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Intermediate Writing 2070

Literacies and Discourses of Place: Personal, Communal, and Disciplinary Explorations
Instructor: April Conway
Office: 311C East Hall
Office Hours: 1:30-2:30 p.m. Wednesday (and by appointment)
Mailbox: 210 East Hall

Some Questions Considered in this Course:

What is literacy? What is discourse? What is rhetoric?
How are literacies and discourses shaped by material and cultural aspects of a place?
How do our experiences with place, literacies, and discourses shape our perspectives of the world, and then
how do they inform how we create knowledge?
How do ideas and practices of place, literacy, and discourse intersect with practices of rhetoric, especially
aspects of agency, purpose, audience, context, and genre and mode?
What are the literacies and discourses found in locations of particular careers, disciplines, and local and global
What are your responsibilities as a community member to the people and places your discipline/career impacts?
What are their responsibilities to you?
Course Description
In order to address the above questions, in this course you will work on developing mastery of the rhetorical
principles of planning, executing, and revising prose. You will also work on strengthening analytical writing, both
expository and argumentative, valuable for writing on the job. As a class we will engage in numerous critical
thinking practices such as analysis and evaluation, and we will compose traditional and multimodal texts. We
will also explore ideas and practices of personal, communal, and disciplinary literacies and discourses as
explored through a lens of place. Place here means the intersection of the material, the cultural, and the
metaphorical; a nuanced understanding of place will affect not only our work with literacy, discourse, and
rhetoric, but also your work with a community agency. The service-learning conducted with a community agency
will be integral to our discussions and your compositions in this course. Additionally, this course will be taught
with a focus on feminist pedagogies and epistemologies, meaning there will be a focus on in-class practices such
as critical reflection and collaboration, and on issues such as civic engagement and reciprocity.
Learning Outcomes
To understand and practice rhetorical features, like audience, purpose, and context
To recursively practice the writing process, including inventing, drafting, and revising
To further develop research skills, such as use of primary and secondary sources.
To think about what literacy and discourse are and how they operate in various contexts,
especially in particular careers, disciplines, and community engagements
To become proficient in electronic based modes of composition and to consider the rhetorical
decisions and impacts of digital (multimodal) compositions
To recognize standpoint and bias in your own and others productions of knowledge
To think critically of intersectional issues such as civic engagement, reciprocity, collaboration,
communication, and literacy, and to practice and develop behaviors related to these concepts

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Formal Assignments
Students must complete all assignments in order to pass the course
Personal Literacy Narrative
To begin a discussion about literacy, you will write a personal narrative that explores your experiences with
literacy as related to a particular place. As part of the assignment, a multimodal version of the essay will be
uploaded to an online platform. This project will be assessed with a letter grade.
Due Dates: Alphabetic Draft Friday Sept. 19 Digital Draft Friday Oct. 5
Grade Weight: 20%
Service with a Community Agency, an Agency Profile Report, and a Final Reflection
There are multiple purposes for the service-learning requirement for this course. One is so that you can explore
different types of literacies and discourses that occur in a particular place. Another reason is to practice
collaboration, a skill valued in various communities, including professional ones. Yet another reason is to reflect
on feminist concerns, such as civil engagement and reciprocity, and to consider how these concepts might be
practiced in scholarly and professional spaces. You will volunteer a negotiated 10 hours with a community
agency of your choice.
The purpose of the agency profile report is to become familiar with the agency you will work with before
working with them so that you are informed of the mission and expectations of this agency.
The reflective essay will be an opportunity to explore issues of literacy, discourses, place, collaboration, civic
engagement, challenges, and any other issues or concepts that arise while working with the community agency.
Due Dates: Agency Profile Fri. Sept. 10 Hours with Agency Week 11 Reflective Essay Mon. Nov 10
Grade Weight: 30%
Literacies and Discourses of a Professional Place
Based on empirical observations, an interview, and secondary research, you will describe a place that is related
to your discipline or career. You will also research and analyze literacies and/or discourses that are part of this
discipline or career that can be found in this particular place.
Due Dates: Rough Draft Monday December 1 Final Draft Friday December 12
Grade Weight: 25%
Final Presentation
At the end of the semester you will present one project of your choice to your classmates and instructor, and
perhaps to members of the BGSU or larger BG area community. This presentation is to practice revising writing
for oral delivery; to practice public speaking; and to share your experiences as a writer, professional, and
practitioner of community engagement with your colleagues and fellow community members. This presentation
is assessed with a letter grade.
Due Dates: Monday- Friday, December 8- 12, and Finals week

