Grissom's Grammar and Composition

This blog is for any student writing papers for college, for current and former students in my Communications Cluster at Lindenwood University, and my students at St. Charles Community College.

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I write for myself, for the web, and for everyone who gets me. I've been on a fasting liquid diet, traveled to Europe, and raised 2 kids. And I'm directionally challenged - I get lost a lot.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

How to Create an Outline for Your Paper

Answer the Following questions before you construct your outline.

1. What is my main point/thesis about this subject?
2. What are the main reasons I believe my thesis is true?
3. What details and evidence do I have to support each of these reasons?

With these answers in mind, write your thesis first, then organize your main points under it.

Example: Answers to Questions
1. My Thesis: Star Trek's Captain Kirk is a more likable starship captain than the next generation Star Trek's Captain Picard.

2. Roman Numeral I. Kirk shows more conflict in moral dilemas while Picard considers following orders more important.

Roman Numeral II. Kirk makes mistakes, like other human beings, while Picard only makes minor errors.

Roman Numeral III. Kirk agonizes over the death of any crew member while Picard only cares if the officers closest to him are killed.

3. Supporting evidence for point I.
A. episode where Kirk is used as a disease carrier to help kill off people on an overpopulated planet. Dialogue from specific scenes shows his conflict.

B. Captain Picard is faced with several situations where he would have followed the prime directive and let humans/aliens die if not for the intervention of other crew members. Dialogue shows his obesession with "the right way to do things"

Then the resulting outline would start like this:

Thesis: Star Trek's Captain Kirk is a more likable starship captain than the Next Generation Star Trek's Captain Picard.

I. Kirk shows more conflict during moral dilemas while Captain Picard considers following orders more important than anything else.

A. In one episode Kirk is used as a disease carrier to help kill off people on an overpopulated planet. His reaction to this shows his humanity.
1. Dialogue with Spock shows his conflict.
2. His scene with the girl from the planet shows his remorse.

B. Captain Picard is faced with several situations where he would have followed the prime directive and let humans/aliens die if not for the intervention of other crew members.
1. A planet is about the explode, but Picard doesn't try to help until Data contacts a little girl on the planet.
2. Wesley rebels agains the captain in an episode about the Prime Directive.

You get the idea. You may not have all your evidence yet; that's o.k. Just show me you know what your major reasons are and what evidence you can use to support them.

My spacing is off because of blogger's formatting, so be sure you indent supporting information. Follow the spacing example on page 12-13 in our Writer's Reference book. Microsoft word also has an outline template that does the spacing for you.

Wikipedia - A Legitimate Source for Research Papers?

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, has become increasingly popular over the last few years and students have asked about using it as a research paper source. Our Writer's Reference also has instructions for citing it in MLA format, but....

The Answer

While it's a great place to do general reading, it is not generally accepted as a specific source for a research paper.

It does have an impressive array of helpful free articles which can be used to understand topics - provided you check their accuracy.

Some studies have found it roughly equal to another encyclopedia in science knowledge, but even its founder discourages college students from using it as a direct source. Many of its entries are not reviewed for accuracy and can be changed by almost anyone at anytime - qualified or not.

Bottom line: Background reading yes (with fact checking). Source for research paper: N0

Monday, January 29, 2007

The week of January 30th

Journals 1-4
Assignments 1-3 on Research Project

Remember our Skills Assessment Exam. See the blogs below for more information.

6 tips for taking essay exams

1.) Circle key words
Words like describe, explain, show, compare, and summarize help tell you what the instructor is looking for in the answer. Circle them and focus on what the word asks for.

2) Spend more time on high point questions.
If you know how many points each question is worth, write more on the questions that are worth more points.

3) Give examples
Show you understand the concepts. Copying down points from the book does not show you understand them; it only shows you can copy.

4) Try to be Neat
Most instructors expect crossed out words and so on, but be as neat as you can about it. Make sure your writing isn't too small or your ink/pencil too faint to read. If your pen bleeds through the other side of your paper, write on one side only. Number your pages to help your instructor grade the exam.

5) Pay attention to the time limit
When you start the exam, it's a good idea to budget how much time you have to spend on each question. Budget more time for the larger point questions, but make sure you have time to get to all of the test.

