Dr. Kristi Siegel
Assistant Professor, English
Mount Mary College
Milwaukee, WI 53222
(414) 258-4810


ENG College Composition 102.01
M & W
- 10:00 - 11:50 pm - NDH 243
Office: Fidelis 223, ext. 461
Office Hours: 9:00-10:00 M & W and by appointment
siegelkr@mtmary.edu
The writer knows her field?what has been done, what could be done, the limits?the way a tennis player knows the court. And like that expert, she, too, plays the edges. That is where the exhilaration is. She hits up the line. In writing, she can push the edges. Beyond this limit, here, the reader must recoil. Reason balks, poetry snaps; some madness enters, or strain. Now, courageously and carefully, can she enlarge it, can she nudge the bounds? And enclose what wild power? 
                                                                      ?Annie Dillard,
The Writing Life.
TEXTS:
        
Trimmer, Joseph, and Maxine Hairston. The Riverside Reader, 7th ed.
         
Effective Writing, Revised Edition.  Mount Mary English Department.
OTHER MATERIALS:
  Journal (please do
not use a 3-ring binder)
  Dictionary and thesaurus
  Folder or 3-ring binder to keep handouts

COURSE DESCRIPTION AND OBJECTIVES:
  to generate different types of writing  (persuasive, analytical, objective, etc.);
  to learn new narrative strategies (comparison/contrast, description, definition,
      classification, etc.);
  to improve your writing style;
  to learn how to effectively edit and revise your writing;
  to review the basic mechanics of good writing;
  to develop a writing ?voice?

Journals: You will be required to make at least two entries in your journal every week. In some cases, the journal writing will be done in class or will be based on an assigned topic given in class or listed on your syllabus. Your journal entries provide a forum for you to test new writing strategies, attempt trial runs of your assigned work, respond to the readings, describe your writing process, etc. You may also wish to respond to particularly good (or bad!) writing you encounter in books, magazines, newspapers and so forth. A journal is not a diary. In a diary you emphasize daily events (I got up, I brushed my teeth, I fell in love with a cool guy) as opposed to a journal where you focus on your writing itself. While I always appreciate good writing, consider your journal a safe place to experiment; I will be assessing your journal primarily from the standpoint of effort. Journal due dates: Mar. 25 and TBA

Grammar and punctuation: While college composition presumes knowledge of grammar, we will be testing and reviewing language skills during the semester. Language mechanics will not be a major focus of the course. If you have difficulties in one or more areas of usage, please take advantage of the computer language skills resources in the Academic Resource Center, as well as purchasing a good language handbook or basic text in grammar.

Writing assignments: There are three longer papers required (4?7 pages) with revisions. Two shorter unrevised papers (2 or 3 pages) will also be assigned as well as three in-class impromptu. The writing assignments are as follows:

     Paper no. 1  (short) Personal Essay
     Paper no. 2  (short) Objective report based on in-class activity
     Paper no. 3  (long) From Synthesis to Thesis -
     Paper no. 4 (long) Research paper
     Paper no. 5  (long) Literary critique

Group work: Throughout the semester, you will be working in a writing group. Ideally, your writing group will let you know when your writing is communicating. Your job as a writing group commenter is to tell the reader when her writing is clear and when it is lapsing into ?Engfish.? Your group will be valuable to your writing only to the degree that each group member is honest, sensitive and attentive.

Grading and evaluation: Your short papers, as they will not be revised, will be given one grade. The three longer papers will receive a grade for the first draft and the final paper. A revision means a major overhaul, not just cleaning up a few mechanical errors. Literally, a revision means to ?re-see?; you are given the opportunity to completely re-focus your paper in terms of style, organization, diction, argumentation, etc.

Please note: When you turn in your final draft, the first draft along with my initial comment sheet must be included for reference. 

All papers, with the exception of in-class impromptu, must be typed. Late papers will not be accepted without prior arrangements and may be subject to a lower grade.

The
grade breakdown for the course will be as follows:

     5%........................Journals
     5%........................Workshops and participation
     15%......................Grades on first drafts
     10%......................Grades on short papers
     30%......................Grades on revisions
     5%........................Post-test
     5%........................Midterm
     5%........................Final essay exam
     20%......................Portfolio

Portfolio: You will receive detailed information later in the semester.

Attendance:  Attendance is expected. More than four absences may result in a ?no-credit? for the course.

