Policy Statement

Clare 110: Composition and Critical Thinking

Professor: Matt King
Email: mrking@sbu.edu
Phone: 716.375.2457
Office Hours: Monday 4:00-5:30, Wednesday 2:30-4:00, and by appointment
Office Location: Plassmann D6
Class Website: https://mattrking.com/courses/c110/

Clare College Core Objectives

  • Students demonstrate rhetorical knowledge by adapting their writing for specific audiences and purposes.
  • Students can analyze, synthesize, and evaluate texts from different academic disciplines and discourses.
  • Students employ a writing process grounded in the production of text across multiple drafts and strategies for research, invention, revision, editing, peer review, and reflection.
  • Students apply academic writing conventions related to argument, structure, and style.

Course Description
A composition course emphasizing the development of a writing process, rhetorical knowledge, and knowledge of conventions of academic discourse. Course assignments foreground critical reading, writing, and argumentation skills as well as the analysis of academic and cultural texts. This course is a prerequisite for CLAR 111. (3 credits)

Course Goals

  • Develop a writing process grounded in the production of text across multiple drafts and strategies for research, invention, drafting, revision, editing, peer review, and reflection;
  • Gain proficiency in literacy practices – observing, conceptualizing, analyzing, and applying – and understand how they shift in different writing and disciplinary contexts;
  • Understand and execute moves in academic discourse that frame writing as a conversation with other writers;
  • Address concerns of audience, purpose, and modality in your writing, both in terms of the conventions and standards of academic discourse and in terms of framing writing as a force for social change and social action;
  • Adequately document sources and develop an understanding of the significance of different types of sources and the function of documentation;
  • Produce writing that meets accepted standards of style, syntax, and mechanics for university writing.

Class Texts
– Joseph Harris, Rewriting: How To Do Things With Texts
– Other readings made available online as needed

Paper 1 – Coming to Terms = 15%
Paper 2 – Forwarding = 15%
Paper 3 – Countering = 15%
Paper 4 – Revising = 15%
Reflection Papers (4) = 20%
Short Assignments = 10%
Participation = 10%

Papers are graded based on the quality of the final product as well as your writing and revision process work. Reflection Papers will be completed with each major paper, allowing you to reflect on your writing process and its effectiveness. Short Assignments will receive a completion grade. Participation is based on your preparedness for class and participation in class activities.

Late Work. Excessive or unexcused late work will not be acceptable, and I reserve the right to penalize late work in such circumstances (generally, such penalties will be a letter grade for every day an assignment is late). If circumstances prevent you from being able to submit an assignment on time, you should discuss the situation with me ahead of time.

Attendance. You should arrive to class on time with all assigned readings and papers for the day completed. You are allowed six absences throughout the semester without a grade penalty (although missing class can affect your participation grade and your ability to succeed in the class generally). If you have 7-8 absences, you cannot receive higher than a C for your semester average. If you have 9-10 absences, you cannot receive higher than a D for your semester average. If you have 11 or more absences, you will receive an F for the semester. For every 3 instances of tardiness, you will incur 1 absence. If you only have 0-1 absences, you will receive a 1/3 letter grade bonus on your semester average.

For athletes, students who provide documentation for absences related to athletic competitions will be excused for all such absences. Student athletes can also miss two more class periods throughout the semester without a grade penalty. If you have three or more unexcused (non-athletic) absences throughout the semester, then all of your absences will be counted toward the attendance policy.

+/- Grades. Plus and minus grades will be used in awarding final grades for this course.

Paper Grades
A+ = 98.5  A = 95   A- = 91.5
B+ = 88.5  B = 85   B- = 81.5
C+ = 78.5  C = 75   C- = 71.5
D+ = 68.5  D = 65   D- = 61.5
F = 55

Semester Average
A = 93-100 A- = 90-93
B+ = 87-90 B = 83-87 B- = 80-83
C+ = 77-80 C = 73-77 C- = 70-73
D+ = 67-70 D = 63-67 D- = 60-63
F = Less than 60

Plassmann Writing Center
Revising and responding to feedback will be an invaluable and necessary part of your development as a writer this semester. Toward this end, you are strongly encouraged to visit me during office hours or by appointment, and you are also strongly encouraged to visit the Writing Center in the basement of Plassmann Hall (6A). There is a sign-up sheet outside the Center; while walk-in appointments may be available, it will help to sign up for an appointment ahead of time. Bring your work with you to your appointment. You will receive a 1/3 letter grade bonus on each paper that you workshop at the Writing Center.

Academic Integrity
Academic dishonesty is inconsistent with the moral character expected of students in a University committed to the spiritual and intellectual growth of the whole person. It also subverts the academic process by distorting all measurements. A list of unacceptable practices and procedures to be followed in prosecuting cases of alleged academic dishonesty may be found in the Student Handbook and here.

Students with Disabilities
Students with disabilities who believe they may need accommodations in this class are encouraged to contact the Disability Support Services Office (Doyle 26, 716-375-2066) as soon as possible to better ensure that such accommodations are implemented in a timely fashion. Documentation from this office is required before accommodations can be made. Please see the official SBU Student with Disabilities policy here.

Email will serve as an official means of communication for this class, and you should check the email account you have registered with the university regularly. Feel free to email me with your questions and concerns.

Electronic Devices
Devices such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones can serve as helpful tools for writing and communication. They can also detract and distract from classroom engagement, conversations, and activities. While you are welcome to bring such devices to class, you may not be able to use them at all times, and your use of them should contribute to a productive learning environment for yourself and your classmates. Use of electronic devices that detracts from your or your classmates’ experience in the classroom can affect your participation grade.

Title IX
Title IX makes it clear that violence and harassment based on sex and gender are Civil Rights offenses subject to the same kinds of accountability and the same kinds of support applied to offenses against other protected categories such as race, national origin, etc. If you or someone you know has been harassed or assaulted, you can find the appropriate resources at the Health and Wellness Center or at the Campus Safety Office. For on-campus reporting, see the Title IX Coordinator (Sharon Burke, Director of Human Resources) and Residence Life Staff (RAs, RDs, and other professional staff). The University’s policy and procedures regarding gender-based and sexual misconduct can be found online.

In the event of an emergency, call Campus Safety at 716-375-2525 or contact Nichole Gonzalez, Residential Living and Conduct, 716-375-2572, ngonzale@sbu.edu. Be aware that most university employees are mandated reporters.

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