Spring 2006

T 6:10-9:00 pm

PH 314a

Office: PH 303A

Office phone: PH 898-2588

Office Hours: W 2:30-5:30



English 1010 is the first course in your two-semester freshman writing sequence. We will be concerned with both the process of writing and the actual text that you will produce. We will focus on improving your knowledge of what makes an effective college-level essay and will spend time looking at strategies that will improve your papers on the levels of content, organization, vocabulary, grammar, and mechanics. In order to generate ideas for our class discussions and writing assignments, we will view television series, read models of non-fiction writing in Common Culture, and do supplemental reading as needed. Being “present” in 1010 entails more than being physically present. This is not a lecture course; it is a demanding, fast-paced course requiring reading, writing, and participation in class discussions.


§  HHH: Hodges’ Harbrace Handbook, 15th edition, by Webb, Miller, and Horner

§  FC: Surviving Freshman Composition, 2nd edition by Smith and Smith

§  Common Culture, 4th edition, by Petracca and Sorapure

§  Any digital material presented over email, the UWC website, or WebCT is the equivalent of a required text


§  Access to the internet (WebCT) and word processing software (MS Word only)

§  One-subject notebook for daily in-class writings (by Tuesday, January 24)

§  E-mail address that you check regularly


To pass the course and earn three credit hours, you must earn an overall class average of C or above. Although I will use the grade “D” in grading assignments, anyone receiving an overall grade “D” or below will not pass the class.

Note: Because you own the essay that you write, I will use an evaluation form when I grade instead of making comments on the papers. To calculate your grade, I will divide the percentage of the points you earn on the essay by the total possible points on the form.

Use this scale to convert points to letter grades: 1000-895=A / 894-865 B+ / 864-795=B / 794-765=C+ / 764-695=C / 694-595 = D / 594 and below = F

*First time 1010 students who have met all course requirements may be given an “N” instead of an “F” for the final grade. This grade is only possible for those who have met the attendance policy and turned in all assignments.


Diagnostic (Essay One) 50 pts.

Essay Two 200 pts.

Essay Three 200 pts.

Essay Four 250 pts.

Class Presentation 100 pts.

Class Participation: attendance, homework, class work, workshops, quizzes, tests, in-class writing 200 pts.

[75 daily pts= 5/class; 50 pts= reading pres; 25 pts= intro par pres; 20 pts= journal; 30 pts= 10/ quiz]


§  Attendance and class participation are both mandatory if you want to pass this course. At MTSU, the instructor sets the policy for attendance; be sure to understand my attendance policy before deciding to stay in this class. In my class, absences are neither excused nor unexcused; you are allowed two absences for the semester without penalty. Each absence after the second will result in ten points being subtracted from your final grade. The only exception to this rule is for university-sanctioned absences IF you provide your absence schedule to me before your absence.

§  Five daily points will be awarded for completing all work, journals, quizzes, and for participating in class.

§  If you miss class and do not turn in assigned work beforehand, you will not receive credit for the work—no exceptions. This policy is firm; don’t even ask. You will not receive daily points for any class that you miss; this is the price of being absent.

§  Be on time to class! Two tardies equal one absence, and you will not receive any daily points.

§  NO CELL PHONES—Keep your phone on silent, turn it off BEFORE coming into the classroom, or DON”T BRING IT TO CLASS. If your cell phone rings or if you have any cell phone activity (making a call, playing games, text messaging), you will not receive any daily points.

§  You will be involved in two group presentations and one individual presentation in the class. Your score for these projects may include self, peer, and professor evaluations.

§  We will begin and end each class with an on-task writing in your journal. Bring your journal to EVERY class meeting. Journal grades are based on completion.


§  Per the English Department guidelines, you will be writing four essays based on readings from your text(s) and/or outside sources. The compositions will range in length from 4 to 5 pages.

§  All papers and assignments are due BEFORE class on the day that they are due. If this is a problem because of your work schedule or commuting, turn the essay in early! However, life happens. You have one and only one exception to this late paper policy; you can turn one paper in up to one class period late without a grade penalty. Any other late papers WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED, and you will receive a zero. This exception, however, is not applicable to Essay 4, which must be turned in on the due date, or you will receive a zero. Presentations will not be accepted late.

§  All papers will be typed, double-spaced, printed in black readable print, and formatted in MLA style. In addition, all papers will use a 12-point Times New Roman font and will have a 1” margin at the top, bottom, and both sides. (NOTE: The default settings for MS Word are 1.25” for the left and right margins—you will need to reset the margins to 1”.)

