Back CO250 Policy Statement - Section 5...............Spring 1999
K. Kiefer...............338 Eddy...............491-6845
E mail addresses: Kate Kiefer@English@LiberalArts
Office hours: 10TR and by appointment

Writing Center hours: Mondays through Thursdays 9-12, 1-4; Fridays 9-12; Sunday evenings 6-9

CO250, Writing Arguments, builds on the writing principles and processes practiced in CO150. CO250 focuses on reading and writing a range of arguments appropriate for academic and general audiences. This course offers students multiple opportunities both to read and analyze varieties of argumentation and to research, write, and revise their own arguments on controversial issues. Students will complete a carefully sequenced series of assignments that will include summarizing, synthesizing, evaluating, and crafting arguments, many of which will be based on library and field research.

Required text: The Aims of Argument: A Brief Rhetoric, 2e, by Crusius and Channell.

Course Objectives:


  1. Late papers: NO late papers will be accepted for any reason. Papers are late if a complete draft is not presented for the workshop on that paper.
  2. Attendance: Your attendance for scheduled class meetings is crucial in this course because we will cover key issues on the days we meet. Moreover, 10% of your grade depends on participation when we meet in class and on completing assigned tasks every day even when we don't meet. The workload is heavy, and falling behind can be disastrous. Look ahead to the schedule for portfolio 2. If you need more structured work time to get such a large project done, I urge you to switch to another section now.
  3. Term topic: If you can't stand the idea of writing about crime and punishment for the first two portfolios, change sections now. Please note these limitations on the term topic: I will NOT accept papers on gun control generally, capital punishment, or legalization of marijuana.
  4. Drafts-in-progress: From time to time I will ask that you submit a draft-in-progress for me to comment on. When I read these drafts, I suggest possible revisions for the most striking features; I do not comment on every possible flaw in a paper. Please remember that you can take or leave my comments, but you must also revise for other features that I may not have noted. I will be happy to comment on as many drafts of papers for this class as you want to give me. Send me the draft by e mail or drop it off with me, and I will return it to you with comments within two days. (Note: My students find this one of the best ways to improve their writing during the semester.)
  5. Responsibility: Even though I will comment on drafts and we will have regular workshops during which your classmates will also comment on your papers, remember that you are in control of your writing. You know what you want to communicate in a given paper. You should take account of your readers, but don't expect them to do all your rewriting for you.
  6. Portfolio grading: You will be graded on three portfolios of completed work due on the dates specified on the attached assignment syllabus. Portfolio 1 will include materials demonstrating critical reading and summary skills. Portfolio 2 will include at least one convincing paper and one persuading paper. Portfolio 3 will include a collaborative group work on analysis (recorded in a detailed log) as well as an individual analysis paper.
  7. Daily writing: In addition to the portfolios, I assign daily reading and writing. We'll review how to send your assignments to me electronically, but you may also print out this writing and turn it in on paper. I keep track of DAILY writing on the day it's due, so being late means you probably won't get credit.
  8. Drafts: Please keep all drafts (handwritten and computer generated) of your papers and clip them to the final copy in the portfolio.
  9. Documentation: Much of your writing in this course will draw on outside sources, and so we will discuss appropriate documentation in detail as the semester progresses. Improper documentation-including all forms of plagiarism-merits an F for the portfolio.
  10. When we meet as a class, we will generally work on the computers in our classroom. If you're not familiar with Windows or WordPerfect for Windows, we have tutorials available in room 300 Eddy.
  11. On days noted as "work days" in the syllabus, this classroom will be available for you to work here (to complete DAILY writing, to read and write e mail, to write on the Web forum, to meet with your peer reviewers or group members). If you prefer to complete your work for CO250 at another time, you'll have to work upstairs in Eddy 300 or from another computer on or off campus. If you work outside the Eddy building, you'll need a holly log-in to access assignments and e mail. Please see me for details about setting up a holly account. If you want to work on a Mac, it is your responsibility to save and transfer files in a format others can read in our classroom. See me for details. If the technology ever baffles you, I will be here to answer your questions and step you through a process of using each computer tool you need for the class.

Your final grade will be determined as follows:

Portfolio 1 - 15%

Portfolio 2 - 50%

Portfolio 3 - 25%

Participation - 10%