nature

Final writing 101

This is the assignment:
For this essay I would like you to reflect upon what you learned in this course and what you still need to work on to become and even more effective at writing in the

courses (and years) ahead. This essay is reflective in nature, so be sure to use first person and examples from your work in the course. Analyze yourself. Be honest.

Don’t just find what you’re looking for or tell me what you think you’re supposed to conclude about your work and your progress. Take an honest accounting of what

you’ve done and what you can see about yourself from looking at it. What habits and tendencies do you see in what you’ve written?

INSTRUCTIONS:
First, review the Course Goals and Learning Objectives from your course syllabus. After you have read through these, think about which goals and objectives seem the

most relevant to understanding the work you did in this course. Compose a few paragraphs discussing the goals and objectives you think you excelled in and learned the

most from. Then, discuss at least one goal or objective you think you need to pursue deliberately in the future. Spend at least 500 words discussing the above items.

Next, discuss in a couple pages how you manage your writing process and revision. Also discuss how you read and think critically concerning class texts and other

assignments. Be sure to mention one of your successes in the course as well as a time where you recognized a need to improve in terms of writing process, critical

thinking or reading. End your essay discussing what challenges you anticipate in upcoming courses and how will you meet them? Spend at least 1½-2 pages discussing the

items in this paragraph

You are required to compose your exam in class. Unfortunately, that means that you’ll actually have to write it longhand with pen and paper. While spelling, grammar,

sentence structure, organization and development always matter, I am particularly interested in your ability to think critically, express those thoughts clearly, and

let your reader participate in your analytical processes through the words you put on paper.
• This is a closed book exam.
• You have up to 1 hour and 50 minutes to complete the exam.
The books are suffolk University book

WRI 101 — FIRST-YEAR WRITING I — FALL 2014

Class meets: MW 2:30-3:45 in Donahue 302
Instructor: Amy Monticello — Email: [email protected]
Office: 73 Tremont Street, 8th floor, Suffolk University English Department, Office #8057
Office Hours: MW 12:00-1:30 p.m., or by appointment
Office phone: 617-305-1744

DESCRIPTION

In this class, we will study of the writing and revision process in terms of expository writing modes for an academic audience.

This course is designed to ground first-year students in the reading, writing, and rhetorical demands necessary for success in college and beyond. This class teaches

students to be both critical readers of complex texts and critical writers of effective texts. The key to critical reading and writing is rhetorical knowledge.

Rhetoric is foundational for this course because it allows you, on the one hand, to understand how other people’s texts affect readers and attempt persuasion, and on

the other, to compose effective and purposeful texts yourself. Rhetorical knowledge prepares you to participate in and respond to nearly any conceivable rhetorical

situation (both written and non-), whether it be another college course, certain professional demands, or personal needs. At its most basic—but most profound—level,

writing is about making choices, and this course teaches you how to identify other writers’ choices and how to make your own across a variety of writing situations.

TEXTBOOKS/REQUIRED MATERIALS

—Common Reader (CR): a customized textbook for WRI 101 and 102. Available only at Suffolk Bookstore.

—Graff, Gerald, and Carol Birkenstein. They Say/I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing. 3rd Ed. New York: Norton, 2014. Print. ISBN: 9780393935844 (TS/IS)

—Hacker, Diana. A Pocket Manual of Style. 6th Ed. Boston: Bedford, 2012. Print. ISBN: 978-0312542542

—Additional materials on Blackboard (BB). Print these or have access to electronic versions in class.

GRADING

Assignment #1:     Descriptive Analysis                       15%

Assignment #2:     Compare and contrast           20%

Assignment #3: Problem/Solution                20%

Midterm Exam                                           5%

Final Exam                    5%

Blogs                                                       20%

Professionalism and Participation        15%
Good participation means coming to class regularly and on time, having read the material assigned for the day, active listening, in-class writing, SPEAKING UP DURING

CLASS DISCUSSION, doing in-class activities when assigned, and respectful, professional, yet critical engagement with the work of your peers. If anything hinders your

ability to participate,     speak with me and we’ll work something out. (See “Digital and Classroom Etiquette” on p. 3)

COURSE GOALS AND LEARNING OBJECTIVES

Here are the goals we’ll work toward in all WRI 101 sections.

