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Dr. Mark Jordan ~ ENGL 1301: Composition & Rhetoric

Assignments (Note that I stopped updating and using this calendar after Fall 2012.  I am including this note because the calendar is linked to in various places, and a student may reach it when I no longer intend that.  Sorry for any confusion.)

You will find a Calendar of Assignments in table form after the following introductory section on grading criteria. As mentioned in the Syllabus, formal essays will make up the bulk of your course grade.

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Grading Criteria

Here is a specific list of characteristics I look for in a well-written document: You should assume that your writings (essays, especially) will be graded for these five criteria, unless I specifically tell you otherwise.

  • A precise, consistent focus: Don't switch to a similar but different topic unconsciously; don't change from one opinion or purpose to another unconsciously; make sure your supporting arguments really support the point you mean for them to.
  • A clear pattern of organization: Essays should have effective introductions, main bodies, and conclusions. How to do these things, and what to include in them, is all covered in the Three-Part Format link.
  • Adequate development: It is common for inexperienced writers to assume the audience either understands or agrees with them far more than the audience really does. Thus student writers, assuming understanding and agreement, stop short of adequately developing their points. The two key tools to adequate development are to use both logos, in the form of full explanation of claims you're making, and pathos, in the form of specific examples, stories about individuals which back up your explanation. These two key appeals are mentioned above and discussed in the Three-Part Format section also.
  • Effective error control: This is the dreaded "grammar part." I see grammatical errors as being similar to static in a radio signal: a listener, or in this case a reader, will overlook a certain amount, but at some point the static becomes more noticeable than the signal itself. Can grammatical problems alone cause a student to fail in my class? It's rare, but it's possible. The way to control this aspect of your writing is to master effective proofing strategies. Several are explained in the same Three-Part Format link mentioned above. Beyond that, a good key to more fundamental improvement is to simply count the errors I mark, figure out what your two or three most frequent mistakes are, and devote yourself to finally understanding what you are doing wrong in these specific cases. I am happy to work with students personally on specific errors, whether via email or in person.
  • Sensitivity to audience: Poor development is in itself a key sign of lack of sensitivity to the needs of the audience, because it shows that the writer is assuming that just a brief summary of the writer's view is adequate, rather than a more thorough explanation. Another sign of a problem in this area is the absence of a preview of supports in the introductory paragraph; a similar sign is an absence of transition wording and/or clear connections to the thesis in the topic sentences of body paragraphs. Yet another similar sign is a failure to tell how a fact, quote, story or example specifically relates to the main point of a given paragraph. At this early point in the course, these items I have just mentioned may be foreign to you, but we will soon cover them. And for web students, please bear in mind this also: I am particularly bothered when students fail to personalize the filenames of essays they send as attached files, and/or when they fail to include their names as a heading within the essay file. So please pay special attention to instructions in this regard, which deal with audience sensitivity in the specific context of myself as an audience who receives many student files.

 

Calendar of Assignments

All major and daily assignments will be posted here beginning the first week of class.  For major assignments (the essays), you will be able to click on the Assignment name to go to the link within my 1301 instructional website giving detailed instructions for each assignment; however, shorter assignments may not need their own  links and will be explained in full within Blackboard, where you will turn in each assignment.  To repeat:  all assignments are to be submitted within this course in Blackboard, as Rich Text file attachments.  I provide instructions as to how to do this.  Also, this course is not self-paced.  All assignments may be listed here from early in the course, as a convenience, especially during short summer terms, but assignments may only be submitted once that assignment opens in Blackboard.  Most importantly, assignments submitted after the due dates are penalized a late penalty, and after a certain number of days (specified in Blackboard within each assignment), the assignment closes and may only be submitted by contacting me via email, normally receiving, at best, a grade of F (see Course Policies within the Syllabus link).

As for your essays and any other longer, more formal assignments, these should not be done on the spot within an email message, but should be done meticulously in your word processor program (MS Word, WordPerfect, etc.) so you have the chance to revise for improvement and for error proofing.

Due dates listed here are accurate so far as I know, but may be subject to change if need be.  I notify students of such changes via Blackboard.

Assignment #

Type

Description

Due Date

Weight

ONE

Learning about the course

Here in my website (not Blackboard), use the menu bar at the top or bottom of this Assignment Calendar and read three important links:  Welcome, Syllabus, and Getting Started.  You will read important info on course requirements and how the course works.

Please read by Thursday, August 30th

Not a graded assignment

TWO

In Blackboard, submit your "Getting Started" responses as a Rich Text file.

Once you have activated your OC email account and logged in to Blackboard, first read the Announcements.  Then locate the menu to the left and select Assignments.  Then select Daily Grades on the next screen.  Select Getting Started and follow the further instructions.

Due by midnight, Friday, August 31st

One daily grade; average of all daily grades counts 10% of course

THREE

In Blackboard, do the first Discussion Board topic, Getting to Know Each Other

Log in to Blackboard.  Click on Assignments, then click on Daily Grades.  Scroll down past the Getting Started assignment and click on Getting to Know Each Other.  Follow the further instructions.

Due by midnight, Friday, August 31st

Part of attendance grade; average of all discussion group grades counts 5% of course

THREE

In Blackboard, submit Quiz One as a Rich Text file.

Within Blackboard, select Assignments in the menu on the left, then enter Daily Grades.  Find the Quiz One assignment and complete it according to the further instructions there.   This is an open-book quiz. Note that this and most following assignments cannot be accessed until the particular assignment is opened by me in Blackboard.

