Composition II

English 112

Spring, 2008

Section L

Section N

Dr. Chidsey Dickson

Office: Carnegie 222


Office Hours: 8am-8:45am, 10-10:45am, & 12-1 pm MWF and by appt.


Required Texts


Rewriting: How To Do Things with Texts (Harris)

Rhetorical Grammar (Kolln)

Course Packet

From last semester:

The Brief Thomson Handbook (Blakesley and Hoogeveen)

Bound by Law  (James Boyle et al)


Course Description


In this continued work on the writing process, students learn how to take command of an argument and support it effectively. Students learn to read and interpret texts containing language with multiple levels of meaning, develop techniques of writing research papers using argument and analysis with multiple sources, and to research topics efficiently and effectively using the full range of resources, tools, and methodologies. Students who have taken ENGL 111 normally stay in the same section for 112.

Course Objectives

At the end of the semester, students will have made significant progress on:

  • Writing succinct argument summaries
  • Analyzing and evaluating arguments on the basis of logic
  • Shaping (and reshaping) a research question and conducting a thorough rhetorical analysis of sources
  • Synthesizing sources in multi-source writing projects



Attendance and Participation in Class Discussion


Weekly Informal Writing (Blog or Blackboard Posts)


Writing Projects (3 x 15%)


Final Exam






Writing Projects: Overview


à WP#1: “Guide To Writing Academic Discourse”


Drawing on the readings and discussions of the first four weeks of the semester, you will devise a 5-6 page guidebook to academic discourse. You will include what a person needs to remember about the key topics we’ve discussed:

  • Literacy acquisition
  • Language
  • Summary and Response
  • Reasoning
  • Important Academic “Moves” (Coming to Terms, Forwarding, Countering, Taking an Approach, Revising)


à WP#2: Research Essay on War, the Media and You


Drawing on your guidebook, you will read, summarize and analyze the selected readings (see course packet) and design a way of having 2-3 of these sources “talk” to each other (with you as mediator and commentator). Ultimately, the project will evolve into having a focus, if not a capsule thesis (though you can use the “up-front” thesis format).  What will be critical in the first draft is that you use your guidebook to engage these sources and begin to move towards a coherent piece of analytic writing.


à WP#3: Research Essay of Your Own Devising


Drawing on your guidebook and your experiences in WP#2, you will design your own research project. More details to follow.



To get an A in the class you:

  • Actively and energetically contribute to class discussion
  • Active listening in class—listen attentively to what others are saying (not just the instructor) and take notes on whatever you can find that’s interesting about the conversation.
  •  Turn in all assignments at the appropriate time (exceptions can be negotiated as they arise, but must involve good reasoning and be approved before the due date).
  • Produce "A"-level writing in formal, high-stakes assignments (the two papers)
  • Miss no more than 3 classes

To get a B, you will generally need to meet the criteria of an A, but with some inconsistencies. This inconsistency could happen in any area, but generally it shows up as not being prepared for every class (not having the reading done, not handing in assignments on time), writing projects that don't meet all the assignment criteria, sporadic participation in class, or attendance or tardiness problems. The key here is that you are generally meeting the criteria for an A, but occasionally or in a particular category you are not.

To get a C, one or more of the inconsistencies would need to become more of a norm rather than an exception.

Behavioral Standards For Learning Environments

The values and attitudes that should guide student behavior consistent with maintaining an environment conducive to learning are set forth in the Lynchburg College catalogue and The Hornet. Responsibility and authority for maintaining order in the learning environment are assigned to faculty in Section 3.12.3 of the Faculty Handbook.

The following standards and procedures apply to all learning environments. However, each School and each instructor may have codes to specify additional standards suitable for learning environments or activities.

No student in Lynchburg College classes, laboratories, performances, lectures, and/or organizations shall behave in any way that obstructs or disrupts the normal functioning of the environment. Such behavior includes, but is not limited to, behaviors that persistently or grossly (1) inhibit the ability of other students to learn; (2) interfere with the meaningful participation of other students; or (3) inhibit the ability of an instructor or presenter to do his/her job. Specifically, students should foster an optimal learning environment by doing the following

  • Arriving on time
  • Being seated when it is time to begin and being attentive throughout.
  • Refraining from engaging in conversations with others unless participating in group activities
  • Refraining form leaving the class while it is in progress (except for illness or with prior approval)
  • Refraining from eating

Use of the Wilmer Writing Center (Hopwood 04)

All writers can benefit from discussing their work with another interested writer; hence, the individual attention provided by the Writing Center tutors is a helpful resource for all students in ENGL 111-112.  You should decide at what point in your writing process discussion with a tutor would be most helpful: 

-          invention and focusing the thesis in the early stages

-          developing and organizing ideas in the rough draft

-          integrating and documenting sources in a second draft

-          editing and proofreading before the final draft

You may like to visit the Writing Center more than once per assignment as your purpose changes at various points in the writing process, but all ENGL 112 students should consider visiting the Writing Center several times per semester.

