English 112P: Composition II

Spring 2005


Hopwood 003

2-2:50 pm



Dr. Chidsey Dickson


Yahoo Messenger Username: “Alachid


Office: 222 Carnegie,

Office Hours: MW 4:10-5:30 & Tuesdays 3-5. You can also email me and we’ll set up an appt. (dickson_c@lynchburg.edu)



Course Description


This is a writing class, the second in a two-semester sequence designed to get you up-and-running as

 rhetorically-adept writers and creative/critical thinkers about “information.” Since you’ve already had a

semester of work in writing, I assume that you are familiar with what comprises the writing process.

Here’s a recap:



  • the “process” approach to composition suggests that when you go to compose a text the process involves not just several “steps” but several dimensions that you can approach “step-wise” but not in any easy-breezy recipe method. Say, for example, that you need to write a lab report (or an History essay or a law school brief). If you’re been consciously working in the last semester on how to size up a writing situation and do your best (most creative and critical) thinking about it, then you know: you’ll need to brainstorm about


    • your purpose and audience
    • the discipline and the genre you’re working in
    • how to develop your ideas with the framework of the discipline and the genre you’re working in
    • where to find (& how to analyze/evaluate) the “information” you need to draw on to create or revise your ideas


  • the “process” approach ends (if that’s the right word) when you prompt other people and/or yourself to revise your work at all levels:
    • ideas/support
    • genre, format and other audience concerns
    • sentence-level mechanics
    • prose style


This semester   




. . .

we’ll continue to work from the premise that composing is a multi-dimensional, mult-stage activity that involves much more than stringing words together in “correct”  ways or “following directions.” But we will also expand how we’ve approach composition to include:


  • images**
  • graphics


**This image, for instance. I did an image search on Google for political buttons (which have always fascinated me b/c I like how they convey…but usually not what: a preference). I painted over the name that was on the button and replaced it with a yogic declarative statement to remind people to “breathe.” Maybe I will add “Vote for Calm” in a half-moon circle on the bottom?


At the end of the class, you will:



Required Materials


Picturing Texts. Lester Faigley, Diana George , Anna Palchik and Cynthia Selfe. W.W. Norton & Company. 2004.


Dreaming in Cuban. Christina Garcia.


Mezzanine. Nicholson Baker.


Checkpoint. Nicholson Baker.


Workout Book (exercises in sentence composing and rhetorical grammar)




3 Writing Projects




Reading Quizzes


“Work-Out” Notebook





*Here’s another graphical element—this time a pie chart created in Excel displaying the “distribution” of work for the semester. Why is the 45% in a larger font? Can you think of a better graphic display of this concept of “dividing” your time? The first thing you’d probably want to do is to recategorize the elements. The table and the chart both use vapid descriptions of the assignments. The items (project, notebook etc) are not really coherent.