§  All papers must be submitted in digital form. Your essays should be e-mailed in MS Word format only and as only an attachment. Do not paste the essay in the body of the e-mail. If you have some other word processing program, be sure to save your file in rich text format (.rtf).

§  I will not talk/email about paper grades within the first 24 hours after you get them back.

§  WRITING WORKSHOPS—When we have writing workshops (for revision and editing) in class, you must bring the required copies of your essay to class and evaluate the papers of others in order to receive full daily point credit. Missing a writing workshop will also reduce your final essay grade by 5 points each. Once during the semester, you will also be required to present your introduction paragraph to the entire class.

§  Essays will be returned to you at least one full class period before the next essay is due. Essay four will be returned during the final exam time.


Be sure to visit the English Department’s website at http://www.mtsu.edu/~english2 for more information on MTSU’s policies on civility in the classroom, academic dishonesty, disabled services, and absences/tardies. Also available are the English Department’s standards, goals, writing requirements, and grading procedures for English 1010. English Department guidelines are also included in Surviving Freshman Composition.


§  PLAGIARISM WILL NOT BE TOLERATED IN THIS CLASS. You will receive a zero for a plagiarized paper. MTSU policy requires that I notify judicial affairs in any plagiarism case. This matter is serious and equivalent to criminal fraud or theft. My expectation is that, as a university student, you can do any assignment in this class without cheating. I have access to the website MyDropBox.com, which allows me to search the entire internet and essay databases for plagiarism in your papers. In addition to the above, you will be required to read over, sign, and turn in the plagiarism statement found in Surviving Freshman Composition (2nd ed., p. 11) by January 24. There are no exceptions to this policy; students failing to take this small measure will not receive credit for any work done in this class. Signing the form shows that you are aware of what constitutes plagiarism. Also, any questionable citations or lack of credit to the original source may result in an automatic 55 on the essay.

§  The Writing Center is located in PH 325 and on the web at www.mtsu.edu/~uwcenter for students to receive valuable one-on-one assistance with their writing. Conferences are available by appointment only (904-8237); don’t wait until the last minute to seek their help! In order to receive three points extra credit (per visit) for attending the University Writing Center, you must write a brief narrative paragraph about your experience (i.e. what you discussed, what you learned, how your writing changed after the session). I will accept these paragraphs through email (with each essay) on the day the essay is due.

§  Scholarships and Student Loans—You must adhere to the terms and conditions of whatever financial support from which you benefit. I am not responsible for any neglect of your duties. This statement applies in particular to the lottery-funded Hope scholarships. Students receiving the lottery scholarships must earn a 2.75 GPA after attempting 24 credit hours and a 3.0 GPA after attempting 48 hours or more. Students who drop below full-time status (12 hours) during the first 14 days of the semester will have their awards adjusted and will owe money to the University. Students who drop after the 14th day of class will have their future lottery scholarships suspended unless the drop was approved in advance by the Office of Financial Aid. Students may appeal the suspension if the drop is due to documented personal illness, illness or death of immediate family member, extreme financial hardship, military service, or other extraordinary circumstances beyond the student’s control. The lottery appeal form may be obtained at www.edy/financialaid/forms. For more lottery information please see www.tenesseescholardollars.com. You can also find up to date information at http://mtsu32.mtsu.edu:11447/telsprogram.htm.

§  Please Note: Email is the best way to contact me, but it is not a 24-hour link to my brain. I do not return phone calls, but I will (obviously) respond to emails. Please be responsible, and call me or come by during my office hours if you need to speak with me in a timely manner. Also, if you schedule an appointment with me outside of class and cannot make it, please have the courtesy to cancel at least 2 hours before the scheduled time.

§  Please Note: In case of wintry weather, please check www.mtsu.edu for cancellations. Also, please check your email before coming to class on days of extreme weather conditions.

§  Please Note: If you need special accommodations due to a disability, please provide a letter from Disabled Student Services (898-2783) to me at the beginning of the semester. I am happy to provide special accommodations but need to know in advance.

§  Please Note: This is a classroom for mature adults ready for discussion of all media and materials. Some of the subjects we will be discussing, viewing, or reading may make you uncomfortable, and some may challenge ideas that you hold. I do not ask that you embrace or like all of the works that we read, television episodes that we view or the ideas that are raised in discussion; I do, however, ask that you discuss the texts and ideas in a civil and intellectually-engaged manner. If this is a problem, then PLEASE drop this class. This is a non-discriminatory classroom, and all viewpoints are to be respected.

§  THIS IS A CONTRACT! This syllabus is a contract between you (as the student) and me (as the instructor). By staying in this class, you are agreeing to follow all the guidelines given above and to be responsible for your own actions.