Comm 105: Writing for Humanities

ACWR 105 Academic Writing for Humanities for Spring 2014
Office Hours
Umur Çelikyay
0 (212) 338 1519
Mondays and Wednesdays 10:00 to 12:00
Course Description
This is an interdisciplinary humanities course designed to promote and encourage the types of
advanced critical reading and writing specific to students in the Humanities (Philosophy, English and
Comparative Literature, History, and History of Art/Archaeology). While ACWR 101 (Comm 101)
introduced students to conventions of academic writing, ACWR 105 presents more advanced reading,
writing, and analysis tasks to help students improve their writing and achieve an independent
approach to learning. Emphasis is placed upon critical analysis, close reading, finding, evaluating and
incorporating secondary sources, appropriate and accurate summary, paraphrasing, and the use of
citation. Writing assignments are intended to help students develop advanced analysis,
argumentation, and research skills and to deepen an understanding of the writing conventions
relevant to scholarship in the humanities.
Producing three essays documented and formatted according to appropriate and accepted
academic standards, such as MLA.
Learning how to find and evaluate a variety of primary and secondary sources.
Paraphrasing, summarizing, and synthesizing information from multiple sources.
Drawing logical inferences and conclusions from textual and visual evidence.
Developing, advancing, and defending a thesis while providing clear and well-developed support.
Understanding that writing is a process that involves planning, drafting, revision, and editing.
Avoiding plagiarism by successfully referring to and building upon the ideas of others.
Course Theme
This interdisciplinary course will explore the notions of identity: personal identities, cultural and
national identities, gender/sex identities. The course will explore the issue of what makes one person
out of a lifetime of events and happenings. First the importance of human memory and the
maintenance of personal identity will be examined, followed by the concept and formation of cultural
and national identities. Finally the implications of sex and gender will be considered in connection
with identity.
Please Note: Unless stated otherwise, all written assignments must be uploaded to
For each assignment, including drafts students must submit a signed copy of the Academic Honesty
Graded Diagnostic
Length: 2-3 pages
(Week 3)
This in-class writing assignment will evaluate how much and how well students transferred skills
from ACWR 101.
Essay 1: Close Reading
1st draft (Week 4) 10%
Final (Week 6)
Length: 2-3 pages
This processed paper will ask students to present and support an argument based on a close reading
of an assigned text (students will choose their text from a variety of different kinds of texts drawing
from the different disciplines). In other words, students must develop and defend an interpretation of
a text. This essay will have graded first and final drafts.
Essay 2: Critical Analysis
1st draft (Week 8) 10%
Final (Week 10) 15%
Length: 3-5 pages
This processed paper asks students to engage with the same text as they discussed in Essay 1;
however, in this assignment, students must go beyond their own understanding of the text by
applying an existing critical framework to the text. This essay builds students skills for approaching
and interpreting a single text in multiple ways and works as a scaffolding assignment, leading to Essay
3. Instructors will provide the text that represents the critical framework. Students must use this
critical text, their primary text (from Essay 1), and one additional source. This essay will have graded
first and second drafts.
Essay 3: Synthesis of Skills 20%
Length: 5-6 pages
Discovery Draft (Week 13)
Final Draft (Week 15)
This essay will ask students to incorporate the close reading, critical analysis and research skills
developed in Essays 1 and 2 into a longer paper that incorporates more research. This assignment is
designed to foster independent work, including individual interest driven research and self-guided
revision. To encourage independence, individual topics for this assignment will vary, (though all
essays must include four sources: a primary text, a guiding critical text, and two additional sources),
and though this paper is processed, only the final draft will be graded.
Participation, Homework and Quizzes 20%
Required Course Materials
Course packet for ACWR 105 will be available in Copyland at the student center.
Required handbook: Hacker, Diana. Rules for Writers. 7th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s
Press. Available in the bookstore.
