Composition I  
Spring 1998
Bakeless 113 (tel. 4428)

e-mail:  marn@planetx
Home page:

Office hours:                         
	Monday and Wednesday:  5:30-6:00 and 8:45-9:15 P.M.
	Tuesday and Thursday:  1:00-2:00, and 4:45-5:15, and by appointment 

Required materials:
	Scholes, Comley, and Peritz, The Practice of Writing, 4th ed.
	Dodds, The Ready Reference Handbook
	American Heritage desk dictionary (hardbound) or equivalent
	A pack of 3 x 5 cards

What you will learn:
    In this course you will talk about and write the kinds of prose you
will normally be expected to produce while at the university, primarily
expository and persuasive or argumentative writing (not personal essays).
In addition we will discuss organization, sentence, paragraph, and essay
development, the thesis, matters of register, layout, and mechanics.
Written work must demonstrate college-level competence in conception,
content, organization, and mechanics (grammar, spelling, punctuation,

What is expected of you:
    Because improvement in your writing is the goal of this course, work
produced later in the course will count for more than those written
earlier in the semester, but all work must be submitted (a zero will
absolutely destroy your grade). 

I will not accept late papers.

Class attendance and participation: 1. Because class participation and regular writing are important (and graded) parts of the course, participation in this course is especially important. Do not doubt for a moment that your grade will suffer if you miss any classes (see below). Missing class may mean missing smaller assignments; do not expect to be able to make up such assignments. 2. I expect to hear about your impending absence before you miss a class. Absences will be excused only if reasons are legitimate and urgent (e.g., early rides home for Easter vacation do not fall into either of those categories--nor do the sniffles). If you are in any doubt as to what constitutes an excuse for not coming to class, contact me by phone, in person, or by e-mail at marn@planetx (written notes and the leaving of paper messages involve delay and are therefore not good forms of communication). 3. In the event that you miss a class, you remain responsible for the material covered in that class (including assignments, announcements, handouts, etc.) and for preparation for the following class. Get to know a classmate or two, exchange phone numbers and e-mail addresses, and contact him or her if you miss a class. Absence will be no excuse for not knowing class material (written or oral) or not being prepared for the following class. How to improve your grade: 1. You are strongly encouraged and advised to see me outside class with questions of any sort, no matter how minor they may seem to you (that is, after all, what I am at Bloomsburg University for). No appointment is necessary to see me during my office hours (see above); you are most welcome to stop in simply to talk. If you try to reach me at my office (tel. 4428) and I am not there, you may call me at home (any time before 10:00 P.M., including weekends); at 389-8175. 2. All students are encouraged to make use of the services of the Writing Center (second floor, Bakeless) at any point in the writing process. Start early; take your first piece of written work to the writing center before you turn it in. Using a computer: I hope you will all produce your papers with the help of a computer. If you or your parents are contemplating buying one, do not consider buying a dedicated word processor; a proper computer will be much more useful (see me if you want to know why). However, the following strictures apply to computer-produced papers: I will not accept papers that 1) are right iustified, 2) are printed using draft quality, 3) are printed with old ribbons, or 4) lack page numbers. I will give you some tips on efficient (and safe!) computer use. I will expect all students to be available by e-mail, and you will be expected to check your e-mail regularly. Please feel free to contact me via e-mail; it is one of the best forms of communication we have. On my home page (, you can find the guidelines for writing that I expect students in all my courses to follow. You will be expected to consult my home page in the course of the semester; if you need help accessing it, see me. Assignments: Students will write or rewrite at least six essays in the course of the semester (approx. one every two weeks), in addition to shorter assignments. The workload will therefore be fairly constant throughout the semester. A sheet with further details about assignments will follow. How your work will be evaluated: Work that is not of the required length will not receive full credit. Work that is turned in late will not be graded. Your final grade will reflect my evaluation of your writing ability at the end of the course (unless you penalize yourself by not coming to class, not turning in work, etc.). Grading Criteria: Work that can be evaluated Work that must be evaluated mathematically will be graded subjectively will be graded thus: on the following scale: A 90-100% A Absolutely marvelous B 80-89% B Pretty darn good C 70-79% C Fair to middling D 60-69% D Weak/sloppy/error ridden E 59% and lower E Get real

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Rev 1/98