Advanced Composition, Fall 2014, O'Donnell

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last update: August 19, 2014


Course and Instructor
English 3130 Advanced Composition, sec. 201, W 5:30-8:20pm, Burleson 303

Instructor: Dr. Kevin O'Donnell, 423 439-6679
Office: Burleson Hall 313

Fall 2014 Office Hours: TR 11am-12:30pm and 3:45-4:30pm; W 11am-2pm


Course Texts

- American Society of Magazine Editors. The Best American Magazine Writing 2013. Columbia University Press, 2013. ISBN: 0231162251 $17.95 

- Michael Harvey. The Nuts and Bolts of College Writing. Hackett Pub Co, 2003. ISBN: 0872205738 $4.95

- A grammar handbook of your choice. 

- Highly recommended:  a 9-3/4" x 7-1/2", 100-sheet, lined, stitch-bound notebook (the traditional "composition notebook" available for a couple of dollars in every drugstore, grocery store, and bookstore in America).

- Internet and printer access:  We will read numerous articles on the web, and you will print up to a few dozen pages of text. 


Five Major Essays
Essay 1: Narrative/ Personal Experience
Essay 2: Tech Writing ("How-to"-- Expository/ Explanatory)
Essay 3: Review/ Criticism
Essay 4: Academic Writing--Writing from Sources
Essay 5: Writing in the nonfiction genre of your choice

Final Grade Breakdown

1. Five major essays of 1250-2000 wds each (the lowest grade, excluding Fs, will be dropped): 40% *
2. Best essay, revised for the web: 35%

3. Miscellaneous, ungraded, short memos (proposals, Wikipedia exercise, etc.): 10%
4. Final exam: 5%

5. Participation in draft workshops: 10% **


* You will submit a rough draft, a week prior to the essay due date, for each major essay.  I will not grade drafts.  However, I must have a copy of a rough draft before I can grade a revised essay.


** We will conduct five workshops throughout the semester.  A week before each of the five major essays is due, you will bring to class a rough draft, along with 2 extra copies.  You and two classmates, working as a group of 3, will then review each other's drafts, in class, applying a workshop method that you learn in class.  If you show up for a workshop, on time and prepared, with legible copies -- and if, during the workshop, you read, write about, and respond to your classmates' work, in an engaged, exhuberant fashion -- then you get two participation points.  After all five workshops are done, at the end of the semester, you'll then have a total of 10 draft workshop participation points. 


Attendance, Due Dates
Attendance:  The official English department attendance policy says that if you have more than 3 absences you fail the course.

Due Dates:  In general, I do not accept late work. However, if there are extenuating circumstances, talk to me.  I can make reasonable accomodations.  If you must miss a class during which a major essay is due, email me the essay ahead of time, then bring a hard copy to the following class period.