Goal 1: Upon completion of this course, students will be able to understand academic writing as a revision-based process. By the end of the course, students will be

able to:

1.    Employ strategies for generating ideas for writing
2.    Identify a specific purpose and audience when composing an academic essay
3.    Practice ways to plan and organize material in written compositions
4.    Revise essays in a variety of ways with a clear purpose in mind
5.    Provide appropriate, engaged feedback to peers throughout the writing process

Goal 2: Upon completion of this course, students will be able to understand the rhetorical situation and persuasive elements that factor into composing an expository

essay. By the end of the course, students will be able to:

1.    Explain the rhetorical choices writers may make in constructing an essay
2.    Discuss ways writing creates and offers knowledge to a variety of audiences
3.    Employ multiple modalities (such as inform, compare/contrast, identify, problem/solution, process analysis) in writing to persuade various audiences
4.    Debate the ethical consideration a writer must consider when composing an essay for a particular audience and purpose

Goal 3: Upon completion of this course, students will know how to display critical thinking in academic writing. By the end of the course, students will be able to:

1.    Formulate a thesis driven argument for an expository essay;
2.    Identify arguments, counter arguments and evidence in written composition;
3.    Employ critical thinking strategies to interpret and write about the multiple modalities of texts
4.    Use close reading to spot patterns in texts and infer meaning.

FINAL EXAM

Students are expected to attend final exam period so do not make travel plans before this date/time: December 11, 10:30-12:20 in our regular classroom.

ATTENDANCE

I will take attendance daily. Show up. Show up on time. Students more than 30 min. late without good reason will be counted absent for the day. Excessive shorter

latenesses will detract from your professionalism and participation grade.

We do so much in this class that isn’t included in any of the reading. Missing class will drastically hinder your ability to complete assignments well, it can prevent

you from developing the skills this class needs you to practice, and it can harm the grades based on your performance and those based on the quality of the writing you

produce. In these ways, poor attendance will detract from all of your grades in one way or another. Notify me of any necessary absences beforehand if possible, and be

sure to let me know the reason. I’ll excuse absences for good reason. Telling me you plan to skip class is not an excused absence. Meet with me as soon as you can

after any absence so we can make a plan about your work. The most important thing is to reach out to me—or to someone—if anything is going on. You can discuss details

with me, but you don’t have to. There are also others available to help. (See CLAS on p. 3.)

In the event of major life catastrophes, we’ll work around them. Students should contact the Student Affairs Office at 617.573.8239 or at [email protected] if

they must be absent for a week or more.

LATE WORK

I will only accept late work that is late due to an excused absence. You can’t make up work you missed due to an unexcused absence. You may make up work you missed for

an approved reason. Although you will not be penalized when absences are authorized, in some cases the make up work may be significantly different from the original

assignments. If you find yourself falling behind, getting overwhelmed, or staring at what looks like an impossible deadline, come to me immediately so we can work

something out. I may allow extra credit on a case-by-case basis. Convince me.

— Back up all work daily! Keep multiple electronic copies of everything. Data mishaps are not acceptable excuses for late or missing work. If you keep only one

electronic copy, you court disaster. You are responsible for protecting and backing up your files. Use USB drives, online storage, etc.

DIGITAL AND CLASSROOM ETIQUETTE (PART OF PERFORMANCE AND PROFESSIONALISM GRADES)

Etiquette is not about following arbitrary rules of behavior. Etiquette is about making other people’s lives better and easier, or at least not making their lives

worse, more miserable, or more difficult than they would otherwise be. Make your presence beneficial to others.

Our ability to learn together depends on our ability to trust one another and feel comfortable in the classroom and in our digital environments. In part, all students

are responsible for contributing to their own learning experience, and to the learning experiences of others. Because the contribution of ideas from each student is

critical to our class, we (all of us, including you) will not tolerate behavior that creates a hostile or offensive learning environment. Intolerable behavior includes

aggressively interrupting others, mocking or shallowly dismissing others’ ideas/efforts/identities, carrying on conversations separate from class discussion, showing

hostility to another person or their ideas, or making comments that could be perceived as racially, sexually, culturally, socioeconomically, or in any other way

abusive. It’s likely we’ll need to address many sensitive issues as we do our work, but take care to do so in respectful and professional ways. Maintain an atmosphere

where everyone feels comfortable sharing and responding to ideas. I encourage you to disagree with each other and to disagree with me as often as possible, but again,

to do so thoughtfully and with professional courtesy. I appreciate your willingness to discuss difficult subjects that may arise. I understand that it can be

challenging to discuss things like class, race, gender, family, sexuality, religion, football, and so on, but we need to trust one another as we grapple with big

questions about important things. I look forward to gaining greater insights along with you as we grapple with questions together.

To make effective use of class time, I ask that you please resist the impulse to use digital devices in class for non-class purposes. Demonstrate respect for your

colleagues by paying attention to their ideas, engaging with them, respectfully challenging them, and working to help develop them to their greater potential. This

will also allow us all to work free of distractions. Using digital tools in ways irrelevant to the class undermines the work of the class.

CENTER FOR LEARNING AND ACADEMIC SUCCESS (CLAS)

CLAS is a free on-campus resource offering peer and professional tutoring in Math and English, as well as a wide range of business, science, and liberal arts courses.

