Departmental Master Course Syllabus
course is a
Revised Spring 2003
English 1302: Composition and Introduction to Literature is the second of two freshman-level writing courses, and although the course invites students to encounter imaginative fiction, the course is primarily a composition course.The students' full participation should allow him or her to continue his or her development of composition skills necessary for success at the college level (writing, revising, editing, and proofreading); enhance his or her critical approach in reading both fiction and nonfiction; become more independent in choosing a research paper topic, crafting a thesis statementand finding scholarly sources; develop his or her appreciation of imaginative literature in general and authorial technique in particular; develop an understanding of the concepts and the terms used in literary analysis and criticism; and recognize that analysis, evaluation, and/or interpretation of a literary work can be approached from any one of a number of critical positions.Students will write a minimum of 5000 words in this course.
The basic objective of any freshman-level writing course is to teach students to express their thoughts in clear, effective, logical prose.Because of the complementary relationship between clear writing and clear thinking, the more purely rhetorical skills are taught along with and in the context of analytical skills in order to prepare students for success in a second-semester freshman composition course, all sophomore English courses, and any other course for which writing is a requirement.
At the end of the course, students should understand how to approach a writing assignment in terms of formulating a purpose and ascertaining an audience, and they should know how to develop a writing persona and a focus appropriate to that purpose and audience.These decisions establish a writer's rhetorical stance.In addition to understanding the rhetorical situation, students should also have sufficient training in logical skills to determine the validity of inductive generalizations, both those they make and those they read in others' writings, and to be able to analyze and argue from deductive premises.Students should furthermore be able to put to good use these skills as well as their knowledge of the various types of exposition and persuasion in order to prepare a complete, intelligent exploration of a significant topic.
Though the units of the course can lead in a fairly straightforward progression from an understanding of rhetorical stance to the more complex analytical skills involved in exploring a problem, such a sequence of assignments does not alone prepare students to be effective writers.The writing process involves several stages, and throughout the course, students need instruction on how to get from the rough draft of an essay to an acceptable final version.
The recursive stages of the writing process include finding and developing ideas, organizing the ideas into a coherent pattern (drafting), adjusting the style to fit the purpose of the essay, revising to achieve unity and emphasis, and editing the essay to eliminate mechanical errors.The first focus of the course should be placed on content, on the ability to discover significant insights, to create logical arguments, to probe beneath the surface of generally accepted ideas, and to marshal a variety of evidence in fresh and compelling ways.The second focus of the course should be organization.Students should learn to arrange their ideas in an easily perceived pattern that enhances the clarity of their thoughts.
As their essays take shape and take on substance, the students should turn some of their attention to style.They should develop an awareness of the connotative and metaphorical resources of the English language and of the subtly varied ways sentences can be structured to fit a particular tone and purpose.They should learn to avoid intellectual laziness in the form of cliché, jargon, and otherwise trite expression.Such concern for style will lead students naturally into the process of revision.They should not feel their writing is fixed from the moment they place it on the page; rather, they should be encouraged to add, delete, reorganize, and otherwise refine the substance of a paper until it becomes a tightly focused, stylistically mature piece of writing.As a means of showing their consideration for the reader and their pride in the craft of writing, students should be expected to eliminate mechanical errors from the final draft of an essay.
English 1302: Composition and Introduction to Literature, a "reading- and writing-intensive prerequisite for sophomore-level English courses, further develops, through the study of literature, the analytical, thinking, and research skills addressed in English 1301.The student's writing of genre-based essays, including documented papers, reinforces the thinking skills associated with interpretation, explication, evaluation, analysis, and synthesis.Essays, including a 2000-word documented library research-based paper on a literary topic, are required.Prerequisite: ENGL 1301.Three class hours per week.Credit: Three semester hours."
English 1302: Composition and Introduction to Literature prepares students, through their study of narrative prose, poetry, and drama, for sophomore-level literature and creative writing courses, technical and business writing courses, and research projects and other writing assignments required in academic disciplines outside the Division of Humanities.The primary objective determining English 1302's value as a core curriculum course is in its goal to improve the students' writing, reading, analytical, and research skills.
