Robert Morris University

Robert Morris University
EDUC 1003
Professor: Marc Wisnosky
Email: [email protected]
Office: Hale Center 305
Prerequisite: None
EDUC 1003
Foundations for Reading and Writing
Meeting days: Mondays and Wednesdays, 1-3:15pm
Room: Hale 101
3 Credits
This course offers students intensive practice in reading comprehension and introduces
students to writing conventions in American English, proofreading strategies, and general
writing skills.
Smith-Palinkas, B. & Croghan-Ford, K. (2010). Key concepts 2: reading and writing
across the disciplines. Boston: Cengage. ISBN 978-0-618-474622
Academic Integrity is valued at Robert Morris University. All students are expected to
understand and adhere to the standards of Academic Integrity as stated in the RMU
Academic Integrity Policy, which can be found on the RMU website at Any student who violates the Academic Integrity
EDUC 1003: Foundations for Reading and Writing
Policy is subject to possible judicial proceedings which may result in sanctions as
outlined in the Policy. Depending upon the severity of the violation, sanctions may range
from receiving a zero on an assignment to being dismissed from the university. If you
have any questions about the policy, please consult your course instructor.
Plagiarism, taking someone else's words or ideas and representing them as your own, is
expressly prohibited by Robert Morris University. Good academic work must be based
on honesty. The attempt of any student to present as his or her own work that which he or
she has not produced is regarded by the faculty and administration as a serious offense.
Student academic dishonesty includes but is not limited to:
 Copying the work of another student during an examination or turning in a paper or
an assignment written, in whole or in part, by someone else;
 Copying from books, magazines, or other sources, including Internet or other
electronic databases like ProQuest and InfoTrac, or paraphrasing ideas from such
sources without acknowledging them;
 Submitting an essay for one course to a second course without having sought prior
permission from your instructor;
 Giving a speech and using information from books, magazines, or other sources or
paraphrasing ideas from sources without acknowledging them;
 Knowingly assisting others in the dishonest use of course materials such as papers,
lab data, reports and/or electronic files to be used by another student as that student's
own work.
 NOTE on team or group assignments: When you have an assignment that requires
collaboration, it is expected that the work that results is credited to the team unless
individual parts have been assigned. However, the academic integrity policy applies
to the team as well as to its members. All outside sources must be credited as outlined
Students in this class and in all courses are expected to uphold the highest standards of
academic integrity. Cheating, plagiarism in written work, receiving and providing
unauthorized assistance, and sabotaging the work of others are behaviors that are
inconsistent with standards of academic integrity. Students/candidates are expected to do
their own work. Plagiarism is defined as using someone else's work, ideas, or words
without giving the author credit for using them. This can mean many things, including
downloading papers from the Internet, using a friend's paper, or inaccurately quoting or
paraphrasing ideas or words from a text. In the academic community, people earn their
living through the use of their work, ideas, and words. Their reputation is built, in part, by
others using their ideas and giving credit to the author. Therefore, you have the
responsibility, both legal and ethical, to cite their work properly. Plagiarism is a major
offense in the academic community of which you are a part. Students/candidates who
commit blatant acts of plagiarism will fail the course and may be required to present a
defense to be allowed to continue in the department.
EDUC 1003: Foundations for Reading and Writing
Students who may be eligible to receive learning support or physical accommodations
must contact the Center for Student Success at 412-262-8349 to speak with a counselor
and to learn more about accommodation procedures. To receive accommodations in this
course, arrangements must be made through the Center for Student Success.
RMU policy regarding course materials: Students are expected to have their textbooks
and other required course materials at the start of the course. Failure to have required
course materials will not be accepted as justification for failure to be prepared for class,
missed or incomplete assignments, failure to prepare for exams, quizzes and other course
evaluations, or the inability to complete other course requirements. The only exception to
this policy will be situations in which the textbooks and/or other course materials are not
available from the publisher as determined by availability in the RMU Bookstore.
After completing this course, students will be able to:
Outcome 1
read, understand, and analyze the thesis, purpose, and organizational structure of
college level texts
Outcome 2
demonstrate awareness and understanding of English academic writing styles and
conventions through reading and analyzing various written genres.
Outcome 3
demonstrate ability to evaluate, summarize, and paraphrase academic texts
Outcome 4
develop increased fluency and confidence in their ability to write in English
through journal writing and in-class timed writing activities.
Outcome 5
implement the standard styles associated with American academic writing: creating
an effective thesis, introduction, and conclusion; developing paragraphs through
using topic sentences and appropriate supporting points; implementing academic
English grammar and mechanics; and using basic APA format.
