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

for FA 2010

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


FA 2010 HOK


Sackhoff, Jennifer


Adjunct Faculty, English


B.A. Emporia State University; M.A. Emporia State University

Office Hours

By Appointment

Other Phone

(206) 339-1769



Class Days


Class Time

10-10:50 a.m.

Credit Hours



Cohen, Samuel, ed. 50 Essays: A Portable Anthology. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2007.

Lunsford, Andrea. Easy Writer: A Pocket Reference. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2009.

Murray, Donald M. The Craft of Revision. Boston: Heinle, Cengage Learning, 2004.

Reynolds, Nedra and Rich Rice. Portfolio Keeping: A Guide for Students. 2nd Ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2006.

Additional Resources:
A college dictionary and thesaurus

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:
An introduction to the recursive processes of writing, the course will emphasize discovery and writing-as-thinking. Students will engage various personal and academic genres, with attention to analyzing the audience and purpose for different writing situations. Course readings expose students to a variety of genres and topics from a range of cultural contexts to promote critical thinking and dialogue. Peer response, reflection, and revision are emphasized through a summative course portfolio.

Educational Philosophy:

Writing rarely occurs in a vacuum; often when we write, we are responding/relating to the world around us. Furthermore, writing is a craft that uses a particular set of skills. This course (EN 105) will provide you the opportunity to further develop your skills as a writer through informal and formal writing assignments for a variety of audiences.

The majority of our time this semester will be spent writing and responding to the writing of others (either peers or "professionals"). Because this is a participation-based course, you will be expected to engage in discussions, writing activities, and workshops.

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.

  Instructor Learning Outcomes
  1. Understand how genre and audience govern the voice, tone, and formality of our writings.
  2. Recognize writing is a continual process of rethinking (re-writing, re-envisioning) and revising (editing and proofreading).
  3. Acknowledge the value of the free exchange of ideas and opinions as it relates to the writing process.
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:

Attendance/Participation:We will have a number of in-class activities including discussions of reading assignments, short reaction responses to readings based on discussion questions/prompts, and in-class writing exercises to generate ideas. Both in-class and out-of-class activities will make up your attendance/participation grade.

Essays: During this course, you will compose 4 major essays in addition to your semester portfolio (see above). Because writing is a process, a portion of your grade for each essay will be based on invention, peer response, and revising. Your essays also will be evaluated on their focus, development, organization, and mechanics (word choice, grammar, and format).

Peer Response Workshops: Peer Response Workshops provide you an opportunity to receive feedback on your work prior to the due date of your essays. You are expected to have two printed drafts ready on days scheduled for peer review. If you do not bring a printed draft for peer review days, you will be asked to leave class and will be counted absent. In addition, you will lose your attendance/participation points for that day. Note that you also receive points on the "final" draft of your essay for completing Peer Response. Failure to participate in Peer Response will result in a 10% deduction on your graded "final" essay.

Portfolio: Throughout this course, you will receive a lot of feedback – from me and from your classmates – on each paper. You will earn a grade for each essay because writing on deadlines is a reality of writing in college and in the workforce. However, the final course portfolio provides you the opportunity to revise and reflect on your writing. This portfolio will allow you to showcase your progress as a writer and demonstrate your writing process.

Quizzes:Quizzes will be unannounced. Any information covered in class discussions, reading assignments, or handouts are fair game for quiz material. Generally speaking, quizzes will be given within the first five minutes of class. If you are tardy and a quiz already has been distributed, you will miss the opportunity to take that quiz. You will have a comprehensive final quiz in this course.


A final grade in this course will be based on the following elements:      

            Essay 1 (Remembering an Event):      10%

            Essay 2 (Civic Responsibility):           15%

            Essay 3 (Writing Profiles):                  20%

            Essay 4 (Analyzing a Music Video): 10%

            Portfolio & Core Assessment:            30%

            Attendance/Participation:                   10%

            Quizzes:                                              5%

            Total                                                 100%

Late Submission of Course Materials:

Due dates for each essay are included on the tentative schedule. Essays are to be turned in on the due date at the beginning of class. Late papers will be dropped a letter grade for each class period it is late. I understand that life happens, and there may arise certain circumstances where a late paper may be exempt from the dropped grade policy. If you believe you have such a circumstance, speak to me about it when you turn in the paper.

I will not print your assignments or papers for you; do not e-mail me your assignments or papers unless you have made previous arrangements with me. Late homework will not be accepted.

Note: Technology is not always reliable. Invariably, computers will crash; printers will quit working or run out of ink. Computer/printer failure is not an acceptable excuse for submitting late assignments. I suggest you save often; and either e-mail a completed copy of the assignment to yourself or invest in a flash drive on which to save your work (better yet, do both).

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

We are a community of learners in this class; as such, we will have a respectful learning environment conducive to an open exchange of ideas so long as those ideas do not violate university policies. As a part of our respectful learning environment, it is your responsibility to come to class prepared, which includes having completed reading and writing assignments on the due dates. Likewise, you are expected to arrive on time for class. If you are more than 10 minutes late to class, you will be considered absent.  

You are expected to type all homework assignments unless otherwise indicated in class. As such, no handwrittenhomework will be accepted. It is your responsibility to have homework prepared for class with a printed copy to turn in to me.

Each essay will be graded according to the criteria sheets for each respective essay and a general rubric. The criteria sheets will be provided at the beginning of each "unit", and I will provide you with the general rubric at a later date. 

All drafts and essays will be typed with 12-point, Times New Roman font, double-spaced lines, and one-inch margins on all sides of the pages. We will use proper MLA documentation and format guidelines.

Cell phones, PDAs, pagers, mp3 players, and other electronic devices will be turned off or placed on silent mode for the duration of the class period. Because so much of this course depends on in-class activities and discussion, you may be marked absent at my discretion if you are more engaged with these electronic devices or side conversations than with the class.

** A Note on Papers: I will not discuss grades on papers the day I hand them back. You are welcome to discuss a grade the next day once you've taken the opportunity to review any comments or suggestions I've made on the essay.

**A Note on Grades: I will figure grades twice a semester (at midterms and at the conclusion of the semester). I will not figure grades at any other point in the semester except under very rare circumstances. If you are in an organization or other student activity that requires "progress" reports, I will provide you with a very rough estimate of your grade.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:


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
A student who submits a plagiarized paper or who allows another person to copy his or her work is subject to receiving a 0 grade for the paper/quiz/assignment.

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
Because so much of the work done in composition courses is done in class, it is mandatory for all students to attend regularly and be on time. You will be marked absent if you arrive to class more than 10 minutes late. Because there are legitimate reasons for missing class, you are allowed six absences before failing this course. I do not distinguish between excused and unexcused absences. In the event of an absence, it is your responsibility to obtain any missed notes either by speaking to me or to a classmate. You will not be able to recoup missed participation/homework points for the day(s) missed.

Furthermore, failure to bring rough drafts to Peer Response Workshops will result in an absence.

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 .

Remembering an Event Criteria Sheet

Writing Profile Criteria Sheet

Analyzing a Music Video Criteria Sheet

Civic Responsibility Criteria Sheet

Portfolio and Core Assessment Criteria Sheet


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. 


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Last Updated:8/5/2010 10:40:04 AM