Reading assignments: Throughout the semester, you will be given assigned readings. The readings give us a chance to look at excellent writing in detail, are used as the basis for several journal assignments and to provoke discussions that help generate ideas for your own writing. Since our limited class time prevents us from discussing all the essays, you should view the essay book as a resource guide providing excellent examples of various writing strategies.
Syllabus

Jan 23
     Introduction to course; introduction to each other.  Background information.
     Language skills pre-test (ungraded) and vocabulary test (ungraded).
     Annie Dillard, ?An American Childhood,? pp. 353?59 (handout)
     Journal assignment: Think about how Dillard shapes her essay about her
     mother and write a journal entry about a character familiar to you.

    
Discussion of language skills? and vocabulary tests; strategies for improving
     language skills. Grammar All in One Sheet (
handout)
     Discussion of Dillard essay.
    
Paper no. 1: Write 2 or 3 pages (typed) on a childhood memory or do a character
     sketch on a family member or another significant figure.
    
Paper no. 1 due on Feb. 4; rough draft due next class.
     Impromptu essay (writing sample, will not be graded).
     Read Riverside Reader (RR): Doris Kearns Goodwin, ?Keeping the Scorebook.?
     pp. 37?44
    
Internet Links:
             
Developing a Thesis
             
Using a Hook                        

Jan 28
    
Discussion on quotes from Thursday?s impromptu essays. 
     Read Ken Macrorie?s,
?The Poison Fish? (in-class handout).
     Discussion of ?Engfish?
     Writing groups assigned.
     Work in groups on rough drafts.
     Journal assign:  Describe your writing group dynamics (what you did, how it
     worked, what could be improved, etc.)
     Read: George Orwell, ?Shooting an Elephant,? pp. 64?73.
    
Internet Links:
             
Sample Narrative
             
Pre-Writing Techniques
             Pre-Writing Handout

Jan 30
    
Discuss techniques of narrative event and Orwell essay.
     Pre-writing handout and ?Kippi? cluster.
     Writing groups on organizing narrative structure (e.g., spatial, climactic,
     chronological).
     Journal assign: Explain the narrative method you considered and how you believe
     the new organization improved/did not improve your paper.
     Read:  Maya Angelou, ?My Name is Margaret? pp. 29?36.
   
Internet Links:
              
Eliminating Cliches
              
Pacing your Narrative Effectively
              
Using Effective Description

Feb 4
    
Collect Paper no. 1 (Personal Essay)
     Discuss use of description in Angelou?s essay.
     Groupwork on writing with all five senses (writing exercises and class
     discussion).
     Read: Judith Ortiz Cofer, ?The Myth of the Latin Woman? pp. 44?52.
     Journal assign: Entry discussing Cofer?s or Angelou?s use of description
     Internet Links:
           
Description handout

Feb 6
    
Paper no. 1 (Personal Essay) returned.
    
Paper no. 2 (Objective Report) assigned - due Feb 13. Handout on features of
     an objective
     report.
     ?Lifeboat? class exercise (basis for Objective Report).
     Journal assign: Entry on lifeboat exercise
     Read:  Stephen Harrigan, ?The Tiger is God,? pp. 350?60.
    
Internet Links:
             
Using Effective Dialogue
             
Using Quotes Correctly

Feb 11
     Discussion of fact vs. opinion in Harrigan?s essay.
     In-class writing on objective report paper and reading time for synthesis
     paper.
     Read: Witold Rybczynski, ?One Good Turn,? pp. 333?37.
     Journal assign: Write an entry in response to any questions on pp. 336?37.

Feb 13
    
Paper no. 2 (Objective Report) collected.
   
Paper no. 3 (Synthesis Shaped by Thesis) assigned - due Mar. 6.  Handout and
    discussion.
     Read: 
Women?s Issues
          Deborah Tannen, ?Rapport-Talk and Report-Talk,? pp. 193?207
          Anne Roiphe. ?A Tale of Two Divorces,? pp. 182?92
          Cathy Young, ?Keeping Women Weak,? pp. 418?33.
     Journal assign: Free-writing on any/all assigned essays; work on possible idea for 
     synthesis/thesis paper.

Feb 18
    
Paper no. 2 (Objective Report) returned.
     Journal assign: Entry using stylistic revision on ten sentences from rough
     drafts.
     Writing groups.
     Read: 
Issues in Technology:
           Wendy Lesser, ?The Conversion,? pp. 554?64
           William Zinsser, ?The Keyboard,? pp. 565?74
           Evan I. Schwartz, ?Looking for Community on the Internet,? pp. 619?66
    
Internet Link:
         
Writing Effective Impromptu       

Feb 20
     Impromptu Essay (in-class)

Feb 25
     In-class work on synthesis theses and on writing the synthesis paper.

