ENG 185 Critical Reading & Writing

 

Students’ Blogs:

Nicole Lin

Tara Barney

Sean Heflin

Mariana

Ninikanwa

Phoebe Lei

Chelsea Chang

Wenxiao

Emily Zehan Shen

Xinman

Miriam Isabelle

Jake

Signe

Joanna Lee

Ryan Kwong

Lupita

Ethan

Chao Zhou

Sharon Kim

JuanMartin

Justin

Jason Welling

Jack Olson

 

Syllabus

ENG 185: Critical Reading and Writing

Oxford College, Emory University

Term/Year: Fall 2017

Location: Candler Hall 27

Day/Time: Section 4031_10:00AM-11:40AM; Section 4087_11:50AM-1:30PM

Instructor: Dr. Xiaobo Belle Wang

Office Hours: M/W 2:00PM – 11:30PM; Tu/Th 2:30PM-5:15PM (& by appointment)

Office: Room 207, Oxford Library

Email: xwang60@emory.edu

 

Course Description

This course teaches you the skill sets in reading and writing critically, and prepares you to become a better communicator in print and multimodal texts. You’ll be learning rhetorical skills with academic context and beyond. In addition, this course situates all genres of reading and writing across disciplines. Throughout the learning process, you’ll also become a better reader, writer, thinker, and overall, communicator in diverse, multiple, and transnational rhetorical settings that will help you to succeed in your academic and social pursuit.

Toward these ends, English 185 is designed around the following Student Learning Outcomes:


General Learning Outcomes:

  • Critical Reading: Students will develop their ability to read texts closely and critically, focusing first on understanding before moving to evaluation.
  • Critical Writing: Argument: Students will develop their abilities to compose, organize, and support academic arguments in order to engage in ongoing intellectual conversations. Revision Process: Students will understand that good writing is the result of a process of planning, drafting, receiving and giving feedback, and revision.
  • Research: Students will develop the abilities to find evidence using library and other resources, to incorporate their findings into academic arguments, and to document their sources.
  • Oral Expression: Students will develop, through informed conversation, the ability to speak clearly and persuasively about the texts they study.

 

Required Texts

  1. An Insider’s Guide to Academic Writing: A Rhetoric and Reader (2016).

 

  1. They Say I say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing, 3rd edition (2009).

                                                    
Course Materials (Recommended)

  • Students must have access to the Internet for supplemental readings, class notifications, and especially Emory email. Students may find a flash-drive, email, Google drive, or other electronic storage tool useful for managing drafts and assignments.


Grading Contracts

Grades can be a helpful form of classroom communication, proving concise feedback that students can then use to adjust their learning goals and strategies. Grades are less helpful, however, when they shift from a tool for learning to the focus of learning. Part of that shift includes a shift from an innate desire to learning and grows to a desire to gain a reward or avoid a loss. With that, it can also come an unhealthy degree of anxiety that can make it harder to process and integrate new information and experiences. Grade-related performance anxiety can also make it harder to take the risks necessary to stretch ourselves in new ways.

In an attempt to keep the positive aspects of grades, while minimizing their deleterious effects, I will be employing grading contracts for each of the major projects. This means that for each assignment, I will outline the criteria necessary to achieve an A, B, or C and you will choose your grade ahead of time. I will reserve Ds and Fs for egregious cases, such as non-completion, cheating, or plagiarism.

When you submit a project, I will first verify that you have met the criteria for the grade you contracted for. If you have not, I will return the ungraded project for you to rectify within a certain timeframe. If you have, I will read for the quality of your work and assign a +/- grade within your chosen grade based on that quality. For example, a student who contracted for a B and met that criteria in a particularly outstanding way would receive a B+. Assignment sheets will include grade options that resemble the following (with details specific to the assignment):

C-Level Work

Meets the learning goals and criteria for the assignment, but with minimal development and research.

B-Level Work

Meets the learning goals and criteria for the assignment, with moderate development and research and perhaps one or more accompanying project components (e.g. annotated bibliography, writer’s statement).

