WRTG 121

This is the syllabus for my Writing 121 course at Eastern Michigan University.

Course Requirements:

=> There will be three (3) major writing assignments throughout the semester. Along with completing the papers, you are also required to participate in peer editing. Papers one and two may be revised; the revision grade will replace the original paper grade. However, before you revise, you must first meet with me to discuss how you plan to improve it, but if you fail to participate in peer-editing, you will lose the opportunity to revise. If the revision is done with little effort, it is always possible for the grade to go down.

* Paper One: MLA Evaluation of a Source 5 October 2021

  >>   Pick a topic from this list of five options: Police Brutality, Solar Power, Animal Cruelty, Campus

         Involvement, or Gender Inequality. For this paper, you will thoroughly evaluate one book or Database Article from Halle Library. (3-4 pages of text)

Paper 2: APA Literature Review

    >> Following the rules and format for papers in APA, discuss the research process for an in-depth argument

         concerning an aspect of your topic. Include your meme as an appendix. (4-5 pages of text)

***   Paper Three: MLA or APA Argument Due by end of Final Exam period 2021

    >> Following the rules and format for papers in MLA or APA (this is your choice), construct an argument

         concerning your topic from Paper 1. You will write a five to six page paper containing

         a thesis statement, support, and a strong sense of your audience and warrant. You need to include at least four

         books or journal articles and at least one personal interview as sources. One of the books needs to be a MELCAT loan. (5-6 pages of text)

=> There are 12 one to two-page writing assignments worth ten points each. The lowest one will be dropped. Five of them will relate to Understanding Rhetoric, but some also involve other texts we will cover. Each is due on the day on which it is listed on the schedule and must be typed uploaded to canvas before class starts

=> You must complete 12 in-class writing prompts. These will be assigned randomly throughout the semester and will occur at the beginning of class. Keep them in a separate notebook. I will read these during peer editing.

=> You must submit a portfolio of your work at the end of the semester. It should include a sampling of your work: eight homework assignments (versions with my comments and revisions), and Papers 1 & 2 (the drafts, versions with my comments, and revisions). Also include a letter explaining the revisions you’ve made and reflecting on the changes you’ve developed in your writing over the semester. This should be neat and organized in a folder.

Course Outcomes:

Composition II: Researching the Public Experience

Rhetorical performance

You will have enacted rhetoric by consciously constructing persuasive texts. 

Research process

You will have practiced different research methods, which includes analyzing and using sources and developing primary research.

Style conventions

You will have developed awareness of conventions of academic research processes, including documentation systems and their purposes. 

Multimodal design

You will have composed using digital technologies, gaining awareness of the possibilities and constraints of electronic environments. 

Reflective interaction

You will have shared your work with your instructor, peers, and/or the university community and accounted for the impact of such interaction on composition.


=> Plagiarism occurs when a writer deliberately passes off another’s words or ideas without acknowledging their source. For example, turning another’s work as your own is plagiarism. If you plagiarize in this class, you will likely fail the assignment on which you are working and your case may be passed to the university for additional disciplinary action. Because of the design and nature of this course, it will take as much (or more) work for you to plagiarize in it than it will to actually complete the work of the class.

Course Supplies: 

  • Losh, Elizabeth, Jonathon Alexander, Kevin Cannon, and Zander Cannon. Understanding Rhetoric: A Graphic Guide to Writing (for Eastern Michigan University, 2021 Update). 3nd Edition. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2021.
  • In lieu of a mechanics handbook, we will be using the Purdue OWL website: https://owl.purdue.edu/

Peer Review:

=> You will participate in three in class peer review sessions: one before each major paper is due. You will also participate in three on-line peer review sessions, which will include sharing your papers w/ members of class via Google Drive. You will do this with the three major papers and three homework assignments. I will determine the classmates with whom you share your work on line prior to the due dates.

Course Policies:
=> Late homework and e-mail submissions will not be accepted. Work must be uploaded to the website before class and you must be present in class to get credit for it.

=> Major papers must be uploaded to the website before class on the due dates.
=> Lap Tops, phones, and tablets should be used for course work only.
=> All drafts must be typed (with a font of 10 – 12, in “Times New Roman”), double spaced, and complete, following the standard MLA or APA format found in the Handbook or on Purdue OWL.
=> All sources must be cited properly as found in the Handbook or on Purdue OWL.

