Julia Tillinghast-Akalin’s 1106 Syllabus

Course Description:

Virginia Tech Principles of Community:

The “Virginia Tech Principles of Community” were affirmed by the board of visitors March 14, 2005, and signed by eight university organizations.

Virginia Tech is a public land-grant university, committed to teaching and learning, research, and outreach to the Commonwealth of Virginia, the nation, and the world community. Learning from the experiences that shape Virginia Tech as an institution, we acknowledge those aspects of our legacy that reflected bias and exclusion. Therefore, we adopt and practice the following principles as fundamental to our on-going efforts to increase access and inclusion and to create a community that nurtures learning and growth for all of its members:

  • We affirm the inherent dignity and value of every person and strive to maintain a climate for work and learning based on mutual respect and understanding.
  • We affirm the right of each person to express thoughts and opinions freely. We encourage open expression within a climate of civility, sensitivity, and mutual respect.
  • We affirm the value of human diversity because it enriches our lives and the University. We acknowledge and respect our differences while affirming our common humanity.
  • We reject all forms of prejudice and discrimination, including those based on age, color, disability, gender, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, and veteran status. We take individual and collective responsibility for helping to eliminate bias and discrimination and for increasing our own understanding of these issues through education, training, and interaction with others.
  • We pledge our collective commitment to these principles in the spirit of the Virginia Tech motto of Ut Prosim (That I May Serve).

Honor Code:

The Virginia Tech Honor Code, which deals with academic integrity and honesty, including cases of cheating, falsification, and plagiarism, will be strictly adhered to in this class. Students in our community hand in all work with the tacit agreement that “I have neither given nor received unauthorized assistance on this project.” In any way representing work that is not your own as if it were yours – or helping others to do so — will not be tolerated in this or any other course at VT. You should realize that these issues are taken very seriously and that any infraction will be dealt with by the Honor System Office and the Honor System Review Board. Please see http://www.honorsystem.vt.edu/ or talk to me for more information.

Disability Statement:

If you have a disability (learning disability, physical disability, mental health issue, etc.) that may in some way affect the way you learn, perform, participate, and/or are assessed in this class, I am happy to make adjustments or accommodations to ensure that you are treated fairly and can get everything you need out of this course. Please let me know within the first week of class if you have an issue or concern. In order to qualify for accommodations, you need to get documented with the Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) office, located at 150 Henderson Hall – you can also contact them at 231-3788 or spangle@vt.edu.

Required Materials:

They Say, I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing. Graff, Gerald & Birkenstein, Cathy. New York: W.W.Norton & Company, 2006.

Composition at Virginia Tech: Written, Spoken, and Visual Composition. Diana George, Ed. Boston, Ma: Pearson Custom Publishing, 2009.

Please bring a laptop computer with you to each class meeting.

Expectations & Policies:

Respect for your classmates and for me should be the basis of how you conduct yourself in class, and you have a right to expect the same from our classroom community. This includes respect for opinions, beliefs, backgrounds, experiences, and identities that are different from yours. We can disagree, discuss, challenge, and question almost anything within our classroom community, but you, your classmates and I each have a right to be treated with dignity and regard regardless of difference or disagreement.

Daily Writings will be typed during class in a 15-20 minute window as “quizzes” via the course-management site Scholar. Unless there is some reason not to, such as presentations, conferences, or some other large activity, there will be a daily writing most days. I use daily writing to keep track of whether you’re doing the reading, how well you understand the reading, and also whether or not you have attended class. The questions will generally be about the reading assignment, though sometimes they will be places to brainstorm about major writing assignments. Daily Writings are pass/fail. They cannot be made up except in extreme circumstances.

Major Assignments will be handed in digitally via the Course Management Site Scholar by the due date/time. Barring drastic circumstances, late work will not be accepted without prior arrangement. If you have a serious issue that will make it impossible for you to hand in your paper on time, you must contact me to discuss it before the due date. Blog entries are time sensitive and cannot be published later than their due dates. In-class writing and blog work cannot be made up.

Rewrites will be accepted for any major assignment within one week after receiving your final grade for the assignment, but only if the paper receives a B (86 percent), or less. A rewrite grade will replace the original grade awarded to the paper. I cannot accept rewrites after more than a week without prior arrangement. In return, I commit to returning your assignments with a grade within 1 week after the due date. There is, however, no possibly of re-doing the final persuasive video assignment.

