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Writing and Inquiry in Academic Contexts I

UWRT 1101-28, [Smith 328, T/R 9:30am 10:45am]

Fall 2015
Instructor: Cassandra Blandford
Cameron 128
Office Hours: 11am 12pm T/R
Course Description:
In Writing and Inquiry in Academic Contexts I (UWRT 1101) you will study the subject of
writing since it is both the primary subject of inquiry and the primary activity of the course. You
will write, revise, edit and reflect on your writing with my support and the support of your peers.
You will also engage critically with the opinions and voices of others, as you are encouraged to
understand how your writing can have an effect on you and your environments. As the primary
subject of readings and discussion, writing is explored as it relates to different contexts,
discourses, cultures and textual media. As you inquire into literacy, you will understand your
own writing and development with heightened awareness. Grades are derived primarily from
portfolios that include work generated throughout the term.
Please note: This three-credit course requires three hours of classroom or direct faculty
instruction and six hours of out-of-class student work each week for approximately 16
weeks. Out-of-class work may include but is not limited to: required reading, written
assignments, and library research.
Required Texts and Materials:
Writing about Writing, 2nd edition Eds. Wardle and Downs
Portfolio Keeping, 3rd edition. Eds. Reynolds and Rice
A blank notebook to use as your Daybook.
Final grades will be based on commitment to class participation, required reading, Daybook
activities, various writing assignments, and the compilation of a writers portfolio. Final grades
will be weighted as follows:
Writers Portfolio
Midterm Portfolio
10 Writings to Explore (WTE)
10 Responses to Readings
Class Participation (Daybooks, Presentations)

5% (Complete/Incomplete)
5% (Complete/Incomplete)

Grades will be determined using a 10 point scale (90-100=A, 80-89=B, 70-79=C, etc.)
All formal papers and a final portfolio must be completed to receive a passing grade in the
course. Plagiarism will result in failure of the course.

Course Goals:
The First-Year Writing Program has identified five broad skills that students need to practice in
order to become proficient writers in this class and beyond. As writing faculty, we recognize that
all of the following practices are interwoven, and often happen simultaneously, but it can be
helpful to understand them as distinct practices as well. They are: rhetorical knowledge,
critical reading, composing processes, knowledge of conventions, and critical
Student Learning Outcomes
We will be working towards all five of these areas in implicit and explicit ways. Be familiar with
them. Well talk about them at various points in the semester, but when it comes to your final
portfolio you will be expected to show how each of these sections affected your role as a student
and a writer. Ill help guide/remind you how each of these are connected to our overall goals, but
it will be your responsibility to understand how they affect you as an individual. As in many
things with a writing course, there are definitely wrong answers, but there are not strictly right
The Student Learning Outcomes for FYW are as follows:
Rhetorical Knowledge
Rhetorical knowledge is the ability to identify and apply strategies across a range of texts and
writing situations. Using their own writing processes and approaches, writers compose with
intention, understanding how genre, audience, purpose, and context impact writing choices.
By the end of FYW, students should be able to:
Use rhetorical concepts to analyze and compose a variety of texts using a range of
technologies adapted according to audience, context, and purpose
Assess how genres shape and are shaped by readers' and writers' experimentation with
conventions, including mechanics, structure, and style
Develop the flexibility that enables writers to shift voice, tone, formality, design, medium, and
layout intentionally to accommodate varying situations and contexts
Critical Reading
Reading critically is the ability to analyze, synthesize, interpret, and evaluate ideas, information
and texts. When writers think critically about the materials they use, they separate assertion
from evidence, evaluate sources and evidence, recognize and assess underlying assumptions,
read across texts for connections and patterns, and identify and evaluate chains of reasoning.
These practices are foundational for advanced academic writing. By the end of FYW, students
should be able to:

Use reading for inquiry, learning, and discovery

Analyze their own work and the work of others critically, including examining diverse texts
and articulating the value of various rhetorical choices of writers
Locate and evaluate (for credibility, sufficiency, accuracy, timeliness, bias) primary and
secondary research materials, including journal articles and essays, books, scholarly and
professionally established and maintained databases or archives, and informal electronic
networks and internet sources
Use a diverse range of texts, attending especially to relationships between assertion and
evidence, to patterns of organization, to the interplay between verbal and nonverbal elements,
and to how these features function for different audiences and situations
Composing Processes
Writers use multiple strategies, or composing processes, to conceptualize, develop, and finalize
projects. Composing processes are seldom linear: a writer may research a topic before drafting
then conduct additional research while revising or after consulting a colleague. Composing
processes are also flexible: successful writers can adapt their composing processes to different
contexts and occasions. By the end of FYW, students should be able to:
Demonstrate flexible strategies for drafting, reviewing, collaborating, revising, rewriting,
rereading, and editing
Recognize and employ the social interactions entailed in writing processes: brainstorming,
response to others writing; interpretation and evaluation of received responses
Use their writing process in order to deepen engagement with source material, their own
ideas, and the ideas of others and as a means of strengthening claims and solidifying logical

Knowledge of Conventions
Conventions are the formal rules and informal guidelines that define genres, and in so doing,
shape readers and writers expectations of correctness or appropriateness. Most obviously,
conventions govern such things as mechanics, usage, spelling, and citation practices. But they
also influence content, style, organization, graphics, and document design.
By the end of FYW, students should be able to:
Demonstrate how to negotiate variations in conventions by genre, from print-based
compositions to multi-modal compositions
Investigate why genre conventions for structure, paragraphing, design, formatting, tone, and
mechanics vary
Use the concepts of intellectual property (such as fair use and copyright) that motivate
documentation conventions to practice applying citation conventions systematically in their own
Develop knowledge of linguistic structures, including grammar, punctuation, and spelling,
through practice in composing and revising

Critical Reflection
Critical reflection is a writers ability to articulate what s/he is thinking and why. For example, to
explain the choices made in a composition, to contextualize a composition, to address revisions
made in response to reader feedback etc. By the end of FYW, students should be able to:

Demonstrate reflecting on their writing in various rhetorical situations

Use writing as a means for reflection

Demonstrate their rhetorical awareness, their writing process, and their knowledge of
conventions with regard to their own writing

Illustrate that reflection is a necessary part of learning, thinking and communicating

Throughout the semester we will be working on a number of formal and informal writing
assignments, including work with digital composing and remediating some of your writing.
Everything you write for the class may be a part of your final portfolio, so its important that you
save all of your work for the semester, including all drafts of written work. Save all of your
daybook entries, rough drafts, reflections, commented papers from me and your peers, your talk
backs to me etc. in a file so your work is easy to find at the end of the semester.
Writers Portfolio: Your digital portfolio is worth 50% of your grade for the course. At the end of
the semester, you will select from the formal and informal writings you have completed, and you
will analyze, synthesize, evaluate and reflect on your writing. It is important that you start
collecting materials for the portfolio from the first week of class since you will need everything
you work on throughout the semester to compile your portfolio. By the midterm of the semester
you will begin to build a website to house your work. Additional details about this assignment
will be given throughout the semester.
Two Formal Compositions: Polished drafts of work that have been peer workshopped, revised,
and edited.
Writing to Explore: These are weekly two-page assignments you will write in response to
various prompts. Each assignment sheet is posted on Moodle and will be discussed in class.
Responses to Readings: Each assigned reading has a reading response sheet to complete before
you come to class. These will help guide our discussions. You are responsible for turning in ten
responses throughout the semester for a grade. The Reading Response sheet/requirements are
posted on Moodle.
Peer Workshops: In order for you to get helpful feedback on your writing, you need to attend
the peer workshop and have a completed draft on peer workshop days. If you fail to do either, 5
points for every missed/unprepared peer workshop will be deducted from your
final portfolio grade. If you are genuinely ill on peer workshop day, please do not come to
class, but post your completed draft to the workshop forum on Moodle instead. This way, you

will still get your peers feedback, be able to give your own when feeling better, and you will
avoid the 5 point deduction.
Daybooks: Daybooks allow for an informal and unguarded response to the days lesson and/or
your feelings at a particular moment in the semester. This will come in handy when we begin to
develop our portfolios and look back over our work for the semester. These daybooks can
include free form notes, drawings, poems, etc. whatever helps you THINK about the ideas
being presented in class. You will receive a complete grade for your daybook at the end of the
semester if you A) Brought it to class with you every day B) Wrote in it during the time
allotted/when expected.
Presentations: Presentations are a type of literacy and have their own expectations. Everyone
will be required to give multiple presentations throughout the semester which will broaden our
classroom experience and allow us to understand a specific literacy first hand. You will be
graded on your ability to come to class prepared and in your effort to engage our classroom in
discussion. I understand that it can be nerve-racking for some people to stand in front of your
peers and speak; however, its an important life skill. The more you practice it, the better you
will become. The better speaker you are, the more confident you will be in all aspects of
communication - including your writing.

