Katie Fallon’s 1106 Syllabus

English 1106: Writing from Research

CRN 12714, MW, 2:30-3:45pm, Davidson 303
CRN 12643, MW, 4-5:15pm, Davidson 303

Instructor: Katie Fallon
211 Shanks
Office phone:
Office hours:
10:30am-12pm Tuesdays and Thursdays or by appointment

Course Texts:

Mathieu, Paula, et al.  Writing Places. New York: Pearson Longman, 2006.
(Abbreviated WP on the schedule)

Virginia Tech Department of English.  Composition at Virginia Tech: Written,             Spoken and Visual Composition. Boston: Pearson Custom Publishing, 2008.              (Abbreviated Comp on the syllabus)

Course Description:

This is a special section of English 1106; it is offered as part of the Earth Sustainability course series within the Living in the 21st Century program.

This English 1106 course will challenge you to read, write, speak, and think critically about human relationships with nature and the environment.  Through the analysis of written and visual texts, reflections on personal experiences, the examination of arguable positions, and the study of research methods, you will develop an understanding of how written, spoken, and visual compositions shape our perceptions and beliefs about the world we live in.  In addition to the composition program’s custom textbook, you will read, discuss, and write about selections from Paula Mathieu’s Writing Places.

After completing English 1106, you should be able to successfully meet the learning outcomes listed by the Council of Writing Program Administrators.  The WPA Outcomes state that students completing first-year composition classes should have an understanding of rhetorical knowledge; understand critical thinking, reading, and writing; be aware that writing is a process; and understand the conventions of academic writing.  The WPA Outcomes are discussed in detail on pages 5-6 in Composition and throughout the textbook.

Course Requirements and Assignments:

  • This semester you will write three research documents in three different genres.  The first will be a fieldwork paper (7-8 pages).  The second will be a formal proposal (4-5 pages), and the third will be a more traditional “library” research paper (9-10 pages).  More specific requirements will be discussed in class.
  • You will complete ten informal “journal” assignments.  Journal assignments will include responses to homework readings, first drafts of essays, and other short assignments.
  • You will complete approximately ten unannounced in-class writing assignments over the course of the semester.  These cannot be made up.  Participation in peer workshops counts toward the in-class writing grade.
  • You will give an individual oral presentation to the class.

Course Policies:

  • If you must miss class due to an emergency, please contact me before the class that you will miss and make arrangements to turn in any assignments.  No late work will be accepted unless permission is given beforehand.
  • All work (except in-class writing) must be typed using Times New Roman 12-point font.  Papers must be double-spaced with one-inch margins on all four sides and set up according to MLA style (we will go over this).
  • A certain level of professionalism will be expected in class; please don’t disrupt class by showing up late, and please don’t text (or otherwise distract yourself electronically) during class time.
  • If you need adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, 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 as soon as possible.  Students with disabilities should contact the Services for Students with Disabilities Office in 150 Henderson Hall, http://www.ssd.vt.edu.
  • The Virginia Tech Honor Code states 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.”  The Honor Code will be upheld in this class.  Students are responsible for reading and abiding by all plagiarism policies discussed in the Student Handbook as well as those in the Honor System website.
  • The Virginia Tech Principles of Community will also be upheld in this class.  A copy of the Principles can be found on the inside front cover of your Composition textbook.

Final Grade Percentages:

Fieldwork Paper                         20%

Formal Proposal                         15%

Research Paper                          30%

Journal                                        20%

In-class Writing                         10%

Oral Presentation                        5%


*Subject to revision at any time*

Wednesday, January 21:              Introduction to the course

Monday, January 26:            Definitions:  What do we mean when we talk about “earth                                                             sustainability”?  How do visual, spoken, and written texts                                                             shape the ways we think about our environment and our                                                             future?  (Assign Journal #1.)

W 1/28:            Introduction to MLA and the fieldwork paper. Bring Comp. Journal #1 due.

M 2/2:                        Before class, read “On Being from Fargo” (page 24), “Structured Chaos”                                     (page 77), and “Robotic Iguanas” (page 134) in WP.  Journal #2 due.

W 2/4:                        Understanding the rhetorical situation.  Introduction to fieldworking skills.                                      Bring Comp and WP.

M 2/9:                        Before class, read “The Coffee Shop” (page 33), “Hazardous Cargo”                                     (page 85) and “King’s Chapel and Burying Ground” (page 116) in WP.                                     Journal #3 due.

W 2/11:            No formal class meeting. If you haven’t begun observing and interviewing yet, you should definitely do so now!

M 2/16:            Organization and conventions.  Student examples.  Bring Comp.

W 2/18:            Draft workshop. Bring two copies of a draft of fieldwork essay to class                                     (Journal #4).  Or, you may bring one hard copy and your laptop if you                                     prefer to work on your essay electronically.

M 2/23:            Peer workshop.  Bring two hard copies of a revised draft of fieldwork essay                         to class.

W 2/25:            Fieldwork essay due.  Introduction to research paper and formal proposal. Rhetorical situation revisited.  Bring Comp.

M 3/2:                        Library Instruction Session.  Meet in 207 Newman Library.

W 3/4:                        Journal #5 (begun during the library session) due.  Evaluating sources.

March 7-14: Spring Break!

M 3/16:             Before class, read “On the Range” (page 173) and “Serious Wind” (page                                     205).  Journal #6 due.

W 3/18:            Final proposal and conventions. Bring Comp.

M 3/23            Draft workshop of formal proposal.  Bring two copies to class (Journal #7).

W 3/25:            Peer workshop of formal proposal.  Bring two copies of a revised draft to                                     class.

M 3/30:            Formal proposal due.

W 4/1:                        Writing effective arguments and avoiding logical fallacies.  Bring Comp.

M 4/6:                        Strategies for integrating sources.  Bring Comp.  Journal #8 due.

W 4/8:                        Organizing the research paper.  Student examples.  Bring Comp.

M 4/13:              Style, mechanics, and conventions for research papers.  Bring Comp.

W 4/15:            Outlining and final reminders.  Discuss and sign up for presentations.                                      Bring Comp.

M 4/20:            Draft workshop of research paper.  Bring two copies of a draft to class                                     (Journal #9).

W 4/22:            Peer workshop. Bring two copies of a revised draft to class.

M 4/27:            Research paper due.

W 4/29:             Individual presentations.

M 5/4:                        Individual presentations.

W 5/6:                        Individual presentations.  Final reflection due (Journal #10).

There is no final exam for this class.

Have a great summer!!

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