For two of the essays in this course, we will use a three-tiered deadline system. You will see on the course schedule a Deadline A, Deadline B, and Deadline C listed for many papers. For any given paper assignment, this is how the system works.
Deadline A: Papers submitted by this date will receive a grade and comments. I will return the graded paper to you by Deadline B. You may choose to revise and rewrite the paper for grade replacement. You have until Deadline C to revise and rewrite the paper and resubmit it. (Note: you do not have to revise and rewrite; if you choose not to revise and rewrite, the grade on the Deadline A version will be the final grade for the paper.)
Deadline B: Papers submitted by this date will receive a grade and comments, but cannot be revised for this paper cycle. Comments will probably be useful for your next paper, though.
Deadline C: Papers submitted by this date will receive ONLY a grade (no comments), whether or not they are revisions of a Deadline A draft.
Credit: David Brakke, the Ohio State University.
Formal Essay #1 20%
Formal Essay #2 20%
Formal Essay #3 20%
Additional Writing Assignments 20%
Class Participation 20%
The course requires three formal essays between 1,300-1,400 words in length (about 5-6 pages). All essays should be in 12 point font, double-spaced, with normal margins. Each of these essays will be in response to a prompt designed and distributed by your professor. Your professor will tell you the specific due dates for your class.
In each paper, you will be required to build an argument that both analyzes relevant readings from the course anthology and offers a clear response to the question asked in the assignment prompt. The essay should be clearly structured with a thesis statement in the introduction. Any reader—say, a classmate—should be able to read the first paragraph and understand exactly what your main argument is going to be. Each paragraph should build on your thesis—explaining it, giving good reasons for your argument from the readings, and offering evidence—in other words, giving good examples to build your argument.
For further detail on what is expected, please see the grading rubric attached to this syllabus. There are also sample essays of exemplary student writing at the end of the course anthology.
All formal essays must be submitted through your section’s Sakai site, where they will be scored for originality against Turnitin.com’s anti-plagiarism database.
If a formal essay is turned in late and there is no legitimate excuse, then the essay grade will be lowered one full letter grade for every calendar day that it is late. For the late policy for your other work in the course, consult your instructor’s section syllabus.
There are Student Writing Mentors available in the Student Writing Center in the Library (2nd floor) specifically for PACS 1 students. The Writing Mentors offer on-demand, drop-in tutorials. They will see students on referral from faculty, by appointment from students themselves, or simply as “drop-ins.” Writing Mentors can assist student writers in the following ways:
- Holding regular, drop-in office hours in the Student Writing Center to handle a range of writing issues
- Consulting with students in the early stages of writing: brainstorming, outlining, idea mapping, etc.
- Responding to first, second, or third drafts of assigned essays
- Assisting students with required revisions of graded or returned essays
- The mentors, however, are NOT there to proofread, edit, or evaluate your drafts. They don’t do the work for you; they help you with ideas on how you can improve.
The Writing Center is open during regular Main Library hours for student use beginning September 11. The PACS 1 Writing Mentor staffing schedule will be posted and information sent out to all faculty early in the semester. For additional information, contact Interim Director Eileen Camfield by phone at 942-2970 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also call the Writing Center at 817-1497.
Reading carefully and critically lays the foundation for college-level writing. PACS 1 has a number of days in its schedule specifically devoted to helping students understand the requirements and practices of college-level writing. Some of that time will be devoted to learning principles and practices and some will be spent working with other students in peer review.
Once again, the main rubric categories will be an important part of the framework:
- Focus: The development of a purposeful claim in a clear thesis
- Support: The use of reasoning and gathering of evidence to strengthen the thesis
- Coherence: The arrangement of the parts of an argument / paper to enhance the flow of reasoning from one part to the next and make a coherent whole
- Correctness: The crafting of sentences and paragraphs correctly so as to express the writer’s ideas
- Style: The selection of words and refinement of sentence structures to create a sense of the writer’s attitudes in the development of “voice.”
Writing Workshop 1: The big picture and the need for academic integrity.
- Academic writing starts with careful and critical reading—”inhabiting” a text to find out what its author says.
- It responds to ideas from texts by “critiquing” them—testing their reasoning and evidence.
- Both inhabiting and critiquing are necessary; neither one is enough to constitute good academic writing by itself.
- Academic integrity means knowing the requirements and forms of academic work.
Writing Workshop 2: A clear main idea (thesis) and reasoning and evidence to support it.
- Developing a good thesis begins with discovering what it is you want to say.
- Developing a thesis means clarifying the relationship among main points.
- Support is the development of main points with reasoning and evidence.
Writing Workshop 3: A good structure moves from point to point, and clear sentences and paragraphs express ideas and shape attitudes.
- Coherence: orderly paragraph structure to guide the reader.
- Correctness is absolutely essential! Tripping up the reader with mistakes creates an irritated audience!
Writing Workshop 4: All good writing is re-writing, and nothing engages the reader more than a strong sense of voice in an essay.
- Revision: Rewriting means taking a fresh look, not just patching and filling. Is there a better way to make your point?
- Editing: Using words and sentences effectively.
- Style: Word choice matters! Developing your own “voice” gives the reader a sense of your commitment to your ideas. That makes for strong engagement.