Required Texts and Graded Work

Major Texts:

    Sondra Perl, ed., Landmark Essays on Writing Process (Davis, CA: Hermagoras, 1994); Podis and Podis, eds., Working with Student Writers: Essays on Tutoring and Teaching, Second Edition, (N.Y.: Peter Lang, 2009). Plus the "221 Course Packet" of selected essays and excerpts (available at Van Meter G57). Packet readings are indicated in the syllabus like this: "xerox, ex-CE" for an article from College English.  Many articles that used to be in the packet are available online directly from the syllabus--look for hyperlinks like this: (available via JSTOR, from CCC,  1981).  Just click on the link and, if you are inside Goucher's firewall, you will go directly to the article.  For tips about buying the Perl and Podis & Podis anthologies used, click here.

Specific Requirements:

    Regular attendance is mandatory. You will write short responses to each week's reading and post them to "Weekly Reading Response" discussion board at the "Theories of Composing..." class on GoucherLearn. They should be primarily analytical, dealing with a few important issues which concern you.) Some of these responses will be produced in collaboration with other students to prepare you for the final project. From Week 3 to Week 10, you will read one additional research article of your choosing and add an annotated entry to the "Annotated Bibliographies" discussion board on the Blackboard course.  Be sure to upload it as a Word document or you may lose all your formatting.  In collaboration with another 221 student, you will conduct and report on a final research project on some aspect of the writing process relevant to Goucher writers.

Graded Work:

Weekly reading responses (roughly 1 to 3 pages, single-spaced / week)--30%

Bibliography Project (four scholarly article or book chapter annotations except on "BIB HOLIDAYS")--30%

Final project--40%

Weekly Reading Responses:       

        Starting in Week 2, each week you should write a 1- to 2-page (approx.) response to all or part of the week's readings.  Don't bother with an introduction, but get right to what you think is the most important aspect of the readings. Because each week has multiple readings, you sometimes can synthesize connections among them, which is a very good sign.  At other times, you may have to write serially about them.  Do not hesitate to break overall coherence of the document in pursuit of your curiosity from reading to reading if necessary.  Use subtitles to identify the topics of serial observations.  Most writers find it easier to write in first person because  "I" wrote these responses, and because they meant something to "me."  If you feel uncomfortable using that voice, stick to what works for you (academic third person, one/one's, etc.).  You don't need a "Works Cited" section, but citing page numbers will be immensely useful to us all.  You will know you're getting the feel of a good response if it becomes possible to title it, but titles are not strictly necessary at first.  Quote sparingly, only when exact wording is important.  Assume that we've read it and have a copy open beside us.  For that reason, though, always refer to specific passages and page numbers to keep us grounded in what is provoking your responses.  When appropriate, feel free to refer to or quote from course bibliography annotations (yours or others'), and from other things you have read.  Always, your goal is to look for what practical or theoretical value can be found in the article, asking yourself "what does this tell me about the composing process, tutoring, or teaching"? Excerpts of your responses will be used in some classes. My goal is to broaden your sense of audience for writing to include the entire class, and to think of all of us as your colleagues in this exciting research. Responses will be scored on a 10-point scale: 1-5 for evidence of a passing acquaintance with the work; 6-8 for an analytical focus relevant to the course; and 9-10 for excellent writing revealing a real engagement with the ideas in the reading. You don't have to agree with what you read, but you do have to care about what the authors are trying to say.

        If you have a schedule conflict with the due dates (see syllabus), give yourself permission to take another few hours if you need them, or check with me if you think it will be over a day late.  I hope to read and respond to them all by our class meetings to give you frequent, copious feedback about what you have written, and that takes many hours for each class.

Annotated Bibliographies--

        During selected weeks between Week 3 and Week 10 (see syllabus for this year's schedule), you should read one additional scholarly article or book chapter per week on topics relevant to the course and prepare a 1-3-paragraph description/discussion of it in a standard annotated bibliography format. Also, hand in one copy of the article/chapter you're discussing. Entries will be scored on a 10-point scale: (1-5 points for a lucid summary) + (1-5 points for useful analysis, comment, relation to other entries, practical applications, or course readings). Suitable articles may be found in unassigned articles in the two essay collections, and in some issues of College English (CE) carried by the library, or in Research in Teaching English (RTE), College Composition and Communication (CCC), Computers and Composition (CC), The Writing Center Journal (WCJ), and The Writing Lab Newsletter (WLN).  Most of these journals, and others in education, cognitive science, etc. are available online through JSTOR and the MLA Bibliography via the Goucher Library Website.  You also may write a bibliographical note on a discussion list accessed through the Internet.  Click here for some advice about what makes a bibliographic annotation useful.

Final Collaborative Research Project--

        In collaboration with at least one other class member, research some aspect of the writing process. Project reports ordinarily should include research in secondary sources ("library research") describing and discussing the current state of research in your topic.  If appropriate, the project report also may include primary research of your own design (surveys, case-study observations, experiments, etc.). Depending upon whether your methodology is based in the humanities or in the social or natural sciences, you should follow appropriate documentation formats (MLA, U. Chicago, APA, CSE).  Students attempting primary research must be competent in scientific research methods, statistics, and other pertinent skills. Short, roughly one- to two-page proposals are due IN CLASS (see syllabus for due date). Project presentations on your preliminary results are due IN CLASS at the end of the semester.  Written reports of your final results are due after classes end (again, see syllabus for due date).  Consider the final project report a "significant paper."  Examples of previous project reports are available in my office (VM 141).  They vary in length from around 15 to 40 pages, but please do not let concerns about page count make you crazy.  Some longer reports include extensive raw data from primary research, including survey instruments and Excel spreadsheets especially if they are following standard reporting conventions for the sciences.  Quality, not quantity, should be your guide in writing the report.  Make it a document which will help writers, teachers, and/or tutors.