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Basic Writing
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Terri Jedlicka

Basic Writing

Course Description

Basic Writing is designed to introduce the student to writing at the first-year college level and, where appropriate, prepare students for Elements of Writing. Students will use the text as well as multimedia technology to complete the course. Upon successful completion of the course, the learner will:

· Understand and apply the writing process that first-year college level students use including pre-writing, focusing, drafting, revising, editing, and polishing

· Improve fluency by completion of journal writing assignments

· Understand and apply techniques for generating ideas

· Understand paragraph structure including topic sentence, supporting details, and transitions

· Be able to generate specific details using precise, clear language

· Revise based on peer review and provide feedback to peers

· Be able to edit using correct grammar, usage, and punctuation as well as identify and correct comma splice, run-on, and fragment errors

· Develop confidence in the ability to write basic college material

Expectations of Students

Students enrolled in Basic Writing are expected to:

· Have basic typing and computer skills

· Score 1-31 on the COMPASS placement test to be properly placed in Basic Writing

· Work outside of class to meet assignment dates as necessary

· Strive for 100% attendance

· Meet all assignment due dates

· Stay on task during class time

· Use the computers ONLY for Basic Writing class assignments

Working Independently

At times, students will be working independently in class. You are expected to use that time wisely and work on your own without disruptions.

The computers in the classroom are to be used for our class assignments only. If you are asked more than once to stop using other programs, you may be asked to withdraw from the class.

Working in a Group

From time to time you will be expected to work in a small group (a writing circle) on your drafts and other assignments. You will be expected to provide feedback to the members of your group. Participation in the writing circle is essential to your success in the course. You are expected to be prepared for writing circle work and provide clear, honest, helpful feedback to the members of your group.

Class Schedule

Monday

12:00 - 12:50

CH 327

Wednesday

12:00 – 12:50

CH 327

Friday

12:00 – 12:50

CH 327

Assignments

Specific instructions and details will be handed out or explained in class for each writing assignment. It is your responsibility to take notes on these further instructions and to clearly understand the requirements of the assignment. If an assignment is missed, it is your responsibility to get the assignment and make it up outside of class.

Assignment Due Dates

Students must meet the assignment due dates. My policy is to accept late work one class period after the assignment was due. Late work must be turned in at the beginning of the class to receive credit. The exception to this is testing; you must take all tests at the scheduled time to receive credit unless pre-approved by me. It is also important to meet due dates for peer review work so that all students can receive timely feedback on assignments. A reduction in points on a paper’s final grade will also occur for late peer review work and other assigned steps in the process. If you are absent on the day something is due, it is considered late unless you have spoken with me in advance. The due date is not adjusted just because you are absent.

Text and Materials

· One flash drive

· Writing for Life. D.J. Henry. Pearson Publishing. 1st edition. 2008.

· MyWritingLab (http://www.mywritinglab.com/) - Online learning system access card comes with text.

· Folder to organize all handouts

· Paper, pen, pencil

Plagiarism

According to Webster, to plagiarize is “to steal or pass off the ideas or words of another as one’s own…to use created productions without crediting the source…to commit literary theft…to present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source.”

Kirkwood Students are responsible for authenticating any assignment submitted to an instructor. If asked, you must be able to produce proof that the assignment you submit is actually your own work. Therefore, we recommend that you engage in a verifiable working process on assignments. Keep copies of all drafts of your work, and learn to save drafts or versions of assignments under individual file names on computer or diskette. The inability to authenticate your work, should an instructor request it, is a sufficient ground for failing the assignment.

In addition to requiring a student to authenticate his/her work, Kirkwood Community College instructors may employ various other means of ascertaining authenticity – such as engaging in Internet searches, creating quizzes based on student work, requiring students to explain their work and/or process orally, etc.

Any essay that is suspected of being downloaded from a Web site will be submitted to a special Web site that will assess whether the work is plagiarized. Don’t buy or download essays off the Web because the result will be an F for the assignment or harsher sanctions, such as an F for the course and recording the incident with the Dean of Students.

If a student has any questions about this plagiarism policy, he/she is encouraged to discuss them with the instructor. All Basic Writing students should clearly understand this policy and how it applies to their work.

Grades

Students who pass Basic Writing earn three developmental credits and a letter grade, which is computed into overall GPA (grade point average). These three credits count towards credits needed for financial aid. Grades will be based on the total number of points earned on the following scale:

Grading Scale

A = 95-100%

A- = 90-94%

B+ = 88-89%

B = 84-87%

B- = 80-83%

C+ = 78-79%

C = 73-77%

C- = 70-72%

F = 0-69%

Midterm grades

A midterm grade will be calculated and posted on EagleNet. The grade will be posted as “A” through “F” or as “S” (satisfactory) or “U” (unsatisfactory). The midterm grade is a grade-in-progress, and will not affect your official GPA, nor will it impact financial aid. The midterm grade has three purposes: first, to communicate your academic performance; second, to provide opportunities for you to discuss progress with your instructor; and third, to allow Kirkwood to design college-wide intervention programs that will improve student success. This is a college-wide policy.

Attendance

Students are expected to arrive on time for the start of class, be in attendance until dismissed, and strive for 100% attendance. Attendance is taken each class, and cell phones must be turned off during class time. No exceptions.

Attendance is a priority. If you miss class, you are expected to make the work up outside of class time. If you arrive more than a couple minutes late to class, you will be counted absent. Tardiness, especially if it’s a regular occurrence, is disruptive to the learning environment. If a student misses six class hours, he/she must withdraw from the class since a failing grade will be issued.

The withdraw deadline is April 15, 2010. If for some reason you cannot continue with the course, be sure to withdraw from the course. Students who stop attending class and do not officially withdraw will automatically receive an F or FW for the course. This has a negative effect on your grade point.

COMPASS Tests

Basic Writing students are required to take the COMPASS Writing Placement and diagnostic tests at the beginning and end of the term in order to receive credit for the course. The post-test scores will be used to advise students on the next writing course to take. Improvement in COMPASS scores can raise the final grade for the course. Post-test scores do not lower a letter grade; however, if either COMPASS is not taken, a student will not pass the course. If you have not yet taken the COMPASS placement test, see me immediately after the first class.

Americans with Disabilities Act

Students with disabilities who need accommodations to achieve course objectives should file an accommodation application with the Learning Services department 2063 Cedar Hall at the beginning of the semester at the latest. If a student has a learning disability or special learning needs, these conditions should be discussed with the instructor at the beginning of the course. Every effort will be made to accommodate learning needs of documented disabilities.

Communicating with Your Instructor

If you have any questions, concerns, or problems with any aspect of the course, please communicate those issues with me immediately. You can send an e-mail, talk to me in person, or call and leave a voice mail message.

I look forward to working with you this semester and seeing you grow as a writer.

 


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