Policy Statement

English 260: Advanced Composition

Professor:  Matt King
Email:  mrking@sbu.edu
Phone:  716.375.2457
Office Hours:  MW 2:30-4:00 and by appointment
Office Location:  Plassmann D6
Class Website:  https://mattrking.com/courses/e260

Class Texts will be made available online as needed.

Program Outcomes for Composition Courses
Outcome 1:  Students will develop a composing process that focuses on the production of writing/presentations across multiple drafts and strategies for research, invention, revision, editing, peer review, and reflection.
Outcome 2: Students will produce writing/presentations that address concerns of audience and purpose, both in terms of the conventions and standards of academic communication and in terms of framing speech and writing as social forces.
Outcome 3: Students will compose writing/presentations in different genres and in multiple media that respond to a variety of academic, professional, and social situations.

Course Description
This course approaches advanced composition as training for professional contexts and frames writing as a rhetorical enterprise, one that involves a capacity to read and respond to different rhetorical situations. The challenge of submitting a report to your boss will be different from communicating with potential customers, clients, or others who might be interested in your work; sending a quick email to set up a meeting requires a different approach than delivering bad news about a project or account. In this sense, different situations involve different audiences, purposes, uses of language, and types of communication. To help you develop the writing and rhetorical skills necessary to navigate these situations, this course asks you to address challenges and problems relevant to your field of interest while attending to concerns of style and structure and drawing on a range of professional documents, genres, and media. (Prerequisite – Clare 111 or equivalent; 3 credits)

Course goals:

  • Develop a process for producing writing that is both stylistically and structurally effective and that draws on relevant professional documents, genres, and media;
  • Attend to concerns of delivery so that you can effectively communicate in written, visual, and digital texts and platforms;
  • Develop strategies for proofreading, editing, and commenting on your own writing and the writing of others;
  • Reflect on your own work and writing process in order to identify your main strengths and weaknesses;
  • Address professional challenges and problems relevant to your field of interest while applying a range of writing and communication skills and strategies.

Coursework and Grading
You will be graded on the following assignments this term:
• Paper 1: Document Analysis – 15%
• Paper 2: Survey Analysis – 15%
• Paper 3: Professional Report – 25%
• Final Reflection – 20%
• Short Assignments (completion) – 15%
• Participation – 10%

+/- Grades. Plus and minus grades will be used in awarding final grades for this course. The letter-to-percentage conversion is given below.

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

Late Work.  I tend to be pretty flexible concerning late work as long as you let me know ahead of time. I would rather you spend the time you need to in order to succeed with your writing, and if you need an extra day or two beyond the deadline to achieve that, I would rather you take advantage of that time. That being said, 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/Tardiness. You should arrive to class on time with all assigned readings and papers for the day completed. You are allowed seven 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). An eighth absence will result in failure of the course. For every 3 instances of tardiness, you will incur 1 absence. If you arrive more than 10 minutes late to class, you will be marked as absent. Coming to class unprepared (forgetting textbooks, notebooks, workshop materials, etc.) can also result in an absence.

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. For example, five athletic/excused absences and three non-athletic/unexcused absences would result in failure of the course.

Scholastic Honesty
One goal of this course is developing an understanding for the responsible use of other people’s words and ideas. Plagiarism, or the irresponsible use of these words or ideas, will result in anything from a failing grade for a particular paper to a failing grade for the course, or university discipline, which may mean more severe ramifications, up to and including expulsion. A list of unacceptable practices, penalties to be assigned, and procedures to be followed in prosecuting cases of alleged academic dishonesty may be found in the Student Handbook.

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, and you are also strongly encouraged to visit the Writing Center in the basement of Plassmann Hall (6A). There is a sign-up sheet on the door of the Center and, while occasional walk-in appointments may be available, you will likely want to sign up for an appointment ahead of time. You must drop off a copy of your essay in advance or bring it with you when you come to your appointment. You are welcome to attend the Writing Center more than once for any assignment.

Email will serve as an official means of communication for this class. You are therefore required to check the email account you have registered with the university regularly. Please feel free to email me with your questions and concerns. It may take me up to a few days to respond, so please do not expect an immediate response. If your question is a lengthy one (about writing, etc.), I may ask you to visit me during office hours instead of responding to you on email.

Students with Disabilities
Students with disabilities who believe that they may need accommodations in this class are encouraged to contact the Disability Support Services Office, Doyle Room 26, at 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.


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