17 January 2005
Tues, Thur 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM A403 (Sp 2005)
See daily course outline.
Office Visits: I usually leave my door open. If you should happen to drop by when my door is closed, please come back later or send me an e-mail.
Office Hours: Mon 2-3, Tue 10-11, Wed 1-2; and by appointment.
Occasionally I step out of my office to run errands, so if you want to be sure to catch me, send me an e-mail in advance.
Brian Blasco 113 Havey 724-830-5113 Box 3A
From the catalog:
Continuation of LA100 [STW I ].
Seminar in Thinking and Writing II improves your grasp of the critical thinking and communication skills students need in order to perform at the collegiate level. Last term, we looked at American concepts of education, gender, and class; this term we will look at family, race/ethnicity, and globalism. But as before, the real subject matter of the course is learning the writing process: the thinking, reading, discussing, researching, drafting, critiquing, revising, and polishing that leads to successful collegiate work.
At the end of this term, you should be able, more independently and with greater confidence, to read and discuss a challenging intellectual essay; to draw connections from many different sources and pull them together to in order to defend a non-obvious academic opinion on a complex topic; to identify, use, and cite credible academic sources; to speak effectively in both informal and informal settings; and to use online communication effectively.
STW involves occasional lectures from the instructor, but far more student-centered discussion, workshops, and presentations. All the short assignment and in-class exercises are designed to help you develop the skills you will need in order to produce acceptable essays. Building on a core of readings selected by the instructor, students collaborate in small groups to choose additional readings; they collaborate with the instructor and each other to generate and develop their own research paper topics. Multiple revisions of papers will be necessary for achieving academic competency in this course.
Students are expected to attend every class. (See Seton Hill University Catalog, p. 28-29, “Class Attendance” and “Excused Absences”.)
A student’s final grade is lowered by the proportion of unexcused absences. Thus, a student with a final grade of B+ (3.3 out of 4) with a record of 10% unexcused absences would get a B- (90% of 3.3 = 2.97).
I am happy to excuse students who have legitimate reasons, but students who miss a class period for any reason are still responsible for the material covered that day. An excused absence does not automatically grant an extension for any work collected or assigned that day.
Because a large percentage of your course grade depends on your familiarity with assigned readings, falling behind or procrastinating can lead to big trouble.
If you are absent from class without an excuse approved by the dean of students, on a day when a major assignment is due -- perhaps because you stayed up all night working on a paper and are too tired to attend class -- the assignment will be counted an extra day late. (You might as well go to bed without finishing the paper, come to class so you don't fall farther behind, and then turn in the paper the next morning.)
5.1.1. Emergency Absences
Those who miss class due to an unplanned emergency should submit an “Absence Form,” with proper documentation, as soon as possible.
For each class that you miss, print out and complete an “Absence Form” (available at http://jerz.setonhill.edu/teaching/AbsenceForm.htm). After you initiate this contact, we will start working out whether or what kind of assignments would be appropriate. (I ask that you please do not ask me to e-mail you a summary of what you missed. Find out before you contact me, by consulting the syllabus and a classmate.) For some classroom activities, such as listening to peer oral presentations, there may be no appropriate make-up assignment. (See 5.2 Participation.)
5.1.2. Scheduled Absences
Those who miss class due to a scheduled activity must plan to complete all make-up assignments before the missed class. This means that you must submit an acceptable “Absence Form” (see above) at least 3 class periods before the missed class.
If there is insufficient time for us to agree upon an acceptable suggestion for making up missed work, or if an approved make-up assignment is late or unsatisfactory, then I may record the absence as unexcused.
Students are expected to contribute actively to a positive classroom environment, both in person and online. Students who dislike public speaking may wish to invest more effort in their online writing, and vice-versa.
Common sense and common courtesy dictates that absences, late arrivals and early departures, inconsiderate behavior, lack of preparation, and inattentiveness will impact your participation grade.
Those who participate above and beyond the call of duty will receive a bonus.
Any work that is submitted on time and in the proper format receives a 1/3 letter grade bonus. (This grade is factored into the mark I put on the paper -- you won't see a "+1/3" on it.)
Work that is unstapled, crumpled, or otherwise not ready when I collect it forfeits the bonus. Further, if your paper isn't in the stack with all the others, I will put it at the bottom of my "to do" list. (This might mean that I don't comment on it in as much detail, or, if the assignment is a draft, you might not get it back in time to submit the revision.)
Note: If you feel you want more rapid or more detailed feedback on an assignment, make an appointment with me during my office hours, and I will go over the work with you in detail, regardless of whether it was late or on time.
Getting Credit for Late Work
If your assignment is not ready when I collect all the others, and thus doesn't make it into the stack, I will record a zero for that assignment.
In order to remove that zero, and get partial credit for your late work, follow this two-step process.
- Paste a copy of your work into an e-mail (please do not send an attachment) with your last name, the course name, the assignment name, and the word "Late" in the subject line. Example:
"Smith EL150 Ex 1-2 Late"Write the word "Late" on a printout of your assignment, and hand it to me at the next class period (there's no need to make an extra trip to slip it under my office door).
If the e-mail submission of late work arrives in my box by 11:59:59 pm on the due date, it forfeits the bonus but receives no other penalty.
Exercises earn only a maximum of half credit (2.0 out of 4) when they are submitted later than midnight on the day they were due.
Agenda Items earn no class participation credit if they are late (however, you should still complete any agenda items you missed in order to get full credit for your class portfolio).
Unless I grant you an extension in advance, all other assignments are penalized one letter grade for each day they are late (including Saturdays, but not counting Sundays or holidays when the university does not offer classes). (This is stricter than my previous policy.)
All sections of STW require Rereading America, sixth edition; and Pocket Style Manual. (The same texts as STW I last term.)
All assignments are marked on a standard four-point scale.
Thus, if a particular exercise is worth 8% of your final grade, and I mark a "3.5" on it, don't panic -- you got a 3.5 out of 4, not a 3.5 out of 8.
Drafts & Exercises (15%)
Paper 1 Revision (15%)
Paper 2 Revision (20%)
Oral Presentation (10%)
Research Project (15%)
University Portfolio (10%)
More details on some of these assignments are available on the projects page. As the deadline for each assignment approaches, I will direct your attention to new information as I post it.
The STW syllabus shared by all instructors divides the workload up into these categories.
Revision of Essay 1 or 2 (20%)
Oral Presentation (10%)
Drafts % Exercises (15%)
Participation & Attendance (15%)
Research Paper (30%)
University Portfolio (10%)
I split both the "Drafts & Exercises" and the "Participation & Attendance" categories in two, and refer to them as "Portfolio I" and "Portfolio II". (My portfolios are not the same thing as the University Portfolio, which has its own requrements.)
This component of your grade evaluates your level of engagement with the subject matter, including preparation, meaningful contributions to the class discussion (both in person and online), performance on pop quizzes, and other in-class work.
Students should keep a record of their contribution to each class discussion. (For example, did you volunteer to share your agenda item? Did you do your own research to settle a question that came up in discussion? Did you supply textual evidence to support or challenge a claim made by someone else?) From time to time, I will ask you for a brief statement evaluating your contributions to the class discussion (both in person and online).Continue reading...