Expanded Composition Spring Semester


Comp I-Expanded is a two-semester sequence of classes linked through a common instructor—for both semesters, students usually have the same teacher, work with the same group of students, and often even have the same classroom. We designed this program to help build a real writing community, as everyone has an entire year to work together to develop critical writing and reading strategies that will be crucial throughout their academic careers.  Upon completion of the first semester of ENG 100E, students will receive a traditional letter grade.  However, because we want to place emphasis on continuity between the two semesters, students will conference with instructors at the beginning of the spring semester to discuss their grades from the fall semester and the role their previous essays will play in the 101 section of the course.  In addition, the students’ final portfolios will include revisions of their work from both semesters.


Composition I-Expanded aims to introduce students to the strategies, tools and resources necessary to becoming successful communicators in a wide range of academic, professional, and public settings. Four assumptions are fundamental to this work:

1)      Writing is a form of social interaction. Thus, successful writers must not only consider their audiences and the contexts in which they write, but the personal, social and political implications of writing (or not writing) more generally;

2)      The organization of modern society requires that people inhabit and move among several  discourse communities every day. Because each discourse community has its own rules and assumptions (often unstated) about what can be said, by whom, when, and how, becoming an effective communicator means learning to recognize, analyze, and negotiate the differing expectations of these communities;

3)      Writing and thinking are intimately connected activities. Becoming a successful communicator means not only learning how to think carefully through writing, but to reflect critically about writing, both one’s own and the work of others. Thus, honest self-reflection and a thorough understanding of what it means to truly revise are essential aspects of learning to write effectively;

4)      Genres are types of writing that have emerged over time to address recurring situations. Each genre has particular features, conventions and structures for organizing and presenting information. Being an effective writer requires not only learning how to analyze one’s rhetorical situation and use such conventional forms strategically, but evaluating the costs and benefits of violating such conventions, and when desired, how to go about doing so.


USM’s Composition Program has identified specific learning outcomes for each of its first-year writing courses.  At the completion of ENG 101, students will be able to:

  • See that writing is a form of social interaction
  • Analyze rhetorical situations and make effective choices based on audience and context
  • Responsibly synthesize material from a variety of sources
  • Make claims and support them with appropriate evidence
  • Use writing to critically explore, explain, evaluate and reflect on their experiences and those of others
  • Understand and effectively use a range of genres/forms
  • Use convention of expression appropriate to situation and audience
  • Effectively revise and provide substantive feedback to others on their writing
  • Articulate a revision strategy based on an understanding of their own writing processes
  • Recognize the importance of technology in research, writing, and other forms of social interaction


In order to pass both semesters of our expanded composition program, you must satisfactorily complete all of the following:

  • Complete all six major writing projects, each to be submitted in a folder with any rough drafts, workshop notes and/or supporting research materials relevant to the project;
  • Complete the Final Revision and Portfolio/Self-Evaluation Projects, to be submitted at the end of the fall and spring semesters (in lieu of final exams);
  • Submit all required writing sketches required throughout the year.
  • Maintain a response log, consisting of all in-class and informal writing assignments given as homework, which will be collected and evaluated periodically over the course of the semesters;
  • Complete all reading assignments and homework; actively participate in class discussions and workshops, and maintain regular classroom attendance.
  • Meet with your instructor for all required individual conferences.
  • Utilize USM’s Writing Center and Speaking Center as directed by your instructor.


  • Mauk, John and John Metz. The Composition of Everyday Life: A Guide to Writing, 3rd Ed.  Boston: Wadsworth/Cengage, 2010
  • A 3-ring binder and loose leaf paper
  • Folders for turning in projects
  • Regular access to the Blackboard course website


  • Lunsford, Andrea.  The Everyday Writer, 4th Ed. New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2010


The syllabus, homework schedule, and project assignment sheets for this course, as well as additional resources, will be available online through Blackboard. You can log into the online component of this course by first going to http://usm.blackboard.com, and then following the log-in instructions. You will need to have your EMPLID and password (the same information you use to access SOAR and register for classes). If you have any questions or run into difficulty accessing the Blackboard/WebCT material for this course, please call the iTech Helpdesk at 601-266-4357, or e-mail them at helpdesk@usm.edu. You can also get help as well as specific instructions on how to use various components of Blackboard/WebCT by visiting http://www.usm.edu/lec/des/students/blackboard_student_tutorials.php.



Writing and thinking are complex processes that take time to develop. Thus, your overall grade for the first semester of this program is as dependent on how much your writing improves over the course of the semester, your demonstrated commitment to learning and support of your peers, the careful completion of homework and class assignments, and your own assessment of your strengths and progress, as any strict calculation of paper grades. Indeed, much of your final grade for this course will be determined by your participation in the writing community we are creating.  In addition, remember that the papers you write for this section of the course will be revisited in the spring semester of ENG 101E. We will talk individually about your fall semester grades, so you will know exactly where you stand starting your spring semester.  The following should serve as only a guide to how grading for the first semester of this class will be approached:


 Project Four: Critical Argument Portfolio (35 pts)

Academic Free-Standing Summary (5 pts): A brief paper (1½ pages) in which you will accurately and effectively summarize a selected text. Due on Blackboard by 5 p.m. February 1, 2013.

Summary and Critical Response (5 pts):  A brief paper (3 pages) in which you will summarize and respond to a selected text. Due on Blackboard by 5 p.m. February 18, 2013.

Stakeholder Research Paper (25 pts):  A project (6-8 pages) in which you will examine an argument from several different perspectives, using at least two sources from our readings.  Due on Blackboard by 5 p.m. March 8, 2013 .

 Project Five:  Proposal (15 pts)

Proposal Document (10 pts): A 3-4 page paper in which you will propose a solution to a problem or issue that relates to education, providing clear reasoning and evidence in order to persuade someone else that your solution has the potential to be effective.  Due on Blackboard by 5 p.m. April 5, 2013.

Proposal Presentation (5 pts): A 5 minute presentation, or pitch, of your proposal delivered to your classmates.  You must use at least one form of digital media in your presentation (e.g., a PowerPoint/Prezi, video, slideshow, etc.).  Presentations to be scheduled during the week of April 8-12.

Course Journal/Writing Sketches (10 pts)

A collection of in-class and homework assignments that encourage you to reflect on writing and the course material. Individual entries will not be graded, and in-class writing cannot be made up in the event of an absence.  Writing Sketches are brief drafts of your most promising materials that will be submitted for response and feedback.

Class Participation (10 pts)

Your contributions to class-discussions; your work as part of a facilitation group; participation in peer review workshops; quizzes; Writing and Speaking Center attendance; etc.

Grammar Friday Presentations (5 pts)

As the course description states, we move through several discourse communities every day. In Expanded Composition, our goal is to consider the rules governing the discourse community of Academic English in the university. To that end, and to emphasize writing as a form of social interaction, you will be required to work in small groups to research and present a grammar concept to the class in a creative way (a skit, a song, a short film, a board game, etc.), as well as preparing an informative handout for your classmates. You will be graded on both the creativity and the accuracy of your handout and presentation.

Self-Evaluation/Revision Project (25 pts)

One of the three projects, systematically and thoroughly revised; as well as completion of the first-semester, self-evaluation assignment.  Due during finals week. Exact date and time TBA.

Note: For program assessment purposes, some final portfolios may be randomly selected for institutional review at the conclusion of the spring semester. In such cases, portfolios will be collected anonymously from among all available sections of Expanded Composition I. This review is intended solely to improve the quality of the curriculum, and will not affect your grade in any way.


In addition to completing reading and writing assignments, preparing for class means being ready to discuss and intelligently question issues raised by the material. This does not mean, however, that you must master the material. On the contrary, it is perfectly reasonable that you may be confused by some readings the first time we encounter them. But in such cases you should be prepared to discuss what you specifically found puzzling, aggravating, thought-provoking, engaging or difficult about the assignment. In other words, if you feel you have nothing to state about a piece of writing, actively develop a list of questions about it. Remember, much of your grade in this course will be determined by how much you improve, so there’s really no such thing as a stupid question, provided that you ask it in the spirit of honest inquiry.


The framework of this course – with its emphasis on class discussion and group work – demands that you attend class regularly. Failure to complete in-class work, such as peer reviews, in-class writing assignments, and group meetings will result in the lowering of your grade. Indeed, no in-class activities (including quizzes) may be made up due to tardiness or absence, and students who accumulate more than three unexcused absences over the course of the semester will automatically have their final grades lowered. More than six absences in a semester will result in your failing the course.

In order for your absence to be considered excused, you MUST contact me within 24 hours of missing class (preferably before you miss). You are responsible for keeping track of your own absences.


You will be marked tardy if you arrive more than ten minutes after the beginning of class. After fifteen minutes, you will be counted absent for the day. Three tardies and/or early departures from class equal one absence.


I expect all students to help maintain a positive learning environment based upon open communication, mutual respect, and non-discrimination. While all points of view are welcome, hurtful and biased comments and language will not be tolerated. Please be respectful of others’ points of view (including those we will be reading in class), cultures, and experiences. Any suggestions as to how to further a positive and open environment in this class will be appreciated and given serious consideration.


Late work will only be accepted if you can demonstrate that you have encountered a valid obstacle before the deadline (i.e., that you’ve been working on the project in good faith, but have run into some problems). If you feel you may be unable to complete an assignment on time, you should contact me as soon as possible, but no later than two days before the due date. After reviewing all the work you’ve done on the assignment, we will set a new deadline together. In all other cases, late work will automatically be docked one letter grade per day past the deadline, beginning the day the assignment was due.

Note: We will be using Blackboard for all assignments this semester (you will need to print drafts for peer review). Unless specified otherwise, no papers submitted to my email will be accepted, and work magically appearing in my mailbox without a prior agreement with me will also be considered unacceptable.


