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ENC 1101

COURSE SYLLABUS
Fall 2008-1
Tues./Thurs, 7-815 a.m.
REF. #470285

Instructor: Alejandro Salinas


Department: Communication, Arts, & Philosophy
Office Hours: M: T: W:
Room 1371
Phone: (305)237-6358 R: F: S:
E-mail: asalinas@mdc.edu

Course Description:
The purpose of this course is to help you improve your writing skills, which you're going to be
depending on as you advance through your academic career in college and, more likely than
not, as you advance through your professional career in the real world. The course is based on
the idea that the best way to become a better writer is by seeing how others do it and by doing it
yourself. The best way to learn, in other words, is by simply doing a lot of reading and writing.
In the process, you’ll be asked to participate in a dialogue with the rest of the class so that we
think through important issues in the world and our lives to form personal opinions. This class
doesn’t require you to memorize and write about the “right answers” but to always ask the most
important questions: What do I think? And why do I think it? You will be asked to analyze and
problem-solve—to think critically. These critical thinking skills are vital to good writing.

You'll spend most of your time writing essays in response to the readings from our textbook,
drawing from your personal experiences and current events. The plan is to examine a variety of
models illustrating good writing, and to practice, practice, practice applying the many tricks
they teach us.

Always underlying our work will be an emphasis on writing as a process: We will get used to
the idea that writing good essays doesn't mean casually tapping away at your keyboard until
you reach the page requirement. It doesn't mean turning in whatever happens to come out off
the top of your head. Instead, writing should be a more elaborate process in which you plan
what you're going to say beforehand, and in which you go back to repair and polish once you've
finished. The actual writing is only part of the job.

Course Texts:
All our readings will come from handouts and internet links, but I recommend that you get a
handbook that covers research and grammar. If you don’t have one, I recommend Hacker
(listed below), which is available at the bookstore. Note that you can also purchase an online
version for a little less. If you’re interested in the online version or aren’t sure if the handbook
you have is acceptable, please see me.
•Hacker, Diana. Rules for Writers, 5th Ed. Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2004
•(Can purchase online version at dianahacker.com/bedhandbook)

Assignments:
You'll be required to write four essays and rewrite one of the original four. Length
requirements will range from two to six pages. For some of your essays, you'll have peer
workshops, in which you'll get into groups, exchange essays, and offer each other comments on
how you can improve them.

Besides writing essays, you'll also be required to complete several shorter assignments. Some
assignments will be evaluated on a check system. If you do an adequate job on an assignment,
showing that you’ve put some time and thought into it, you will receive a check (√), worth 10
points toward your final grade. If you do a less than adequate job, you will receive either a
check minus (√-), worth 5 points, or a zero. Among the most common shorter assignments are
informal responses to readings from the textbook, which are sometimes completed as
announced reading quizzes during the class period. You may talk about a personal experience
the reading called to mind, you may agree or disagree with a position being taken, or you may
comment on points about style or structure that you noticed in the writing. Sometimes you will
be given a topic to respond to, and sometimes you will have the freedom to talk about anything,
as long as you're coherent and thoughtful. Although the essays make up much of your final
grade, the homework and responses/quizzes will be averaged together to make up another big
part, so don't neglect them.

Service-Learning:
Please note that this course has a service-learning component. You will participate in an eight-
hour service-learning project that will account for about 15% of the semester's grade, and which
will be the subject of some of our writing and class discussion. Many of you will choose to
work as tutors and mentors with children, mostly low-income, in community centers and
schools near our campus. The interactions we have with the children give us a powerful context
for understanding the psychology of people and social problems like poverty and racism.
Another major project involves working in a community garden near the campus. Please note
that I will suggest some sites for you to complete your service-learning, but that you’re also
welcome to find a site on your own that is more convenient and fits the purpose of the project.

Service-learning is one of the most exciting and challenging aspects of the course. Keep in
mind, though, that it is not volunteer work. It is not extra work. Service-learning is one of the
many tools we’re using to learn the course content, and it is mandatory.

Grading Criteria:
Letter 15%
Dialect assignment 10%
Grammar review with essay revision 10%
Group media essay 20%
Service-Learning project 15%
*Expectations essay (5%)
*Journal (5%)
*Hours (5%)
Homework 15%
Final Essay 15%

94-100% = A
84-90% = B
74-80% = C
64-70% = D
50-60% = F

Policies:
•Plagiarism means producing a work that is fully or partly someone else’s and claming it as
your own. Plagiarized work will receive an “F.” If you plagiarize or engage in any kind of
cheating or academic misconduct, you also risk expulsion from the college.
•Late homework and classwork: If you are absent when homework or classwork is due, it will
not be accepted. It is your responsibility to be in class in order to receive all assignments.
•Late essays: If you fail to turn in an essay on the due date, you can turn it in within a week for
a half-letter grade penalty. After one week, the essay will receive a zero. Remember that failing
to turn in any major essay, because they all weigh heavily toward your final grade, will
seriously hurt your chances of passing the course.
•I will hand your papers back to you to keep; it is your responsibility to hold on to them.
•Please turn off cell phones and beepers before coming to class.

