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Academic Research & Writing

Course Details

Course Number
1143
Section Number
1143
Semester
Spring 2016
Location
Bolin Hall
Classroom Number
109 & 103
Days & Times

Sec 210 TR 9:30-10:50 AM Bolin 109


Sec 211 TR 11:00-12:20 AM Bolin 103

Professor
Dr. Peter Fields (view Profile)

Textbooks

Ender's Game
paperback trade
ISBN:
The Hunger Games
Trade Paper
ISBN:
Ender's World
anthology of essays
ISBN:
Of Bread, Blood, and The Hunger Games
Anthology of Essays
ISBN:
LB Brief
5th or any edition
ISBN:
Course Objectives

 

  • Apply knowledge of rhetoric to make decisions about written communication
  • Engage in a writing process that includes invention, drafting, and revision
  • Write thesis-based academic arguments that provide strong support and specific details
  • Find, evaluate, and synthesize credible sources in support of a research paper
  • Use sources ethically and in contextually appropriate ways and follow a designated style guide
  • Demonstrate proficient use of Standard Written English

Additional information about course objectives can be found on the department webpage, http://libarts.mwsu.edu/english/.

 

Assignments

 

 

  • 1 Diagnostic In-class essay, 500 words in one class period. (Also serves as assessment tool for English department.)
  • 2 Reading Response Documents (each written gradually over several class periods).  Each 750 words.
  • 2 In-Class Essays open-book w. outline: Each 750 words.
  • Two weeks of Faculty Partner sessions for finding secondary sources online, in Moffett-supported databases, and the Moffett book stacks.
  • 1 Researched Academic Argument: 1500 words.
  • Students will present their work for critique within their workshop group.
  • All submitted work must have proper MLA format as indicated in the syllabus examples. Grammar is part of the grade..     

Writing assignments, taken together, will produce approximately 5000 words of graded writing and count for 100 % of the final grade.

 

Course Expectations

 FOR CITING VERBATIM PASSAGES from novels and secondary sources: use quotation marks and follow immediately with the parenthetical page number. But don’t lead with the quote. LEAD WITH THE THOUGHT IN YOUR WORDS. You can interrupt the quote with your own he said/she said attribution: 

In The Hunger Games Katniss is not interested in giving her heart away, but Peeta is way ahead of her. Irrespective of her feelings, he is intent on persuading the TV audience that a love story is in the making: “But now,” she realized, “Peeta had made me an object of love” (136). 

EVEN ONE WORD CAN BE A QUOTE. But be sure to have quotes of some length as well: 

In Ender’s Game, the commanding officers of the Battle School decided not to tell Ender that his altercation ended with the death of the bully. The officers were agreed that Ender was “scary” (226), but they were also convinced that he was coming along just fine as a future commander and savior of the world: “On the one hand, Ender Wiggin not only survived, he passed a threshold, he graduated in dazzlingly good shape […]” (226). Yes, Ender was a youngster capable of killing someone. On the other, he was somebody dedicated to victory at all costs: “Ender Wiggins isn’t a killer. He just wins—thoroughly” (226). 

QUOTES SHOULD CONNECT SCENES IN SOME MEANINGFUL WAY and confirm a common pattern—what we call a motif

In The Hunger Games, Katniss, a tomboy with killer instincts, is drawn gradually into playing the part of a sweet, naïve girly-girl—and she seethes with resentment. Peeta’s on-air declaration of love is the last straw. When she finds Peeta in the hallway, she lashes out at him with all her pent-up rage against the image creation that began with her twirl for Caesar Flickerman. She forgets the twirling was Cinna’s idea. She blames Peeta and Haymitch. Now Peeta is thrown by the force of her blow against a potted plant, shattering it to pieces: “Peeta lands in the shards, and blood immediately flows from his hands” (134). We are reminded of her earlier hostile reflex, while on the train from District 12, of planting a knife between the open fingers of Haymitch, the blade sticking in the table and “barely missing his fingers” (57). She has convinced herself that Peeta and Haymitch all along had been planning to make everyone think she was an easy victim. In her fury, she ignores Peeta’s wounds and shrieks at Haymitch: “He made me look weak!” (135).

For quotes of five or more lines, BLOCK the quote an extra inch to the right (instead of “”):

Haymitch then expresses what many of Collins’s readers may feel about life. Yes, he is talking about the televised Hunger Games, but by implication he is also describing our own appearance-oriented culture: 

Haymitch grabs my shoulders and pins me against the wall. “Who cares? It’s all a big show. It’s all how you’re perceived. The most I could say about you after your interview was that you were nice enough, although that in itself was a small miracle. Now I can say you’re a heartbreaker. Oh, oh, oh, how the boys back home fall longingly at your feet. Which do you think will get you more sponsors? (135)

BLOCKING: Instead of quotation marks, type the passage normally. Then highlight with cursor, click on “Paragraph,” and then, under “Indentation,” type 1.0 into “Left.”

