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Rhetoric 1302 – Section 027 – Spring 2006

INSTRUCTOR: Eileen Baland


University of Texas at Dallas – School of Arts & Humanities

Office: JO4.114: 11:30 p.m. – 12:30 p.m., and 1:45 p.m. – 2 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays

Cell Phone: 940-368-7394

e-mail: exb021000@utdallas.edu

Class Meets: JO 4.306: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m., Jan. 10 – April 20

UTD Rhetoric Website: http://lingua.utdallas.edu/rhetoric

Course Description: This course focuses on critical thinking by using an integrated approach to writing
that teaches various rhetorical strategies for reading and constructing arguments, both written and visual.
You will learn to read texts critically according to key components in argumentative discourse (i.e., claims,
grounds, explicit and implicit assumptions, fallacies, etc.) and to recognize the different purposes of
argument. You will write and revise three major papers and weekly writing assignments based on issues
and controversies raised in the various texts read during the semester. The assignments will give you
extensive practice in reading critically and writing according to the rhetorical conventions of an
argumentative essay.

Required Text
Everything’s an Argument by Andrea Lunsford, John Ruszkiewicz, and Keith Walters, 3rd ed.

Recommended Texts
Quick Access Reference for Writers by Lynn Troyka, 4th ed.

Attendance Policy: Because participation is vital to successful completion of Rhetoric 1302, you should
attend every class. You will be allowed two absences during the semester without penalty, but you will be
responsible for submitting work that is due on the due date, even if you are absent on the day an
assignment is due. Assignments not submitted on the due date will be counted as a Zero. No make-up
work or late assignments are accepted in this course, and Incompletes are not available. Students are
encouraged to save their two free absences in case of emergency, rather than using them
indiscriminately. More than two absences during the semester will result in the deduction of one letter
grade from the final course grade, and chronic lateness will result in the deduction of one letter grade
from the final course grade. Students who are not in class when roll is taken will be counted absent, and
students who leave class during the class session will be counted absent. Other types of activities which
could result in a student being counted absent include doing work that is not for this course during class,
sleeping in class, or using the computers or other personal electronic devices for personal messaging,
research, or entertainment.

Please turn off all personal electronic devices during class.

Drop Policy
http://www.utdallas.edu/student/registrar/lookup/dropadd.html

e-mail Policy
IMPORTANT NOTICE TO UTD STUDENTS: As of August 1, 2004, all email correspondence with
students will be sent ONLY to the student's U.T. Dallas e-mail address. U.T. Dallas provides each student
with a free email account that is to be used in all communication with university personnel. This allows the
university to maintain a high degree of confidence in the identity of all individuals corresponding and the
security of the transmitted information. The Department of Information Resources at U.T. Dallas provides
U.T. Dallas mail sent on to other accounts. Students may go to the following URL to establish or maintain
their official U.T. Dallas computer account: http://netid.utdallas.edu/

Grading Policy: This class offers you an approach to learning that may be different from your past
experiences. Because the course is concerned with your development as a critical reader and writer, the
grading strategy will track and monitor that development. Your work will be collected in an electronic
portfolio on an Internet Web Log called the Mo’Time Blog. Signing up in this blog will be covered in class.
Your assignments will not receive individual grades, but will receive individual attention from your
classmates and from me. Your mid-term and final grades will be based on your portfolio of weekly writing
assignments and your three major writing projects, plus your attendance, participation, attitude, and your
ability to contribute to class discussions and group projects. At the end of the semester, your final weekly
writing assignment will be to argue for your grade according to your performance in the areas of the Five
Course Strands and the Five Dimensions of Learning (See separate handout.) In other words, you will
directly apply what you learn in this course, argumentative writing, by arguing for your own grade.

Your goal is to demonstrate your development toward mastery of five course strands (rhetoric, research,
technology, collaboration, and critical thinking) and development across five dimensions of learning
(confidence and independence, skills and strategies, knowledge and understanding, use of prior and
emerging experience, and reflectiveness). These goals will be discussed throughout the course. Keep in
mind that although we do give + and – grades at UTD, the general criteria for grading is still based on the
A-F scale.

