College Writing I section 238 & 239 Fall 2005 Syllabus
Making Money, Spending Money:
Writing about What We Do and What We Buy

Dr. Bridget Marshall:

Office Hours:  Tues/Thurs 9:30 to 11:30 and most other days by appointment in O’ Leary 414

Required Texts: Perspectives on Contemporary Issues: Readings Across the Disciplines, Fourth Edition.  By Katherine Anne Ackley and Nickel and Dimed.  By Barbara Ehrenreich

This class operates on the idea that we are all writers.  While some of you may not particularly enjoy writing, it is still a very necessary part of your education.  Writing will not only help you get through school, but it will be immeasurably useful beyond school, in whatever profession you choose.  Keeping in mind the idea that you will all have many kinds of writing to do throughout your academic career and beyond, here are my goals for this class:

To meet these and other ends, there are six major essays for this class, each with multiple drafts.  This is a total of approximately 25 pages of writing with 250 words per page.  You will be required to share your drafts and final essays with peers in the class.  Rather than being assignments written for me, your teacher, these essays are an opportunity to express yourself and to think critically about a variety of topics.  Outlined below are the general topics/forms we’ll use for the essay assignments.

#1        Jobs: Personal Narrative and Analysis
#2        Advertisement Analysis: Engaging with a published advertisement
#3        Text-Wrestling:  Reading, discussing and responding to a written text
#4        Documented:  Open Topic, supplementing your knowledge with research
#5        Argument:  Choosing an issue and a side, making an argument
#6        Movie Review:  Reviewing a film from the Common Text film series

All of these Essays will involve multiple drafts, typically including an Exploratory Draft, a Mid-Process Draft, and a Concluding (Final) Revision.  In addition to these six essays, we will be doing a lot of other writing.  This includes in-class writing prompts (which may or may not develop into an essay), a journal, letters to each other and to me, and other sorts of smaller in-class writing assignments.  In other words, get your word-processor fired up, come to class with pens and paper, and be prepared to write!
Class Requirements:  Pay close attention to this section; it contains the very basic requirements for passing this class.

Evaluation and Grading:  Grading writing is my least favorite aspect of the course, however, grades are necessary, not only to the University, but also in many cases in order to motivate students.  I don’t have a big secret formula for calculating grades.  Basically, everything you do counts in some way or other, and I record every check, every zero, and every grade.  Here is some general information about what is graded and how I tabulate a final grade:

Semester Schedule

Below you will find a preliminary outline for the semester.  Please note that what we’ll do in class is subject to change.  As a general rule, we will stick with the “what’s due for class” items.  If there are radical changes to the syllabus, I will issue a new one.  If you miss a class, you are still responsible for what was due on the day(s) you missed and on the day you return, so ALWAYS consult the syllabus (or a classmate, or me) if you have missed or will miss a class.
Please note that each day’s class will consist of two standard features.  These are 1) the five-to-ten minute free-writing (journal) session, with a prompt provided by one of your classmates, and 2) a five-minute grammar presentation by one of your classmates.  You will each sign up to do one of these during the semester.
A note on reading designations: Most reading page numbers refer to the pages in Perspectives on Contemporary Issues.  “N & D” refers to pages in Nickel & Dimed.  You should have read all of N & D over the summer, so pages listed here should be re-readings of the text.  A few assignments are still “TBA” – I will update this info as soon as possible.


Reading and Writing DUE IN CLASS on the day listed

Tuesday 6 September

In-class writing sample, introductions, etc.

Thursday 8 September

Read: Syllabus, handouts, N & D 1 - 10
Write: Take work survey; 1-page response to N & D

Tuesday 13 September

Read: N & D 11 - 49
Write: Exploratory draft for Essay #1: Jobs

Thursday 15 September

Read: “For Love or Money” 681 – 684, N & D 51 – 75
Write: 1-page response to N & D

Tuesday 20 September

Read: N & D 76 - 96
Write: Mid-process draft of “Jobs” Narrative Essay

Thursday 22 September

Read: N & D 97 - 119
Write: Revise returned draft of “Jobs” essay for FINAL draft

Tuesday 27 September

Read: “Rhetorical Analysis of Visuals” 16 – 20; Responding to Visuals 258 – 260 “Shopping and other Spiritual Adventures in America Today” 672 – 674
Write: Introductory comments in response to text; bring an ad to class.


