English/WMST 309 Women Writers
English/Women’s Studies 309
Dr. Donna Campbell
202H Avery Hall
Welcome to English 309 / Women Studies 309, a course that asks you to become increasingly aware of the ways in which women’s writing has been produced and consumed within many different situations, or contexts, in their lives. In this course, you will earn three semester credit hours and develop solid analytical reading, writing, and revising skills by completing the assigned readings, the short response papers, the research proposal and research paper, and the discussion posts. Please start by reading this syllabus carefully to familiarize yourself with the nature of the course and what we intend for it, and you, to accomplish.
This course provides upper-division students with practice in critical reading, analysis, and all stages of the writing process. Our basic assumption is that you already have some strong academic reading and writing skills and now want to learn more about textual communication. Thus, you’ll write a variety of both informal and formal documents, each of which is designed to enhance your practical and theoretical understanding of the relationship of women’s writing to the rest of the world. We’ll read from a variety of conventional genres, including critical theory, fiction, poetry, and memoir, focusing on critical analysis of the various kinds of writings done by women, of diverse definitions of the work of feminisms, and of the ways in which writers can work to end historical silence and invisibility.
This course is designed to help you develop the following:
This course is designed to enable you to meet the course goals listed above through a combination of reading assignments, writing assignments (papers), and discussion postings.
As in a face-to-face classroom, you’ll need to set aside time in your weekly schedule to complete the assigned readings, post to the discussion board, and write your papers. Because the information in this course is cumulative and discussion is an integral and valued part of it, this is not a self-paced class in which you can complete the assignments for several units all at once. The weekly deadlines are listed in the Course Schedule.
Allow plenty of time for posting your replies to the discussion board and uploading your papers to the drop box. If you wait until the last minute, a computer failure or internet outage could delay the transmission of your assignment, which would then be considered late.
The reading assignments for this course are listed under Lessons. They have been divided into six thematic units, with 1-3 lessons per unit. As you’ll see by clicking on the Lessons link, each lesson includes reading assignments from the textbooks that you’ve purchased for the course as well as a “Context and Questions” page. Suggested questions for the discussion board, possible topics for response papers, and brief lectures will be posted on the “Context and Questions” pages. The “Context and Questions” page link on the Lessons pages will be made available at the beginning of each unit.
In addition, several lessons have “For Further Study” links at the bottom of the page, and the “Contexts and Questions” pages will have embedded links as well. All the required course materials can be found in your books or in the course space, but these optional links have information that may be helpful or interesting to you.
Over the course of this semester, you’ll write the following:
All submitted assignment files should follow the naming format as follows: last name, first initial, course number, assignment name. For example, if Julia Sanchez submitted her first response paper in Unit 1 it would be saved as SanchezJ_309_ResponsePaperUnit1.doc.
Submitting papers. Students must submit all papers through the Assignments Dropbox (on the navigation bar at left) by the due dates and times listed on the Course Schedule. All due dates are based on Pacific Standard Time (and when appropriate Pacific Daylight Time). For more information about submitting assignments, click on the “How to Submit Assignments” link on the Course Information page link on the navigation bar.
Formatting papers. Papers should be typed and double-spaced with 11-12 point fonts and 1″ margins. They must be saved using either Word format (.doc or .docx), rich text format (.rtf), or .pdf format, which are commonly available under the “Save As” function of all word-processing programs. Papers using any other format cannot be read and will not receive credit. For more information, see the “Paper Formatting Guidelines” link under Lessons.
I will be writing comments in the document and returning it to you as a .pdf file. You need Adobe Acrobat Reader to read .pdf files, and this program is probably already installed on your computer.
In order to demonstrate participation as well as to contribute to the climate of intellectual exchange, students are expected to post on the discussion boards for each segment of reading assigned. The discussion board provides a less formal means for you to discuss the work we’ll be reading than the response papers and research paper.
