Honors English 110-085
Spring 2015
Instructor: Caitlin Larracey ([email protected])
Course Meeting Time: Tuesday/Thursday 3:30-4:45, Wilhard Hall 104
Office: Memorial Hall 213
Office Hours: Tuesday 11:00-12:00, Thursday 11:00-12:00
PLEASE NOTE: All information in this syllabus is subject to change pending notice. All policy and
schedule changes will be announced in class and on the course website.
Course Description
Critical Reading and Writing is designed to help students develop the thinking, reading, and writing
skills necessary to succeed in a demanding academic environment. Throughout the semester, you
will produce approximately 30 pages of polished work, including peer review letters, response
papers, formal papers, and a YouTube video. We will focus especially on the moves writers make to
enter into an academic conversation – how writers read the work of others and incorporate such
work into their own discussions. This semester, we’re entering into the critical conversation around
YouTube, in addition to examining what YouTube videos say themselves. We will also pay
particular attention to revising as an integral part of the writing process. There will be several
opportunities to get feedback from myself and peers and to generate your own feedback for others.
Writing is personal, but also collaborative, and we will work with each other, outside texts, and
your writing over the course of the semester.
Course Outcomes
First-year writing (English 110) supports the academic mission of the University of Delaware by
helping students to:
• Read and write with a sensitivity to audience and purpose,
• Think critically in both independent and collaborative contexts,
• Participate as ethical members in a community of writers,
• Develop into critical producers and consumers of texts.
To these ends, English 110 emphasizes:
• Writing as a rhetorical process that includes prewriting, drafting, review, and revision,
• Writing in a variety of genres,
• Accessing, assessing, and integrating research in an increasingly global context,
• Using appropriate research and writing technologies.
Required Texts
We will be using all of these texts frequently over the course of the semester.
Harris, Joseph. Rewriting: How to Do Things with Texts. Logan: Utah State UP, 2006.
The Arak Anthology. 2014. Newark: U of Delaware P.
Course Policies
You must be present in order to succeed in this course. You are allowed to miss three class
meetings. I do not differentiate between excused and unexcused absences, so use your absences
wisely. Any absence after the third, regardless of the reason, will drop your final grade by 1/3 a
letter grade. For peer review days, bear in mind that the work you do in class is graded; these will
be the days you do not want to miss. Furthermore, absence is not an excuse to miss due dates; you
submit your work electronically, so if your assignment is due, it must be submitted by class time.
Arriving late disrupts the class. Two tardies (showing up to class 5 or more minutes late) will equal
one absence, and that counts toward your allowed absences. If you are more than 25 minutes late,
you will be marked as absent. Also, leaving class early will constitute a tardiness.
Emergency Absences
If serious illness, family emergencies, or other crises occur during the term, one of the key things
you must do is to contact the Dean of your College as soon as possible. This office can assist you in
notifying faculty and in validating for your teachers what has happened. Such validation will be
necessary for you to make up missed classwork and assignments.
Email Communication
I will contact you through your UD e-mails, so if you don’t check it, make sure your UD e-mails are
forwarded to your primary account: http://www.udel.edu/it/help/webmail-mirapoint/webmailforward-all-incoming-mail.html. I check my e-mail very frequently (probably too much), and this
means e-mail is the best way to reach me with any questions, comments, or concerns. I will respond
as quickly as possible, and generally within 24 hours. Please, use proper e-mail etiquette: write
with respectful, polite, and appropriate tone and formatting. Also, please put something in the
subject line that clearly labels your message, and that tells me who exactly is sending this e-mail.
Just imagine if your inbox was flooded with forty e-mails titled “Question.”
Technological Excuses
Computers, internet, and email are going to be integral parts of your professional lives. I will not
accept any late work because of problems with technology. Make sure you email your work
correctly (as a .doc or .docx file). Back up your work frequently – I have learned the lesson the
hard way, and I would spare all of you the pain. And make time to print if I have required you to
bring in a printed copy of your work. I will not accept technology as an excuse for late work.
Technology in Class
In all likelihood, I am just as addicted as you are to my phone and computer (and the tablet I own in
my head, but unfortunately not in reality). After all – this class is themed around YouTube! But, just
as I will not be texting, reading e-mail, or taking a “quick” look at facebook, you will not be either.
You are free to use laptops or tablets in class to take notes or for readings. I will try to be more
interesting than Buzzfeed, but do remember that you are responsible for the information I relay in
class; your Reddit knowledge is not part of your grade. Also, keep cell phones on silent. It is
extremely disruptive for phones to go off in class, and disrespectful to your classmates.