Grade Weight: 10%

Informal Assignments
Reading Responses
This ongoing assignment entails three components. One, you will be required to write informal pieces
responding to the content of the readings for each week. These weekly reading responses serve as a way to
engage with course material, including learning outcomes and questions; to make connections between texts
and experiences; to flesh out thoughts for formal writing assignments; to analyze and reflect on how other
writers write; to pose questions; to practice critical thinking; and to demonstrate active reading abilities by

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articulating what you are learning. These reflections will be, at minimum, 300 words posted on the course blog.
Though you are expected to read the assigned readings before each class meeting, reading responses are not
due until the Sunday (11:59 p.m.) at the end of each week, unless otherwise indicated. In addition to the weekly
responses, one week in the semester you will develop 2 questions related to the weeks readings for your peers
to consider and respond to. Questions must be posted to the course blog by the Wednesday (11:59 p.m.) of the
week you sign up for. Finally, you will need to contribute to the courses lexicon page on the course blog at
least three times throughout the semester. Contributing to the lexicon includes either adding new words and a
working definition (including quotes or examples) to the lexicon, or adding a definition to a word already on the
Due Date: Ongoing
Grade Weight: 15%
Course Requirements
Required Texts
Deans, Thomas. Writing and Community Action: A Service-Learning Rhetoric with Readings. New York:
Longman, 2003. Print. Preferably the first edition. ISBN-10: 0321094808
Because so many of the key concepts in this text tie to learning outcomes for this coursecivic
engagement; writing processes and genres; personal, community discourses and literaciesWCA will
serve as the core text for the course.
Erdrich, Louise. Books and Islands in Ojibwe Country. Washington D.C.: National Geographic Society,
Print. Any edition. ISBN-10: 0792257197


All other texts will be provided in print by the instructor.

Other Requirements
Computer, internet, and printing access
Access to BGSU email
Access to Canvas to stay appraised of standing in course
Memory Stick / Jump Drive/Other means to back-up work
Access to which will serve as host for our course blog

Course Policies
Please attend class ready to fully participate as an active listener and as a knowledgeable contributor to
discussions and activities. Please bring assigned readings materials to class, and leave cell phones, social media
sites, personal email, IM, and side conversations for after class. Those students who have trouble completing a
course successfully almost always are those who miss class regularly, dont ask questions, dont participate
actively in class, and/or fall behind in the assigned readings and activities. Therefore, I expect regular attendance
and active class participation, and I will lower your grade if you do not meet these expectations. If you miss
more than 2 classes for any reason, your final grade may be lowered. If you miss more than 3, I may recommend
that you drop the class. If you are consistently late to class, if you consistently leave class early, or if you
consistently disrupt your or others learning, your final grade may be lowered.
Develop a community of learners
We are a diverse group of individuals and can learn a great deal from each other. We will be doing a great deal
of learning and writing together. For this to work, each of us will need to be respectful of others, be open to
approaches and perspectives different from our own, and be able to provide and accept appropriate and
constructive criticism.

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Revision is an important part of the writing process as it allows for ideas and writing skills to develop and then to
be applied to previously generated pieces. Students have 10 days to revise the literacy narrative, the servicelearning reflective essay, and the mapping project. It is the responsibility of the student to submit a revised
project to me, and a conference beforehand is strongly suggested.
Late Work
All work must be turned in, completed as directed, on time. I will not accept late work unless previous
arrangements have been made with me. All work must be submitted to me by 12 p.m. on the due date.
I will usually respond to emails within 24 hours during the week; if you do not hear from me after 48 hours,
email me again as your email may have gotten buried. I may not respond to emails over the weekend. Please
check your BGSU email regularly. Please consider your audience, tone, and format when drafting emails to a
community partner, or any member of our class.
Submitting Work
Email final drafts to: as a .doc or .docx. Each document should be saved as follows:
Lastname_Assignment_Draft.doc/x. For example:Conway_LiteracyNarrative_Rough.doc
When submitting an essay, please include all drafts, peer review sheets, rubric (printed) plus:
Papers should follow MLA or APA format, depending on which format pertinent to you. Examples and
information on MLA/APA can be found online at the Online Writing Lab at Purdue: We will also discuss MLA/APA formats in class. Essays must be doublespaced, typed, 12 pt Times New Roman font, etc.
Writing Conferences
Because college-level writing can be frustrating at times, it is important to get encouraging and specific feedback
from others. I encourage you to make appointments for writing conferences with me throughout the semester
so that I can give you personalized help and assistance. Additionally, you can make appointments for writing
conferences with writing tutors at the Learning Commons in the library. The phone number to make an
appointment is 372-2823, or you can contact the Writing Center at:
Please note class will only be cancelled due to inclement weather when Wood County declares a Level 3 Snow
Emergency. Information about inclement weather, academic honesty, religious holidays, veteran issues, and
other matters can be found in the BGSU Student Affair handbook here:

