How to use this Syllabus

The syllabus contains a lot of detail, designed to help those who may not have been in charge of their own classrooms before. While you are not bound to follow the syllabus step-by-step, we do suggest that you at least begin by following it as closely as you can. Once you're comfortable in the classroom and with the course goals and assignments, you may find that you have ideas for activities that will work better or, as is frequently the case, your students need something different on a particular day. Feel free to respond to your students' needs and/or to create your own activities if you feel comfortable doing so. In fact, as you get into Unit 3, we will stop providing so much detail so that you will have more freedom with your own lesson-planning. Our only requirement is that you stick to the goals of particular classes, the overall philosophy of the syllabus, and the four paper assignments.

You will most definitely find, however, that there will be days when there is much more in the syllabus than you can potentially do. Some classes of students move more slowly than others, some activities will go very well and others won't take as much time as we thought. Be prepared almost from the beginning to know decide before a given class what you might cut if you run out of time. If you run out of time and think everything is necessary, then re-arrange the following day. In short, this syllabus, while based in the considerable teaching experience of our composition faculty, is neither perfect nor carved in stone. Be prepared to make changes with our blessing. =)

Abbreviations: The syllabus includes many acronyms for the sake of page-length. The most common are:

PHG: Prentice-Hall Guide
RRA or RA: Re-Reading America
CSOW: Connection to students' own writing
WTL: Write-to-Learn exercises
PRR: Personal Reflective Response Paper
ARE: Academic Response Essay
CMA: Critical Media Analysis Paper
CAP: Context Analysis Proposal
EIP: Education Issue Paper