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ENG 1010 First-Year Writing

The Arts in Contemporary Life Belmont University, Fall 2015 Section 54: T/R 2:00- 3:15 WAC 1044 Section 28: T/R 3:30- 4:45 WAC 1037

Instructor: Erica Waters Orzechowski Phone: 615-584-7379 (urgent issues only) Email: Office hours: T/R, 5:00-6:00 pm, or by appt. Office: WAC 3100

“What we search for in fiction is not so much reality but the epiphany of truth.” –Azar Nafisi

“And isn’t the whole point of things—beautiful things—that they connect you to some larger beauty?” –Donna Tartt

Course Description ENG 1010, First-Year Writing, is a three-hour, first-year course required of all Belmont students. Students will primarily practice recognizing, evaluating, and constructing written arguments, in the process developing their reading and research skills. The reading and writing assignments for this section of First-Year Writing are organized around the theme The Arts in Contemporary Life.In addition to developing your academic writing abilities, this course will require you to think critically about what art (literature, music, film, visual art, etc.) means for you as an individual and for contemporary society. We will consider the value of the arts in education; discuss the relationship between art and technology; and reflect on the interconnections (and conflicts) of art, culture, and civilization. Here are a few of the questions that will propel our writing this semester: Why should we read fiction? Can a protest song really make a difference? Is poetry still relevant? Why do you need to take humanities courses to earn your degree? Can the arts help us be better human beings?

Required Texts

They Say/I Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing, With Readings by Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein (2 nd edition, W.W. Norton & Co., 2012)

A Writer’s Reference by Diana Hacker and Nancy Sommers (7 th edition, Bedford/St. Martin’s,


Voices by Ursula K. Le Guin (Harcourt, Inc., 2006)

Course Objectives ENG 1010 is designed to aid students in producing writing that is characterized by a clear sense of purpose; effectively ordered and fully supported ideas; style appropriate to purpose and audience; and control of grammatical and mechanical elements. Its goals are also to:

Foster your awareness of the writing process.

Develop your abilities to employ different modes of inquiry as you work to solve complex problems.

Advance your understandings of various forms of discoursegiving particular attention to narrative, informative, and argumentative/persuasive writing.

Enable you to gather and assess a substantial body of information on a topic, drawing on a variety of sophisticated source materials.

Refine your ability to conduct library research, including how to conduct Internet research; how to evaluate source materials; how to integrate summaries, paraphrases, and quotations into the text of a research paper; and how to document source materials.

Attendance and Participation Your participation in class activities such as writing exercises and peer review is vital to the success of the course. After four unexcused absences, you must have a conference with me to discuss your performance in the course. If you miss more than six classes without a Provost’s excuse, you will receive a final grade of FN for the course. Because class will be cancelled for the entire week of conferences, failure to attend your scheduled conference meeting will result in two absences.

Please be on time. I will take attendance at the beginning of each class period; if you are late, you are responsible for making sure your attendance is noted. Three tardies will count as one absence.

Always bring the assigned reading to class with you. If the reading is an online article, you may either print the article or read it on your laptop or tablet (no cell phones please).

Electronics in the classroom: Silence or turn off your cell phones before class starts (vibrate mode is not acceptable) and put them away. Please do not text during class; this is disrespectful to your classmates and instructor. If I see you texting, I will ask you to leave. You may use laptops for educational purposes but not for social media or web browsing. If misuse of laptops becomes a problem, you will no longer be allowed to use them. Laptops may not be used during writing exercises or peer review. You must always bring a hard copy of your paper for in-class peer review. Always have notepaper and pens on hand.

Office Hours: I am always happy to meet with students; in fact, it’s my favorite part of teaching. Please use my office hours (listed at top of syllabus) to discuss any aspect of your reading and writing for this course: problems, questions, papers you’re working on, ideas you wish to develop, strategies you’d like to try, etc. If possible, schedule your meeting in advance. Also, please feel free to email me any time with questions, concerns, and ideas. I will do my best to get back to you within 24 hours.

Assignments and Grading More detailed assignment descriptions will be provided on Blackboard. Each assignment’s percentage toward your final grade is listed in parentheses below.

