a vibrant and inclusive educational
environment that promotes learning and the free exchange of ideas. Our academic and
learning communities are based upon the expectation that their members uphold the

shared goal of academic excellence through honesty, integrity, and pride in ones own
academic efforts and respectful treatment of the academic efforts of others. All students are
expected to comply with Antioch University policies, including the Title IX Sexual
Harassment and Sexual Violence Policy and the Student Conduct Policy. To access
academic, student, and other university policies are available online: