WRTG101S Syllabus

University of Maryland University College

Term 2142
Course Title Introduction to Writing
Class Section A441
Start and End Date Jan-14-2014  to  Mar-06-2014
Days and Times Tu, Th  18:30 - 21:30
Education Center Camp Casey
Faculty Member David Eakin - david.eakin@umuc.edu

Faculty Contact Information:

Dr. David Eakin
E-Mail: David.Eakin@faculty.umuc.edu
Phone: 010-8924-5831

Course Materials:

Author: Wyrick
Edition: 12th
Copyright: 2014
ISBN: 9781133311317

For textbooks, visit the webText nearest your location:
webText Asia https://webtext.asia.umuc.edu.
webText Europe https://webtext.europe.umuc.edu.

Course Description:

Practice in effective writing and clear thinking at all levels, including the sentence and paragraph, with emphasis on the essay and the integration of research into one's writing. WRTG 101S fulfills the first general education requirement in Communications. This course provides intensive support and review of grammar and punctuation along with instruction in organizing, developing, and writing academic essays. The goal is to strengthen key aspects of mechanics while helping students apply specific steps within the writing process, including formulating purpose, identifying an audience, and selecting and using research resources and methods of development, and other rhetorical tasks. Revision and recursive writing practice are emphasized and encouraged. Review of writing skills will be conducted through separate tutoring sessions, and resources will be available to support students in practicing and demonstrating writing skills.  Typical assignments include a comparison- contrast analysis, a cause-effect analysis, a research- supported essay, and a final reflective paper. Students may receive credit for only one of the following courses: ENGL 101, ENGL 101X, WRTG 101, WRTG 101X, or WRTG 101S.

Course Outcomes:

After completing this course, students should be able to:
1. apply the writing process to develop essays using various rhetorical patterns in order to inform and persuade an audience
2. construct unified, coherent, and well-supported paragraphs using principles of persuasion and exposition
3. demonstrate accurate grammar and mechanics in writing
4. analyze source material in order to integrate valid and reliable sources using accepted documentation style

Course Introduction:

This course, or its equivalent, is probably the most required college course, regardless of major. Most beginning college students need more practice in writing formal English--a lot more practice. Clear, powerful writing is not a skill that comes easily to most of us. It is a skill that can be developed only over time, with practice and yet more practice. Much of what we do in this course will focus on strategies that can help the student learn what to focus on in writing and see a variety of ways of manipulating the written word so that it has the desired effect on the intended audience. There is no single method to make everyone a competent writer. A method that works for one beginning writer may not work for another. It is my hope that in this course you will discover which methods work best for you.

Some beginning college students do not readily see the importance of writing skills, perhaps thinking they will never be in a professional situation requiring them to do much writing. I disagree, not surprisingly. In this "Information Age" being able to write well (and efficiently) has become increasingly important. Even to succeed in college, writing and reading skills are probably the two skills that will ensure that success in most if not all academic fields. In fine, you need to be able to write well, and now--at the beginning of your college career--is the time to start learning how.

Grading Information and Criteria:

Grading Information and Criteria
The essays will constitute sixty percent of your course grade, the quizzes ten percent, and the exams thirty percent.

Class Attendance: Attendance is required. Any unexcused absences will adversely affect your final course grade. If you miss a class, you are responsible for finding out what you missed. Also, if you miss a class when an assignment is due, arrange to have a friend deliver the completed assignment to me. Essays turned in late will be accepted up to one class meet¬ing after the due date, but the grade will be lowered by one grade letter.

Make-up Policy: Make-up exams will be allowed only if the student provides a valid and verified (on official stationery) excuse.

Class Participation: Class participation is strongly encouraged and, in the case of borderline grades, will be the determining factor. Remember that it is your class, and you will get out of it only as much as you put into it.

"An A paper is characterized by outstanding informative writing marked by superior readability and competent handling of content. These traits are demonstrated in the following ways: "The substance and organization follow a clear, logical sequence that makes the information easily accessible to the reader. The purpose is clearly expressed, and the selected details of the assignment reflect this purpose. The audience is accommodated throughout the assignment as reflected in effective communication and style. Words are chosen and sentences are constructed to make the information understandable. The grammar, mechanics, and format are flawless.


"A B paper is characterized by distinguished writing that successfully fulfills the requirements but contains one of the following weaknesses: "Although the writing is essentially well organized, the audience analysis, the statement of purpose, or the handling of the content is flawed. Although sentences are grammatically correct, their structure or length or both sometimes cause readers to work unnecessarily hard. Ambiguous or vague wording hinders precise communication. A small lapse in audience accommodation causes reader distraction. Grammar, mechanics, and format flaws interfere with reading and comprehension.


"A C paper is characterized by satisfactory writing that is generally effective but contains any one of the following weaknesses: "Although satisfactorily written, the body of the assignment is not clearly organized, or some material is not clearly explained; the audience and purpose are not clear. Sentences, although they are grammatically correct, often make information difficult to extract; editing key words or converting nouns to verbs could solve such problems. Wording interferes with readability, but the reader can still glean the meaning; rereading is often required. Repeated grammar, mechanics, or format errors mar the paper.


"A D paper struggles to communicate information and contains weak writing. In a professional working environment, such writing would be considered incompetent because it suffers from any one of the following problems: "Any two of the problems listed under a C paper. Minimal evidence of audience accommodation. Serious wording problems, such as garbled wording gives the reader repeated and serious difficulties in understanding. Serious sentence problems, such as run-on sentences and comma splices, damage the readability. Grammar, spelling, or format problems create frequent obstacles to understanding.


"A failing grade on a writing assignment usually means that your paper contains any two problems from the list for a D paper."

Other Information:

Writing Labs:

Recitation Sessions:In addition to the scheduled class meetings, WRTG101S will be accompanied by a 2-hour recitation session each week. During these sessions, your instructor will be available to provide you with individual support and tutoring. This service is available to you free of charge. Your instructor will provide you with the days and times of the recitation sessions.

Project Descriptions:

You will have four or five essays of varying lengths to write for this course. In all probability, we will write essays based on causal analysis (sometimes called cause-and-effect), comparison/contrast, definition, and reflection. One of the essays will incorporate sound academic research (a major requirement will be evaluating the quality of secondary resources and being able to cite those sources using academic conventions).

Academic Policies:

For UMUC policies on Academic Integrity, Student Conduct, Grades of Incomplete, Withdrawals, Grade Appeals, Non-discrimination, Services to Disabled Students, Services to Veterans, and other policies relevant to studying with UMUC, please see the UMUC Online Policy Manual.

Course Schedule:

Session 1 Introduction to course; diagnostics; read Wyrich, pp. 3-29

Session 2 Wyrich, pp. 31-45 (thesis statement); comparison/contrast, pp. 225-29; Cotton, “Grant and Lee,” pp. 237-40; quiz on mechanics: caps (pp. 602-04); abbreviations (p. 604-05); italics (pp. 596-97); hyphens (pp. 594-95).

Session 3 RD comparison/contrast (topic sentence outline); body paragraphs (pp. 46-52); theses (con’t); pronoun case (pp. 557-59); irregular verbs (pp. 553-54)

Session 4 Revised comparison/contrast; body paragraphs (pp. 52-54). Quiz on agreement, pp. 549-550; 555-56; adverbs and adjectives (pp. 560-61).

Session 5 FD of comparison/contrast. Cause-effect (causal analysis), pp. 273-77. Fragments (pp. 129-30) and fused sentences/commas splices (pp. 566-68)

Session 6 RD of cause-effect (topic sentence outline); punctuation, pp. 574-82 (quiz on sentence-level errors and punctuation)

Session 7 FD of cause-effect; beginnings and endings, pp. 78-86. Finish material on commas; apostrophes (pp. 586-88); semicolons (pp. 582-84)

Session 8 Bring your dictionary! Quotation marks, pp. 589-91; parentheses, brackets, and dashes (pp. 591-94)

Session 9 Bring a blue or black ink pen, letter-sized lined paper, and a non-electronic dictionary for the midterm exam

Session 10 Writing a paper using research, pp. 367-75; preparing a working bibliography, pp. 383-86. Development by definition, pp. 247-51. Language awareness, pp. 154-70

Session 11 Vague reference and shift in pronouns, pp. 556-57; effective sentences, pp. 125-128

Session 12 RD of research-supported essay (topic, thesis, outline). Quiz on pronoun reference (see handout) and modifiers (pp. 130-32; 562-63

Session 13 Coordination and subordination, pp. 146-149; review of parallel stuctures, pp. 568-70

Session 14 FD of research-supported essay. Continue with review of parallel constructions, including workshop/quiz.

Session 15 Review of the writing process and major grammatical weaknesses.

Session 16 Reflective essay/final exam

Note: This schedule is tentative and subject to change.

Faculty Bio:

I teach courses in English composition and literature as well as Research Methods. I got my Ph.D. in nineteenth-century British literature in 1980 from Arizona State University. I have been teaching literature and composition since that time, with the exception of one year when I worked as a textbook editor for Prentice-Hall. I have taught with the University of Maryland's University College since 1990, all that time with the Asian Division. Before joining Maryland, I also taught at Auburn University, McNeese State University, and the University of Mississippi.