Requirements. During most of the weeks of this course, you are responsible for one original posting of 200-300 words and two responses of 100-150 words each to others’ postings. These are the minimum word requirements and number of postings; you are welcome to write longer posts or to post more frequently if you feel so inclined. For information about using the Discussion Board, go to Course Information and click on “How to Use the Discussion Board.”
Topics. Although you’re welcome to post on topics of your own choosing, you will also find some general suggestions for topics on the “Questions for Discussion and Response Papers” page listed under Lessons in the navigation bar at left. Specific questions will be available in the “Contexts and Questions” page for each unit, which will contain the lecture material for the course.
Discussion topics from these sources will be posted in the forum for that lesson shortly before we begin each week’s discussion.
As the general questions suggest, the discussion board is a space in which you can write speculative, reaction-based, and imaginative posts as well as analytical ones.
Due Dates. Your original posting of 200-300 words must be posted by 11:55 p.m. on the Tuesday of the week it is due. You’ll then read the postings of other class members and respond to any two of their posts by 11:55 p.m. on Friday of that week. The due dates for original posts and response posts are listed in the Course Schedule. Posts and responses will only be counted during the week when they are due; anything added to the week’s discussion after that time (Friday by 11:55 p.m.) will not be graded.
Grading. Discussion posts and responses are graded holistically (by their overall quality and style) each week and will not typically receive comments on grammar or content. However, please use proper spelling, capitalization, and so on for your discussion posts. See the Grading section below for more specific information on grading discussion posts.
Although I will be reading all the posts and responses, I will not reply on the board to each post but will respond to selected posts from different students each week. For more information, please read carefully the section called “What Makes a Good Discussion Post?” on the Course Information page.
The writing assignment deadlines and reading assignments for this course will remain the same once the semester has started. Information may be added to the “For Further Study” sections of the course, however.
Finding Scholarly Articles Exercise (to be posted to Discussion Board)
[Note: This message will be repeated at the top of the questions for Units 3, 4, 5, and 6.]
To help you prepare for the research paper and to give you practice in looking up scholarly sources, for Units 3, 4, 5, and 6 you will be helping to provide the context for the work we are reading by looking up a scholarly article. Scholarly sources include books and articles found in the MLA Bibliography and other subscription databases, such as Project Muse, which are available through the library but not on the open Internet.
This exercise is worth 5 extra credit points, which will be added to your Discussion Board grade for the lesson in which you post your article summary and critique. You can only receive credit for this exercise once, and you only need to complete it once.
Directions: At some point during Unit 3, 4, 5, or 6 (Lessons 6, 7, 8, 9, or 10), you should look up a critical article in the MLA Bibliography and report back to the class about what you have found. You can find directions for accessing the MLA Bibliography and critical articles under Lessons or by clicking here.
You only need to look up an article for this exercise once, and you can choose the lesson for which you will do this. You don’t have to look up an article for each lesson.
Important: Wikipedia and web pages that you find through Google searches will not be acceptable for this exercise. Newspapers and general interest magazines are not acceptable for this assignment. You need to go through the library’s database, as you will need to do for the research paper.
After you’ve found an article, you’ll tell the rest of us about it in the Discussion Board. Here is the information to post.
1. The citation (in MLA format) for the article you found.
2. A brief summary of the article’s ideas.
3. A brief assessment of or discussion of the article: was it helpful to you? Why or why not?
If the article seems useful to you and appropriate for your research paper, you can use it as one of your two required secondary sources. If not, you don’t have to use it.
Other Help Available
There is some extra help available for this course. I encourage you to contact me via email to ask questions or make comments at any stage of your writing process. In addition, please consider using the eTutoring resource located on the Course Information page, available through the menu on the left. For many writers, it is useful to talk about ideas even before writing, so don’t forget to ask family members, colleagues, or friends to listen and discuss your ideas with you.