Students may join study groups, participate in drop-in help, or make appointments with tutors. The CLAS is conveniently located inside of the Sawyer Library on the 3rd

floor. Go to this office for writing help (tutoring) and other study and learning skill help. This is not a proofreading or editing service, but a tutoring service

that can help at any stage of the writing process, regardless of skill level. It’s much more than a place for those who are struggling.

CLAS is on the 2nd Level of Sawyer Library, 73 Tremont St. /Tel. 617.573.8235/[email protected]

THE EARLY ALERT PROJECT

This class participates in Suffolk’s Early Alert Project. Around week 6, I will notify the Center for Learning and Academic Success (CLAS) if you’ve struggled with

writing or language skills, excessive absences, incomplete work, or difficulty with the course content. This warning is not a grade, yet it indicates concerns about

your progress that need to be addressed immediately. If you receive an Early Alert, please visit me during office hours so, together, we can make a plan for the rest

of the semester.

COUNSELING RESOURCES AND PHYSICAL/EMOTIONAL HEALTH

If any issues arise directly from this class, please bring them to me. If you suffer in a way that falls outside my jurisdiction or abilities, rely upon the

university’s many support systems. As a student, you may experience a range of issues that can cause barriers to learning. Suffolk University services are available to

assist you in addressing any concerns you may be experiencing.

Whether you need help or someone to simply listen about family, relationships, personal struggle, loss, crisis, anxiety, or the pressures of the dramatic changes all

college students undergo, people are available, whatever you may need. Know that you are not alone.

You can learn more about the broad range of medical services and confidential mental health services available on campus at the following website:

www.suffolk.edu/health

Office of Health, Wellness, and Counseling Center
Stahl Building, 73 Tremont St, 5th Floor.  Tel. 617.573.8260

STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES

If you anticipate issues with the format or requirements of this course, please meet with me—I would like to discuss ways to ensure your full participation in the

classroom. If you need formal, disability-related accommodations, it is very important that you register with the Office of Disability Services (located at 73 Tremont

Street, 7th floor; 617.994.6820) and notify me of your eligibility for reasonable accommodations. We can then plan how best to implement your accommodations.

Office of Disability Services
Stahl Building, 73 Tremont St, 7th Floor./ Tel. 617.994.6820/ [email protected]

ACADEMIC HONESTY

Do your own work and do it well. You’re more than capable. While I don’t expect issues of plagiarism to arise, I will not tolerate it if they do. Plagiarism occurs

when you present anyone else’s words or ideas as your own. Proper sourcing of ideas and exact language are essential. Do not simply change a few words in a quotation

and pretend the writing is original, or even that you’ve paraphrased, because you’ve done neither. I consider any academic misconduct a serious offense, and will

pursue the strongest possible academic penalties for it. It is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with the University’s policy on academic dishonesty and

related disciplinary procedures. Ignorance is no excuse.

Please refer to the student handbook link below for academic honesty. I will review this in class as well as distribute a handout detailing what you should keep in

mind as you write your papers, take your exams, and work on collaborative projects with peers. If you have any questions on what to cite or not in your essays or other

work, please check with me first.

http://www.suffolk.edu/studenthandbook/19863.php

TECHNOLOGY SERVICES

Suffolk University provides a variety of resources to support course technology:
•    University Help Desk (Mon-Fri, 8:30am-8pm):  617.557.2000 or [email protected]
•    For Blackboard and Collaborate assistance, contact the 24-hour support line at 866.886.4861.
•    Step-by-step Blackboard tutorials are accessible within every Blackboard course via the BB Tutorials menu
•    On Demand Knowledge Base provides information on all other technologies that are used in courses, including teaching, learning, research, and productivity

tools.

FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

The International Students Services Office (ISSO), a part of the Center for International Programs and Services, provides comprehensive support to international

students regarding immigration status and DHS regulatory responsibilities. If you are an international student in F-1 or J-1 status, you are responsible to maintain

full-time enrollment (minimum of 12 units) every semester, else your immigration status is at risk.  For more information, go to http://www.suffolk.edu/isso, call

617.573.8154, email [email protected] or visit ISSO on the 6th floor of 73 Tremont.

CREDIT HOUR COMPLIANCE AND EXPECTED STUDENT WORK

This course follows the Federal Government’s Credit Hour definition for a four-credit course. Expect to do two hours of work outside of class per one hour of classroom

instruction. For more info on this requirement see: http://ifap.ed.gov/dpcletters/attachments/GEN1106.pdf

TALK TO ME!

