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CO250 Policy Statement: Section3 - Spring, 1998

Jamie Neufeld 322 Eddy 491-7251

E-mail addresses: Jamie Neufeld@English@LiberalArts

Office hours: 11-12:15 TR when our classes are not meeting and by appointment

Writing Center hours: Mondays through Thursdays 9-12, 1-5; Fridays 9-12

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, 2e, by Crusius and Channell. (A copy will be on 2-hour reserve in the library.)

Course Objectives:

to give students additional critical reading skills beyond the freshman composition level,

to consider elements of argumentation in detail beyond that of freshman composition,

to focus on argumentative strategies, patterns, and approaches as readers and writers, and

to emphasize library and other reference resources throughout the course.


1. Drafts-in-progress, 1: 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.

2. Drafts-in-progress, 2: Drafts are due at the time of the first workshop for that paper. You must bring a complete draft and one extra copy for me in order to earn full credit for that portfolio.

3. Drafts-in-progress, 3: 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 in my box, and I will return it to you with comments at the next class meeting or within two working days. (Note: My students find this one of the best ways to improve their writing during the semester.)

4. 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.

5. Portfolio grading: Because this class will meet only irregularly in the classroom, I will assign writing tasks for you to complete every day our class would meet. In addition, 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.

6. 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 please also print out this writing and collect it in a loose-leaf folder. I collect this writing with each portfolio. Daily writing is due by 5:00 pm on the day it is assigned. Other assignments are due by noon on the day they are due.

7. Drafts: Please keep all drafts (handwritten and computer generated) and clip them to the final copy in the portfolio.

8. 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.

9. 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. If you think you cannot

sustain your interest in the class without regular meetings, I urge you to switch to another section now.

10. 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.

11. When we meet as a class, we will generally work on the computers in our classroom. If you're not familiar with Windows or Word Perfect for Windows, we have tutorials available in room 300 Eddy.

12. This classroom will be open for you from 11-12:15 every TR when I have not scheduled classes so that you can 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 lamar or holly log-in to access assignments and e mail. Please see me for details about setting up a lamar or 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. 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.

13. The class topic for the first two portfolios will be the environment. If you don't think this topic will sustain your interest for the majority of the semester, think about changing to a different section of CO250.

14. This class is set up as a partially on-line writing class. This means that we will not meet as a class during every class meeting. It will be your responsibility to follow the syllabus, turn things in on time, and request help as needed. I will be available during class on the days we are not scheduled to meet, and if you need extra assistance, we can set up appointments. Think carefully about whether or not you have the self-motivation to succeed in this kind of environment. If not, you may want to switch to a different section. I don't mean to scare you away, but I want you to know what to expect. Many students have succeeded in this environment in the past, and I am very excited about the learning possibilities it provides. Your decision to stay in this section acknowledges your understanding of and agreement to abide by the terms and conditions of this class format. See me if you have any questions.

15. Your final grade will be determined as follows: