description: (from the AP
English Language and Composition course description). Standards at
This is an introductory college-level
course in which students will read and carefully analyze a broad and
challenging range of non-fiction prose selections, deepening their
awareness of rhetoric and how language works. Through close reading and
frequent writing, students develop their ability to work with language and
text with a greater awareness of purpose and strategy, while strengthening
their own composing abilities. Course readings feature expository,
analytical, personal and argumentative texts from a variety of authors and
historical contexts. Students will also prepare for the AP English
Language and Composition Exam and may be granted advanced placement,
college credit, or both as a result of satisfactory performance.
Because this is a college-level
course, performance expectations are high and the workload is
challenging. Students are expected to commit to a minimum of five hours
of course work per week outside of class. This work will involve
long-term writing and reading assignments, so effective time management is
important. The curriculum is demanding, so the students must bring to the
course a sufficient command of mechanical conventions and an ability to
read and discuss prose. The course is constructed with the guidelines
described in the AP English Course Description.
course will serve as an introduction to the discipline of writing and
academic discourse and will introduce you to college writing, thinking,
and reading tasks. In this course you will:
Distinguish between private and
public writing tasks.
- Learn to substantiate, evaluate, propose, argue and persuade.
- Learn that effective writing is based on clear, orderly thinking
- Analyze and interpret examples of good writing, identifying and
explaining an author’s use of rhetorical strategies and techniques.
- Produce expository, analytical, and argumentative compositions that
introduce a complex central idea and develop it with appropriate
evidence drawn from a variety of sources.
- Demonstrate understanding of how to cite primary and secondary
sources using established guidelines including MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.
- Learn to recognize areas in which you make errors in mechanics and
grammar and to develop editorial strategies for dealing with these
- Move effectively through the stages of the writing process including
inquiry and research, drafting, revising and review
- Use strategies such as peer editing and revising for a different
audience to produce a focused and effective final product
- Reflect on the writing process and become cognizant of your own
- Analyze images from a variety of sources as text (including
advertisements, billboards, magazines, paintings, etc.)
Blue or black pens
Hi Liters of
Loose leaf paper
50 Essays: A
Portable Anthology by Samuel
Cohen (textbook provided)
Students will come to class prepared to work every
day with no exceptions. Cell phones, pagers, CD players, and other
similar electronic devices will not be permitted in class. If these
devices are visible or audible during class, they will be confiscated and
turned over to a Dean. Soda and candy will not be permitted in class;
however, bottled water will be allowed. All South High School polices
will be followed in class, and each student will be respectful to his or
her self and others in the classroom.
The year is organized
around 10 thematic units/workshops modeled from the textbook The
Language of Composition:
Reading, Writing, Rhetoric by
Renee H. Shea, Lawrence Scanlon and Robin Dissin Aufses. Each workshop
will last approximately two-three weeks and will ask you to write through
a series of writing exercises that culminate in a final writing project at
the end of the workshop. In general outline, the workshops will ask you
to explore your experience, analyze and interpret examples of good
writing, and then respond to increasingly complicated writing tasks. The
workshops and writing tasks include:
Education Argument: Using Personal Experience
Work Close Reading: Analyzing Style in
Incorporating Sources into a Revision
Gender Argument: Supporting an Assertion
Fitness Rhetorical Analysis: Comparing Strategies in Paired
Language Reflection: Reflecting on
Technology Counterargument: Responding to a Newspaper Column
Culture Visual Rhetoric: Interpreting a Painting
Nature Visual Rhetoric: Analyzing a
Politics Argument: Responding to a
workshops, we will also be exploring the following rhetorical
classifications with writing tasks based on modeling a professional
Sections and Sample Readings: Education, Work, Community
Francie Prose, “I
Know Why the Caged Bird Cannot Read"
Margaret Talbot, “Best in Class”
James Baldwin, “A Talk to Teachers”
Kyoko Mori, “School”
Booker T. Washington, “The Atlanta Exposition Address”
Richard Seltzer, “The Surgeon as Priest”
Claudia O’Keefe, “The Traveling Bra Saleswoman’s Blues”
Ellen Goodman, “In Praise of a Snail’s Pace”
Thomas Carlyle, Labour
Annie Dillard, The Writing Life
Jane Howard, “All Happy Clans Are Alike: In Search of the Good Family”
Amitai Etzioni, “The New Community”
Sections and Sample Readings: Gender, Sports and Fitness
“Commencement Speech at Mount Holyoke”
Lori Arviso Alvord, “Walking the Path Between Worlds”
Virginia Woolf, “Professions for Women”
Gretel Ehrlich, “About Men”
Paul Theroux, “Being a Man”
Stephen Lewis, “AIDS Has a Woman’s Face”
Deborah Tannen, “There Is No Unmarked Woman”
Gay Talese, “The Silent Season of a Hero”
Theodore Roosevelt, “The Proper Place for Sports”
John McMurtry, “Kill ‘Em, Crush ‘Em, Eat ‘Em Raw!”
