En 301 syllabus

Course Number: EN 301-B
Course Title: Writing Process
Blackboard: http://bb.marymount.edu
Fall 2009
Name of Instructor: Dr. Bess Fox
Meeting Day, Time, and Room Number: Wednesday 06:30PM - 09:15PM, Gailhac, Room 51
Office Hours: Gailhac 23A; Wednesday 4-6; Tuesday & Friday 12:30-3:00
Office: 703-284-1568; Home 202-640-1942
E-mail: ude.tnuomyram|xofb#ude.tnuomyram|xofb


Academic Integrity
By accepting this syllabus, you pledge to uphold the principles of Academic Integrity expressed by the Marymount University Community. You agree to observe these principles yourself and to defend them against abuse by others.

Special Needs and Accommodations
Please advise the instructor of any special problems or needs at the beginning of the semester. If you seek accommodation based on disabilities, you should provide a Faculty Contact Sheet obtained through
Disability Support Services located in Gerard Hall,(703) 284-1615.

Access to Student Work
Copies of your work in this course including copies of any submitted papers and your portfolios may be kept on file for institutional research, assessment and accreditation purposes. All work used for these purposes will be submitted anonymously.

Student Copyright Authorization
For the benefit of current and future students, work in this course may be used for educational critique, demonstrations, samples, presentations, and verification. Outside of these uses, work shall not be sold, copied, broadcast, or distributed for profit without student consent.

University Policy on Snow Closings
Snow closings are generally announced on area radio stations. For bulletins concerning Marymount snow or weather closings, call (703) 526-6888. Unless otherwise advised by radio announcement or by official bulletins on the number listed above, students are expected to report for class as near normal time as possible on days when weather conditions are adverse. Decisions as to snow closing or delayed opening are not generally made before 5:00 AM of the working day. Students are expected to attend class if the University is not officially closed.


A study of traditional and contemporary composition theory stressing the connection between writing and learning. This workshop/portfolio writing course provides opportunities for revision and peer review and culminates in a self-study informed by current research in writing. English majors must earn a grade of C or better. Prerequisites: EN 101 and EN 102.


Upon successful completion of this course, students will be expected to:

  • understand key theories of composition
  • Assess and evaluate theories of composition as well as their own writing practices
  • I dentify their “writer’s profile” in a self-study that combines a discussion of their writing practices with a discussion of theories of composition
  • Apply a critical eye to early and late drafts (their own and their peers) in service of revision
  • Compose through multiple drafts, with varying degrees of focus on generating, revising, editing, and proofreading
  • Use primary and secondary research, as appropriate to the audience, to support the persuasive purpose of a text
  • Write in a variety of non-fiction genres, including multimedia genres, with purpose, clarity, effective form, and elegance


Seminar, workshop, lecture, small group discussion, blackboard discussion board


15% draft portfolio: 3 essays (draft and first revision of Essay I and II due on September 23; draft and first revision of Essay III due on October 7)
15% 1 published essay (a final revision of essay I, II, or III) due on December 2
10% digital op-ed due on December 2

15% 5 reader responses
30% self study
15% participation (including peer review, workshop, and writing group, conferences, on-line postings)


Attendance, including physical as well as mental presence, is necessary if you are going to do well in this class and if the class as a writing community is going to succeed. Whether excused or unexcused, an absence, by definition, will affect a student’s participation grade. Because reading responses and writing workshops comprise a large portion of the participation grade, numerous absences and tardies will have a negative effect on the final grade of even the most vocal and engaged of students.

Reading responses, due in person within the first ten minutes of class, cannot be accepted late or made up for any for any reason. An excused absence or tardy provides no exception to this policy because a reading response measures whether you are in class prepared to discuss the reading.

Texting (note that your professor can see you texting even if your phone is on your lap or behind a book) and side conversations in class will negatively affect your participation grade. I will deduct one to five letter grades, depending on the frequency of the offence, from a student’s final participation grade for engaging in these behaviors.

The draft and published portfolio submissions as well as published essays are due at the beginning of the class period. If you contact me before the deadline, we can arrange an extension. If you do not contact me, the below penalties will apply. I will accept essays electronically, but any failures in technology (missing attachments, lost emails, etc) that prevent the essay from being accessible by the due date will result in late penalties.

The draft portfolios, the published essays, the self-stud, and the digital op-ed will be penalized a letter grade for every class day it is late, except for circumstances involving an excused absence

If a portfolio submission or published essay is late due to an excused absence, you must submit it no later than the first class you return in order to avoid late penalties (in certain situations, I will consider extending the deadline further).

Note that excused absences, which are only relevant to the submission of the draft portfolios, the published essays, or the self-study, require documentation.


All writing, however strong, can benefit from a careful reader’s response. In addition to feedback from your instructor and your classmates, writing assistance is available from peer tutors in the Learning Resource Center. LRC tutors can help at any stage of the writing process – from getting started to final editing. They can help you figure out an assignment, overcome “writer’s block,” or discover your thesis. Remember, however, that tutors are not allowed to revise or edit students’ papers for them. All changes, revisions, or corrections must be your work.

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