Reading and Writing DUE IN CLASS on the day listed

Thursday 29 September

Read: “Here Come the Alpha Pups” 207 – 216
Write: Exploratory Draft on a chosen advertisement

Tuesday 4 October

Read: “You are What You Buy” 659 – 666
Write: Mid-Process Draft of Advertisement Essay

Thursday 6 October

Read: “The Birth of Hip-Hop” 666 – 671
Write: Response to Hip Hop article

Tuesday 11 October

Read:  Comments on draft
Write: Final draft of “Advertising” essay

Thursday 13 October

Read: “The Wal-Mart You Don’t Know” 701 - 711
Write: Summary and Response to Wal-Mart article

Tuesday 18 October

Read: N & D 121 - 191
Write: Exploratory Draft of Text-Wrestling Essay

Thursday 20 October

Read: Advertising’s Influence on Media Content 243 – 249
Write: Mid-Process Draft

Tuesday 25 October

Class cancelled for Conferences to be held Fri, Mon., Tues

Thursday 27 October

Read: TBA
Write: Final draft of Text Wrestling Essay

Tuesday 1 November

Read: “Writing a Research Paper” 120 - 139
Write: Exploratory Draft for Documented Essay
Library Session

Thursday 3 November

Read: “Writing a Research Paper” 140 - 189
Write: Research Report

Tuesday 8 November

No Class: Friday Schedule

Thursday 10 November

Read: TBA
Write: Continue Research Drafting

Tuesday 15 November

No Class: Conferences Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
Bring your Research & Draft

Thursday 17 November

“The Day I got Napsterized 518 – 520
Write: Mid-Process Draft

Tuesday 22 November

Read: TBA
Write: Final Draft of Documented Essay

Thursday 24 November

No Class; Thanksgiving

Tuesday 29 November

Read: Writing an Argument: 54 – 66
Writing: Draft of Film Review Essay

Thursday 1 December

Read: “Arguments on Grade Inflation” 79 – 90
Brainstorm on Education Issues

Tuesday 6 December

Reading: TBA
Writing: Exploratory Draft on an Education Issue

Thursday 8 December

Reading: “Solitude and the Fortress of Youth 292 - 295
Writing: Mid-Process Draft on an Education Issue

Tuesday 13 December

Reading: TBA
Writing: Final Draft Movie Review Essay

Final Exam Day

Writing: Final Draft of Argument Essay


About Academic Honesty

All University policies on plagiarism apply to all writing assignments in this course.  This means that if you plagiarize an assignment, you will receive an “F” for the course, and you are subject to other discipline (including expulsion from the University) at the discretion of the instructor and the University.  Here is the University’s definition of plagiarism, as found in the Academic Rules & Regulations, available online at
Plagiarism is defined as:

Unintentional plagiarism is still plagiarism.  You must cite all sources that you use, including online sources.  Also, remember that “using” a source includes DIRECTLY QUOTING, PARAPHRASING, AND USING IDEAS from any source.  There is nothing wrong with “getting help” from other writers, just be sure to acknowledge it by using quotation marks or author/page citation appropriately.  Please take the time to give proper credit to the work of other authors.  It is a matter of respect – for yourself, for other authors, for your classmates, and for me.

I know that it is easy to find information and indeed whole papers on the internet.  You should know that it is also easy for me to find these sources.  If I suspect you’ve done this, I will take the time to find the source, and there is every likelihood you will be caught.  Please don’t waste your time or mine by plagiarizing a paper.  If you’re having difficulty with a writing assignment, please talk to me before the day it is due.

Some Advice:

Come to class prepared.  Bring the course reader every day.  Bring a draft – a printed, readable copy – on days when writing is due.  Admittedly, there is some kind of writing due most days. 

Because there is writing due most days, you need to work hard to keep up with it.  Sometimes student schedules lead one to take some time off with the expectation of getting back to it later.  This is a very bad idea for this course especially, since the multiple drafts, in-class peer response, and comments from me will happen on a pretty tight timeline.  I urge you now – at the beginning of the semester – to set aside regular (ideally, daily) time to read and write for this course.  Developing good study habits now will serve you well as we get to the busiest time of the semester, when you have longer papers due for me, not to mention the lab reports, exams, and other obligations to all of your courses.

Save everything you write for this class.  When I collect a paper, I expect you to turn in all drafts, short assignments, and peer response work associated with this essay.  Practice good organization and save everything.

Back up your computer files by saving to a disk, burning a CD, saving to the University network, or another safe and secure source.  You can even e-mail papers to yourself.  Whatever you do, keep your backups up to date.  Computers break, get stolen, get locked in cars and dorm rooms, and are otherwise unreliable.  You are responsible for backing up your system.  Please do it.