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basic writing ii                                               csulosangeles
    imagining the next LA                english 096

Jim Garrett

Office: E & T 608
Mail Room: E & T 637
Office Hours:  Tuesday 3:30-5:00, Wednesday 4:30-6:00, Thursday 10:30-11:30
Campus Phone:  (323) 343-4163
Email: jgarret@calstatela.edu
Course Web Site: http://www.calstatela.edu/faculty/jgarret/096

Objective The purpose of this course is relatively straight-forward:  To work on improving your ability to think critically about texts (in whatever form you encounter them) and communicate clearly your ideas.  No magic solutions will be offered nor will you be taught a one-size fits all college essay format.  Upon successful completion of this course you will be eligible to take English 101.  

Prerequisite: English Placement Test (EPT) or successful completion of English 095.

Required Work  There will be weekly reading and writing assignments in this class.  You will need to plan ahead carefully in order to complete the following tasks on time:

  • Weekly reading assignments

  • Five short essays (at least 3 pages each)

  • Two revised essays

  • One final exam essay

  • A reading journal in which you will summarize and respond to some articles that we read this quarter. (see below for more on the reading journal)

Please note that every assignment (the readings, the essays, and the journal entries) is required.  I will not accept a portfolio from anyone who has failed to complete all of the assignments.

Expectations  Regular attendance is essential.  Failure to attend class or arriving to class late will seriously damage your chances of passing this course.  The English Department has a firm policy that states that no student may miss more than 20 percent of the class meetings. If you are more than 20 minutes late, consider yourself absent.  If you must miss a class for a valid reason, please call the department number or email me and leave a message that includes how I can reach you so that we can make sure you don't fall behind the rest of the class.  English Department policy states that composition students must attend the first two classes of the quarter to retain their place in the class.  Any student who is absent either the first or second class meeting will be dropped and the space given to another student who is trying to add.

Throw nothing away, and bring paper, our text, your book and your journals to class every time.

In conjunction with regular attendance, you must keep up with the work.  Late work is not acceptable and a missing assignment is counted as an absence.

Supplies You will need some regular, lined notebook (8.5 x 11) paper, some dark-ink pens (blue or black), and one pen in a bright, unusual color—this we'll use for our class workshop exercises.  It’s a very good idea to purchase a decent American language dictionary in addition to any two-language dictionaries you might already own.  From the bookstore pick up at least two standard-sized (8.5 x 11) bluebooks (exam books) to use for your reading journals, and a manila folder for your portfolio.  

Our text is The Next Los Angeles: The Struggle for a Livable City which is already in the bookstore.

Your Portfolio For this class, ultimately you will be evaluated on the basis of three writing samples:  two essays written during the quarter, revised and edited (with rough drafts attached beneath the revision), and your final exam.  Due dates for each revision are noted on the schedule.  (Note:  You are responsible for composing essays on all of the assigned topics.)

Policies                       

Grading Policy: Course grades are determined by an evaluation of your portfolio by two current English 096 instructors. The following grades are used:

CR—Credit:                You pass the course and are eligible to enroll in English 101
NC—No Credit:         You must retake English 096

Cell Phones and Pagers: Please turn off all cell phones, pagers, portable radios, televisions, computers, MP3/CD/Disc/Mini-disc players, and any other electronic communication and/or entertainment devices before coming to class.

Contacting the Instructor: Email is the most effective way of communicating with me.

Attendance: Attendance is mandatory. I will take attendance at the start of every class. If you are not present I will mark you absent. Arriving late will count as half of an absence. You are allowed one absence without penalty. Each absence beyond the first one will reduce your course grade. If you miss more than four classes you will be disqualified from taking the final and therefore will fail the class.

Please read the assigned texts before class. Often I will offer some guidelines about future reading assignments in class. For example, I might tell you to focus on a particular character or scene for the next class meeting. If you are absent, you are responsible for getting the assignment from a classmate.

Written Assignments: Please note the following carefully when preparing your written assignments for this class:

  • Written assignments must be typed following standard formatting practices for college writing—use a readable type style (12 point type), indent paragraphs, double space between lines, and use one inch margins. Any style guide will contain information on formatting your written assignments for submission.

  • Before handing in written assignments, edit and proofread your work carefully.

  • Do not use plastic covers or report folders or title pages on your written assignments. Each assignment, though, should have your name, the course number, the date, and my name on separate lines (double-spaced) in the upper left corner of the first page. If the paper has a title, center it on the first page, after the above information.

  • Use page numbers and place them in the upper right corner of the page. If you are uncertain how to have word processing software generate the correct page number in the header of your document, ask someone in one of the labs.

  • MLA format and style conventions should be followed for all written assignments (essays and responses). For more information on MLA format and style conventions, see The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, the appropriate section of a recent (published after 2000) writer’s handbook, or one of the many reputable online sources.

Late papers are not accepted. The assignment due dates are distributed on the first day of class, and the assignments are made available often weeks before they are due.

Academic Dishonesty/Cheating: Collaborating with others is encouraged when you are planning your papers, reviewing each other’s work, preparing for presentations or for exams. Study or reading groups can be effective ways to study and learn. However, when you write your papers, the text needs to be your own.

You must carefully observe the standard rules for acknowledging the sources of words and ideas. If you make use of a phrase or a quote or if you paraphrase another writer’s words or ideas, you must acknowledge the source of these words or ideas telling us the source of these materials. APA and MLA style differ on the exact format of this attribution, but the simple version is the name of the author and the page number (if appropriate) in parentheses at the end of the sentence containing the use of the source material. If you fail to acknowledge properly the source of your text, you will receive a zero on the assignment and be reported to the Student Disciplinary Officer.

If you plagiarize or otherwise misrepresent the source of your work, you will receive a zero on the assignment and be reported to the Student Disciplinary Officer.

 basic writing ii                                               csulosangeles
    imagining the next LA                english 096