Winter 2017 Syllabus

ENG 1020—Intro to Composition

Wayne State University

Winter 2017


Instructor: Deanna Laurette


Office: 9306.3 Maccabees bldg. (5057 Woodward)
Class: Sec. 029 1:25-2:50 T/Th





Office hours: Wednesday 1-2, T/Th 12-1 and by appointment. I am also in the WRT Zone from 3-5 on Tuesdays and Thursdays working with graduate students. Feel free to stop by!
Location: Sec. 029 029 State


Email: (Feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns. I respond quickly).

Text: 734-731-2289

Skype: deausexmachina

Course description and rationale


Building upon students’ diverse skills, English 1020 prepares students for reading, research, and writing in college classes. The main goals of the course are (1) to teach students to consider the rhetorical situation of any piece of writing; (2) to have students integrate reading, research, and writing in the academic genres of analysis and argument; and (3) to teach students to develop analyses and arguments using research-based content, effective organization, and appropriate expression and mechanics.

To achieve these goals, the course places considerable emphasis upon the relationship between reading and writing, the development and evaluation of information and ideas through research, the genres of analysis and argumentation, and the use of multiple technologies for research and writing.

WSU Undergraduate Bulletin Description

Cr 3. Prereq: placement through ACT score, English Qualifying Examina­tion, or passing grade in ENG 1010. A course in reading, research, and writing skills that prepares students to write successfully in col­lege classes.

Course Placement for ENG 1020

You are placed into ENG 1020 by different means (see the ENG 1010-1020 Placement Rules handout at  Most of you are placed via ACT scores: those with an ACT English score of 21 or above are placed into ENG 1020. You can also be placed into ENG 1020 via the English Qualifying Examination (see the EQE Information handout at

You also may enroll in ENG 1020 if you received an S grade in ENG 1010.

General Education Designation
With a grade of C or better, ENG 1020 fulfills the General Education Basic Composition (BC) graduation requirement. Successful completion of Basic Composition is a prerequisite to enrolling in courses that fulfill the General Education IC (Intermediate Composition) requirement for graduation (e.g., ENG 3010, 3020, 3050, Literature & Writing courses).

Learning Outcomes


  • Use reading strategies in order to identify, analyze, evaluate, and respond to arguments, rhetorical elements, and genre conventions in college-level texts and other media.


  • Compose persuasive academic genres, including argument and analysis, using rhetorical and genre awareness.
  • Use a flexible writing process that includes brainstorming/inventing ideas, planning, drafting, giving and receiving feedback, revising, editing, and publishing.


  • Use a flexible research process to find, evaluate, and use information from secondary sources to support and formulate new ideas and arguments.


  • Use written reflection to plan, monitor, and evaluate one’s own learning and writing.

Required Text

The Wayne Writer. 2nd ed. New York: Norton, 2015. ISBN: 9781323136492.


Students are required to write a minimum of 32 pages (approximately 8,000 words) in ENG 1020 (including drafts and informal writing). This course will feature 5 major projects along with less formal writing for in-class activities and homework

  1. Rhetorical Analysis (2,500-3,000 words)
  2. I-Search Essay (1,500-2,000 words)
  3. Researched Argument Essay (2,500-3,000 words)
  4. Infographic Argument (500-1,000 words)
  5. Reflective Letter (and portfolio) (1,000-1,500 words)

In addition to these projects, students will compose weekly posts as they develop ideas for writing. Posts will be published on a WordPress blog you create for this course—these sites will allow you to easily share your work, to practice writing for a public audience, and to reflect on how you are developing a writerly, rhetorical identity in your college courses.

Students in this Composition Learning Community section will also participate in an end-of-semester “showcase,” presenting elements of the work of one of their projects with a team. This showcase, presented to other composition students and members of the English department, is an opportunity to practice presentation skills and to share developing knowledge about writing, writing scholarship, research practices, etc.

Project Formats and Submission

  • Assignments must be typed, double-spaced, in 12-point Times New Roman typeface, with one-inch margins.
  • Please use MLA format for citations.
  • Major assignments must be submitted electronically through Blackboard.
  • Please insert page numbers in the top, right-hand corner of your assignments.


Grades on individual papers will be weighted as follows:

Rhetorical Analysis Project                                                   10%

I-Search Project                                                                     15%

Researched Argument Project                                             25%

Infographic Project                                                                15%

Reflective Essay Project                                                        10%

Other assignments, in class work, and participation          25%

CLC Showcase                                                                       5%

Feedback on assignments can be found in the Blackboard Grade Center.

WSU Grading Scale:

A         94-100%

A-        90-93%

B+       87-89%

B         84-86%

B-        80-83%

C+       77-79%

C         74-76%                       A grade of C or better fulfills the

C-        70-73%                       General Education IC requirement

D+       67-69%                       and the prerequisite for General

D         64-66%                       Education WI courses.

