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Dr. Jesse Peters
PO Box 1510
Pembroke, NC 28372

Phone: 910.521.6635

Location: Dial 260 A
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English 105 Spring 2005 TR 11:00-12:15

Instructor: Dr.Jesse Peters
Office:  Dial Humanities 117
Office Phone:  521-6635
Office Hours: TR 10:00-11:00; W 5:00-6:30; email; and by appointment
Links to assignments and groups are at the end of this syllabus.


To enroll in English 105, you must have a passing grade on the freshman writing sample or a passing grade in 104.

Course Objectives

By the end of the course, student essays should demonstrate a mastery of:

1) Rhetorical Knowledge

* Understand rhetorical situations, that is, how audience, writer, subject matter, and purpose, inform one another.
* Respond appropriately to different kinds of rhetorical situations.
* Draft clear, effective thesis sentences.
* Develop their ideas deeply.
* Organize papers consciously and effectively (having moved beyond a 3-body-paragraph structure).

2) Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing

* Use writing and reading for inquiry, learning, critical thinking, and communicating.
* Develop their own unique ideas in expository essays.
* Incorporate readings into their own writing by summarizing, paraphrasing, and quoting.

3) Processes

* Appreciate that writing is not just a product but an open, non-linear process whereby a product is created.
* Understand that writing requires students to make decisions throughout their writing process.
* Be aware that it usually takes multiple drafts and intensive revision to create and complete a successful text.
* Develop flexible strategies for generating, revising, editing, and proofreading, recognizing that different writing tasks require different writing processes.
* Understand the collaborative and social aspects of writing processes by, for example, critiquing their own and others’ work and by learning to balance others’ input and their own final responsibility as writers.

4) Knowledge of Conventions

* Write in complete, clear sentences.
* Control such surface features as varied sentence structure, syntax, grammar, punctuation, and spelling so that most distracting errors are eliminated.
* Practice appropriate means of documenting their work.
* Develop strong editorial skills.

Note: Please refer to the ETL department’s website for departmental guidelines and plagiarism policy If you are caught plagiarizing, you will fail the course and will be reported to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.

Required Texts:

Ways of Reading, Bartholomae & Petrosky
SF Writer,  Ruszkiewicz, Hairston, and Seward

General Information

This is a writing intensive course, so we will be doing a lot of it. It is up to you to keep up and come to class prepared each day. We will also be using your essays as a means of entering into discussion about the readings and about how to improve your writing abilities. Your writing will be talked about openly in a workshop format, so you have a responsibility, not only to yourself, but to your classmates as well, to explore and explain your thoughts to the best of your ability. Composition is not a way to answer questions; it is a way to ask them, to enter into them, to look at them, and, hopefully, to move forward toward other questions. The best writing reflects difficulty and frustration and acknowledges the fact that answers are neither steadfast nor universal. Writing is using language to create and understand.

During the first eight weeks or so of the semester, we will be working towards producing three essays in response to the readings we will discuss. The last part of the semester will be devoted to revising two of these essays to be included in a final portfolio.

Take heed of the following:

1. Attendance is mandatory. If you miss class, you are responsible for familiarizing yourself with the material you missed. If you miss more than 4 classes, I can fail  you--no questions asked. This absence policy is a departmental policy. I suggest saving your absences for when you are sick or have an emergency; that's what they are for.
2. I do not accept late papers or assignments of any kind without my previous consent. See me ahead of time if  you have problems with assigned due dates. Also, be sure to talk to me if you are  having trouble with assignments.
3. You will be assigned to work with a group throughout the semester; groups may be  changed at mid-semester. Sometimes you will be meeting with me and sometimes on your own. Individual conferences may also be scheduled. Attending all meetings  is mandatory. Missing meetings or group sessions will count as absences.
4. I would appreciate all work done outside of class to be typed, double-spaced.  However, the longer essays and all work included in the portfolio must be typed.
5. Disruptive behavior will not be tolerated (talking while others are talking, coming in late, cell phones ringing, rude comments, etc.). If behavior like this persists, you will be asked to leave the class and receive a grade of F for the course.

