WR 123 syllabus winter 2011



WR 123 Advanced Composition

Class Meets: T Th 10:30-11:45 T208
Office Hours: MWF 11-12, T Th 9:30-10:30
Instructor’s Office: T305B
Instructor’s Phone: 338-2471 (office, voicemail)

Course Description: Since this is an advanced course, it is assumed that you already understand the fundamentals of grammar, spelling, and punctuation. It is also assumed that you already have a firm grasp of how an essay is written and what a finished essay looks like. We will not use class time to review these fundamentals. Please feel free to visit the writing lab or see me during my office hours if you need help upgrading your basic writing skills. Rather, we will begin the course by learning how to use the library for research and how to incorporate that research into a lengthy research paper. Throughout the course, we will explore the methods of primary and secondary research, the techniques of library and electronic research, the process of integrating ideas into your text, the rules for proper documentation, and the process for compiling all of this into a significant piece of writing. You will write two papers this quarter: a 4-6 page essay about something related to a Middle Eastern country, and a 7-10 page essay about a topic of your own choosing (subject to my approval).

Course Objectives:
Upon successful completion of this course, you will
• Build upon writing and revision skills learned in WR 121 and WR 122 to craft well-organized, longer essays
• Learn techniques for primary and secondary research (using print, electronic, and direct sources)
• Learn to summarize, critically evaluate, and synthesize information from multiple sources to support a thesis
• Accurately document sources using MLA format
• Understand what plagiarism is and how to avoid it
• Share your research with a wider audience (orally and visually)

Text and Supplies:
Diana Hacker, A Writer’s Reference. 6th ed.
Stapler, whiteout
Some Xeroxing costs

Assignments and Grading:
Memo 1 5 points
Summary 1 5 points
Thesis Statement 1 5 points
Outline 1 5 points
Rough Draft 1 15 points
Final Draft 1 30 points
Research Portfolio 1 10 points
Memo 2 5 points
Summary 2 5 points
Thesis Statement 2 5 points
Outline 2 5 points
Rough Draft 2 15 points
Final Draft 2 50 points
Research Portfolio 2 10 points
Visual Interpretation 15 points
Oral Presentation 15 points
Total Possible 200 points

180-200 A; 160-179 B; 140-159 C; 120-139 D; 0-119 F

Late Paper Policy: It is your responsibility to hand in your completed work on time. On time means you are ready to hand me your work at the beginning of the period indicated on your course schedule. If you hand in work late I will not critique it and you will only receive 60% of possible points. If you have an emergency (you are in the hospital or someone in your family dies), please talk to me before the due date to possibly make other arrangements. If we have an in-class assignment and you are absent that day, you will receive a 0 unless you have contacted me ahead of time to make other arrangements.

Attendance Policy: You are expected to come to class every day. You are also expected to come on time, so you don’t bother the rest of us. If you miss more than 3 times, your grade will probably suffer because you will miss important announcements, assignments, discussions, etc. If you have to miss class, please try to call in and leave me a quick message so I know why.

Academic Honesty: You are expected to turn in only your own work, or to carefully document ideas and facts you borrow from others. It is your responsibility to read the Hacker handbook section on plagiarism. If you do not understand what plagiarism is, please ask me. Students who turn in work that is not their own will receive a 0 for the assignment and may fail the course entirely. This is a serious matter: one or two students fail the course each year because they plagiarize—either intentionally or unintentionally.

Cell Phone Policy: As a courtesy to your instructor and the other students—please turn off your cell phone before coming to class. Please, no texting during class.

“A researcher is a person who searches for the mystery of things.” Bobby Brown, age 7



WR 123 Schedule Fall 2010 Brown


4 T Introduction to course, syllabus
Discuss writing process and assessment criteria
Assign Essay #1: Something about a Middle Eastern country

6 Th Brainstorm together for topics
Conducting research: Hacker 318-322

11 T me gone, start research

13 Th Visit CCC library, meet there at 10:30
Evaluating sources: Hacker 333-341
Memo #1 due (typed)—topic and plan of action

18 T Article (or other source) and Summary #1 due
Discuss thesis, outline
Plagiarism: Hacker 341-347
Incorporating research into essay: Hacker 355-369

20 Th Discuss preparing Works Cited page, MLA style
Citing Sources MLA: Hacker 370-379
Thesis statement due (must be typed)

25 T guest speaker
Read sample student essay: Hacker 408-412

27 Th Rough Draft Due—bring 3 xerox copies
Small group workshop



1 T Final draft essay #1, portfolio due at 10:30 sharp
Poster due
Assign essay #2: your choice of topic

3 Th CCC Library visit—meet in conference room 10:30
Using other sources and tools
Electronic research: Hacker 323-332

8 T Evaluating sources, Memo #2 due: topic and plan of action
Internet Exploration

10 Th Examine sample essay
Thesis Statement due (must be typed)

15 T Discuss sentence editing for correctness
Grammar: Hacker 163-213 (skim)
Article (or other source) due and summary #2 due

17 Th Discuss sentence editing for smoothness
Punctuation: Hacker 259-291 (skim)

22 T Conferences, my office

24 Th Conferences


1 T Rough draft #2 due, workshop (bring 4 copies)

3 Th Rough draft #2 due, workshop continued

8 T Essay #2 final draft due & portfolio, speeches

10 Th speeches

Mar 14-17 finals week






Last Updated: 
December 13, 2010, 9:27 am
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