A-Level Work

Meets the learning goals and criteria for the assignment, with extensive development and research and several accompanying project components (e.g. annotated bibliography, writer’s statement, appendices). May require specific additional project sections/components to deepen the writing and inquiry. 

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND POLICIES

Honor Code: The Oxford College Honor Code applies to any work you turn in for any course at Oxford. It is your responsibility to know the Honor Code.

Class Participation: This grade includes attendance, preparation for class, in-class assignments, and quality (not just quantity) of participation. If you miss class, it is up to you to get whatever material you missed (which may include important announcements as well as notes) from a classmate so that you will be prepared for the next class meeting.

Religious Holiday Arrangements: In the first two weeks of classes, please inform your professor by email about any absences you may need so that arrangements can be made. Emory’s official list of religious holidays: http://www.religiouslife.emory.edu/faith_traditions/holidays.html.

Accommodating Students with Disabilities: Please contact Access, Disability Services, and Resources (ADSR) to start the registration process. Faculty may not provide disability accommodations until an accommodation letter has been processed, and accommodations are not retroactive. Students need to contact and meet with their professor early in the semester. http://equityandinclusion.emory.edu/access/

“Student work submitted as part of this course may be reviewed by Oxford College and Emory College faculty and staff for the purposes of improving instruction and enhancing Emory education.”

Classroom Conduct: Be courteous of those in your classroom and give them your full attention during presentations, lectures, and class discussions. You are expected to turn off and put away cell phones, pagers, text message devices, MP3 players, or any other distracting electronic gadgets during class time, unless otherwise required. Failure to adhere to these policies will be reflected in your daily participation grade and may result in a request for the student to leave the classroom.

Electronic Communication: The preferred mode of communication with me, your instructor, is via email to XWANG60@emory.edu, Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00a.m. and 5:00p.m. Emails sent to me outside of this time period will likely not receive a response until the following business day due to my other responsibilities such as work at the Writing Center and my family duties. You are welcome to visit me during the established office hours or request an appointment at a mutually convenient time. You are strongly encouraged to “cc” yourselves on all email correspondence to ensure delivery. Please note: There is a chance that your instructor will not see the email on the same day that you send it. Therefore, please anticipate waiting at least 24 hours for a response to emails. If you have an emergency, and cannot wait that long, please feel free to stop by my office, and/or the Writing Center.

Plan to check your Emory email daily for announcements regarding this class. If you prefer an email address other than your Emory one, set your Emory account to forward your email to that address.

Late Work: Late work will not be accepted, even for a reduced grade. All assignments should be submitted, in person, on time, and in the correct format. If you are absent on the day an assignment is due, it is your responsibility to make arrangements to have the assignment to me by class time. In-class assignments cannot be made up for credit if you are absent. Please make an appointment with me if you are having any difficulty completing an assignment before it becomes late and affects your grade.

In case of a major extenuating emergency, notify me immediately. In case of a valid, documented emergency, absences can be excused and deadlines for major assignments (exams, essays, annotated bibliography) can be extended. If you have any questions or doubts as to the nature of your absence and its ability to be excused, ask me or reach out to the office of Academic Affairs as soon as possible. I am much better equipped to help you accommodate an absence with advance notice.

Peer Review: Some or all of your essays may be dedicated to peer review workshops, during which we will read each other’s work. In addition, you will have the opportunity to discuss with any questions or concerns you have about your essay. You are required to bring a draft of your essay to participate in all peer review activities.

Writing Center: The purpose of the Writing Center is to enhance the writing instruction by providing you with an experienced reader who engages them in conversation about their writing assignments and ideas, and familiarizes them with audience expectations and academic genre conventions. Your peer tutors’ work focuses on the rhetorical aspects of texts, and provides one-on-one, student-centered teaching that corresponds to each writer’s composing process. Although they do not offer any proofreading service, they are happy to discuss grammar concerns with students from a holistic perspective. Tutors will be alert listeners and will ask questions, and will not judge or evaluate the work in progress. The Writing Center offers 45-minute sessions for face-to-face tutoring. Through Write/Chat, our online tutoring service, they offer 15-minute sessions that address short, brief concerns. In addition, the Oxford Writing Center will sponsor workshops, led by faculty, staff, and student tutors on various topics dealing with academic writing and other genres. Most importantly, you’ll benefit from our writing handbooks, style manuals, grammar books, and other materials. Please visit the Writing Center at the Oxford Library on the 2nd floor or visit https://inside.oxford.emory.edu/academics/centers-institutes-programs/writing-center/ for more information. You can make an appointment by visiting https://oxford.mywconline.com (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site..

