Writing is a major focus of this course with a significant number of assignments that build upon pre-writing, drafts, and revisions of finished writing. All writing turned in for evaluation is subject to the rules of the Honor Code. Please pay attention to proper forms of citation and always acknowledge your sources.

  1. Informal (low-stakes) writing: This includes eight, 500-word response papers (RP) assigned throughout the semester, in-class writing called “ink spills,” and other writing to learn exercises. Late assignments will not be accepted. Together, they count for 20% of your course grade.
  1. Formal (high-stakes) writing : This consists of two expository essays on class reading, and your own evaluation of your work submitted as a writing portfolio that together count for 50% of the final grade for this course. Your essays will be reviewed in stages and then turned along with all marked-up drafts for a final grade. You will be required to meet individually with me or the writing consultant to go over the drafts of your work. Please pay attention to deadlines. You will incur one letter grade penalty for each day beyond the due date.

Essays I & II both are argument-driven, textual exposition in response to a essay prompt that I will give you. Each essay will draw on class reading. No outside research is required. You will turn in a completed page draft, meet with me or a Writing Tutor for a conference on the draft, and submit a revised paper(with the original draft) for a final grade. Essay I (approximately 1200 words) is worth 15% of your final grade, Essay II (approximately 1800 words) is worth 20 %.

Seminar portfolio: You will save ALL of your informal writing, drafts of essays with comments from peers and myself for your portfolio. At the mid-term and at the end of the semester, you will provide a written evaluation your writing, reading, research and oral skills. Also called a learning portfolio, this collection of your work is not designed to substantiate your grade for the course (although it may), but to reflect and examine closely what you have done and what you have learned, paying careful attention to the strengths and weaknesses of specific aspects of your writing, drawing on evidence from what you include in your portfolio. The final portfolio and your 1500-word assessment of your learning, and TWO substantially revised and extended RPs (min. 1000 words each) is worth 15% of your final grade.