Reasonable accommodations are available for students who have a documented disability. Please read the Disability Accommodations statement below and notify me before you submit your first Response Paper if you have specific needs.
I encourage you to use these excellent resources and to suggest others to your instructor as you discover things that work well for you in order to make your experience in English 309 / Women’s Studies 309 a positive and rewarding one. Remember that you are part of a community of scholars committed to learning. I hope that you will find this class to be a place of growth, where you can further your understanding of yourself; your own reading, writing, and thinking processes; and ultimately, your place within the larger communities of which you are a part.
Discussion Board: You should check the “Announcements from Instructor” section of the Discussion Board when you log in to this course, since I will be using that space for general class announcements. Also, if you have a question that you think others in the class might also have, please use the “Questions for Instructor” section of the Discussion Board so that I can write a response for everyone.
Email: As mentioned above, the best way to reach me is through the course site or by sending me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please make sure to include your full name in the email and ENGL 309/WMST 309 in the subject line. If you send me an email Monday through Friday, I should be back in touch with you within 24 hours. Mail sent over the weekend will receive a response on Monday. Additional contact information is available at http://www.wsu.edu/~campbelld/index.html.
IM, Voice, Video Chat, or Phone: If you prefer to contact me via Skype, Google Hangout, or telephone, please send an email and I’d be happy to arrange a time.
Late Work Policy
The late work policy for this course is as follows:
These are the general grading criteria for this course. Response papers and the research paper are held to higher standards of analysis, good style, and grammatically correct sentences than the discussion posts. You can find a more specific version of the grading criteria here: http://public.wsu.edu/~campbelld/grading.html.
I will use abbreviations as references to grammatical principles on your corrected papers. The abbreviations and accompanying explanations are available on the “Key to Comments” document here: http://www.wsu.edu/~campbelld/keyto.htm. You may want to download and print out the .pdf version of this document for easy reference.
Grading for Discussion Posts
Discussion board posts are awarded points based on how substantial and thoughtful they are. They are graded holistically and will not typically receive comments on grammar or content. However, please use proper spelling, capitalization, and so on for your discussion posts. The discussion board grades don’t reflect “taking off points” but rather “building points.” Each post starts with a 0 and builds up to a 25 depending on its thoughtfulness, insights, and engagement with the assigned texts–its level of excellence, in short.
Although I will be reading all the posts and responses, I will not reply on the board to each post but will respond to selected posts from different students each week.
Discussion board posts need to be posted within the time frame of the lesson and by the deadline listed in the Course Schedule in order to count. Although there’s no partial credit for late posts or replies, and there are no excused absences from or extensions for posting, this course has a built-in optional “makeup” post at the end that you can complete to make up points if you miss a week. It counts the same as a regular post + replies session (25 points).
The points are awarded as follows:
Academic Honesty Policy
Please review the WSU Policy on Academic Integrity listed below. For this course, the following specific guidelines apply:
Plagiarism is the unacknowledged use of someone else’s words or ideas. This definition includes not only deliberately handing in someone else’s work as your or handing in a previously written paper but also failing to cite your sources, including Web pages and Internet sources.
For further information on our University grading policy, consult the WSU Academic Regulations. Look under Section 90, “Grades and Grade Points.”
Your final grade for the course is then determined as follows:
For further information on our University grading policy, consult the WSU Academic Regulations. Look under Section 90, “Grades and Grade Points.”
Specific reading and writing assignments are located inside the Blackboard Course Space.
Plagiarism Policy (supplement to WSU Statement on Academic Integrity). Plagiarism is the unacknowledged use of someone else’s words or ideas. This definition includes not only deliberately handing in someone else’s work as your own but failing to cite your sources, including Web pages and Internet sources. Plagiarism also includes handing in a paper that you have previously submitted or are currently submitting for another course.
WSU Email Policy: Per the WSU policy effective August 24, 2015, I will ONLY be able to respond to emails sent from your WSU email address. I will NOT be able to respond to emails sent from your personal email address as of the first day of fall semester. Effective the 24th, the IT Department will switch the “preferred” email address in your myWSU to your WSU email address.
