Thursday, January 27, 2011

Assignments for Tuesday, 1 February 2011

  • Finish plagiarism worksheet
  • Read LBH, chapter 9
  • Finish prewriting for first essay
  • Come to class prepared to discuss your planned essay

First essay topics

Choose one of the following topics for a 500-word essay due Thursday, 3 February 2011. You don't necessarily have to agree with the topic you choose; just write the essay as if you do. Your target audience is your teacher and fellow classmates in ENGL 1020.

  1. Studying persuasive writing is a waste of time, and it should not be a required course for graduation at MSCC.
  2. Persuasive writing is the most valuable course a Motlow State student can take (Don't assume I prefer you choose this one. While this one is closer to my view, reading an essay on #1 would be much more fun).
  3. The so-called Tea Party movement is the most significant grassroots movement in American politics this century.
  4. The so-called Tea Party movement is dangerous and un-American.
  5. Religion is a highly personal matter, and discussing religion in public is inappropriate.
  6. Humans are religious beings, and efforts to cleanse religion from public life are not only futile, but dangerous.
  7. Fluency in Lithuanian should be a graduation requirement for all students at Motlow State (Yes, this one is goofy, but if you're creative it could also be fun).
Come to class Tuesday with at least a topic, main idea, and rough outline. If you want to do more, up to and including writing a rough draft, please don't hesitate, but it's not required. We'll spend a few minutes in groups discussing your main idea and how you plan to support and develop it. For this essay you don't need any sources or works cited, but you certainly may cite sources if you want to do so and are comfortable in documenting them.

I'll go over the mechanics of the paper on Tuesday, but for those of you who are interested, here's a little early guidance:

  • 500 words
  • Typed, double-spaced
  • 12-point standard font (Times New-Roman, Arial, or other sans-serif font)
  • No cover page

Happy prewriting!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Assignments for Thursday, January 27, 2011

Vocabulary (Remember: it helps to learn word meanings before doing the readings).

"Really Bad Ideas: The Tyranny of Science"
"Social Harmony" Note: Please be careful in printing this essay--the web page prints out as about 60 pages.

What makes a good persuasive essay

Here are a few points to consider in evaluating a persuasive essay (yours or someone else's):
  1. Is the main idea stated clearly?
  2. Does the writer take a firm, clear stand on a debatable issue?
  3. Does the writer employ adequate evidence to support that stand?
  4. Does the writer consider his or her audience?
  5. Are main arguments based on logic but employ emotion effectively?
  6. Does the argument take into account and refute counter-arguments?
  7. Does the writer offer or call for solutions?

This post is one worth coming back to throughout the semester.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Assignments for Tuesday, January 25, 2011

We missed the first day of class for snow, so we've got some catching up to do. Your assignment for Tuesday is therefore a little longer than usual.
  • Learn all vocabulary on Patterns, page 579 (vocabulary projects 1). Remember: it helps to learn these words before reading the Declaration of Independence.
  • Read Patterns, pp. 547-78
  • Read “Excitement Deprives Children of Happiness
  • Tuesday's quiz will include plagiarism readings from this week.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Assignment for Thursday, January 20, 2011

  • Know the class motto and slogan
  • Know and be prepared to use the following vocabulary words or phrases: cognitive, Potemkin village, rigor
  • Read "What Happens When College is Oversold"
  • Read Patterns, pp. 766-69
  • Read LBH, pp. 626-35; do exercise 44.1

Course syllabus


Tuesdays & Thursdays 1:40-2:55 p.m.
Instructor: Milton Stanley, M.F.A.W., M.Div.
Office hours: By appointment

Be sure to check this site frequently for important information about the course. Please see me if regular Internet access is a problem for you.

Required Materials
  • Patterns for College Writing: A Rhetorical Reader and Guide, Eleventh Edition
  • The Little, Brown Handbook, Eleventh Edition
  • College dictionary
  • Paper for freewriting, written responses, and quizzes
Course Description
English 1020 builds upon the basic skills covered in ENGL 1010. This course is designed to help you enhance and build your critical thinking skills through an emphasis on argumentation essays, literary analysis, and the completion of a research paper. For a comprehensive list of course goals and objectives, see the ENGL 1020 weblog.

Course Requirements
  • Do all assigned readings in time for quizzes and class discussions.
  • Always come to class ready to write.
  • Participate in class discussions.
  • Complete and turn in all writing assignments on time.
  • Do all in-class assignments in dark ink on wide-ruled paper.
  • Turn in both printed and electronic copies of out-of-class assignments (please talk to me if you do not have access to word processing and printing services).
To complete this course, you’ll write three out-of-class papers:
  • Essay 1 Brief argumentative essay
  • Essay 2 Research paper (long argumentative essay)
  • Essay 3 Literary analysis
Several of your in-class papers will also receive a letter grade.

