Spring 2000 Syllabus  
Instructor Dr. Christine Boese
Meetings 12:30-1:10 MWF in Martin 203
Bulletin Board SSMinnow
Class Web Mrs. Howell (Lovey)
E-mail cboese@clemson.edu
Phone 656-5416
Office 605 Strode Tower
Office Hours

11:00 AM-11:30 AM MWF, 605 Strode,
1:30 PM-2:30 PM MWF, 605 Strode
2:30 PM-3PM MWF, 82B P&A Bldg.

Department English Department
Institution Clemson University

Table of Contents  

Required Texts 

Course Description 


Four Major Projects in a Portfolio Worth 70 Percent of Your Grade 
Participation and Attendance Worth 30 Percent of Your Grade
Required Projects 
Project 1 
Project 2 
Project 3 
Project 4
Tentative Class Schedule 


Required Texts 

Available in the off-campus Student Bookstore, corner of College and Sloan. If you have any trouble, there is always AMAZON. You might also look into a new online college bookstore, www.varsitybooks.com, which is giving away $10 gift certificates to new users. 

Literacy, Technology, and Society: Confronting the Issues. Gail E. Hawisher and Cynthia L. Selfe. Prentice Hall, 1997. 

EasyWriter: A Pocket Guide. Andrea Lunsford, Robert Connors. St. Martin's Press, 1997. 

The Student's Guide to First Year English & Advanced Writing. (Available in on-campus bookstore) 

Snow Crash. Neal Stephenson. Bantam Books. 1993.


Course Description 

According to The Student's Guide to First-Year English & Advanced Writing: 

In English 102 students will:
    • Continue to practice the whole writing process, from invention through revising and editing.  
    • Demonstrate critical reading skills by assessing the logic and reasonableness of positions taken by authors.  
    • Incorporate and document outside sources, drawing from literature, argumentative readings, interviews, and other print and non-print media.  
    • Write in contexts that call for confronting a variety of audiences whose perspectives, differing from their own, will require them to practice a range of writing voices.  
    • Explore stylistic choices available to writers, concentrating on variety in sentence length and structure and using such techniques as balance, antithesis, and repetition.  
    • Refine editing skills, focusing on logic, style, (clarity, grace, directness, and conciseness), and correctness.  
This is a class that will help you become more active and interactive critical and creative thinkers and writers. I look forward to the opportunity to work with you individually on your writing and to help you push on the limits of your thinking abilities, as we learn ways to "think outside of the box."  In this course we will explore the integration of language and culture in the context of critical issues in science and technology. We will be examining these issues within the context of critical, creative, and collaborative thinking and writing. With the close focus on personal attention and interactivity, this course will be a fun and interesting experiment in collaborative learning for all of us, myself included. 

As part of this experiment, we will be using a collaborative electronic learning forum, the CLE. I will also introduce you to other leading edge forms of electronic communication, as we explore what it may mean to communicate effectively in the future. Some assignments will proceed in a more traditional fashion, while others will integrate the equipment in our classroom.  The most important goal for me is that the computers do not obstruct human interactions, but rather, that they become a tool for accessing people and ideas, and thinking and writing about them. 

Which is to say this course will help you write thought-provoking papers while probing your understanding of how language is used in the cultures around you.  But beyond useful forms of standard writing, I want to take on a bigger issue--how we think in different contexts.  I want our class to question everything, including those useful forms of standard writing.  I plan to shift the learning to the class as we hatch ideas collaboratively. Class discussion and participation will be essential, and part of your grade.  

This course involves daily writing practice, from writing in journals to sending email to the class bulletin board to writing in the electronic classroom. You are encouraged to bring in samples of writing you find anywhere, from the wonderful to the horrendous. Please do. And donít shut down your creative side!  Most importantly, please do not try to calculate your papers around what you think a teacher would want to read. I may surprise you. More than likely, if you write about what is truly interesting to you, it will be interesting to me also.  