The following grade criteria describe very general indicators that both you and your instructor may
take into consideration when assessing your work and progress in the course. Your estimation of your
final grade should be more detailed and specific and may include a ‘+’ or ‘–‘ if your work tilts above or
below the central grade for which you argue. The final interpretation and assessment of your grade
remains the responsibility of the instructor.

A: Represents outstanding participation in all course activities (including attendance and


promptness); all assigned work completed on time, with very high quality in all work produced for the
course. Evidence of significant and sustained development across the five dimensions of learning and
five course strands.

B: Represents excellent participation in all course activities (including attendance and promptness);
all assigned work completed on time, with consistently high quality in course work. Evidence of
marked and above average development across the five dimensions of learning and five course
strands.

C: Represents good (but average) participation in all course activities; all assigned work completed,
with generally good quality overall in course work. Evidence of some development across the five
dimensions of learning and five course strands.

D: Represents uneven participation in course activities; some gaps in assigned work completed, with
inconsistent quality in course work. Evidence of development across the five dimensions of learning
and five course strands is partial or unclear.

F: Represents minimal participation in course activities; serious gaps in assigned work completed, or
very low quality in course work. Evidence of development is not available.

UTD Grading Scale


http://www.utdallas.edu/student/catalog/undergrad02/progress.html#Grading%20Scale

Plagiarism Policy: Plagiarism is the representation of another person’s work as your own, whether you
mean to or not. For example, copying or paraphrasing passages from another writer’s work without
acknowledging that you have done so is plagiarism. Allowing another writer to write any part of your
offense. The possible consequences range from failing the assignment to failing the course, or worse.
Each incident of plagiarism at UTD must be reported to the administration. All student papers are subject
to being submitted to turnitin.com at the discretion of the instructor. If you are not sure how to properly
cite a quoted or paraphrased source, or if you need help with the format of a citation, check with the
instructor, and then refer to your handbook. Although you can (and, in fact, should) seek help and advice
from friends, classmates, tutors, and others, be sure that your written work is your own. See the
Undergraduate Catalog for information about the consequences of Scholastic Dishonesty, or view the
policy here (which is also a link on the Rhetoric Program website):

http://www.utdallas.edu/student/slife/dishonesty.html.

Major Assignments

First Written Argument: An essay on a topic approved by the instructor that presents a definition or
evaluation argument using the principles and criteria in Everything’s an Argument (Chapter 9 or 10).
Essays should be 4-5 double-spaced pages using MLA format for Works Cited.
First draft due: Feb. 16
Final draft due: Feb. 23

Second Written Argument: An essay on a topic approved by the instructor that presents a causal or
proposal argument using the principles and criteria in Everything’s an Argument (Chapter11 or 12). This
essay should be 4-5 double-spaced pages and should use MLA format for all works cited.
First draft due: March 16
Final draft due: March 23

Third Written and Visual Argument: An integrated textual and visual essay that examines and analyzes
the argument of a visual image or images from a film using the criteria in Chapter 14 of Everything’s an
Argument. This essay should be 4-5 double-spaced pages and should use MLA format for all works cited.
This essay will discuss and support the visual essay presented by the student to the class in the form of a
film clip from the movie of the student’s choice.
First draft due: April 6
Final draft due: April 13

Weekly Writing Assignments: Students will produce 15 weekly writing assignments over the course of
the semester. Most of those assignments will represent work associated with the three major projects.
Other assignments will be exercises in preparation for or support of the major writing projects, and other
assignments will reflect other assigned work, such as readings, research, peer reviews, etc. The final
assignment is the students’ essay which argues for their grade, which will be discussed in class.

Mo’Time Blog: Students will learn to use the Mo’Time Web Log and will enter their weekly writing
assignments into this blog. Students are required to use another means of saving their work, whether
electronically or on paper for safety reasons. The instructor will not keep copies of students’ work. Saving
copies of students’ work is the responsibility of the student, as is keeping track of assignments. The
Rhetoric classroom uses Macintosh computers, and students should use Microsoft Word for writing their
papers. Whether you use MS Word outside of the classroom or not, it is best to save your files as rich text
format (RTF) to insure compatibility between the word processing program you use and the one in your
classroom.