I don’t expect anyone in this class to make it through entirely on their own, including me. The best successes I’ve seen in classrooms are things people accomplished

together. Work with me, write to me, talk to me, even if you don’t feel like you’re struggling or in need of help. It’s amazing what can happen when we’re just kicking

ideas around. As always, if you do have any questions or concerns or difficulties about the course, this syllabus, assignments, any of the work of the class, or any of

the ideas or texts we work with, please e-mail [email protected] or/and come by my office hours

DAILY SCHEDULE

Except for things labeled “in class,” all assignments and readings are due by class time on the dates listed.

W  Sept. 3 — Day 1: Introduction, words matter
In class — Diagnostic Essay

M  Sept. 8 — Day 2: Rhetorical Analysis
In class — Introduce Assignment 1
Susan Sontag: “Regarding the Torture…” CR 524-534

W  Sept. 10 — Day 3: Analytical methods
Annette Kuhn: “Remembrance” BB
Five Analytical Moves BB
In class — Image analysis

M  Sept. 15 — Day 4: Summary, annotating, analysis
TS/IS 30-41
Summary vs. Analysis BB
Chimamanda Adichie: “The Danger of a Single Story”
Blog #1 due

W  Sept. 17 — Day 5: Quoting and analyzing
TS/IS 42-51

M  Sept. 22 — Day 6: Peer review
Draft of Assignment 1 Due
In class—Peer review

W  Sept. 24 — Day 7: The evolving thesis
In class — It’s Time

M  Sept. 29 — Day 8: Comparative analysis
Assignment 1 due
In class — Introduce Assignment 2
TS/IS 58-67

W  Oct. 1 — Day 9: Comparative analysis
TS/IS 68-77
Barry Lopez: “Children in the Woods” CR 650-653
Rick Bass: “Why I Hunt” CR 654-657
Blog #2 due

M  Oct. 6 — Day 10:  So what?
TS/IS 92-101
Jared Diamond: “The Last Americans…” CR 684-699
Richard Muller: “Nuclear Waste” TS/IS 252-259

W  Oct. 8 — Day 11: Keep asking “so what?”
Joy Horowitz: “Parkinson’s Alley” CR 658-645
Rachel Carson: “The Obligation…” CR 669-675
Blog #3 due
M  Oct. 13 — COLUMBUS DAY

W  Oct. 15— Day 12: Peer review
Draft of Assignment 2 DUE.
In class—Peer Review

M  Oct. 20— Day 13: Mid-term exam
In class — Midterm Exam

W  Oct. 22— Day 14: Making connections
Assignment 2 Due
In class — Introduction to Assignment 3
TS/IS 105-118

M  Oct. 27—Day 15: Reframing the rhetoric
Susan Jacoby: “When Bright Girls …” CR 215-218
Mike Rose: “I Just Wanna Be Average” BB
Blog #4 due

W  Oct. 29—Day 16: Digital research
TS/IS 121-128
In class—Conducting research online

M  Nov. 3—Day 17: Reframing the rhetoric
Barbara Ehrenreich: “The Futile…” TS/IS 260-271

W Nov.5—Day 18: Complicating the narrative
Emily Bazelon: “The Next Kind of…” CR 201-211
Clayborne Carson: “Two Cheers for…” CR 219-225
Blog #5 due

M  Nov. 10—Day 19: Library Day
Meet in Sawyer Library for research
A3 Prewriting/Topic Proposals due

W  Nov. 12— Day 20: Writing studio
In class—Writing and exercises

M Nov. 17—Day 21: Writing studio
In class — Writing and exercises

W  Nov. 19—Day 22: Peer review
Bring one hard copy of your latest A3 draft

M  Nov. 24—Day 23: Discussion of Final
Assignment 3 Due

W Nov.26—Thanksgiving break—NO CLASS

M  Dec. 1—Day 24: Reflection
In class—Preparation for final exam

W  Dec. 3—Day 25: Debriefing
In class —Course evaluations

A VERY INCOMPLETE GLOSSARY OF TERMS

Rhetoric: All of the methods by which meanings are communicated

Rhetor: The source of the communication—writer, speaker, filmmaker, photographer, etc.

Euphemism: An alternative word choice that alters (usually softens) the rhetorical effect (“die” vs. “pass away” vs. “in a better place”). Different choices of

language signal different implications and underlying philosophies. Euphemisms tend to distance the audience from the subject, using more vague and imprecise language

(“collateral damage” vs. “unintended killings,” “got the better end of the deal,” vs. “swindled the other guy”).

Paraphrase: An alternative phrasing of an author’s original language. Don’t paraphrase simply to pretend an author’s arguments or content are your ideas, or to avoid

accusations of plagiarism. Instead, paraphrase in order to reveal something that wasn’t obvious in the author’s original words. Effective paraphrases make the implicit

explicit (“What she’s saying here is…”) Always give credit to your sources, even when you paraphrase.

