Semester: Winter 2011
Teacher/Guide: Dr. James Schirmer
Office: 320D French Hall
Hours: Tues/Thurs by appointment
Mailbox: 326 French Hall
Writing Center: 559 French Hall
Writing Center Phone: 810.766.6602 (call ahead to make an appointment)
Writing Center Website: http://www.umflint.edu/departments/writingcenter/
English 567 is designed to provide a broad overview of current and historial theories in the field of Composition and Rhetoric. English 567 also addresses and examines how these theories influence the teaching of composition. The amalgamation of classroom activities, reading, and writing will help us better understand the writing process from a theoretical and practical standpoint.
Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:
- understand competing and complementary theories of composition within an historical context
- possess competences in modes of composition relevant to work and study in education and related fields
- understand the writing process and its implications for writing and writing instruction
- analyze composition theories and writing
All other reading materials will be available online or provided via email.
The grading contract outlines many parameters for the course, but not all. Below is more information about unique contributions to be made to the course by all students:
PRESENCE: I expect you to come to class on time, prepared, having completed the assigned reading and writing, and ready to contribute thoughts to class discussions, to listen with attentive respect to the thoughts of your peers, and to participate in all in-class group work. I strongly urge you to attend every class, as most of the work done in class is necessary for successful completion of the course.
BLOGGERY: Contrary to assumptions about writing, authorship is more of a collective process than an individual endeavor. To better illustrate this, you are required to create and maintain a blog for the duration of the course. Particular requirements for blogging are as follows:
- Blog posts, minimum of 1 per week, are due Wednesday by 11:59pm.
- Blog comments, minimum of 4 per week, are due Sunday by 11:59pm.
Further guidelines (including length requirements) are here.
FACILITATION: Starting Week 3, class sessions will begin with a student-led, 60-minute facilitation based on assigned readings. The facilitation should begin with a pecha kucha presentation, but what follows that is for each group to decide. The bulk of the facilitation can take whatever format is comfortable for the student pair presenting (discussion questions, in-class activities, online activities, etc.). Student pairs will meet with the instructor at least one week prior to their facilitation to discuss approaches.
ESSAYS: Two are required for this course. One will be a professional journal book review. Unlike the reports you may have written in grade school, professional journal book reviews expect the author to have an understanding of the larger field and related literature. The second essay will be a professional journal article about a particular theory/practice. You also have the option of creating your own syllabus for a future composition course, including 2 major writing assignments. Further details on each of these essays will be provided here at the appropriate time.
TWITTER: To create and sustain further conversation about technical communication, you are required to maintain active presence on Twitter. 5 tweets per week are also required, but there is freedom regarding content. I encourage you to post original thoughts, "retweet" classmates' updates, @ (reply to) classmates' updates and share relevant links. Posts unrelated to course content are okay, but will not count toward the post requirement. I am very active on Twitter, so I encourage all students to check my profile (and those I follow) for models of engagement.
A majority of the tools we will be using in and outside of class are web-based, so you will not need any special software. I might, however, have some recommendations (not requirements) that I will provide at appropriate intervals. Furthermore, you should have an email address that you check regularly for this class. While I prefer to contact students via university email, I am open to other email addresses.
While technology makes life easier, it can also be difficult (computer crashes, deleted work, unavailable Internet connections, etc.). So, plan accordingly. "The computer ate my homework" or "the Internet was down" are not reasons to forgo the work assigned. It is in your best interest to leave extra time, especially in the first few weeks, to ensure that technology does not get in the way of your coursework.
How to Reach Me
The best way to reach me is by email <email@example.com>. You can also contact me via Twitter <twitter.com/betajames>. I am online almost every day. If you email or @ me and do not receive a response within 24 hours, please feel free to email or @ me again as a reminder. I promise not to consider this harassment. If you are more comfortable with face-to-face communication, you are welcome to schedule an appointment Tuesday/Thursday. My office is 320D French Hall.
Should any aspect of class confuse/concern/trouble you, don't hesitate to contact me.