D-        60-63%

F          59% or less

“Homework Pass”

College is a complex balancing act. You’ll be working through several courses, reading, writing, taking tests, attending lectures and labs, working other jobs, taking care of family, etc. You will get TWO homework passes that may be used on any of the assigned posts. These passes allow you to turn in work the class period after it is due without penalty. The only catch is that you must tell me before the assignment is due that you will be using your pass.

Attendance Policy

Attendance is required. This class does not exist without you, so you must be present to participate! As per the grading contract, you are allotted four absences throughout the semester. Regardless of the reason for your absence, you are responsible for any material that you miss. I repeat: there are no excused absences. Additionally, it is rude and distracting to enter class late and to leave early. If you arrive more than 20 minutes late, you will be marked absent; if you leave class early without prior notification (or in excess of reason), you will also be marked absent. If you miss more than four class sessions, you will fail the course.


NOTE: Each assignment is due on the assigned due date unless otherwise specified by the instructor.

Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is the act of copying work from books, articles, and websites without citing and documenting the source. Plagiarism includes copying language, texts, and visuals without citation (e.g., cutting and pasting from websites). Plagiarism also includes submitting papers (or sections of papers) that were written by another person, including another student, or downloaded from the Internet. Plagiarism is a serious academic offense. It may result in a failing grade for the assignment or a failing grade for the course. Instructors are required to report all cases of plagiarism to the English Department. Information on plagiarism procedures is available in the Department.

Incomplete grades: 

The grade of incomplete is reserved for rare occasions when “there is, in the judgment of the instructor, a reasonable probability that the student can complete the course successfully without again attending regular class sessions.”  (WSU Undergraduate Bulletin, 40).


As a rule I do not apply “I” grades because the largest portion of this class is based on in-class instruction and learning.


However, if you do have a medical issue during the semester, please contact me so we can discuss the option of a medical withdrawal from the course.


Other Course Policies

Respect Policy


Thank you for being punctual, prepared for class and ready to explore the topics at hand. It is essential that we show the highest degree of respect for each other in this class, in every way. This respect should translate from our interpersonal interactions to how we address each other’s writing to how we ourselves write.


Rude, mean, divisive, and/or dismissive attitudes, chronic tardiness, sleeping, unproductive discussions or comments are not appropriate for the college classroom, nor will they be tolerated. I expect attentive and thoughtful conduct in every situation.


Cell-phones, ipods, mp3 players, Dre’s Beats gigantic headphones, boom boxes, mixing turntables, etc.

The respect policy extends to these items. I advise you to use your common sense with your personal gadgets – use them when you need to use them and when it’s not disruptive. Don’t use them when it’s obvious that you’re ignoring the class and your work. Just be cool; be a good student. *P.S. One of my biggest pet peeves is wearing earbuds in the classroom during class instruction/discussion. Don’t do it. Sometimes you might forget you have them in your ears, but I will be sure to remind you. J If you want to listen to music while you’re writing/revising during a workshop, ask permission.


Communicating with Me (your instructor):


One of the best things you can do for yourself in this course is to keep up a solid, consistent line of communication with me. Making an appointment or visiting open office hours is a great way to do that. Also, email. EMAIL ME!!! Please. It’s my job, and one of the more satisfying parts of my life, to support you and help you succeed in my class. I make myself as available as I can—please take advantage of that (i.e. emailing me with questions; being prepared for class). I check my email frequently, and really do want to hear from you! The one catch is that, while I check my email a lot, I don’t check it every hour of the day. Don’t email me at midnight the night before something is due with a question…because I guarantee you I’ll be asleep and you’ll be out of luck. Do give me about 24hrs (usually less, but still) to respond to emails, so that I can give you the careful, thoughtful responses you deserve.**

**Please be sure that you take detailed notes in class – often times I provide answers to common questions during class (and repeat them numerous times), so do not be surprised if it is frustrating for me to repeat them to you via email! J


Further, analyzing your audience is critical to designing any effective communication and that applies to email as well. The kinds of email we write, and the style we use to write email, is very different for friends, families, employers, and instructors. With this in mind, I’m going to ask that you use

a fairly formal style with me this semester which will be good practice for the kinds of email you’ll have to write to other professors, university administrators, and potential employers as you continue your academic career. As such, please use the following guidelines in your email:

  • Please communicate with your WSU email account only; emails received from other email accounts will not be opened.
  • Please do not click “reply all” when responding to an email I have sent to the entire class unless you wish for all of your classmates to see your response.
  • Please do not give out my email address or send out non-course related emails to me or your classmates unless you have prior permission to do so.
  • Please remember that since email does not include the advantage of us being able to observe one another’s body language and tone, be careful with sarcasm and humor; you may unintentionally communicate the incorrect message.
  • Please do not use all caps in emails as it is considered shouting; likewise, please do not bold or underline unless you need to emphasis a very important point.
  • Begin the first email in a thread with a salutation such as Dear Alisa, Hello Dr. Smith, or Dear Classmates
  • Include an ending salutation such as “Thank You,” “Thanks,” or “Best.”
  • Please only tag emails as having “high importance/priority”, if they are truly urgent.
  • If you choose to “BCC” (blind carbon copy) or “CC” (carbon copy) me on an email, please let me know why you have chosen to do so.
  • Please check your email, at least, once daily.
  • Please always include “ENG 1020” in your subject line if you are not emailing directly from Bb which will automatically include “ENG 1020” in the subject line.



I do provide my text message number (no phone calls, please). This number is to be used to let me know that you are coming to our in office conferences. My office can be hard to find, and texting allows me to help you. You may also meet with me in other locations, and texting allows us to find each other. You can also utilize texting to tell me you will be late or absent. When you text me, make sure to include your name and what class you are in. I prefer if you use your Wayne State email account to ask me course related questions.

Course Writing Policies:


Late Work Policy

Thank you for not turning in late work. As a rule, I do not accept late work. I do not accept “make up” work. In class assignments cannot be made up.  I do realize that life is complicated, but part of college is working around our circumstances. If you turn in a rough draft late, please do not expect me to promptly return it to you with substantive comments as if you turned it in on time. I will do my best, but I make no promises.  It is not possible for me to accept late final assignments (Project 5), at all, ever. If you do not submit your Final Assignment on time, it will be difficult for you to pass the class.


Rough Draft Workshop Policy

Rough Draft Workshops are an important feature of this class that is both highly valuable to you and highly representative of the writing process. You must be present and you must bring a Rough Draft to class on the day it is due. If you show up sans draft, or not at all, you will not receive credit for that RD Workshop, which will negatively impact your grade.


Warrior Writing, Research, and Technology (WRT) Zone

The WRT Zone is a one stop resource center for writing, research, and technology.  The WRT Zone provides individual tutoring consultations, research assistance from librarians, and technology consultations, all free of charge for graduate and undergraduate students at WSU.  Tutoring sessions are run by undergraduate and graduate tutors and can last up to 50 minutes.  Tutors can work with writing from all disciplines.

Tutoring sessions focus on a range of activities in the writing process – understanding the assignment, considering the audience, brainstorming, writing drafts, revising, editing, and preparing documentation.  The WRT Zone is not an editing or proofreading service; rather, tutors work collaboratively with students to support them in developing relevant skills and knowledge, from developing an idea to editing for grammar and mechanics.

Librarian and technology support is a walk-in service.  Consultants will work with students on a first come-first serve basis.  Consultants provide support with the library database system, finding and evaluating sources, developing research strategies, organizing sources, and citations.  Consultants will also provide technology support including, but not limited to: video editing, graphics creation, presentation building, audio recording, MS Office support, and dissertation formatting.  The WRT Zone has several computers with the Adobe Creative Suite for students who want to work on multimedia projects. Our location is also equipped with two Whisper Rooms where students can work on multimedia projects in a more private and sound isolated environment.

To make a face-to-face or online appointment, consult the WRT Zone website:

For more information about the WRT Zone, please contact the Director, Jule Wallis (email:

The WRT Zone is especially important in this class. There are workshops for each project (with the exception of project 5), and each provides not only an opportunity to receive more assistance with your work, but I also encourage attendance at the workshops by offering extra credit (5 points on the related project) for doing so). I can also help you make individual WRT Zone Appointments-Just ask me after class!

Student Disability Services

Students who may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the instructor privately to discuss specific needs.  Additionally, the Student Disabilities Services Office coordinates reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities. The office is located in 1600 David Adamany Undergraduate Library and can be reached by phone at 313-577-1851. Please consult the SDS website for further information:

Other Resources


Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

Self-care is an important part of maintaining mental and physical health, and it becomes especially important during stressful periods of life—such as attending college classes. CAPS has a variety of resources for students, ranging from individual counseling sessions, support groups, crisis intervention, and access to community resources. You can call 313-577-3398 or visit their website for more information:

Diversity Statement

Wayne State University is home to a diverse student body with a variety of personal, gender, racial, religious, and ethnic identities. It is expected that all classroom conduct and digital communications are respectful towards members of our group. This means that students should not expect tolerance for racist, homophobic, sexist or otherwise prejudicial and/or bigoted language. Please be considerate and think carefully about the language and ideas you present to our classroom community. It is also the case that students should expect classroom discussion to deal with issues of identity race, gender, sexuality, disability, etc. and should write abut and discuss these issues respectfully and responsibly. If you have any concerns about issues relating to diversity and inclusion in our classroom community, you may reach out to me at any time, and/or contact WSU’s Office of Multicultural Student Engagement


