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Research, Genre, and Context 1

ENC 2135: Research, Genre, and Context

Class Instructor
ENC 2135, Sections 0180 and 0181 Brendan Hawkins
PhD Student in Rhetoric and Composition

Section 0180 Office Information

• Days—Tuesdays and Thursdays • Location—Dodd Basement
• Time—9:30am to 10:45am • Hours—T/Th 10:45am to 12:15pm; W
• Location—Williams 317 1:30pm to 2:30pm
Section 0181 Contact Information
• Days—Tuesdays and Thursdays •
• Time—12:30pm to 1:45pm I respond as soon as I can. For faster information, please visit
my office hours.
• Location—Diffenbaugh 236

About This Course

College Composition Mission Statement
College Composition courses at Florida State University teach writing as a recursive and frequently
collaborative process of invention, Drafting, and revising. Writing is both personal and social, and
students should learn how to write for a variety of purposes and audiences. Since writing is a process of
making meaning as well as communicating, College Composition teachers respond to the content of
students’ writing as well as to surface errors. Students should expect frequent written and oral response
on the content of their writing from both teachers and peers. Students are expected to be active
participants in the classroom community. Learning from each other and from their teachers, students
are invited to give thoughtful, reasoned responses to both assigned readings and the compositions of
their peers. With an emphasis on in-class discussions and workshops, College Composition courses
facilitate critical understandings between reading and composing.

If you would like further information regarding FSU’s College Composition Program, feel free to contact
the program director, Dr. Deborah Coxwell-Teague ( Studies for the 21st
Century at FSU builds an educational foundation that will enable graduates to thrive both intellectually
and materially and to support themselves, their families, and their communities through a broad and
critical engagement with the world in which they live and work, offering a transformative experience. Tis
College Composition course has been approved as meeting the Liberal Studies requirements for English
and thus is designed to help you become a clear, creative, and convincing communicator, as well as a
critical reader.

Course Objectives and Outcomes

In ENC 1101 and ENC 2135, students work to develop their own thinking through writing. As specified by
the Liberal Studies Committee, the general learning objectives to be accomplished by the completion of
ENC 1101 and ENC 2135 at FSU include the following:1. Compose for a specific purpose, occasion, and
audience.2. Compose as a process, including Drafts, revision, and editing.3. Incorporate sources from a
variety of text types.4. Convey ideas clearly, coherently, and effectively, utilizing the conventions of
standard American English where relevant.

The College Composition program at FSU has adopted the position of the Council of Writing Program
Administrators regarding the outcomes that our CC courses seek to achieve.
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Rhetorical Knowledge
Rhetorical knowledge is the ability to analyze contexts and audiences and then to act on that analysis in
comprehending and creating texts. Rhetorical knowledge is the basis of composing. Writers develop
rhetorical knowledge by negotiating purpose, audience, context, and conventions as they compose a
variety of texts for different situations.

By the end of college composition, students should

• Focus on a purpose
• Respond to the needs of different audiences
• Respond appropriately to different kinds of rhetorical situations
• Use conventions of format and structure appropriate to the rhetorical situation
• Adopt appropriate voice, tone, and level of formality
• Understand how genres shape reading and writing
• Write in several genres

Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing

Critical thinking is the ability to analyze, synthesize, interpret, and evaluate ideas, information,
situations, and texts. When writers think critically about the materials they use—whether print texts,
photographs, data sets, videos, or other materials—they separate assertion from evidence, evaluate
sources and evidence, recognize and evaluate underlying assumptions, read across texts for connections
and patterns, identify and evaluate chains of reasoning, and compose appropriately qualified and
developed claims and generalizations. These practices are foundational for advanced academic writing.

