Engl 3130 Advanced Composition, Fall 2017

[ Policies ] [ Calendar ] [ Model Student Essays ] [ Final Exam Instructions / Best Student Writing This Semester ]

last update: August 25, 2017 


Course Time and Place

English 3130 Advanced Composition; Mondays and Wednesdays, 3:10-4:30pm, Burleson Hall, room 301


Instructor Contact Information

Dr. Kevin O'Donnell, Professor of English, Department of Literature and Language, East Tennessee State University

http://faculty.etsu.edu/odonnell/; odonnell@etsu.edu; 423 439-6679 
Office:  Burleson Hall 313

Fall 2017 Office Hours:  Tuesdays, 2:30-3:50pm; Mondays and Wednesdays, 12-1:30pm


Course Texts and Materials 

- Sid Holt, editor.The Best American Magazine Writing 2016.Columbia University Press, 2016.$18.95.ISBN: 0231181558

- Steven Pinker.  The Sense of Style: The Thinking Personís Guide to Writing in the 21st Century.  Viking, 2014.  ISBN: 0670025852  $27.95 

- A grammar handbook of your choice.  

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

- Recommended:  A 9-3/4" x 7-1/2", 100-sheet, lined, stitch-bound notebook (in other words, a traditional composition notebook)


Five Major Essays 
Essay 1: Narrative/ Personal Experience/ Reportage 
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, is dropped): 40% 
2. Best essay, revised for the web: 35% 

3. Miscellaneous, ungraded short memos and other writings (including topic proposals, revision plans, etc): 10% 
4. Participation in draft workshops: 10%

5. Final exam (a response to selected classmates' revised work): 5% 


Draft Policies

     We will conduct five draft workshops throughout the semester.  Here's how those will work:  A week before each 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 read each other's drafts, write comments, and discuss. 

     At the end of the workshop, you will submit a copy of the rough draft to me.  I will comment on the draft, but I will not grade it.  I must receive a copy of the draft, nevertheless, in order to read and grade the subsequent revision.  (In other words, you can't spring an essay on me for a grade, until I've see a rough draft first.) 

     If you show up for a workshop, on time and prepared, with three legible copies of your work -- and if, during that workshop, you read, write about, and respond to your classmates' work, in an engaged and exuberant fashion -- then you earn two participation points for that session. 



The Department of Lit and Language policy: more than 6 absences and you fail the course. In addition, I've set the following policies: 1) You may miss 2 classes free, no questions asked. 2) No absences will be excused, so use your two freebies wisely! 3) If you miss between 3 and 5 classes, your final grade may be lowered by up to a full letter grade.  In general, I will strive to make the class meetings worthwhile, so try not to miss. If an unavoidable conflict comes up, communicate with me about it, and I will make reasonable accomodations. 


Due Dates 
I do not accept late work. If you must miss class on a day when an essay is due, email your work before class time, as an attachment, to odonnell@etsu.edu. Then also bring a hard copy to the following class period. If you know that you will be unable to attend during an exam day, talk to me ahead of time to arrange to take the exam at another time.  In-class reading quizzes and other impromptu writing activities cannot be made up.