College Writing 12
Instructor of Record: Ms. Jennifer L. Evans
PSU Intern: Mr. Eric Seamans
“We live in a world filled with language. Language imparts identity, meaning, and perspective to our human community. Writers are either polluters or part of the cleanup team. Just as the language of power and greed has the potential to destroy us, the language of reason and empathy has the power to save us. Writers can inspire a kinder, fairer, more beautiful world, or incite selfishness, stereotyping, and violence. Writers can unite people or divide them” (Mary Pipher).
This course is designed to prepare any writer at any level to write more effectively in a college environment. It is modeled after a freshman college writing course.
Units of Study:
- Mini "Grammar Bootcamp" (Clauses, Commas, Writing on Demand)
- Prompt Writing (College Essay/Personal Narrative, Flair/Punctuation)
- Academic Research/Technical Writing (Research Paper)
- Analysis & Synthesis (Rhetorical Analysis & Synthesis Paper)
- Cultivating self-advocacy & independent learning skills
- Developing time management & organizational skills
- Recognizing & maximizing use of assets/available resources
- Developing your “craft”and “your stylistic voice” as a writer
- Infusing writing with “flair”
- Practicing technical mastery
Excerpts from Texts:
- On Writing, by Stephen King
- How to Write with Flair, by Dr. Heather Holleman
Statement of Intent: You are State High seniors headed into the murky unknown of life after high school. Strong writing skills will equip you with a competitive edge in a fiercely intimidating environment. In On Writing, Stephen King urges us to take writing seriously. He writes, “This isn’t a popularity contest, it’s not the moral Olympics, and it’s not church. But it’s writing, [removed word], not washing the car or putting on eyeliner. If you can take it seriously, we can do business. If you can’t or won’t, it’s time for you to… do something else” (107). This course will challenge you. When does anything good or important in life come easy? Let’s work hard together to make sure that you have all of the technical mastery and artistic skill you need to thrive both academically and personally. Our hope is that by the end of this course, each student will be a more confident and competent young writer.
Preparation: Each day, you are required to arrive with...
- a Chromebook and charger (a cell phone will not suffice).
- an attitude of kindness and grace.
Expectations: We will try to push you to improve your skills regardless of your current skill level. We expect you to adopt an academic and critical approach to our coursework, which means being receptive to feedback as well as demonstrating a willingness to learn and to grow.
Class Culture: We will develop norms for this new environment. (This course would normally run like a “writing workshop café” with jazz music playing while we work.) We hope to establish a routine where we will spend the first portion of the block administering instruction or running a structured activity, and then you will have much of the block to work independently. This class requires a deep commitment to taking class work-time very seriously, which can be challenging for some. Do not let the relaxed atmosphere of the classroom make you think that our expectations for the quality of your work are not extremely high. Strong participation is required in this class whether it be remote or in-person; writing is collaborative.
Revision: Writing is a process. We provide ample time before a final paper must be submitted for drafting and redrafting. Please seek feedback and advice before the final paper is due if you wish to make revisions to your work. No revisions on summative assessments are allowed.
Submitting Assignments: We submit everything on Canvas. Failure to submit appropriately by the time/due date given in Canvas will result in us following the school late-work policy. This year is different and is going to offer us some strange circumstances. Just please communicate. We will try to do our best to make it work for you.
Written Work: It is expected that all written work will be typed with the following specifications (unless otherwise noted): 12-point sized, Times New Roman font, 1 inch margins, double-spaced, left header with Full name, Teacher, Course, and Date. Failure to do this will result in a loss of points.
Follow this example:
Example MLA Left Header for Every Piece of Formal Writing (except research paper):
(Make sure this is also evenly double-spaced.)
25 August 2020
- Note: It is especially important in a course like College Writing 12 to be present for class.
- Communicate responsibly when you miss class and be sure to attend to the modules in Canvas to see what you have missed. We will not remind you to do this. The calendar provided in Canvas will detail what you miss in class.