Communication is the key to any successful relationship. Please email me, talk to me after/before class, schedule a meeting in my office, and/or come to my office hours if you have any questions, problems, or confusion about anything related to the course or if you need help with anything else. Problems with late work, attendance, and your grades cannot be dealt with unless you let me know what’s going on – if you communicate with me; however, we will most likely be able to things out. If your problems go beyond the scope of the class, I can help get you in touch with the people and resources as the university who can help. I am almost always available by email (I promise to get back to you within 24 hours, barring unforeseen circumstances).

Grading Breakdown:

Your grades for your major assignments will be tracked on Scholar.

Descriptions of the grading criteria (rubrics), will be made available on the assignment page (see “Assignments” on scholar).

Major Assignments:  70%

Rhetorical Analysis of a Cultural Artifact: 10%

Summary of an Academic Position: 15%

Op-Ed: 15%

Researched Memoir: 15%

Persuasive Video: 15%

Blog: 15%

Daily Writing Reflections (“Quizzes”): 15%

Class Blog:

You will be writing one blog entry per week.

Blogging is an informal way of writing, and I am looking forward to a more unmediated and free-form way of getting to know you, your interests, and your writing. Of course, work that might be deemed truly offensive or inappropriate, such as hate speech, direct discussion of illegal or dangerous activities, discussion of activities that violate university policy, the Principles of Community, the Honor Code, or discuss explicit/graphic sexuality are inappropriate, and I will let you know immediately if anything you’ve posted has crossed the line and you will be required to take it down immediately.

Tentative Course Schedule

*Subject To Change at Instructor’s Will

Readings Are From They Say, I Say unless otherwise specified

Week 1:

W 1/20: The Rundown, Quiz 1 (How do you feel about writing?)

homework: read the syllabus

F 1/22: Quiz 2: The Syllabus Lecture/Discussion: Entering Class Discussions

homework: find a blog you like & post a link on the forum by Sunday at ten, set up your blog

Week 2:

M 1/25: Look at blogs and talk about blogging.

homework: first blog post, read “The Rhetorical Situation” by Bitzer (Posted On Scholar Site)

W 1/27: Quiz 3: Question about Bitzer’s: The Rhetorical situation. Lecture/Discussion: The Rhetorical Situation. Group 1’s blog will be read & graded by today.

homework: read Chapter 8 in “Composition at Virginia Tech”

F 1/29: Quiz 4: Question about Chapter 8. Lecture/Discussion: Rhetorical Analysis. Introduction to Assignment One. Homework: choose a cultural artifact to do a rhetorical analysis of. Blog posts due by Tuesday 9am.

Week 3:

M 2/1: Quiz 4: What artifact did you choose, and why? Group Work (Blog Groups): Quick Rhetorical Analysis of a blog post. Homework: Work on your Rhetorical Analysis (Assignment 1).

W 2/3: Individual Presentations: Rhetorical Analysis. Group 2’s blogs will be read and graded by today.

F 2/5: Individual Presentations: Rhetorical Analysis

Homework: Read Introduction. Blogs due Tuesday.

Week 4:

M 2/8: Quiz 5: Question about Introduction. Lecture/Discussion of Introduction. No additional Homework.

W 2/10: Group 3’s blogs read and graded by today. Blog-post sharing day and free discussion. (In groups, choose your favorite blog post and present/discuss). Homework: Read Chapter 1.

F 2/12: Quiz 6: Chapter One. Group Activity: Writing “they say”s for classmate’s opinions. Homework: Read Chapter 2.

Week 5:

M 2/15: Quiz 7: Chapter Two: Summarizing. Discussion/Lecture: Summarizing. Homework: Read Chapter 3.

W 2/17: Group 4s blogs read and graded by today. Quiz 8: Chapter Three: Quoting. MLA Citation Lecture.

F 2/19: Library Research Class.

Week 6:

M 2/22: Individual Conferences: Rough Draft of Assignment 2.

W 2/24: Individual Conferences

F 2/26: Individual Conferences.

Week 7:

M 3/01: Lecture/Discussion: Common Mistakes.

W 3/03: Group 1’s blogs read/commented by today. Blog Sharing Day.

F 3/05: Assignment 2 final draft due today. Homework: Read Chapter 4 & 5.

Week 8:

M 3/08: Spring Break (No Classes)

W: 3/10: Spring Break (No Classes)

F: 3/12: Spring Break (No Classes) Assignment 2 Returned and Graded by Today.

Week 9:

M: 03/15: Quiz 9: Question about Chapter 4 & 5. Lecture/Discussion on “Three Ways to Respond”, and “Distinguishing What You Say from What They Say. Homework: Read Chapter Six.