Note: Any student with a documented disability needing academic adjustments is requested to speak directly to Disability Support Services (Career Services Center, Room 210, 521-6270) and the instructor, as early in the semester (preferably within the first week) as possible. All discussions will remain confidential.


Informal Writing 50 pts. 5%
Peer Review 1 50 pts. 5%
Peer Review 2 50 pts. 5%
Peer Review 3 50 pts. 5%
Portfolio 800 pts. 80%
Total 1000 pts. 100%

I use a thousand point grading system. All grades will be given as numbers with final grades computed as follows: A=933-1000; A-=900-932; B+=866-899; B=833-865; B-=800-832; C+=766-799; C=733-765; C-=700-732; D+=666-699; D=633-665; D-=600-632; F=<600.


Portfolio (800 pts.)

During the last week of class, you will turn in to me a portfolio which contains the following:

1) Two revised papers (4-6 pages each) developed from sequenced assignments that demonstrate:
 >the writer’s ability to analyze, interpret, and evaluate another writer’s text
 >the writer’s ability to make and support a point incorporating information and evidence from or responding to another writer’s text (using the text in the body of the paper)
> all drafts of these essays must be included, so don't lose your work.

2) A cover letter written by the student
 In this letter, students should discuss what they were trying to accomplish in each  essay, offer an analysis of their writing strengths and weaknesses, and  acknowledge any outside tutoring they have received (from the writing center,  friends, family, etc.)

These portfolios will be read by other faculty members and be given a mark of Pass or Fail. After that, I will assign points to the portfolio. In order to take 106 this course, you must receive a grade of C or better or at least 733 points total.

3 Short Essays

Each short essay will be three to five pages in length, typed double-spaced with one inch margins on all sides. Do not use a title page; put your name, ID, and title on the top of the first page.  Number all pages. These papers will be commented on extensively and will receive a mark of P (pass), NP (no pass), or P- (borderline). I believe that composition students should have the opportunity to be rewarded for improving their writing. Therefore, these essays will not be "graded" in the traditional way. The goal is to make the papers the absolute best that they can be by the time they go into the portfolio. All essays must be completed, and all deadlines met in order to pass the course. If you do not turn in an essay on time, you will fail.

Workshops and Peer Reviews (150 pts.)

Each student will be assigned to a group of three or four other students. These groups will work together as you help each other improve your essays. Sometimes the groups will meet with me in a workshop format, and other times the groups will work individually. On some occasions, you will be asked to fill out peer review sheets which will be graded. The peer reviews and conferences are a significant part of your grade, and I expect everyone to take it seriously and to put effort into making your papers better and helping others. If you miss a conference with me or a peer review session, you will be counted absent. It is also up to each group to make sure that your peer review sessions run smoothly. If a member of your group shows up unprepared (without a quality draft) tell them to come and see me. Don't allow your grade to suffer because of someone else. A schedule of conference and peer review dates and times with more detail is available at the bottom of this page.

Sometimes the schedule may call for you to log into the Blackboard Course Site rather than meeting in the classroom. There we will chat in the virtual classroom. Sometimes I will ask you to complete other assignments inside the course site. We will always meet in the virtual classroom unless otherwise noted. Being late for these meetings is the same as being late for class. The same goes for absences. The requirements for hardware, software, and skills necessary to successfully navigate this online environment are available here: Online Course Skills.

Informal Writing and Participation (50 pts.)

Periodically, you will be asked to write short assignments which I will take up and grade. These assignments will usually be worth 5 or 10 points each, but you should take them very seriously. I expect good writing at all times, not just on the long essays. It is up to you to put in the effort required for improving your writing.

Detailed assignment sequences will be posted on the web throughout the semester.
All reading and writing assignments are due on the date they are described.

WR means Ways of Reading
SF mean SF Writer (handbook)


Sequence 1
Sequence 2
Sequence 3
Syllabus for the Rest of the Semester

Portfolio Requirements

Clarity Handout
Structure Handout

This publication is available in alternative formats upon request. Please contact Mary Helen Walker, Disability Support Services, Career Services Center, Room 210, 521-6270.


Updated: Friday, January 9, 2009

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