ENGL 1301: 007

Tim Morris

Expository Writing Fall 1999

9-9:50 AM Mon/Wed/Fri 302 Preston Hall

office hours: MTWTh 10AM-noon (206 Carlisle)
tmorris@uta.edu

office phone: metro 817-272-2739

office mailbox 203 Carlisle Hall

mailing address Box 19035, UTA 76019

to the schedule of readings and assignments

course prerequisites: approval of department

required textbooks: Behrens & Rosen, Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum, sixth edn. (Longman). Lois Lowry, The Giver (Yearling Newbery; the Lowry book is not on order at the UTA Bookstore, but is widely available at any bookstore, and especially in public libraries; there's no need to buy it.) Be sure to bring a notebook to class every day, and something to write with, a pen or pencil.

syllabus: This syllabus may be updated as the semester goes on. I will hand out updated versions that indicate readings and discussion plans. However, every writing assignment and every component of your grade is here at the beginning. Please refer to the date and time of printing (at the bottom of each page) to see when the version you are holding was printed. For continuous updates look on line at http://www.uta.edu/english/tim/courses/1301f99/

course description: This is an introductory college course in English composition.

course objectives: Students who successfully complete this course will have shown that they can write basic summaries of academic writing, can use techniques of description and narrative that are important in such writing, can explore and understand issues presented in college-level reading material, and can use expository techniques to look critically at art, film, literature, and the ideas that those media present.

attendance is optional. I will not schedule out-of-class sessions to tutor students who miss class, however. You will be pretty well lost if you don't come to class. Please note that a large component of your grade depends on in-class writing assignments and on assignments that require attendance to be counted toward your grade. If something prevents you from coming to class and keeping up, you've simply had your semester affected negatively by bad things--or by good personal commitments that you've chosen to place ahead of coursework.

drop policy: UTA instructors may not drop students for any reason. You may drop with a W until the first drop deadline (Friday 1 October). After that date, you may drop with a W only if you have a passing average on all assignments due on or before your drop date; otherwise, you will have to drop with an F. You may not drop at all after Friday 12 November.

assignments: six short papers and several small assignments; grading system and due dates are indicated below. Papers need not be typed, but must use MLA style (Behrens and Rosen, 182-199) and must cite all sources used in their preparation. Late papers will receive only half of the credit they would normally have earned.

grading: Grading is on a point system. Here are the point values for each assigned paper:

An additional 40 points may be earned by satisfactory completion of notecard assignments (fourteen of them @1 point apiece), in-class writing assignments (five @4 points apiece), and scheduled conferences (two @3 points apiece). None of these small assignments will be accepted late, and there's no opportunity to "make up" a small assignment. You must attend class to receive credit for that day's small assignment(s).

That makes a total of 300 possible points for the semester. Your final grade is determined on the following scale:

there are two types of failing grade in 1301. If you make 209 points or lower by missing papers or completely missing the point of assignments and generally putting no work into the course, you will earn an F for the course; if you make 209 points or lower but turn in all assignments and make a strong effort to keep up with the course, you will earn a grade of Z (see 1997-99 Catalog, pages 38-39). I think that a B is a good grade for an undergraduate course, and that a C grade is quite acceptable. The grade of A should indicate excellence rather than mere completion of the course.

academic dishonesty policy: It is the philosophy of The University of Texas at Arlington that academic dishonesty is a completely unacceptable mode of conduct and will not be tolerated in any form. All persons involved in academic dishonesty will be disciplined in accordance with University regulations and procedures. Discipline may include suspension or expulsion from the University. "Scholastic dishonesty includes but is not limited to cheating, plagiarism, collusion, the submission for credit of any work or materials that are attributable in whole or in part to another person, any act designed to give unfair advantage to a student or the attempt to commit such acts." [Regents' Rules and Regulations, Part One, Chapter Vi, Section 3, Subsection 3.2, Subdivision 3.22]

disability policy: The University of Texas at Arlington is on record as being committed to both the spirit and letter of federal equal opportunity legislation; reference Public Law 93112--The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended. With the passage of new federal legislation entitled Americans with Disabilities Act - (ADA), pursuant to section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, there is renewed focus on providing this population with the same opportunities enjoyed by all citizens. As a faculty member, I am required by law to provide "reasonable accommodation" to students with disabilities, so as not to discriminate on the basis of that disability. Student responsibility primarily rests with informing faculty at the beginning of the semester and in providing authorized documentation through designated administrative channels.

library: Noel Anderson is the Librarian for the English Department. He can be reached at 817 272 3000, ext. 4984, and by email at anderson@library.uta.edu You will find online databases for English among the Arts & Humanities databases at http://www.uta.edu/library/mavinfo/arts.html

writing center: located on the fourth floor of the Central Library, and at http://www.uta.edu/owl/ , the Writing Center provides free tutoring for UTA students. Tutors will not write your papers for you, but will help you understand and use strategies for effective writing.

schedule of assignments and readings

(note: all page numbers refer to Behrens & Rosen, Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum unless otherwise noted)

Mon 23 Aug: syllabus, procedures

Wed 25 Aug: syllabus, introductions

Fri 27 Aug: start preparing Description One (due Wed 8 Sept). For this paper, visit the Arlington Museum of Art at Main & Pecan Streets, just a few blocks north of UTA Campus. The museum is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10am to 5pm, and admission is free. Choose one of the artworks in the current exhibit A Hot Show. Make sure it's a piece from A Hot Show, one of the abstracts; don't choose one of the Texas Roots representational paintings. If you're unsure, ask a staff member there. This show closes on Saturday 4 September, so make sure you get there early, possibly often, and take good notes.