Kris Vervaecke, “A Spectator’s Notebook”
Rick Reilly, “The Real New York Giants”
Samuel G. Freedman, “For Fasting and Football, a Dedicated Game Plan”
Sections and Sample Readings: Language, Science/Technology, Popular
“Politics and the English Language”
Marjorie Agosin, “Always Living in Spanish”
Peter Berkowitz and Michael McFaul, “Studying Islam, Strengthening the
S.I. Hayakawa, “Bilingualism in America: English Should Be the Official
Loren Eiseley, “The Bird and the Machine”
T.H. Huxley, “The Method of Scientific Investigation”
Jacob Bronowski, “The Reach of Imagination”
Mihaly Csikszenthimihalyi, “The Future of Happiness”
Stephen Pinker, “The Blank Slate”
Ursala Franklin, “Silence and the Notion of the Commons”
Sven Birkerts, “Into the Electronic Millennium”
Elizabeth Royte, “Transsexual Frogs”
David Denby, High-School Confidential: Notes on Teen Movies”
Mark Twain, “Corn-Pone Opinions”
Brent Staples, “Godzilla vs. the Giant Scissors: Cutting the Antiwar Heart
Out of a Classic”
Vine Deloria Jr., “We Talk, You Listen”
Danyel Smith, “Dreaming America”
Scott McCloud, “Show and Tell”
Teresa Wiltz, “Popular Culture in the Aftermath of Sept. 11 is a Chorus
Without a Hook, a Movie Without an Ending”
Sections and Sample Readings: Nature, Politics
Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Nature”
Terry Tempest Williams, “The Clan of One-Breasted Women”
Chief Seattle, “Message to President Franklin Pierce”
Wendell Berry, “An Entrance to the Woods”
Wangari Muta Maathai, “2004 Nobel Peace Prize Speech”
Joyce Carol Oates, “Against Nature”
Jamaica Kincaid, “On Seeing England for the First Time”
Oliver Goldsmith, “National Prejudices”
Virginia Woolf, “Thoughts on Peace in an Air Raid”
Henry David Thoreau, “On the Duty of Civil Disobedience,
Wole Soyinka, “Every Dictator’s Nightmare”
In general, your essays should be double spaced,
typed pages. You will leave this course with an understanding of MLA, APA
and Chicago format.
We will also hold
“mini-workshops” on the following issues important to college writers:
Responding to timed
in-class writing assignments (taken from AP exams)
Quotation and the
punctuation of reported speech
Most of the extended
writing assignments in this class consist of two to four page papers that
explore the different rhetorical patterns listed above. There is an
emphasis on the prewriting, writing, and revision format. One-on-one
conferences will be held during the prewriting stage to help with thesis
development, outline and selection of source material. After drafts are
completed students will use peer editing to revise the draft and then
submit a final copy for grading. After final grading, the student has the
option to further revise for both a higher grade and for use of the
assignment in the 1st semester final portfolio. Essays will be
graded on the basis of style, syntax, grammar, focus, organization, and
the modes inherent to the rhetorical category. All these will be modeled
by the writing examples studied in class and the resulting writing tasks
that the students will complete.
Students receive instruction in the
SOAPSTone strategy developed by Tommy Boley and included in the College
Board workshop “Pre-AP®: Interdisciplinary Strategies for English and
Social Studies” for use in analyzing prose and visualtexts. This is a
text analysis strategy as well as a method for initially teaching students
how to craft a more thoughtful thesis.
In addition, we will be using the OPTIC strategy for interpreting visual
texts. The OPTIC strategy is
highlighted in Walter Pauk’s book How to Study in College and
provides students with key concepts to think about when approaching any
kind of visual text.
The following paragraph must be submitted
with proposals and all drafts of student assignments. Students must sign
below the paragraph to indicate that they are aware of this policy:
Plagiarism is using another person’s
thoughts and accomplishments without proper acknowledgment or
documentation. It is an unconscionable offense and a serious breach of the
honor code. In keeping with the policy, students will receive a zero for
the plagiarized work.
Attendance and Tardy Policy
attendance is required to be successful in this course. On the third
unexcused absence a parent/guardian conference will be required with the
Counselor and the Academic Dean. Students may be assigned to the Academic
Success Room to complete missing course work and obtain tutoring
assistance. Students with habitual attendance issues may be placed on an
attendance contract, face legal intervention through State attendance laws
or may be referred to an alternative school. Students who fail courses and
do not obtain credits will be required to attend after-school credit
recovery courses. A habitually truant student over the age of 16 may be
withdrawn from school by an administrator. The Assistant Principal of
Teaching and Learning will notify the parent/guardian by phone and mail.
(An appeals process will be developed during the fall of 2007.)
