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English 1020

Section 011

MWF, 9:35 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

211 State Hall


Instructor: Conor Shaw-Draves

Email: dx9426@wayne.edu

Office Phone: TBA

Office Hours: Wednesdays, 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., and by appointment


General Education Designation

With a grade of C or better, ENG 1020 fulfills the General Education Basic Composition (BC) graduation requirement. Successful completion of Basic Composition (BC) with a grade of C or better is a prerequisite to enrolling in courses that fulfill the General Education IC (Intermediate Composition) requirement for graduation (e.g., ENG 3010, 3050, Literature&Writing courses).

More information on the General Education requirements is available from the Undergraduate Programs office:


Course Description

Building upon students’ diverse skills, English 1020 prepares students for reading, research, and writing in college classes. The main goals of the course are (1) to teach students to consider the rhetorical situation for any piece of writing; (2) to have students integrate reading, research, and writing in the academic genres of analysis and argument; and (3) to teach students to develop analyses and arguments using research-based content, effective organization, and appropriate expression and mechanics, all while using a flexible writing process that incorporates drafting, revising, editing, and documenting sources.

To achieve these goals, the course places considerable emphasis upon the relationship between reading and writing, the development and evaluation of information and ideas through research, the genres of analysis and argumentation, and the use of multiple technologies for research and writing.


Section Description

More specifically, our class will take up the above objectives on three levels: we will engage the critical and theoretical aspects of persuasion (the limits of and boundaries between fact and persuasion), the pragmatic process of composition (how to write compellingly and persuasively), and the mechanics of composing (grammar, sentence structure, arrangement, etc.). We will read an extensive list of texts stretching from the fourth century B.C.E. to contemporary times, and participants will produce numerous short written responses to these readings in addition to multiple drafts of larger compositions.


The bulk of your final grades will be based on your execution of six projects, evenly divided between critical works (advertising, rhetorical, and cultural analyses) and work arranged around the traditional rhetorical stases (definition, evaluation, proposal arguments). Five of these projects will be posted online to our course wiki and you are encouraged to take advantage of the possibilities of online publication (hyperlinks, image embedment, etc.). Your final project will be composed on a separate online presence of your own design. If you wish, you will have many opportunities to collaborate with your classmates.


Learning Objectives

A passing grade in ENG 1020 indicates that students are able to:

  • use analytical and critical strategies for reading complex texts with varied sources of information, multiple perspectives, and complicated arguments
  • identify and evaluate the structure of analysis and argument in a variety of texts and media, including authors’ claims, evidence, appeals, organization, style, and persuasive effect
  • analyze the rhetorical situation for writing assignments, including audience, purpose, and context
  • conduct research by finding and evaluating print and electronic sources, generating information and ideas from research, and integrating material from sources in analysis and argument
  • write using a flexible writing process that includes generating ideas, writing, revising, providing/responding to feedback in multiple drafts, and editing for grammar, mechanics, and style
  • write effectively in multiple analytical and argumentative genres, generating a clearly defined topic and purpose/thesis, organizing and developing complex content and reasoning, and using MLA style for citation and documentation
  • make productive use of a varied set of technologies for research and writing



(All books available at campus B & N bookstore; additional readings will be provided online or via e-mail or Blackboard).


Required Good Reasons: Researching and Writing Effective Arguments (4th Edition)

Required: They Say/I Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing (2nd Edition)

Required: Fame Junkies: The Hidden Truth Behind America's Favorite Addiction

Required: Shooting War

Recommended: SF Writer (4th Edition)



In addition our major projects (listed below), you will also be evaluated based on your participation in class and the completion of short responses and drafting exercises that will be assigned throughout the semester. There are no quizzes or exams in this course. Due dates for assignments can be found here, and are also available on the schedule page.


Credit breakdown for assignments is as follows:

  • Project One (Ad Analysis), 4-6 pages: 10%
  • Project Two (Rhetorical Analysis), 4-6 pages: 10%
  • Project Three (Definition Argument), 6-8 pages: 20%
  • Project Four (Evaluation Argument), 6-8 pages: 20%
  • Project Five (Proposal Argument), 8-10 pages: 30%
  • Participation / Responses, equivalent of 10 pages: 10%



Late Assignments: Late assignments will be marked down by 10% for each day they are turned in late. Assignments more than one week late will not be accepted.