COURSE EVALUATION

Evaluation for ENG 185 will be determined by the following percentages:

Assignment Weight
Personal Blog 20%
Essay 1: Literacy Narrative (1-2 pages) 10%
Essay 2: Visual/media Analysis (2-3 pages) 15%
Essay 3: Civic engagement/community-based project. Essay will have a research component. (5-10 pages not including Works Cited page) 15%
Final Research Essay/Project: Revise one essay of your choice, or compose a new essay on a noncontroversial topic of your choice. (If you choose the second option, you’ll receive an extra 10 points for your time and effort.) 20%
Attendance 10%
In-Class and Online Participation/Peer Review and Discussions 10%
Total 100%

ENG 185 Course Schedule: This schedule reflects a plan for the course, but deviations from this plan will become necessary as the semester progresses. Students are responsible for changes announced during class time when they occur, online announcements, and/or email notifications.

Course Schedule (Emory Canvas)

Assignment/Evaluation Rubrics 

  • Civic Engagement/Service Learning Project

     

     

    Note to Students: Service learning is a method that combines academic instruction, meaningful service, and critical reflective thinking to enhance student learning and civic responsibility. Use this rubric to evaluate your progress during your service-learning project, and once you’ve completed it.

    Strong Impact

    Good Impact

    Some Impact

    Minimal Impact

    1. Meets actual community

    needs

    Determined by current research conducted or discovered by students where appropriate

    Determined by past research discovered by students where appropriate

    Determined by making a guess at what community needs may be

    Community needs secondary to what a project teacher wants to do; project considers only student needs

    2. Is coordinated In collaboration with community

    Active, direct collaboration with community by the students

    Community members act as consultants in the project development

    Community members are informed of the project directly

    Community members are coincidentally informed or not knowledgeable at all

    3. Is integrated into academic

    curriculum

    Service learning as instructional strategy with content/service components integrated

    Service learning as a teaching technique with content/service components concurrent

    Service learning part of curriculum but sketchy connections, with emphasis on service

    Service learning supplemental to curriculum, in essence just a service project or good deed

    4. Facilitates active Student

    reflection

    Students think, share, produce reflective products individually and as group members

    Students think, share, produce group reflection only

    Students share with no individual reflection

    Ran out of time for a true reflection; just provided a summary of events

    5. Uses new academic

    skill/knowledge in real world settings

    All students have direct application of new skill or knowledge in community service

    All students have some active application of new skill or knowledge

    Some students more involved than others or little community service involvement

    Skill knowledge used mostly in the classroom, no active community service experience

    6. Helps develop sense of caring

    for and about others

    Reflections show deep personal understanding of the importance of service and his/her ability to make a difference. Student likely to take the initiative to serve again

    Reflections show growing understanding of the importance of service and his/her ability to make a difference. Student likely to serve again

    Reflections show limited understanding of the importance of service. Student likely to serve again, if asked

    Reflections show student largely unaffected by the importance of service and his/her ability to make a difference. Student unlikely to serve again

    7. Improves quality of life for

    person(s) served

    Facilitate change or insight; help alleviate a suffering; solve a problem; meet a need or address an issue

    Changes enhance an already good community situation

    Changes mainly decorative, but new and unique benefits realized in community

    Changes mainly decorative, but limited community benefit, or are not new and unique

     

 

Visual/Media Analysis 

Choose a visual(image) and write an essay of 3 pages with proper citations. You should apply ethos, pathos, logos, and kairos in your analysis. Visual/media should be approved by me before you start writing your essay. Visual rhetoric that involves controversial issues such as abortion, gay marriage, and so on should not be chosen as objects of analysis unless the student is pursuing a degree in such research based on existing academic research in the particular area of study.

