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

for SP 2011

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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.


SP 2011 HOA


Aisha Sharif


Adjunct Faculty, Department of English and Modern Languages


MFA, Indiana University
BA, English, Rhodes College

Office Location


Office Hours

9:05 - 10:30 AM



Web Page


Semester Dates

January 10 - May 6

Class Days


Class Time

8:00 - 8:50 AM

Credit Hours



Cohen, Samuel, ed. 50 Essays: A Portable Anthology. 3rd ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2011.  ISBN:   9780312609658

Lunsford, Andrea. Easy Writer: A Pocket Reference. 4th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2010.  ISBN:  9780312650315

Murray, Donald M. The Craft of Revision. 5th ed. Boston: Thompson/Wadsworth, 2004. ISBN: 9780838407158

Reynolds, Nedra and Rich Rice. Portfolio Keeping: A Guide for Students. 2nd ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2006. ISBN:  9780312419097

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:
EN 105 (C) First Year Writing Seminar I: Critical Reading, Writing and Thinking Across Contexts: An introduction to the recursive processes of writing, the course will emphasize discovery and writing-as-thinking. Students will engage various personal and academics 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. 3:0:3

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:

Essays and Peer Response Workshops: Over the course of the semester, you will write four essays in addition to your semester portfolio. Before submitting each essay for a grade, you will share your work with your peers to receive helpful feedback. You should come to class with at least two drafts of your essay to share. Coming to class late or without copies of your work on a workshop day could result in being counted absent and having the grade of your paper dropped. You are encouraged to take the feedback from your workshop to revise your essay for the second draft that you will submit for a grade.

Because EN 105 encourages writing as a process, each paper will receive two grades: one assessing your use of the writing process and the other assessing the strength of the final product (the essay’s focus, development, organization, and mechanics); those two grades will be combined for the score of the paper. 

Reading Responses:  Throughout the semester,you will complete several reading responsesThese assignments can take many shapes: responses to short answer questions about assigned reading, creative writing, reflective paragraphs, outlines, etc. These graded assignments are meant to further your understanding of effective writing and generate ideas for your own writing.

Pop Quizzes: There will also be graded pop quizzes over assigned reading. These quizzes will be short and given at the start of class. They can not be made up.

Portfolios: Though you will receive a grade for each individual essay you write throughout the semester, the final portfolio is your opportunity to show serious commitment to your work through the revision of one essay written this semester. **Keep all in-class exercises, drafts of your essays, and feedback!**  You will need to collect these documents to show your revision skills and progress as a writer this semester.

Participation  – Because EN 105 is not based on lecture style instruction, regular class attendance and participation in discussion and in-class exercises are expected and necessary for successful completion of the course. Participation begins by arriving to class on time with your books and reading/writing assignments completed; once class begins, you should be ready to discuss assignments and complete in-class work. Arriving late to class and missing class entirely will definitely drop your participation grade.


Essay 1:                                   10%

Essay 2:                                   10%

Essay 3:                                   10%

Essay 4:                                   10%

Core Assessment

(Portfolio and Reflective Essay):30%

Participation:                            15%

Reading Responses:                 10%

Pop quizzes:                            5%

Total:                                       100%

Late Submission of Course Materials:

Reading and writing assignments must be completed by the date they are listed on the syllabus. Written assignments are to be delivered in person by the student at the beginning of class. Papers and reading responses will be docked ten percent of the potential grade for each class period they are late. Excessive lateness may cause course failure. If you know you will miss a class on the date a graded assignment is due, please inform me as soon as possible. I do accept early work.  However, pop quizzes can not be made up. Please do not email me assignments unless you have made arrangements with me prior to doing so

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

While in class, be prepared to participate in discussion, in-class exercises, and group work. To maintain an environment of tolerance and mutual respect, refrain from offensive comments, even in jest, and unnecessary chatter. Please turn off your phone and other electronic devices before entering the classroom.  Engaging in unrelated activities and/or sleeping will lower your class participation. If you are clearly and repetitively distracted, you may be counted as absent.

You are expected to type or word process and double-space all out-of-class written assignments.  Each assignment will be written in Times New Roman, twelve-point font and have one-inch margins. Include a heading with the student’s name, instructor’s name, course, section number, and date.  Also, indicate a title. 

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Weeks One through Four:  In 50 Essays, read Alexie’s “The Joy of Reading and Writing: Superman and Me” in Cohen (15); Vowell’s “Shooting Dad” (412); Hughes’ “Salvation” (179);  Lorde’s “The Fourth of July” (239); Eighner’s “On Dumpster Diving” (146).   Complete Essay 1.

Weeks Five through Eight: In 50 Essays, read Sedaris’ “A Plague of Tics” (359); Staples’ “Just Walk On By: Black Men and Public Space” (383); Kingston’s “No Name Woman” (221); Momaday’s “The Way to Rainy Mountain” (273); Ericsson’s “The Ways We Lie” (159).  Complete Essay 2. 

Weeks Nine through Twelve: In 50 Essays, read Woolf’s “The Death of the Moth” ( 448); Orwell’s “Shooting an Elephant” (284); Baldwin’s “Notes of a Native Son” (50); White’s “Once More to the Lake” (431); Mairs’ “On Being a Cripple” (244). Complete Essay 3.

Weeks Thirteen through Fifteen: In 50 Essays, read Hurston’s “How It Feels to Be Colored Me” (182); Mukherjee’s “Two Ways to Belong in America” (280); Rose’s “I Just Wanna Be Average” (331 ). Complete Essay 4.

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
Misrepresenting another person's work as your own or allowing someone else to copy your work is grounds for failure of that assignment and/or even the course.  If you are unsure about what plagiarism entails, then please talk with your instructor.

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
Attendance is taken at the beginning of each class.  Students may not make up any in-class activity that was missed due to being tardy.  If you are tardy 15 minutes or more to class, you will be counted as absent.  If you are tardy or miss a class completely, you are still responsible for the notes and work assigned and/or due for that class.  You are allowed three "free" absences (not including absences for religious holidays or military service); after those three absences, your final grade in the course will be dropped 1/3 of a letter grade for each additional day missed.

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. 


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Last Updated:1/3/2011 4:26:43 PM