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Engl. 201
English Composition II
COURSE
HANDBOOK



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Dorian Harvey, M.A., M.B.A.
www.dorianharvey.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/dorianharvey/

Dept. of English

Dept. of English
Minnesota State University

North Dakota State University
Moorhead, MN

Fargo, ND

Graduate Programs in Software


University of St. Thomas


St. Paul, MN







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Table of Contents
Getting Started
Welcome to this online class ............................................................................................................... 1
Read the Course Syllabus with Semester Schedule .......................................................................... 1
Print and organize the course files ...................................................................................................... 2
Create web mail folders for class......................................................................................................... 2
Send me your single best phone number ........................................................................................... 2
Prepare for our videoconferences ....................................................................................................... 3
You’re ready to start!............................................................................................................................. 3
Formal Outlining
Overview ............................................................................................................................................... 5
Conventions .......................................................................................................................................... 5
Example ................................................................................................................................................. 6
Remove numbering from the final document .................................................................................. 6
Peer Review
Overview ............................................................................................................................................... 7
Instructions ............................................................................................................................................. 7
Sample peer review ............................................................................................................................... 10
Using Professional E-mail Style
Overview ............................................................................................................................................... 11
Message recipients’ needs and expectations ..................................................................................... 12
E-mail checklist ...................................................................................................................................... 12
Using Skype
Overview ............................................................................................................................................... 13
Video tutorials (Windows and Apple users) .................................................................................... 13
Procedures ............................................................................................................................................. 13
Setting up your account ................................................................................................................. 13
Adding a contact ............................................................................................................................. 14
Making a video call ......................................................................................................................... 15
Appendix: Instructor’s Information
.................................................................................................................................................................. 17



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Getting Started
Welcome to this online class!
This introductory document answers the questions, ‚What do I do?‛ and
‚Where do I begin?‛ With the information here, you’ll gain a clearer idea of
how we get things done online, and will be prepared to complete the variety
of small tasks assigned for Week 1.
(The two sentences above form this document’s ‚purpose statement.‛ You’ll
read about purpose statements very soon, and will be writing one for each
graded assignment. For now, think of a purpose statement as being similar
to an academic thesis statement in location and function, but fundamentally
different from a thesis statement in its focus on the reader.)

 Read the Course Syllabus with Semester Schedule
Syllabus
Read the course syllabus carefully. While some sections will be familiar to
you from other courses, the following sections are unique to our class:
 How to reach me, and the times that I’m available
 Required textbook(s)
 Learning objectives
 Instructional strategies
 Outside help for writing and reading comprehension
 How final grades are calculated
Schedule
The Semester Schedule, printed at the end of the Syllabus, is the official
source for assignment due dates.

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 Print and organize the course files
Print the materials on our course website as they become available. Organize
the printed files in a binder, under tabs that match the course website’s
organization (e.g., ‚Content,‛ ‚Assignments,‛ etc.).
Taking the time for this step early in the semester gives you easy access to all
of the course materials whenever you need them.

 Create web mail folders for class
Create a folder in your e-mail account’s Inbox and Sent folder specifically for
this class.
Filing your class-related messages this way will save you considerable time
when you want to reread something that you recall having read in an e-mail,
or if you want to find a message you sent to me.

 Send me your single best phone number
It’s sometimes more efficient to converse over the phone than to exchange
ideas through e-mail. For example, if you send me a question about an
assignment, I might need more information about your approach to the
assignment before I can give you a useful answer.
So, please send your single best phone number, and put it in the Subject line of
your e-mail only, as shown below:
Engl. XXX: [Name] [phone number]
It helps me tremendously when I can find all of my students’ phone numbers
in my inbox view, rather than having to open 22 e-mails per class.
NOTE: I won’t open these messages, so don’t include questions in the body
of your note. Instead, write me a second message.

