English 110: College Writing/Sections B & N

Required texts:

Dorris, Michael. Paper Trail: Essays. NY: HarperPerennial, 1994.

Maraire, J. Nozipo. Zenzele. NY: Delta, 1996.

Terkel, Studs. Working. NY: New Press, 1974.

Troyka, Lynn Q. Quick Access: Reference for Writers. 2nd ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1998.

Class schedule:

Aug. 29: introduction; personal narratives: rendering experience; in-class writing 1; reading:

McCourt, chap. 6 of ‘Tis

Aug. 31: personal narratives: writing dialogue; in-class writing 2; reading: Paper Trail, 8-51


Sept. 5: Draft of paper 1 due (personal narrative about a significant moment in your childhood or

adolescence), plus group copies

Sept. 7: writing in the humanities; reading: Zenzele, 1-71; in-class writing 3


Sept. 12: writing in the humanities: textual analysis; reading: Zenzele, 72-133;quiz; Revision of paper 1 due

Sept. 14: interpretation thesis workshop; reading: Zenzele, 134-194; in-class writing 4 _____

Sept. 19: Draft of paper 2 due (critical interpretation of Zenzele), plus group copies

Sept. 21: writing in the social sciences; reading: Deborah Tannen, excerpt from You Just Don’t Understand; Dorris, Paper Trail, 268-281; in-class writing 5


Sept. 26: designing and conducting field research; reading: Orenstein, "Learning Silence"; Revision of paper 2 due

Sept. 28: social science writing: presenting and interpreting data; reading, Suitor & Reavis, "Football, Fast Cars, and Cheerleading" & Farhi, "It’s a Guy Thing"; in-class writing 6


Oct. 3: Draft of paper 3 due (gender roles and the media study), plus group copies

Oct. 5: oral history: the importance of "ordinary people"; reading: Terkel, xxxi-xxxviii; 29-35; 41-49; 57-65; in-class writing 7


Oct. 10: interview strategies; active listening; reading: Terkel, 66-72; 112-118; 206-218; 299-303

Revision of paper 3 due

Oct. 12: evaluating your interview material; follow-up interviews; reading: Terkel, 386-373; 376-389; 414-421; in-class writing 8


Oct. 17: editing and shaping your oral history; Terkel, 437-446; 483-496; 501-510

Oct. 19: Draft of paper 4 due (oral history), plus group copies


Oct. 24: Fall break

Oct. 26: investigative writing; reading: Dorris, Paper Trail, 77-117; in-class writing 9; Revision of paper 4 due


Oct. 31: public/private investigation, cont.: "Roger & Me" (1989; dir. Michael Moore);

Nov. 2: collaborative writing: rationale and strategies; committed vs. alienated research writing; reading: Dorris, 120-162; in-class writing 10


Nov. 7: the role of subjectivity in "objective" research; reading: Dorris, 260-264; 303-315; in-class writing 12

Nov. 9: library resources: finding authoritative data and expert opinions (meet in library)


Nov. 14: Draft of paper 5 due (proposal for personal investigation), plus group copies

Nov. 16: Revision of paper 5 due; proposal presentations


Nov. 21: Writing workshop: making a whole of your parts; using section headings to guide readers; journalistic citation methods

Nov. 23: Thanksgiving break


Nov. 28: individual conferences

Nov. 30: Draft of paper 6 due (personal investigation of an important question), plus group copies


Dec. 5: personal investigation presentations; review take-home final

Dec. 7: personal investigation presentations, cont.; Revision of paper 6 due


Dec. 12 (2:10 class): take-home final due (review of a classmate's investigative report) in my office at 11:00 AM

Dec. 12 (12:20 class): take-home final due (review of a classmate's investigative report) in my office at 6:00 PM

Course goals and requirements:

This college writing course is designed to help you to:

1) Develop a more sophisticated writing process¾ we will explore and practice methods of invention, peer response, revision, and editing that result in clear, effective, and well-edited public pieces;

2) Develop a more sophisticated understanding of the relationship between purpose, audience, and voice, including an awareness that writing expectations and conventions vary within the academy and in public and professional discourse;

3) Develop an appreciation of writing's capacity to change oneself and the world.

This course is also designed to give you experience in many kinds of writing, including:

To achieve these goals, you will be writing continuously: limber up your mind and keep your printer cartridge fresh. All assignments (drafts, revisions, and in-class writings) are due at the times specified on the class schedule. Since the quality of writing workshops entirely depends on your preparedness, there are serious penalties for excessive absences and for missing deadlines. More than three (3) absences in the term will result in a lowering of your final grade (by one half-grade for each absence over three). Straggling in late disrupts the class: be here on time. If you fail to attend drafting conference with a complete draft and copies for your group members, your grade on the final revision will be adjusted downwards by a full letter grade. Late revisions will also be docked (by one half-grade for each day overdue). Missed in-class writings cannot be made up.

I expect active daily participation as well as punctual daily attendance. Prepare for every class session by: bringing questions and concerns to class; helping peers in group writing conferences and workshops; sharing your insights and ideas; listening carefully to others and responding to them in class discussions; doing all the assigned reading and writing on time.

In drafting conferences, you will receive feedback from peers on the strengths and weaknesses of your writing. Use that criticism in revising your paper for submission to me. You will almost always have a week between draft conferences and revision due dates. In that week, you should seek whatever additional help you need to improve your writing from classmates, me, and the Writing Center. Make an appointment if my office hours don't work for you. I will comment extensively on revisions and grade them. If you are unsatisfied with your grade, I encourage you to undertake a second revision and resubmit the paper. Second revisions must be submitted no later than one week after I return the first revision to you. Attach the version of the paper I've already marked to your second revision. Your final grade for a paper will be the average of your grades for revisions one and two.

Keep all your writing for each assignment (brainstorming exercises, research notes, drafts, final revision) in a folder. When you submit a revision to me for evaluation, you must turn in your entire folder. (I will use the folder not only to evaluate your work, but also to evaluate the written feedback you receive from peer consultants.) All revisions must be typed (double-spaced), paginated, and meticulously proofread. Title all papers and use appropriate methods of documentation.

Finally, every student in the class is responsible for abiding by Elon's Academic Honor code. (See your student handbook for details.) Violations will be prosecuted.

The Writing Center: This is an excellent resource--you'll be depriving yourself of expert advice if you fail to use it. Writing Center tutors are trained to help you at all stages of the writing process (from understanding an assignment to final editing and fine-tuning) on papers for all your college courses. The Center is located on this first floor of Belk Library. For more information about the Writing Center—including its fall semester hours—see this web site:


Course grades:

Participation & in-class writings: 15%

Papers 1 & 4: 10% each

Paper 2 & 3: 15%

Paper 5: 5%

Paper 6: 20% (15% for paper, 5% for presentation)

final exam: 10%