You are on page 1of 5

ENC 1101

Fall 2007-1
T,Th 8:25-9:40
REF. #418905

Instructor: Alejandro Salinas

Department: Communication, Arts, & Philosophy
Office Hours: M: T: W:
Room 1371
Phone: (305)237-6358 R: F: S:

Course Description:
The purpose of this course is to help you improve your writing skills, which you're going to be
depending on as you advance through your academic career in college and, more likely than
not, as you advance through your professional career in the real world. The course is based on
the idea that the best way to become a better writer is by seeing how others do it and by doing it
yourself. The best way to learn, in other words, is by simply doing a lot of reading and writing.
In the process, you’ll be asked to participate in a dialogue with the rest of the class so that we
think through important issues in the world and our lives to form personal opinions. This class
doesn’t require you to memorize and write about the “right answers” but to always ask the most
important questions: What do I think? And why do I think it? You will be asked to analyze and
problem-solve—to think critically. These critical thinking skills are vital to good writing.

You'll spend most of your time writing essays in response to the readings from our textbook,
drawing from your personal experiences and current events. The plan is to examine a variety of
models illustrating good writing, and to practice, practice, practice applying the many tricks
they teach us.

Always underlying our work will be an emphasis on writing as a process: We will get used to
the idea that writing good essays doesn't mean casually tapping away at your keyboard until
you reach the page requirement. It doesn't mean turning in whatever happens to come out off
the top of your head. Instead, writing should be a more elaborate process in which you plan
what you're going to say beforehand, and in which you go back to repair and polish once you've
finished. The actual writing is only part of the job.

Required Texts:
All our readings will come from handouts and internet links, but you are required to get a
handbook that covers research and grammar. If you don’t have one, I recommend Hacker
(listed below), which is available at the bookstore. Note that you can also purchase an online
version for a little less. If you’re interested in the online version or aren’t sure if the handbook
you have is acceptable, please see me.
•Hacker, Diana. Rules for Writers, 5th Ed. Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2004
•(Can purchase online version at

You'll be required to write five essays. Length requirements will range from one to six pages.
For some of your essays, you'll have peer workshops, in which you'll get into groups, exchange
essays, and offer each other comments on how you can improve them. Using this feedback,
you'll have a chance to revise your essay and turn it in again. The second time around, I'll
assign a grade.

Besides writing essays, you'll also be required to complete several shorter assignments. If you
do an adequate job on an assignment, showing that you’ve put some time and thought into it,
you will receive a check (√), worth 10 points toward your final grade. If you do a less than
adequate job, you will receive either a check minus (√-), worth 5 points, or a zero. Among the
most common shorter assignments are informal, 1-pg. responses to readings from the textbook,
which are sometimes completed as announced reading quizzes during the class period. You
may talk about a personal experience the reading called to mind, you may agree or disagree
with a position being taken, or you may comment on points about style or structure that you
noticed in the writing. Sometimes you will be given a topic to respond to, and sometimes you
will have the freedom to talk about anything, as long as you're coherent and thoughtful.
Although the essays make up much of your final grade, the homework and responses/quizzes
will be averaged together to make up another big part, so don't neglect them.

Please note that this course has a service-learning component. You will participate in an eight-
hour service-learning project that will account for about 15% of the semester's grade, and which
will be the subject of some of our writing and class discussion. This semester we will work as
tutors and mentors with children, mostly low-income, in community centers and schools near
our campus. The interactions we have with the children give us a powerful context for
understanding the psychology of people and social problems like poverty and racism. Please
note that I will suggest some sites for you to complete your service-learning, but that you’re
also welcome to find a site on your own that is more convenient and fits the purpose of the

Service-learning is one of the most exciting and challenging aspects of the course. Keep in
mind, though, that it is not volunteer work. It is not extra work. Service-learning is one of the
many tools we’re using to learn the course content, and it is mandatory.

Grading Criteria:
Letter 15%
Dialect assignment 10%
Group media essay 20%
Service-Learning project 20%
*Expectations ssay (10%)
*Journal (5%)
*Hours (5%)
Homework 15%
Final Essay 20%

94-100% = A
84-90% = B
74-80% = C
64-70% = D
50-60% = F

•Plagiarism means producing a work that is fully or partly someone else’s and claming it as
your own. Plagiarized work will receive an “F.” If you plagiarize or engage in any kind of
cheating or academic misconduct, you also risk expulsion from the college.
•Late homework and classwork: If you are absent when homework or classwork is due, it will
not be accepted. It is your responsibility to be in class in order to receive all assignments.
•Late essays: If you fail to turn in an essay on the due date, you can turn it in within a week for
a half-letter grade penalty. After one week, the essay will receive a zero. Remember that failing
to turn in any major essay, because they all weigh heavily toward your final grade, will
seriously hurt your chances of passing the course.
•I will hand your papers back to you to keep; it is your responsibility to hold on to them.
•Please turn off cell phones and beepers before coming to class.