By the end of college composition, students should

• Use writing and reading for inquiry, learning, thinking, and communicating
• Understand a writing assignment as a series of tasks, including finding, evaluating, analyzing, and
synthesizing appropriate primary and secondary sources
• Integrate their own ideas with those of others
• Understand the relationships among language, knowledge, and power

Writers use multiple strategies, or composing processes, to conceptualize, develop, and finalize projects.
Composing processes are seldom linear: a writer may research a topic before Drafting, then conduct
additional research while revising or after consulting a colleague. Composing processes are also flexible:
successful writers can adapt their composing processes to different contexts and occasions.

By the end of college composition, students should

• Be aware that it usually takes multiple Drafts to create and complete a successful text
• Develop flexible strategies for generating, revising, editing, and proof-reading
• Understand writing as an open process that permits writers to use later invention and rethinking to
revise their work
• Understand the collaborative and social aspects of writing processes
• Learn to critique their own and others’ works
• Learn to balance the advantages of relying on others with the responsibility of doing their part
• Use a variety of technologies to address a range of audiences

Knowledge of Conventions
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Conventions are the formal rules and informal guidelines that define genres, and in so doing, shape
readers’ and writers’ perceptions of correctness or appropriateness. Most obviously, conventions
govern such things as mechanics, usage, spelling, and citation practices. But they also influence content,
style, organization, graphics, and document design. Conventions arise from a history of use and facilitate
reading by invoking common expectations between writers and readers. These expectations are not
universal; they vary by genre (conventions for lab notebooks and discussion-board exchanges differ), by
discipline (conventional moves in literature reviews in Psychology differ from those in English), and by
occasion (meeting minutes and executive summaries use different registers). A writer’s grasp of
conventions in one context does not mean a firm grasp in another. Successful writers understand,
analyze, and negotiate conventions for purpose, audience, and genre, understanding that genres evolve
in response to changes in material conditions and composing technologies and attending carefully to
emergent conventions.

By the end of college composition, students should

• Learn common formats for different kinds of texts
• Develop knowledge of genre conventions ranging from structure and paragraphing to tone and
• Practice appropriate means of documenting their work
• Control such surface features as syntax, grammar, punctuation, and spelling.

Composing in Electronic Environments

As has become clear over the last twenty years, writing in the 21st century involves the use of digital
technologies for several purposes, from Drafting to peer reviewing to editing. Therefore, although the
kinds of composing processes and texts expected from students vary across programs and institutions,
there are nonetheless common expectations.

By the end of college composition, students should

• Use electronic environments to Draft, review, revise, edit, and share texts
• Locate, evaluate, organize, and use research material collected from electronic sources, including
scholarly library databases; other official databases (e.g., federal government databases); and informal
electronic networks and internet sources
• Understand and exploit the differences in the rhetorical strategies and in the affordances available for
both print and electronic composing processes and texts.

This is a writing course, so we will write to become better writers. Tis seems obvious, but be prepared
to put writing into practice more than you have in previous courses. Also, this course is intended to
help you think critically in an academic setting and apply your critical sense to the larger community.
Reflection makes us more aware of ourselves and how we relate to and interact with others. We will
reflect on our reading, discussing, writing, revising, and researching processes throughout the course
to prepare to use these skills and concepts in other contexts.

Expectations for You and Me

Bottom Line
Do your work. Do it well. I will do everything in my power to do the same with my own work and to
guide you through yours. Let’s accomplish this in an environment of respect and energy.

You should be in class. I will be here, and I’ll notice if you’re not.
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FSU’s Composition Program maintains a strict attendance policy to which this course adheres: an excess
of four absences (equivalent of two weeks) from this course is grounds for failure. You are required to
be an active member of the ENC 2135 classroom community, and if you do not attend class regularly,
you cannot fulfil that requirement. You should always inform me, your instructor, ahead of time when
possible, about why you miss class. Save your absences for when you get sick or for family emergencies.
Additionally, not showing up for a conference counts as an absence. I reserve the right to count
excessive tardiness as additional absence(s).