- It is ultimately your responsibility to observe and attend to what you have missed, just like it will be in college.
- You must notify us via email if you submit late work (even if it’s just one day late) to professionally and adequately explain what the circumstance was for its delay.
- Zoom and GoogleMeet (or whatever platform we utilize) will offer us some technology or connectivity challenges each day. Thank you for your understanding, flexibility, and forgiveness.
We will enforce the standard attendance & late work policy adopted by the school as outlined in your student handbook.
- Wear a mask always.
- Adhere to a 6-foot social distance always.
- Wash your hands frequently and be mindful of sanitizing your workspace and belongings.
- Cell phones can be a distraction. Please use them for good.
- Bathroom pass/sign out – one person out at a time. No need to ask permission. There will be little movement.
- Plagiarizing is a VERY serious offense. We utilize TurnItIn to monitor academic honesty for summative assignments. Plagiarized work will automatically result in a grade of a D or lower (up to the instructor's discretion). Do not risk it.
Email: Ms. Jennifer L. Evans –– email@example.com
After 3:30 PM Mon–Fri, we check our email infrequently in the evening and weekends. The best way to contact us is to email during school day hours on weekdays.
Name and Pronunciation:
You have the right to be referred to the name that you are most comfortable with. If the name listed on my roster is not the name you would like to be called, you are welcome to let me know in person or through email at any time. We will do our best to learn names quickly and accurately. If I am mis-pronouncing your name, please let me know immediately (in person or in email). In addition, you also have the right to be referred to with the pronouns that make you feel comfortable. In order to have a safe and respectful class environment, you should refer to your classmates by their identified names and pronouns.
We are committed to mental health and wellbeing. I will try to bring mindfulness activities into class and be cautious of our anxieties, stress levels, and well-being. If you or someone you know is feeling overwhelmed, depressed, and/or in need of support, services are available. Additional resources include:
- (Links to an external site.)
- threats, behaviors, actions and harassment. Examples include bullying or intimidation, threats of self-harm or bragging about planning an attack, violence, depression and social isolation, reckless behavior and substance abuse.
- (Links to an external site.)
- any non-urgent concern related to something that is a barrier to learning, or is preventing a student from being successful in school (substance use, mental health, or other)
- (Links to an external site.)
- to help any State high community member who feels that they are a victim of an act of bias or discriminatory behavior. REACT is not a punitive entity. The mission of this initiative is to promote education and dialogue around issues of diversity and inclusion.
If you have concerns that you/a peer, or someone else is experiencing an urgent mental health crisis, please call Center for Community Resources
Inclusive Excellence is the understanding that working, living, and learning environments benefit when diversity is recognized and utilized. Inclusive Excellence helps us to engage in civil conversation with those who hold views that differ from our own; and to socialize with persons who have had different life experiences. SCASD does not tolerate racism, violence, or bullying by any individual or group. Just as importantly, we are actively working toward a more inclusive and caring environment to provide every student with a respectful, safe, and positive experience on a daily basis.
How Inclusive Excellence Matters in English:
As we seek to understand and make connections to our world across cultures, please be mindful that sharing your opinion is encouraged, but not if it dehumanizes another person or group(s) of people. In our classroom space, opinions without thoughtful research and reflection are not as valid as those that contain research and reflection. We will practice writing before speaking to help you get your thoughts focused and developed. If you’re ever nervous about sharing, please talk to me beforehand so that we can support you.
“Our task is to say a holy yes to the real things of our life as they exist – the real truth of who we are: several pounds overweight . . . the Jewish writer in the orange booth across from her blond friend who has black children. We must become writers who accept things as they are, come to love the details, and step forward with a yes on our lips so there can be no more nos in the world, nos that invalidate life and stop these details from continuing” (Goldberg 25).
“Writing is like riding a horse. Sure, in theory you have control. But if that horse decides to break loose and run like hell, or if it decides to meander down a little creek, or even if it decides to just stop –– by God, you're going with it”(Kyle Hynes, former CW student).