Instructor Name: Dr. E.D. Woodworth
Contact phone number: 334-244-3402
English Dept. phone number: 334-244-3376
Semester: Fall 2011
Class meets days/time: MW 10:50
Classroom: TW 110


Welcome to ENGL 1017, Honors English Composition I! This is the first of five writing, or writing-intensive, courses you may take as part of AUM’s Writing Across the Curriculum program, Writing for Success.  At AUM, writing matters.  You’ll have many chances to improve your writing to be ready for the career that awaits you when you graduate.  This is the start of all that.

You are in the Honors Comp Sequence—that means you’ll have a year to study writing in various ways with essentially the same group and the same teacher.

This course introduces techniques for college composition and a theory of rhetoric in order to prepare you for ongoing writing instruction in ENGL 1027 English Composition II.  You will learn how to fundamentally approach writing (and reading) tasks at the beginning college level with an emphasis on developing proficiency in the writing process, writing papers with a variety of purposes, for various audiences, and writing in a variety of genres.

In this WAC-oriented comp class, you will be explicitly introduced to different kinds of writing (genres). You will write in multiple genres, mostly online, but you may read in many more genres (off and online). You’ll read a lot and write a lot. No doubt about that.

You can also expect to build knowledge and application skills in the following areas:
•    Focus/Rhetorical Knowledge
•    Content/Critical Thinking
•    Organization
•    Style
•    Information Literacy
•    English Language Conventions
•    Writing Process


You’re in charge of how you learn and how you progress through this class.  I provide the map, point out the stars to steer by, suggest places to stop for a fresh water, guide you through rough seas—you, however, are the captain.  Embrace this class and you can learn a great deal about writing.  You should show up all the time, have your reading completed, all the writing handled and be ready to talk.  You’re the captain, sail the ship.  You’re the writer, write.


Prerequisites: Enrollment in the Honors Program or approval of the Honors Program Director and the Director of Composition.


•    Writing Spaces, eds. Charles Lowe and Pavil Zemliansky, a free open educational resources available online
•    Blackboard, a course management tool provided to you as a feature of your education at AUM and used in multiple courses you’ll take at AUM
•    Mainly, your readings will be online, unless otherwise noted (such as Keri Smith’s book—which is the composition program’s gift to you!)


Most details about assignments and course readings will be found online here in this very blog (just look around). This is our blog for the year and will include readings, required homework, writing assignment for your blogs, and the larger writing assignments as well. I will try to write on this site regularly as part of my teaching/writing work for this class.


20%    Assignment 1 Exploration of the World
20%    Assignment 2 Your Perspective on The Civil Rights Movement (playlist)
20%    Assignment 3 Historical Perspective on The Civil Rights Movement (playlist)
35%    Assignment 4 Blog
5%    Notebook (for fun and support of the blog)

You must earn a “C” (or at least 70%) in order to pass this class and move onto the next course, ENGL 1020.  You must turn in all assignments, earn a “C” average based on all assignments, earn at least a “C” the final paper, and earn at least a “C” on the final examination in order to earn a “C” as your final grade.

To stay in the Honors Program, you’ll need to earn a higher grade than “C” in this class—check out the requirements and be sure you know what’s up.


You will earn grades for each assignment based on how you meet the criteria and spirit of the assignment.

•    A grades are spectacular—above and beyond—stunning, dazzling prose, rare errors.
•    B grades are above average—there are moments of brilliance, a few errors now and again.
•    C grades are all about the average text with an average amount of errors, but the meaning of the text is clear.
•    D grades—you didn’t try hard, but you did some work—errors may slightly mar understanding.
•    F grades—no effort or not completed or errors completely disrupt understanding.

Grades are also based on whether you meet (or exceed) the expectations for the specific assignment criteria and in the areas designated for assessment.

All your grades will be compiled into a final letter grade from A-F; you may also earn a grade of “FA” (see “Attendance Policy” below for more information on this grade).  No “I” grades will ever be assigned to students without permission of the Director of Composition.  “Incomplete” grades are reserved for students who are passing a course and who experience some catastrophic event that prevents them from finishing the course in the time allotted.