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 Prepare for our videoconferences
We use videoconferences early in the semester to help us feel more engaged
with each other and with the course topics. The first videoconference is
worth a number of points, so be prepared to discuss your current
assignment(s).
To participate in a videoconference, your computer will need a webcam and
a microphone. Most late-model laptops have those devices built in, but
tower-based desktop computers often don’t.
If you need a webcam, a microphone, or both, you’ll find good-quality,
individual and combined devices for about $40 (e.g., see Amazon.com’s
selection at
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_kk_2?rh=i%3Aelectronics%2Ck%3Aweb+c
amera+with+microphone+for+skype&keywords=web+camera+with+microph
one+for+skype&ie=UTF8&qid=1348773414).
Scheduler
We use Doodle.com to reserve times during conferences week. You’ll find
the link for reserving your conference time on the Semester Schedule, in
Week 1’s ‚Assignments Due‛ column. Instructions for reserving a time are
provided on the same page as the reservation times.
Skype.com
We use the website www.Skype.com for videoconferences. If you already
have a Skype account, please add me as a contact as soon as possible. To find
me, search for my Skype name, ‚dorian-harvey.‛ If multiple people display,
I’m the person in the made-up city of ‚Twin Cities, MN.‛
If you don’t have a Skype account, follow the procedures in the Using Skype
section of this handbook to create your account and to add me as a contact.

You’re ready to start!
You know enough now to begin Week 1’s tasks. By the end of Week 1, you’ll
be familiar with several elements of our class:
 Syllabus and Semester Schedule
 Textbook(s)
 Course website and materials
 Doodle.com scheduler
 Skype.com video-calling site
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Formal Outlining
Overview
The formal outline is a universally applicable communication planning tool.
Formal outlines are used to communicate within organizations, throughout
industries, and between countries.
Individuals use formal outlines to organize ideas before starting a
communication. Groups use formal outlines to arrive at agreement on the
structure of a document.
In this class, you’ll write formal outlines in the planning documents for
graded assignments. Outlines are used for planning, so don’t be concerned if
an assignment’s final structure is different from the outline you originally
planned to follow.
Conventions
A formal outline follows established conventions that enable it to
communicate across countries, industries, and workplaces. Follow the
conventions below as your write your formal outlines for class:
• Format: Start the first level of information with Roman numerals, and
continue with subsequent levels as shown in the sample in the next
section.
• Structure: Indent the various levels of the outline toward the right, as
shown in the sample in the next section. Use parallel structure in the
listed ideas—all noun phrases, all verb phrases, etc. To learn more
about parallel structure, read Style and Mechanics Review #5.
NOTE: An idea can’t be divided into just one idea, so be sure to list at
least two ideas in each section. If you can’t come up with a
second idea, then work the first idea into the level above it.
• Content: At a minimum, list your planned headings and subheadings.
If possible, include information you know about the sections at this
time, remembering that your outline may change as you develop your
document.

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Example
The formal outline below shows the conventions of carrying the structure of
a formal outline down to the fourth level of detail. Follow these conventions
in your own outlines.
I. Introduction (includes purpose statement)
II. First body section
A. First subsection in this section
1. First subsection in this subsection
2. Second subsection in this subsection
3. Etc.
a. First subsection in this subsection
b. Etc.
i. First subsection in this subsection
ii. Etc.
B. Second subsection in this section
C. Etc.
III. Second body section
IV. Etc.
V. Last major section (typically, “Conclusion”)
Remove numbering from the final document
Remove numbering
Remove a formal outline’s section numbering from the final document
and from the Table of Contents, if one is used. Headings are numbered
only in special-purpose documents that are revised frequently or have
extensive internal cross-referencing.
Align document headings with left margin
Even though you indent the section headings in a formal outline, in the
final document, align headings and subheadings with the left margin.


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Peer Review
Overview
Each of the larger written assignments includes a stage for peer review. This stage,
which would normally occur in the classroom, takes place on our course
management system’s Discussion Board.
Peer review has three goals:
 To receive feedback on your first drafts that will help you improve your final
drafts.
 To increase your understanding of the assignment through reading your
classmates’ first drafts.
 To practice writing judicious critiques of others’ work.
With these goals in mind, it’s important that you regard your classmates as peers
who can offer their insights to help you do your best, as well as fellow writers who
can benefit from your thoughtful critiques.
Peer reviews are anonymous, so to receive credit for doing them, it’s essential that you use
the last four digits of your Dragon ID number instead of your name in your filenames.
Instructions
Peer Review consists of the following stages:

