Jess Broaddus’ 1106 Syllabus

ENGL 1106: Writing from Research

MWF 1:25-2:15pm, Pamplin 2028; MWF 2:30-3:20pm, McBryde 226
Jessica Broaddus

Office Hours:
M 12:15-1:15pm, R 4:30-5:30pm, or by appointment

Course Description:

English 1106 is the second part of a two-course composition sequence at Virginia Tech. In English 1106, the focus is writing and research with close examination of the act of writing as a process. We will study analytical, critical, and interpretive writing; examine how research can be incorporated effectively into various forms of writing; focus on instruction and practice in pre-writing, drafting, and revision; gain experience in oral presentation; and look at the role writing and research plays in our lives and in the lives of others.

Course Objectives:

  • Recognize the act of writing as a process.
  • Understand and implement revision strategies.
  • Acquire an understanding of the rhetorical dimensions of composition.
  • Identify and apply the conventions of written, spoken, and visual communication.
  • Recognize writing as a tool for critical thinking and reading.
  • Locate, evaluate, and analyze information from sources for your research writing.
  • Incorporate sources into your research writing.

Required Texts:

Birkenstein, Cathy, Russel Durst and Gerald Graff. “They Say/I Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing with Readings. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2009.

VT Department of English. Composition at Virginia Tech: Written, Spoken, and Visual Composition. Pearson Custom Publishers, 2009. 7th edition.

Course Requirements and Grading Scale:

Your grade will consist of three major writing projects, three short assignments, a presentation, in-class journal responses, and participation.

Grade Distribution:

  • Assignment #1: Fieldwork (10%)
  • Assignment #2: Review (15%)
  • Assignment #3: Proposal & Annotated Bibliography (10%)

Research Paper (20%)

  • Short Field Guide Design Project (5%)
  • Short Primary Sources Assignment (5%)
  • Short Visual Design Project (5%)
  • Individual Presentation: Assignment of your choice (10%)
  • In-Class Journal Responses (10%)
  • Participation (10%)
A+ 100-97
A 96-94
A- 93-90
B+ 89-87
B 86-84
B- 83-80
C+ 79-77
C 76-74
C- 73-70
D+ 69-67
D 66-64
D- 63-60
F 59 and below
A sophisticated analysis; original; shows command of interpretive and conceptual tasks; fulfills, then exceeds the expectations of the assignment in some critical way essay controlled by clear, precise, well-defined thesis; is sophisticated in both statement and insight; attempts or achieves an innovation of the argument or issue being studied provides substantial, well-chosen evidence (quotations or specific examples) used strategically; connections between ideas are evident; thesis consistently supported apt, seemingly inevitable sequence of paragraphs; appropriate, clear and skillful transitions between sentences and paragraphs precise diction; syntactic variety and sophistication; clear command of Standard English; no or few errors; imaginative but mature use of vocabulary and sentence structure
B shows good understanding of the texts, ideas, and methods of the assignment; goes beyond the obvious clear, specific argumentative thesis central to essay; may have minor terms undefined pursues thesis consistently; clearly develops a main argument with clear major points and appropriate evidence; makes effort to link rather than stack ideas distinct units of thought in paragraphs; clear transitions between developed, coherently arranged paragraphs some stylistic difficulties; occasional problematic word choices or awkward syntax; some wordiness (or distractingly pompous diction); few minor errors; some syntactic variety
C shows an understanding of the basic ideas and information involved; may have some factual or conceptual errors general central thesis or controlling idea; gives little indication of organization to follow; lacking some specifics provides some evidence, but not always relevant, sufficient, or integrated into paper; undeveloped ideas or little analysis; limited use of textual evidence some awkward transitions; some brief, weakly unified, or undeveloped paragraphs; uneven paragraphing more than a few minor grammatical errors; imprecise diction; awkward syntax; wordiness; over-reliance on passive voice; quotations poorly integrated
D confuses some significant concepts; does not respond directly to the assignment vague thesis; mostly factual rather than argumentative; unspecified elements evidence scant, vague or awkwardly incorporated; digresses without developing ideas; no analysis tends to narrate or merely summarize; wanders; repetitive; illogical arrangement of ideas some major grammatical errors (subject-verb agreement; fragments); numerous minor errors; repeated inexact word choice; inappropriate format
F no clear understanding of reading or concepts; inappropriate response to assignment no discernable thesis; contradictory or unsustainable thesis little or no development; evidence simply listed or missing; plagiarizes arbitrary or no paragraph structure; illogical or no transitions errors in almost every sentence; several major errors (such as s-v agr., frags, comma splices)

Course Policies:

Attendance: Our class is a community of writers and researchers in which every opinion counts; attendance is important. Let me know ahead of time if you will have to miss class due to an unavoidable conflict; absences that you inform me about beforehand will be dealt with on a case by case basis. Please note that we will be doing in-class journal responses two to three times per week that cannot be made up if you are absent! Bottom line: regular attendance is required in order to pass this class; excessive absences will negatively affect your final grade.

