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Syllabus: Writing Seminar

Instructor: Melissa Van Epps


Telephone/Text: 404-388-xxxx
Email: mvanepps@brenau.edu

Welcome to Writing Seminar!


Course Description: Writing Seminar is an 8 week, blended learning (hybrid online and face-to-
face) course designed to instruct students about how to plan, organize and format a basic MLA
style five-paragraph essay, like those typically assigned in undergraduate English and
Humanities courses. The course will review research methods, outlining, writing a thesis
statement, analysis vs. summary, quoting, paraphrasing, and citing sources, and basic MLA
formatting. The class will meet in-person once a week for an hour.
At the completion of the course, you should be able to:

 Research and find reliable sources


 Create a paper outline
 Write an proper, arguable thesis statement
 Analyze text
 Summarize text
 Format quotes/evidence
 Paraphrase text
 Organize paper sections and paragraphs
 Cite sources using MLA
 Format a paper using MLA

Course Requirements: This class will involve readings, postings, discussions, and final project
design work. Each student is expected to complete all required learning activities and regularly
contribute to discussion items.

Required Resources: There is no textbook for this course. All materials will be provided by the
instructor and will be available on Canvas or in class. There will be a mixture of in-person
lectures and online, self-study. Assignments can be completed at the Learning Center if
assistance is required. Students will need access to Microsoft Word and/or Google Docs to
complete assignments. All class and peer communication must be done via your Brenau student
email.

Instructor Communication: Course announcement and/or assignment changes will be


announced during in-class sessions, posted on Canvas, and emailed via your Brenau student
email address. Please check for class announcements each day. Individual questions and
concerns regarding classwork and assignments may be emailed to me directly to my Brenau
email address. Any inquires received from Monday through Thursday will be responded to
within 48 hours. Any inquires received on Fridays will be responded to by the following
Tuesday. Students may call or text to notify me of any attendance or assignment emergencies.

Discussion Boards: Be sure to participate in each assigned discussion board post. Discussion
posts and replies are factored into your grade.

Course Outline and Objectives:

Module 1: Research and Reliable Sources – 2 Weeks

 Choose an essay topic based on reliable sources

Objectives:

 Write a list of research/essay topics using the internet and summarize topic facts
 Research and locate 3-5 reliable sources from an approved online database and create an
MLA works cited page

Module 2: Planning the Essay – 2 Weeks

 Plan and organize a 5-paragrph essay

Objectives:

 Organize essay sections and paragraphs in outline form


 Format and cite essay in correct MLA style
 Conceive and write a proper arguable thesis statement

Module 3: Writing the Essay – 2 Weeks

 Write a properly organized, complete 5-paragrah essay

Objectives:

 Summarize source material/texts for essay


 Paraphrase source material/text for essay
 Analyze source material/texts for essay

Module 4: Editing the Essay – 2 Weeks

 Identify errors in grammar, spelling, and syntax and make corrections

Objectives:

 Identify most errors in grammar, spelling, and syntax in their papers


 Correct all identified errors in grammar, spelling, and syntax for final papers
Academic Honesty: Brenau University is an academic community actively engaged in scholarly
pursuits. As members of this community, students are expected to recognize and honor standards
of intellectual and academic integrity. Brenau supports the ideals of scholarship and fairness by
rejecting all dishonest work when it is submitted for academic credit. Brenau University
encourages students to be responsible and accountable for their decisions and actions. It is
Brenau’s hope that its students will uphold the honor of the University by refraining from every
form of dishonesty in the community. Any attempt by students to present the work of others as
their own or to pass an examination by improper means is regarded as a most serious offense and
renders those students who do so liable to disciplinary action. Assisting another student in any
such dishonesty, or knowing of this dishonesty and not reporting it, is also considered a grave
breach of honesty. Brenau University faculty members will make every effort to deal with
suspected violations of academic dishonesty. Included in every syllabus is the Brenau Honor
Code:

Brenau University Honor Code: “I promise to uphold the Brenau University honor code by
refraining from every form of dishonesty and cheating in University life, and will strive to create
a spirit of honesty and honor. Failure to do so is considered a breach of trust toward the faculty
and student body. I accept this commitment as a personal responsibility to refrain from and to
report all forms of dishonesty and cheating.” • Plagiarism. Plagiarism is the act of taking the
words or ideas of another and representing them as one’s own.

Cheating: Examples of cheating include, but are not limited to, giving or receiving unauthorized
assistance, before, during, or after an examination or assignment; sharing course materials (hard
copy or uploaded online) provided by the instructor or completed by the student for a course;
falsification or misrepresentation of information in an academic exercise or assignment;
unauthorized use of someone else’s password or account number; submitting work more than
once without the consent of the instructor; and lying for academic advantage.

Student Services: The Student Services Staff views education as a total process; a fusion
between the academic and non-academic lives of students. Our purpose is to support and
facilitate the university’s efforts to be student-centered, promote student success in curricular and
co-curricular education founded in the liberal arts, and to support global citizenship and
understanding. Click here for Student Services website.

Late Policy: This class runs on a 24/7 weekly schedule. Within each module you are free to
choose your own time to participate. You can choose your own rhythms for thinking, learning,
and responding. Some weeks you may login every day. At other times you may use the
weekends to either catch up or work ahead. Because you are not on a fixed schedule it is your
responsibility to develop the discipline and schedule time to be an active learner in this
environment.

Emergencies are defined as serious events which are not planned. Emergencies cannot be
written on the calendar in advance. Examples of emergencies are: heart attacks, car accidents,
serious health crises of the student or in the student's immediate family. Examples of non-
emergencies are: family weddings, vacations, or any other event which can be planned around. If
the family calendar looks busy at a particular time, plan to work ahead on your coursework.
Prompt submission of assignments for assessment allows the instructor to provide guidance and
timely feedback. Due dates for each module are published on the course calendar at the start of
the class. Work turned in by midnight on the due date will be considered on time and will receive
full credit.

Excused Makeup Work - If a late submission has been requested and approved in advance of
the due date, there will be no deduction of points from the assignment grade. Send an e-mail to
the instructor requesting an extension and to discuss an alternate due date.

Grading Scale:

A 100-94

A- 93-91

B+ 90-88

B 87-84

B- 83-81

C+ 80-78

C 77-74

F 73 or below

Accommodations for Disabilities:


Students must self-disclose and provide documentation that they have a disability to the DSP
(Disability Service Provider, which is the Learning Center) if accommodations are needed. Once
the student has submitted documentation of disability, an official letter of accommodations will
be provided based off of the specific needs of the student. For more information contact the
Learning Center at 770-534-6133.