Classroom Etiquette
Speaking of disrespect – like a ringing phone, it has no place in the classroom. I not so fondly recall
many an opening day all through middle school where we were drilled on respect for instructors
and peers, and I trust that you all have a handle on proper classroom behavior toward each other
and myself (no sleeping, texting, inappropriate language – you know the deal). If you are
disrespectful in class, I will ask you to leave.
Office Hours
Please do meet with me during my office hours at any point over the course of the semester. They
are there to help you, and I encourage you to take advantage of them. Any time you are stuck, or
have any type of question that you think I can help you with, send me an e-mail and we will chat. It
is important that you schedule with me ahead of time, when at all possible, to ensure that I will be
able to meet with you. Although I do ask that you try first to meet with me during my scheduled
hours, with several days’ notice I can generally arrange to meet at another time.
Academic Integrity
Any work that you submit at any stage of the writing process—draft, thesis and outline,
bibliography, etc., through final version—must be your own; in addition, any words, ideas, or data
that you borrow from other people and include in your work must be properly documented. Failure
to do either of these things is plagiarism. The University of Delaware protects the rights of all
students by insisting that individual students act with integrity. Accordingly, the University
severely penalizes plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty.
Additional Information
The Writing Center
There are many UD English students that work at the Writing Center who are paid to help students
across the university with their writing. This is glorious news – please act on it. You can bring your
writing into the Writing Center at any stage (from generating a topic to revisions). There is a
support system for feedback in this course, but I encourage you to take advantage of the Center. It’s
located in Mem. 016, the website is http://www.cas.udel.edu/writing-center, and it is free to use.
Multilingual Student Communication Center (MSCC)
If English is your second or additional language, you have access to the new Multilingual Student
Communication Center (MSCC). The MSCC offers free, online, language-focused tutoring with
English as a Second Language (ESL) experts from UD’s English Language Institute. The MSCC can
help you at any stage of the writing process. Although tutors will not edit your grammar, they will
help you self-edit and understand how to write clear, accurate, and effective academic English. To
schedule an appointment, visit http://sites.udel.edu/mscc or email [email protected]
Course Evaluations
During the final two weeks of the semester, you will be asked to submit an online evaluation for this
course. Your feedback not only helps me improve my teaching, but it also helps the English
department improve the course. Halfway through the semester, I will incorporate in-class time to
allow for feedback from the class. You do not need to wait, however, to share any concern with me.
Contact me through e-mail, see me after class, or come to office hours if you want to talk.
Disabilities and Special Needs
If you need special assistance and/or classroom accommodations because of a disability, please
contact the Office of Disability Support Services. To register and request accommodations, you will
need to contact the Americans with Disabilities Act Office (831-4643) for physical or emotional
disabilities or the Academic Enrichment Center (831-2805) for learning disabilities/ADHD.
I explain each assignment in more detail on separate assignment sheets, but I have
provided here an overview of the work you will accomplish this semester.
Course Website
Blog: You will write one blog post on the course website. In your post of 500 words, you will
respond to the academic article reading due on Tuesday of that week.
Responses: During the two weeks that your group is not writing a blog post, you will instead
comment on three posts.
Arak vs. YouTube
In this essay (1200 words), you will discuss an Arak essay of your choice along with a
YouTube video covering the same/similar topic. Analyze each composition’s rhetorical
choices and argue which piece more successfully accomplishes its project.
Critical Essay
Proposal: In an approximately two minute vlog, posted to the course website, you will
introduce the class to your research question (a question related to YouTube).
Essay: The essay, a minimum of 2000 words, is the major composition of the semester. You
will join a conversation surrounding the chosen YouTube topic, using the moves Joseph
Harris discusses in Rewriting and with which we have worked extensively in class. Your
goal is not just to join this conversation, but through careful research and argumentation,
contribute your own voice and ideas.
Revision Letter: In a 500 word letter, write about the specific changes you have made in
response to your peers’ feedback.
Concepts in 60 (YouTube Video)
Script and Storyboard: Consider the script the rough draft of what you want to say in your
YouTube video. The storyboard works alongside your script. How do you want to convey
your argument?
Video: In just a 60 second video (excluding time for a title screen and credits), translate a
line of argument from your research paper into a YouTube video.