English 1302: Composition and Introduction to Literature is a core course in the forty-two-hour Core of Blinn College.As such, students will develop proficiency in the following Intellectual Competencies, Exemplary Educational Objectives, and Perspectives.
Exemplary Educational Objectives include the students' ability
to understand and demonstrate writing and speaking processes through invention, organization, drafting, revision, editing, and presentation;
to understand the importance of specifying audience and purpose and to select appropriate communication choices;
to understand and appropriately apply modes of expression--descriptive, expositive, narrative, scientific, and self-expressive--in written, visual, and oral communication;
to participate effectively in groups with emphasis on listening, critical and reflective thinking, and responding;
to understand and apply basic principles of critical thinking, problem solving, and technical proficiency in the development of exposition and argument; and
to develop the ability to research and write a documented paper and/or give an oral presentation.
establishing broad and multiple perspectives on the individual in relationship to the larger society and world in which he or she lives and to understand the responsibilities of living in a culturally and ethically diversified world,
stimulating a capacity to discuss and reflect upon individual, political, economic, and social aspects of life in order to understand ways in which to be a responsible member of society,
developingpersonal values for ethical behavior,
developing the ability to make aesthetic judgments,
using logical reasoning in problem solving, and
integrating knowledge and understanding of the interrelationships of the scholarly disciplines.
A full listing and explanation of these Intellectual Competencies, Exemplary Educational Objectives, and Perspectives can be found on the Web at <www.blinn.edu/corecurriculum>.
Course Objectives and Student Learning Outcomes
appropriate library (and other) research methods;
the principles of paraphrasing, summarizing, quoting, and documenting, fairly and accurately, the ideas borrowed from other writers;
techniques for supporting a thesis statement with the works of others in a well-assimilated, accurately and appropriately documented final product;
current guidelines and conventions set forth by the Modern Language Association for the writing of documented research papers;
rhetorical purpose, audience, and tone as they apply to various readings and to their own writing;
skills for revising their writing in response to input from the instructor and their peers;
conventions of Edited Standard English as it applies in academic writing; and
the principles of effective argument.
Additionally, the students learn, through the researching for and the writing of literary analysis,
the importance of the primary text as the foundation of literary analysis and the secondary role of critical literature in the support of a thesis in a literary analysis;
the characteristics of imaginative literature, specifically the short and long fictive narratives;
the correct use of the terms associated with the critical analysis and the evaluation of imaginative literature;
a recognition of the narrative voice, the prevailing tone, the point(s) of view, and the intended audience, with special attention to how the author's decisions have effectively carried the theme(s) and/or moral sentence of a selection of imaginative literature;
ability to determine and to explain the importance of narrative structure,
setting, and characterization, as well as the use of symbolism and irony
to the overall effect of a narrative;
an appreciation of the different forms and structures of poetic expression;
an understanding of the background and the development of Western drama (with an emphasis on Greek and/or Elizabethan theatre) and modern theatre;
and, especially, an understanding that literary analysis is argumentative, that it is written in the present tenses, and that the objectivity of literary analysis is emphasized by its being argued in the third person.
English 1302 is designed to improve the students' analytical response to the reading of prose fiction, drama, and poetry through lecture, class discussion, in-class writing, out-of-class writing, and guided research.The 650- to 750-word essays and/or explications (minimum four) and the major documented, library-researched 2000-word assignment--the majority of which should model both the effective use and correct documentation of secondary sources (not to the exclusion of the primary source as support) and an understanding of library-oriented research, including technology-based resources--involve interpretation, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of either or both assigned and additional readings.
Students will be asked to read a fair representation of each of the genres addressed in English 1302:
prose: 15 - 25 short stories or a fair balance of shorter and longer prose works;
poetry: a broad selection representing a variety of poetic forms and approaches; and
drama: 3 - 5 plays representing the development of Western drama;
or a fair balance among the three genres represented by the adopted anthologies.