Also, it is the student’s responsibility
to find out what materials have been covered in class when an absence
occurs. If a quiz is assigned (I will always give you at least one class
period notice before a quiz) on a day you are absent, you are still
responsible for being prepared for that quiz upon your return, even if the
absence is excused. Only vocabulary quizzes can be made up, and they must
be made up on the first day of your return after an excused absence. It
would be advisable to get at least one classmate’s phone number in order
to find out what material has been covered in class.
All students will be granted three tardies in each
class per grading period. On the second tardy, I will inform parents of
the current tardy status and the next consequence. On the fourth tardy, a
referral will be given to the Dean of Students listing the dates of the
tardies and the date of parent contact. The student will then receive an
assignment to Saturday School. On the fifth tardy, the student will
receive an in-school suspension and a parent conference for re-entry into
Homework and Papers
Homework will be assigned throughout the semester
and will usually consist of writing and/or reading assignments. All
written homework will be completed and turned in the following class
period unless otherwise indicated. I will not accept homework later than
one day from the due date, and homework turned in one day late will
receive half credit. In the case of excused absences, arrangements will
be made to allow for make-up work. Longer writing assignments will be
given due dates in advance. Each day a paper is late it will be dropped
one letter grade. Although we will focus on revision for all writing
assignments, it is in your best interest to turn in first drafts will be
accepted for every paper completed in a timely manner to help raise your
grade, if a paper is more than one week late the maximum points possible
for that paper is 50%.
Your final grade for each semester will be
(50%): The 5 workshops (10 for the year) each count for 10%.
(25%): Due the last week of class, your
portfolio will include revised rewrites for at least two of your
papers, along with the original paper with teacher comments, and an
explanation for your choices and the changes you made to the
essays. A third paper from the semester will be re-written to
reflect a change in audience. At the end of the second semester the
portfolio will be replaced by a 7-10 page argumentative research
paper based on a topic of the students own choosing.
vocabulary quizzes and any major tests.
(10%): Each day you will
participate in a journal/dialectical journal/freewrite/etc. writing
Grades will be measured by the standard letter grade scale. The following
is the grading scale adopted by DPS for the 2008-2009 school year:
A- – 90-92%
B+ – 87-89%
B – 83-86%
B- – 80-82%
C+ – 77-79%
C – 73-76%
C- – 70-72%
D – 60-69%
F – 59% and below
A note on
submitting assignments in electronic format or via e-mail
Since I am a firm
believer in students learning how to function in an increasingly digital
environment, I gladly accept assignments saved on USB drives, CDs (no 3½
disks, please) or via e-mail; however, if your document will not open on
my computer and is submitted at the last minute, the assignment will be
considered late. If your e-mailed assignment does not show up in my
inbox, it will be considered late. Check with me for Word format
compatibility questions and possible blocking issues of e-mailed
Also, please remember
that I am here to help you. I am available 30 minutes before school,
during lunch and during my planning periods. You may also contact me via
e-mail with any questions you have and I will respond as soon possible. I
want each and every one of you to be successful in this class!
In addition to 50
Essays and The Language of Composition, we will be using
materials, strategies and assignments from a number of different textbooks
and collections. All of these titles (single copies) will be available in
the classroom for students to examine, use and check out.
Anson, Chris M.,
Robert A. Schegler and Marcia F. Muth. The Longman Writer’s
New York: Longman, 2000.
Longman Handbook for Writers and Readers. New York: Longman, 2000.
Behrens, Laurence and Leonard J. Rosen. Writing and
Reading Across the Curriculum.
New York: Longman, 2000.
and Cheryl Glenn. The New St. Martin’s Guide to Teaching Writing.
Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 1999.
ed. One Hundred Great Essays. 3rd ed. New York:
DiYanni, Robert and Pat C. Hoy II. Frames of Mind: A Rhetorical
Occasions for Writing. Boston: Thompson Wordworth, 2005
and Pat C. Hoy II. The Scribner Handbook for Writers. 2nd
and Bacon, 1998.
Joseph. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 6th
ed. New York:
Goshgarian, Gary, Kathleen Krueger and Janet Barnett Minc.
Dialogues: An Argument
Rhetoric and Reader. 3rd
New York: Longman, 2000.
and Mary Paumier Jones, eds. In Short: A Collection of Brief
New York: Norton, 1996.
and Robert Connors. The Everyday Writer: A Brief Reference.
Bedford/St. Martin’s, 1999.
K. The Informed Argument. 7th ed. Boston:
Thompson Wadsworth, 2007.
Ramage, John D.
and John C. Bean. The Allyn and Bacon Guide to Writing. 2nd
Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 2000.
Reid, Stephen. The Prentice Hall
Guide for College Writers. 5th ed. New Jersey:
Roskelly, Hephzibah and David A. Jolliffe. Everyday Use:
Rhetoric at Work in
New York: Pearson Longman, 2005.
Norman and Mark Kramer, eds. Literary Journalism: A New
Collection of the Best
American Nonfiction. New York: Ballantine Books,