EG  11, Section 1026
Fall 2001
M F 12:30-1:45

Welcome to Composition Class

EG 11 is a course designed to help students become effective writers by leading them into more expressive and precise writing habits.  In this class we will experiment with different techniques for getting started on a writing task and for making your writing more clear.  Assignments will focus on the important steps involved in producing a finished piece of writing:  prewriting, writing, revising, and the final paper.  Class participation is crucial for progress in all of these steps, as is constructive interaction with your fellow writers in the class.  Through discussions, readings, classroom activities, and lots of writing and revising (both individually and in groups) you will become better and more confident writers.  Because we have much to do in only one semester, you need to familiarize yourselves from the start with the requirements for this class.

Attendance:  Come to class - on time.  I will allow three absences, if you have your missed work ready to hand in at the next class.  Lateness of fifteen minutes or more counts as one-half a cut, so be punctual.

Required Materials:  Instead of asking you to buy textbooks this semester, I have made up a booklet of class readings.  In addition to this booklet you will need a spiral notebook to use as a journal and a folder to hold all your writing for this course.  (I will need to see all your work at conferences in order to discuss your progress.)  You must bring the reading booklet and spiral notebook to each class, along with prepared homework assignments.

Grades:  Your final grade will be based on class participation, in-class writing, assigned papers, and the research project.  Graded and corrected assigned papers should be rewritten with the suggested corrections; a carefully rewritten paper can raise your grade for each assignment.  Participation in class discussion is expected, though I understand that some of you find it difficult.  As an incentive to encourage discussion, please understand that participation can only help your grade, and may be the determining factor in the case of a borderline A, B+,etc.  Classwork and assigned papers = 70% of the final grade.
The research paper = 30% of the final grade.

 Your strengths and weaknesses will determine the weekly assignments and class activities, so I will not list day by day assignments now.  Instead, I offer here an outline of topics we will explore - with details to be filled in as we progress,

 Best wishes for an interesting and productive semester.

- Weekly Agenda -

Introduction  Week 1
The writing process.  Journal keeping.  Class objectives.  First writing sample.

Writing Effective Sentences  Weeks 2,3
Precise word choice.  Avoiding wordiness and triteness.  Parallelism.

Building the Coherent Paragraph  Weeks 4,5
Audience and purpose.  The topic sentence.  Paragraph unity.  Ordering ideas.  Transitional expressions.  The concluding sentence.

Strategies of Paragraph Development  Weeks 6,7
Description.  Narration.

Revising for Mechanics; Editing for Content  Week 8
Editing ones own work.  Peer editing.  Making revisions.  Conferences.

Getting Started on the Research Paper  Week 9
Choosing a topic.  Finding library materials.  Defining and avoiding plagiarism.

More Types of Essays  Weeks 10,11
Process analysis.  Comparison and contrast.  Division and classification.  Definition.

Term Paper Progress  Week 12
In-class reports of methods and results to date.

Getting Back to Essays   Weeks 13,14
Cause and effect.  Persuasion and argument,  Humor and satire.

Term Paper Due  Week 15
Final conferences.

A Summing Up  Week 16