W: 03/17 Quiz 10: Question about Chapter 6. Homework: Read Chapter Seven.

F: 03/19 Quiz 11: Question about Chapter 7. Introduction to Assignment 3: Op-Ed. Homework: Read Op-Ed examples. Choose a topic and find at least two Op-Eds or Letters to the Editor on it, one that you think is good, and one that you think is not good.

Week 10:

M: 03/22: Quiz 12: Question about your topic. Group Activity: What are the “conventions of the op-ed genre”?

W: 03/24: Group 2’s Blogs graded/commented on by today. Discussion: What is your topic? Class discusses their own opinions.

F: 03/26 Assignment 3: Peer Workshop rough drafts.

Week 11:

M: 03/29 Assignment 3: Op-Ed Due. Homework: Read Chapter 8.

W: 03/31 Quiz 13: Question about Chapter 8. Lecture/Discussion of Chapter 8. Homework: Read Chapter 9.

F: 03/02: Quiz 14: Question about Chapter 9. Homework: Read Chapter 10.

Week 12:

M: 04/05: Quiz 15: Chapter Ten. Lecture/Discussion of Chapter 10. Homework: brainstorm a list of 10 important events/stories from your life.

W: 04/07: Group Work: Discuss the 10 events/stories from your life. Introduce Assignment 4: Researched Memoir. Homework: Read Memoir Examples.

Friday: 04/09: Quiz 16: Question about Memoir we read. Lecture/discussion: writing your memoir. Homework: Research Your Memoir.

Week 13:

M: 04/12: Individual Conferences: Researched Memoir.

W: 04/14: Individual Conferences: Researched Memoir.

Friday: 04/16: April 16th Memorial: No Class

Week 14:

M: 04/19: Researched Memoir Due. Introduction to Final Assignment: Persuasive Video Project. Meet in Groups. Homework: Find a Video and post on the forum.

W: 04/21: Discuss Videos.

F: 04/23: Discuss more videos.

Week 15:

M: 04/26: TBA

W: 04/28: TBA

F: 04/30: TBA

Week 16:

M: 05/03: Group Presentations. Quiz 17: Question about Presentations

W: 05/05 (Last Day of Class) Group Presentations. Quiz 18: Question about Presentations.

Course Description:

Virginia Tech Principles of Community:

The “Virginia Tech Principles of Community” were affirmed by the board of visitors March 14, 2005, and signed by eight university organizations.

Virginia Tech is a public land-grant university, committed to teaching and learning, research, and outreach to the Commonwealth of Virginia, the nation, and the world community. Learning from the experiences that shape Virginia Tech as an institution, we acknowledge those aspects of our legacy that reflected bias and exclusion. Therefore, we adopt and practice the following principles as fundamental to our on-going efforts to increase access and inclusion and to create a community that nurtures learning and growth for all of its members:

  • We affirm the inherent dignity and value of every person and strive to maintain a climate for work and learning based on mutual respect and understanding.

  • We affirm the right of each person to express thoughts and opinions freely. We encourage open expression within a climate of civility, sensitivity, and mutual respect.

  • We affirm the value of human diversity because it enriches our lives and the University. We acknowledge and respect our differences while affirming our common humanity.

  • We reject all forms of prejudice and discrimination, including those based on age, color, disability, gender, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, and veteran status. We take individual and collective responsibility for helping to eliminate bias and discrimination and for increasing our own understanding of these issues through education, training, and interaction with others.

  • We pledge our collective commitment to these principles in the spirit of the Virginia Tech motto of Ut Prosim (That I May Serve).

Honor Code:

The Virginia Tech Honor Code, which deals with academic integrity and honesty, including cases of cheating, falsification, and plagiarism, will be strictly adhered to in this class. Students in our community hand in all work with the tacit agreement that “I have neither given nor received unauthorized assistance on this project.” In any way representing work that is not your own as if it were yours – or helping others to do so — will not be tolerated in this or any other course at VT. You should realize that these issues are taken very seriously and that any infraction will be dealt with by the Honor System Office and the Honor System Review Board. Please see http://www.honorsystem.vt.edu/ or talk to me for more information.

Disability Statement:

If you have a disability (learning disability, physical disability, mental health issue, etc.) that may in some way affect the way you learn, perform, participate, and/or are assessed in this class, I am happy to make adjustments or accommodations to ensure that you are treated fairly and can get everything you need out of this course. Please let me know within the first week of class if you have an issue or concern. In order to qualify for accommodations, you need to get documented with the Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) office, located at 150 Henderson Hall – you can also contact them at 231-3788 or spangle@vt.edu.