Project 1: Rhetorical Analysis

You will compose a 1500-2000 word rhetorical analysis on an article. You will have a choice of articles that I will provide. The analysis essay may seem similar to what you have previously done in high school, but we will be taking this assignment a step further. You will use the information you learn about rhetorical analysis from The Wayne Writer to analyze a nonfiction article. Analysis, simply described, is describing how or why something works by breaking it down into smaller parts and examining these smaller parts. To do this analysis, you will use rhetorical analysis, which is an advanced reading strategy used to explore how rhetorical messages and appeals work in a specific situation. We will discuss the specifics of the assignment and its evaluation during the second week of class.

Project 2: CRAAP Test

You will compose an 8 source CRAAP Test. The CRAAP Test examines the validity and usefulness of pieces of text. You must include information about the Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose of your sources. I will provide an example of what this project should look like. The purpose of this assignment is to make the next project easier, as well as to implement the techniques we learn during the librarian workshop this semester. Each section of the CRAAP Test needs to be at least 4 sentences in length for each source.

Project 3: Researched Argument

You will write a 7-9 page paper (150 points), on the topic you chose for your CRAAP Test with an accompanying detailed description 2-3 pages (50 points), on how you brainstormed, composed, revised, and used your sources and course texts in your work.

The researched argument should follow the following guidelines.

  • Be in MLA or APA format
  • Contain a minimum of 8 sources (4 of which must be scholarly)
  • Quotes or paraphrases from each source within the essay
  • Have a properly formatted Works Cited or Reference page

We will discuss and decide on further requirements in class. However, you must be prepared to pay attention to:

  • The introduction
  • The Audience, structure, and genre
  • The conversation surrounding your topic
  • The Rhetorical Situation
  • Citing and using sources
  • The conclusion

You must also be prepared to participate in brainstorming, drafting, and peer workshop activities.

Project 4: Infographic

In this project you will create a visual representation of the argument you made in Project Three. This is called an infographic, which is the visual depiction of an evidence based argument. We will look at several infographics in class, as well as draw some on paper. After this, you will utilize canva or picktochart to create an infographic that is at least 4 (four) blocks long. You will do this by working through your own rhetorical decision-making process to prioritize your data and compose an infographic representing that data (100 points). You will then give a short presentation to the class about your decision making process and the information you chose to include in the infographic (25 points). You almost must include a short (300-500 word) written reflection that describes your composing process and gives me a sense of your rhetorical choices (25 points).

Project 5: Final Reflection

In this essay, you will evaluate your growth as an English 1020 student, using your choice of experiences and work on the projects to support your claims. In an essay of 4-5 pages, write an essay that analyzes your work in ENG 1020 in relationship to the course learning outcomes listed on the syllabus for the course. Explain what you have achieved for the learning outcomes by citing specific passages from your essays and other assigned writings for the course, and by explaining how those passages demonstrate the outcomes. Also, consider describing the process you used to complete this work and any background information about yourself, as listed above, that might help us better understand the work you did this semester in working toward the course learning outcomes.


You will want to choose the learning outcomes and knowledge that have developed most strongly and importantly for you. If you think there is little evidence of your growth in a particular learning outcome, no problem: just articulate why in your final essay. You should address all of the learning outcomes, but you may choose which ones you focus on. Your main claim (or thesis statement) should identify specific characteristics that you believe your experiences and work in English 1020 (which you’ll use your body paragraphs to talk about) represent. The body paragraphs of your essay should develop your main claim with evidence from your major works and experiences in this course. As you choose evidence and sub-claims to make about your major assignments, you will develop your paragraphs by drawing upon the process of completing the assignment to support the claim.


In a nutshell, this assignment asks you to take a critical look at your work from this semester, and talk about it in terms of your knowledge of yourself as a learner and thinker.

CLC Showcase

Since this section is part of the Composition Learning Community, we will be participating in the CLC Showcase at the end of the semester. This means that we will decide on a theme and the pieces of writing we want to contribute to the theme. To get credit for this assignment, you not only need to contribute a piece of relevant writing, but you also need to attend either set up, during the showcase, or taking down the display. Your attendance must be at least 45 minutes. We will begin discussing the showcase in Week 6, and I will bring an example from last semester.

Blog Postings

In previous versions of this course, I have had students complete in class writing prompts every day. To maximize the time we have in class, you will instead be creating WordPress blogs for this class. You will answer a question for each class period, and I will grade your responses before the start of each class. Blog posts must be 300-500 words long. You must also respond to 2 (two) of your classmates’ posts per week.