If you have an excellent reason for going over the allowed number of absences, you should call
Undergraduate Studies (644-2451) and make an appointment to discuss your situation with them.
Important Note: FSU’s Composition Program Attendance Policy does not violate the University
Attendance Policy, which states: excused absences include documented illness, deaths in the family and
other documented crises, call to active military duty or jury duty, religious holy days, and official
University activities. These absences will be accommodated in a way that does not arbitrarily penalize
students who have a valid excuse. Consideration will also be given to students whose dependent children
experience serious illness. the Composition Program Attendance Policy simply specifies the number of
allowed absences, whereas the University Attendance Policy does not.

Participation and Collaboration

In this class, you are part of a community of learners. Be prepared to work with your peers during peer
review workshops, activities, and discussions. Additionally, to fully participate and collaborate, you’ll
need to have Drafts and other materials ready for class each day.

Course Materials
• Bedford Book of Genres, FSU edition, by Braziller and Kleinfeld; Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2016.
•Access to our Weebly and Canvas site
•PDFs and composing materials (pencil and paper, laptop, or tablet)

Email Etiquette
Please email with the subject line “ENC 2135 – Your Name – Subject,” and I will respond within 24 hours
Monday-Friday. If you do not use this naming convention, I can’t guarantee how quickly will get back to
you (if ever). You run the risk of your email getting eaten by my inbox-monster. Be respectful in your
email communications with me and with your peers. For questions, make sure you have attempted to
answer it yourself by consulting the syllabus and course documents.

Grading Process
Theory of Composing and ePortfolio = 70%
Participation, Workshops, and Conferences = 15%
Conceptual Immersion Activities (CIAs) = 15%

Grading Scale
Exceptional A = 93-100% A- = 90-92%
Proficient B+ = 87-89% B = 83-86% B- = 80-82%
On Track C+ = 77-79% C = 73-76% C- = 70-72%
Emerging D+ = 67-69% D = 63-66% D- = 60-62%
Off Track/Failing F = Below 60%
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Please note: I do not give grades; you earn them. Work accordingly!

College-Level Writing Requirement

To demonstrate college-level writing competency as required by the State of Florida, the student must
earn a “C-” or higher in the course, and earn at least a “C-” average on the required writing assignments.
If the student does not earn a “C-” average or better on the required writing assignments, the student
will not earn an overall grade of “C-” or better in the course, no matter how well the student performs in
the remaining portion of the course.

Assignment Descriptions
Major Projects
Each project will include: pre-writing/preparatory work, Draft 1, Draft 2, Draft 3, and a Reflection (500
words with each third draft). You will also be required to participate in workshops and conferences
throughout the projects. All these components must be completed to earn credit for the projects. Most
importantly, these projects will not earn a full grade in the course until they are included in the final

Project 1 - Composing on the Rhetorical Situation

You will compose a source-based analysis (1,250 words), in which you will analyze and make
connections between the following key terms: audience, purpose, genre, and rhetorical situation. You
will define the terms and choose four of the assigned readings to provide evidence to support your

Project 2 - Composing through Inquiry and Research

For this project, you will have more flexibility in topic or content. You will compose an inquiry-based
research essay (2,000 words) that most likely will raise additional questions rather than provide a
definitive answer or argument. Developing a solid research question will be key to composing your
inquiry-based project. Your research will include field notes, an interview, at least seven academic
sources, and at least three popular media sources.

Project 3 - Composing in Tree Genres

For this project, you will use your topic and research from Project 2 to compose a composition in three
genres with a rationale (750 words), totaling four items for this project. You will particularly focus on the
issues of audience and purpose, seen through the lens of genre. To create your texts, you will need to
exercise your critical thinking and creativity. The rationale will provide a space for you to explain your
choices in terms of genre, rhetorical situation, audience, and purpose, which also allows you to
demonstrate your understanding of how these key terms function collaboratively.