Prepare for Peer Review
1. Remove your name from your essay’s first page.
2. Save your file with the last four digits of your Dragon ID number at the start of
the filename, followed by the name of the assignment (e.g., ‚-3210’s Exploratory
Essay‛).
Prepare for
Peer Review
Post your first
draft
anonymously
Download
your partners’
first drafts
Write your
Peer Reviews
Post your
Peer Peviews
anonymously
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Post your first draft anonymously
1. Go to D2L > Discussion and scroll down to find the related Peer Review
discussion (e.g., ‚PR-1: Formal Exploratory Essay‛).
2. Click "Compose." The "New Message Details" screen displays.
3. Type the last four digits of your Dragon ID number into the "Subject" field.
4. Leave the Message field empty.
5. In the Message Options area, click ‚Author anonymously.‛
6. In the Attachments area, click "Add a file."
7. Click ‚Upload‛ and select your file, double-checking that the filename starts
with the last four digits of your Dragon ID number.
8. Wait for the upload progress bar to complete, and click ‚Done‛ to exit the
Attachment function.
9. Click ‚Post‛ to post your blank message with your first draft attached.
Download your partners’ first drafts
1. Go back to the related Discussion and find the students whose first drafts
you‘ll review (use Control F to search the page for the Dragon IDs).
2. Click on the first-draft filenames to open them.
3. Save the files to your computer, adding the last four digits of your Dragon ID
number plus ‚peer review of‛ to the start of each filename (e.g., ‚-3210’s peer
review of -7890’s Exploratory Essay.‛ You won’t receive points unless the last
four digits of your Dragon ID number appear at the start of the filenames.
Write your peer reviews

NOTES:
 Be specific throughout your Peer Review. For example, instead of writing, ‚I
think you have a problem in your introduction,‛ write, ‚You can make your
introduction stronger if you….‛
 Use positive examples from the writer’s draft to explain your suggestions. For
example, if the writer uses strong, active verbs in one section of the draft but
not elsewhere, point to the first section as a good example.

1. Read the first draft all the way through completely.
2. On the last page of the first draft, type ‚Peer Review,‛ and format it as a title
(e.g., centered, bold, larger type size).
3. Write your review by evaluating the following aspects (use a formatted
heading for each; see the sample peer review at the end of this section):
 Content: In three to five sentences, apply your understanding of the
chapter readings and the assignment instructions to the information in the
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essay. If you would change something, describe what you would change,
and why.
 Organization: In three to five sentences, again apply your understanding
of the chapter readings and the assignment instructions to the essay’s
organization. If you would change anything, explain what and why.
Again, be specific (see NOTES above).
 Documentation: In three to five sentences, evaluate the student’s use of
sources and MLA citation style. Be thorough, and point out specific
problems if present.
 Diction, Grammar, and Mechanics: If the essay has errors in diction
(word choice), grammar, and/or mechanics (sentence-structure), copy
those sentences and explain how they can be corrected. If you can’t find
any errors, then identify three sentences that are especially well written,
and explain why, in the context of the audience’s reaction to the essay.
 Questions: Ask two questions about something in the essay that you
didn’t understand or would like to know more about. Don’t state that
you don’t have questions; instead, spend enough time with the essay to
come up with two questions that will cause the writer to think more
deeply about his or her topic.
 Validity: An argument can be valid even if it doesn’t change your mind.
Think about whether the argument at least convinced you to have a more
open mind about the issue. If so, use three to five sentences to explain
how (e.g., quality of sources cites, examples given). If not, use three to
five sentences to explain why the argument didn’t convince you.
 Praise: Refer to at least one aspect of the essay in which the student did
well, again in three to five sentences, and in helpful detail.
Post your peer reviews anonymously
1. Go back to the D2L Discussion topic and find the first student’s original post.
2. Click ‚[Reply].‛ The Reply screen displays.
3. Leave the Subject line as-is and the Message field empty.
4. In the Message Options area, click ‚Author anonymously.‛
5. In the Attachments area, click ‚Add a file.‛
6. Click ‚Upload‛ and browse your computer for your Peer Review. Double-
check that you’ve added the last four digits of your Dragon ID to the start of
the first draft’s filename.
7. Select the file, and wait for the upload progress bar to complete.
8. Click ‚Done‛ to exit the Attachment function, and ‚Post‛ to post the file.
Sample peer review
PEER REVIEW
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Content
Avoid citing Wikipedia as a source. The information in it can be submitted by anyone, not necessarily
experts. To make your content stronger, don’t use Wikipedia. Find another more reliable source written
by an expert with credentials.
Organization
In the exploratory essay, the introduction should end with your research question. I couldn’t find that. In
fact, I found a thesis statement (your viewpoint about the topic instead). The introduction of an
exploratory essay is different than writing an introduction for a regular essay.
Documentation
The works cited page entries should be in alphabetical order based on the first word in each entry. Look
at a sample works cited page in the textbook. Also notice the punctuation of periods; they go inside
quotation marks.
Diction, Grammar, and Mechanics
I noticed that you tend to join sentences together with a comma. One trick is to read your sentences out
loud. If you can completely stop where you have a comma and still have a complete thought (sentence),
then you probably need a period. Here’s an example:
Original: I found Kavanaugh’s article to be quite persuasive, the article could particularly inspire
Catholic readers.
Correction: I found Kavanaugh’s article to be quite persuasive. The article could particularly inspire
Catholic readers.
Look for other sentences like this.
Questions
In your conclusion you said, ‚I still have a number of articles to read…‛ What additional articles have
you found? Could you refer to one or two of these other articles that would make your essay even
stronger than what it is now?
Validity
I agree with you that a guest worker program that includes a chance for citizenship is a good approach to
helping illegal immigrants. But I’m not completely convinced that it’s really the best possible solution. If
you could have quoted information about how legalization makes people better contributors to society,
that would have convinced me more completely.
Praise
Immigration policy is an interesting topic. I enjoyed reading about your first-hand experience of growing
up in the California Bay Area and delivering free lunches to Mexican workers. It told me that this topic is
personal to you.

