EH 435W: The Senior Portfolio
Fall Semester 2011 | S
ection 01: TR 1:10-2:25 | Chapman 012

Rodney F. Dick
Associate Professor of English

Office: 468 Chapman Hall | Office Hours: MWF 10-12:00, TR 10:30-11:30 and by appt.
(330) 823-4792 (Office) | (330) 823-2397 (English Department) | (330) 354-6852 (Cell--emergencies only)
Email: | Syllabus online at:

Course Description:
This is your capstone course as a writing major. You will write and read and thingk about writing and reading. You will be asked to think critically about what you've accomplished as a writer so far in college. You will also be asked to think about who you want to be and what role writing has, will and should play in your life and career as a "professional" writer.

Required Texts and Material:

Course Work:
1. Portfolio (25%). At its most simple, a portfolio is a collection of works. In its most complicated form, a porfolio represents the life of a writer, from inception to completion, with drafts and reflections along the way that reveal the innner working of the writer's mind. The intent of a porfolio in any form, however, is to better represent the flexibility of a writer's work, including his or her process of writing as well as most polished pieces. Each of you will compile a portfolio of your work as a reflective tool and as a presentation medium. Your portfolio must consist of at minimum:

2. Presentations (25%). Each student will end the semester with a presentation of hhis/her work in front of students, faculty, and families. As preparation, during the semester, each student will present, informally, their ideas and/or writing to the class and to me.

3. Informal writing (25%). Because one main goal of this course is to better understand the choices you and other writers make (through an examination of the concepts of style, voice, and ethos), you will have plenty of opportunities to study and write about your own, and others, writing. Your informal "essays" will cover the following topics; the goal is to use this space to draft what will be your critical, reflective essay for the portfolio:

4. Workshops (25%). We will spend considerable time in class working and providing feedback on each others' drafts. Students are expected to come to class, prepared, for every workshop.

4. Individual writing conferences. Each student will meet with me at least three times over the course of the semester.

**As writing majors in an English Department, you should all have extensive experience reading and writing, and we all share an understanding of the importance of both in college and in life. Under no circumstances should I hear complaints about how much reading and/or writing is expected in this course. Other complaints are expected and will be considered on an individual basis. On average, you should expect to read (and think about) roughly 50 pages of text per week and produce (and/or revise) roughly 5 pages of text per week.**

Every assignment will be given a letter grade; this grade will reflect both effort, completion, and quality and thoroughness of thought and writing. For each written assignment, students who earn below a "C" will be required to revise the given assignment until the grade is at least a "C." Informal writing, workshop writing, and informal presentations will be graded as "working' drafts, taking into consideration that these assignments are more about effort and thoughtfullness rather than polish. Final portfolios and presentations will take into consideration the degree of revision and polish of the final draft.

Class Participation, Absences and Tardiness:
Come to class prepared everyday. Enough said. While there is no formal attendance policy for this course, missing class will assuredly adversely affect your ability to effectively complete the required assignments.

Grade Appeals:
Should you feel as though a grade on a particular assignment is unfair or inaccurate, you has the option of writing disputing that grade. All grade disputes should be directed first to the teacher. If the issues is not resolved, you should then contact the chair of the English Department.

Course Misconduct and Plagiarism:
All work done for this course must be written by you specifically and originally for this class. Plagiarism is the active and deliberate attempt to pass off someone else's ideas and/or words as your own. Students caught cheating, plagiarizing, or otherwise violating UMU codes of conduct or the policies outlined in this syllabus will be disciplined appropriately (and swiftly). Take this seriously; I do. The consequences for fraudulent, and even sloppy, work are too serious.

Late and Missing Work:

Turn in all work on time. I alone reserve the right to accept late work.

Why this is a “W” Course:
Writing-intensive courses at the University of Mount Union are required so students get some exposure to the ways in which writing works in at least three different disciplines. The way you need to write depends on a number of factors, including the discipline in question, the context and purpose for writing, and your intended audience. It’s important for you to learn how writing needs to take into account these factors, as there are not only different kinds of writing in different disciplines, but different kinds of writing within each discipline. Courses that carry the “W” designation do not necessarily require more writing, but they do require you to pay attention to how writing works in three academic disciplines, and discussions about writing will be embedded into their course structures. In “W” courses, you will be asked to work on developing your writing and your understanding of writing in a particular discipline.