Attendance and Participation:


•Class participation is an integral part of a satisfactory grade. Many times, averages fall on the
borderline of two grades, and class participation can make the difference—up to four
percentage points in your overall average.
•Family and medical emergencies are the only valid excuses for absences. A documented
emergency will be dealt with on an individual basis.
•If you are absent three consecutive sessions, you may be automatically dropped from the
course.
•Attendance is taken at the beginning of the period. Coming to class late may count as an
absence.

Drops: If students are unable to continue in the course, they must notify the instructor. It is
their responsibility to fill out an official withdrawal form with the registrar’s office. If they do
not officially withdraw, they may receive an F in the course.

Academic Integrity: You are expected to adhere to the policies of academic integrity as
outlined in the Students' Rights and Responsibilities Handbook. Violation of the policies will
result in disciplinary action also outlined in the handbook.

COURSE OUTLINE
(subject to change)

Week 1
8/28 Thurs. -- Introductions: each other and the course

Week 2
9/2 Tues.-- Continue introductions; diagnostic writing; letters: format and purpose
9/4 Thurs. -- Review prewriting; post “What makes a KAE? #1”

Week 3
9/9 Tues. -- Read “First Drafts” (Facebook); reading quiz; review essay structure
9/11 Thurs. -- Continue essay structure; review details; second draft of letter due; peer reviews

Week 4
9/16 Tues. -- Continue details; guest presentation: I Have A Dream program; post “What Makes
a KAE #2”
9/18 Thurs. -- “Little Havana & Overtown: The Line Between Stereotype & Reality”
(presentation)?”; third draft of letter due (for provisional grade)
Week 5
9/23 Tues. -- “Little Havana & Overtown” student presentations
9/25 Thurs. – Service-learning orientation; review introductions/conclusions; first draft of Little
Havana & Overtown essay due; peer reviews

Week 6
9/30 Tues. -- Post second draft of Little Havana & Overtown essay; Prejudice Workshop #1:
What is it?; discuss “Chongalicious” video
10/2 Thurs. -- Read “How to Tame a Wild Tongue” (handout); post response; begin dialect
projects

Week 7
10/7 Tues. -- Flex day: writing circle, service-learning or dialect class work (Between 10/7-10/14
and 10/28, you can use one day for service-learning but must be in class for three sessions, either
for writing circles or to work on an assignment.)
10/9 Thurs. -- Flex day: writing circle, service-learning or dialect class work

Week 8
10/14 Tues. -- Flex day: writing circle, service-learning or dialect class work
10/16 Thurs. -- Read “Nobody Mean More to Me than You” by June Jordan (Facebook); reading
quiz; view clip of film “Glory”; dialect project presentations

Week 9
10/21 Tues. -- Continue dialect project presentations; check in: How is Service-Learning Going?;
grammar review
10/23 Thurs. -- Continue grammar review; dialect assignment due; post dialogues

Week 10
10/28 Tues. -- Flex day: writing circle, service-learning or essay revision
10/30 Thurs. -- Prejudice Workshop #2: Who Cares?

Week 11
11/4 Tues. -- Service-learning group reflection; essay revision with grammar review due
11/6 Thurs. – Continue service-learning group reflection; read “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”
(Facebook); reading quiz

Week 12
11/11 Tues. -- Continue “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”: Presentation and Discussion: “Building
Arguments”
11/13 Thurs. -- Review logic exercises; TV/music day

Week 13
11/18 Tues. -- TV/music day; group work
11/20 Thurs. -- Group work

Week 14
11/25 Tues. -- Class debates
11/27 Thurs. -- Thanksgiving; no class

Week 15
12/2 Tues. -- Class debates; the sticker exercise; discussion on segregation
12/4 Thurs. -- Continue discussion on segregation

Week 16
12/9 Tues. -- Continue discussion on segregation; final debate essays due; self-evaluations
12/11 Thurs. -- Read chapter from “Culture of Make-Believe (handout); post: do you agree with
the author’s opinion about America being a racist “police state”?

Exam Week
12/16 Tues. -- Final essay due
12/18 Thurs. -- Looking back on the semester and feedback