6) Don't finish early
If you look around and everyone else continues to write for an extended period, you probably need to go back and flesh out your answers with more details and examples. Instructors notice if you finish early, yet your test answers are sketchy. The best test scores are usually from those who spend the full time working on the test.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Colloquium Opportunities at Westport Campus

Thursday, February 1st - Resume Writing Workshop:
5:30-6:30 p.m.
Nancy Puzniak, Director of Human Resources with Corporate Express will give tips on improving your resume writing skills.
Westport Campus - Room 262
Please sign up in the Westport Office. Space is limited.

The other opportunity, unfortunately, is the night we are attending the play on the main campus. But I am posting it here for former students who may be looking for a colloquium for their new cluster.

Thursday, February 15th -Alcohol & Substance Abuse: Believe in Miracles
5:00-6:00 p.m.
Kristine Jones will share her story of overcoming alcohol and substance abuse.
Westport Campus, Room 262 Sign up in the Westport Office. Space is limited.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Where Can I Do Research?

Start With Lindenwood's Library

To do research from home, you will need your Lindenwood I.D. number, which is your social security number. Follow the directions for signing in. If you want to check out materials, you will need your student I.D.Contact the reference librarian for Butler Library at Lindenwood for specific reference sources for your topic. You can call them, or e-mail if you are at a distance site.

Other Places to start doing Research: The National Public Radio site has programs like Morning Edition and Talk of the Nation that discuss controversial issues. You can listen to archived versions of the programs on your computer if you have a media player. It is a great place to browse for current topics and find experts to research further. is the official portal to all U.S. government agencies. Here you can find information by topic on subjects such as health, education, technology, agriculture, history, arts, and culture.They also have an extensive reference section on data and statistics for the United States such as crime rates, census data, and economic indicators. It’s an excellent source for a variety of subjects. is a free reference site that has link to all the major news outlets like CNN, MSNBC, ABC and more. Scroll down a bit to find the listing for news sources.

The Librarians Internet Index researches websites and then recommends them on their page. It has lots of great links to credible websites that public librarians have researched for their patrons.

Topic Ideas for Persuasive Research Papers

One of the best ways to organize topic brainstorming is to think of major categories and look for controversies within the subject. Listed below are some possible topics. Most are too large right now for a 10-12 page paper, so be sure to narrow them down.

Consider y0ur favorite subjects as well; there may be something controversial about your hobby or interest: fighting in hockey, laws to protect bicylists, environmental concerns for vacation homes...

These topics have been discussed recently:

Shrinking handicapped children
Regulation of over the counter herbs/medications
Health care costs
Anti aging and plastic surgery treatments
AIDS in Africa
Genetic counseling
Genetic manipulation of people/crops
Plastic Surgery for Teens
Gastric Bypass Surgery
Childhood Obesity Issues
Universal Healthcare/State Required Health Coverage

Google protest about releasing user records
Wiretapping American citizens
Buying personal information on the internet
Employers forcing employees to quit smoking
Internet censorship
Employee surveillance
Patriot act
DNA databases

Sex education
On-line education vs. brick and mortar
No Child Left Behind
Standardized testing
Cost of CollegeArts Funding Cut for Schools
School Security

Politics/Social Issues
Rebuilding New Orleans
Torture vs. coercion in interrogation
Alternative energies
Homeland security issues
Immigration Issues
My Space for Teens
Requiring I.D. for voters
Electronic Voting MachinesDeaf Culture vs. Cochlear implants
Off-shore GamblingMinimum wage
tobacco tax
minimum wage

Reporters revealing sources
Sports Stars salaries/crimes
NASA/Manned space travel
Music/video pirates
Rap Music Lyrics
Liberal/Conservative Bias in Media
Advertising Images of Women
For more topics, Northwestern University also provides a list of hot topics to consider writing about.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Class Reminder: Due on January 23rd

Due This Week:-Final Version of Short Paper 2 (include sketch outline, all drafts, and written assignment title page in your folder)

- Oral Presentation, 5-7 minutes based on one of your short papers - check out the oral presentation tips below.