 

MLA in-body format for secondary sources (note proper attribution):

As Katheryn Wright observes in “Revolutionary Art in the Age of Reality TV” in Of Bread, Blood, and The Hunger Games, Katniss is now a reality TV star which means, ironically, that she must learn to fake it: “She becomes, for better or worse, a performance artist who composes what can only be considered art by using the seemingly crass and debased realism of reality television as a starting point” (103). She must learn to play a version of herself that captures the imagination of the audience. 

According to Hilari Bell in her essay “Winning and Losing in Ender’s Game” in Ender’s World, Ender’s initial experience at the Battle School is one of profound alienation. Col. Graff in particular seems determined to pit Ender against his peers: “From the start, the teachers set out to isolate Ender, first from his family, then from all the friends and allies he makes throughout the book—completely overlooking the fact that Ender’s real genius, his real strength, comes from his ability to build alliances” (71). Ender’s impact on people begins with individuals. He builds outward from personal relationships to leadership of the whole group. In Bell’s view, Ender’s goal all along was to draw other young people into his orbit. Bringing the right people together to form an effective team is his “real genius, his real strength” (71). Note: the shorter quote is a follow-up to the earlier longer quote.

In her essay “Mirror, Mirror” for Ender’s World, Alethea Kontis argues that friendship is especially crucial for young people whose unusual abilities set them apart: “In our world, gifted children are singled out by simply being labeled gifted and subsequently burdened with all the baggage that comes with it: the expectation that they will always do a perfect job, without ever screwing up, and that the solutions to problems will come to them easily, every time” (115). We are especially talking about young people whose real talents are overlooked. 

Melissa Gross, in her article “Prisoners of Childhood? Child Abuse and the Development of Heroes and Monsters in Ender’s Game” for Children’s Literature in Education, remarks that Ender is not so much trained by his Battle School teachers and platoon commanders as he is abused by them: “The word ‘training’ here is a euphemism for institutionalized, government sanctioned, manipulation of children in service to developing the traits believed necessary in the greatest military commander ever known” (117). Gross makes the point that the child abuse model of Battle School is fraught with unintended consequences (116-119). Ender and other children are suspicious of their teachers and assume that adults are misrepresenting the nature of earth’s adversary (117-118). Ender especially becomes cynical, disgusted, and, ultimately, burned out. He has no passion for winning by the time the Battle School is ready for him to fulfill his promise as savior of humankind (118). 

According to Christopher Rudolph in his on-line article Ender’s Game and Philosophy: New Book asks ‘How Queer is Ender?’” for the Huffington Post, Orson Scott Card may be considered by some people to be homophobic, but he tells a story that is ironically edgy with homosexual motifs that inadvertently imply that boys learn the best in quasi-homoerotic scenarios. As Rudolph points out, one chapter in a new book on Ender’s Game argues that the Battle School is all about coming to terms with male relationships including some that are remarkably tender and affectionate (even sealed with a kiss) and which culminate in Ender sharing intimate quarters with an elderly teacher, almost like the classic Greek model of older male teacher and younger male protégé. 

MLA in-body citing from the preface to Ender’s Game

In his 1991 introduction to Ender’s Game, Orson Scott Card argues that the chief reason the book meets with so much resistance is that adults are not yet ready to grant full “personhood” (xx) to children. He wanted this story to assert the equality of children to adults in regard to their thoughts and emotional life: “And in writing Ender’s Game, I forced the audience to experience the lives of these children from that perspective—the perspective in which their feelings and decisions are just as real and important as any adult’s” (xx). 

Works Cited

Hyphens (---) indicate the same author as the entry directly above it.

To create the hanging indent, students should highlight the entry, click on “paragraph,” and then under “Special,” click on “hanging” and “double-spaced.”

For journals, 52.8 (2009) means volume 52, issue number 8, and the year 2009.

                                                               

Bell, Hilari. Winning and Losing in Ender’s Game.” Card, Ender’s World 69-83.

Blackmore, Tim. “Ender’s Beginning: Battling the Military in Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game.” Extrapolation 32.2 (1991): 124-42. Academic Search Complete. Web. 20 Nov. 2014.

Blasingame, James. “An Interview with Suzanne Collins.” Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literarcy 52.8 (2009): 726-27. Academic Search Complete. Web. 20 Nov. 2014.

Brown, John. “The Monster’s Heart.” Card, Ender’s World 17-37.