Writing Resources:
There are numerous resources on campus to help you succeed in a writing-intensive course. Make use of your professor’s office hours to review concepts and drafts at multiple stages. Make and keep appointments at the Writing Center—tutors can help you brainstorm writing ideas and they can provide feedback on specific aspects of your writing if you take your assignment sheet with you and don’t’ wait until the last minute. In addition, you can draw on the knowledge you’ve gained about writing from your college writing course. You should form a writing group with other members of your class to discuss writing assignments, brainstorm ideas, read drafts, and provide feedback. Writing does not take place in a vacuum; it is a social event that is shaped by and shapes those around you. Mount Union’s liberal arts curriculum can help you learn to write well in a variety of settings for a variety of purposes, if you take advantage of the instruction and resources available; they will serve you well at UMU and beyond.

Writing Center Tutorials and The Writing Center:
Located in room 233 of the KHIC, the Writing Center offers tutorial assistance to MUC students across disciplines, academic levels, and abilities. Staffed by peer tutors, it provides responsive support adaptable to the needs of most student writers.The Writing Center can help student writers in any stage of the writing process, anywhere from thinking about an assignment to editing and proofreading a paper. Writing tutors are experienced academic writers from widely varied disciplines and majors, so they can help with creating research papers, writing lab reports, preparing for essay exams, revising resumes and cover letters, and most other writing tasks. Writing Center tutors are trained to help students improve their written work; more importantly, tutors are trained to enable students' better understanding of the writing process, of writing at the college level, and of their individual strengths and needs as writers. The WC schedule is as follows:

Sunday: 6-10 PM
Monday-Thursday: 9 AM - 10 PM
Friday: 9 AM - 3PM
Saturday: Closed

The American with Disabilities Act (ADA):
In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), all qualified students enrolled in this course are entitled to reasonable accommodations. Any student with a documented disability needing accommodations is responsible for contacting Disability Support Services (Room 109 Hoover-Price Campus Center) and the professor, as early in the semester as possible. All discussions will remain confidential.

Note: I reserve the right to suspend or alter the aforementioned policies at my discretion.

Course Schedule:

Note: Readings and projects are due at the beginning of the class on the day assigned.

Aug./Sept. .
T (Aug.) 30

Introduction to the class | Style, Voice, and Ethos as Rhetorical Concepts

Defining Style
READ: Yagoda. Introduction and Ch 1 & 2

TH (Sept.) 1

READ: Yagoda. Ch 3 & 4

T 6 READ: Yagoda. Ch 5 & 6
TH 8

READ: Hemingway [HO]; Carver [HO]; DFW [HO]

DO: Model Presentation

T 13

READ: Yagoda. Ch 7, 8 & 9

TH 15 Class Cancelled
T 20 Student Presentations
TH 22 Student Presentations
T 27 READ: Lanham. "Poetic Prose" [HO]; Poetry [Bring in two poems]
TH 29 Writing Workshop [Examining Others' Writing]

October .
T (Oct.) 4

Defining Voice
READ: Frank & Wall. Introduction and Ch 1-6, 14-17, 20

TH 6

READ: Frank & Wall. Introduction and Ch 21-35 (excluding 29 & 33)

T 11 READ: Elbow. "Reconsiderations: Voice in Writing Again" [HO]
TH 13 Student Presentations
T 18 Student Presentations
TH 20 Writing Workshop [Examining Your Peers' Writing]
T 27

Defining Ethos
READ: Killingsworth. "Appeals to Authority and Evidence" & "Rhetorical Situations" [HO]

TH 27 READ: Cherry. "Ethos Versus Persona" [HO]; Dick. [TBD--HO]

November .
T (Nov.) 1

READ: Frank & Wall. Ch 36-45

TH 3 Student Presentations
T 8 Student Presentations
TH 10 Writing Workshop [Re-envisioning Your Style/Voice/Ethos]
T 15 Writing Workshop [Re-envisioning Your Style/Voice/Ethos]
T 22 TBD
T 29 TBD

December .
TH (Dec.) 1 Writing Workshop/Practice Presentations
T 6 Writing Workshop/Practice Presentations
TH 8 Writing Workshop/Practice Presentations
F 9 Last Day of Classes
T 13 Final Exam, 8:00-11:00 am

Related Course Links:
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English Department;University of Mount Union
Last updated on Aug. 29, 2011