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Intermediate Writing 2070

Literacies and Discourses of Place
Course Schedule-Fall 2014 (Tentative)
Required Texts
Deans, Thomas. Writing and Community Action (WCA)
Erdrich, Louise. Books and Islands in Ojibwe Country (Books)
All other texts provided by instructor
In Class
For Homework
(Due Next Class Meeting)
Week 1
Monday August 25
-Review syllabus again and
-Syllabus and course blog
make note of any questions
-Read Ch 1 in WCA
-Free write about place,
-Read Feminist Pedagogies
discourse, literacy related to
employer expectations
Wednesday August 27
-Discuss readings
-Read Ch 2 in WCA, pages 25-Introduction to Personal
38, 60-64, 69-82 on the
Literacy Narrative
personal essay
-Invention activity for lit.
-Read Ch 1 of Books
Friday August 29
-Discuss readings
-Work on lit. narrative
-Discuss the personal essay as - Read Introduction to Lit.
a genre
-Read Chs 2&3 of Books
-Discuss rhetorical features
-Reflect on weeks readings
audience, purpose, context,
on course blog by Sunday
author and subject; rhetorical 11:59 p.m.
-OWL at Purdue review
Week 2
Monday September 1
-Work on lit. narrative
Labor Day-No Class
-Read Ch 4 on researching
place from Field Working pp.
Wednesday September 3
-Discuss readings
- Read Ch 2 in WCA, pages 64-Lexicon writings
67 on revision/peer review
-Discuss rhetorical features of -Bring printed copy of lit.
Friday September 5
-Discuss reading
-Read Ch 3, pages 94-124, on
-Peer Review
community, and Ch 6 in WCA
on respect and reciprocity

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-Read chapters 4 & 5 in Books

-Reflect on readings on blog
-Based on peer review, revise
lit. narrative
Week 3
Monday September 8

Wednesday September 10

Friday September 12

Week 4
Monday September 15

Wednesday September 17

Friday September 19

-Discuss readings
-Introduce Service-learning
-Discuss Agency Profile Report
in detail
-Develop questions for guest
-Discuss readings
- Guest speaker from
community partner: United
Ways Word Shop
- Alphabetic Draft Lit.
Narratives Due
-Discuss guest speaker
-Review DALN and Cow Bird
for digital revision of lit.
narrative; analyze samples
-Discuss rhetorical possibilities
of which platform to choose
-Discuss sources for images

-Work on lit. narrative

-Read pages 330-337 in WCA
on Agency Profile Report
-Begin research for Agency
Profile Report

-Discuss readings
-Guest speaker from
community partners: Toledo
Seagate Food Bank and Black
Swamp Conservancy
-Meet in Hayes 107
-Discuss guest speaker
-Go over audio integration
-Meet in Hayes 107
-Go over video production
and photography options

-Work on digital lit. narrative

-Reflect on guest speaker on
course blog

-Continue research for Agency

Profile Report
-Work on lit. narrative
-Work on digital literacy
-Read Belonging Preface, Ch 2
-Respond to reading on blog
-Continue research for Agency
Profile Essay

-Work on digital lit. narrative

-Work on Agency Profile
-Read Ch 8, pages 338-358, on
writing for the community
and Ch 9, pages 385-395, on
writing with com. in WCA
-Respond to readings on blog
-Work on Agency Report
-Work on digital lit. narrative

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Week 5
Monday September 22

Wednesday September 24

Friday September 26

Week 6
Monday September 29

Wednesday October 1

Friday October 3

Week 7
Monday October 6

Wednesday October 8

-Free write on Internet, place

-Discuss readings
-Rhetorically review and
analyze DALN and Cowbird
-Discuss still image
-Discuss revising literacy
-Outline digital literacy
-Work on digital lit. narrative
-Email me name of agency,
contact person, and your
volunteer role by midnight

-Work on digital lit. narrative

-Contact service agency

-How to upload to DALN

-Work on digital lit. narrative

-Work on digital lit. narrative

-Have a draft of lit. narrative
ready for peer review
-Work on digital lit. narrative
-Bring Preface and chapter 2
from bell hooks Belonging to
-Work on agency profile
report; bring a hard copy to
-Read Ch 8, pages 338-358, on
writing for the community in
-Respond to readings on blog

