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Advanced Composition Syllabus 2015-2016
Mrs. Durrett
Room 114
Advanced Composition
The skill of writing is to create a context
in which other people can think.
~ Edwin Schlossberg~
The goal of this course is to help you grow as an independent and collaborative thinker, a reader, and a writer across
various disciplines at such a rigorous level that personal confidence and academic skill is instilled for your overall success
in college level courses.
Your writing—inquiry, research, drafting, revision, and editing—will take many forms over the course of the semester
including: reading responses, journal writing, formal and informal responses to your classmate’s papers, and a variety of
formal and informal essays.
As a writer, you will embrace the entire process, especially revision. You will not only be evaluated on your ability to
edit and revise your own papers, but how well you can edit and advise your peer’s work, as well; therefore making your
writing stronger and helping your classmates do the same.
As a part of a community of writers, you will be expected to push your thinking and inquiries beyond normalcy, as you
currently see it. You will learn to ask yourself and others probing questions that will lead you to a deeper, more
meaningful quest. In this way, you will discover those issues that truly matter to humanity—incorporating the power of
stakes and drawing the interest of others into your views.
It is my hope that you discover a passion for learning more about who you are in this world we all live in by opening your
eyes and your heart to others not like you. In this way, you will develop a stronger sense of empathy for various cultures,
socio-economic differences and the human experiences while building a deeper awareness of self. As you learn about the
human struggle, you will develop your writing skills as a means to provoke thought in others!
Advanced Composition Major Papers
You will write approximately six major papers and several skill
building minor papers. At the end of the semester, you will revise
three major papers to submit in a final portfolio. These revisions will
demonstrate your ability to write effectively across various
forms of composition.
Possible Major Papers:
 Personal Essay
 Rhetorical Analysis
 Humor/Satirical Essay
 Argumentative Essay
 Informative Essay
 Descriptive Essay
 Research Paper
Grading Categories
Class Activities, Preparedness, and Participation
Major/Minor Papers
-including a critical reflection and three revised papers of your choice
Grading Scale
93 to 100%
90 to 92%
87 to 89%
83 to 86%
80 to 82%
77 to 79%
73 to 76%
70 to 72%
67 to 69%
60 to 66%
Advanced Composition Syllabus 2015-2016
Mrs. Durrett
Room 114
Expectations of Students
Treat peers, teachers, guests, and environment with respect
Spend approximately 2-5 hours per week on outside-of- class assignments
Be prepared to write and discuss readings in class
Help guide classmates with their ideas and writings
Conference with writing groups, the instructor, and the theme reader periodically
Share writing with small groups and with the class (sometimes reading aloud).
Print papers and make copies before class begins. If you do not, you are not prepared for class.
Provide multiple copies of work when needed. (Copies must be made before class.)
Be responsible for obtaining any missed materials before the next class. (Ask a friend to pick them up for you
or request them by email.)
Keep all assignments and bring all papers and handouts to class every day; this includes all peer critiques and
graded papers
Maintain an email account and/or portable storage device for sending assignments to self in case of printing
problems and for transferring typed work from school to home.
Resource Tahoma’s Writing Lab! Our theme readers, Melody and Julie, hang out in Room 118 just waiting
for students to come in so they can read and advise their writing! I connect with Melody and Julie on a
consistent basis and know who has been seeking support. They are an incredible resource for you and will
help launch your writing to an entirely new level!
MLA Format / Citations / Works Cited
All major papers must be typed and follow MLA format. All papers that use any information from another source
(summarized, paraphrased, or quoted material) MUST include in-text citations and a works cited page. Not giving credit
to your sources is considered plagiarism.
Plagiarism is the theft of another person’s work and is unacceptable. Students who commit acts of plagiarism, depending
on the seriousness of the offense, will be subject to one or more of the following disciplinary actions:
Referral to Tahoma High School Administration for disciplinary action
Loss of credit on assignment (points cannot be made up in any way)
Loss of high school credit (could result in student not graduating)
All assignments are due at the beginning of the period. Late assignments will not be accepted, even if the student
is absent from class. Students who are absent are still responsible for turning in assignments on time.
 Assignments can be emailed in an emergency in order to submit it on time, but a hard copy must be submitted
when you return to class.. When emailing assignments always send as an attachment in order to preserve the
MLA format AND copy the paper in the email itself.
 Please do not send papers to the teacher when you are having printer problems at home; email them to yourself
and print them when you get to school (they must be printed before class begins). However, it is wise to email a
copy to the teacher as well in case the school printers are down. Students with pre-arranged absences (school
field trips, family trips, etc.) are responsible for turning in assignments before they leave.
Binder Checks are Graded!
Organization is a key component to success. Students will be required to keep a three ring binder organized with all
course related work and handouts, complete with notebook paper, highlighters, pencils and ink pens. A notebook
checklist will be provided for students to know what is expected. Binders and writing materials will be required every day
and will be graded at random and unannounced times. Binder Checks are an ‘In Class’ activity that cannot be made up.
Be there! Be Prepared!
Advanced Composition Syllabus 2015-2016
Mrs. Durrett
Room 114
Attendance & Tardies
 Assisting students in establishing lifelong habits of reliability and promptness is an instructional objective of this
particular course. Progress toward this goal will be measured, at least in part, by tracking student
attendance. Therefore, a student's grade or credit in this class may be adversely affected by reason of tardiness or
absence. Tardies will be handled in accordance with school policy: after the second unexcused tardy, students
will be penalized 2% of their grade in the course for each additional tardy. Students are considered tardy if they
are not in their seats or engaged in purposeful academic activity when the bell rings. Tardies are cumulative for
the semester.
Students will not receive credit for assignments missed when an absence is unexcused. It is the responsibility of
the student to present the teacher with an admit slip following an excused absence. Students will not be excused
from a tardy if they are late obtaining an admit slip--plan ahead! On rare occasions, assignments may be
completed in class that cannot be made up because of the nature of the assignment, regardless of whether or not
the absence is excused. In this case, it is the student’s responsibility to ask for an alternative assignment. It is
important that students make an effort to attend every class.
Communicate with Parents! Students are expected to communicate regularly with their parents regarding their
learning in Advanced Composition. It is the student’s responsibility to check Skyward on a weekly basis and
communicate with their parents regarding their progress in this class.
I have read the syllabus for Mrs. Durrett’s Advanced Composition class and agree to follow all expectations put
forth, including the directive that no late work is accepted.
Parent Signature: ____________________________________________________ Date: _________________
Student Name Printed Neatly: ___________________________________________________________________
Student Signature: ____________________________________________________ Date: _________________
Read, sign and return to Mrs. Durrett the next class period.