ENGL 1301: 004

Tim Morris

Expository Writing Spring 2001

9-9:50 AM Mon/Wed/Fri 300 Preston Hall

office hours: by appointment only

office phone: metro 817-272-2692

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: Lunsford & Connors, The New St Martin's Handbook. Bring this book to class every day. 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 component of your grade is shown 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/1301s01/1301index.html

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 use techniques of description, elaboration, and narrative that are important in academic writing, can explore and understand issues presented in college-level reading material, and can use expository techniques to look critically at art, film, and (for want of a better term) ideas.

attendance is optional. I will not schedule out-of-class sessions to tutor students who miss class, however. In-class assignments will only be accepted if you are in class that day; otherwise you'll make a 0 for the day's work. 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 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 (23 February). 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 16 April.

assignments: five longer papers and five shorter (in-class) papers; grading system and due dates are indicated below. Longer papers must be typed, must use MLA style (Lunsford & Connors, 516-563), and must cite all sources used in their preparation. Late longer papers will receive only half of the credit they would normally have earned. In-class papers will not be accepted at all unless you write them in class on the day indicated. There is no final exam.

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

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. 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

Wed 17 Jan: syllabus, procedures

Fri 19 Jan: syllabus, introductions

Mon 22 Jan: On most Mondays this semester we'll meet as a class and do brief workshops on writing--with some attention to language, rhetoric, style, and grammar. Be sure to bring The New St Martin's Handbook to class each Monday, along with a pen and some paper for brief writing exercises.

Wed 24 Jan: in-class writing #1. AMA show opens.

Fri 26 Jan: no class meeting. We'll usually not meet as a group on Friday. Starting on 2 February, I will hold individual conferences with students in my office each Friday. You will have two scheduled Friday conferences this semester.

Wed 31 Jan: in-class writing #2

Sat 3 Feb: AMA show closes.

Wed 7 Feb: Description One due. For this paper, visit the show at the Arlington Museum of Art at Main & Pecan Streets (817) 275-4600, just a few blocks north of UTA Campus, between 24 January and 3 February. The museum is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10am to 5pm, and admission is free. Choose one of the artworks in the current exhibit. Write a three-page description of the 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. Describe its impact on you as an observer; describe the ideas it expresses, and how it makes use of what you might have been expecting to make its own artistic statement.

Wed 14 Feb: in-class writing #3

Wed 21 Feb: 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. 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 28 Feb: in-class writing #4

Wed 7 March: Elaboration due. For this assignment, you'll be given a short passage of prose (about one paragraph). You will elaborate that passage into an essay, taking each detail of the short original and constructing a full paragraph around it.

Mon 12 and Wed 14 March: screening and discussion of an Errol Morris film.

week of Mon 19 Mar: Spring Break

Mon 26 and Wed 28 March: screening of Errol Morris, Fast, Cheap and Out of Control

Mon 2 Apr: back to regular Monday workshops

Wed 4 Apr: Critique 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 11 Apr: in-class writing #5

Wed 18 Apr: no class meeting; released to work on Narrative (see below)

Mon 23 Apr: writing workshop as usual; course evaluations

Wed 25 Apr: Narrative due. For this assignment, you'll be given a collection of materials from various media. You'll write a three-page non-fiction story (a narrative) that draws on all the materials as sources. Course evaluations.


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