While the presentation of English 1302's content varies from instructor to instructor, all students enrolled in English 1302 are expected to master the skills outlined in both the listing of course objectives and the overview of the learning activities, demonstrating them in a minimum of 5000 original words of written prose.A first-day, in-class essay is required of each student.All English 1302 students must write not only a formal research paper of at least 2000 words but also a minimum of four additional 650- to 750-word essays addressing each of the genres covered in the course, some of which must, in part, rely on documented research; these five papers constitute the bulk of the 5000-word course count.The students should encounter some form of revision process, whether it is revision associated with peer editing or revision following their instructor's written or oral comments.The students' close reading and ability to analyze the assigned reading should be assessed through quizzing or other means.The individual student's goal of a total of 5000 original written words may be attained in a variety of ways—rewriting (limited), short essay-answer quizzes over the assigned readings, notebook entries, and essay tests—in addition to the lengthy essays and the documented research paper(s).
Each student should write, in addition to the 2000-word term paper and the final exam essay, a lengthy analytical documented essay for each of the three genres addressed in the course.
Students new to the College should be actively encouraged to participate in a scheduled Blinn College Library Orientation in order to become acquainted with the resources available to writers involved in research.
For additional help beyond help given by the instructor during office conferences, students should be encouraged to take advantage of The Writing Room (Brenham) or The Writing Center (Bryan).
Students are assessed principally on their ability to communicate clearly in written prose; this ability is demonstrated in their shorter essays, in their 2000+ word documented research paper (these two categories contributing to the course minimum of 5000 – 6000 words), and in their mastery of the course objectives.Student grades may also be determined by assessments of the student's familiarity with and understanding of the assigned readings; class participation may be weighed, and the student should be required to demonstrate a mastery of the tools of research.The instructor may assign other tasks that develop and demonstrate writing and analytical skills.Instructors may find it useful to give unannounced quizzes over the reading assignments.A large number of students will not do the assigned reading if they have no incentive to do so.
NB: In order to earn credit for the course, the student must submit a 2000-word documented research paper that reflects a sincere effort to address the assignment.
3 essays (650 - 750 words each) addressing each of the three genres
30% - 40%
final exam, including a documented in-class essay and course inventory
15% - 25%
2000+ word documented, library-researched paper(s)
20% - 30%
10% - 25%
Blinn College Board Policy FLB (Local) defines plagiarism as the "appropriating, buying, receiving as a gift, obtaining by any means another's work and the unacknowledged submission or incorporation of it in one's own written work."English 1302 students should be made aware of the several different types--not levels--of plagiarism, including the failure to properly indicate directly quoted passages, phrasings, or significant wordings as such by the proper use of quotation marks, as well as other failures, including misattribution of cited material, as early as possible in the semester.Students should also be made aware that collusion is considered to be as egregious an offense as plagiarism is.
Blinn College Board Policy FLB (Local) defines collusion as the "unauthorized collaboration with another person in preparing written work for fulfillment of course requirements."
The A paper represents original outstanding work; it shows careful thought, fresh insights, and stylistic maturity.Having practically no mechanical errors to distract the reader, it is free of jargon, clichés, and other empty language.Word choice is marked by a high degree of precision and a varied, advanced vocabulary; sentences are structured in a manner that creates interest and rhetorical power.The tone is appropriate for the designated audience.The reader moves through the A paper effortlessly because of its effective transitions, lucid organization, and thorough, purposeful development.Having finished, the reader feels that he has learned something, that he has received some unexpected and welcome illumination.In the A paper all research material is correctly documented, and formatting adheres to current standards of the Modern Language Association.Directly quoted passages are gracefully integrated into the text with appropriate attribution.