Summary: Similar to paraphrase (in that you choose your own words to describe an author’s argument), except in a summary, you compress large portions of text into a

much smaller space. You’ll need to choose specific things to focus on in a summary. Here, you aren’t trying to restate every claim and every piece of evidence an

author uses. Instead, you’re choosing smaller parts of their text that are relevant to your own work and explaining how you want your reader to understand them.

Quotation: A rhetor’s exact language reproduced with precise accuracy (no words changed!), attributed to them, and presented in quotation marks. (The professor said,

“This is what a quotation looks like.”)

Analysis: An examination and logical interpretation of evidence. Analysis does not set out to prove an existing claim. Instead, analysis examines evidence, then asks

what can be made of it. Analysis put the evidence before the claim, not the other way around. Analysis is about finding deeper and deeper insights, not about proving

yourself correct from the beginning. This is a slow process, and a process of questioning and exploration. You won’t know exactly where you’re going when you begin any

analysis.

Rhetorical Analysis: An examination of the rhetoric of a text to gain a detailed understanding of the philosophies, values, worldviews, judgments, assumptions, etc. an

author carries with them and uses to frame the subject they present. You’ll learn much more about the author and the culture they come from than you will about the

subject they discuss. An analysis of the rhetoric someone uses to talk about death, for example, will tell you little about death itself, but it will tell you a great

deal about how a rhetor understands and makes assumptions about death, and how that rhetor invites us to share those assumptions.

Representation: The portrayal of a thing, idea, place, person, group of people, etc. in any kind of text. The way something is presented reveals the way the rhetor

judges it.

Implication: Meanings that are not directly stated, but that are encoded into the rhetoric. Praising a new father for carrying his child with him and “giving mom a

break,” implies the judgment that Mom is the natural and expected caregiver, and that it is unusual for a father to take this responsibility. As you can see, even

phrases that look like compliments can be encoded with harsh judgments. In this example, those judgments are about “proper” gender roles. If a doctor refers to a

developmentally disabled child as “way behind normal children,” that doctor has revealed a worldview that pits the disabled child in a race against non-disabled

children toward certain developmental markers, emphasizing what the child can’t do over what they can do.

Assumption: Something a rhetor takes for granted as true without stating it directly. Also knows as a premise.

Naturalized Assumption: An assumption that is so foundational to our worldview that we mistake it for a fact. If we tell someone their deceased loved one is watching

over them from heaven, we assume this is true, we assume they share this belief and we assume they will take comfort in it. In fact, though, no one knows what, if

anything, happens after death. The listener in this example may not share this assumption, and so they may not necessarily be comforted by it.
Ethos: The character of the rhetor, their qualifications, trustworthiness, authority, relationship to the subject, etc.

Situated Ethos: The aspects of a rhetor’s ethos that are part of their identity. It can include their professional credentials, education, title, age, gender, race,

and other elements of background. A medical doctor and a gardener may have equally valid arguments about flu vaccines, but their situated ethos will encourage us to

trust the doctor more than the gardener.

Invented Ethos: The aspects of a rhetor’s ethos that they actively construct in the text itself. An author will characterize themselves in particular ways for

particular purposes. They may emphasize the ways in which they represent a group or ideology, or how they hold certain values, like social justice or environmental

responsibility.

Identification: The ways in which a rhetor emphasizes the similarities between him/herself and the audience, or between the audience and their subject. This is a move

that invites the audience to have empathy with the author and/or with others, often despite certain differences in identity.

Empathy: The ability to understand and share the emotions, experience, and worldview of another person, especially if those things are very different from your own.

Sympathy: Similar to empathy, but here you do not share another’s experience and emotions, but do recognize and understand them. Sympathy can be closer to pity,

emphasizing certain differences between people.

Differentiation: The opposite of identification. Authors may emphasize the differences between the audience and themselves or between the audience and another group of

people.

Pathos: A rhetor’s appeal to an audience’s emotions. When you refer to an author’s use of pathos, name the exact emotion, exactly how that emotion is evoked, and what

larger purpose the author may have in evoking it.

Logos: A rhetor’s appeal to logic in a system of evidence and claims. Evidence: the factual details in an argument. Claim: the interpretations and arguments a rhetor

builds from specific evidence. Warrant or Rationale: the explanation of the connection between the evidence and the claim—how claims logically follow the evidence.

Exigence: A need created in a particular moment. In rhetoric, it often refers to the time right after an event happens in which there is a need to speak or to create

some other kind of rhetoric. Rhetoric, in turn, can provide further exigence for other conversations. Hurricane Katrina, for example, created an exigence to talk about

many things, but when the news coverage of looting in the aftermath drastically exaggerated the extent of crime, those stories created a new exigence to discuss

America’s assumptions about race.

