Monday, February 08, 2010
English 201, Spring 2010 at COA
Professor Wanda Sabir
ENG 201 A
23066 Lec 10:00-11:50 MW Sabir A 200
23067 Lec 01:00-02:50 PM MW Sabir A 213
ENG 201 B
23074 Lec 10:00-11:50 MW Sabir A 200
22075 Lec 01:00-02:50 PM MW Sabir A 213
Class Meetings: Jan. 21—May 19, 8-8:50; 1-2:50, MW Rooms D-229; A213
Drop dates: Feb. 16, April 25 (w/W) and no refund.
Holidays: 2/12-15, 3/19 (staff development), Spring Break: 4/4-10
Final Exam Week: May 24-28
Syllabus for English 201A/B: Preparation for Composition and Reading
The English 201 series (4 units) is a preparatory course designed to emphasize the thinking, reading, organizing and writing skills required for successful execution of college-level papers in all subject areas. This course is designed to for those students requiring minimal preparation for entering English 1A.
Absences must be kept to a minimum. If you miss 6 consecutive hours or 8 cumulative hours you will risk being dropped from the course, doing poorly or both. English 201 consists of weekly essays and daily assignments. This is a portfolio driven class. Keep all of your written work, graded and otherwise to turn in the last day of class. There will be an assessment, a midterm, a research project, a final and a class presentation.
As stated in the letter, Stewart Pidd will provide a context for essay writing which will hopefully allow students the opportunity to become conversant about the writing process and use grammar in context, as well as, employ MLA documentation. Keep a reading log for the Obama book noting key ideas, themes, vocabulary, questions and an analysis of primary writing strategies employed: description, process analysis, narration, argument, cause and effect, compare and contrast, definition, problem solving.
Your research project will entail finding a woman in Northern California who is a social entrepreneur. This research project will be an extension of the themes explored in Half the Sky. The essay will be about 4-5 pages. This will include a works cited page and bibliography. Students will make 5-10 minute presentations of these papers in May. The paper will be due about two-three weeks prior to the presentation. We’ll discuss this task further later on.
Visit PBS.org “The New Heroes,” to read about social entrepreneurs. There is also a program called Frontline World. We will explore this assignment more, later in the course.
Why socially responsible economics?
Too often people feel helpless or hopeless when there is a lot you can do as an individual as soon as you realize the answer lies inside of you. If possible choose an entrepreneur who lives in Northern California, someone you’d like to interview and perhaps meet. Students can work on the project together, share resources. Each person has to write his or her own paper, but you can make a group presentation if you like.
English 201 will look primarily at writing which persuades: argumentative writing, as well as expository writing, narrative and descriptive writing. At the end of the course students will have read work of accomplished writers, as well as practiced writing in a variety of styles to suit the writer’s purpose.
In this course students will submit essays and other written work on-line. The academic blog is an opportunity for students to utilize multiple intelligences as they engage one another in a variety modalities.
Student Learning Outcomes
At the end of the course students will have an altered or heightened awareness of the world around them, especially discourse: speech and text. Students will see that everything is an argument, whether that is a cartoon, advertisement, or lyrics in a song. Students will be able to analyze and critique each incident or contact to evaluate its author’s purpose, audience, and evidence to determine whether or not such goal was met and if appropriate, act accordingly.
This course is intended to be both a group learning experience as well as an individually rewarding one. Mid-semester we will schedule conferences so students can confer with the instructor to evaluate his or her progress in the course. Classroom instruction will consist of lectures, small group work, and students working in pairs. This is an effective way for students to exchange ideas with classmates, compare reactions to readings and practice giving and receiving constructive feedback on class work.
Preparation for class, regular attendance and active participation is imperative for those students who wish to succeed in this course.
It is a student’s responsibility to contact the instructor if he or she plans to miss class. The student is responsible for all materials and information given during the class time, so please get telephone numbers for three (3) classmates in case you are late or absent. You will not be able to make up in-class assignments when you miss class.
Requirements for homework assignments:
Not late papers are accepted unless arranged in advance. Any papers below a C grade are an automatic revision or rewrite. Essays range between 2-3 pages, 500-750 words (English 201B students write the longer essays).