Theory of Composing and ePortfolio

The Theory of Composing (1,500 words) is the culmination of all the concepts, processes, and knowledge
you have gained throughout the semester. It addresses your understanding of composing/composition
in relation to your own work. It will be included in your ePortfolio alongside your three major projects
(with brief reflections for each), an “about” page, and two additional compositions from outside of this
class. All work included in the ePortfolio will undergo additional revision and should showcase a
polished, end-of-semester performance of your writing abilities. Please note that this represents to
majority of the course grade.
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Participation, Drafts, Workshops, and Conferences

Your participation hinges on completing smaller composing tasks that lead up to larger projects. To do
this, you’ll be completing writing exercises, pre-writing and preparatory assignments, and Drafts. The
Drafts will be composed in preparation for peer review workshops and conferences. Your thoughtful and
punctual work and interaction will be recorded for credit. Additionally, arriving unprepared for class or
improper media use may result in losing participation points.

In-class low-stakes reading reflections will take place in the first minutes of most class periods and
generally follow the format of
Quote—Choose a quote. What is the context for this quote? What is meaningful about the
quote? Why?
Question—Based on last night’s reading(s), what question do you think is work asking about the
texts? Why should we be asking this question specifically? What may we gain if we could answer
this question?
Comment—Relate one concept, term, or main idea from our reading(s) to something in/around
today’s conversations, issues, or situations. How does what you read affect how you read this
conversation, issue, or situation?
When we have readings for homework, be ready to write a QQC to jog your memory of the readings and
to guide our discussion.

Key Term Exploratory Activities

For the Exploratory Activities, you will work collaboratively with a small group to read, complete a task,
and present your insights. You will also reflect individually on the activity. Each EA will have a different
focus and will link to our other work, especially the current major project. These will be challenging, but
they are also relatively informal, which means you have room to take risks.

Policies and Resources

Late Work
Turn in your work on time. Late work will not receive full credit, although major assignments should still
be handed in for comments—no matter what—so they can ultimately be included in the ePortfolio. If
you need to make special arrangements to turn in an assignment, please check with me for approval at
least 24 hours in advance. (I reserve the right to grant or deny extensions on any assignment.) Drafts,
because they constitute the basis for our peer review days, are considered Participation and fall under
those parameters.

Projects will be turned in throughout the semester. They will also be included in the ePortfolio at the
end of the course for a full grade. Revisions will be completed on each of these projects before adding
them to the ePortfolio. A revision note will accompany each project.

Academic Honor Policy

the Florida State University Academic Honor Policy outlines the University’s expectations for the
integrity of students’ academic work, the procedures for resolving alleged violations of those
expectations, and the rights and responsibilities of students and faculty members throughout the
process. Students are responsible for reading the Academic Honor Policy and for living up to their pledge
to “. . . be honest and truthful and . . . [to] strive for personal and institutional integrity at Florida State
University.” (Florida State University Academic Honor Policy, found at
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Academic Resources
Reading/Writing Center and Digital Studio (RWC/DS) the Florida State University Reading-Writing Center
and Digital Studio (FSU RWC/DS) offers writing support to all FSU students. Tutors act as a practice
audience for students’ ideas and writing, helping them develop their writing in many areas, including:
process, rhetorical awareness, reflective practice, and transfer.

Free Tutoring
On-campus tutoring and writing assistance is available for many courses at Florida State University. For
more information, visit the Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) Tutoring Services’ comprehensive list
of on-campus tutoring options—see or contact High-quality
tutoring is available by appointment and on a walk-in basis. These services are offered by tutors trained
to encourage the highest level of individual academic success while upholding personal academic

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Statement

Students with disabilities needing academic accommodation should:(1) register with and provide
documentation to the Student Disability Resource Center; and (2) bring a letter to the instructor
indicating the need for accommodation and what type. Please note that instructors are not allowed to
provide classroom accommodation to a student until appropriate verification from the Student Disability
Resource Center has been provided. The syllabus and other class materials are available in alternative
format upon request. For more information about services available to FSU students with disabilities,
contact the: Student Disability Resource Center: 874 Traditions Way, 108 Student Services Building,
Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306-4167 (850) 644-9566 (voice) (850) 644-8504 (TDD)