-Readings Listed

-Continue working on journals and grammar exercises

Oral Presentation Tips

1. Don't Try to Cover Everything

Students are often worried they won't have enough information to speak for five minutes or longer, so they try to cover everything in their paper. You don't have enough time. Take it from someone who has seen many presentations. You must summarize your paper - hit the highlights for us.

2. Have an Introduction and Conclusion

You've already written an introduction that gets our attention - use it for the oral presentation also. The same goes for your conclusion. "I guess that's it," as a conclusion isn't as satisfying to your audience as a technique that wraps it up for us. You also need transition words and phrases, just like in your writing: "After I crashed my car...", "When I realized what happened....." ,"The second step...", "In contrast...." Highlighting the transitions in your paper or writing them on notecards helps you remember them for your speech.

3. Talk So We Can Understand You

Speak loudly enough, clearly enough, slowly enough, and grammatically enough to make your presentation understood.

4. Practice

Off the cuff speeches usually show that they are. You also don't want to go way over or under the time requirement, so practice it at least once keeping in mind you usually speak slightly faster in front of an audience.5. Visuals Are AppreciatedA visual can be as simple as a photograph or as complicated as a power point presentation (we have equipment at our site; you must have it on a flash drive or CD to use it). It also gives your audience something to look at besides you. So if you are self-conscious when speaking, a power point presentation can help divert attention from you.

6. Show Enthusiasm

Hopefully you picked a topic you love. Now show us that enthusiasm for the subject. People passionate about their topics make them more interesting to their audience. Do you want to listen to a speech by someone who is bored with what they are saying? I don't.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Five Writing Myths That Scare Beginning Writers

Are you paralyzed with fear when you write? One of these common writing myths may be getting in your way. Read on and learn how to become a fearless writer.

1) Writers are Born, Not Made
Literary giants like Faulkner, Hemingway, and Twain were born with the talent to leave a lasting legacy with their writing. But communicating clearly in writing is different from creating an eternal piece of literature. Writing well is a learnable skill for those willing to work at it.

2) I Haven’t “Lived” Enough to Write
Not all writing has to be done by struggling artists who have deep experiences to draw on. A sixteen-year-old can have valuable things to say about everyday life. Many writers expound on death, illness, love, and disaster. Talking about the meaningful events of daily life is often overlooked, so everyday topics come across as more original and authentic than papers on suicides or car accidents. Suffering is not required for writing.

3) Writers Know What They Want To Say
Plenty of authors muddle through their first draft without knowing where they are going with it. Many writers find themselves interested in a topic, but until they sit down and write about it, they may not know why. Starting to write without any idea of what you will say gets you a lot farther than waiting for a fully formed paper to appear in your brain.

4) It’s Too Hard to Remember All the Grammar Rules
You didn’t come out of the womb talking, but after burbling a bit and imitating other speakers, you got the hang of it. Every new subject has a learning curve, and writing is no different. Continue to learn about writing, and eventually you won’t have to stop and think about where a comma goes because you will unconsciously remember. Then you can breeze through the task like any other you have come to know well.

5) More is Better
Babbling on to extend the length of a too short paper will not get you a better grade. It usually lowers the grade because your instructors must get through the babble. It also prevents them from helping you learn to develop content. Instructors aren't sure if you think you needed the babble and thus need help focusing your ideas, or if you are filling space because you can’t come up with examples and need content tips. So ask the instructor to help you before you babble your grade away.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Due January 16, 2007

-Final draft of Short Paper 1 - including first draft, sketch outline, and written assignment title page.

Place it all in a two-pocket folder with your name on the front.

-Assigned Reading

-First Draft of Short Paper 2

-Don't forget to work on the journals and grammar exercises as you go.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Six Steps to Take Before You Turn In An Assignment

Think about how much time it takes to rewrite an entire paper or construct a last minute works cited when you find out you misunderstood the assignment or forgot a requirement. Understanding your assignments saves time and stress, and leads to a much better grade.

Here are some steps to take before turning in an assignment.

1. Read the Assignment Carefully
Often instructors explain an assignment in class and students forget to read the fine print on the actual assignment handout. If your instructor gives you an assignment in writing, read it carefully because it may include extra requirements like an outline or outside research. If he or she gives assignments verbally only, be sure to write down the details in your notes. Leaving out too many required elements leads to a much lower grade.