Choose topics which give you enough to write about. We will use documentation to substantiate all of our claims. With this in mind, I expect all papers to utilize at least two (2) different outside print sources, in addition to the occasional interview, and broadcast news, that is, radio or television, Internet also.
You will learn to document sources; we will practice citing sources in text, using footnotes and endnotes, and writing bibliographies and notes pages. Remember save all your work! This is a portfolio course.
All essay assignments you receive comments on have to be revised prior to resubmission; included with the revision is a student narrative to me regarding your understanding of what needed to be done; a student can prepare this as a part of the Writing Center visit (see below), especially if said student is unclear over what steps to take.
Library Orientations: Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2010 the first hour of the class. Meet in the library at the reference desk.
We will write short essays that reflect themes and ideas discussed that week. Stewart Pidd has essay assignments attached to the text. Some of these essays will be written in class. The research essay will be an argument. There will be a midterm and a final.
Jot down briefly what your goals are this semester. List them in order of importance.
Index Cards due Feb. 17, 2010
Please list your contact information: Name, Address, phone number e-mail address, best time to call.
What strengths do you bring to the class? What do you hope to obtain from the course – any particular exit skills? What do I need to know about you to help you meet your goals?
Essays: 15 percent (including Stewart Pidd essay assignments)
Cyber-Assignments posted on blog: 15 percent
Midterm: 10 percent
Final: 15 percent
Research Essay/Presentation: 20 percent
Portfolio: 15 percent
Peer Reviews from Lab teachers: 10 percent
Participation: 5 percent
The essays which take their themes from the readings are practice essays, and are about a fourth of your grade, your midterm and final are another fourth and your portfolio is the final fourth. (Save all of your work.) You can average the grades to see how to weigh the various components. Participation is included in the daily exercises and cyber assignments, along with the homework portion of the grade, so if your attendance is exemplary, yet you say nothing the entire 18 weeks, you loose percentage points.
You will also need to plan to spend time weekly in the Writing Lab (L-234-235, (510) 748-2132). It is a great place to get one-on-on assistance on your essays, from brainstorming and planning the essays, to critique in areas like clarity, organization, clearly stated thesis, evidence or support, logical conclusions, and grammatical problems. In the Writing Center there are ancillary materials for student use. These writing programs build strong writing muscles. The Bedford Handbook on-line, Diana Hacker’s Rules for Writers on-line, Townsend Press, and other such computer and cyber-based resources are a few of the many databases available. There is also an Open Lab for checking e-mail, a Math Lab. All academic labs are located in the Learning Resource Center (LRC) or library. The Cyber Café is located in the F-bldg.
Students need a student ID to use the labs and to check out books. The IDs are free and you can take the photo in the F-Building, Student Services. Students also need to sign up for a free LRC course to use the labs. See your counselor of LRC personnel.
Have a tutor of teacher sign off on your essays before you turn them in; if you have a “R,” which means revision necessary for a grade or “NC” which means “no credit,” you have to go to the lab and revise the essay with a tutor or teacher before you return both the graded original and the revision (with signature) to me. Revise does not mean “rewrite,” it means to “see again.”
When getting assistance on an essay, the teacher or tutor is not an editor, so have questions prepared for them to make best use of the 15-20 minute session in the Lab. For more specific assistance, sign up for one-on-one tutoring, another free service. For those of you on other campuses, you can get assistance at the Merritt College’s Writing Center, as well as Laney’s Writing.
All essay assignments you receive comments on have to be revised prior to resubmission; included with the revision is a student narrative to me regarding your understanding of what needed to be done; a student can prepare this as a part of the Lab visit, especially if said student is unclear over what steps to take.
Students can also visit me in office hours for assistance; again, prepare your questions in advance to best make use of the time. Do not leave class without understanding the comments on a paper. I don’t mind reading them to you.
English language fluency in writing and reading; a certain comfort and ease with the language; confidence and skillful application of literary skills associated with academic writing. Familiarity if not mastery of the rhetorical styles used in argumentation, exposition and narration will be addressed in this class and is a key student learning outcome (SLO).
