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Welcome to English 21. Professor: Rebecca Lawson. Syllabus = Contract. Your syllabus is a contract between you, the student, and me, the instructor.

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welcome to english 21

Welcome to English 21

Professor: Rebecca Lawson

syllabus contract
Syllabus = Contract

Your syllabus is a contract between you, the student, and me, the instructor.

Therefore, your syllabus tells you what I expect of you as a student, and what you can expect from this class over the course of the semester.

Students are responsible for knowing what the syllabus says and keeping track of the assignments on the schedule attached to the syllabus.

your instructor
Your Instructor
  • Rebecca Lawson, M.A.
    • You can call me Professor Lawson, Ms. Rebecca, or Ms. Lawson
  • My Email Address: lawsonrw@lamission.edu or ProfessorRLawson@gmail.com
  • My Office Hours: Tues/Thurs 2:45—3:20
  • Office Location: Room 16 of the INST Building
  • Our Class Section Number: 3803
required texts
Required texts:
  • Pathways for Writing Scenarios by Kathleen T. McWhorter (2nd edition)
  • English Simplified package with MySkillsLab access card (Sold only at the LAMC bookstore) Course ID: lawson51467
  • Also Required:
    • Regular Access to your LAMC school email
    • Check our class blog regularly: http://english21lawsonfall2013.weebly.com
    • Important Handouts will be posted to the class blog.
course description and slos
Course Description and SLOs
  • Course Description: (from LA Mission catalogue) This is a course in reading and writing designed to strengthen the student’s basic communication skills, including grammar, spelling, punctuation, and sentence construction. Greatest emphasis is placed on the writing of competent paragraphs and short essays.
  • Student Learning Outcomes:
    • Recognize and correct basic errors in grammar
    • Produce an essay of at least 250 words, which has a thesis, introduction, body, and conclusion. Sentence structure will be diversified.
    • Self-edit and correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors in his/her essays.
    • Differentiate fact from opinion.
grading and major assignments
Grading and major assignments

This class is graded credit/no credit. In order to receive a grade of “Credit,” you must have above a 70% in the class. Your grade will consist of the following:

