Nicole Williams English 1105 Office: Office Phone: Office Hours: Online Hours: Email: Nicoleaw@vt.

edu Website: http://www.nicoleannwilliams.com Text Required: Composition at Virginia Tech: Written, Spoken, and Visual Composition. Diana George. Pearson Custom Publishing 2009. (ISBN 10: 0-558-19908-9) Other Materials: flash drive or other device for storing files Course Description- From Composition at Virginia Tech “In first year composition, we see writing, visual communication, and speaking as three important aspects of strong communication, communication which will be useful to you both as a student and as a graduate of Virginia Tech.” English 1105 is an introduction to college level composition. In this course you will be introduced to composition’s rhetorical dimensions. That is to say, you will be asked to consider the purpose, audience, occasion, and genre a writing, speaking, or visual assignment calls for. You will be asked to brainstorm topics, to write drafts, and to take revision seriously. You might be asked to read each others’ papers and give feedback—an important step in learning to respond to a reader’s concerns. You will be asked to read challenging articles, essays, and prose and to consider paintings, films, or other visuals. College composition begins from the assumption that written, visual, and spoken texts can be in conversation with each other. Thus, you will be assigned readings as a jumping off point for your own arguments and analysis, as well as models of either good or poor composition. Instructors Note: As individuals in this society, you are constantly surrounded by and participate in popular culture. This course will center around the theme of popular culture including how you interact with it and how it shapes your life. We will examine this theme through various reading and composing of texts throughout the semester. University Composition Requirement The aim of this course is to teach effective written, spoken, and visual communication practices that go beyond much of the writing you did in high school.

Course Objectives 1. Gain knowledge of composition’s rhetorical dimensions. 2. Use writing as a tool for critical thinking. 3. Practice writing as a process via using multiple brainstorming, invention, revision, and argument skills. 4. Write in several genres that utilize analysis, reflection, narrative, critique, and argument skills. 5. Practice using the conventions of written, spoken, and visual composition. Course Policies Successful Completion: In order to successfully pass this course you must attend class, participate in class discussions, complete in class writings, outside readings, homework, and complete all four formal writing assignments. Successful completion of the four formal assignments includes turning in all required drafts and attending workshops and conferences. Electronic Note: In an effort to do our part to help the environment, all course work will be electronic based. Assignments will be posted online, all work will be handed in electronically through Blackboard, workshops will be conducted electronically, and grades will be kept electronically. Be sure to have a flash drive to transport and save work on. Additionally, we will go over how to use all the technologies required for class. Together we can save hundreds of pounds of paper this semester and, essentially, a lot of trees. I don’t know about you, but I happen to like trees. Attendance: What happens in class each day only works if everyone is here to participate as much as possible; therefore, attendance is mandatory. You are allowed three absences for the semester free and clear. I don’t need to know where you were or what you were doing. However, each absence over three will automatically lower your grade by 1/3 of a letter grade. For instance a B will go down to a B-. If you miss six classes or more you will fail the course. Tardiness: I value the time we have together in class to accomplish our goals for the semester. I do not appreciate students that interrupt class by habitually coming in late. It is distracting to me and to your peers. Please come to class on time. Participation: This course depends heavily on your readiness and willingness to contribute to class discussions and activities daily. I expect each of you to work with me and each other to make this a real community of learners. Therefore, you must come to class each day fully prepared, having done all assigned readings and work, and ready to participate in class. A portion of your grade depends upon class participation. Additionally, class activities are designed to build off of outside work; therefore, I will know if you are unprepared and your grade will reflect it.

In addition keep in mind: 1 Being absent is not an excuse for turning in late work. All assignments are expected to be turned in the class period they are due. If you are not going to be in class e-mail your work to me by the beginning of class time. Late assignments will be penalized half a letter grade for each day they are late. For example, a B paper will go down to a C+. Late work will no longer be accepted a week after the due date. 2 In class work cannot be made up so it would be wise to come to class prepared each day.

Format for Assignments: All formal writing (except multimodal compositions) should be: 1 Computer generated/typed 2 Double-spaced in 12 point Times New Roman font 3 1 inch margins on all sides 4 Name, date, course, and instructor should be listed on the top left, doublespaced. 5 Multiple pages should be stapled 6 Do not double space between paragraphs 7 Do not include cover sheets unless specified 8 Documented using MLA Style Classroom Behaviors: 1 Each of you will come to class daily with a laptop, which may pose several distractions. Checking e-mail and surfing the web during class time is both rude and inappropriate. This behavior will not be tolerated and will affect your participation grade. 2 Please remember to turn off all cell phones, ipods, mp3 players, and other communication devices that pose a distraction to our class. If your phone rings, vibrates, sings, or makes any other noise during class I get to answer it. In return, should my cell phone ever ring in class you get to answer it. Failure to follow the policy will affect your participation grade. 3 Class time is not a time for private discussions amongst each other. Such behavior is rude and disruptive to the class. Please save such conversations for after class. Respect: Respect for others in our classroom is non-negotiable. We will be discussing many ideas and concepts that may challenge your current thinking. This is the fun of college! Have respect for one another and be open to new ideas. Academic Dishonesty: Presentation of someone else’s work as your own is dishonest and unacceptable. If I find out that you have plagiarized you will receive a