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Using Professional E-mail Style
Overview
E-mail is everywhere, used by almost everyone.
1
For class purposes, we’ll
focus on e-mail in the workplace and professional contexts.
As is the case with all workplace communications, e-mail delivers information
that people can perform tasks, make decisions, and continue working.
While not as fast as real-time instant messaging, e-mail has the advantage of
being received whether or not the recipient is online when the message is
sent. An e-mail message can be printed, forwarded, and saved, and its
content can be copied, revised, and repurposed. Because of e-mail’s
prevalence and value as a resource, a professional e-mail writing style is
highly valued in the workplace.
E-mail is sent for many of reasons, but can be categorized broadly by
audience and purpose.
Audience
• Internal, those within an organization (e.g., a supervisor)
• External, those outside of an organization (e.g., a customer)
Purpose
• To inform (e.g., a project update)
• To instruct (e.g., the procedure for purchasing a piece of equipment)
• To request information (e.g., a project’s start date)
• To request a decision (e.g., permission to extend a project’s deadline)
• To request an action (e.g., sending a document)
Message recipients’ needs and expectations
As is the case with all workplace readers, e-mail recipients are usually busy
and have competing obligations. The task of managing e-mail never ends:

1
Email Will Never Die—The Man Who Invented It Reveals Why. Readwrite.com, 9-4-2012.
http://readwrite.com/2012/09/04/email-will-never-die-the-man-who-invented-it-reveals-why.
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after the last message has been answered, filed, or deleted, new messages
have arrived.
Understanding how message recipients manage their e-mail can help us
structure, organize, write messages effectively:
• They check their inboxes only two or three times a day.
• They read only relevant mail and either file or delete the rest. They
may prioritize the top 20 percent of new messages and delay action on
the remaining 80 percent.
• They only reply when a message asks a question or makes a request.
• They file messages by category, often using an auto-sort function (e.g.,
new messages with ‚Project A‛ in the subject line automatically go
into the ‚Project A‛ folder).

E-mail checklist
 Did you limit your message to one project, one topic, and/or one question
or related set of questions?
 Did you write a descriptive "Subject" line that moves from general to
specific?
 If you’re asking for information, did you refer to your question in the
‚Subject‛ line?
 Did you use a greeting (Dear, Hello, [Name] etc.), followed by a colon or a
comma?
 Did you start out with one or two sentences explaining why you're
writing?
 Did you proofread for the conventions of written English (correct
punctuation, capitalization, and spelling)?
 If you're sending an attachment, did you refer to the attachment in the
body of your message so your reader knows to look for it?
 Did you use a close (Sincerely, Regards, etc.)?
 Did you end with your name or a signature block?