  • Take-home paragraph: 50 points
  • 3 Take-home essays: 100 points each
  • MySkillLab Assignments Completion: 100 points
  • In-Class Writing Final: 100 points
  • Homework, Reading Responses, and In-Class Assignments: 5-20 points each, depending on length and difficulty.
    • Extra Credit: I will give one optional extra credit assignment toward the end of the semester. It will be a writing challenge based on a reading “The Case for Short Words” by Richard Lederer. More information in class.
papers and printing
PAPERS AND printing
  • With the exception of reading responses and some small homework assignments, ALL ASSIGNMENTS MUST BE PRINTED.
  • Where to Print: Printing facilities may be available to you free of charge in INST 2009, and you may also buy a print card if you wish to use the printers in the LRC. Expect to have computer difficulties at least once during the semester and plan for them.
essay and assignment format
Essay and assignment format
  • All final drafts must be in 12-point, Times New Roman font. Margins must be one inch on all sides, and the body of the paper should be double spaced.
  • All papers must include your name, the date, your class and section information, the assignment name, and your word count in the left-hand corner.
  • I will hand out an example of correct formatting in class and email it to the class. Please refer to it every time you turn in a written assignment.
  • All assignments should be carefully proofread for grammar and spelling errors.
late assignments
Late assignments
  • Extensions may be granted for papers if there are extraordinary circumstances, but only if you have made arrangements with me before the due date.
  • Otherwise, all papers and homework assignments are due at the beginning of the period. If you arrive late to class, you must turn in your work to me immediately upon arriving.
  • I will not accept homework turned in at the end of the period. If you know you are going to be absent, please make arrangements to have your work in my box in the LA Mission faculty mailroom before class or to have it in class with a classmate on the day it is due.
  • Once (and only once) during the semester, you will be allowed to turn in a paper one week after it was originally due with no penalty. If you would like to do this, please fill out the "Late Contract" attached to this syllabus and have me sign it.
drafts and participation
Drafts and Participation:
  • Writing is a process, and it is important that you participate in the process by bringing drafts of your essays to class on the designated dates.
  • In order for your classmates and me to help you as much as possible, we need to see the direction that you are going with your paper, and for this, we need to see a completed draft.
  • I define a complete draft as an essay that, while it may not make the page length required for the assignment, has all of the qualities of a finished product—it is typed, and it has an introduction, body, and a conclusion.
  • Students who do not bring a complete draft to class on the day the draft is due will lose participation point and the opportunity to have me comment on their rough drafts. I do not read late drafts.
keeping record of your assignments
Keeping Record of your Assignments
  • It is your responsibility to keep track of which assignments you have turned in and which you have not, and it is your responsibility to keep track of your grade.
  • Your grades will also be up on the Moodle website, but they will not always be up to date. [DELETE THIS PLEASE. WE NO LONGER HAVE MOODLE]
  • Please keep all of your work after I pass it back. This means your quickwrites, your essays, your in-class work, and any other assignments we do.
  • Also, you should never give me your only copy of an assignment.
  • Always save your work on a computer or a flash drive or print out an extra copy for you to keep in case something goes wrong.
academic honestly and plagiarism
Academic honestly and Plagiarism:
  • Plagiarism is presenting another person’s work as your own. This can include copying word-for-word from a source without properly crediting it, presenting an idea as your own without acknowledging the source, or turning in a piece of writing that you did not personally create.
  • Accidental plagiarism will result in an "incomplete" on the assignment with the option of revising for a passing grade. Depending on the circumstances and the severity of the infraction, intentional plagiarism will, at the least, result in an "F" on the assignment in question and may result in an "F" in the class.
  • Repeat offenders risk suspension from LA Mission College.
academic honestly and plagiarism1
Academic honestly and Plagiarism:
  • If you are worried that you may not have credited your sources correctly and that your essay may contain plagiarized material, please contact me and ask about it before you turn it in.
  • I will never penalize you or be upset if you ask me about it.
  • To avoid plagiarism from internet sources: IF you use the copy/paste function, all material you copy/paste must have quote marks around it.
  • DO NOT copy/paste and then change some words to “put it in your own words”– this is NOT a true paraphrase. A true paraphrase is when you write down source information from memory without looking at it—AND give it proper credit/citation.
attendance policies
Attendance policies:
  • Attendance is VERY important because our class only meets once a week.
    • If you miss ONE class, that is equivalent to missing a whole WEEK of class.
    • We are a collaborative community of learners. You can’t be part of that if you aren’t here.
  • Only TWO (2) absences are allowed.
  • Students who are absent 3 times will receive a grade penalty.
  • Students who are absent 4 times will be dropped from the course if before the drop date, or will receive a “NO CREDIT” after the drop date.
if you are late to class
If you are late to class:
  • Please come to class on-time.