Please create a topic title other than “rhetorical analysis” and/or “visual/media analysis.” You are welcome to include such phrases in your title, however. For instance, “your major title/topic: A Rhetorical Analysis on….”

You’ll have to pay attention to the differences between a written composition and a visual composition. Color, light, and other aspects from the image can be incorporated into your analysis in addition to the use of rhetorical appeals.

Your essay will be evaluated from the following aspects: depth and width of your rhetorical analysis; critical thinking, logic, and reasoning; grammar, use of words and phrases; citation and format (MLA or APA).

Assessment Rubric for Visual Analysis

 

CATEGORY

 

A

 

B

 

C

 

D

 

F

 

Analysis

 

 

 

 

30 pts.

 

 

Specific, developed analysis and insightful

observations.

 

Analysis is generally sound but could be more specific or insightful in some areas.

 

 

General and/or undeveloped analysis.

 

Analysis is sparse and lacks insight.

 

No relevant analysis and insightful observations made.

 

Supporting Details

 

 

 

 

 

20 pts.

 

 

Support information is related to analysis and supportive of the topic/subject.

 

Support information has minor weaknesses relative to analysis and/or support of the topic/subject.

 

Support information has major weaknesses relative to analysis and/or support of the topic/subject.

 

An attempt has been made to add support information, but it was unrelated or confusing.

 

No support information found or irrelevant.

 

 Focus

 

 

 

 

20 pts.

 

 

Maintains focus on topic/subject throughout response.

 

May exhibit minor lapses in focus on topic/subject.

 

May lose or may exhibit major lapses in focus on topic/subject.

 

May fail to establish focus on topic/subject.

 

No analytical focus found.

 

Writing Fluency: Clear, Concise, Correct

 

 

 

15  pts.

 

Demonstrates skillful writing fluency, exhibits few or no mechanical errors.

 

Demonstrates reasonable writing fluency, exhibits few mechanical errors.

 

Writing fluency is lacking, exhibits several mechanical errors.

 

Demonstrates minimal writing fluency, exhibits numerous mechanical errors.

 

Writing is not fluent– unreadable.

 

MLA/APA Documentation

 

 

 

 

 

15 pts.

 

 

Sources are cited correctly in the document and on the reference page.

 

Sources are cited, but there are a few errors in the format.

 

Sources are cited, but there are several errors in the format.

 

Some of the sources are not cited and/or the format is not correct.

 

Sources are not cited at all.

Literacy Narrative (pp. 14-15 of IG)

 

20-16 15-11 10-0 20
IDEA DEVELOPMENT: The heart, main idea, or thesis of a text; refers to the details, examples, or images that develop and support the main idea. Text is clear and focused; captures reader’s attention.

Topic is narrow and manageable. Details are relevant, interesting, vivid, accurate. Point is clear; tells whole story; no trivia. Details support the paper’s main idea. Ideas engage, inspire, or intrigue reader.

Text’s ideas are focused but general, obvious.

Topic is fairly broad, but understandable. Details are loosely related, obvious, or dull. Point vague; gives general idea; incomplete. Details provide weak support for main idea. Ideas leave reader guessing; not specific.

Text lacks clear idea, purpose, and details.

Topic lacking; no evident focus or purpose. Details are missing, incorrect, or unclear. Makes no point; cannot identify main idea.

Details repeat each other; seem random. Ideas confuse and frustrate the reader.

20-16 15-11 10-0 20
ORGANIZATION: The internal structure of ideas.

Effective organization begins with a purposeful lead and moves toward a logical, thoughtful ending.

Order compels, enhances, and moves ideas.

Introduction intrigues, invites; conclusion resolves.

Thoughtful transitions show how ideas connect. Sequencing is logical and effective. Pacing is well controlled and purposeful.

Organization flows smoothly; matches purpose.

Order moves reader through with confusion.

Introduction and conclusion are evident, weak. Transitions often work well; connections are vague. Sequencing shows some logic but lacks control.

Pacing is inconsistent but fairly well controlled.