Grades in this course will be assigned according to the following scale:
  • A = 90-100
  • B = 80-89
  • C = 70-79
  • D = 60-69
  • F = 0-59
Remember that, according to academic convention, a C is an average grade. The grade of B indicates above-average work, and an A is given only for outstanding performance. I want you to make the best grade you honestly can. I’m willing to work individually with you through the semester to help you improve your grade. I urge you also to take advantage of a wide range of services offered by Motlow State. Late-term begging, however, is a very bad idea.

Your final grade will be determined according to the following formula:
  • Research paper, 30%
  • Other out-of-class essays,20%
  • Exams, 15%
  • Quizzes, 15%
  • In-class writing, 15%
  • Class participation, 5%
In short, 50 percent of your final grade is determined by what you do in class. No matter what your other averages may be, however, you must have an average of D or better on your out-of-class essays to pass this course.

Essay Format
For all out-of-class papers, use a 12-point standard font. Double space your essays on plain white paper with one-inch margins. See The Little, Brown Handbook for manuscript guidelines. Please follow MLA format.

Major Error Policy
During this course you’ll be reminded how to eliminate these major grammatical errors:
  • Fused sentence (fs)
  • Dangling or misplaced modifier (dm, mm)
  • Comma splice (cs)
  • Lack of subject-verb agreement (agr, sva)
  • Sentence fragment (frag)
Each instance of one of these errors in an essay will result in a one-half letter grade penalty.

Attendance Policy
You are expected to attend classes regularly, and attendance is sometimes critical for mastering the skills developed in this class. Please remember that quizzes and in-class writing assignments will be given almost every day and cannot be made up.

Classroom Deportment
Please keep in mind we’re all adults here. Texting, talking on the telephone, web browsing during class, or getting up to leave before class is over is simply rude and shows disrespect to your teacher, your fellow students, and yourself.

Plagiarism is copying someone else's work without giving proper credit to the author. It's cheating, and a single instance of flagrant plagiarism will cause you to fail the course if you're caught. Even inadvertent plagiarism, such as failing to cite a source, is a serious academic offense. Make sure you avoid plagiarism with everything you write. If you're not sure what plagiarism is or how to avoid it, review your Little, Brown Handbook. I am available to help you in person or by e-mail, provided you come to me before turning in your paper.

You have the benefit of online tutorial help from the SmarThinking service at Please take advantage of it.

Other Information
I accept late work only in unusual circumstances. In no circumstance will I give make-ups for daily quizzes or in-class writing assignments. Late work will be lowered at least one letter grade. I do not accept very late work (e.g., saving all your essays till the end of the semester).
In most cases, in-class essays will be graded pass/fail. For the in-class average, every passing essay will be averaged as a grade of 100 and every failing essay as a 50. A missed assignment is averaged as a 0. That said, the vicissitudes of life are sometimes outside our control, so I'll cut you some slack. I will drop your three lowest quiz grades and your three lowest in-class essay grades. You will also be given the option of rewriting one out-of-class paper. For rewrites, I will accept only papers that have already been graded and returned.

Please see me if you need special accommodations in keeping with the Americans With Disabilities Act.

You’ve paid money for this course, and I want you to get what you’ve paid for. Should the McMinnville campus be closed due to unforeseen circumstances, we will, if possible, soldier on using the course weblog and other online resources.

The final exam for this course will be given in accordance with the MSCC exam schedule.

This syllabus hits only the high points and cannot include everything you need to know during the semester. Stay tuned for more.

A Final Note
Don't let all these dos and don'ts get you down. If you've made it this far, you probably have what it takes to make it through this course. I want you to do as well as you can, and I'll do my best to help you. But remember that you're the one in charge of your education, so take the initiative in doing the work, asking questions, and seeking help when you need it.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Class motto

Accept it; you're all right a lot.

About your instructor

I'm honored to be your teacher this semester. In case you're interested, you can find out more about me here:

Curriculum vitae
Short essays
Full list of publications
Shorter list of publications

Once again, I look forward to working with you in this semester.


This weblog is for Motlow State Community College students in Milton Stanley's ENGL 1020 classes, meeting in McMinnville. Be sure to check back here daily for important course information. Please keep in touch, and may your work this semester be fruitful, rewarding, and enriching.