Card, Orson Scott. Ender’s Game. New York: TOR Tom Doherty Associates Book, 1991. Print.

---, ed. Ender’s World: Fresh Perspectives on the SF Classic Ender’s Game. Dallas: BenBella Books, 2013. Print.

---. Introduction. Card, Ender’s Game xi-xxvi.

---. Introduction. Card, Ender’s World v-xv.

---. Q and A. Card, Ender’s World 38-40.

Collins, Suzanne. The Hunger Games. New York: Scholastic, 2008. Print.

Doyle, Christine. “Orson Scott Card’s Ender and Bean: The Exceptional Child as Hero.” Children’s Literature in Education 35.4 (2004): 301-18. Web. 20 Nov. 2014.

Gross, Melissa. “Prisoners of Childhood? Child Abuse and the Development of Heroes and Monsters in Ender’s Game.” Children’s Literature in Education 38.2 (2007): 115-26. Academic Search Complete. Web. 20 Nov. 2014.

Hubler, Angela E. “Lois Lowry’s and Susanne Collins’s Dystopian Fiction: Utopia and Anti-Utopia.” Against the Current 29.3 (2014): 23-27. Academic Search Complete. Web. 20 Nov. 2014.

Kontis, Alethea. “Mirror, Mirror.” Card, Ender’s World 113-23.

Lem, Ellyn, and Holly Hassel. “‘Killer’ Katniss and ‘Lover Boy’ Peeta: Suzanne Collins’s Defiance of Gender-Genred Reading.” Pharr and Clark 118-27.

Pharr, Mary F. and Leisa A. Clark, eds. Of Bread, Blood, and The Hunger Games: Critical Essays on the Suzanne Collins Trilogy. Jefferson, North Carolina, and London: McFarland & Company, 2012. Critical Explorations in Science Fiction and Fantasy 35. Print.

---. Introduction. Pharr and Clark 5-18.

Rudolph, Christopher. “Ender’s Game and Philosophy: New Book asks: ‘How Queer is Ender?’” The Huffngton Post: Gay Voices. Huffingtonpost.com, July 25, 2013. Web. 14 Aug 2014.

Simmons, Amber M. “Class on Fire: Using the Hunger Games Trilogy to Encourage Social Action.” Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy 56.1 (2012): 22-34. Academic Search Complete. Web. 20 Nov. 2014.

Wright, Katheryn. “Revolutionary Art in the Age of Reality TV.” Pharr and Clark 98-107.

 

Grading Standards

 Grading and Evaluation 

In-class Diagnostic: 5 percent.

2 Reading Response Documents: 20 percent.

2 REVISED In-class Essays: 20 percent.

Research Argument Essay: 50 percent.Workshops: 5 percent (based on a rubric).

  This class will not use the plus/minus grading system. In this class, the following numerical equivalents for final grades are used: A = 100-90%; B = 89-80%; C = 79-70%; D = 69-60%; F = 59-0%. 

According to MSU’s Undergraduate Catalogue, “letter grades have the following significance:

  • A indicates excellent work
  • B indicates good work
  • C indicates satisfactory work
  • D indicates passing work
  • F indicates failing work.” 

Consequently, essays that meet the basic requirements earn a C, not an A or B.  If you wish to earn As and Bs, you will have to work harder to produce better than satisfactory, or average, writing/

 

 

Final Exam 05/07/2016 10:30 AM-12:30 PM
Submission Format Policy

 PROPER FORMAT (Submit revised essays hole-punched, fixed in the brads of a folder):

  • All typed documents must be 12 point Times New Roman double-spaced.
  • For header and page number in the .5 default position: click on “insert,” then “page number,” “top of page,” and “plain number 3.” The cursor will show to the immediate left of the page number. Simply type your last name, and it will magically appear. Space once between name and number.
  • Top, right, and bottom margins should be set at one inch; the left margin should be an inch and a quarter to accommodate the folder. NOT A HEADER: On the first page of an essay, the student name, instructor name, course, and date should be in the upper left, double-spaced. These items do not appear on subsequent pages.
  • Students must submit their work in person (from their hands into the instructor’s hands). Submission for a due-date is never by e-mail attachment or under the office door, or left on a desk, or by surrogate (classmate or relative). Late work also must be submitted in person.
  • When submitting the revised versions of the two in-class essays on The Hunger Games and Ender’s Game and submitting the research paper at the end of the semester, students must hole-punch them and fix them in the brads of an ordinary folder with brads and pockets. The essay that needs to be graded is always the last item in the brads. Other assignments, rubrics, etc., are in the pockets.
  • For the research paper due date, complete print-outs of online database sources like Academic Search Complete (with key passages bracketed) are provided in the pockets of the folder. If students are using books from the Moffett stacks, photocopies of title pages and high-lighted pages (esp. those that are quoted) are in the pockets too.
  • Work submitted apart from these guidelines will not be evaluated and must be resubmitted (correctly) and penalized for lateness.
  • By enrolling in this class, the student expressly grants MSU a “limited right” in all intellectual property created by the student for the purpose of this course.  The “limited right” shall include but shall not be limited to the right to reproduce the student’s work product in order to verify originality and authenticity, and for educational purposes.
  • Dr. Fields reserves the right to ask students to send him a computer file of their research project and/other work by e-mail attachment for archival purposes.
  • Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.
Late Paper Policy