=> Showing a lack of respect for your classmates will not be tolerated. This includes, but is not limited to issues of race, religion, gender, sexuality, and physicality.

=> When you are feeling sick, stay home!!

=> Limit food and beverages in order to maintain mask wearing.

EMU Covid Policy:

All students, faculty, and staff are required to wear a face mask inside all campus buildings regardless of vaccination status unless one is eating, drinking, swimming, or undergoing a physical examination. Instructors can be maskless when alone in offices. Instructors may be unmasked in classes if their vaccination status is verified with the university and they maintain six feet social distancing in the classroom.

As Covid-19 information is updated by the CDC and WHO, the policy will likely change in one way or another.

Halle Library:

The EMU Library offers support for finding, evaluating, and using information sources for research papers and projects.  

Use Library research guides for your assignments or subject area. Look in your Canvas course shell for the Library Guides link. You’ll also find self-service help on using the library, research basics, plagiarism, and citing sources at:  http://www.emich.edu/library/help/index.php  

Get one-on-one research help by visiting the Library, calling the Information Desk at 734-487-2445, or making an appointment with a subject specialist librarian. Subject specialist librarians, assigned to each EMU department, can give you friendly expert advice on your research project. You can also consult a librarian online via the 24/7 Ask-A-Librarian chat service. For details, visit: http://www.emich.edu/library/help/ask.php

The Academic Projects Center, located on the Halle Library first floor, offers drop-in help with research, writing, and technology to improve the quality of your research paper, project, or presentation. You can get help with brainstorming ideas, finding sources, structuring an essay, or putting together a presentation using PowerPoint or Emich Google Apps. The APC is staffed by writing and technology consultants as well as Library faculty. More info at: http://www.emich.edu/apc/

EMU Writing Support:

The University Writing Center offers writing support to all EMU undergraduate students. In doing so, we value the diversity of our campus and honor all students and the languages they bring with them to the university.  The University Writing Center opens Monday, August 30. Asynchronous virtual written feedback requests will be accepted through December 12, and appointments for real-time virtual consultations will be available through December 14, 2021. The University Writing Center follows the academic calendar and will be closed when the University is closed. 

The UWC offers three types of support:

  • Asynchronous Virtual Written Feedback – a writing consultant reviews and comments on your paper, providing focused feedback and strategies for development and revision. Feedback is provided within 24-48 hours for papers submitted Monday through Thursday, and within 24-72 hours for papers submitted Friday through Sunday. Writers can sign up for asynchronous virtual feedback through the WCOnline Written Feedback Schedule.
  • Appointments for Real-time Virtual Consultations – writers can register and make an appointment for a real-time virtual writing consultation through the WCOnline Zoom Appointments Schedule. These appointments can be made up to ninety minutes before the consultation start time.
  • In-person Writing Consultations – writers can make appointments for in-person consultations through WCOnline up to one hour before the start of the consultation. In-person consulting will be available during set hours (TBD) in our main location in 115 Halle Library and in most satellite locations (times, specific locations, and starting dates for in-person consultations will be on our website as soon as they are available). Walk-in appointments will not be accepted this semester, and all writers attending in-person consultations will be required to wear masks.

Instructions for all UWC virtual and in-person support and access to the WCOnline schedule can be found on the UWC webpage at the start of the fall semester.

The UWC also offers writing resources for students—short video tutorials and informational PDFs—through our new Canvas learning community, UWC – Student Resources. Students can join by emailing writingcenter@emich.edu.  

Any questions about any aspect of writing support for undergraduate students can be directed to writingcenter@emich.edu

International Student Resource Center (ISRC): 316 King Hall (734) 487-2859

The ISRC helps international students with language for course assignments in any subject, or with general English grammar, speaking, listening, pronunciation, reading, and writing skills.

All international students at EMU are welcome to visit the ISRC for support with their academic assignments. Many students benefit from one or two visits in their initial semester as they acclimate to EMU and to studying in the U.S. Others benefit from weekly appointments to assist with U.S. academic expectations and conventions. Faculty may refer students to the ISRC, and students are welcome to make appointments with or without a referral.
Hours for the ISRC will be posted each semester on the Web site. We recommend making an appointment (appointments are for 1 hour), but drop-in appointments may be available. You can see this semester’s schedule and make an appointment online at http://www.emich.edu/esl/isrc, or you can email wl_isrc@emich.edu.