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.

Search this site powered by FreeFind
My Photo

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.

Friday, January 05, 2007

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.