Outcome 6
use a word processing program proficiently to produce properly formatted essays.
In order for students to achieve maximum benefit from the class, regular attendance and
participation in all activities is vital—especially in a language classroom. Class
participation and discussions are an integral part of the course evaluation. Group
discussions and reflections on class activities are difficult to replicate for students who
are not participating in discussions, activities, and assignments. Missing class frequently
EDUC 1003: Foundations for Reading and Writing
will result in lower grades. Any student who misses more than 25% of the class time (5 or
more classes)—whether through absences or tardies—will automatically fail the class.
Class Participation:
As mentioned above, classroom time is an essential part of the language learning
experience. The in-class time will help prepare you for your reading and writing
assignments. In addition, students are expected to be prepared when they come to class. If
they are often late for class or are unprepared, they will not be able to participate fully,
and their participation grades will suffer.
Students will be assigned various types of homework throughout the semester. The
purpose of the homework assignments is either to reinforce concepts learned in class or to
prepare for class discussions or activities. For this reason, students will not receive any
credit for late assignments. Specific guidelines for each assignment will be provided by
the instructor as the semester progresses.
Vocabulary/Mechanics Exams:
Each chapter in the textbook has activities focusing on vocabulary words from the
Academic Word List and on sentence structure and punctuation concepts. There will two
exams on the vocabulary and mechanics concepts covered in class. Exam dates: June
30, August 6.
Timed Writing:
Several times throughout the semester, students will be asked to complete a writing
assignment in class within a specific period of time. They will be expected to implement
what they are learning in class regarding sentence structure and essay organization. This
is an important skill to develop in order to be successful on essay exams in classes.
Timed writing dates: June 16, July 7, July 21.
You will write a daily journal five days a week. You will type the journal entries into
your “Journal” area in Blackboard. Topics for the journals are informal, and journals will
not be graded extensively on grammar, but on length and comprehensibility. Students
may write on anything they like—responses to new experiences in the university or in the
U.S., new friends, questions and concerns about classes and schoolwork, to name a few.
Short stories will also be assigned throughout the term which you will be required to
respond to in your journal. The journal should represent at least 10 minutes of writing for
EDUC 1003: Foundations for Reading and Writing
5 days a week, and each journal entry should be a minimum of 100 words. DO NOT
difficulty finding topics, your instructor will provide some ideas. Only your instructor
will read your journal, and the contents of your journal will be kept confidential. You
will write 5 10-minute journal entries per week over 8 weeks for a total of 40 entries.
Group and individual presentations have become a significant part of the course
requirements for many college classes in the U.S. Therefore, for this class, you will be
required to give several group or individual presentations. This will help you to prepare
for such presentations in your other college classes. For each of the presentations, you
will be given specific guidelines and requirements to help you develop specific
presentation skills.
First draft due
June 23
July 7
July 21
July 28
Final draft due
June 30
July 14
July 28
August 4
August 6
Course Point Values:
General Class Participation
Graded Timed Writing
Essays (100 points each)
Total Points Possible:
50 Points
50 Points
200 Points
125 Points
75 Points
500 Points
1000 Points
Final Grade Scale as a percentage of total points:
93-100% A
90-92% A-
87-89% B
83-86% B
80-82% B-
77-79% C+
73-76% C
70-72% C-
66-69% D+
63-66% D
60-62% D-
Below 60% F
EDUC 1003: Foundations for Reading and Writing
Assignments should be completed
before class
Topics and Classroom Activities
June 2
Book must be purchased as soon
as possible.
Introduction to the course and expectations
--Work through Reading and Understanding Test Questions (pp. 712)
--Do Activities 1 and 2 (p. 2) to prepare for homework assignment.
June 4
--Complete Reading 1 (pp. 3, 4)
--Complete Activities 3, 4, and 5
(pp. 4, 5)
--Go over homework
--Emphasize the importance of Word Families and Word Forms for
different parts of speech. Work on Activity 6 together in class.
--Discuss Text Structure and Outlining, pp 12-16
--Explain Weekly Journal Requirements
June 9
--Complete Reading 2 (pp. 17, 18)
--Complete Activities 12, 13, 14,
15, and 16 (pp. 19-22)
--Weekly Journal is due.
--Discuss Homework and Reading 2
--Discuss English Sentence/Clause Structure (Sentence Essentials
on pp. 24-26-through Activity 20)
June 11
--Complete Activities 21, 22, and
23 (pp. 26-28)
--Weekly Journal is due
--Discuss Homework
--Discuss Timed Writing (pp. 29-35)
June 16
--Complete Reading 1 (p. 43) and
complete Activities 4, 5, 6, 7, and
8 on pp. 44-48)
--Read and work through Writing
1B (pp. 64-71), including
Activities 29, 30, and 31.