WSU Statement on Academic Integrity.Academic integrity is the cornerstone of higher education. As such, all members of the university community share responsibility for maintaining and promoting the principles of integrity in all activities, including academic integrity and honest scholarship. Academic integrity will be strongly enforced in this course. Students who violate WSU’s Academic Integrity Policy (identified in Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 504-26-010(3) and -404) will receive a grade of F, will not have the option to withdraw from the course pending an appeal, and will be reported to the Office of Student Conduct.
Cheating includes, but is not limited to, plagiarism and unauthorized collaboration as defined in the Standards of Conduct for Students, WAC 504-26-010(3). You need to read and understand all of the definitions of cheating: http://app.leg.wa.gov/WAC/default.aspx?cite=504-26-010. If you have any questions about what is and is not allowed in this course, you should ask course instructors before proceeding.
If you wish to appeal a faculty member’s decision relating to academic integrity, please use the form available at conduct.wsu.edu.
WSU Statement on Students with Disabilities: Reasonable accommodations are available for students with documented disabilities or chronic medical conditions. If you have a disability and need accommodations to fully participate in this class, please visit the Access Center website to follow published procedures to request accommodations: http://www.accesscenter.wsu.edu. Students may also either call or visit the Access Center in person to schedule an appointment with an Access Advisor. Location: Washington Building 217; Phone: 509-335-3417. All disability related accommodations MUST be approved through the Access Center. Students with approved accommodations are strongly encouraged to visit with instructors early in the semester during office hours to discuss logistics.
WSU Midterm Policy. Based on ASWSU student requests and action by the Faculty Senate, WSU has instituted Academic Rule 88, which stipulates that all students will receive midterm grades. Midterm grades will be reported as they are calculated in Blackboard.
However, at midterm only 35% of the total graded assignments will have been turned in. Midterm grades are not binding, and because the bulk of the graded work in this course occurs after the midterm point, it can only accurately reflect student performance up to that point.
WSU Statement on Safety and Emergency Notification: Classroom and campus safety are of paramount importance at Washington State University, and are the shared responsibility of the entire campus population. WSU urges students to follow the “Alert, Assess, Act,” protocol for all types of emergencies and the “Run, Hide, Fight”response for an active shooter incident. Remain ALERT (through direct observation or emergency notification), ASSESS your specific situation, and ACT in the most appropriate way to assure your own safety (and the safety of others if you are able).
Please sign up for emergency alerts on your account at MyWSU. For more information on this subject, campus safety, and related topics, please view the FBI’s Run, Hide, Fight video and visit the WSU safety portal.
WSU Policy on Excused Absences. Section 73 of WSU’s regulations does not permit instructors to request official documentation to allow excused absences except for military personnel and those traveling on WSU business; hence no other excused absences are permitted by WSU policy. The attendance policy for this course has been relaxed from previous versions of the course to include an additional absence to make up for this decreased flexibility in policy.
WSU OEO Policy. Discrimination, including discriminatory harassment, sexual harassment, and sexual misconduct (including stalking, intimate partner violence, and sexual violence) is prohibited at WSU (See WSU Policy Prohibiting Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct (Executive Policy 15) and WSU Standards of Conduct for Students).
If you feel you have experienced or have witnessed discriminatory conduct, you can contact the WSU Office for Equal Opportunity (OEO) and/or the WSU Title IX Coordinator to discuss resources and reporting options. (Visit oeo.wsu.edu for more information, including a list of confidential and other resources)
WSU employees, with limited exceptions (e.g. confidential resources such as health care providers and mental health care providers – see oeo.wsu.edu/reporting-requirements for more info), who have information regarding sexual harassment or sexual misconduct are required to report the information to OEO or a designated Title IX Coordinator or Liaison.