Due by midnight, Tuesday, September 4th

One daily grade

FOUR

In Blackboard, submit Quiz Two as a Rich Text file.

Within Blackboard, select Assignments in the menu on the left, then enter Daily Grades.  Find the Quiz Two assignment and complete it according to the further instructions there.   This is an open-book quiz.

Due by midnight, Thursday, September 6th

One daily grade

FIVE

In Blackboard, submit the Essay One Partial Draft as a Rich Text file.

Your partial draft will consist of an intro paragraph and the first body paragraph. You will submit them together in one file as D1 plus your initials (include your middle initial).  I will grade the paragraphs separately for two daily grades.  When the assignment opens in Blackboard, you may click here to read the full instructions.  Note that campus students do not submit in Blackboard.

Due by midnight, Wednesday, September 12th

Each paragraph is a separate daily grade.

SIX

In Blackboard, submit the Essay One Final Draft as a Rich Text file.

Essay One Final Draft:  Instructions for the final draft are found in the same web link as instructions for the partial draft, but the final draft assignment is listed under Major Grades in Blackboard.  You will turn in the final draft there.  The web link to the instructions can be reached either from here or from within Blackboard once the assignment opens.

Due by midnight, Wednesday, September 26th

First major grade:  15% of course grade

SEVEN

In Blackboard, do the second Discussion Board topic, on Essay One

Log in to Blackboard.  Click on Assignments, then click on Daily Grades.  Scroll down to the DB2 assignment.  Follow the further instructions.  This and all subsequent DBs will require multiple postings for a higher grade.

Runs through the closing date for the Essay One Final Draft

Part of attendance grade

EIGHT

Essay Two Partial Draft:  In Blackboard, submit the intro and first body paragraph together as a Rich Text file (as you did for E1).

Like essay one, your partial draft for essay two will consist of an intro paragraph plus the first body paragraph.  You will submit that partial draft in Blackboard as D2 plus your initials, under Daily Grades.  to read full instructions for essay two, including this partial draft, click here once the assignment opens in Blackboard.

Due by midnight, Wednesday, October 3rd

One daily grade

NINE

In Blackboard, do the third Discussion Board topic, on Essay Two

Log in to Blackboard.  Click on Assignments, then click on Daily Grades.  Scroll down to the DB3 assignment.  Follow the further instructions.  This and all subsequent DBs will require multiple postings for a higher grade.

Runs through the closing date for the Essay Two Final Draft

Part of attendance grade

TEN

In Blackboard, submit your first Error Log as EL1 plus your initials.

An Error Log consists of your corrections of each numbered sentence in your graded essay file.  See full instructions for the error log in the assignment under Daily Grades in Blackboard.

Due by midnight, Monday, October 8th

One daily grade

NINE

In Blackboard, submit the Essay Two Final Draft as a Rich Text file.

Essay Two Final Draft:  The final draft assignment will open in Blackboard once the intro paragraphs have been graded.  The link with full essay instructions can be accessed from within Blackboard and by clicking the link above, once opened.

Due by midnight, Tuesday, may 22nd

Second major grade:  15% of course grade

TEN

Essay Three intro:  In Blackboard, submit the intro only (no body paragraph) as a Rich Text file.

Like essay two, your partial draft for essay three will consist only of an intro paragraph.  You will submit that paragraph in Blackboard as D3 plus your initials, under Daily Grades.  to read full instructions for essay three, including this partial draft, click here once the assignment opens in Bb.

Due by midnight, Thursday, May 24th

One daily grade

ELEVEN

In Blackboard, submit your second Error Log as EL2 plus your initials.

An Error Log consists of your corrections of each numbered sentence in your graded essay file.  See full instructions for the error log in the assignment under Daily Grades in Blackboard.

Due by midnight, Friday, May 25th

One daily grade

TWELVE

In Blackboard, submit the Essay Three Final Draft as a Rich Text file.

Essay Three Final Draft The final draft assignment will open in Blackboard once the intro paragraphs and outlines have been graded.  The link with full essay instructions can be accessed from within Blackboard and by clicking the link above, once opened.

Due by midnight, Sunday, May 27th

Third major grade:  15% of course grade

THIRTEEN

In Bb, submit the final draft for E4 as a Rich Text file.

Unlike other essays, this one does not require you to submit an intro paragraph.  You are required only to submit the final draft.  However, if you wish, you may send an intro paragraph directly to my email address, for feedback.  That must be done no later than two days before the final draft due date.  Once E4 opens in Bb, you may click here for instructions.

Due by midnight, Tuesday, May 29th

Fifth major grade:  15% of course grade

FOURTEEN

In Bb, under Final Exam, submit your final exam essay as a Rich Text file.

You will complete and submit this final exam essay similarly to how you have submitted other essays in this course.  This final exam will open as soon as the E4 final draft is due, and may be submitted early.  Click here for a link to the final exam instructions once the final opens in Bb.  The course ends Wednesday, May 30th.  If I do not receive your final exam essay by first thing Thursday morning, the grade will be Zero.

Due by midnight, Wednesday, May 30th

Final Exam:  counts 20% of course grade

Welcome ~ Getting Started ~ Syllabus ~ Assignments ~

Writing Process ~ Errorlogs ~ Email ~ Three-Part Format ~ About Me ~ Links

mjordan@odessa.edu
work: 432.335.6549
surface mail c/o Odessa College, 201 W. University, Odessa TX 79764