Kairos: The timeliness of a situation. This refers to the cultural context in which a text is created, including the conversation up to that point, as well as the

crosscurrents of ideology, history, and events, etc. that make it matter that someone represents a thing in a particular way at a particular time and in a particular

place.

WRI 101 DIAGNOSTIC ESSAY — FALL 2014

Freshman Writing instructors understand that students may need additional help improving their ability to read and analyze essays and write compositions. The purpose

of this exercise is to provide your instructor with an initial impression of your academic writing and reading abilities to start the semester and refer you to

appropriate educational resources if necessary.

Perhaps more than any other skill learned in academics, writing proves the most difficult to learn, maintain, and perfect. In your general education (or required)

course as well as classes in your major, writing will play an important role. The following passage discusses the importance of writing in a variety of ways. Please

read it and compose an essay based on the instructions below:

At its best, writing has helped transform the world. Revolutions have been started by it. Oppression has been toppled by it. And it has enlightened the human

condition. American life has been rich because people like Rachel Carson, Cesar Chavez, Thomas Jefferson, and Martin Luther King, Jr. have given voice to the

aspirations of the nation and its people. And it has become fuller because writers like James Baldwin, William Faulkner, Toni Morrison, and Edith Wharton have explored

the range of human misery and joy. When pressed, many of us, young and old alike, still turn to pen and ink in the effort to make sense of our grief, pleasure, rage,

or happiness.

Writing enriches the nation’s political life as well. Few national leaders have matched the power and persuasiveness of Abraham Lincoln or Franklin D. Roosevelt as

they called out to the better angels of the American nature. All of these leaders and others have used the power of words, language, and writing to remind Americans of

what high standards they have set for themselves—and what these ideas mean to the rest of the world.

At a deeply practical level, writing sustains American life and popular culture in many ways that are clear and in some that are rarely noticed. Most people understand

that somebody has to write a book or a short story. But there is not a movie, advertising jingle, magazine, political campaign, newspaper, theatrical production, hit

record, comic book, or instructional manual that does not begin with writers and rest on writing. Popular culture and the economies of the Western world depend on

writing today in ways hard to imagine even a few generations ago. Although only a few hundred thousand adults earn their living as full-time writers, many working

Americans would not be able to hold their positions if they were not excellent writers.

—from “The Neglected ‘R’: the Need for a Writing Revolution”
by the National Writing Commission, 2003.

INSTRUCTIONS:
In a 500-700 word essay, argue which points above make the most sense to you, and why. Connect these thoughts to your own speculations about how writing will be of

particular value to you in relation to your academic major, intended area of study, or career aspirations.

Please use standard written English. Build logical claims from specific evidence (examples) to make your essay as persuasive as possible.

BLOGS

Weight: 20%    Due on Blackboard by dates listed on the Daily Schedule.

BLOG POSTS: Over the course of the semester, you will compose five blog posts in our class blog on Blackboard. I’ll provide prompts for each one as they occur. These

posts must be at least 400 words in response to each prompt, and will be graded holistically based on the quality of your ideas and willingness to engage with the

prompts critically and thoughtfully.

WRI 101 ASSIGNMENT 1 — DESCRIPTIVE ANALYSIS

Weight: 15%        Draft due: Sept. 22       Final due: T Sept. 29
You may revise and resubmit this essay for a higher grade at any point before Thanksgiving break.

FORMAT: Minimum 1,000 words, double-spaced, 12-point TNR, 1” margins; put your name, my name, the class, assignment number, and date in the upper left corner of the

first page; staple and number pages; have a title. Cite sources in MLA style.

BASIC INSTRUCTIONS: Find a photograph to analyze. The image itself can interest you for a variety of reasons. The image might be a family photograph, or an image from

news, current events, or history. Describe the image using concrete language. As you describe, analyze the physical details of the image to uncover the implicit

meanings encoded into the photo. Use at least one reading from this unit to help in your analysis—anything through Day 6 on our daily schedule.

DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS: Every act of description is an act of interpretation, and an act of judgment. The way you describe and analyze the photograph will invite us to

interpret it in a particular way. You won’t need to describe every detail, but you will need to describe the key concrete details of the photo so well that we won’t

need to see it to understand your interpretation. (You should include it in your essay anyway.) But you’ll also have to ask yourself why you interpret the photo as you

do, why certain details are dominant for you, and what contexts and associations influence your interpretations.

If it’s a family photo, how was it displayed, and why does that matter? Who told the stories that went with it? For what purposes? How does the photo challenge or

reinforce particular cultural narratives about family? Why is this important?