Participation: Active participation in class is important to your development as a critical thinker, writer, and researcher. Participation includes (but is not limited to): attendance, contributions to class discussion and small group discussion, active listening, completion of all in-class work, and constructive feedback in peer workshops. Please note that as part of our writing community, each member of the class has the responsibility of encouraging respectful conversation and providing thoughtful feedback. Tolerance for one another’s points of view and background are essential.

In-Class Journal Responses: Please purchase a spiral notebook or thin binder to write your journal responses in. Two to three times per week, you will be assigned a short in-class written response to the homework reading and/or other writing exercises relevant to our coursework. These responses will be a part of your final grade and cannot be made up if you are absent. I will collect your notebooks periodically throughout the semester.

Late Paper Policy: All papers and assignments are due on the date listed on the syllabus. Always bring a hard copy of the paper to class (already stapled) along with copies of previous drafts. If an emergency should arise that will cause you to be unable to meet a deadline, please contact me as soon as possible and before the paper deadline. I expect that you will frequently back up your work; therefore, computer problems will not be considered an emergency. Late papers will receive a grade deduction.

Revision Policy: You have the option to revise any of the three major assignments. If you choose to revise, you are required to schedule a meeting with me beforehand to discuss your revision strategy. Revision deadlines will be two weeks after your paper is handed back to you, and the grade you receive on your revision will be your final grade for the assignment.

Laptop (and other electronic devices) Policy: The majority of our in-class work will not require use of your laptop. Therefore, I expect that your laptop will be closed and in your bag during the class period. Please also turn off cell phones and other technological devices. Repeated distractions from your electronic devices will negatively affect your participation grade.

The Writing Center: The Virginia Tech Writing Center is located in Shanks 340. This is a wonderful free resource for extra help with papers and assignments. Appointments can be made for a one-on-one session with a writing center tutor for a half hour or an hour. For more information, see or call 540-231-5436.

Disability Accommodations:

If you need adaptations or accommodations because of a disability (learning disability, attention deficit disorder, psychological, physical, etc.), if you have emergency medical information to share with me, or if you need special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me during the first week of classes. To be eligible for services, documentation of the disability from a qualified professional must be presented to the Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) and the instructor must be notified. SSD is located at 150 Henderson Hall or can be contacted at 540-231-3788 or Please let me know if you have any questions; I am happy to help you get in touch with SSD.

Honor Code:

The Honor Code will be strictly enforced in this course. All assignments submitted shall be considered graded work, unless otherwise noted. All aspects of your coursework are covered by the Honor System. Any suspected violations of the Honor Code will be promptly reported to the Honor System. According to the Constitution of the Virginia Tech Honor System, “The fundamental beliefs underlying and reflected in the Honor Code are: (1) that trust in a person is a positive force in making that person worthy of trust, (2) that every student has the right to live in an academic environment that is free from the injustices caused by any form of intellectual dishonesty, and (3) that the honesty and integrity of all members of the university community contribute to its quest for Truth” (

The Honor Code expressly forbids the following academic violations:

  1. Cheating—Cheating includes the actual giving or receiving of any unauthorized aid or assistance or the actual giving or receiving of any unfair advantage on any form of academic work, or attempts thereof.
  2. Plagiarism—Plagiarism includes the copying of the language, structure, ideas and/or thoughts of another and passing off same as one’s own, original work, or attempts thereof.
  3. Falsification—Falsification includes the statement of any untruth, either verbally or in writing, with respect to any circumstances relevant to one’s academic work, or attempts thereof. Such acts include, but are not limited to, the forgery of official signatures, tampering with official records, fraudulently adding or deleting information on academic documents such as add/drop requests, or fraudulently changing an examination or other academic work after the testing period or due date of the assignment.

Principles of Community at Virginia Tech:

Please find the Principles of Community on the inside cover of Composition at Virginia Tech. You are expected to abide by these principles in the classroom and at Virginia Tech.