Revisions: Revisions will be required for all five assignments. First drafts will be workshopped in class, and the final draft will be due one week after the in-class workshop.



Although individual projects in this course have specific grading guidelines, the general rubric for grades in our course is as follows:


The "A" Paper:

  1. The "A" paper has an excellent sense of the rhetorical situation. Its aim is clear and consistent throughout the paper. It attends to the needs of its audience and the topic itself is effectively narrowed and clearly defined.
  2. The content is appropriately developed for the assignment and rhetorical situation. The supporting details or evidence are convincingly presented. The reasoning is valid and shows an awareness of the complexities of the subject. If secondary sources are used, they are appropriately selected and cited.
  3. The organization demonstrates a clear and effective strategy. The introduction establishes the writer's credibility and the conclusion effectively completes the essay: paragraphs are coherent, developed, and show effective structural principles.
  4. The expression is very clear, accessible, concrete. It displays ease with idiom and a broad range of diction. It shows facility with a great variety of sentence options and the punctuation and subordinate structures that these require. It has few errors, none of which seriously undermines the effectiveness of the paper for educated readers.



The "B" Paper:

  1. The "B" paper has a good sense of the rhetorical situation. It shows awareness of purpose and focuses on a clearly defined topic.
  2. The content is well developed and the reasoning usually valid and convincing. Evidence and supporting details are adequate.
  3. The organization is clear and easy to follow: the introduction and conclusion are effective, and transitions within and between paragraphs are finessed reasonably well.
  4. The paper has few errors, especially serious sentence errors. Sentences show some variety in length, structure, and complexity. Punctuation, grammar, and spelling conform to the conventions of edited Standard American English.



The "C" Paper:

  1. The "C" paper has an adequate sense of the rhetorical situation. Its purpose is clear and it is focused on an appropriate central idea. The topic may be unoriginal, but the assignment has been followed, if not fulfilled.
  2. The content is adequately developed. The major points are supported, and paragraphs are appropriately divided, with enough specific details to make the ideas clear. The reasoning is valid.
  3. The organization is clear and fairly easy to follow. The introduction and conclusion are adequate; transitions are mechanical but appropriate.
  4. The expression is generally correct, although it shows little competence with sentence variety (in length and structure) and emphasis. The paper is generally free of major sentence and grammar errors and indicates mastery of most conventions of edited Standard American English.



The "D" Paper:

  1. The "D" paper has a limited sense of the rhetorical situation. Its purpose may not be clear, its topic may not be interesting to or appropriate for its audience.
  2. The content is inadequately developed. The evidence is insufficient, and supporting details or examples are absent or irrelevant.
  3. Organization is deficient. Introductions or conclusions are not clearly marked or functional. Paragraphs are not coherently developed or linked to each other. The arrangement of material within paragraphs may be confusing.
  4. Expression demonstrates an awareness of a very limited range of stylistic options. It is marred by numerous errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation that detract from a reader’s comprehension of the text.



The "F" Paper:

  1. There is no sense of the rhetorical situation or of the objectives of the assignment as described in the syllabus.
  2. The content is insufficiently developed and does not go beyond the obvious. The reasoning is deeply flawed.
  3. The organization is very difficult to follow. Sentences may not be appropriately grouped into paragraphs, or paragraphs may not be arranged logically. Transitions are not present or are inappropriate.
  4. The number and seriousness of errors—in grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc.—significantly obstruct comprehension.



As this is a discussion and workshop-driven class, attendance of all participants is particularly important. In accordance with English department attendance policies, enrolled students in this class must attend one of the first two class sessions; otherwise, they may be required to drop the class. 


The last day to drop classes and get full tuition reimbursement is September 15, 2010. The last day to drop classes and not have them show on your transcript is September 29, 2010. After this date, an official withdrawal is necessary. The last day to withdraw from classes is December 14, 2010. Failure to officially withdraw from this class will result in a failing grade.