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Using Skype
Overview
This file is intended to help students who are new to Skype prepare for our
videoconferences this semester. It describes how to create a Skype account,
add contacts, and make a video call.
For class purposes, you must Skype from your computer. Videoconferencing
from a mobile device isn’t sufficient for what we do during conferences.
Procedures for setting up a basic (free) account and adding contacts are
intuitive. If you want to learn more than the basics, view these video
tutorials:
 Skype for Windows XP, Vista, and 7:
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL73F9EA2D155BF3B2
 Skype for Windows 8: No dedicated channel available at this time.
Search YouTube for individual tutorials by searching for Skype
"Windows 8"
 Skype for Apple):
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLFCAC5DF15DBE2C56
Procedures
Setting up your account
1. Go to http://www.skype.com/en and start setting up your account.
2. At the ‚Create an Account‛ page, fill in the required fields.
NOTE: Enter your real name in the ‚First Name‛ and ‚Last Name‛
fields so I’ll recognize you when you send me a contact request.
I don’t respond to contact requests or answer calls unless I
recognize the person’s name.
3. Complete the remaining fields and click ‚I agree—Continue.‛
4. Complete the rest of the account setup. Skype will be installed on your
computer.

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Adding a contact
1. Open Skype on your computer.
2. Click the "Contacts" tab and select ‚Add Contact.‛

3. Fill in the dialog box fields. As you enter information, the number of
matches displays to the right.

5. Click the "View" button to review the matches found.
6. If your contact is among those listed, click "Add contact." The ‚Send
Contact Request‛ dialog box opens with the generic text for a contact
request.
7. Personalize the text so your future contact knows who you are.
NOTE: When adding me as a contact, include your name and the
course number. I don’t accept contact requests from people I
don’t recognize.
8. Click "Send request."

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9. Repeat steps 2 through 7 to add more contacts.
Making a video call
Students initiate the video calls for our class conferences, just as you
would come to my office if we were on campus
1. Open Skype on your computer.
2. Click on the name of the contact you wish to call. Two options
display: ‚Video call‛ and ‚Call.‛
3. Click ‚Video call.‛ Your contact can choose whether to answer as a
standard call, or to answer with video.
4. During the call, float your cursor near the bottom of the image area
to display the row of icons that let you adjust settings and share
information:




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Appendix: Instructor’s Information

Professional background
I earned a B.A. in English and Philosophy at Minnesota State University
Moorhead, and an M.A. in English at North Dakota State University (NDSU),
Fargo. While at NDSU, I taught freshman composition and junior-level
business writing.
In 1984, I moved to the Twin Cities, where I was a writer at Honeywell for 10
years, first as a technical writer and then as a promotional writer. I earned an
M.B.A. in marketing from University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, during that
time, and became a freelance technical writer and communications consultant
in 1994.
My clients represented a number of industries, including biomedical devices,
energy management, human resources development, and K-12 education. I
wrote website content, scientific and sociological white papers, internal
employee communications, direct e-mail sales campaigns, clinical case
studies, media/press kits, trade magazine articles, and scripts for DVD and
audio publications.
I’ve written curricula for middle school and high school life skills courses, on
topics including nicotine addiction, shaken baby syndrome, fetal alcohol
exposure, and fetal drug exposure.
For more professional details, see my LinkedIn profile at
http://www.linkedin.com/in/dorianharvey/.
Philosophy of teaching
My goal is to share my interest, experience, and insights about technical
communication in the workplace so that students receive practical value for
their tuition investment.
All people deserve to be able to communicate effectively in writing. To do so,
however, they need the following circumstances, which I build into all of my
writing courses:

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• Motivation to write effectively
• Understanding of the audience's needs and expectations
• Practice, practice, practice
I find that the most enjoyable part of teaching is connecting with students,
which we accomplish in videoconferences for my online courses. It's
gratifying to see how students' skills improve by the end of the semester, and
to know that they’re prepared to write in their professions as a result of
taking one of my classes.