Course Schedule:

Date Topic Homework (due on day noted)
W Jan 20 Introduction
F Jan 22 Rhetorical Concepts CVT “English 1106,” pp. 6-7; Chapter 2, pp. 13-17, 20, 23-24.
M Jan 25 Entering the Conversation TSIS Introduction, pp. 1-13; exercise 1, p. 13; Chapter 11, pp. 135-137.
W Jan 27 What Others Say – They Say TSIS Chapter 1, pp. 17-26; exercises 1-2, pp. 26-27.
F Jan 29 Assignment 1; Fieldwork CVT “Fieldwork,” pp. 113-122; “Field Guides,” pp. 195-196; Short field guide design project due.
M Feb 1 Summarizing & Quoting TSIS Chapter 2 and 3, pp. 28-47.
W Feb 3 Responding TSIS Chapter 4, pp. 51-62.
F Feb 5 Distinguishing You and They TSIS Chapter 5, pp. 64-71.
M Feb 8 Preparing for Peer Workshop Assignment 1 first draft due (bring three copies).

W Feb 10 Peer Workshop Read and comment on your peers’ first drafts.

Peer workshop, Assignment 1.

F Feb 12 Naysayers TSIS Chapter 6, pp. 74-86.
M Feb 15 Assignment 2; Short Primary Sources Assignment Assignment 1 due (first and final drafts).
W Feb 17 MLA Citation CVT “Incorporating Sources, pp. 139-149; Read

On the left bar, look through the sections on citing books, periodicals, electronic sources, and other common sources, as well as the sample works cited page. Choose a book, a newspaper article, a web page, and one other source to cite, and bring your citations to class.

F Feb 19 Reviews Short Primary Sources Assignment due.
M Feb 22 Reviews Read reviews posted online. Find a review of something you’ve seen/done/worn/used and bring it to class.
W Feb 24 Reviews TSIS “Bart Simpson,” pp. 241-255.
F Feb 26 Library Tour Assignment 2 first draft due (bring three copies).

Meet in the lobby of Newman Library.

M Mar 1 Peer Workshop Read and comment on your peers’ first drafts.

Peer workshop, Assignment 2.

W Mar 3 So What? TSIS Chapter 7, pp. 88-96.
F Mar 5 So What? Assignment 2 due (first and final drafts).


NO CLASS Spring Break!
M Mar 15 Assignment 3 No homework.
W Mar 17 Academic Arguments CVT “Academic Arguments,” pp. 39-53.
F Mar 19 Developing a Research Project CVT “Developing a Research Project,” pp. 105-111; “Formal Research Paper Example,” pp. 128-137.
M Mar 22 Transitions TSIS Chapter 8, pp. 101-113. Work on proposal and annotated bibliography.
W Mar 24 Voice TSIS Chapter 9, pp. 115-122. Continue to work on proposal and annotated bibliography.
F Mar 26 Metacommentary TSIS Chapter 10, pp. 123-131. Continue to work on proposal and annotated bibliography.
M Mar 29 Beginning to Write the Research Paper Assignment 3 Research Proposal and Annotated Bibliography due.
W Mar 31 Incorporating Visuals CVT “Writing with Visuals,” pp. 181-194.
F Apr 2 Incorporating Visuals CVT “Writing with Visuals” ctd., pp. 195-204.
M Apr 5 Analyzing Arguments TSIS “Up Against Wal-Mart,” pp. 342-354; “Progessive Wal-Mart. Really,” pp. 356-359.
W Apr 7 Analyzing Arguments TSIS “Watching TV Makes You Smarter,” pp. 213-230.
F Apr 9 Preparing for Peer Workshop Assignment 3 first draft due (bring three copies).
M Apr 12 Peer Workshop Read and comments on your peers’ first drafts.

Peer workshop, Assignment 3.

W Apr 14 Analyzing Arguments TSIS “Family Guy and Freud,” pp. 257-266.
F Apr 16 NO CLASS University Remembrance Day.

M Apr 19 Preparing for Oral Presentations Assignment 3 due (first and final drafts).
W Apr 21 Short Visual Design Project CVT “Composing Visually,” pp. 205-213.
F Apr 23 Presentations Individual Presentations.
M Apr 26 Presentations Individual Presentations.
W Apr 28 Presentations Individual Presentations.
F Apr 30 Presentations Individual Presentations.
M May 3 Conclusion Work on Short Visual Design Project.
W May 5 Conclusion Short Visual Design Project due.

* Please note that information on this syllabus is subject to change and may undergo minor adjustments throughout the semester. You will receive notification of any such changes.

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