3. English/English dictionary.
4. An A4 notebook used only for ACWR 105.
5. A folder in which students will keep all additional material and copies of all essay drafts.
6. Writing implements: pen or pencil, eraser, paper.
Plagiarism Policy
(Please also see additional Document)
Plagiarism is presenting someone else's words or ideas as your own, without proper reference. You are
graded on your own individual work, not another's masquerading as your own. Any student found
plagiarizing on or colluding in writing assignments will be referred to the university's disciplinary
council. This may result in failing the assignment, failing the course, and/or being suspended from
the university. You commit plagiarism when:
1. You copy someone else's writing and do not put it in quotation marks and identify the source;
2. You take someone else's writing, change some of the words, and do not identify the source;
3. You take someone else's ideas or sequence of ideas, put them into your own words, and do not
identify the source;
4. Someone else writes your assignments or changes your writing and thus creates a false impression
of your abilities.
You engage in collusion by receiving unauthorized help with your writing by paying or otherwise
inducing another person to do the writing for you.
Attendance Policy
Class attendance is required, and any absences will negatively impact your
participation grade. If you accumulate more than 3 unexcused absences, it will result in
a reduction of your final grade for the course: 4 unexcused absences = 5% penalty, 5=10%,
6=15%, 7=20%. If you accumulate more than 7 unexcused absences, you will automatically fail the
course. Excused absence forms must be submitted within one week of the absence date, or they will
not be honored.
Consult with your instructor if you believe there are extenuating circumstances that have made it
impossible for you to regularly attend class. Please come to class on time; each three times
you arrive to class more than five minutes late will count as one absence.
Note: you are still responsible for any and all class work and homework covered during
your absence, no matter what the reason is. Any deadlines will still be valid.
Policy on Late Work
No work submitted after the deadline for the next assignment has passed will be accepted. For
example, an outline of the research paper submitted on or after the deadline for the submission of the
first draft will not be accepted. No student work will be accepted unless all previous stages of the
assignment have been completed. For example, a student who has not submitted a research paper
proposal on or before the deadline for the outline may not submit the outline. An instructor may
accept work submitted late, but before the next deadline, in order to validate the grading of the next
stage, but the instructor is not obliged to award a grade, read, or provide feedback on work that is
submitted late. There is a five point penalty for each day an assignment is late.
Grading Scale
A 100–90%
B+ 86–83%
A- 89–87%
B 82–80%
B- 79–77%
C+ 76–73%
C 72–70%
C- 69–67%
D+ 66–63
D 62–60
F 59–0
Grade Disputes
If you dispute a grade for a formal assignment, you must contact your instructor within two
weeks of the date the grade has been issued to discuss the situation.
Note: The Academic Writing Program has a firm policy regarding petitions for re-grading
assignments, and will not accept petitions filed after the two week deadline. For more information
regarding this policy, contact your instructor.
Course Guidelines and Expectations
 Come to class prepared, with all your materials and tools, having read all assigned materials.
 Behave respectfully toward your fellow students, and the instructor.
 Submit neat and professional work.
 Keep up with readings, work and all expectations.
 Be in charge of your own learning.
 Be awake and alert.
 Participation is active engagement with class work, discussions and all other aspects of learning.
Merely coming in the classroom and being present does not constitute participation.
Student-Instructor Conferences
Students will be expected to attend occasional meetings (individually or in groups) with the
instructor. The purpose of these meetings is to discuss and review draft of papers and assignments, or
deal with issues relevant to the course matter. These meetings will count towards attendance.
Use of the English Language
Students are expected to use English and English only for conducting all class work and all academic
interaction with the instructor. Likewise, all instructor-student conferences and tutorials will be
conducted in English.
If you have an issue or question that cannot be dealt with in class time, contact the instructor via E-mail sent to any other address will not be answered. Remember to fill in the
“subject” field. Please be as specific as you can be and identify yourself by full name and class section.