-Peer review digital literacy


-Digital Lit. Narrative Due

-Discuss/write about digital
and alphabetic literacy
narrative choices
-View student digital lit.
-Agency profile report outline

- Discuss readings
-Peer review Agency Profile
-Introduction to reflective
essay for service-learning
-Develop questions for guest

-Work on digital lit. narrative

-Contact service agency

-Work on digital lit. narrative

-Read 20 Ways of Thinking
About Digital Literacy
-Read Defining Technological
-Respond to readings on blog

-Work on agency profile

- Read Ch 9, pages 385-395,
on writing with community in
-Read selection from Service

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Friday October 10
No Class-Fall Break
Week 8
Monday October 13

Wednesday October 15

Friday October 17

Week 9
Monday October 20

Wednesday October 22

Friday October 24

Week 10
Monday October 27

-Reflect on reading on blog
-Go to service-learning site

-Agency Profile Due

-Guest speaker Paul Valdez,
Assistant Director from BGSU
Office of Service Learning
-Discuss guest speaker
-Discuss weekends readings
-Discuss hours with
community partner
-Guest speaker Ezekiel Choffel
on rhetoric and community

-Hours with community

-Reflect on guest speaker on
-Hours with community

-Discuss guest speaker from

-Discuss reading
-Discuss hours with
community partner
-Develop service learning
entry for rsum
-Research Essay introduction
-Introduction to research

-Hours with community


-Discuss readings
-Review online research
-Begin looking for two texts
related to your research

Finish service hours this week

-Read Grabill CommunityBased Research and the
Importance of a Research

-Hours with community

-Reflect on guest speaker on
course blog
-Read selection from Service
-Respond to reading on blog

-Hours with community


-Read Ch 4 pp. 135-167 on

academic and discourse
communities, empirical
research in WCA
-Missed Connections: What
Search Engines Say About
Women by Noble
-Respond on blog

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Wednesday October 29

Friday October 31

Week 11
Monday November 3
Wednesday November 5
Friday November 7

Week 12
Monday November 10

Wednesday November 12

Friday November 14

Week 13
Monday November 17

Wednesday November 19

-Discuss reading
-Infographic workshop for
research proposal

-Workshop research proposal

-Work on research proposal

-Hours with community
-Locate and bring in one text
relate to research location
-Reflect on weeks readings
and respond on blog
Finish service hours by Sunday

-Discuss service hours

-Work on reflective essay
-Work on service-learning
reflective essay
-Service-learning Reflective
Essay Due
-MLA workshop
-Research proposal workshop

-Work on service-learning
reflective essay
-Work on reflective essay for
community agency
- Work on research proposal
-Review pages 291-296 from
Ch 7 WCA on taking field
notes and interviewing
-Review Spatial Gaze
chapter from FieldWorking
and bring to class
-Visit or look up layout of
research location

-Research proposal due by 12

-Discuss readings
-Begin to map the research
papers location
-Discuss reading
-Demonstrate how to include
images into body of research
-Practice interviewing in class
-Discuss securing interview w/
someone for research essay

-Read Exceeding the Bounds

of the Interview by Selfe
and Hawisher

-Discuss reading
-Prepare for research in
-Library research day

-Work on research essay

-Work on research essay

-Read Ch 5 from Field Working
on interviewing pp. 220-245
-Set up interview
-Read pages 297-304 in WCA
on methods for research
-Reflect on weeks readings
and respond on blog

-Work on research essay

-Bring disciplinary texts to

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Friday November 21
Week 14
Monday November 24

-Workshop for research essay

-Interview check-in
-The rhetoric of PowerPoint
-Workshop day

Wednesday November 26
No Class-Thanksgiving
Friday November 28
No Class-Thanksgiving

Week 15
Monday December 1

class tomorrow
-Work on research essay
-Work on research essay

-Work on rough draft of

research essay
-Work on rough draft of
research essay
-Bring a hard copy of rough
draft to class
-Research essay draft due
-Peer review of research
rough draft
-Workshop day for
-Research drafts returned
- Workshop day

-Work on research essay

Week 16
Monday December 8


Wednesday December 10


-Work on research essay

-Work on presentation
-Work on research essay
-Work on presentation
-Work on presentation

Wednesday December 3
Friday December 5

Friday December 12
Finals Week
Friday, December 19

-Research essay due


-Work on research essay

-Work on presentation
-Work on research essay
-Work on presentation

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