2. Circle Key Terms
After you read the assignment or write it down, circle key term that help summarize what the assignment is about. Assignment words like: write, explain, define, narrate, persuade, answer, explore, describe, compare, and show help you see what an assignment is asking for.

3. Discover its Purpose
Figure out why the instructor is assigning this project. What do they want you to learn from doing it? How to do research? How to write a particular type of essay like a comparison and contrast paper? Focusing on what the learning experience is about can help you zero in on the essentials and learn the most you can from an assignment. Then you won't end up accidentally writing a narration paper when you were asked to do a description.

4. Ask Questions
Instructors are usually happy to answer any questions about assignments, and your interest in getting it right shows you are trying to do a good job and sets the right tone when they grade the assignment later.

5. Check for Examples
Be sure to look at any examples the instructor has included. If he or she doesn't, ask if there is an example you can consult. Even if there isn't an entire example assignment, instructors will often give verbal examples that help you complete the assignment correctly.

6. Reread the Assignment
A few days before your assignment is due, take one last look at the assignment sheet or your notes about the assignment. You are probably doing lots of reading for other assignments, so you may forget minor requirements even if you read the assignment thoroughly the first time. Do this a few days before your assignment is due so you can add any last minute requirements without a time crunch.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Four Questions To Help You Find a Topic

Sometimes students are so anxious to start a writing assignment, they don’t take the time to choose a subject that works well for them. It may take a few more minutes to come up with a topic you like, but that time will be more than made up in how much easier it is to write about something you care about. It's much harder to write on subjects you aren’t interested in.

Here are some questions that lead to topic ideas that work.

1) What Do You Do Every Day?
Explore your daily activities for topics to write about. If your job is to wait tables at a restaurant, you are an expert in those skills. Classify the customers you wait on according to their personalities, or explain the steps the restaurant uses to fill orders quickly. List the subjects you have up close and personal knowledge of, and share your expertise in various papers.Caution: If you don't like any of these subjects, then don't use them! But consider taking a humorous angle and you might find something you want to write about.

2) What Are You Passionate About?
Make a list of all the subjects you love to think, read, and talk about. Music, comic books, reality television, animals – whatever you are passionate about. Then explore what attracts you to the subject. Do you love saltwater aquariums? Why does this topic fascinate you? Sharing what makes it appealing to you, makes the paper interesting to us.

3) What are Your Pet Peeves?
The things that annoy you in your world can be opportunities to explore the issues and come up with real solutions to make your world better. Don't offend your audience with attacks on your opposition, but calmly explain your view. Did your health insurance company refuse to pay for a family member's medical treatment? Turn your outrage into a research paper on managed care.

4) Who are You?
Among other things, I am a wife, mother, sister, granddaughter, employee, teacher, Star Trek fan, writer, reader, American, driver, sleeper, dieter, and volunteer. Focusing on issues related to any of these areas gives me several potential topics to write about. As a Star Trek fan, I could do a comparison and contrast of the old generation’s Captain Kirk to the new generation’s Captain Picard. Figure out all the labels that apply to you, and investigate connected issues that you can write about.

Friday, January 05, 2007

First Saturday class and first Tuesday assignments

Always read the assigned pages before you come to the class date they are listed on, and be prepared for discussion. This schedule is subject to change according to the needs of the class. It is your responsibility to stay informed about these changes by contacting me or another student for notes when necessary. You are responsible for the work listed if you are absent. There will be additional assignments and readings as necessary.

(S/S refers to the book Subjects and Strategies)

January 6 Class Orientation and Overview

Journal 1: Answer the question “What do you want to learn from this class?”

Introduction Activity/ Read S/S p.1-44
Reading: A Writer’s Reference, Sections G and P- as needed with on-line exercises

Next week start the online interactive grammar exercises under the headings
Basic Grammar and Grammatical Sentences (skip sentence types) by January 23rd. Click on Writer's Reference Website under "Helpful Writing Links."

January 9

Journal 2: Use this journal to brainstorm for Short Paper 1 using the listing technique. Turn this in with your first four journals on the due date.