We will be evaluating what we know and how we came to know what we know, a field called epistemology or the study of knowledge. Granted, the perspective is western culture which eliminates the values of the majority populations, so-called underdeveloped or undeveloped countries or cultures. Let us not fall into typical superiority traps. Try to maintain a mental elasticity and a willingness to let go of concepts which not only limit your growth as an intelligent being, but put you at a distinct disadvantage as a species.
This is a highly charged and potentially revolutionary process - critical thinking. The process of evaluating all that you swallowed without chewing up to now is possibly even dangerous. This is one of the problems with bigotry; it’s easier to go with tradition than toss it, and create a new, more just, alternative protocol.
More on grades, and portfolio
We will be honest with one another. Grades are not necessarily the best response to work; grades do not take into consideration the effort or time spent, only whether or not students can demonstrate mastery of a skill – in this case: essay writing. Grades are an approximation, arbitrary at best, no matter how many safeguards one tries to put in place to avoid such ambiguity. Suffice it to say, your portfolio will illustrate your competence. It will represent your progress, your success or failure this session in meeting your goal.
In past semesters, students have skipped the portfolio and/or the final. Neither is optional.
I’d like to wish everyone good luck. I am available for consultation on Tuesdays, 10-12, and on Monday and Wednesday afternoon 3-4 and by appointment. My office is located between the academic labs in L-236 (inside L-235). My office number is (510) 748-2131, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Let me know the day before, if possible, when you’d like to meet with me on MW. Ask me for my cell phone number. I do not mind sharing it with you.
I don’t check my e-mail frequently on weekends, so I’d advise you to exchange phone numbers with classmates (2), so if you have a concern, it can be addressed more expediently. Again study groups are recommended, especially for those students finding the readings difficult; don’t forget, you can also discuss the readings as a group in the Lab with a teacher or tutor acting as facilitator. Keep a vocabulary log for the semester and an error chart (taken from comments on essay assignments). List the words you need to look up in the dictionary, also list where you first encountered them: page, book and definition, also use the word in a sentence. You will turn this in with your portfolio.
Students are expected to complete their work on time. If you need more time on an assignment, discuss this with me in advance, to keep full credit. You loose credit each day an assignment is late and certain assignments, such as in-class essays cannot be made up. All assignments prepared outside of class are to be typed, 12-pt. font, double-spaced lines, indentations on paragraphs, 1-inch margins around the written work.
Plagiarism is ethically abhorrent, and if any student tries to take credit for work authored by another person the result will be a failed grade on the assignment and possibly a failed grade in the course if this is attempted again. This is a graded course. There might be an option to take this course C/NC. See Admission and Records.
Pollitt, Gary. Craig Baker. Stewart Pidd Hates English: Grammar, Punctuation, and Writing Exercises. First or Second Edition. California: Attack the Text Publishing, 2008. ISBN: 13: 978-0-9755923-4-2
Kristof, Nicholas D., and Sheryl WuDunn. Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2009.
Students need to choose a book by a woman author or about a woman, who lives here in the San Francisco Bay Area. Biographies and autobiographies are great. If you want to read a novel, let me see it first. Students will have a paper and a presentation based on the book. Choose one now and when we finish Half the Sky you can start reading it. The presentation and paper will be due in April.
Students also need a dictionary. I recommend: The American Heritage Dictionary. Fourth Edition.
The Prepared Student also needs...
Along with a dictionary, the prepared student needs pens with blue or black ink, along with a pencil for annotating texts, paper, a stapler or paper clips, a jump drive to save work from college computers, a notebook, three hole punch, a folder for work-in-progress, and a divided binder to keep materials together.
Also stay abreast of the news. Buy a daily paper. Listen to alternative radio: KPFA 94.1 FM (Hardknock), KQED 88.5, KALW 91.7. Visit news websites: AllAfrica.com, Al Jazeera, CNN.com, AlterNet.org, DemocracyNow.org, FlashPoints.org, CBS 60Minutes.