Reflective Letter: In approximately 500 words, reflect on how you have adjusted your
writing process, style, project, etc. to address your new audience, purpose, and genre.
Please note that The University of Delaware requires at least a C- to pass this course.
You will be graded on a 1,000 point scale. Points are distributed as follows:
Blogs/Responses (3 at 50 points each)
Arak and YouTube Draft 1 & 2 (25 pts. each)
Arak and YouTube
Proposal: Vlog and Responses
Critical Essay Draft 1
Critical Essay Revision Letter
Critical Essay
YouTube Script/Storyboard
YouTube Video
Reflective Letter
150 points
50 points
150 points
150 points
50 points
50 points
100 points
50 points
100 points
50 points
100 points
Grading Scale (in points)
940 - 1000
A900 - 939
870 - 899
840 – 869
B800 – 839
770 – 799
740 – 769
700 – 739
670 – 699
640 – 669
600 – 639
below 600
Discussing Grades and Assignments
I ask that you wait 24 hours before discussing a grade on an assignment with me. I am always
willing to explain a grade and suggest strategies for improvement. Discussing a grade is not a
negotiation for a higher grade, but rather an opportunity to improve on subsequent work.
Course Schedule
T: 2/10
Th: 2/12
Reading Due*
Assignments Due**
Rewriting: Introduction
T: 2/17
Reading and Writing
about YouTube
Th: 2/19
Coming to Terms
Henry Jenkins “What
Happened Before
Rewriting: Ch. 1 (14-33)
Sign up for a Wordpress
account and a YouTube
Blog 1 (Due by 5pm,
Monday 2/16)
T: 2/24
Th: 2/26
T: 3/03
Audience and Genre
Th: 3/05
T: 3/10
Rhetorical Analysis
Th: 3/12
Essay Structure: Intro,
Conclusion, Topic
Peer Review
T: 3/17
Th: 3/19
Formulating a Research
T: 3/24
Finding Sources
Th: 3/26
Evaluating Sources
Proposal Assignment
L. Watanis and L. McMillan,
“Performing Gender on
Rewriting: Ch. 2 (34-53)
danah boyd “Participating
in the Always-On Lifestyle”
Rewriting: Ch. 3 (54-72)
Responses (Due by 5pm,
Wednesday 2/18)
Blog 2 (Due by 5pm,
Monday 2/23)
Responses (Due by 5pm,
Wednesday 2/25)
Blog 3 (Due by 5pm,
Monday 3/02)
Responses (Due by 5pm,
Wednesday 3/04)
Arak Anthology, Daniel
Mason, “You’re Child Left
Behind: Why America’s
‘Race to the Top’ is
Destroying Its Educational
YouTube: “High Stakes
Standardized Testing in
New York…the
Arak Essay and YouTube
Somini Sengupta “Free
Speech in the Age of
Anita Sarkeesian “The
Maura Edmond, “Here We
Go Again: Music Videos
after YouTube”
Geoffrey V. Carter, Sarah J.
Arroyo, “Tubing the Future:
Participatory Pedagogy and
YouTube U in 2020”
Draft 1, printed copies for
group members
Draft 2 due Fri by 5 pm
Research Topic/Tentative
Final Draft due Friday by
11:59 pm
T: 3/31 &
Th: 4/02
T: 4/07
Th: 4/09
T: 4/14
Peer Review
Th: 4/16
Returning to Rewriting
T: 4/21
Editing, Citation, and
Th: 4/23
Writing Style and
Document Design
YouTube Assignment –
Visual Rhetoric
Student Multimedia and
Design Center
T: 4/28
Th: 4/30
T: 5/05
Th: 5/07
T: 5/12
Th: 5/14
YouTube Script
YouTube Storyboard
Editing Workshop
Broadcast Yourselves
Proposal due Wednesday,
4/08 by 5 pm
Peer Comments due
Friday, 4/10 by 5 pm
Draft 1, printed copies for
group members
Draft 2 due Friday, 4/17,
by 5 pm
Lawrence Lessig, “REMIX:
How Creativity is Being
Strangled by the Law”
Final Draft & Revision
Letter: Due Friday, 5/01,
by 11:59 pm
Meet in SMDC
YouTube Remediation due
Wed, 5/13 by 11:59 pm
Reflective Letter due by
Fri, 5/15, 11:59 pm
*Reading is due on the date it is listed with.
**Assignments are due by the start of class on the date listed, unless otherwise indicated. You must
bring printed copies of your essay drafts on peer workshop days.