Feb 27
    
Grammar review. In-class review of common grammatical problems.
     Continued work on synthesis papers.
    
Internet Link:
           
Dr. Darling's Interactive Grammar Quizzes

Mar 4
    
Language Skills MIDTERM.
     In-class work on writing effective impromptu essays.  Sample impromptu will
     be developed by class. Continued work on synthesis paper.

Mar 6
     Paper no. 3 (Synthesis) collected.
     MIDTERM Impromptu Essay.

     Journal assign:  Explain the steps you went through to develop your
     synthesis paper thesis.
     What narrative devices did you need to use to advance your thesis (e.g.,
     definition, comparison/contrast, analogy, and so forth)?

Mar 11
     Review and discussion of midterm tests.

Mar 13
     Paper no. 3 (Synthesis) returned ? revision due Mar. 25.

     Meet in Computer Lab. Drafting and revision techniques demonstrated.
    
Paper no. 4 (Research) assigned ? due Apr. 8.
     Read: Sample research paper (handout).
     Schedule conference times for next class
    
Internet Links:
         
Evaluating Information on the Internet
         
Quoting, Paraphrasing, Summarizing, and Plaigiarism

Mar 18

     Individual Conferences. Meet in Library. Work in library or computer lab (if available).  

Mar 20
    
First half of class: discussion of research paper assignment.
    
Second half of class: work in library, presentation on using the Internet
     effectively.
   
Internet Links:
          
Documenting Sources using MLA format
          
Documenting Sources using APA format

Mar 25
    
Paper no. 3 (Synthesis) revisions collected. Journals due.
    
Stylistics workshop ? Diction
     Topic building on Paper no. 4 (Research).
     Read: Mark Twain, ?Two Views of the River,? pp. 169?71.  What kind of
     diction does Twain use in his essay; is it effective?
          
Mar 27 - Apr 4   Spring Break

Apr 8
     Paper no. 3 (Synthesis) revisions returned.

    
Paper no. 4 (Research) collected.
     Stylistics workshop - handout on sentence combining and varying sentence
     lengths.
     In-class groupwork on combining sentences.
    
Internet Links:
          
Varying Sentence Length
          
Personal-Paraphrase technique

Apr 10
     Paper no. 4 (Research) returned; revisions due on Apr. 15.

    
Paper no. 5 (Literary analysis) assigned; due Apr. 22.
     Poetry packets distributed.
Short story selections from text:
          Flannery O?Connor, ?Revelation,? pp. 297?324
          Alice Walker, ?Everyday Use,? pp. 370?82
          Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. ?Harrison Bergeron,? pp. 537?48
     Free-writing on reading from packets.
   
Internet Links:
         
Jane Thompson's Guide to Literary Study (On-Book)
         
Literary Essay Topics

Apr 15
     Paper no. 4 (Research) revisions collected.

     Analyzing literature: In-class reading of Andrew Marvell?s, ?To His Coy Mistress,?
     and brief discussion. Break into writing groups to formulate thesis  and write
     brief essay analyzing Marvell?s poem. Each group presents thesis  and writings
     in class. Discussion of each group?s thesis and writing effectiveness.

Apr 17
    
Paper no. 4 (Research) revisions returned.
     Writing Groups on literary analysis.
     Workshop on eliminating passive voice.
     Read:  Nikki Giovanni, ?Campus Racism 101,? pp. 107?12
     Journal assign: Consider Giovanni?s use of active verbs; list at least 10 active verbs
     Giovanni uses.
     Handout on PORTFOLIO. 
Final Portfolios due May 8.

Apr 22
     Paper no. 5 (Literary Analysis) collected.
Work in computer lab if
     available.

Apr 24
     Paper no. 5 (Literary Analysis) returned; (optional) revision due May 2.

     Discussion and in-class work on final portfolios.

Apr 29
     Writing groups or work in computer lab (if available) on Paper no. 5 revision

May 1
     Paper no. 5 (Literary Analysis) revision collected.

     Mini-conferences.
     In-class work on impromptu and portfolios

May 6
    
Paper no. 5 (Literary Analysis) revisions returned.
     Grammar Review; Impromptu review.

May 8
     Evaluations.
    
Portfolios collected.
     Impromptu Essay Exam


May 14 - Exam Week
     10: 15 am meeting time.
     Language Skills Post-test.
     Portfolios Returned.


To Homepage