Four Major Projects in a Portfolio Worth 70 Percent of Your Grade 

Your performance in this class will be based on both the writing assignments you turn in and on your participation in face-to-face and electronic class discussions, as well as your helpfulness to your peers. Major writing assignments will be weighted with percentages for various elements, gradually becoming larger and more comprehensive as the semester progresses. Together they will accumulate into a writing portfolio worth 70 percent of your grade. You will complete four major projects for this course.  Specific requirements for each project will be discussed in class.  Grading criteria for each project will vary depending on the project's emphasis and objectives. You will receive credit for rough drafts and for your written comments on classmates' rough drafts. You will have plenty of time to revise these projects before the polished drafts are due, and again when they are placed in your final portfolio. Projects are due at the beginning of the hour unless otherwise noted.  Late drafts will result in a full grade drop from the grade the draft would have normally received. All four major assignments must be completed in the final portfolio for you to pass this course. The four major projects will be weighted within the 70 percent of your grade as follows (70 percent equals 100 points): 

Project 1: 20 points 
Project 2: 20 points 
Project 3: 25 points 
Project 4: 35 points 

Our Class Web will make explicit the inter-relatedness of our work, and we will have opportunities to explore alternative ways of thinking and writing, in a nonlinear structure, informed and influenced by contextual ideas from our class, the language of different cultures, fields and disciplines, and the world of the Internet. A more mundane, but no less important, paper version of your portfolio may be collected near the end of the semester, a folder of your finest work. If we have time, the final team project of the semester will involve group presentations of final projects in web format. 

Participation and Attendance Worth 30 Percent of Your Grade 

Because this is a highly interactive class, attendance is essential. In keeping with the English department guidelines, three absences are allowed. Every absence after the third will deduct 10 points from your participation point total. 

Reading Quizzes 

Throughout the semester I reserve the right to give pop quizzes over the day's reading assignment.  I may not always give quizzes, unless I sense that the class isnít doing the readings or participating fully in rigorous discussions. The quizzes will not be terribly difficult, if you have done the reading.  Each quiz counts as 10 points in your participation  point total. 

Electronic Bulletin Board and Journals 

Because we are in an electronic classroom, and using the class CLE collaborative spaces, we will be having class discussions on an email-based bulletin board. We will be making two types of journal entries, one  private and one publicly posted to the Class Bulletin Board, which I nostalgically like to call SSMinnow.  We will be writing in one space or the other almost all the time.  I believe it is important that you have a place to begin an internal dialogue with yourself, to have a place where you can write exactly what you think without fear of what others (including the teacher) might say.  This is how you learn to use your voice.  To that end we will keep the private, reading-response journals, using Microsoft Outlook on your laptops. 

The SSMinnow postings will be on an email listserv. I will help you set up Eudora to easily post mail to the class list. I will be participating in these discussions along with you, as another voice in the fray. For some class discussions and collaborative projects, I will also be introducing the use of electronic real time chats. Participation in these forums is also part of the class participation grade. From time to time there will also be opportunities for extra credit informal presentations, both electronic and face-to-face. They will also be worth 10 points each. 

Journal entries on SSMinnow will be graded on a pass/fail basis.  Every completed weekly reading response post will earn you 10 points. My only request is that they be well-thought out and at least five paragraphs or two computer screens long. 

The SSMinnow Bulletin Board space is yours to use as you please.  Remember that writing exists in a context, and your classmates are your audience. Practice communicating with each other.  I will not intrude on your discussions as a Teacher-Authority-figure.  You will have to lure me in with lively topics. Although I will not give additional credit for each posting beyond one a week, I do want to encourage electronic discussions.  I believe that this type of informal dialogue will help your writing improve in ways that may sneak up on you. 

I want to specifically request that you keep flaming to a minimum and treat all classmates with the honor and respect all human beings deserve.  I will be just another list member, posting along with you.  You may also email me privately at any time during the semester.  Also, should you get carried away and accidentally write a journal entry that you realize in hindsight is too personal or volatile for the public forum of SSMinnow, you may send it to me only, with a clear disclaimer explaining what happened.  I will give you credit and keep such correspondence private, but I expect it not to happen too often. Since this is a 15 week semester, there will be a required 15 minimum posts to SSMinnow, spaced out over the semester, on either assigned topics or open topics. 


Tentative Class Schedule 

Note:  Please stay on top of class activities, since this is only a rough guide of what we will be doing and when.  I like to make adjustments as student needs and interests (or computer glitches) dictate. 
Unit 1:  Debating the Big Questions 
Readings: James Baldwin, Ursula K. Le Guin, Gibson, Winner, Oehlert.  