Attendance and Participation:

•Class participation is an integral part of a satisfactory grade. Many times, averages fall on the
borderline of two grades, and class participation can make the difference—up to four
percentage points in your overall average.
•Family and medical emergencies are the only valid excuses for absences. A documented
emergency will be dealt with on an individual basis.
•If you are absent three consecutive sessions, you may be automatically dropped from the
•Attendance is taken at the beginning of the period. Coming to class late may count as an

Drops: If students are unable to continue in the course, they must notify the instructor. It is
their responsibility to fill out an official withdrawal form with the registrar’s office. If they do
not officially withdraw, they may receive an F in the course.

Academic Integrity: You are expected to adhere to the policies of academic integrity as
outlined in the Students' Rights and Responsibilities Handbook. Violation of the policies will
result in disciplinary action also outlined in the handbook.

(subject to change)
Week 1
8/30 Thurs. – Introductions: each other and the course; diagnostic essay
Week 2
9/4 Tues. – Review prewriting; letters: format and purpose
9/6 Thurs. – Review essay structure; post writing inventory #1; guest presentation: Young
People’s Project
Week 3
9/11 Tues. – Read “First Drafts” (Facebook); reading quiz; review details
9/13 Thurs. – Continue details; second draft of letter due; peer reviews
Week 4
9/18 Tues. – Guest presentation: I Have A Dream program; “Little Havana & Overtown: The Line
Between Stereotype & Reality” (presentation); final draft of letter due; post writing inventory
9/20 Thurs. – Report Findings for “Little Havana & Overtown: The Line Between Stereotype &
Week 5
9/25 Tues. – First draft of Little Havana & Overtown essay due; peer reviews; service-
learning orientation; review introductions/conclusions
9/27 Thurs. – Post second draft of Little Havana & Overtown essay; Prejudice Workshop:
What is it and Who Cares?
Week 6
10/2 Tues. – Read “How to Tame a Wild Tongue” (handout); reading quiz; watch “Que Pasa
10/4 Thurs. – Flex day: writing circle, service-learning or dialect class work (Between 10/4 –
10/11, you can use one day for service-learning but must be in class for two sessions, either for
writing circles or to work on an assignment.)
Week 7
10/9 Tues. – Flex day: writing circle, service-learning or dialect class work
10/11 Thurs. – Flex day: writing circle, service-learning or dialect class work
Week 8
10/16 Tues. – Read “Nobody Mean More to Me than You” by June Jordan (handout); listen to rap
music and Martin Luther King sermon
10/18 Thurs. – Dialect assignment presentations
Week 9
10/23 Tues. – Grammar review; dialect assignment due; post dialogues
10/25 Thurs. – Flex day: writing circle, service-learning or grammar class work (Between 10/25
– 11/1, you can use one day for service-learning but must be in class for two sessions, either for
writing circles or to work on grammar assignment.)

Week 10
10/30 Tues. – Flex day: writing circle, service-learning or grammar class work
11/1 Thurs. – Flex day: writing circle, service-learning or grammar class work

Week 11
11/6 Tues. – Service-learning group reflection; introduce argument
11/8 Thurs. – Read “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”
( or Facebook); reading quiz

Week 12
11/13 Tues. – Review logic exercises; TV/music day
11/15 Thurs. – TV/music day; group work

Week 13
11/20 Tues. – Group work
11/22 Thurs. – Thanksgiving; no class

Week 14
11/27 Tues. – Group work
11/29 Thurs. – Class debates

Week 15
12/4 Tues. – Class debates
12/6 Thurs. – Final draft of debate essays due; self-evaluations

Week 16
12/11 Tues. – The sticker exercise; discussion on segregation
12/13 Thurs. – Continue discussion on segregation; read chapter from “Culture of Make-Believe
(handout); post: do you agree with the author’s opinion about America being a racist
“police state”?

Exam Week
12/18 Tues. – Final essay due
12/23 Thurs. – Looking back on the semester and feedback