Reading: Finish reading listed for the Saturday class.
and read about Writing Methods:
Narration S/S p. 157-170; 186-189
Description S/S p. 105-118; 151-152
Definition S/S P. 382-398; 420-422
Review Revising and Editing S/S p. 33-37
Short Paper 1 Draft Due

Five Tips for Starting the Communications Cluster

1. Fear Not
Many of you have been out of school for years or even decades. This is not necessarily a disadvantage. You are here to learn how to write papers. So if you aren't sure how to do that, you are in exactly the right place.

2. Polish Your Skills
Some of you are already good writers, but even the best writers can stand to review the rules once in awhile. So if you have a basic understanding of writing for college, use this class as an opportunity to make your writing even better and more polished.

3. Stock Up
You will need at least four folders: Two for turning in assignments, one for class handouts, and one for storing research paper sources/info. You will also want a notebook for notes and plenty of pens.

4. Take Notes
Part of your participation is taking notes and staying informed on deadlines and other class details. Because you are allowed to use notes on our tests, clear and comprehensive notes can be a big advantage. When you start taking notes, put the class date at the top of the page and mark important/major points with stars or underlining to help keep them organized.

5. Read the Instructions
Your questions about the class can often be answered by the handouts you get in class. I absolutely do not mind answering questions, but why wait for a response from me if you already have it at your fingertips in a handout?

6. Keep Your Course Outline Handy
The schedule I give you the first Saturday has details on many of the assignments and their due dates. Make sure you refer to it before every class.

Major Assignments for Communications I

General Directions:
Write a 5-7 page paper using the essay method (for example: narration, description,...) you have selected from the options below. Be certain your essay uses the techniques for that method that we discussed in class, has a strong central thesis statement, uses effective introduction and conclusion devices, and is free of errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

Each paper should include a sketch outline with an introduction and conclusion, points that develop your thesis, and supporting details. Be sure to label your paper with the essay type you’ve chosen. Do not use outside sources, as we have not discussed how to cite them. These two papers should be based on your personal experiences. Turn in all drafts, brainstorming and peer review with the final draft. This should all be in a two-pocket folder that has your name on the front. Due dates are in the cluster schedule.

Short Paper 1:

Select one of the following essay methods and construct your essay according to that form:

Short Paper 2:

Select one of the following essay methods and
construct your essay according to that form:
Process Analysis

Oral Presentation on one of the short papers:
Use one of the previous two papers as a basis and revise it to make an oral presentation about your paper topic. You will probably need to shorten it to meet the time requirement. You may either recite the speech from memory or use note cards to aid your presentation. You are encouraged to use visual aids, but they are not a substitute for content in the speech. Remember to keep your audience in mind and make the speech as interesting as possible. Your speech should be 5-7 minutes long.

Lindenwood's Grading System


A= Excellent: The student’s work is outstanding, beyond expectations, and exemplary to the goals of the course. Writing reveals a sound organizational strategy with clearly developed paragraphs and a unified thesis. The ideas are engaging and show illuminating insights into the works being studied. There should be little or no errors in style, diction or mechanics. Oral presentations are outstandingly informative, well researched and relevant to the assignment. The presentation is not read but reveals mastery of the material, supportive examples and very good eye contact.

B=Superb: The student’s work is above average, proficient, of high quality, and exceeds the goals of the course. Writing is clearly above average but may reveal problems with the organization of ideas or the insights expressed. There will be some errors in style, diction and/or mechanics. Oral presentations may have many insights and show good mastery of the material, but may either lack the depth of an outstanding presentation or reveal a weaker delivery style.

C=Adequate: The student’s work is average, acceptable and satisfactory to the goals of the course. Writing reveals and understanding of the assignment, but the insights do not go beyond the obvious and the student does not attempts to use the text or other sources to prove the ideas expressed. Subject areas tend to be general and do not address specific detail. There are more errors in grammar, mechanics, and the like. Presentations cover the material but are vague, revealing an average mastery of the assigned material and an average delivery style.

D=Unsatisfactory: The student’s work is inadequate, poor, inferior, and unsatisfactory to the goals of the course. Writing reveals a poor understanding of the assignment, is too general and is replete with errors in style, diction and/or mechanics. Oral presentations are poorly planned and delivered with little or no thought to the task.