Syllabus Change Policy

Except for changes that substantially affect implementation of the evaluation (grading) statement, this
syllabus is a guide for the course and is subject to change with notice.
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Tentative Schedule
Readings/Viewings should be completed prior to class on the date listed. Be prepared to discuss!
Weekly Schedules will also be posted on our Weebly site.
WS = Weebly Site | CF = Canvas Files | BBG = Bedford Book of Genres textbook

WEEK 1: The Basics

January 9
Read/View: Nothing for today!
In Class: Introductions, Discussion, Writing Exercise, Syllabus, and Schedule
Due by the START of Class: Syllabus Acknowledgement (email)
Read/View: “Anyone? Anyone?” Video (WP), “You’re not going to believe...”
Thursday (WP), and “Rhetorical Situations, pg. 7-11” and “Genre” pgs. 38-44, 87-95, and 176-182
In Class: Email Etiquette, Introduce EAs and ePortfolio, Writing Exercise
Sunday Due by MIDNIGHT: Submit ePortfolio Link, Published, with About Page (Canvas)

WEEK 2: The Rhetorical Situation

January 16
Read/View: “Backpacks vs Briefcases” PDF (CF), “The Rhetorical Situation” PDF (CF), and
Tuesday “Commencement Address” PDF (CF)
In Class: Discussion, Writing Exercise, Work on EA #1
Due by the START of Class: EA #1 Collaborative Task (Canvas)
Read/View: “Superman and Me” PDF (CF), “How to Tame a Wild Tongue” PDF
(CF), and [example from BBG]
In Class: Present EA #1, Discussion, Writing Exercise, Introduce Project 1
Sunday Due by MIDNIGHT: EA #1 Individual Reflection (Canvas)

WEEK 3: Composing Processes

January 23
Read/View: “Girl” PDF (CF), “Teach Writing as a Process, not a Product” PDF
Tuesday (CF), Textbook pgs. 387-392 (BBG)
In Class: Plagiarism Activity, Discussion, Drafting
Due by the START of Class: Project 1 Draft 1 (Canvas and in class)
Thursday Read/View: “Shitty First Drafts” PDF (CF), Sample Student Analysis Drafts PDF (CF)
In Class: Discussion, Workshop, Drafting
Sunday Write, write, write!!!

WEEK 4: Revising Project 1

January 30
Due by the START of Class: Project 1 Draft 2 (Canvas and in class)
Tuesday Read/View: “Responding—Really Responding” PDF (CF)
In Class: Discussion, Workshop, Revision
Read/View: Textbook pgs. 481-484 (BBG) and “Revising Attitudes” PDF (CF)
In Class: Discussion, Writing Exercise, Revision
Sunday Due by MIDNIGHT: Project 1 Draft 3 with Reflection (Canvas)

WEEK 5: Passionate Attachments

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February 6
Read/View: “A View from a Bridge” pgs. 276-281 PDF (CF) and “Reseeding and
Tuesday Redoing” pgs. 29-34 PDF (CF)
In Class: Discussion, Writing Exercise, Work on CIA #2
Due by the START of Class: EA #2 Collaborative Task (Canvas)
Read/View: “Why Write?” PDF (CF) and Textbook pgs. A23-A29 (BBG)
In Class: Present CIA #2, Discussion, Writing Exercise, Inquiry Activity,
Research Presentation, Schedule Conferences
Sunday Due by MIDNIGHT: EA #2 Individual Reflection (Canvas)

WEEK 6: What Is Inquiry?