All written work must be submitted online in the Mo’Time blog using proper MLA format and
citation and including a Works Cited page on the dates they are due. The blog will enter the date
that work is submitted. Work submitted to the blog after the due date will not be accepted.
Assignment Schedule (subject to change): Note: The instructor reserves the right to alter any part of
this syllabus or schedule of assignments in order to allow for the students to participate in and benefit
from learning experiences which may present themselves during the course of the semester. In that
event, the syllabus and schedule of assignments will be revised accordingly, resubmitted to the students
and explained in class.

Assignments from Everything’s an Argument will be denoted by EA.

Week One:
Tuesday, Jan. 10: Distribution of syllabus, intro. to course and Rhetoric program Web site.
Thursday, Jan. 12: Students will spend time in class discussion in which each student will introduce
themselves to the class and talk about their academic goals and interests. Students will follow up on this
discussion during the last part of the class by writing an e-mail to the instructor about the information
discussed. For this purpose, students will be required to have their UTD e-mail accounts set up by this
date. Any student who does not have their UTD e-mail account set up by this date will be required to write
this assignment in a Word document and print it out in class. The purpose of this assignment is to give
the students an opportunity to begin forming working relationships with their classmates, so that they can
participate effectively in group discussions and projects.

Week Two:
Tuesday, Jan. 17: Discussion of EA chapters 1, 2, and 3. Students will be required to read the chapters
prior to class and be prepared to answer discussion questions about the reading. This includes related
readings of the essays linked to each chapter.
Thursday, Jan. 19: Set up and write in the Mo’Time blog in class.

Week Three:
Tuesday, Jan. 24: Discussion of EA chapters 4, 5, 6, 7.
Thursday, Jan. 26: Students will write in the Mo’Time blog about one example of an argument they have
located on their own which represents an argument based on one of the following: emotional, values,
character, facts and reason.

Week Four:
Tuesday, Jan. 31: Discussion of EA chapters 8, 9, and 10.
Thursday, Feb. 2: Students will write a proposal in the blog in class for their first paper.

Week Five:
Tuesday, Feb. 7: Discussion of online research and presentation of electronic databases in class.
Thursday, Feb. 9: Students will conduct online research in class, and write about what they have found in
the blog in class.

Week Six:
Tuesday, Feb. 14: Students will work on their first paper during class. The instructor will meet with
students informally to assist with research, MLA questions, etc.
Thursday, Feb. 16: First draft of first paper due in class in the blog.

Week Seven:
Tuesday, Feb. 21: Peer reviews of first paper in the blog in class.
Thursday, Feb. 23: Final draft of the first paper due in the blog in class.

Week Eight:
Tuesday, Feb. 28: Discussion of EA chapters 11 and 12 in class.
Thursday, March 2: Working in class in the blog on the second paper. Students will propose their topic.

Week Nine:
Spring Break
Week Ten:
Tuesday, March 14: Writing the second paper in the blog in class.
Thursday, March 16: First draft of second paper due in the blog in class.

Week Eleven:
Tuesday, March 21: Peer reviews in the blog in class of the second papers.
Thursday, March 23: Final draft of the second paper due in the blog in class.

Week Twelve:
Tuesday, March 28: Discussion of EA chapter 15 and instructor’s presentation of film clips.
Thursday, March 30: Writing and research in class on visual argument projects. Students will propose
their visual argument projects in the blog in class.

Week Thirteen:
Tuesday, April 4: Presentation of visual arguments in class.
Thursday, April 6: First draft of visual argument paper due in the blog in class.

Week Fourteen:
Tuesday, April 11: Presentation of visual arguments in class.
Thursday, April 13: Final draft of the visual argument paper due in the blog in class.

Week Fifteen:
Tuesday, April 18: Students will write peer reviews of visual arguments in the blog in class.
Thursday, April 20: Students will write their final argument on the Five Course Strands and Five
Dimensions of Learning in the blog in class.