Class Participation/ In-class Writing: Be present, attentive, respectful, and engaged. This means coming to class prepared, sharing your ideas during discussion, asking questions, completing in- class writing exercises, and participating fully in peer review and group work. (5%)

Reading Responses: Four of these papers will be assigned during the semester. You will respond formally to a provided prompt. These papers will require you to engage with the authors of the assigned texts and to make connections between texts. These papers should be 1-2 pages (typed, double spaced, 12- point font). Substantiate your ideas and cite your sources. These papers will be graded primarily for content, but please pay attention to grammar and mechanics. (20%)

Writing Portfolio: Revision is a crucial part of this course, so your attendance at peer review sessions and one-on-one writing conferences is essential. You will be graded both on your participation in these events and on the evidence of your papers’ ongoing revision and development. You will keep all essay drafts and peer review worksheets in a three-prong folder that will be

collected three times during the semester. Please use dividers to separate work for the three major papers (Reflection, Arguments, Research). (15%)

Reflection Essay: This assignment invites you to reflect on your personal relationship to art. You will compose a 3-4 page paper consisting of narrative and reflection, in which you reflect on the impact that a certain medium of art has had on you (novels, films, comic books, music, etc.). You may present the paper as a narrative, weaving in reflection as you go, or you can reflect on the specific works themselves, using examples from your life to support your points. Please include 2-4 works. These can be works you encountered in childhood, in high school, or even in the last week. You might write a narrative that spans a long period of time or focus on a very specific timeframe (e.g. the albums you listened to one summer that changed your view of the world). You should show why these works are important to you and how they influenced your life. Be sure to choose one specific medium rather than many different types of art. This will help your paper to have focus. Check with me if you’re unsure whether your medium/ art form is appropriate. (10%)

Arguments Essay: In this 5-6 page paper you will engage with the ideas of 2-3 essays from They Say/ I Say. You may respond to essays in Chapter 13, “Is Higher Education Worth the Price?” or Chapter 14, “Is Pop Culture Actually Good for You?” This essay will demonstrate the skills you have previously practiced, including summarizing, quoting, and responding. You should demonstrate an understanding of the authors’ arguments and be able to articulate your own stance, whether you agree, disagree, or “agree with a difference,” while maintaining your own voice. You will turn in a draft and have a mandatory conference with me before the final paper is due. (15%)

Research Essay: For this paper of 1500-2000 words (about 6-8 pages), you will investigate a topic related to our course theme. You must use 3-5 scholarly sources (i.e. library books, academic journals) and turn in an annotated bibliography. Your research paper must have a sound thesis statement, effective organization, and well-supported ideas, and must adhere to a single style guide (MLA is preferred, but you may use APA or Chicago if you have a good reason for doing so). I will provide you with a more detailed assignment description, as well as sample topics. You will turn in a draft and have a mandatory conference with me before the final paper is due. (30%)

Research Presentation: In lieu of a final exam, we will use the final class periods for oral presentations of your findings from the research essay. You will give a 3-5 minute presentation of your research and conclusions. (5%)

*Your papers must be handed in as hard copies at the beginning of class on the day that they are due. Emailed papers will not be accepted. I will deduct one letter grade for each class period your paper is late.

*Please note that all papers should be typed in Times New Roman, 12-point font, double-spaced, with one-inch margins. The citation method should be MLA unless otherwise specified (see Hacker MLA-5, pgs. 429-440).

University Policies:

Academic Integrity The following Student Honor Pledge guides all academic behavior at Belmont University: “I will not give or receive aid during examinations; I will not give or receive false or impermissible aid in course work, in the preparation of reports, or in any other type of work that is to be used by the instructor as the basis of my grade; I will not engage in any form of academic fraud. Furthermore, I will uphold my responsibility to see to it that others abide by the spirit and letter of this Honor Pledge.” Your subsequent attendance and participation in this course indicates your willingness to comply with the honor code.

Accommodation of Disabilities

In compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act,

Belmont University will provide reasonable accommodation of all medically documented disabilities. If you have a disability and would like the university to provide reasonable accommodations for the disability during this course, please notify the Office of the Dean of Students located in the Beaman Student Life Center (460-6407) as soon as possible.

Course Evaluations Twice during the semester you will have the opportunity to evaluate this course. At midterm we will collectively and informally assess the class, what’s working, and what needs to change; at the end of the semester, you will be asked to participate in a formal, process-controlled evaluation of the course and the instructor. Student input is a valuable assessment tool for not only me as an instructor, but also for the department and university as a whole.