Required Materials:

They Say, I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing. Graff, Gerald & Birkenstein, Cathy. New York: W.W.Norton & Company, 2006.

Composition at Virginia Tech: Written, Spoken, and Visual Composition. Diana George, Ed. Boston, Ma: Pearson Custom Publishing, 2009.

Please bring a laptop computer with you to each class meeting.

Expectations & Policies:

Respect for your classmates and for me should be the basis of how you conduct yourself in class, and you have a right to expect the same from our classroom community. This includes respect for opinions, beliefs, backgrounds, experiences, and identities that are different from yours. We can disagree, discuss, challenge, and question almost anything within our classroom community, but you, your classmates and I each have a right to be treated with dignity and regard regardless of difference or disagreement.

Daily Writings will be typed during class in a 15-20 minute window as “quizzes” via the course-management site Scholar. Unless there is some reason not to, such as presentations, conferences, or some other large activity, there will be a daily writing most days. I use daily writing to keep track of whether you’re doing the reading, how well you understand the reading, and also whether or not you have attended class. The questions will generally be about the reading assignment, though sometimes they will be places to brainstorm about major writing assignments. Daily Writings are pass/fail. They cannot be made up except in extreme circumstances.

Major Assignments will be handed in digitally via the Course Management Site Scholar by the due date/time. Barring drastic circumstances, late work will not be accepted without prior arrangement. If you have a serious issue that will make it impossible for you to hand in your paper on time, you must contact me to discuss it before the due date. Blog entries are time sensitive and cannot be published later than their due dates. In-class writing and blog work cannot be made up.

Rewrites will be accepted for any major assignment within one week after receiving your final grade for the assignment, but only if the paper receives a B (86 percent), or less. A rewrite grade will replace the original grade awarded to the paper. I cannot accept rewrites after more than a week without prior arrangement. In return, I commit to returning your assignments with a grade within 1 week after the due date. There is, however, no possibly of re-doing the final persuasive video assignment.

Communication is the key to any successful relationship. Please email me, talk to me after/before class, schedule a meeting in my office, and/or come to my office hours if you have any questions, problems, or confusion about anything related to the course or if you need help with anything else. Problems with late work, attendance, and your grades cannot be dealt with unless you let me know what’s going on – if you communicate with me; however, we will most likely be able to things out. If your problems go beyond the scope of the class, I can help get you in touch with the people and resources as the university who can help. I am almost always available by email (I promise to get back to you within 24 hours, barring unforeseen circumstances).

Grading Breakdown:

Your grades for your major assignments will be tracked on Scholar.

Descriptions of the grading criteria (rubrics), will be made available on the assignment page (see “Assignments” on scholar).

Major Assignments:  70%

Rhetorical Analysis of a Cultural Artifact: 10%

Summary of an Academic Position: 15%

Op-Ed: 15%

Researched Memoir: 15%

Persuasive Video: 15%

Blog: 15%

Daily Writing Reflections (“Quizes”): 15%

Class Blog:

You will be writing one blog entry per week.

Blogging is an informal way of writing, and I am looking forward to a more unmediated and free-form way of getting to know you, your interests, and your writing. Of course, work that might be deemed truly offensive or inappropriate, such as hate speech, direct discussion of illegal or dangerous activities, discussion of activities that violate university policy, the Principles of Community, the Honor Code, or discuss explicit/graphic sexuality are inappropriate, and I will let you know immediately if anything you’ve posted has crossed the line and you will be required to take it down immediately.

Tentative Course Schedule

*Subject To Change at Instructor’s Will

Readings Are From They Say, I Say unless otherwise specified

Week 1:

W 1/20: The Rundown, Quiz 1 (How do you feel about writing?)

homework: read the syllabus

F 1/22: Quiz 2: The Syllabus Lecture/Discussion: Entering Class Discussions

homework: find a blog you like & post a link on the forum by Sunday at ten, set up your blog

Week 2:

M 1/25: Look at blogs and talk about blogging.

homework: first blog post, read “The Rhetorical Situation” by Bitzer (Posted On Scholar Site)

W 1/27: Quiz 3: Question about Bitzer’s: The Rhetorical situation. Lecture/Discussion: The Rhetorical Situation. Group 1’s blog will be read & graded by today.

homework: read Chapter 8 in “Composition at Virginia Tech”

F 1/29: Quiz 4: Question about Chapter 8. Lecture/Discussion: Rhetorical Analysis. Introduction to Assignment One. Homework: choose a cultural artifact to do a rhetorical analysis of. Blog posts due by Tuesday 9am.