--Weekly Journal is due.
--Graded Timed Writing (p. 39)
--Discuss Reading 1 and Homework
--Work through Identifying Text Structure—Summary (pp. 48-51)
--Introduce Summarizing, Paraphrasing, and Synthesizing
June 18
--Complete Activity 32, 33, and
34 (p. 68-72) (Note that this is a
more extensive writing assignment
than previous homework
assignments and will be awarded
more points.)
--Discuss challenges of summarizing and paraphrasing.
--Explain Summary Essay Assignment
June 23
--First Draft of Summary of
Reading 1 on p. 43. Complete
Revising Checklist on p. 75 before
handing paper in.
--Weekly Journal is due.
--Discuss Sentence Essentials on pp. 58-63, including Activities
--Self-review or Peer-review of Summary Essay using Editing and
Proofreading Checklist on p. 76.
June 25
--Complete Reading 1 on p. 79
and Activities 3, 4, 5, and 6 (pp.
--Discuss Reading 1
--Discuss Implied Main Idea (pp. 82-85) and Identifying Text
Structure—Cause/Effect (pp. 85-87).
--Review Sentence Essentials to date
EDUC 1003: Foundations for Reading and Writing
June 30
--Second Draft of Summary Essay
is due.
--Complete Reading 2 on pp. 8889, and complete Activities 12, 13,
14, and 15 (pp. 90-92).
--Weekly Journal is due.
--Mid-term exam on Vocabulary and Sentence Essentials discussed
so far in class.
--Discuss Reading 2
July 2
--Reading pp. 101-115. Complete
Activities 23, 24, 26, 27, and 28.
--Discuss Writing 1B: The Process, including essay organization,
thesis statements, and topic sentences.
--Describe Cause and Effect Essay
July 7
--First draft of cause/effect essay
is due.
--Weekly Journal is due.
--Graded Timed Writing
--Discuss Grammar of Parallelism and work through pp. 94-100 in
July 9
--Complete Reading 1 on pp. 121122 and complete Activities 3, 4,
5, and 6.
--In-class revising and editing workshop for cause/effect essay—
using instructor’s comments and checklists.
--Vocabulary Quiz on Chapter 3
--Discuss Reading 1
July 14
--Second draft of cause/effect
essay is due.
--Read Making Inferences (pp.
125-128) and complete Activities
7 and 8.
--Weekly Journal is due.
--Discuss Making Inferences
--Prepare students with background information for Reading 2b on
pp. 135-136.
--Introduce Sentence Essentials, including fragments, run-on
sentences, and comma splices.
July 16
--Complete Reading 2b and
Activities 16, 17, 18, and 19 on
pp. 137-139.
--Complete Activities 23, 24, 25,
and 26 on pp. 143-145.
--Discuss homework assignments
--Begin working through Get Ready to Write (pp. 150-156).
Emphasize documentation of sources. (Note that the textbook gives
MLA examples, but the class will focus on writing using APA.)
--Review paraphrasing
July 21
--Paraphrasing Essay: Paraphrase
the 2 paragraphs in Activity 37
(pp. 157 and 158).
--Weekly Journal is due.
--Graded Timed Writing
--Discuss and practice Synthesizing (pp. 157, 158) using your
paraphrases of the information in the two paragraphs.
--Discuss Essays of Reaction/Response
July 23
--Re-read “Six Dead After Church
Bombing” (pp. 135-136) and
brainstorm ideas to include in your
Response Essay. Bring your
brainstorming ideas to class for
--Discuss responses to “Six Dead After Church Bombing.”
--Discuss Reading Details: Tables, Charts, and Graphs (pp. 171175).
July 28
--Second Draft of Paraphrasing
Essay is due.
--First Draft of Response Essay is
--Final Journal is due.
--Revision/Editing Workshop on Response Essay
--Work on The Grammar of Adjective Clauses in class (pp. 183189).
July 30
--Complete Reading 2 (pp. 178179) and Activities 14, 15, and 16
(pp. 180-181).
--Discuss reading and vocabulary homework
--Continue discussion on adjective clauses
EDUC 1003: Foundations for Reading and Writing
Aug 4
--Second Draft of Response Essay
is due.
--Work on Get Ready to Write, pp.
190-194, Activities 26, 27, and 28.
--Discuss homework in class
--Provide information for Final Exam Essay
Aug 6
--Turn in Writing Final
--Final Exam on Vocabulary and Mechanics from the second half of
the semester