The B paper is significantly more than competent.Besides being almost free of mechanical errors, the B paper delivers substantial information and makes cogent, fresh arguments--that is, in both quality and interest-value.Its specific points are logically ordered, well developed and supported, and unified around a clear organizing principle that is apparent early in the paper. The B paper's relatively few syntactic, usage, and mechanical errors do not seriously distract the reader, but the language, while neither trite nor bureaucratic, probably lacks the candor and the precision of the most memorable writing.Its transitions, while appropriate, emphasize the logical turnings of the writer's mind, making the reader occasionally more aware of the efforts taken to unify and control an idea than of the idea itself. In the B paper all research material is correctly documented, and formatting adheres to current standards of the Modern Language Association.Directly quoted passages are integrated into the text with appropriate attribution.
The C paper represents average college-level work.It is a competent expression of ordinary thoughts in ordinary language; its content/focus is general, commonplace, or trivial, or not adequately related to the assignment; its development is vague, incomplete, or inconsistent; its organization lacks adequate or appropriate transitions or relation of ideas.The C paper, in addition to meeting all the requirements of the assignment, exhibits a writing style that is basically correct and is marred by a relatively few syntactic, usage, and mechanical errors.By relying on generalities rather than precise, illustrative details, the writer of a C paper leaves the reader feeling not much better informed than when the reader first picked up the essay.In the C paper all research material is correctly documented, and formatting adheres to current standards of the Modern Language Association.Directly quoted passages are integrated into the text with appropriate attribution.
The D paper has only skeletal development and organization.Its serious mechanical errors, together with the awkwardness and ambiguity of its sentence structure, make the reader feel slighted, as if his time and attention were of little concern to the writer.
NB: A paper exhibiting major weaknesses in any specific area—content, development, organization, grammar and mechanics, documentation conventions, writing style—or, indeed, a failure to address the assignment is usually considered, at best, a D paper.
A paper should earn the grade zero if it contains plagiarized content in any form, including the failure to acknowledge the source of any borrowed material (summarized, paraphrased, and directly quoted) and unmarked exact wording (directly quoted from either a primary or a secondary source), whether a specific well-chosen word, a phrase (two or more words), a clause, or full sentence(s).A paper can earn a zero if it does not address the assigned topic or if directions have been either ignored or not followed.
Various methods are used to determine effectiveness in the presentation of this course, including
student scores on a course inventory given during the first week of classes compared with scores on the same course inventory scheduled as part of the final exam;
grade distribution data derived from both campus-specific data and institutional data used to evaluate both course content and presentation;
tracking of student mastery monitored formally by the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and informally through the faculty members' consulting with one another and maintaining contact with transfer students;
regularly scheduled revision of course syllabus; and
institution- and division-level monitoring of four-year institution requirements to ensure the transferability of Blinn College's English 1302 as a composition and introduction to literature course.
Attached is a sample calendar and a sample reading list of works from the anthology.Each instructor's Course Information Sheet should incorporate both a calendar that addresses each day's topic and a separate listing of readings that complements the day-to-day calendar.
Materials: Required Books as of Fall 2004
Brenham and Schulenburg Campuses and Online Sections
Kirszner, Laurie G., and Stephen R. Mandell,
Writing. 5th. ed.
Kirszner, Laurie G., and Stephen R. Mandell,
Writing. 4th. ed.
Fowler, H. Ramsey, and Jane E. Aaron.The
Little, Brown Handbook. 9th ed. New
Griffith, Kelley.Writing Essays about Litera-
ture: A Guide and Style Sheet. 6th ed.
Standard college-level dictionary
Shakespeare. William.Othello. Custom Ver-
Heffernan, James A. W., John E. Lincoln,
and Janet Atwill. Writing: A College
Handbook. 5th ed.
Standard college-level dictionary
The syllabus's content as it applies to the students may be transferred to the instructor's course information sheet that is distributed during the first week of classes.
The sample calendars suggest a number of readings for each unit, but the instructor should feel free to pick and choose, to add or delete, as he or she sees fit.All the units need to be covered in order to offer all students in all the freshman sections a comparable experience, but the emphasis and the techniques of instruction may, and probably should, differ.