EN106 First Yr Wrtng Seminar II: Academic Research & Writing

for SP 2011

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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 106 First Yr Wrtng Seminar II:Academic Research & Writing


SP 2011 HOA


Okerstrom, Dennis R.


Professor of English


Ph.D. -- English and History

Office Location

305 Copley

Office Hours

10--noon MWF; 2:45--3:45 MW;  or by appointment

Daytime Phone




Semester Dates

10 January -- 6 May 2011

Class Days


Class Time

9:00 - 9:50 AM



Credit Hours



Easy Writer: A Pocket Reference, by Andrea A. Lunsford.  3rd ed.
College Writing: A Personal Approach to Academic Writing, by Toby Fulwiler.  3rd ed.
Portfolio Keeping: A Guide for Students, by Nedra Reynolds and Rich Rice.  2nd ed.

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 106 (C) First year Writing Seminar II: Academic Research and Writing: The course provides sustained experience with the research and writing tasks common in the academy. Students will explore various academic genres, with particular focus on learning to undertake academic inquiry: engage in close reading; incorporate research into their writing; and document sources. Peer response, reflection and revision are emphasized through a summative course portfolio. Pre-Requisite: EN 105 or equivalent. 3:0:3

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Develop and maintain a controlling theme and/or focus for a research essay(s) that is fully developed in the use of details and examples.
  2. Demonstrate a range of writing activities in completing writing tasks (pre-writing, revising, editing, proof-reading, and formatting).
  3. Analyze and integrate research resources for essays based on traditional and online research, which include using appropriate documentation practices.

Core Assessment:

Every course has a Core Assessment, which is one assignment given in all sections of the course. For En 106 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:
 Revisions and multiple drafts of three student research papers.  The emphasis will be on the process of writing as well as the process of research with proper documentation.  A portfolio of the semester's work will be kept and submitted in the last week. 


Were it up to me, this would be a Pass/Fail class.  We are working on that.  Until then, this is what:
Attendance will be crucial.  If you're not here, I can't teach you and you cannot help your classmates.  See below for consequences.
You will get points for active participation in numerous class exercises, from peer editing to checking documentation style to contributing ideas in brainstorming sessions.  Total points possible: 125.  Classroom activity points may not be made up. 
You will get points for rough drafts, subsequent drafts, and final drafts.   Rough drafts are all or none--do it, receive 25 points (times three--75 total), don't, it's zero; subsequent drafts, 50 points, based on FDOM scoring rubric; final drafts on FDOM scoring rubric, 50 each essay.  A FDOM scoring guide will be given to you.   There's a conversion factor at work here, and it works in the student's favor (total score possible, 16; an eight is considered a C.)
Points awarded for your final reflective essay in your portfolio.  Worth 100 points, on the FDOM rubric. 
That should add up to 600 points.  Then it's just doing the math: 90-100 per cent A; 80-89 per cent B; 70-79 per cent C; 60-69 per cent D.  Sounds complicated, but not really.  Don't get them twisted over points, simply do the work and observe deadlines and you will be fine.  So will your GPA.
If you are truly O/C I'll work up a conversion table, but I hope no one stresses that much.  This is a class to prepare you for the rest of your academic career, not to slap you down.  We'll get you through this alive with minimal bruising if you will do your part.

Late Submission of Course Materials:

Late submission of assignments is a major pain to the professor and unfair to other students.  Drafts should be submitted when due, but exceptions could be made for emergencies on an individual basis.  If you know beforehand that you will not be in class when an assignment is due, submit it early.  In-class activities cannot be made up.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
Grown-up rules apply.  Don't run with scissors, eat a good breakfast, and leave the cell phones turned off.  That includes the texting thingee.  Students texting in class will be considered absent.  See Attendance Policy below for how that affects your final grade.  (Hint: it's not good)

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Week One: Introductions and all that.  A word or two on plagiarism, another couple of words on documentation and research.  A quick in-class writing assignment.  Students select topic for first paper.
Week Two:  Begin first paper.  What do we know?  How do we know it?  Giving credit where due. Searching the corridors of our own minds.
Weeks Three and Four: Revisions, fine tuning.  Final draft of first essay due at the end of week four.
Weeks Five through Nine:  Second essay.  Research in multiple media.  Choose a topic, research both on-line and in hard-copy journals, books, and other print media.  Minimum of three hard-copy sources and two internet sources.  How to document.  What style to use.  Exercises in documentation.  Peer editing.  Research techniques.
Weeks Ten through Fourteen:  Wrestling with the WWW.  How do we wade through the wide and often shallow ocean of information we confront?  Formulting a strategy for internet research.  Third essay, based entirely on internet research.  Minimum sources: 10.  We are going to write a research essay, one for which we have chosen a topic and selected ten sources.  The essay, however, will be about the journey of discovery regarding our sources: how we vet them, what to look for, caveats, and how we have formulated a strategy for dealing with information overload.
Week Fifteen: In-class work on reflective essay or revising any of the three essays for your portfolio.  The emphasis will be on effective writing and thorough, objective research.

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
Quite simply, don't do it.  Intentional plagiarism will result in your failing this class.  More important than that, it will result in a diminution of your essence, the core of your character, your you-ness.

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
Your attendance and participation in this course are vital.  Since you will be an important resource for your classmates, your empty chair is a poor substitute.  So here's what:  Three absences free, no questions asked.  For each additional three, your final grade will be lowered one letter.

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, strong voice appropriate to the topic. The main point, or thesis, of the essay is clear, although could be expressed more gracefully. The voice is appropriate for the topic, for the most part. The essay lacks a main point and instead presents several potential theses. The voice is not appropriate to the topic. No portfolio is turned in or guidelines are not followed. 
1, 2                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
The essay presents relevant and tasteful detail 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 sometimes simply tacked on without adequate discussion or sense of purpose 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 and purpose is substantial, relevant, and creatively addressed with fresh insight. Details are carefully analyzed in ways that support the thesis and reveal new perspectives. Voice is consistently graceful, strong, and appropriate throughout. Central topic and purpose is potentially good, but could be further developed. Details and examples are sometimes irrelevant or inadequately analyzed, but potentially good. Voice is good, but prosaic. Central topic lacks clarity and the purpose is not always clear. Details are irrelevant or inadequately explained. Connections are unclear.  The voice does not match the purpose of the essay. No portfolio is turned in or guidelines are not followed. 
Technical Skill in Communicating                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
Writing employs conventions of Standard Written English with grace and style. Use of MLA documentation is flawless. Writing employs conventions of Standard Written English adequately, with only occasional gaps. Use of MLA documentation is fully adequate, with only occasional gaps. Writing shows persistent problems with the use of Standard Written English. Statements are often illogical or incomprehensible. Use of MLA documentation is spotty, fails to follow form, or absent from the paper. 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:1/5/2011 10:40:31 AM