Academic Dishonesty

Plagiarism is the act of copying work from books, articles, and websites without citing and documenting the source. Plagiarism includes copying language, texts, and visuals without citation (e.g., cutting and pasting from websites). Plagiarism also includes submitting papers that were written by another student or downloaded from the internet. Plagiarism is a serious academic offense: the minimum penalty for plagiarism is an F for the assignment; the full penalty for plagiarism may result in an F for the course. All cases of plagiarism in ENG 1020 will be reported to the Department of English. Information about plagiarism procedures is available in the Department of English.

Major assignments in ENG 1020 will be submitted to SafeAssign on Blackboard. SafeAssign includes in its data base papers previously written by WSU students as well as papers plagiarized from print or internet sources. All papers submitted to SafeAssign become part of the WSU data base.


See also WSU's Policy on Academic Dishonesty; for more about the definition of plagiarism, consult your local library.


Incomplete Policy

As detailed in the WSU Undergraduate Bulletin, the mark of “I” (Incomplete) is given to a student when he/she has not completed all of the course work as planned for the term and when there is, in the judgment of the instructor, a reasonable probability that the student can complete the course successfully without again attending regular class sessions. The student should be passing at the time the grade of ‘I’ is given. A written contract specifying the work to be completed should be signed by the student and instructor. Responsibility for completing all course work rests with the student.


The Writing Center

The Writing Center (2nd floor, UGL) provides individual tutoring consultations free of charge for students at Wayne State University. Undergraduate students in General Education courses, including composition courses, receive priority for tutoring appointments. The Writing Center serves as a resource for writers, providing tutoring sessions on the range of activities in the writing process – considering the audience, analyzing the assignment or genre, brainstorming, researching, writing drafts, revising, editing, and preparing documentation. The Writing Center is *not* an editing or proofreading service; rather, students are guided as they engage collaboratively in the process of academic writing, from developing an idea to editing for grammar and mechanics. To make an appointment, consult the Writing Center website:
To submit material for online tutoring, consult the Writing Center HOOT website (Hypertext One-on-One Tutoring):


Library Resources

ENG 1020 students should use the WSU Undergraduate Library website in their research. The Undergraduate Library offers a wide variety of sites and services for undergraduates, including Ask-a-Librarian, reference tools (e.g., for citation styles) and learning tools (e.g., for an assignment planner). More information is available on the library website and the pages for Reference Tools and Learning Tools:
The library also has a YouTube channel, which provides short videos on how to search for books and articles, how to evaluate websites, and how to recognize a scholarly article:
In addition, the library offers re:Search (formerly Searchpath), which is a set of self-directed online instructional modules on library research:
Modules include an introduction to the library (Starting Smart), choosing a topic, finding books using the catalog and articles using indexes and data bases, researching on the internet, and avoiding plagiarism by citing sources. Instructors can work re:Search into an assignment sequence: students can complete one or more modules, take quizzes, and have the quiz results emailed to instructors.
Finally, the Undergraduate Library has extensive subject Guides for over 60 disciplines and 15 How to Guides for students:
There is a specific and extensive Guide for English:
The tabs across the top provide links to Articles, Books, and Web Resources. On the English Guide, there is a special tab for ENG 1010/1020, with links to pages on finding books, background information, and articles, with links to data bases such as Proquest and the Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center.


Other Resources:

Student Disability Services http://studentdisability.wayne.edu/

If you have a documented disability that requires accommodations, you will need to
register with Student Disability Services (SDS) for coordination of your academic
accommodations. The Student Disability Services (SDS) office is located at 1600 David
Adamany Undergraduate Library in the Student Academic Success Services department.
SDS telephone number is 313-577-1851 or 313-577-3365 (TDD only). Once you have
your accommodations in place, I will be glad to meet with you privately during my office
hours to discuss your special needs. Student Disability Services’ mission is to assist the
university in creating an accessible community where students with disabilities have
an equal opportunity to fully participate in their educational experience at Wayne State

Please be aware that a delay in getting SDS accommodation letters for the current
semester may hinder the availability or facilitation of those accommodations in a timely
manner. Therefore, it is in your best interest to get your accommodation letters as early in
the semester as possible.


Academic Success Center http://www.success.wayne.edu/
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) http://www.caps.wayne.edu

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