zero for the assignment and, possibly, fail the course. In addition, your offense will be reported to the Associate Provost for Academic Programs. Nothing angers me more than students who plagiarize work. Be assured that I will find out if you have plagiarized, therefore it would be wise for you to do your own work and cite any and all material you take from other sources. Plain and simple-if it isn’t your own words or idea than tell me where you found it. Course Adaptations: If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, if you have emergency medical information to share with me, or if you need special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible. My office location and hours are located at the top of the syllabus. Writing Center: You are encouraged to take advantage of the Writing Center. The Writing Center offers free one-to-one assistance on all your writing projects for all of your classes. The Writing Center is located in 340 Shanks Hall. It is open Monday to Friday 9-5. You may schedule an appointment by calling 231-5436. www.composition.english.vt.edu/wc Course Requirements Formal Essays: For this class you will write four essays that are 3-4 pages each outside of class. Each essay will require a draft that will be responded to by me and your peers. Assignments will be discussed throughout the semester as the time for each approaches. Detailed assignment sheets can be located on my website. All formal essays, unless other wise stated, should be typed and double-spaced in Times New Roman or similar font with one inch margins. In the top right corner place your name, instructors name, course and section number, and date on four separate lines double-spaced. Assignments are due at the beginning of class as stated on the course schedule. All assignments will be turned in electronically through blackboard. Blogs: You will be required to create and maintain a blog throughout the semester. We will create the blogs together in class. Each week you will be required to write at least one blog post on your own blog and at least one post on a classmates blog. Your blog entries each week should discusses your thoughts and ideas on any of the assigned reading for that class week and how they may relate to your own writing. This is your chance to reflect on the reading and writing you do each week. We will discuss the conventions of blog writing in class. Your blog can be thought of as your electronic journal to track your learning and progress during the semester. It is also a tool to communicate and share ideas with your peers, myself, and the world. In-class Writing: During class time you will be asked to write on a variety of issues, ideas, and prompts that relate to readings and class material. These writings will assist in class discussion and serve as a tool for both of us to reflect on the work you are doing. These will be completed on blackboard during class time. You will find that each of you has your own section on the discussion board where you will produce these assignments. This will allow you to view them all in one place when it comes time to put

together your portfolio. Portfolios: The best way I have found to help students understand and appreciate what it means when I say “writing is a process” is to include a portfolio component in my writing classes. Twice this semester, once at midterm and once at the end of the semester, you will be responsible for collecting and revising the work you’ve done in and outside class. You will turn in both formal and informal writing, some of it revised, some of it not. You will also include an introduction that discusses what you’ve learned and provides a self-evaluation of your writing. These portfolios will be returned with a formal letter grades attached that evaluate the work in the portfolio as well as your success in the class. These portfolios will be electronic web texts. Group Project: Once this semester you will get together with a group of your peers to deliver a power point presentation. A detailed assignment sheet will be handed out and posted on my website. Readings: Outside readings will be assigned for each class period. They are listed on the schedule. It is vital to your grade that you complete all readings and come to class prepared to discuss them. Conferences: You will be responsible for meeting with me twice during the semester outside of class. One conference will be at midterm to talk about the progress of your portfolio revisions. The meetings will be about fifteen minutes long and I will cancel class for the week to accommodate these conferences. I will tell you very specifically what you should bring to the meeting at the time we schedule it. Failure to come to these conferences and/or failure to come to these conferences prepared with a draft to work on will count as one week of absences-furthermore, do not waste my time or your own by not showing up or showing up unprepared. I am just as busy as you are, but if you are prepared to invest time in your writing then I am too. A sign up sheet will be passed around as time the time approaches for conferences. It is your responsibility to schedule a second conference with me at the end of the semester as you prepare your final portfolio. Failure to schedule and attend will result in an absence. Additionally, feel free to come to my office hours at any time during the semester. Note: All writing you do in this class-drafts, revisions, in-class writing, journals-should be saved so you have a wide selection to choose from when putting together your portfolio. It is imperative that you save all your writing so you can see how you have developed as a writer throughout the course of the semester. Evaluation and Grading Policies In this course you will not receive letter grades on individual drafts and assignments. I know many of you are probably thinking that I am completely crazy for doing this. I also know not receiving a letter grade on each paper will make some of you nuts

however, it really is for the best. Using this portfolio system of evaluation allows me the opportunity to give you credit for the things that grading individual papers does not: such as effort and revision and improvement. Although you will not receive individual letter grades on each draft you turn in, you will receive extensive comments and feedback from me that will help you understand the quality of the work you are doing as well as assist you in improving your writing. You will receive a letter grade at mid-term and at the end of the semester when you turn in your portfolio. These two grades will be based on the following criteria: 1 Meeting all of the requirements described above. 2 The quality of your written work, including how successful your revision work is. 3 The quality of your effort in class, in workshops, in discussion, in groups, in conferences, and in general. 4 Your demonstration of a willingness to try new things, think in new ways, and explore different perspectives as both a reader and a writer. My comments should provide you with a clear understanding of your progress in the class; if you ever feel as though you are unsure, come see me and we will discuss it. Grading Percentage Breakdowns Different assignments in this course require different levels of effort. The following breakdowns should provide you with an idea of the amount of time and energy needed for each. 1 Blogs 10% 2 Group Project 10% 3 Participation- this includes attending class having completed all outside reading and assignments, participating in class discussion, completing inclass writing assignments, coming to conferences, and participating in other class activities. 10% 4 Formal Writing Assignments 4 essay Drafts (5% each) 20% 5 Portfolio (mid-term 25% and final 25%) 50%