Students are expected to use e-mail sensibly. Please do not send junk mail, images, animations,
executable files, or other attachment to your instructor’s account. The instructor checks mail a few
times every weekday during business hours, so in most cases you can expect to get a reply within a
reasonable time. If you send an e-mail outside business hours, the reply will probably come sometime
in the next business day. All messages must be written in clear grammatically correct
English, in line with guidelines received in your ALIS training. Please remember that some
issues are not suitable for e-mail and better handled in face-to-face meetings.
Phone Calls
You may call the instructor on the office phone to setup a meeting or for other issues. Make sure that
you identify yourself by name and section. Again, please remember that face-to-face dialogue may be
more appropriate for certain situations. The instructor will not accept calls or text messages on his
private mobile telephone numbers.
Course schedule (Subject to change)
Objectives, Activities
and Topics
Readings and Homework Assignments
Feb 3
Feb 5
Introduction to course
theme, and expectation
Study Plans/Organization
Topic: What is personal
Note Taking (Cornell)
Topic: Memory and Identity
Feb 10
Feb 12
Feb 17
Feb 19
Feb 24
Feb 26
Mar 10
Mar 12
Mar 17
Mar 19
Wayne Steward, “Personal
Student lead discussion using Oliver Sacks, “A Matter of
Review of Note taking
Review of Summarization
Review of MLA requirements
Introduction to Essay 1
Creating an essay outline
Topic: The existence of ‘self’ Reading
Discussion of Hume
Skills for reading difficult
Close reading exercise
Student lead discussion
Review of Essay 1
Topic: Personal Identity
Topic: What is Identity?
Distinguishing arguments
from examples
Reading strategies
Paraphrasing and Summary
James Fearon, “What Is
Identity (As We Now Use The
Word)?” (pages TBA)
Topic: What is Identity?
Graded Diagnostic
Selected pages from “A
Treatise of Human Nature”
(Of Personal Identity), by
David Hume
Review of summarization and “Where Am I?” by Daniel
appropriate paraphrasing
Using quotations as support
Evaluating Sources
October 28: No Class
Notes due
First Draft Essay 1
Conference signups.
Mandatory Individual
Final Draft Essay 1
James Fearon, “What Is
Library–Finding sources
Identity (As We Now Use The
Mar 24
Mar 26
Mar 31
Apr 2
Apr 7-11
Apr 14
Apr 16
Library Research Session
Word)?” (pages TBA)
Topic: Ottoman Identity
Essay 2 introduced
Using a Bibliography
Organizing Research
Topic: Ottoman Identity
F. Aslı Ergül, “The Ottoman
Identity: Turkish, Muslim or
Rum?” (Pages TBA)
First Draft Essay 2
Reading strategies reviewed
Literature reviews
Discussion/Informal Debate
Selective summary/analysis
Spring Break
F. Aslı Ergül, “The Ottoman In class writing
Identity: Turkish, Muslim or
Rum?” (Pages TBA)
Students must sign up for
individual conferences
Topic: Sex and Gender
Student Conferences
Selections from
“Femininity/Masculinity,” by
How we identify ourselves as Jan E. Stets and Peter J.
men and women
Popular culture and gender
Apr 21
Topic: Sex and Gender Masculinity
How boys learn to identify
themselves as men.