Week 1 

Jan. 12

Classes begin. Course introduction. Grading criteria. Learn the laptop and course interfaces. Reading: James Baldwin.

Jan 14

Gibson, Johnny Mnemonic discussion

Week 2 

Jan 17

Reading: Ursula Le Guin debate.
Jan. 19 Reading: Winner, Begin Viewing: Blade Runner
Jan 21 Viewing Blade Runner

Week 3 

Jan. 24

Finish Viewing: Blade Runner. Discussion.

Jan. 26 Computer Work Day on Project #1.
Jan. 28 First Draft Project #1 Due. In-Class Peer Review.

Unit 2:  Critical Thinking and Dialogue: Support and Justification

Readings: Lightman (handout), Elmer-Dewitt, Silberman, Gill, Bennahum, A Note from the Future, Kantrowitz, Wiener.
Week 4  

Webbing Project #1

Feb. 2 .Webbed Polished Draft of Project #1 Due.  Lightman, Einstein's Dreams argumentative support exercise.
Feb. 4 Einstein's Dreams Presentations begin.

Week 5

Feb. 7

Einstein's Dreams
Feb. 9 Team Presentations Analyzing Argument. Introduce Project #2, Reading and Discussion: Elmer-Dewitt, Silberman, Gill, Bennahum, A Note from the Future, Kantrowitz, Weiner. Assign teams for Project 2.
Feb. 11 Discuss and assign readings. Paraphrase, Summary, and Quotation. Bibliography and Formatting.

Week 6 


Computer Work Day Project #2. Image Maps and Webbing Project 2.

Feb. 16 Project #2 Team Presentations of webbed argument analyses due.
Feb. 18 Finish Presentations of webbed argument analyses.

Unit 3:  Reviewing Prior Research
: Service Learning on the World Wide Web

Readings: Library Exercise, EasyWriter, Stephenson (Snow Crash).  

Week 7 

Feb. 21
Introduce Unit 3. Introduce Project 3: Service Learning on the World Wide Web. Start Snow Crash.
Feb. 23 Reading: EasyWriter, Library Exercise.  
Feb. 25 Computer Work Day Project #3.

Week 8 

Feb. 28

Begin discussing Snow Crash.

March 1 Finish discussing Snow Crash. Electronic chat room debate.
March 3 Storyboards for Project #3 Due. In-Class Peer Review.

Week 9 

March 6

Individual Conferences. 

March 8 Computer Work Day.
March 10  More work time for Project 3, drafting, reviewing, corresponding, tweaking

Unit 4: Research Projects: Ethical Issue in a Field You Choose

Readings: Transcript p. 506, Schuler, Kaplan and Farrell, Peterson,

Week 10 

March 13

Site and user testing for Project 3.

March 15 Introduce Final Research Project 4. Brainstorm topics for final projects.
March 17 Research Topic Proposals Due. Research Methods Workshop.

Week 11 

March 20

Spring Break, No Class.

March 22 Spring Break, No Class.
March 24 Spring Break, No Class.

Week 12

March 27

Computer Work Day. Collaborative Groups.
March 29 Planning Session for Portfolio Web. Reading: Kaplan and Farrell, Peterson
March 31 Computer Work Day, Projects 3 & 4

Week 13 

April 3

Field Trip to Virtual Reality. Reading Assignment: Schuler.

April 5 Computer Work Day, Projects 3 & 4
April 7 Party celebrating the completion of Project 3. Reflection Letters to next semester's class.

Week 14 

April 10

Reading: Transcript p. 506, Schuler. Discussion.

April 12 Computer Work Day on Final Research Project #4
April 14 Computer Work Day on Final Research Project #4

Week 15 

April 17

First Draft Project #4 Due. Peer Workshop Project #4.

April 19 Computer Work Day on Final Research Project #4
April 21 Computer Work Day on Final Research Project #4
Week 16
April 24
Portfolio Workshop. Bring all drafts to class. Portfolio Web Linking.
April 26 Portfolios Due. Concluding work on Class Web.
April 28 Presentations of Mrs. Howell Class Web Site
Finals Final Exam