EN490 Capstone Seminar

for SP 2008

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Mission Statement: The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.


EN 490 Capstone Seminar


SP 2008 HO


Dr. Lolly J.Ockerstrom


Assistant Professor of English


B.A., M.A., Ph.D. (English), Northeastern University
Certificate, Martha's Vineyard Advanced Institutes on Writing

Office Location

321 Copley

Office Hours

MF 1:40 - 2:40 p.m.; TR 1:00 - 2:00 p.m.



Semester Dates

14 January 2008 - 9 May 2008

Class Days


Class Time

12:25 - 1:40 p.m.


Intended for graduating senior English majors.

Credit Hours



MLA Handbook.

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

To be suggested as needed. 
Academic Support Center (Writing Consultants).

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email helpdesk@park.edu or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information http://www.park.edu/Current/.

Course Description:
The seminar will focus on a general topic in English studies on the model of an academic conference. Students will develop 20-minute conference papers in the first portion of the course and deliver them before the class and an invited audience in a series of seminar meetings late in the semester. Attention will be paid to both the research and the rhetorical demands of this task and to the relationship between each individual contribution and the wider topic. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:

Students learn through actively engaging in hands-on learning: through reading and writing; through discussion and discovery; through reading and responding to each others' writing; through careful one-to-one mentoring. In this small seminar, emphasis will be on reading, research, writing, and exploration of topics suitable for a professional-level conference paper in English studies.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Analyze and assess professional writing in English studies
  2. Design a project resulting in a conference paper
  3. Assess and compile appropriate resources
  4. Draft and revise a paper for a 20-minute presentation

Core Assessment:
The Core Assessment in this course is the Capstone Paper, which investigates a significant topic in the major. This paper, of no fewer than twelve to fifteen pages, is presented at the EN Student Literary Conference.

Class Assessment:

  • Attendance
  • Meeting deadlines
  • Paper abstract and completed paper
  • Oral presentation


  • Attendance 25%
  • Meeting deadlines: 25% (This includes arriving on time prepared with reading, writing, and ideas for discussion.)
  • Conference paper: 25% (abstract 30%; paper 70%)
  • Oral presentation of conference paper (includes fielding questions): 25%

Late Submission of Course Materials:

Students are expected to meet all deadlines. Given the nature of this intensive tutorial, it is not possible to complete this course successfully without meeting deadlines for drafts, final drafts, and conference presentation. Extensions cannot be granted, particularly for final drafts and conference presentation.
NOTE: Any student who does not attend class meetings or does not meet preliminary deadlines will be unable to present a final paper.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

  • Students are expected to treat all participants with respect (includes listening, offering constructive feedback, and contributing thoughtful and meaningful commentary).
  • Turn off all cell phones and other electronic devices while in class.
  • Refrain from bringing food to class. (Students may bring water.) 
  • Come prepared with drafts and all necessary materials; print out own work prior to the beginning of class.


Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Week 1: Getting started (discussion of conference topic; details for working; etc.)
Weeks 2 - 5: Topic selection; library trip; review of English journals.
  • Proposals due Friday, 1 February. 250 words.
Weeks 6-8: Gathing sources, reading, drafting, and developing ideas.
FALL BREAK: Oct. 15 - 19
Weeks 9 -12: Refining ideas, reworking texts. Revision, revision, revision.
Final preparation for conference presentation: 20 minutes for each speaker
Week 14: Final drafts due. Timed readings.
Week 15: Spring Capstone Conference presentations
   Paper presentations: Wednesday, 30 April, 3:00 - 5:00 p.m. Place TBA.

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85-86
Do your own work.

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85
Evidence of plagiarism will result in a failing grade for the course.

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  3. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  4. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  5. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  6. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  7. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87-88
No absences.

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: http://www.park.edu/disability .


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Last Updated:12/22/2007 9:35:04 PM