Course Policies:
UNC Charlotte First-Year Writing Program Attendance Policy:

Up to three absences = no deduction in final course grade.

Four or more absences = 10 point deduction from your final COURSE grade. (If you miss 4 days
= 10 point deduction; If you miss 5 days = 20 point deduction, and so on).
Three tardies = 1 absence (you are tardy if I take roll and you are not present)
Religious Observance Policy: The UNC system allows students with a minimum of two excused
absences each academic year for religious observances required by the faith of a student. If you
have days you will miss this semester due to religious observances, please let me know those
dates early in the semester, in writing, so that those absences will not count as part of regularly
missed days. The form to submit can be found here.
Academic Honesty: We will talk about plagiarismwhat it is what it is not throughout the
semester. You will learn how to document your sources using MLA format and hopefully become
comfortable doing so. If you intentionally use someone elses work without giving credit for that
work, you will receive an F for the course. You are required to read and abide by UNCCharlottes Code of Student Academic Integrity.
Disabilities Statement: Students who have a disability or condition that may impair their ability
to complete assignments or otherwise satisfy course criteria should meet with me to identify,
discuss and document any feasible instructional modifications or accommodations. Please
inform me as soon as possible after a disability or condition is diagnosed, whichever occurs
earliest. For information and auxiliary assistance, contact The Office of Disability Services.

Technology: You will need to check our class Moodle site and your UNCC email account
regularly. Our class Moodle site is the hub of our class. Through Moodle you will find out
information about class, see any updates to the syllabus, access assignments and various
readings, engage in discussions, submit your work and receive my responses to it. In addition,
some assignments will require working with digital composing tools. If you have a concern
about using these technologies, please speak with me.
Due Dates: Work is due at the beginning of class. Due dates for each assignment are
listed on the assignment sheet as well as in the Course Schedule. I dont accept late work without
prior approval. No email submissions are accepted. Sometimes it takes a few minutes for
a file you are submitting to upload, or Moodle is being cranky, so please dont wait until the last
minute to submit your work. Also, be sure to back up all of your work regularly in case there is a
catastrophic experience.
Withdraw Policy: After the Add/Drop period ends the only way to drop one course, multiple
courses, or all courses is to withdraw. After that deadline, exceptions may be requested, but only
in cases where extenuating circumstances such as serious illness can be demonstrated.
Unsatisfactory academic performance itself is not an extenuating circumstance. Withdrawls
must be made by the deadline indicated in the Academic Calendar. If you withdraw from a
course, it will show on your transcript with the grade of W but will not count towards your GPA.
Undergraduate students are limited to 16 credits of W . Students should be cautious about the
impact of withdrawing from one or more courses on time-to-degree, financial aid eligibility, and
cost to the student.

Daily Calendar (Subject to Change):

[Please keep abreast of any changes made to the syllabus throughout the semester by coming to
each class, regularly checking Moodle and your UNCC email, and staying engaged with our
work. Any changes to the syllabus will be announced in class and on Moodle. Check the syllabus
regularly and keep up with your work.]
Week 1:
Tuesday: Syllabus Overview
HW: Read Chapters 2 & 3 in Portfolio Keeping and come up with 3 questions/comments in your
Thursday: Discussion: Whats a portfolio? / Where do your ideas about reading and writing
come from? (Chapter 1)
HW: Read The Joy of Reading and Writing: Superman and Me (pg. 128) and complete
Reading Response #1

