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English 015: Rhetoric & Composition

Autor:   •  February 5, 2019  •  5,275 Words (22 Pages)  •  741 Views

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Attend, come prepared for, and participate fully in all peer review sessions. To help you revise your papers, you will receive feedback from your fellow students, and you will provide feedback to them on their work. This exchange of praise and constructive criticism is called “peer review,” and we will do a lot of it. Peer review provides you with useful feedback on your work and helps you practice reading with a critical eye. It also shows you how your peers approach assignments so you can learn from their approaches. You should come prepared on all peer review days and actively and productively engage in peer review. If you miss a peer review session because of an excused absence, we’ll make arrangements for you to make up the peer review. If you miss a peer review session without an excuse, I’ll reduce your final essay grade by 10%. If you come to a peer review session without a draft of your paper, I’ll reduce your final major essay grade by 5%. Please note that you must show me a draft of every paper, not just a final revised version of it, in order for a paper submission to count as complete. The day on which to show me this draft is on the day of peer review.

Schedule at least one one-to-one conference with me or come to office hours at least one time. Plan to spend a minimum of 30 minutes talking about a draft of a paper or a revised version of a paper: something I haven't seen yet. If you opt against doing this, I will subtract 100 points from your final point total /final grade.

Check your Penn State email account and our Canvas site daily. We’ll communicate via email and Canvas to complement our face-to-face communication. Note that email questions should require only brief responses from me. Save big questions for office hours.

Submit all make-up work according to our arrangements. If we agree that you’ll be allowed to make up missed work because of an excused absence, please submit make-up work by our agreed-upon deadline. Generally, I’d like to receive all make-up work as soon as possible after you’ve returned to class, so expect the deadline we set to be soon after your return. I will not accept make-up work submitted after our agreed-upon deadline.


Course Requirements: (1) You will write four essays throughout the semester that you will polish and turn in at the end of the semester in your portfolio. (2) You will participate in a group presentation. (3) You will write four Writing Assignments (WAs). (4) You will take quizzes on the readings on days in which there are readings due but you don’t have a WA due. (5) You will peer review your fellow classmates’ essays on Peer Review Day. (6) You will compile an Annotated Bibliography for your final research essay. (5) You will participate in class discussions.

The major assignments required by this course are as follows:

Portfolio: You are required to submit a complete portfolio on the last day of class. Include the following in polished form:

- Essay 1: Analysis of a Retail Store

- Essay 2: Analysis of a Children’s Artifact

- Essay 3: Media Analysis

- Essay 4: Researched Semiotic Analysis

- Four Introductions to Four Essays (that function as “memos” for each essay)

The grade breakdown is as follows:

Portfolio 50% (Essays 1, 2, and 3 are 10% each, and Essay 4 is 20%)

Group Presentation 10%

Annotated Bibliography 15%

WAs 10%

In-Class Participation/Quizzes 15%

Below is the point value for possible final grades for ENGL 15:

A 94-100

A- 90-93

B+ 88-89

B 83-87

B- 80-82

C+ 78-79

C 70-77

D 60-69

F 59 and below

It’s difficult to earn an “A” on assignments in this course. A-level work makes a reader think “WOW” on all fronts. It fulfills the assignment completely, and it’s outstanding according to all criteria listed on the relevant rubric. It’s insightful, thought provoking, and wholly sophisticated in every way as a piece of rhetoric. B-level work possesses many of the attributes of A-level work and hence it very much impresses a reader. It exhibits a solid level of rhetorical competency and facility. Contrary to popular belief, “C” work is not “bad” work; it is average work that contains many of the qualities of B-level work. It’s work that doesn’t stand out as much, but it demonstrates an adequate level of rhetorical competency and facility. That said, a few areas are underdeveloped and need attention. D-level work is incomplete, underdeveloped, and fails to demonstrate an adequate level of rhetorical competency and facility. It shows lower facility and/or competency than C-level work in a given genre and hence several areas are underdeveloped and need attention. Failing work is altogether incompetent or hasn’t been turned in.

I use carefully thought-out rubrics to grade all assignments, so if you ask me to reconsider a paper grade without having completed a thoughtful revision, know well that I’ve thought about your grade extensively already, I’ve likely already been generous, and hence I reserve the right to keep your grade the same. It’s possible (but unlikely) that in revising an essay, you might make it worse. If that’s the case, you’ll keep your higher grade.


Learning Center: Free tutoring and study skill coaching are available at the Learning Center (315 Sutherland, 215-881-7538). The Learning Center provides one-to-one assistance for all stages of the writing process, from generating ideas for topics, to improving analysis and clarity, to polishing finished drafts. Student writers of all levels of ability are welcome. Note: I provide extra credit if you use the Learning Center. See a description of the extra-credit assignment later in this syllabus.



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