If it’s an image from elsewhere, ask how the image was presented in a particular context. From what publication did you select the photo, and why might that influence

your interpretation of its meanings? What headlines, captions, and corresponding stories ask us to read the image in a certain way? To what extent might you read the

image similarly or differently? Why? Who used the image to tell what story? To what purpose? Consider the #IfTheyGunnedMeDown campaign and Susan Sontag’s “Regarding

the Torture of Others” as examples of people doing this kind of image analysis.

WRI 101 ASSIGNMENT 2 — COMPARE AND CONTRAST

Weight: 20%    Draft due: Oct. 15       Final Due: Oct. 22
You may revise and resubmit this essay for a higher grade at any point before Thanksgiving break.

FORMAT: Minimum 1,500 words, double-spaced, 12-point TNR, 1” margins; put your name, my name, the class, assignment number, and date in the upper left corner of the

first page; staple and number pages; have a title. Cite sources in MLA style.

BASIC INSTRUCTIONS: Compose an essay comparing and contrasting the rhetorical choices of two authors in Chapter 13 of the Common Reader: “Nature and the Environment”.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION: A2 is not a five-paragraph essay. It is also not an argument about any particular issue. It is an exercise in comparative rhetorical analysis.

Look for what you can see by reading these two essays together that you could not see by reading them separately. Don’t simply make a list of similarities and

differences. THAT there are many similarities and differences between any two texts is such an obvious thing to say that it’s useless. Here, that’s not enough.

Do this instead. Look at HOW each author discusses and judges their subject. They directly say many things that are worth paying attention to. But in order to say

these things (and to say them in the ways they say them), there are unstated assumptions, philosophies, worldviews, judgments, prejudices, etc. driving that person’s

claims. So while two authors may seem to agree or disagree on certain things, you’ll find unexpected similarities within differences and unexpected differences within

similarities if you look closely. Two authors who may argue for the same course of action may have very different reasons and logical thought processes (rationale) for

making that argument. Those thought processes are what you’re comparing and contrasting here. What assumptions does each author make about their subject? What do they

seem to value, and how can you tell? What (and whom) do they seem to value or de-value? What is significant and revealing about these and other rhetorical choices?

You can’t effectively or responsibly join a conversation until you’ve defined the conversation you’re trying to join. So this essay is not about taking a position on

the authors’ subject. You won’t actually be writing about environmental issues in this assignment. Instead, you’ll write about HOW people like Joy Horowitz, Rachel

Carson, and Bill McKibben talk about environmental issues. Their writing is the subject of your essay.

We will discuss several of these essays in class, but not all of them. Considering all the essays, you must choose at least two to work with at length. You might want

to meet with me during office hours to discuss your pairing.

Write to a general academic audience, not to me. Assume your reader has not read either essay, so make sure you appropriately summarize the main claims of each piece

before or as you analyze their rhetoric.

WRI 101 MIDTERM EXAM — IN-CLASS ESSAY

Monday, October 20 during regular class time and in our usual room        Weight: 5%

PROMPT WILL BE DISTRIBUTED IN CLASS!

WRI 101 ASSIGNMENT 3 — PROBLEM/SOLUTION

Prewriting/proposal due: Nov. 10         Draft due: Nov. 19         Final due: Nov. 24

Weight: 20% (5% of which is prewriting and peer review work)
This assignment may not be revised.

FORMAT: Minimum 1,500 words, double-spaced, 12-point TNR, 1” margins; put your name, my name, the class, assignment number, and date in the upper left corner of the

first page; staple and number pages; have a title. Cite sources in MLA style and include a Works Cited page.

BASIC INSTRUCTIONS: This essay will draw thematically from our education unit. Now that you’ve been in college for nearly a whole semester, it’s a good time to reflect

on the educational culture that has surrounded you up to this point. Consider our essays and other materials from Chapter 10, and identify what you see as a

problematic (incomplete, overly simplistic, exclusionary, entitled, etc.) way of talking about education or learning. Note the distinction between this and an actual

problem of education. Explain why you’re convinced that some particular representation or narrative in education is a problem and, as a solution, offer a different way

of talking about it. Show us one story people are telling, and then try to replace that story with one you think is more fair, ethical, accurate, thoughtful, informed,

complex, etc.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION: In A3, I’m not actually asking you to solve the problems of education (because, really, that would be impossible task). I am asking you to find a

problem in how we talk about some particular thing in education. There are many possibilities and we’ll peruse them in class as we read the essays in Chapter 10 of the

reader. You must use at least 1 essay from this chapter, but then it will be up to you to find other sources to help you identify a problematic narrative and offer a

less problematic narrative to replace it. Primarily, I want you to focus on conversations you see in circulation right now in the world around you. While works of

fiction also shape our understandings of reality, for this assignment, stick to works of nonfiction. You can look at current events and journalism publications,

television shows, and websites; documentary films and photography; discipline-specific publications (science, history, culture, etc.) for both academic and general

audiences; memoirs and personal essays; speeches; and an endless range of other nonfiction forms. We will discuss research methods in class. Whatever you choose,

consider the background and identity you’re writing from, along with the research you conduct. How can you enter an already existing conversation and change its

course? What can we see about this conversation through your eyes that we couldn’t see through anyone else’s?

