EN105 First Yr Wrtng Seminar I: Critical Reading,Writing and Thinking Across Contexts.

for FA 2010

Printer Friendly

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 105 First Yr Wrtng Seminar I:Critical Reading,Writing andThinking Across Contexts.


FA 2010 HOC


Atkinson, Stephen


Associate Professor, English


B.A., Wesleyan UniversityPh.D. Indiana University

Office Location

306 Copley Hall

Office Hours

MWF 10:00--11:00 and TR 2:30-4:00

Daytime Phone




Class Days


Class Time

9:00 - 9:50 AM

Credit Hours



50 Essays: A Portable Anthoolgy, 2nd edition.
Bedford St .Martin's, 2007.
Portofolio Keeping by Nedra Reynolds and Rich Rick

Additional Resources:

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 course involves students in various modes of writing while exploring contemporary issues. It also helps strengthen their ability to think critically, read and listen intelligently, and write clearly and effectively.

     EN105 is intended to introduce you to a variety of approaches and techniques which will help you be successful as a writer in your college classes and beyond. there are two foundation concepts for  the course:
    (1) Writing is a process; anyone can become a successful writer. Writing has nothing to do with so-called "inspiration" and is not a "gift"; it is a learnable, teachable skill. My job is to teach it; yours, to learn it.
    (2) Successful writers spend most of their time on a writing project in planning the draft or editing and rewriting it. They know that focusing on the creation of one perfect draft is a recipe for anxiety and failure.
    The goal of the course is to allow you to develop your own sense of the writing process so you can confidently approach a variety of writing tasks in the future.

Educational Philosophy:
Students are responsible for their own learning.  The instructor's job is to provide a supportive atmosphere for learning, design activities that facilitate learning, and provide constructive feedback.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Apply the writing process to the creation of personal and formal essays (pre-writing, revising, editing, proof-reading, and formatting).
  2. Develop a specific theme and focus that controls and informs the paper.
  3. Develop and clarify material through the inclusion of appropriate details, examples and transitional devices.

Core Assessment:

Every course has a Core Assessment, which is one assignment given in all sections of the course. For En 105 the Core Assessment consists of one final-draft essay from each student’s portfolio, chosen by the student, plus a Reflective Essay. Written at the end of term, the Reflective Essay must describe in significant detail the student’s strengths and a discussion of opportunities for improvement as revealed in the complete portfolio. The reflective essay must also analyze the student’s overall development as a writer over the duration of the semester/term.

Although all students in all sections will present a portfolio that includes evidence of prewriting and multiple drafts, the Core Assessment will consist only of one final-draft essay and the Reflective Essay.

Link to Class Rubric

Class Assessment:
We will use what is called "portfolio evaluation" in this class. This is a method that evaluates bodies of finished work rather than individual papers. Essays will  not be graded; instead, they will be returned to you with comments designed to help you revise the essay further.

Assessment will be based on three in-class criteria.

  1. Attendance--this is a workshop class, and you have to be in class to participate.
  2. Preparation--because it's a workshop, you need to have assigned materials ready to work on: notes, drafts, etc.
  3. Participation--in the workshop setting, you need to be active and focused. 
Assessment will also be based, of course, on submitted work:

  1. In-class and other informal writing
  2. Major essays
  3. The "Process Portfolio" which highlights your work with the writing process.
  4. The "Works Portfolio" which contains revised versions of two of your essays and a reflective introduction.


  • One quarter of your grade will be based on in-class work.  See the criteria above and the attendance policy below.
  • One quarter will be based on the Process Portfolio.
  • One half will be based on the Works Portfolio.
The grading standards for portfolios will be distributed as we begin preparing them and will be considered as extension of this syllabus--part of the ground rules of the course.

Late Submission of Course Materials:

Final copies of papers must be handed in on the due date (along with requested material from earlier in the writing process). Due dates will be announced in the previous class (in practice, usually earlier than that). If you cannot be in class on the due date, let me know ahead of time vy voice-or e-mail- or both. If it's a last-minute emergency, let me know as soon as possible that day. Papers must still be submitted on the due date- not the next day or the next class. Policy: papers not handed in on the due date will not receive comments. They may still be used in a portfolio.
Meeting deadlines is even more important for the portfolios; they represent the finished product of your work they should look good and arrive on time. In addition, the portfolios determine your whole grade in the course. Policy: portfolios must be handed in on the dute date. Late portfolios will receive no credit.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

