Ranken Comp 102

This course is designed to develop an understanding and appreciation of argumentation and research techniques. The first part of the course rests upon the establishment of a thesis and ideas associated with proving the point the thesis endeavors to make. Following this, the emphasis shifts to the development of such evidence as concerns the establishment of a point of view. Next, the course matter will explain how to manipulate that evidence to prove and endorse a particular political agenda. To this end, you will learn how to write the following, which is one paper in three parts:

3-4 page expository -- 15% of your final grade, DUE 23 Dec. 1998

5-6 page persuasive -- 15% of your final grade, DUE 15 Jan. 1999

which represent the bulk of what future course work will consist.

Once you have learned how to put your own thoughts on paper in a clear, concise, explanatory or persuasive manner, you will learn how to incorporate the ideas of others into your texts to use as evidence upon which you may justify your claims. Your last assignment in this course is, therefore, an

8-10 page research paper -- 30% of your final grade, DUE 1 March, 1999

For the expository assignment, I will give you a list of topics from which you may choose. Should a better topic than those listed present itself to your mind, you are free to use it, provided you first submit a statement of intent, or prospectus, for approval. As the focus is on the development of a research paper and the honing of argumentation skills, you must work with the same topic, or issue, throughout the course of the semester. So, be sure to pick one you like.

Also, there will be one written examination assigned for 19 February, 1999, which will comprise 15% of your final grade, concerning Daniel Keyes’ Flowers for Algernon. Because this book may not be in the college bookstore, you’ll have to obtain a copy from elsewhere.

There will be a warm-up exercise based on NARRATIVE technique worth 5% of your grade.

Regular 1-page, typed journal entries will be assigned, based on readings from the book, The Prentice Hall Guide for College Writers, Fourth Edition, available in the college bookstore, and these will comprise 10% of your final grade. These journals will be collected weekly for review.

As class participation and warm-up exercises are integral to your understanding of the composition process, this will constitute 10% of your grade.

Assignments may be rewritten for a better grade, rewrites being due one week from the day the paper is returned. Late papers cannot be rewritten and will be docked a letter grade for each day late.

Because of the short duration of this course, attendance is mandatory. A student who accumulates more than 4 unexcused absences will be dropped from the course. If you foresee a problem with attendance due to work or other activities, drop the class and reorganize your schedule. There’s no sense torturing yourself. See student handbook, pp. 14-16 for clarification of the attendance policy.

My office hours are kept by appointment. If you need to contact me for any reason throughout the term, you may call me at home at (314) 752-9311, or e-mail me at sebastian@mahfood.com.

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