ENGLISH 301: WRITING FOR THE PROFESSIONS
Instructor: Bruce Matsunaga
Class Line # 58498
Meets daily @ 7:40-9:20, ECG G319
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OFFICE: LL 226A
OFFICE HRS: TBA
PHONE: 965-3853 (message only)
CLASS WEB SITE: http://www.public.asu.edu/~hiroshi/comp/301
Markel, Mike. Technical Communication: Situations and Strategies. 5th ed. New York: St. Martins Press, 1998. (TC)
Boiarsky, Carolyn R. & Margot K. Soven. Writings from the Workplace. Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 1995. (WFW)
English 301, Writing for the Professions, will allow students to engage in inquiry into writing in their professions. English 301 is not an academic writing course. Rather, students will examine rhetorical issues related to documents found in their chosen professions, particularly how differing rhetorical situations alter purpose, audience, writer, and text. Students will discover those documents and examine them, report on them, and model their own writing on them as well as complicate the nature of the documents, formats, arrangements, and stylistic choices found in the textbook and in the professional writing represented by the students group findings. Throughout this discovery process, students will engage in the writing process. Thus, class time will be devoted to invention activities, writing/revising drafting, peer evaluation, group discussions, editing, and project collaboration.
A great deal of the instruction and writing for the class will be communicated via the computer. We will explore the effects of computers and electronic texts on professional writing, as well as the resources on the internet available to us as writers. Because this class is a computer aided instruction class, you will be required to sign up for an ASU e-mail account and make yourself familiar with computers, the internet, and various sundry computer applications and electronic means of discourse. In addition, student participation in weekly on-line discussions is required of all students.
GOALS FOR THE COURSE
The emphasis of the course is on the writing of reports in Standard English. You should be able to write correctly and coherently upon entering this class. To earn at least a "C" in this class, you must be able to write without significant grammar, punctuation, spelling, and sentence structure errors. That said, we will discuss what constitutes "significant" mechanical competence.
At the end of this course, you should be more self-conscious about your writing so that you can analyze the rhetorical situation for each piece of writing, understand what needs you must fulfill in that piece of writing, and select the most appropriate genre, organizational pattern, strategy, and convention while making stylistic choices on a sentence level that demonstrate readability.
The work of the class is cumulative and incremental, and attendance is critical to your success. Although you will only write one team report while the remainder of your reports are individual efforts, much of the work will be discussed in teams since, in most professional fields, you will find that you have to work in groups or teams; therefore, if you miss class, you will not receive the instruction on that topic and you will affect your classwork grade. The Writing Programs policy on summer classes dictates that the maximum number of absences a student can have is two (2). You cannot pass the course with three or more absences.
If you are coming to class, you must make a commitment and arrive on time. I know this is an early class, but walking in late is unprofessional and disruptive to the class. If you make a practice of arriving late, you will be counted absent as well.
PEER REVISION AND WORKSHOP SESSIONS
These sessions are not optional and you will be graded on how you peer revise another students work. On the day when a draft is due, you should have completed a typed draft that you will bring to class for peer revision. You should not miss these sessions. If you do miss a peer revision session and you have no documented excuse, or if you come to class with an incomplete draft, the grade you earn on the final draft of that paper will be reduced appropriately or the paper may not be accepted and you will earn a 0 for that paper. If your draft is incomplete (you have a partial draft), you should come to class because you may earn participation credit for working on another students draft.
Office hours are times I set aside to meet with you and discuss problems you may have with a concept we have discussed in class or specific problems you may experience on a report. Please note that I will not read entire rough drafts during my office hours. I will address specific questions and look at detailed outlines or selected parts of your reports.
The five major assignments (both first and final drafts, where applicable) must be typed. For my eyes, try to use 12-point font with standard one-inch margins. In the upper right hand corner of your assignment put your name, English 301, the date, my name, and the assignment title. This will help me to keep track of your projects. Staple all pages of your draft together. No paperclips, please. They will fall off the second I start shuffling them around.