You should write everyday if you can, but at least a couple times a week to go beyond what’s expected to exceed the average. Be creative (go to Keri Smith’s book regularly for inspiration, or ask classmates what to write about). Or ask each other for inspiring ideas. Look to your other classes for inspiration, your life, the lives of your family or friends (no names, please), the news, a book you’re reading, a movie you just saw. Work the blog and you’ll be a better writer.



I will frequently contact you via our blackboard email.  I will use no email outside AUM, nor will I accept emails from other off-campus accounts.  Emails that appear in my in-box from other accounts will be deleted without reading to protect from viruses and to adhere to our program policy.  If you use another email account as your primary means of communication, please be sure to check your AUM account regularly as you will be held responsible for emails I send to you with notification of course schedule updates or changes in classroom usage (such as a trip to the library or meeting in a lab or other classroom).  Stay connected to what’s happening in this class at AUM, or you may find yourself struggling to understand what’s going on.

Please email me at if you ever need me. I check frequently.


The classroom is a place where all of us can share our ideas, thoughts, and questions without fear.  Our classroom interaction will be based on respect for all of the writers and readers in our entire class and in your small groups.

You will maintain a professional attitude in the classroom that indicates your willingness to learn.  In turn, I will treat you with the respect you deserve for working as hard as you can to improve your writing knowledge, skills, and abilities.  Thank you for cooperating to make our learning experience a positive one for all.


You are expected to attend all classes. We will get sick occasionally, so don’t ever skip class to do something you’d rather do. Excessive absences can have a negative impact on your grade. Our class is dynamic and happening. You can’t make up what you miss. But if you’re ill, I can give you alternate work.


No late work.  You are given extensive notice and regular reminders of due dates.  Unless otherwise noted, all assignments are due when they are due.  Final projects are due at the beginning of class on the day noted on the assignment sheet.  This means you put your project in my hands at the beginning of class or you meet the online submission deadline (or both).

Unless you arrange for an extension prior to the due date of a project (see the below policy regarding disabilities), you are responsible for turning in your assignment on time even if you are not in class on the actual due date.  If you know you cannot attend class on a due date, please arrange to turn your work in early.  If you cannot meet an online submission deadline, your paper is late, and no late papers will be accepted.  You must plan ahead.  You get a schedule weeks ahead for each project with detailed due dates—make this part of how you run your life.

Note: if you do not come to class with drafts on assigned days, that lack of participation in the writing process will be reflected in your final project grade.  You must submit drafts of your papers along the way when indicated.  Like mathematics, you must show your work.  No single paper will ever be accepted for grading—your process work must be evident: drafts, peer reviews, research, outlines, clusters, brainstorming, etc.  Read each project assignment carefully so you know the details of how to turn in your work to maximum advantage.


You may be required to submit all of your final writing to, a commercial service which checks essays against the internet and a database of student papers for plagiarized material (for a definition of plagiarism, please see the “Academic Dishonesty” section below).

This sounds like a harsh measure for success, but this is actually a great tool to ensure you have not paraphrased too much or accidentally quoted material you have not cited. Use this tool to help you become a stronger writer and researcher—this requirement is not about a punitive response on my part to your writing, but a way for you to grow and be sure you are doing all you can to aid in your own writing education.  You will have the opportunity to submit drafts of papers to fix any errors of citation you may have created in the writing of your paper.  Depending on the percentage of undocumented or borrowed content, a final paper may not receive a grade.  You may need to revise the paper with a penalty, or you may receive a zero.  You may also have the opportunity to write another paper.  If you have any doubts about how you are using outside sources, please ask me, or a Learning Center writing consultant (see below for more details). also allows you to turn in papers on time even when you are not able to make it to class—there is a date and time “stamp” affixed to each paper.  You may utilize this function as long as you adhere to any and all assignment criteria for turning in your work (e.g., a hard copy and all required drafts by the next class AND send me an email to say that this is your intention).  See the handout “Instructions for Using” to learn how to set up and use a account (see our Bb site), or just go to the web site and watch a tutorial.  I’ll alert you to the times you will need to use this service for other required writing.  When I ask you to use this service for informal writing, I’ll try to give you a class period or more notice.

No matter what, follow the guidelines of the assignment sheet for each project because some projects may require very specific arrangements for submitting work.  READ everything you are given in class and ask questions.

You will be submitting ALL your work electronically to me (except for an end of the term notebook check).


