On-line Research Writing: English 102
Professor Gary Parks (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Shoreline Community College
Shoreline, WA, USA
Professor Gary Parks
Instructor Contact Information (<--- required reading) Click the link to the left for instructor contact and access information.
Texts: Technopoly, by Neil Postman; Writing Research
Papers by Weidenborner, Caruso, and Parks.
Additional supplemental readings may be assigned.
Student Responsibilities // Outcomes
// Assignments and Grading
Use of the Internet// Course Policies // Plagiarism
Welcome to English 102 online! English 102 is Shoreline Community College's second-quarter composition course, and everyone taking it should have passed English 101 (or its equivalent) with a 2.0 or above and received a solid grounding in the writing process, essay structure, development of ideas, techniques for a clear writing voice, critical reading skills, and at least an introduction to research writing. This course builds on what you learned in English 101, teaching introductory academic research, a full research writing process, and critical reading skills based on sustained immersion in college-level texts. As a course theme, we will study the effects of technology on culture and communication using Neil Postman's Technopoly as a starting point. The content and ideas from Technopoly must also form a major part of the source material used in your major research paper assignment.
Please read all sections of the syllabus closely and ask any questions immediately. Continuation in the course signifies acceptance and understanding of everything in the syllabus.
Students may participate in the course activities any time of day, and there are no class activities that require class members to be online at the same time. However, all assignments for the week are due each Thursday unless indicated otherwise in course materials, and there is much course activity (announcements, quizzes, discussion boards, assignments due, course messages, etc.) in the Monday through Thursday period. For most students, this course is at least as busy as a classroom course and for many it is definitely more challenging.
Average grades in online classes are often lower than classroom versions and the withdrawal rate is higher. Why? Many students underestimate the amount of independent work it takes to be successful in such a course. It takes good organization, attention to details and deadlines, a willingness to try new things, adequate reading and writing skills and, finally, the most difficult requirement--a committment of many hours of unsupervised work each week. Are you currently able (and do you have time?) to read, understand, and apply 60 to 100 pages per week in books, articles, papers, and messages without face-to-face reminders? Can you write anywhere from one or two to several pages of presentable material each week in a variety of writing types? Can you go to a library (real ones and virtual) and do frequent research to complete assignments, and undertake a large, ongoing writing project without frequent reminders or close supervision? Can you actively seek help from the instructor, a librarian, or a tutor when you encounter problems? Please consider these keys to success as you decide to continue in the course.
There is an extensive list of expected learning outcomes of Eng 102, and not every aspect of them can be detailed here.† In general, successful students will be able to
|Assignment / category||Points|
|Quizzes and homework at 20-40 points each. See Course Announcements each week. This work is not announced on the Assignment Calendar!!||140|
|Discussion Board participation||200|
|Research Tests (two @ 50 pts each)||100|
|Research Paper Checkpoints
(all required for the paper to be accepted)
The conversion to final decimel grade is done with the chart available at this link.
About Extra Credit
If you study the way the grade is constructed and the conversion from points to decimel, you'll see that you can lose up to 50 points in this class and still get a 4.0 (950 points and above is a 4.0). Because of this buffer, there is not much extra credit offered in this class. This is not the kind of course where you can miss assignments and neglect skills early in the quarter and then focus later on in order to salvage a grade. In this course, the skills build from week one onward, largely through reading assignments, online discussions, and related assignments. Typically, only around 20 points of extra credit is offered per quarter, and when it is offered the opportunity is given to all students at once.
You do not have to be an expert at using the Internet, but you should be able to use basic web pages and send and recieve web-based messages. In some cases, an extremely slow connection, outdated browsers or slow computers may cause trouble loading pages from the Blackboard course management system. In this case, consider using on-campus labs or an alternative form of access such as a local library if possible. You will need stable and frequent access to the Internet. It is the student's responsibility to arrange appropriate access.
Most course communication occurs through the Blackboard discussion board or messaging system. However, e-mail may be needed for emergency contact. (The instructor can send e-mail through Blackboard but students cannot.) You must use one stable e-mail address for the entire quarter. To set the correct e-mail on Blackboard, go to Tools / Personal Information / Edit and enter your correct e-mail. If you wish to set up an e-mail account through SCC, click here for how to get started.
This class is highly interactive online. Typically we discuss Technopoly on the Discussion Board. Many of you will find that it involves more authentic and detailed discussion than a classroom course, and that it will be extremely important to read and understand assignments related to the discussion. Don't underestimate the importance of the Discussion Board, which forms 20% of your grade and cannot be replaced with any other activity whatsoever.
Some of the Course Policies below are also related to Internet use.
Course policies include the following, as well as any other stipulations or requirements described in assignment descriptions, announcements, or any other course material.
Course materials, including the Syllabus, Assignment Calendar, and assignments descriptions, and other materials may be modified with appropriate notice and rationale.
Logging in: Students must log in to the Blackboard site and the Assignment Calendar at least twice during the M-Th period.. Log in no later than Monday noon each week, and never let more than two days (48 hrs) go by Monday through Thursday without logging in. When you log in, you must read any/all announcements that you have not read, check your Course Messages inbox, and access the Discussion Board area to read the ongoing discussion. If you do not log in as specified, you risk missing important notices, pop quizzes, added homework, Course Messages, changes in the Assignment Calendar, and Discussion Board participation.