Statement on Disabilities

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which guarantees the rights of all students with documented disabilities equal access to an education, limited only by personal ability and not by the disability, Lynchburg College supports students in obtaining reasonable accommodations at the college. Disclosure by the student and official documentation are required to determine eligibility for assistance due to a disability. For more information:


Plagiarism occurs in written work and in oral/visual presentations in which the writer presents materials as his/her own that have originated with someone else. These materials include information, data, ideas, conclusions, words, sentence structures, images, movies, sounds, and music. Because plagiarism presents another's work as one's own, it is unethical and dishonest and is therefore prohibited by the Lynchburg College Honor Code.  There are two broad categories of plagiarism: first, plagiarism of ideas occurs when the writer presents the ideas of others as his/her own. Information, data, interpretations, and conclusions that come from a specific source must be attributed to the source even if the original language is not used.  Second, plagiarism of language occurs when the writer lifts sentences or substantive words from the source. For more information:

Class Attendance/Lateness/Etc

More than three unexcused absences from class indicates that, regardless of your writing ability or performance, you are not really invested in the course. After three absences, I might ask to speak to you about what’s hindering your full engagement (problems with workload, difficulty of assignments, etc.). After four unexcused absences, your semester grade drops a letter grade. Students who have 6 unexcused absences automatically fail the class.

Missed Classes

Due to sickness, athletic events, family problems, etc., you will probably miss one or two classes during the semester. It is your responsibility to have the contact information for another person in the class (email and phone number) so that if you do miss a class you can find out what you missed, possible changes to the syllabus, etc.. If you miss more than one class due to sickness, you must provide more than one notification of a visit to the clinic. If you miss a class on a day when we are doing some in-class work (group work, etc.), you should contact a peer to find out what you missed. I will not bring extra copies of handouts to the next class. If you want to discuss what you missed, drop by my office during office hours.

If you are absent on the day when I return drafts (with my comments), you can pick up your work at any time that is convenient to you. It will be in a box outside my office. I will also place handouts in a separate box. If you miss a class in which a hand-out is distributed, you will know this after you speak with a peer, and you can swing by and pick it up. If you have questions about it, don’t hesitate to email me or stop by during office hours.

Late Assignments

Late assignments are penalized ½ letter grade for every day they are late.




Revising Prose:

Logical Fallacies:

Rhetorical Grammar (Kolln). From an Customer Review:

As a lawyer, I spend considerable time revising my own writing. Professor Kolln's lessons on grammar helped me learn how to write more efficiently and with more confidence. Like most people, I often relied on the "... just sounds better that way ..." technique of editing my sentences. Kolln explained how to make deliberate choices of grammar, focusing on the needs of the reader. She also explained how to control the rhythm of sentences. She helps the student learn techniques for making sentences stick together (cohesiveness), so the reader doesn't get lost or frustrated. Slightly over 250 pages, Kolln's book is short enough to be reviewed again and again. Her system of "rhetorical reminders" is a set of tools, valuable to writers of all levels of proficiency.

Schedule of Assignments Spring 2008



Due (at the beginning of class)


Grammar Work




Introduction to Course Policies and Content



Read Fishman and Malcolm X (P)

Write TBA (see Blackboard prompt)

Read Chapters 1-3 in Kolln’s Rhetorical Grammar


Read “6 Types of Email” Write TBA



Read Savan, Orr and States (P)

Write TBA

Read Chapters 4-6 in Kolln’s Rhetorical Grammar


Read Elements of Reasoning and Jacobs “End War Drugs” (P)  Write TBA



Read Males and Methvin Write TBA

Read Chapters 7 and 10 in Kolln’s Rhetorical Grammar


Read “Moves that Matter” and “Moving into Real-World Discourse” (P) Write TBA



Read Dickson (P) Write TBA

Read Chapter 13 in Kolln’s Rhetorical Grammar



Read Harris Introduction and Chapter 1 Write TBA



Read Harris Chapters 2-3 Write TBA



Read Harris Chapters 4 Write TBA



Read Harris Chapters 5 Write TBA



DUE: WP#1 (Draft)



Work on revision



DUE: Revision of WP#1



Read “TV News,” “11 Ways,” and ½ of Sontag (P)

Write TBA



Read rest of Sontag & Weisman (P) Write TBA



Read Lipsitz (P) Write TBA



Read Gimlin (P) Write TBA



Drawing on your guidebook, sketch out a plan (1-2 paragraphs) for drawing two of the texts we’ve read on war/media into an essay of your own devising. Print it and bring it to class.

Read Chapters 8 and 9 in Kolln’s Rhetorical Grammar





Read Part 3 of Blakesley and Dowdey (P)

Bring the course packet (and your summaries/notes on the readings) to class



Bring the course packet (and your summaries/notes on the readings) to class



DUE: 1-2 pages of work towards a draft of WP#2



DUE: 2-3 pages of work towards a draft of WP#2



DUE: 4 solid pages of draft of WP#2



DUE: draft of WP#2



Bring the course packet (and your summaries/notes on the readings) to class. We’ll work on revisions in class.

Note: John Burnett, award-winning NPR correspondent and author of “Uncivilized Beasts and Shameless Hellions” (Rodale Press, 2006), will be on campus March 26-27


Bring the course packet (and your summaries/notes on the readings) to class. We’ll work on revisions in class.



Bring the course packet (and your summaries/notes on the readings) to class. We’ll work on revisions in class.



DUE: revision of WP#2




Meet in Library



DUE: Research Question (1-3 paragraphs)



DUE first two entries for your Annotated Bibliography (“AB”)



DUE: Revised Research Question and two more entries for your AB



DUE: two more entries for AB



DUE Annotated Bibliography



DUE: 2 pages of writing on WP#3



DUE: 2 more pages of writing on WP#3



DUE: draft of WP#3



Bring your work-in-progress to class



Bring your work-in-progress to class



DUE: Revision of WP#3