All work submitted to this class must be your own and must be written exclusively for this class.  Any use of quotations, paraphrases, or ideas from outside sources, including internet sources, must be properly documented (in this case an “outside source” means anything other than your own unique creation).  We will discuss plagiarism further as the course progresses when we talk about MLA format and resource citation, but it is assumed that as an AUM student, you know what constitutes cheating, understand the general rules for appropriately using and documenting secondary and primary sources, and have a basic sense of what constitutes plagiarism.  Please see me if you have any questions about plagiarism or your use of sources.

Don’t recycle or reuse work that you wrote for another class, including any other English course at AUM or another university—especially do not use any work from a composition class you previously took but failed.  While re-using text you created is not improperly using outside sources, it is academic dishonesty because it does not require new work specifically for this class, and it is subject to the penalties described below.

In cases where plagiarism or other academic dishonesty is clearly established, the penalty could be a grade of “F” in the class, regardless of the value of the assignment.  Students who have plagiarized will also be reported to the AUM Committee on Discipline, which may choose to impose additional sanctions.  An “F” for plagiarism in a course is clearly noted on your transcripts. Should you ever need to share your transcripts to be eligible for employment or for an application to graduate school, there will be no question that you failed because you cheated.

Cheating with a friend: don’t do it.  If more than one student is involved in plagiarizing, all students will be immediately earn an “F” for the assignment and referred to the Director of Composition before further action is taken.

If you have any questions about the policies or procedures regarding academic dishonesty, please ask me or refer to the Student Discipline Code.


It is the policy of AUM to accommodate individuals with disabilities pursuant to federal law and the University’s commitment to equal educational opportunities.  Students who need accommodations are asked to arrange a meeting the first week of classes, or as soon as possible if accommodations are needed immediately. To set up a meeting, please contact me e-mail or just before or after class time.  Bring a copy of your Accommodation Memo and a Faculty/Student Accommodation Worksheet to the meeting.

If you do not have an Accommodation Memo from the Center for Disability, but need accommodations, contact the Center for Disability Services (CDS) located in the Library Tower Room 706 by (334)-244-3631 (phone) or (334)-244-3754 (TDD) or email at  Also visit their web page for more information.  No letter from a physician or other medical personnel will substitute for official, written support from CDS—without that official connection with CDS, no accommodations can be made.


Students may withdraw from the course using Webster at any time before October 26 at 5 pm —THE FINAL DAY TO WITHDRAW.  Withdrawals are recorded as “W” on your transcript and do not affect your GPA.  It is your responsibility to remember the drop date, though I have assisted you by noting this date here and at the end of this syllabus.

After the drop date, you may only withdraw from a course if you can prove that an extreme situation (that began after the drop date) makes you unable to complete your work in the course.  Such withdrawals for composition courses require the permission of the Dean of Liberal Arts.

For details on the withdrawal process, please see the AUM Student Handbook.  Note the information on the “resignation” process and implications of withdrawing from a course or from the university on pp. 12-13, 17, 37-38, and 59.


No matter your level in your university career, if you need help, ask for it.  This whole college education thing is about you learning from multiple sources and in multiple ways to grow and become the adult humans you want to be.  I am always happy to talk to you about your course work, but I recommend seeking other professional help when you need it, especially when you need help that is beyond the scope of this course content.


The Learning Center provides one-on-one tutoring free of charge to AUM students who need help with their grammar or writing.  The Learning Center is located in the Library on the second floor, but tutoring is also regularly available at other locations on campus, such as the North Towers.  Drop-ins are accepted when tutors are available, but if you make an appointment, you will be guaranteed help.  Please call 244-3470 to schedule a session.  See the Learning Center’s web page for details on this semester’s hours, locations, and more information in general (you should not miss the links on their web sites—really great stuff).


The Counseling Center provides trained stress-management professionals to help AUM students deal with problems beyond the academic sphere.  Don’t wait until you’re at a crisis point to seek help; these kind and understanding folks can help you figure out techniques to manage your time, stay focused on your schoolwork, get through a personal difficulty, or simply help you determine a major that works for you.  All services are confidential and free of charge to current AUM students.  Please don’t let a stressful situation get the better of you—ask for help as soon as you think you need it.  The Counseling Center is located is in Taylor Center; their phone number is: 244-3469.   See the Counseling Center’s web site for more information.


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