College Writing Workshop
Schedule of Readings and Assignments
DescriptionWhat this course will not teach you: this course assumes that you already know how to put together a sentence. In other words, this is not a remedial course in English grammar. What this course will teach you is how to put sentences together in order to build a clear and persuasive argument. It will also teach you how to incorporate research into that argument. Methods for teaching these two skills vary, but in this course we will adopt a workshop format. This means that we will read a common set of texts (most of them examples of good writing), discuss them in class, write about them, and bring our writing to class for analysis, praise, and criticism.
This course is offered on a S/D/NC basis. In order to receive a satisfactory (s) grade, you must participate in each of the following activities on a regular basis.
Reading. Although this is a writing workshop, readings provide subject matter for discussion as well as papers.
Discussion. This is a writing workshop, which means that the course is what happens in class. If you don't come to class, you can't pass the course. Please note that there are a number of days on the schedule which do not have an assignment or topic filled in yet. These days will be used to address specific problems and questions as they come up over the course of the semester.
Writing. Each of you will write two essays over the course of the semester. In addition to the final draft of each essay, you will hand in two rough drafts for peer analysis and critique. For the final essay, you will also submit for peer critique a preliminary list of topics and research questions, a working bibliography, an annotated bibliography, and a one-paragraph abstract.
Editing. In addition to writing essays, each of you will review and critique the writing of your classmates. Peer editing serves at least three purposes. First, it gives you (as a writer) a broader audience for your arguments and ideas. Second, it gives you (as a writer) a chance to try out ideas and arguments in a constructive environment. Finally, editing someone else's writing helps to sharpen your own sense of what makes an argument clear and persuasive.
"Students are expected to complete the work in each course on schedule. Under unusual circumstances, an instructor may allow a student an additional specified time period, not to extend beyond the first class day of the next semester, for completion of the course. In any such case, the instructor's submission of the 'I' grade must be accompanied by a course completion agreement form specifying the work yet to be completed. This form is signed by both the student and the instructor." That's what the Catalog says. Please note the words "unusual circumstances." Unfortunately, the Catalog doesn't specify what kinds of things constitute "unusual circumstances." The following, suggested by the Dean of Students, will have to serve, therefore, as a working definition for the purposes of this course: "unusual circumstances" means 'an unexpected catastrophe that occurs near the end of the semester'.
Important times, phone numbers, addresses
Office: Old Main 205 (phone 651.696.6643)
Office hours: MWF 2:20-3:20 pm. Extra hours as needed and by appointment. If you'd like to schedule an appointment—and I encourage you to do so if these hours don't work for you—just grab me after class or give me a phone call and we'll set up a time. If you call my office and I'm not there, do try me at home, though not after 9:00 pm, please.
Email discussion group for this course: firstname.lastname@example.org. Use this address to send a message to the entire class. This is also a good place to raise questions or make points that didn't get covered in class discussion.
Course materials on the web: http://www.macalester.edu/~engl1001/