Computer Excuses: You have various ways to get help and information from the instructor, including course messages, the Help Forum, and, the phone. Because of this variety of methods for making contact, problems with servers, home computers, and so on cannot be used as an excuse for losing contact or missing deadlines without arrangement. Record the instructor's office phone number (206-546-4785) so that you do not have to access it online. For example, if you have computer or server problems and work is due, call and leave a message before the deadline (see next policy).
Late work/Extension: Credit is not given for late work (i.e, no points are awarded) without arrangement or communication by or before the due date. If you cannot finish the work by deadline, all you have to do is make an arrangement for a new extension by or before the deadline. You can call and leave a message or send a course message before the work is due. Specify in the message when it will be submitted (day and time), and this becomes your new deadline. Also, put the work "extension" in your message's subject line so that it is not confused with an assignment and filed away in the wrong folder! There is no penalty for arranging a new deadline, and you do not have to describe your circumstances, plead for the extension, apologize, etc. Just ask before the due date/time, and indicate a new due date, and all will be accepted.
If you make contact after the due date the work will not be accepted for points. Sorry, but there are no exceptions to this policy, even if it causes you to fail the course. Please note that the instructor will not notify you when work is late, since deadlines are clearly posted for you in course materials.
Deadline / Due Date: Deadlines or due dates refer to any time during the specified day. For example, if a due date is described as Thursday, the assignment may be submitted any time it is still Thursday (until 11:59 p.m.). Course messages are always marked with a sending date and time, and students will also have "sent" folder copies to forward if necessary (see below).
Copies of Work: Students must keep electronic copies of any work submitted. If an assignment is lost, it will be the student's responsibility to replace it. Also, once evaluated work is returned to the student, it is the student's responsibility to keep it on file in case there are disagreements about the gradebook.
Course Messages / Sent Messages: We use Blackbaord's Course Messages system for student to instructor communication in this course. Blackboard's Course Messages keeps a "sent messages" folder. Don't delete any messages from your "sent" message folder as they may be needed to verify assignment submission.
Notification of Confusion / Contact with Instructor: Online classes work differently than traditional face to face classes. For one thing, they are primarily reading activities (at least this course is), and reading is a complex and sometimes confusing form of interaction. Some people find sustained reading challenging and need to work on their reading skills, and this course will help. The web-based nature of some course materials can also cause confusion, and for some Web pages are hard to read (you can print them out, but the online version is always the official one). Students who have read and sincerely tried to understand any assignments, whether web-based or texts, and who are still confused are required to contact the instructor immediately. (Questions indicating that the student has not even read the assignments, etc. will be handled accordingly.) Lack of notification constitutes full understanding, and undisclosed confusion cannot be used as an excuse for not submitting appropriate assignments.
Also, please note that you are required to read the Instructor Contact Information linked here and at the top of this document.
Research Paper Checkpoints: Research Paper Checkpoints help the student move through the research writing process in concrete steps. The use of checkpoints helps to identify students who are committed to their success in the class and those who are not. These checkpoints are described in the Research Paper Assignment description and they are not negotiable (i.e., firm--they must be done). Because of the importance of these checkpoints, the following firm policies will be in effect regarding research paper checkpoints:
Additional Assessments: The instructor reserves the right to schedule additional, individualized assessments for special circumstances as needed. This rarely occurs, but it may be necessary in cases of marginal skills, grade disputes, lost work, when the origin/authorship of a student's work is unclear, or when the student's portrait of relevant skills needs further assessment beyond normal course activities for any other reason.
Plagiarism occurs when a student represents someone else's language, ideas, or observations as his or her own without proper documentation. Any researched ideas, commentary, explanation, interpretation, statistics, focused facts, and other content that is not considered general knowledge (see page 197 of WRP for a discussion on this) must be documented in current MLA style. Documentation must be done whether the material is paraphrased, which means changed into the student writer's own words, or quoted.
Plagiarism also occurs when a student is getting so much editing help (whether from an editing service or a friend or family member or someone else) that the writing becomes the editor's and not the student's. Another common form of plagiarism occurs when students use language word-for-word from a source without providing quotation marks. In this case, the lack of quotation marks constitutes plagiarism even if the material is otherwise documented with parenthetical citations, etc. Also, the use of language that is almost word-for-word but with a few alterations here and there and with no quotation marks (also known as "partial paraphrasing" and covered in WRP, pp. 144-146) constitutes plagiarism even if the student documents the source with in-text citations. Plagiarism is covered in Ch. 13 WRP (pp. 172-0177) and related concepts, including skills needed to avoid plagiarism, are covered in many other parts of the book.
Plagiarism is easy to spot, and the instructor has a variety of individualized assessment approaches to determine authorship (see "Additional Assessments" policy above). It will be almost impossible to succeed by plagiarism in this course because of the checklists and source requirements involved in the major research paper as well as the variety of writing required of successful students.
Students who plagiarize on any stage of an assignment, including any preliminary submissions or versions, will receive an automatic 0.0 for the assignment's final grade. In this course, such a score on an evaluated writing assignment will generally cause serious grade damage. Students who plagiarize a second time show serious misunderstanding of the nature of academic communication and will fail the course (0.0). No revisions are allowed for plagiarized work.
Much of the course content is related to teaching you how to use other writers' content and ideas appropriately in your own paper. You will learn how to quote and paraphrase appropriately from sources, and how to document those sources.
Questions? If you have any questions about the syllabus, please ask!
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