  • Turn off your cell phones.  If you are expecting an emergency call, tell me at the beginning of the class session, set the phone to vibrate, and take the call outside.
  • No texting, no headphones, no computer use except for classroom writing tasks.  Computers not in use should remain closed and off the desk.
Your attention needs to be on what we're doing in the classroom.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

In addition to informal writing in and out of class, the major writing tasks in this section of EN105 will be in a form often called the personal essay--personal because the resource you draw on for this material is you: your memories, observations, ideas and values. The pace of the class needs to remain flexible, so we will develop the schedule as we go. But here is a list of the major essay assignments (these are not titles for you to use, just labels for the convenience of the class):
  • A significant early experience
  • An important person
  • Cultural background and values
All three will be completed and submitted.  Two will appear in the Works Portfolio.

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 students and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the University resources available for learning about academic honesty (www.park.edu/current or http://www.park.edu/faculty/).from Park University 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92

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. from Park University 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92-93

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, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. 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".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95-96

For the workshop approach, attendance is critical.  Your grade for in-class work will be lowered by one-third of a letter for every absence beyond THREE.  There are no "excused absences" for any reason, so use your three wisely.  If you know that prior commitments will force you to miss more than three classes, you need to tell me before the end of the first week and give me a schedule of missed classes.

Students with perfect attendance will receive a bonus of one letter grade for participation.

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 .


CompetencyExceeds Expectation (3)Meets Expectation (2)Does Not Meet Expectation (1)No Evidence (0)
1, 2                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
The main point, or thesis, of the essay is not only abundantly clear to the reader, but gracefully expressed in a clear, personal voice. The main point, or thesis, of the essay is clear, although could be expressed more gracefully. The voice is personal for the most part. The essay lacks a main point and instead presents several potential theses. The voice, while personal, does not always appropriately address the topic. No portfolio is turned in or guidelines are not followed. 
1, 2                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
The essay presents relevant and tasteful detail in a personal voice that supports the thesis and provides an appropriate sense of exploration of topic, with attention to ambiguities as well as certainties. The essay presents relevant detail, but needs further explanation. It is not always clear how the information supports the thesis. Ambiguities are not addressed, or are addressed within a rigid framework. The essay lacks appropriate and relevant detail, and emphasizes information rather than interpretation. Ambiguities are not addressed. No portfolio is turned in or guidelines are not followed. 
1, 2                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
Details are organized logically, and with a pleasing sense of exploration. Digressions are appropriate and add to the overall argument. Details are logically organized, but are stiff and lack a natural sense of presentation. Digressions are sometimes puzzling. The organizational plan is confusing and often irrelevant to the stated purpose of the essay. No portfolio is turned in or guidelines are not followed. 
Content of Communication                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
1, 2                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
Central topic is substantial, relevant, and creatively addressed with fresh insight. Personal experiences are appropriately discussed and analyzed to make a point. Personal voice is consistently graceful and appropriate throughout. Central topic is potentially good, but could be further developed. Personal experiences are not always relevant or adequately analyzed. Personal voice is good, but prosaic. Central topic lacks clarity. Personal experiences do not support any obvious point. The voice does not match the purpose of the essay. No portfolio is turned in or guidelines are not followed. 
Technical Skill in Communication                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
Writing employs conventions of Standard Written English with grace and style. Writing employs conventions of Standard Written English adequately, with only occasional gaps. Writing shows persistent problems with the use of Standard Written English. Statements are often illogical or incomprehensible. No portfolio is turned in or guidelines are not followed. 
Understanding Audience and Purpose                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
The purpose of the essay is abundantly clear through the use of a clearly stated thesis. The writer addresses a specific audience using an appropriate level of discourse and anticipating possible questions. The purpose of the essay is essentially clear, though the thesis could be further clarified. The writer addresses a specific audience, though does not always anticipate reader's questions. The purpose of the essay remains unclear. The writer does not consider the needs of the audience and does not include appropriate discourse. No portfolio is presented or guidelines are not followed. 
Rhetorical Strategies                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
The writing presents information skillfully and uses appropriate strategies and organization. The writing presents information adequately using appropriate strategies, although the organizational plan is not always clear. The writing does not employ appropriate rhetorical strategies and lacks a clear sense of organization. No portfolio is presented or guidelines are not followed. 


This material is protected by copyright and can not be reused without author permission.

Last Updated:8/2/2010 3:59:16 PM