Write a three-page description of the abstract artwork that you choose. Describe it physically; describe the whole installation, so that we see what you see as you're in the museum: the piece, its setting, its surroundings. Then, consider this quotation from Christina Rees's review of A Hot Show (Dallas Observer 29 July 1999, p.70): "There [are] plenty who [find] abstract art and all its implications downright refreshing, a crucial development in the ever-expanding language of art. The purely abstract offered concepts and emotions reduced to their essence, unencumbered by something as clumsy as representation. Thus, the soul is liberated, free to float to a higher plane (of thought, of emotion), released of its earth-anchored shell." Do you think that Rees's assertion is true of the artwork you've chosen to write about?

This is the last time we'll meet as a group on Friday. Starting on 3 September, I will hold individual conferences with students in my office each Friday. You will have two scheduled Friday conferences this semester. Each scheduled conference counts 3 grade points.

Mon 30 Aug: writing about art: workshop / discussion

Wed 1 Sept: in-class writing: description

Mon 6 Sept: Labor Day Holiday

Wed 8 Sept: Description One due.

Mon 13 Sept: read the handout by Parker (from Mortal Stakes)

Wed 15 Sept: in-class writing: description

Mon 20 Sept: Description Two due. Write a four-page description of your kitchen. If you don't currently have a kitchen, describe the one you know best: your parents', or sibling's, or friend's. Use the passage from Parker (9/13, handout) as a model. Try to describe the kitchen accurately to all the senses, so that we feel we're there; try also to use the details of the description to tell the reader about the people who live there, without describing those people directly (i.e., describe an empty kitchen).

Wed 22 Sept: read Brownlee et al. (574-583) in-class writing: summary; notecard due

Mon 27 Sept: read Anderson (216-222) notecard due

Wed 29 Sept: read Trudeau (231-234) in-class writing: summary; notecard due

Fri 1 Oct: Last day to drop with guaranteed W

Mon 4 Oct: Summary due (Zimbardo, 385-397) Write a two-page maximum summary of the piece by Zimbardo on the "Stanford Prison Experiment."

Wed 6 Oct: read Corrigan (661-668) notecard due

Mon 11 Oct: read Lowry, The Giver, first half. notecard due

Wed 13 Oct: read Lowry, The Giver, second half notecard due

Mon 18 Oct: screening: Pleasantville

Wed 20 Oct: screening: Pleasantville

Mon 25 Oct: Critique One due: compare Lowry's The Giver to the film Pleasantville. Use my talking point handout as a starting point for your critique.

Wed 27 Oct: read Deren (handout) notecard due

Mon 1 Nov: screening: Morris, Fast, Cheap and Out of Control

Wed 3 Nov: screening: Morris, Fast, Cheap and Out of Control

Mon 8 Nov: Critique Two due: consider Morris's Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control. (You must take good notes to write this paper.) What do the four interview sequences have to do with one another? Your paper should have six body sections (at least a paragraph each, but more is OK): what, in turn, does 1) the animal tamer have to do with the topiary artist; 2) the animal tamer have to do with the mole rat specialist; 3) the animal tamer have to do with the designer of robots; 4) the topiary artist have to do with the mole rat specialist; 5) the topiary artist have to do with the designer of robots; 6) the mole rat specialist have to do with the designer of robots? Preface your paper with a brief introductory section (one or more paragraphs) and conclude it with one or more synthesis paragraphs that attempt to define, in your terms, the thesis and themes of Morris's film.

Wed 10 Nov: we'll start on narrative with two Cinderellas: read Perrault, 487-491; read Grimm, 491-496 two notecards due

Fri 12 Nov: Last day to drop

Mon 15 Nov: two anti-Cinderellas: read Lee (496-508) and Sexton (518-521) in-class writing; two notecards due

Wed 17 Nov: some cross-cultural Cinderellas: read Tuan (508-510), Skinner (trans.), 510-513, and Oochigeaskw (514-516) three notecards due

Mon 22 Nov: Course evaluations. Narrative due. Write a new "Cinderella." Illustrate some point--political, moral, satirical, intellectual, or other--in your narrative. Provide some contrast to the "Cinderellas" you've read. Conclude your paper with a brief critical "Afterword" that shows how you've manipulated the story to make your point.