Week 2:
Tuesday: Discussion: Superman and Me / Understanding the Memoir / Major Assignment
#1 Literacy Memoir
HW: Begin WTE #1 Go Carolina by David Sedaris (posted on Moodle)
Thursday: Discussion: Childhood literacies vs. Current literacies / Digital literacies
HW: Find Digital Literacy for presentation / Complete WTE #1
Week 3:
Tuesday: WTE #1 Due (Hard Copy in Class) / Discussion: Go Carolina / Digital literacies
Thursday: Digital literacy presentations
HW: Begin WTE #2 Digital Literacies (posted on Moodle)
Week 4:
Tuesday: Complete digital literacy presentations / Follow-up discussion on literacy
HW: Read Richard Straubs Responding--Really Responding--to Other Students Writing (pg.
16) and Complete Reading Response #2
Thursday: WTE #2 Due (Hard Copy in Class) / Discussion: Digital literacies /
Collectively create a set of expectations for what constitutes helpful feedback
HW: Complete draft (approx. 90%) of Literacy Memoir for Peer Workshop
Week 5:
Tuesday: Draft of literacy memoir due for peer workshop (bring in laptop or hard
HW: Read Shitty First Drafts by Anne Lamott (pg. 527) Complete Reading Response #3
Thursday: Continue workshop on literacy memoir
HW: Begin WTE #3 Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night by Dylan Thomas (posted on

Week 6:
Tuesday: WTE #3 Due / Workshop and Readings Discussion / In-Class editing day
/Midterm Portfolio Assignment
HW: Read The Makers Eye: Revising Your Own Manuscripts by Donald Murray (pg. 610) and
complete Reading Response #4

Thursday: Reading discussion / Remediation of Literacy Memoir Assignment

HW: Complete WTE #4 (posted on Moodle)
Week 7:
Tuesday: WTE #4 Due / Remediation of Lit Memoir Presentations
HW: Read Ch. 4 in Portfolio Keeping and complete Reading Response #5
Thursday: Continuing of Presentations
HW: WTE #5 - Midterm Reflection
Week 8:
Tuesday: Fall Break No Class
Thursday: WTE #5 Due / Genre Analysis Assignment and Brainstorming
HW: Read Identity, Authority and Learning to Write in New Workplaces by Wardle and
complete Reading Response #6
Week 9:
Tuesday: Midterm Portfolio Posted (Before Class) /Question Session: Genre Analysis
Part 1
HW: Complete WTE # 6 (posted on Moodle)
Thursday: WTE #6 Due / Question Session: Genre Analysis Part 2
HW: Begin work on WTE #7 (posted on Moodle)
Week 10:
Tuesday: Instructor Conferences (Failure to meet for your scheduled conference will result in
a 5 point deduction from your final course grade).
HW: Read The Genres of Chi Omega: An Activity Analysis by Victoria Marro (pg. 302) and
complete Reading Response #7
Thursday: WTE #7 Due / Genre Analysis Readings Discussion / Development of Ideas
HW: Complete draft of Genre Analysis / Begin WTE # 8
Week 11:
Tuesday: Draft of Genre Analysis due for Peer workshop (hard copy or laptop)
HW: Read Revision Strategies of Student Writers and Experienced Adult Writers by Nancy
Sommers (pg. 576) and complete Reading Response #8
Thursday: WTE #8 Due / Continuing peer workshops

HW: Read Chs. 5 in Portfolio Keeping and complete Reading Response #9

Week 12:
Tuesday: In-class editing day / Revision Analysis for Portfolio / Discussion on Revision
HW: Complete Genre Analysis Final Draft and Presentation
Thursday: Genre Analysis Presentations
HW: WTE #9 Read Ground Swell by Mark Jarman and complete WTE (reading and prompt
posted on Moodle)

Week 13:
Tuesday: WTE #9 Due / Finish Presentations
HW: Read Chs. 8-10 in Portfolio Keeping and complete Reading Response #10
Thursday: Portfolio Outline and Expectations
HW: Complete WTE #10 (posted on Moodle)

Week 14:
Tuesday: WTE #10 Due / Open Day
Thursday: Thanksgiving Break No Class
Week 15:
Tuesday: Open Day
HW: Submit Draft Portfolio Link to Moodle
Thursday: Open Day
Week 16:
Tuesday: Finishing touches Writers Portfolio Due @ End of Class No exceptions.