F=Failing: The student has not passed the course. Writing is unacceptable, lacking in many of the aforementioned skills or does not come close to the page number requirement.

Failing papers may be rewritten with instructor permission, but a grade no higher than a “C” can be given for a rewrite. Include the previous paper when turning in any revised assignment. Lindenwood’s policy is not to allow “B” papers to be rewritten in an attempt to get an “A.”

Course Policies and Basic Information

LCIE Communications Cluster
Lindenwood University
Instructor: Tricia Grissom
Communications I, Communications II, and Literary Types
Winter Quarter 2007
Meeting time: 6 p.m.- 10 p.m.
Class Blog:

The best time to reach me by phone is during the day, M-F. No calls after 9 p.m. or on Sundays, please. You can e-mail anytime. I check my e-mail only once a day, so if you have an urgent concern, feel free to call. Weekend e-mails may not be answered until Monday.

A Writer’s Reference, 6th edition D. Hacker
A Writer’s Reference Workbook and on-line exercises
Subjects/Strategies: A Writer’s Reader, 10th edition P. Escholz & A. Rosa
Literature and Its Writers, 4th edition Charters & Charters

Communications I An intensive review of the English language and its use in college level writing. Concepts include the mechanics of written discourse, sentence structure, paragraph development, and essay organization. Students should use models from English prose and poetry for discussion and composition topics.
Communications II A continuation of Communications I with special attention to skills involved in writing a major analytical research project, including how to gather and organize viable data. In addition, students learn how to communicate in small group settings. These concepts include problem solving, leadership styles, and roles of a group member.
Literary Types A study of English prose and poetry, work of major writers studied in terms of the particular school or movement to which they belong.

This class requires your active participation. When you miss the class, you reduce learning opportunities not only for yourself, but also for your fellow students who might have benefited from your wisdom. Absences require make up work in addition to regular assignments. Two absences will result in a drop of one letter grade. If more than two absences occur, the student will be expected to drop the cluster. If it is impossible for you to come to class, you are still responsible for any work due for the next class. You should obtain the phone numbers/e-mail addresses of several class members so if you cannot reach me, you can ask for assignments and class notes. If you arrive late, you must see me at the break to ensure I have recorded your attendance. I expect you to arrive on time and stay mentally and physically for the entire class.

You must frequently and usefully contribute verbally to class discussions at every class to receive participation points. Lack of participation, frequent tardiness, and/or partial absences will lower your grade. The on-line grammar exercises count toward participation as do other in-class assignments and note taking. Take extensive notes!

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS This class is accelerated. You should know that is requires on average 20 hours of work per week. However, the pay off is accelerated also. You receive 9 credit hours in approximately 11 weeks. It would take a traditional student 48 weeks plus semester breaks if taking the classes one at a time, or 16 weeks spending 9 hours per week in the classroom if all the classes were taken together. Please do not inform me if you are being reimbursed for this class. I base your grades on your class performance and not whether or not you can afford to pay for the class if you fail all or part of it. I do not accept assignments after grades have been turned in for the cluster.

Papers are due at the beginning of class on the assigned day. I must hear from you the next day if you have an illness or emergency, or a letter grade will be taken off for every day that the paper is late. Avoid having the computer eat your homework. Save and print hard copies often so when disaster strikes you will be prepared.

All written work outside of class should be typed and double-spaced on 8 ½ x 11 paper with standard margins all around and using MLA style. See the example paper in the Writer’s Reference MLA section to see what the format looks like. Keep a copy of all your papers and turn in the original to me. All major papers for this class should be turned in with all drafts, peer review, brainstorming, or other outside work. This should all be in a two-pocket folder that has your name printed on the front.

You should have two folders for turning in assignments and another for storing handouts and assignments for this class. When we begin the research paper, an additional folder will be necessary to hold research materials. I recommend five folders total. Turn in only the paper due, and remove any other papers that do not apply. Late assignments will lower your grade. I accept one assignment late, free of penalty. After that 10% will be deducted for each class the paper is late. I do not accept late assignments after the final class has concluded. Undergraduate students are required to write a minimum of thirty-five pages each cluster.