 An assignment is late if submitted after the class period it is due. If late by one period, the assignment will be penalized 10 points. If late by two class periods, the essay is penalized 20 points (the penalty is capped at 20 points). All work must be submitted in person (not by e-mail or surrogate). No late work may be submitted after the last official class period of the semester according to the MSU official calendar. A class period is officially over when the instructor dismisses it. All late work must be submitted IN PERSON. 

If students are too ill to submit their work personally, they should submit it when they return to class. They may avoid penalty for late submission by obtaining documentation from a relevant professional in a timely fashion (e.g., a doctor or the Dean of Students’ office). NOTE: Documentation cannot excuse an absence—only the lateness of an assignment.

 

Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception.

Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters.

We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student.

We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed.

Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, (940) 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement

The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor

All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements

No more than SIX absences allowed and all absences (except for cancelled class, official campus closure, or official late start) count. The seventh absence will result in an automatic F for the semester grade. Absence is based on the instructor’s attendance record. All absences count under this policy including car accident, car breakdown, natural disaster, illness (even documented illness), illness of a relative (including child or parent), court date (including for custody or to avoid jail), or university sanctioned event (sports, theatre, etc). NOTE: If a sports or theatre schedule exceeds six absences, the dates must be documented by the relevant MSU authority and communicated by that authority to the instructor according to MSU policy.

Other Policies

 

ENGLISH DEPARTMENT POLICY: Plagiarism is the use of someone else’s thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")–whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary.

 

Plagiarism and Proper Documentation

Any use of a non-documented source as if it were a student’s original work is considered plagiarism and academic dishonesty. Plagiarism can be of ideas; it can be of exact phrasing. In either or both cases, if the student has failed to acknowledge the source in the body of the essay and to document it in the Works Cited, the grade will be a “0” (no points) for the assignment even if the rest of the assignment is original and use of other sources properly documented. Upon being informed of the plagiarism, the student is no longer welcome in the class. The student may withdraw from the course with a penalty-free “W” if available; if not, the student must cease attending and the grade will be whatever points the student has accumulated minus the plagiarized document and any other tests or assignment as yet not completed (which are forfeit).  If the student continues to attend, the instructor will contact the Dean of Students or Student Conduct office and withdraw the student with a WF.

 

Phrasing that is too close to the student’s own documented sources.

Students who reproduce the phrasing of their documented source(s) as if it were their own phrasing will be penalized for language that is too close to source. Students can use terminology they find in their documented sources, but four words in a row are too much without quoting. Verbatim use of a documented source must be confined to QUOTES set off with quotation marks or ten extra spaces on the left if the verbatim passage works out to be five or more lines of student typing or handwriting. All such quoting requires parenthetical page numbers if provided in the source. Even if page numbers are not provided, the language must be clearly attributed to the author and set off by quotation marks or an extra ten inches on the left.

 

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, 397-4140.

The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being – regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor’s expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

All instructors have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Add your instructor’s phone number and e-mail to both your email and cell phone lists of contacts.

I encourage you to begin drafting papers as early as possible and to take advantage of the MSU Writing Labs located in Bea Wood 224 and Moffett Library. 

At specific intervals students will form small group workshops to evaluate journals and in-class writing.

All students seeking a Bachelor’s degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they have completed communications core and earned 60 hours.  You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113.  If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at http://academics.mwsu.edu/wpr, or call 397-4131.

 

Writing Proficiency Requirement

All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed the 6 hours of Communication Core and and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at https://mwsu.edu/academics/wpr, or call 397-4131.

Calendar Attachment

ENGL 1143 210 & 211 TR Spring 2016 Syllabus & Tentative Schedule-20160119-143931.doc

Campus Carry

Senate Bill 11 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature allows licensed handgun holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, effective August 1, 2016. Areas excluded from concealed carry are appropriately marked, in accordance with state law. For more information regarding campus carry, please refer to the University’s webpage at https://mwsu.edu/campus-carry/rules-policies.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact MSU Chief of Police Patrick Coggins at patrick.coggins@mwsu.edu.