This course will help you develop the research and writing skills necessary
for work in your major field of study, and in your career. The course
builds on the kind of analytic reading and writing that is the cornerstone
of English 125 at York College. For this reason, English 125 (or its equivalent)
is a prerequisite. The course requires a great deal of work on your part!
Do not attempt a course overload (more than 15 credits) while taking Writing
>Ballenger, B. (2004). The curious researcher: A guide to writing
research papers. (4th ed.) New York: Pearson Education.
>A Citation/Style Manual. I suggest The Bedford Handbook (6th
ed.). This is the manual you used in English 125, and so you've probably
got it on your bookshelf. If you don't have that manual, please purchase
Diana Hacker, Research and Documentation in the Electronic Age.
>Three articles on reserve in the York College library. Go, check them
out, and make copies.
>A folder/binder to store written work, class notes, etc.
>Expect to attend every class meeting. Do not expect (or ask) me to
deviate from this policy.
>Miss more than four (4) classes and your final grade will
be reduced by one letter grade.
>You will fail if you miss more than eight (8) class
>Any student more than 15 minutes late will receive a one-half (1/2)
>Show up 40 minutes late for class and you're absent!
Writing 303 is a writing class. You will be expected to produce written
work in advance of, and during, each class meeting. All written assignments
outside of class must be typed!
> Low and Middle Stakes Assignments. Regularly assigned writing usually
marked as completed or not completed. Much of this work will occur in
the Discussion Board for our Blackboard site. The purpose of this writing
is to facilitate discussion, thinking, or research. It is also very closely
connected to your High Stakes Assignments. Simply completing this work
is enough to prepare you for class. Another set of these regular assignments
will receive brief comments and an evaluation of satisfactory/unsatisfactory.
Research progress reports are the sorts of assignments that fall into
this category. Complete at least 80% of these assignments or risk a reduction
in your final grade. Failure to complete a majority of the evaluated assignments
with a mark of “satisfactory” will negatively impact your
> High Stakes Assignments. There are five (5) major paper or writing
assignments in the course. They are the Objective Synthesis, the Multiple
Source Paper, the Research Proposal, the Annotated Bibliography, and the
Research Paper for the course. Each assignment will go through a drafting
process that includes peer-review and instructor feedback before being
revised and evaluated for a grade. The low and middle stakes assignments
are tailored to help you do well on these assignments.
All papers must be submitted as both electronic (via email) and hard
copy. Please send as either MSWord or RTF format documents. We'll discuss
this issue when the time comes.
This class depends on class participation to function effectively. I cannot
“lecture” on techniques for research, critical reading, thinking,
and writing. These important skills can only be learned through practice
and active engagement in the course. You will be ready to participate
if you complete the research and writing assignments before coming to
class, volunteer your ideas in class, and come to class ready to talk.
Since I believe that oral communication is about as important as written
communication, I will also assign individual class “presentations”
over the course of the term. You must complete these presentations to
receive full participation credit.
Calculation of Grade (in rough order of assignment)
5% - Objective Synthesis Assignment
10% - Multiple Source Paper
5% - Research Proposal
10% - Annotated Bibliography
10% - Completion of Drafts
40% - Final Research Paper Project
20% - Low and Middle stakes assignments, participation, and the final
Obviously, none of us plans to hand in late work. To ensure that our intentions
are linked to incentives in the class, late work is significantly penalized.
Please do not ask me to deviate from this policy.
>Low stakes and middle stakes writing assignments are considered “uncompleted”
if not handed in on time. (This means that you are not permitted to hand
them in late.)
>All drafts of the formal papers must be submitted. Late first drafts
are penalized by a one-half (1/2) grade reduction on the final draft grade
for each day they are late. Late final drafts are penalized one full letter
grade for each day they are late.
> I do accept email submissions of assignments. I won’t count
a paper late if you are absent on the due date and I have received the
paper by email. But my “failure to receive” an emailed paper
does not excuse your failure to submit a hard copy on the due date.
This class has plenty of opportunities for you to develop competency in
software and internet technologies. I strongly encourage you to do so.
Technological competency is highly valued by employers, and employees
are increasingly expected to come to the workplace with these skills.
I regularly check email, you'll send me your formal paper drafts as attachments,
maintain a discussion board for students to post and share low-stakes
and middle-stakes writing assignments, and am open to other possibilities
as well. In the first three weeks, the class will visit a computer classroom
for an introduction to some of these technology-enabled features of the
We will pay special attention to the ways research writing draws on the
work of others, and to using sources effectively and appropriately. A
related concern is plagiarism – using words or ideas of another
person without acknowledging your debt. While the sharing and exchange
of ideas are central to an intellectual and professional community, plagiarism
is the theft of another person’s ideas. For this reason, plagiarism
is severely penalized. Deliberate plagiarism on any assignment (low, middle,
or high stakes) will result in a grade of F for the course. Trust me,
this will happen if you plagiarize.
This F can become a permanent mark on your transcript. Please see the
York College Bulletin for the College’s policy and penalties regarding
plagiarism, including a statement of your rights should you be accused
of plagiarism (page 29 in the 2002-2003 Edition).