February 13
Read/View: Textbook pgs. 260-276, 303-321, and A18-A19 (BBG)
No Class: Grading (P1) Conferences, Research, Drafting Proposal
Read/View: Al Gore TED Talk (WP) and Textbook pgs. 596-601 (BBG)
No Class: Grading (P1) Conferences, Research, Drafting Proposal
Sunday Due by MIDNIGHT: Project 2 Proposal (Canvas)

WEEK 7: Research as Inquiry

February 20
Read/View: Textbook pgs. 393-414 (BBG)
In Class: Discussion, Work on CIA #3, Interview, Research Time
Due by the START of Class: EA #3 Collaborative Task (Canvas)
Thursday Read/View: Purdue OWL
In Class: Present EA #3, Discussion, Field Notes, Research Time
Sunday Due by MIDNIGHT: EA #3 Individual Reflection (Canvas)

WEEK 8: Drafting with Sources

February 27
Read/View: Textbook pgs. 367-386 (BBG); “Create a Research Space” (WS) Research
Tuesday Report (in class only)
In Class: Discussion, Workshop, Drafting
Due by the START of Class: Project 2 Draft 1 (Canvas and in class)
Thursday Read/View: “As He Himself Puts It” PDF (CF)
In Class: Discussion, Workshop, Drafting
Sunday Write, write, write!

WEEK 9: Revising Project 2

March 6
Read/View: “So What? Who Cares?” PDF (CF)
In Class: Writing Exercise, Drafting
Due by the START of Class: Project 2 Draft 2 (Canvas and in class)
Thursday Read/View: “The Maker’s Eye” PDF (CF)
In Class: Workshop, Revision, Schedule Conferences, Introduce Project 3
Sunday Due by MIDNIGHT: Project 2 Draft 3 with Reflection (Canvas)

SPRING BREAK March 12-16—no class

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WEEK 10: Remixing Genre and Context

March 20
Read/View: Textbook pgs. 497-518 and A32-A33 (BBG)
No Class: Grading Conferences (P2)
Thursday No Class: Grading Conferences (P2)
Sunday Start working on EA #4 with your group

WEEK 11: Drafting for Audience

March 27
Due by the START of Class: Project 3 Audience/Research Report (Canvas)
Read/View: “Made Not Only in Words” PDF (CF), Textbook pgs. A33-A38
(BBG), and Examples TBA
In Class: Work on EA #4, Discussion, Project 3 Drafting
Due by the START of Class: Project 3 Draft 1 (Canvas and in class)
Thursday Due by the START of Class: EA #4 Collaborative Task (Canvas)
In Class: Present EA #4, Workshop, Project 3 Drafting
Sunday Due by MIDNIGHT: EA #4 Individual Reflection (Canvas)

WEEK 12: Revising Project 3

April 3—We may shift something this week while Mr. Hawkins attends a conference.
Read/View: Student Samples TBA
In Class: Discussion, Drafting
Due by the START of Class: Project 3 Draft 2 (Canvas and in class)
In Class: Workshop, Project 3 Revision
Sunday Due by MIDNIGHT: Project 3 Draft 3 with Reflection (Canvas)

WEEK 13: Breathe

April 10—We may shift something this week while Mr. Hawkins attends a conference.
Online Module (Canvas)
Tuesday Read/View: “How Experts Differ from Novices” PDF (CF) and “Learning and
Transfer PDF (CF)
Thursday TBA
Nothing due...but make sure you are prepared for class on Tuesday (readings,
Drafts, ePortfolio platform, work materials, etc.)

WEEK 14: Reflection and Assemblage

April 17
Read/View: “On Reflection” PDF (CF)
In Class: Discussion, Writing Exercise, Work on EA #5
Due by the START of Class: EA #5 Collaborative Task (Canvas)
In Class: Present EA #5, Discussion, Theory of Composing Drafting
Sunday Due by MIDNIGHT: EA #5 Individual Reflection (Canvas)

WEEK 15: Assemblage and Reflection

April 24
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Due by the START of Class: Theory of Composing Draft (Canvas and in class)
Tuesday Read/View: “Portfolio Keeper” excerpt PDF (CF)
In Class: Discussion, Work Time
Due by the START of Class: Functional Draft of ePortfolio (in class only)
In Class: ePortfolio Fair
Sunday Due by MIDNIGHT: ePortfolio and Theory of Composing (Canvas)

WEEK 16: Finals Week/No Class