You will keep a journal relating to the readings and following the written instructions given each week in the course outline. Journal topics are listed for each class date. Journals will be collected in sets of 4 on the dates noted in the schedule and count toward your grade for each class. Keep your journal on single sheets of paper as you will be working on new journals while I grade the finished entries. Grammar, punctuation and spelling should be correct. Each journal should be 1 to 2 typed, double spaced pages.

Academic dishonesty includes cheating, lying, and plagiarism. Students who cheat on exams or plagiarize other people’s writing or ideas intentionally will receive a failing grade on the paper and may face sanctions from the University. If you are having a problem with using sources correctly, see me. We can work until you feel comfortable with the process. The same applies to any other class assignment.

Papers will be returned to students in a timely fashion, usually within a week. I will inform you if there will be a delay. When I grade an exam, presentation, or paper, it is not only to evaluate your present skill, but also to make useful suggestions on how you can improve your writing, oral, and critical thinking skills. If you do not understand my comments, assignments, or some other class issue, please come see me. I don’t bite. I do not figure grades before the end of class. Keep track of your points and you will have a good idea where you stand.

APPROPRIATE CLASSROOM BEHAVIOR Please remember to turn off all pagers and cell phones during class time, and do work involving this class only. If you are finished working on an assignment, look ahead in the syllabus for readings and allow other students to finish their work. Be respectful of other people’s opinions during the class discussions. You are free to disagree on topics, but maintain a civil atmosphere - agree to disagree. You may eat snacks in class, but you are responsible for any cleanup necessary.

Superior 90-100
Above Average 80-89
Average 70-79
Below Average 60-69
Failing 59 and below

Students in this course will be expected to accomplish the following:
• Compose a thesis statement and support it in a unified and coherent manner.
• Compose an outline including an introduction and conclusion, clearly dividing topics and subtopics based on thesis development.
• Correctly use grammar and syntax.
• Correctly use punctuation.
• Use appropriate and correct word choice and diction.
• Demonstrate competent spelling skills.
• Identify, analyze and use appropriate reference materials.
• Implement MLA rules for format and citation.
• Demonstrate appropriate oral communication skill.
• Recognize, analyze, and use genre and literary strategies.

OUTSIDE REQUIREMENTS You must turn in a voucher from your Faculty Advisor in order to receive a grade for this class. You should see him or her a minimum of twice each quarter. You must also attend one colloquium every quarter and write a page (about 250 words) about the experience (this is turned in to your advisor). Check with your faculty advisor for appropriate seminars.

Extra Class -We will meet twice in one week during the cluster to fulfill the requirement for 13 class meetings. Our extra class will be a play on February 15 at Lindenwood in the Lindenwood Cultural Arts Building where we met for the first Saturday class. We will meet there at 7:10 p.m

A Writer's Reference has a companion Web site you will use for your on-line grammar exercises. Go to the web address and click on Electronic Grammar Exercises. You will be assigned different sections to complete throughout the cluster. All Grammar sections should be completed by the date noted in the course outline. There are also many other areas of the site that are useful for writing methods and how to research and document on-line. See page vii in the introduction to the book for an overview.

If you do not have access at home, Butler library and many other libraries in the area can provide Internet access. This counts toward your participation grade in the first two sections of the class. Be sure to mark in Writer's Reference which on-line sections you complete as the web site does not keep track for you.

A blog is a web log – basically a collections of dated writings on a subject. On our class’s blog, you’ll find tips for finding a subject, writing, researching, taking tests, and updates on what is happening with our class. It’s specific advice for taking my class. Be sure to check it frequently for information on what’s due and inside information on making the most of your assignments. Direct all questions to my e-mail,

E-MAIL: I love e-mail; it helps me stay in touch with all of you during the week. Students frequently e-mail me with questions and/or drafts. I check my e-mail once per day minimum, but if your question/concern is urgent you should phone me instead. I should immediately send an e-mail acknowledging I received yours. When you receive an e-mail from me, please do the same so I know you received my reply.

STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS: Students with disabilities who require special accommodations should contact the Coordinator for Campus Accessibility Services at 636-949-4944 and notify the instructor before the end of the second week of class. Reasonable accommodations will be made to ensure that disabled students have a fair opportunity to perform at their potentials in this cluster. Students are responsible for providing the instructor with documentation of the disability and the need for accommodations.