Choose something that interests you, but try not to choose something you’re sure you’ve got all figured out. Don’t choose a conversation that you’re afraid to change

your mind about. Don’t simply seek out sources that validate what you want to say and ignore anything that would contradict your current, comfortable worldview. Part

of your success on this assignment will be your engagement with complicating evidence that causes you to question your own underlying philosophies and values. If those

values are worth keeping, they’ll stand up to the test, and they’ll be stronger and more developed for having been challenged.

Let us follow your curiosity and questioning with you. Avoid the too-simple binary thoughts: like/dislike, agree/disagree, approve/disapprove, right/wrong, good/bad.

Life is never that simple. Seek complication. Embrace confusion and complexity. As you work through that chaos, you’ll find patterns to give your thoughts order. This

will be a long process. You’ll have to put in a lot of work and a lot of writing that probably won’t appear in the final draft.

USE 1-3 PRIMARY SOURCES: Primary sources are the texts you analyze. These will be the sources you use to show us an existing story of education. These will be the

works of nonfiction in which you see the problematic rhetoric at work. Primary sources can also be academic studies and original data collected by professional

researchers—again, things you analyze.

USE 3-5 SECONDARY SOURCES: These are other people’s analyses and arguments that you use to help you develop your own analysis further. These are usually found in

academic texts and scholarly journals (easily available in digital library resources like Academic Search Complete.) Yes, you must also handle these sources

analytically, but they are tools you use to push your own ideas about the primary texts to deeper conclusions. These can be people examining the same primary texts you

examine, or those with entirely different primary sources from you, but whose ideas are relevant to yours. These should be quality, trustworthy sources. We’ll talk in

class about how to identify and work with them.

PROPOSAL:
I will collect your prewriting and an informal topic proposal from you to start the process. I want to make sure your topic is plausible and narrow enough in scope

before you get too far. Explain what you plan to do and how you plan to do it. Explain which sources you’ll use and how. Include two key questions that are key to your

project. Include a working “Works Cited” list in MLA style.

ALSO SUBMIT A COPY OF YOUR FINAL DRAFT TO THE DIRECTOR OF COMPOSITION:
This is in addition to the copy you give me to grade. A copy of your essay will be kept on file with the First Year Writing Program. Your essay will only be used for

writing program assessment purposes internally at Suffolk University. This is more for us to get a sense of what we’re doing and how it’s working, and not about

assessing your performance. Only your student ID# is required on this draft turned into the Director of Composition. Please email your completed essay to

[email protected] with the message title:  “WRI 101 Essay #3 Fall 2014”.

WRI 101 FINAL EXAM

Students are expected to attend final exam period so do not make travel plans before this date/time: Thursday, December 11, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in Donahue 302.
Weight: 5%

OVERVIEW:
For this essay I would like you to reflect upon what you learned in this course and what you still need to work on to become and even more effective at writing in the

courses (and years) ahead. This essay is reflective in nature, so be sure to use first person and examples from your work in the course. Analyze yourself. Be honest.

Don’t just find what you’re looking for or tell me what you think you’re supposed to conclude about your work and your progress. Take an honest accounting of what

you’ve done and what you can see about yourself from looking at it. What habits and tendencies do you see in what you’ve written?

INSTRUCTIONS:
First, review the Course Goals and Learning Objectives from your course syllabus. After you have read through these, think about which goals and objectives seem the

most relevant to understanding the work you did in this course. Compose a few paragraphs discussing the goals and objectives you think you excelled in and learned the

most from. Then, discuss at least one goal or objective you think you need to pursue deliberately in the future. Spend at least 500 words discussing the above items.

Next, discuss in a couple pages how you manage your writing process and revision. Also discuss how you read and think critically concerning class texts and other

assignments. Be sure to mention one of your successes in the course as well as a time where you recognized a need to improve in terms of writing process, critical

thinking or reading. End your essay discussing what challenges you anticipate in upcoming courses and how will you meet them? Spend at least 1½-2 pages discussing the

items in this paragraph

You are required to compose your exam in class. Unfortunately, that means that you’ll actually have to write it longhand with pen and paper. While spelling, grammar,

sentence structure, organization and development always matter, I am particularly interested in your ability to think critically, express those thoughts clearly, and

let your reader participate in your analytical processes through the words you put on paper.
•    This is a closed book exam.
•    You have up to 1 hour and 50 minutes to complete the exam.

Students who need accommodations, see me to discuss particulars.

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