MWF 9:00-9:50 AM, CLEMENS 204 and clemens 128




Courtney Pfahl


Clemens 502



Office Hours:

Monday 10:30-11:30 AM and Thursday 1:00-2:00 PM


Clemens, third floor, around corner from 302





(Available in the University Bookstore)


The following two texts will be shrink-wrapped together. ISBN: 0312-46664-1.

n     Dilks, Stephen, Regina Hansen, and Matthew Parfitt. Cultural Conversations. New York: Bedford/St. MartinŐs, 2001.

n     Lunsford, Andrea. The Everyday Writer. New York: Bedford/St. MartinŐs, 2005.



n     A full-sized notebook for taking notes in class. OR, a 3 ring binder with loose-leaf paper.

n     A RW CD or an USBC drive for transporting your writings between class and home.

n     A sturdy folder in which you keep all your work for the class.


Note:   Save all the writing you do during the semester. You can clear your files in December. Until then, you never know what may prove to be useful during a revision. When you compose and revise on a computer, periodically print out (and save on disk) versions of your draft so that you have a record of its process. Keep a copy for yourself (either on disk or a hard copy) of all major assignments handed in to me. Make backups; no excuses will be accepted for hard drive crashes. In addition, keep all drafts on which you have received comments from me or your classmates.


Library Skills

The Library will enroll you in a mock course in Blackboard. You will complete the library skills workbook online during the semester. Library skills is a General Education requirement, not a requirement of ENG 101, but you cannot graduate unless you have fulfilled this requirement.


Course Requirements

n     This class is a computer-mediated section of ENG 101: we will alternate our meetings in the Composition Computer Classroom (Clemens 128) and our regular classroom (Clemens 204). Students will freewrite, write drafts of papers, critique other studentsŐ papers on the computer, and research the Web in the computer classroom. Our word processing program is Microsoft Word. Become familiar with Blackboard (UBLearns). We will use it to drop and receive writing assignments, to discuss ideas on its bulletin board, to access course information.


n     Our writing assignments include page design; that is, major papers will be styled using MLA, and we will also do a newsletter. We will examine how our sentence structure, paragraphing, tone, and intention change when we reformat content from a standard essay into a page-design format.

n     This is a workshop course in writing in which class activities are essential to your development as a writer; in-class activities will include freewriting, consultations and discussions with members of your workgroup, and critiquing and editing of your workgroupŐs papers. The success of the course, and your successful performance in it, depends upon your participation and contributions, both spoken and written.


Grading Policy:

UB uses a lettered grading policy, A - F, including + and - grades

An incomplete grade may only be given to students who have (1) fulfilled the attendance requirement for the course and (2) completed all but one of the written assignments.

Your final grade will be calculated according to the following breakdown:


n     Engagement: 10%

Participation begins with attendance. Both absences and tardiness (although the advice ŇBetter late than neverÓ should be heeded) will affect this portion of your grade. You are allowed three absences (one week) without penalty. A fourth absence will result in the reduction of this portion of your grade by a full letter grade. A fifth absence will result in the reduction of your final grade by a full letter grade. A sixth absence will result in a failing grade for the course. Arrival in class more than 15 minutes after it begins will be considered an absence.

You are responsible for contacting me or a fellow class member if you miss a class, and you are expected to be fully prepared for the next class session. I know that sickness happens, accidents happen, bad weather happens, computer problems happen, over-sleeping happens, family crises happen, the bus never comes . . . thatŐs what the three excused absences are for. Save them for these kinds of emergencies.

Your engagement grade will also reflect (1) the quality and thoughtfulness of your contributions in class (including in-class exercises), respect shown to class members, your attitude and role in small group exercises, (2) your posting at least one substantive comment, question, and/or response on the Blackboard (UBLearns) discussion board, and (3) evidence given of completion of reading assignments. Preparation for, attitude toward, and involvement in our individual conferences count here, too.

Please note that many in-class writing exercises assume (and depend upon) your having read the assigned material. Review your syllabus frequently, and plan your workload accordingly.


n     Page-Design: 10%

Includes correct usage of MLA format, both in your papers and participation in appropriate in-class exercises and quizzes. The newsletter project also falls under this portion of your final grade.


n     Major Assignments: 70%

Essays and major writing assignments are due at the beginning of class on the date due. Late essays are subject to having their final grade reduced (typically 1/3 grade for each day late). DonŐt test me on this. And donŐt make it a habit. Absence from class on the date due does not excuse the lateness of your assignment.

All major writing assignments are to be typed in 12 pt. Times New Roman font, double-spaced, with 1Ó margins. Each writing assignment to be graded will be accompanied by a cover letter (minimum one page—we will discuss cover letters further in class), detailing your writing process for that particular piece and the essayŐs evolution, along with your assessment of the successful and less successful aspects of the essay. I will not grade essays/assignments which are hand-written or lack a cover letter, and the assignment will accrue late penalties until it satisfies this requirement.

Major writing assignments are to be handed in electronically through the appropriate assignment link on Blackboard (UBLearns). Please note that the link to submit the paper through the assignment posting will expire at the time that the paper is due. If you are submitting a paper late or are having difficulties submitting the paper through the assignment link, please either email the paper to me or turn it in using the Digital Dropbox feature of Blackboard. I will check the timestamp of all papers submitted through email or the Digital Dropbox and thus will know which assignments have been turned in late.

Major writing assignments will be evaluated for: quality (including technical and mechanical elements); command of voice, tone, and a sense of audience; the degree to which they satisfy the given assignment; and the development they demonstrate from earlier efforts or original drafts.

Assignments which are more than one week late will receive an F. However, you must complete all the major writing assignments and submit a complete final portfolio in order to earn a passing grade for the course.

Major assignments will be graded using the A - F scale. You always have the right to revise your assignment for a higher grade—and you may revise it as many times as you like—but I strongly encourage you to meet with me to discuss the nature of the revisions you will make.

Plagiarism: Plagiarism is using another personŐs words and ideas as though they were your own. It is easy to avoid plagiarism: simply put the material you have taken from someone elseŐs writing in quotation marks and cite the personŐs name and publication in your paper. Plagiarism is a serious offense which can result in expulsion from the University. A paper which contains any plagiarized material at all will receive an F; two such plagiarized papers will result in the student receiving an F for the course. (Note: plagiarism is not restricted to the use of published work; the passing of another studentŐs work as your own, or a paper you wrote for another course, is also a case of plagiarism;


n     End of Term Portfolio: 10%

Your portfolio consists of writing revised especially for the portfolio review (see the schedule). The end-of-semester portfolio will include an autobiography of yourself as a writer and final revision of three of the major assignments (the nature of the revision will be discussed in class).