Organization offers limited support; inappropriate.

Order is missing or random; no identifiable structure.

Introduction and conclusion ineffective/missing.

Transitions and connections absent or confusing. Sequencing is random; lacks any purpose. Pacing is awkward, frustrating, or missing. Organization makes it hard to identify main idea.

15-11 10-6 5-0 15
VOICE: You hear the writer’s heart and soul, conviction and wit; the text has energy and connects you to both the writing and the writer’s literacy story. Writing is compelling, engaging; aware of audience.

Tone is interesting and appropriate for audience and

the purpose. Author’s presence is evident, powerful. Expository writing is committed, persuasive. Narrative writing is honest, engaging, personal.

Writing seems sincere but not engaged; it’s plain.

Tone is nondescript; shows limited awareness of audience; not very appropriate for purpose. Author sounds earnest and pleasing, but safe.

Expository writing shows minimal commitment. Narrative writing is reasonably sincere but plain.

Writer is indifferent, distanced from topic/audience.

Tone shows no awareness of audience, inappropriate

for the audience or purpose. Author sounds monotone, flat, even bored. Expository writing lacks any commitment. Narrative writing shows no attempt at voice.

 

 

 

 

 

15-11 10-6 5-0 15
WORD CHOICE: The right word, used in the right way, at the right time. The writer chooses words that create the intended effect, impression, or mood. Words are precise, interesting, engaging, powerful.

Words are specific, accurate; meaning is clear. Words and phrases are striking and memorable. Language is natural, effective, and appropriate. Verbs are lively, nouns precise, modifiers effective. Choices enhance meaning and clarify meaning.

Words are common and obvious; they lack energy.

Words are adequate and correct in a general sense. Words and phrases convey, but aren’t memorable. Language reaches for color; thesaurus overload.

Verbs are passive, nouns common, modifiers dull.

Choices are random: first word that came to mind.

Words are simple or vague; limited in scope.

Words are nonspecific, distracting, and vague.

Words and phrases are dull, detract from meaning.

Language is used incorrectly, carelessly.

Verbs, nouns, adjectives show limited vocabulary.

Jargon or clichés distract, mislead; redundancy.

10-8 7-4 3-0 10
SENTENCE FLUENCY: Language that flows with rhythm and logic. Sentences are well crafted and want to be read aloud. Writing flows with rhythm and cadence. Elegant.

Sentences are constructed to enhance meaning. Sentences vary in length and structure.

Sentences use purposeful, varied beginnings. Connecting words join and build on other words.

Writing has cadence; it moves, has music to it.

Writing moves along but feels more business-like.

Sentences are routine; they lack craft and music.

Sentences are usually constructed correctly.

Sentences are not all alike; there is some variety

Connecting words absent; reader hunts for clues.

Parts invite reading aloud; choppy, awkward, stiff.

Writing lacks flow; it is difficult to read.

Sentences ramble, are incomplete or awkward.

Sentences do not connect to each other at all.

Sentences begin the same way; monotonous.

Endless or no connectives (and, so then, because).

The text does invite reading aloud; no music.

  20-16 15-11 10-0 20
CONVENTIONS: Includes punctuation, spelling, grammar, and usage. It does not include layout, formatting, or handwriting. The final editing phase. Observes and uses standard conventions; few errors.

Spelling is mostly correct, even on difficult words.

Punctuation is accurate, even creative and effective.

Capitalization skills are evident and consistent.

Grammar and usage are correct and enhance the text. Paragraphing is sound, reinforces organization.

Writer may manipulate conventions for style.

Reasonable control of conventions; distracting errors.

Spelling mostly correct; errors on difficult words.

End punctuation mostly correct; internal errors.

Capitalization generally correct; some errors.

Grammar and usage problems are not serious.

Paragraphing lacks cohesion and organization.

Errors distract the reader and make reading difficult.

Spelling errors are frequent and distracting. Punctuation is often missing or incorrect.

Capitalization is random, only easiest are correct.

Grammar and usage errors are obvious and serious.

Paragraphing is missing, irregular, or frequent.

 

Total Grade

 

/100

 

 

 

 

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