Apr 28
Apr 30
Essay 3 requirements
Topic: Sex and Gender –
Femininity (semiotics and
female space)
Selections from “Codes of
Identity Study Guide” - given
in class
Film (in class): “Codes of
Reading: Selections from Final Draft Essay 2
“Tough Guise Study Guide” –
given in class
Student Conferences
In Class Film: Tough
“Advertising and Consumer
Culture” by Jean Bruce
Image analysis/Female space
May 5
May 7
Topic: Identity issues in
Academic Disciplines
Students must bring a
women’s magazine and be
ready to discuss the form
and content
Short in class writing
Selections from “Is
Androcentric Archaeology
Review of MLA requirements Really About Men?” by
Reading notes
Discovery Draft for Essay
Sign up for conferences
Lisbeth Skogstrand
May 12
May 14
Topic: Identity issues in
Academic Disciplines
Reading Notes
Selections from “Is
Androcentric Archaeology
Really About Men?” by
Lisbeth Skogstrand
Final Draft Essay 3
In-class course reflection
Koç University Statement on Academic Honesty with Emphasis on Plagiarism
Koç University expects all its students to perform course-related activities in accordance with the
rules set forth in the Student Code of Conduct ( Actions considered as academic dishonesty at Koç University include but are not limited to
cheating, plagiarism, collusion, and impersonating. This statement’s goal is to draw attention to
cheating and plagiarism related actions deemed unacceptable within the context of Student Code of
All individual assignments must be completed by the student himself/herself, and all team
assignments must be completed by the members of the team, without the aid of other individuals. If a
team member does not contribute to the written documents or participate in the activities of the team,
his/her name should not appear on the work submitted for evaluation.
Plagiarism is defined as “borrowing or using someone else’s written statements or ideas without
giving written acknowledgement to the author.” Students are encouraged to conduct research beyond
the course material, but they must not use any documents prepared by current or previous students,
or notes prepared by instructors at Koç University or other universities without properly citing the
source. Furthermore, students are expected to adhere to the Classroom Code of Conduct
( and to refrain from all forms of
unacceptable behavior during lectures. Failure to adhere to expected behavior may result in
disciplinary action.
There are two kinds of plagiarism: Intentional and accidental. Intentional plagiarism (Example: Using
a classmate’s homework as one’s own because the student does not want to spend time working on
that homework) is considered intellectual theft, and there is no need to emphasize the wrongfulness
of this act. Accidental plagiarism, on the other hand, may be considered as a ‘more acceptable’ form of
plagiarism by some students, which is certainly not how it is perceived by the University
administration and faculty. The student is responsible from properly citing a source if he/she is
making use of another person’s work. For an example on accidental plagiarism, please refer to the
document titled “An Example on Accidental Plagiarism”.
If you are unsure whether the action you will take would be a violation of Koç University’s Student
Code of Conduct, please consult with your instructor before taking that action.
An Example on Accidental Plagiarism
This example is taken from a document prepared by the City University of New York. The following
text is taken from Elaine Tyler May’s “Myths and Realities of the American Family”
“Because women’s wages often continue to reflect the fiction that men earn the family wage, single
mothers rarely earn enough to support themselves and their children adequately. And because work is
still organized around the assumption that mothers stay home with children, even though few
mothers can afford to do so, child-care facilities in the United States remain woefully inadequate.”
Below, there is an excerpt from a student’s homework, who made use of May’s original text:
“As Elaine Tyler May points out, “women’s wages often continue to reflect the fiction that men earn
the family wage” (588). Thus many single mothers cannot support themselves and their children
adequately. Furthermore, since work is based on the assumption that mothers stay home with
children, facilities for day care in this country are still “woefully inadequate.” (May 589).”
You may think that there is no plagiarism here since the student is citing the original author.
However, this is an instance of accidental plagiarism. Although the student cites May and uses
quotation marks occasionally, the rest of the sentences, more specifically the following section: “Thus
many single mothers cannot support themselves and their children adequately. Furthermore, since
work is based on the assumption that mothers stay home with children, facilities for day care in this
country are still “woefully inadequate.” (May 589)” almost exactly duplicates May’s original language.
So, in order to avoid plagiarism, the student either had to use quotation marks for the rest of the
sentences as well, or he/she had to paraphrase May’s ideas by using not only his/her own words, but
his/her own original ideas as well. You should keep in mind that accidental plagiarism often occurs
when the student does not really understand the original text but still tries to make use of it.
Understanding the original text and understanding why you agree or disagree with the ideas proposed
in that text is crucial both for avoiding plagiarism and for your intellectual development.
Avoiding and Detecting Plagiarism: A Guide for Graduate Students and Faculty. The Graduate
Center. City University of New York, 2012. Web.