  • If you come in after I have taken attendance, you have been marked absent. I may not see you when you come in.
  • It is up to you to come see me at the break and get your absence changed to a tardy.
  • 3 tardies will count as 1 absence. Do not be tardy more than 3 times, or it will use up one of your allowed absences.
  • Do not leave class early. It’s rude and you will be marked as a ½ absence, unless you ask me and are approved ahead of time due to emergency/illness.
  • Please come talk to me if you have a difficult situation that prevents you from being on-time.
phones and technology
Phones and technology
  • Please turn all cell phones, alarms, and other noise-making devices to silent before class.
  • DO NOT text-message, play games, or use your mobile device in any other manner during class.
  • If I see you using your device once, I will warn you to put it away. If I see it again, I will ask you to leave the class and mark you tardy for the day.
  • You are paying to be in this class, so please be here.
  • I will sometimes use my own cellphone for class related reasons only, but I will NEVER use it for personal reasons during class. I expect the same from you.
special concerns
Special concerns
  • If you have any special needs, please see me privately. Sharing your situation with me will help me to be a more effective instructor.
  • If you are a student with a disability and require classroom accommodations, please see me to discuss arrangements. The sooner I am aware that you are eligible for accommodations, the quicker I will be able to provide them.
  • If you have not done so already, you may also wish to contact the DSP&S Office in Instruction Building 1018 (phone #818.364. 7732/TTD 818.364.7861) and bring a letter stating the accommodations that are needed.
  • I am happy to address any concerns you might have about this class. Please don’t be afraid to ask.
in the event of an emergency
In the event of an emergency:
  • If a campus emergency that poses risk to students occurs, please be prepared to immediately follow the instructions of your Instructor. Do not exit the classroom until instructed to do so.
  • If building evacuation is required, you will be asked to leave all of your non-essential personal belongings in the classroom and quickly, yet orderly and safely, exit the classroom and the building, preferably through the main doors.
  • Proceed to a safe location near the walkway intersection. As the last person to exit, I will lock the classroom door behind me and meet you outside of the building in order to account for your presence and safety.
break time
Break time!
  • You may have a 15 minute break.
  • Please return no later than 15 minutes.
generating ideas writing techniques
Generating ideas: writing techniques
  • Choosing a topic and coming up with ideas for writing assignments can be a challenge and can even sometimes be stressful.
  • Let’s talk about some things you can do to make the process easier.
    • Read before you write
      • Read about the topic you plan to write about, OR read about the craft of writing itself in your textbook.
      • Reading gets the “writing and words” flowing.
    • Brainstorm
    • Freewrite
      • You can think of these as “Thinking On Paper”
  • This is a useful step in the writing process after you have chosen a topic.
  • You may also use this step to narrow your topic later or come up with ideas for additional paragraphs.
    • May take the form of a list (see pg. 20)
    • Brief. Uses words, phrases, images, reactions, emotions.
    • May take the form of an branching or idea map (see p. 21, 23 )
brainstorming practice
Brainstorming Practice
  • On a new sheet of notebook paper, brainstorm about the following topic: “Events and people who have shaped my attitudes about reading and writing.”
  • Brainstorm for three minutes.
  • Write down everything you can think of. There are no “good ideas” or “bad ideas”, just ideas and connections.
  • Freewriting is much the same as brainstorming, but it usually involves stream of consciousness writing, organized into rough sentences.
  • Write whatever comes to mind about a topic without worrying about organization, spelling, "making it sound good," etc.
  • This is not for anyone else. This is for you.
  • See an example of freewriting on p. 20
freewriting practice
Freewriting Practice:
  • Pick an idea or a related group of ideas from your brainstorming and highlight it. Now, freewrite about the idea(s) you picked for three minutes.
  • Again, write constantly and let your ideas come quickly. Don’t worry about anything. There are no “good ideas” or “bad ideas” when you freewrite and brainstorm. Just ideas.
  • Don’t judge any of your ideas. Just write it out.
diagnostic writing
Diagnostic Writing
  • Write at least 1 full page on the following topic:

What are your thoughts on the following statement: "I am a writer."

  • Do you agree or disagree? Why?
    • What experiences, issues, people, or events have led you to this conclusion?
  • If you're stuck, you may wish to begin with, "I believe that I am a writer because…" or "I don't believe that I am a writer because…"
  • Remember, complicated answers like “yes, but…” or “no, however…” are good too!
homework for next class
Homework for next class
    • The next time we meet will be two weeks from now on September 10th. Please don’t put off all your homework and reading until then. Stretch it out over the two weeks.
  • Due Tuesday September 10:
  • Reading Response for "The Beautiful Laughing Sisters – An Arrival Story" on p. 522-527 in Pathways.
    • A Reading Response includes answering 2 of the 5 questions under “Reviewing the Reading” (pg 526) AND ALSO answering 1 of the “Reacting to Ideas” questions (bottom of 526 and top of 527)
  • Sign up for MySkillsLab (Handout for how to do this on our class blog) and do the MSL Path Builder
  • NOTE: You MUST have your Pathways book and MySkills Lab access card in class with you on this date.