Week 3:

M 2/1: Quiz 4: What artifact did you choose, and why? Group Work (Blog Groups): Quick Rhetorical Analysis of a blog post. Homework: Work on your Rhetorical Analysis (Assignment 1).

W 2/3: Individual Presentations: Rhetorical Analysis. Group 2’s blogs will be read and graded by today.

F 2/5: Individual Presentations: Rhetorical Analysis

Homework: Read Introduction. Blogs due Tuesday.

Week 4:

M 2/8: Quiz 5: Question about Introduction. Lecture/Discussion of Introduction. No additional Homework.

W 2/10: Group 3’s blogs read and graded by today. Blog-post sharing day and free discussion. (In groups, choose your favorite blog post and present/discuss). Homework: Read Chapter 1.

F 2/12: Quiz 6: Chapter One. Group Activity: Writing “they say”s for classmate’s opinions. Homework: Read Chapter 2.

Week 5:

M 2/15: Quiz 7: Chapter Two: Summarizing. Discussion/Lecture: Summarizing. Homework: Read Chapter 3.

W 2/17: Group 4s blogs read and graded by today. Quiz 8: Chapter Three: Quoting. MLA Citation Lecture.

F 2/19: Library Research Class.

Week 6:

M 2/22: Individual Conferences: Rough Draft of Assignment 2.

W 2/24: Individual Conferences

F 2/26: Individual Conferences.

Week 7:

M 3/01: Lecture/Discussion: Common Mistakes.

W 3/03: Group 1’s blogs read/commented by today. Blog Sharing Day.

F 3/05: Assignment 2 final draft due today. Homework: Read Chapter 4 & 5.

Week 8:

M 3/08: Spring Break (No Classes)

W: 3/10: Spring Break (No Classes)

F: 3/12: Spring Break (No Classes) Assignment 2 Returned and Graded by Today.

Week 9:

M: 03/15: Quiz 9: Question about Chapter 4 & 5. Lecture/Discussion on “Three Ways to Respond”, and “Distinguishing What You Say from What They Say. Homework: Read Chapter Six.

W: 03/17 Quiz 10: Question about Chapter 6. Homework: Read Chapter Seven.

F: 03/19 Quiz 11: Question about Chapter 7. Introduction to Assignment 3: Op-Ed. Homework: Read Op-Ed examples. Choose a topic and find at least two Op-Eds or Letters to the Editor on it, one that you think is good, and one that you think is not good.

Week 10:

M: 03/22: Quiz 12: Question about your topic. Group Activity: What are the “conventions of the op-ed genre”?

W: 03/24: Group 2’s Blogs graded/commented on by today. Discussion: What is your topic? Class discusses their own opinions.

F: 03/26 Assignment 3: Peer Workshop rough drafts.

Week 11:

M: 03/29 Assignment 3: Op-Ed Due. Homework: Read Chapter 8.

W: 03/31 Quiz 13: Question about Chapter 8. Lecture/Discussion of Chapter 8. Homework: Read Chapter 9.

F: 03/02: Quiz 14: Question about Chapter 9. Homework: Read Chapter 10.

Week 12:

M: 04/05: Quiz 15: Chapter Ten. Lecture/Discussion of Chapter 10. Homework: brainstorm a list of 10 important events/stories from your life.

W: 04/07: Group Work: Discuss the 10 events/stories from your life. Introduce Assignment 4: Researched Memoir. Homework: Read Memoir Examples.

Friday: 04/09: Quiz 16: Question about Memoir we read. Lecture/discussion: writing your memoir. Homework: Research Your Memoir.

Week 13:

M: 04/12: Individual Conferences: Researched Memoir.

W: 04/14: Individual Conferences: Researched Memoir.

Friday: 04/16: April 16th Memorial: No Class

Week 14:

M: 04/19: Researched Memoir Due. Introduction to Final Assignment: Persuasive Video Project. Meet in Groups. Homework: Find a Video and post on the forum.

W: 04/21: Discuss Videos.

F: 04/23: Discuss more videos.

Week 15:

M: 04/26: TBA

W: 04/28: TBA

F: 04/30: TBA

Week 16:

M: 05/03: Group Presentations. Quiz 17: Question about Presentations

W: 05/05 (Last Day of Class) Group Presentations. Quiz 18: Question about Presentations.

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