Grading Scale:

A = 4.0

A- = 3.7 B+ = 3.33

B = 3.0

B- = 2.7

C+ = 2.33

C = 2.0

C- = 1.7 D+ = 1.33

D = 1.0

F = 0

Schedule of Readings and Assignments


What’s Due?

Make Sure You’ve Read…

R, 8/27

Bring syllabus to class


T, 9/1

Brainstorm web/list for Reflection Essay

TSIS, Introduction (pgs. 1-15) Nussbaum interview (on Blackboard)

R, 9/3

Reading Response 1 due

Hacker, C2-a Thesis Statements (pgs. 16-18) “A Lifetime of Looking, Magically Recovered” (on Blackboard)

T, 9/8

Bring draft of Reflection Essay for peer review

Hacker, C3 Revising (pgs. 20-28) Steven Pinker’s 6 Tips (on Blackboard)

R, 9/10

Reflection Essay due Writing Portfolio due

Mysterious Connections that Link Us Together(NPR article on Blackboard)

T, 9/15


Voices, Ch 1-4 (pgs. 1-73) TSIS, Ch 11 (pgs. 141-144)

R, 9/17

Reading Response 2 due

Voices, Ch 5-8 (pgs. 74-163) Gaiman, “Why our future depends on libraries…” (on Blackboard)

T, 9/22


Voices, Ch 9-12 (pgs. 164-249) Grossman, “Confronting Reality” (on Blackboard)

R, 9/24

Reading Response 3 due

Voices, Ch 13-16 (pgs. 250-341)

T, 9/29

Reading Response 4 due

TSIS, Ch 1-3 (pgs. 17-50)

R, 10/1

Article summaries for Arguments Essay (2-3 essays from Higher Educationor Pop Culturein TSIS)

TSIS, Ch 4-5 (pgs. 55-77); Johnson and Stevens articles (277- 298)

T, 10/6


TSIS, Ch 6-7 (pgs. 78-101) Humanities articles (on Blackboard)

R, 10/8

Bring draft of Arguments Essay for peer review

Hacker, A2 Constructing Arguments (pgs. 78-91)

T, 10/13

NO CLASSFall Break *Please note that I will be unable to respond to calls or emails on Oct 10-13.


R, 10/15

Instructor Draft of Arguments

TSIS, Ch 8-10 (pgs. 105-138); David Foster


Essay due

Wallace speech (pgs.198-210)

T, 10/20

Class cancelled for individual, mandatory writing conferences Brainstorm research essay topics and prepare for library session by completing pre-class activity (instructions provided) no later than 12pm on 10/27.

R, 10/22

T, 10/27

LIBRARY VISITMeet at library for mandatory library instruction session. Research Essay topic due


R, 10/29

Arguments Essay due Writing Portfolio due

Hacker, R1-R2 Conducting Research and Evaluating Sources (pgs. 332-357)

T, 11/3


Hacker, R3 Managing Information and Choosing a Documentation Style (pgs. 357-368)

R, 11/5

Annotated Bibliography due

Hacker, C1-d Sketch a Plan (pgs. 12-14) Teju Cole’s Twitter story (on Blackboard)

T, 11/10


Gaiman, “Trigger Warning” (on Blackboard) David Mitchell Twitter story (on Blackboard)

R, 11/12

Research Outline Due to instructor

Fiction/National Tragedy articles at BookEnds on NY Times (on Blackboard)

T, 11/17

Class cancelled for individual, mandatory writing conferences

R, 11/19

T, 11/24

Bring draft of Research Essay for peer review

Cli-Fi Debate on NY Times (on Blackboard)

R, 11/26

No ClassThanksgiving Break


T, 12/1

Bring draft of Research Essay for peer review

Hacker, S7 Sentence Variety (pgs. 134-136) and B4 Sentence Types (pgs. 325-327)

R, 12/3

Research Essay due Writing Portfolio due

“Does Poetry Matter?” debate on NY Times (on Blackboard)

T, 12/8

Research Presentations


Final Exam

Research Presentations



Section 54:

12/10 2pm

Section 28:

12/15 2pm

*Schedule and assignments may be modified if the need arises. Any changes will be announced in class or on Blackboard.*