Papers are due at the beginning of class on the day specified in your syllabus. Late papers will be penalized one letter grade per class day (M-F) past the due date. I will accept late papers without penalty if you have a valid documented excuse such as a doctor's note specifically covering the days you are absent. If you are sick on the day a paper is due but you do not visit the doctor, you should arrange to have a friend deliver the work to me at the beginning of class.
Since much of the class time in will be spent working on your drafts, and due to the compact nature of a summer courses, there will be no revisions. Successful writing usually involves multiple drafts. However, at some point, you must bring that drafting to a close and submit your best effort. At that stage, I will grade your work. If you ever have questions about a paper, if you are stuck, if you are having problems, see me in office hours or make an appointment. I want you to succeed in this class.
KEEPING YOUR WORK
You must keep all copies of your graded papers. If you wish to discuss a grade, you need your graded paper. You should also keep a disk copy of all your papers. I advise you to keep two back up disks of all work. Computers on campus regularly become infected with viruses, and alas, "a virus ate my draft" is not an excuse for submitting a paper late. I also want you to keep your own disk copy of the team paper. Keep everything on paper and on disk. Throw nothing away.
I use the ASU standard A through E grading system. I assign the following point system to letter grades when I calculate your overall grade:
A = 4.0
A- = 3.7
B+ = 3.3
B = 3.0
B- = 2.7
C+ = 2.3
|C = 2.0
C- = 1.7
D+ = 1.3
D = 1.0
D- = .7
E = .3
No paper = 0
Memos, homework, etc.
There is a significant point difference between failing a paper and not turning one in.
Since final grades are reported as whole numbers (i.e., there are no plus or minus final grades), the following scale will be used to determine the final grade. A student will receive a final grade no lower than the grade determined by the following formula:
A = 3.5-4.0
B = 2.5-3.49
C = 1.5-2.49
D = .5-1.49
E = .49 & below
Knowingly presenting the language or ideas of another person as well as one's own is plagiarism. It is stealing. Plagiarism is cheating yourself and someone else. The consequences are severe, including failure for the assignment, probable failure for the course, disciplinary referral to the Dean, and possible expulsion from the University. Whenever you borrow a phrase, sentence, paragraph, or even an idea stated in your own words, from any outside source without giving credit to that source, you have plagiarized.
KNOWLEDGE OF CRIMES
In this course, please do not write about any criminal activity of which you have knowledge-- as a witness, a victim, or a perpetrator. If you do write about such activity, I may be legally required to report it to the authorities. So, dont tell me about the time you knocked off that Circle K.
THE WRITING CENTER
Located on the 3rd floor (B wing) of the Language and Literature Building, the Writing Center offers excellent free tutorial services for those needing any kind of help with writing, research, or brainstorming skills in one-on-one tutorial sessions, workshops, and computer modules. If you cant kick the comma splice habit, or find that agreement errors plague your writing, dont wait until these problems have already affected your grades. Those who attend one or two sessions usually find that their work improves. The help is free and the instructors who work there are well qualified. The center also offers workshops and help to those more advanced students who wish to improve their writing.
Incompletes are not an option in this course.
THE PUBLIC NATURE OF CLASS WRITING AND DISCUSSION
Part of becoming a good writer is learning to appreciate the ideas and criticisms of others and in this course our purpose is to come together as a community of writers. Remember that you will often be expected to share your writing with others. Avoid writing about things that you may not be prepared to subject to public scrutiny or that you feel so strongly about that you are unwilling to listen to perspectives other than your own. This does not mean that you are not entitled to an opinion but that you adopt positions responsibly, contemplating the effects on others, that you take responsibility for your words and for engagement with the words of others.
Since this class is in a computer classroom, you must have an ASURITE ID (Your pine email and password).
OPTIONAL ADDITIONAL MATERIALS
Access to email and the Internet outside of class, a floppy disk, access to the style manual used by your profession, and an up-to-date hardcover college-level dictionary.