It is important to me that we maintain a positive, engaging, and professional atmosphere in the classroom. Cell phones must be turned off  and put away during class (unless you have a legitimate reason—a young child or an ill parent/grandparent, for example—for keeping it on, which you have cleared with me before class). Please DO NOT check or send text messages or emails; if you do so, you WILL GET A ZERO for participation points and, in certain cases, may be asked to leave class and take an absence for the day. All other electronic devices (including music devices) should be turned off before coming to class; please remove any earpieces as well. You may bring your laptop or e-reader to class in order to view the PDF reading assignments. Electronic devices should remain in your bag unless you make prior arrangements; if you want to use such devices you must read and sign the “Electronics Agreement” at the end of the syllabus and return it to me before you use your device.


All members of the academic community at the University of Southern Mississippi are expected to take responsibility for academic honesty and integrity. Plagiarism – the willful copying/presenting of another person’s work as if it were your own – and other forms of cheating are unacceptable. The penalties for such behavior can include being failed for the course and in some cases even expulsion from the university. If you have any doubts as to what constitutes plagiarism, please refer to your student handbook for USM policies on Academic Honesty, or come talk to me.


The University of Southern Mississippi is committed to providing equal access to its programs, services and activities for people with disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that reasonable accommodations be provided for students with physical, sensory, cognitive, systemic, learning, and psychiatric disabilities. If you feel you may need accommodations in this or any class, please contact the Office of Disability Services (118 College Dr. #8586, Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001) at 601-266-5024 (Telephone), 601-266-6837 (TTY), or 601-266-6035 (FAX).


The Writing Center is a free program available to all student writers at the University of Southern Mississippi. It offers one-on-one help with any kind of writing project, at any stage of the writing process. The Writing Center is located in Cook Library 112.  The Writing Center will play an important role in the design of this course.  For more information, and hours of operation, you may contact The Writing Center at 601-266-4821.



The University of Southern Mississippi offers a Speaking Center, with consultations available at no cost to all students, faculty, and staff.  The center is available for advice on all types of oral communication—formal individual presentations, group presentations, class discussion, class debates, interviews, campus speeches, etc.  Tutors at the Speaking Center will work with you on brainstorming, organizing and outlining, editing and revising, and practicing delivery.  The center also offers several practice rooms for recording presentations and practicing with delivery aids (PowerPoint and internet access are available).  Visit the center in Cook Library 117, call the center at 601-266-4965, or visit the web site at www.usm.edu/speakingcenter.


Martin Luther King Holiday: Monday, January 21

Last Day to Drop Full-Semester Classes without Financial Penalty: Wednesday, January 28

Mardi Gras Holiday: Monday, February 11 – Tuesday, February 12

Last Day to Drop Full-Semester Classes without Academic Penalty: Wednesday, February 27

Spring Break: Monday, March 11 – Friday, March 15

Good Friday Holiday: Friday, March 29

Last Day to Process an Add/Drop/Withdraw Form: Wednesday, April 24

Last Day of Classes: Friday, May 3


*For detailed homework and draft assignments, see the weekly homework schedule.  All assignments and due dates are subject to change at my discretion.

 Course Schedule

Note: Course assignments, readings and project due dates are subject to change.

CEL = The Composition of Everyday Life      BB=Blackboard


Week One


M 01/14 Welcome back; Introduction to the course; Review syllabus


W 01/16 Student conferences


F 01/18 Student conferences


Week Two


M 01/21 MLK Day Holiday—NO CLASS



W 01/23 Introduce Project 3: Critical Argument Portfolio
HW: Reading: CEL Ch. 7 “Making Arguments” (pp. 210-11)“The Myth of Black Anti-Intellectualism” (BB)
Writing:    RL 1 (see BB for instructions)


F 01/25 In-class writing; Discuss argument structure; Discuss “The Myth of Black Anti-Intellectualism”; Discuss summary guidelines
HW: Reading: “Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work” (BB)CEL Ch. 13 “Summary” (pp. 473-74)
Writing: Summary Sketch 1:  Develop a summary of Anyon’s essay following the summary guidelines discussed in class.


Week Three


M 01/28                  In-class writing: develop a summary of Anyon’s essay that abbreviates the                 author’s point into a single sentence                 Discuss “Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work;” Discuss                 sketches and strategies for successful summaries
                                              HW: Reading: “Education and Racial Inequality” and “Poor Students Struggle” (BB)
Writing: Summary Sketch 2:  Summarize both articles and then write a response in which you discuss which article you relate to most and why.


W 01/30                 Discuss “Education and Racial Inequality” and “Poor Students Struggle”                   Visit from Associate Dean of Students
                                              HW: Writing: Choose one of the essays regarding education covered in class thus far (excluding “Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work”) and write a free-standing academic summary (5 pts)


F 02/01 Summary DUEDiscuss the difference between summary and analysis
HW: Reading: CEL Ch. 8 “Responding to Arguments” (pp. 260-61) and “Access Denied.” (BB)
 Week Four


M 02/04 Discuss critical reading and response strategies; Discuss “Access Denied”; Discuss Critical Response assignment.
HW: Reading: CEL Ch. 8 (pp. 276-81) and  “The Role of Out-of-School Factors in the Literacy Problem”
Writing: RL 2.See BB for assignment details.


W 02/06 Discuss “Point of Contact” and “Analysis” sections; Discuss “Out-of-School Factors”; In-class Writing
HW: Reading: CEL Ch. 8 (pp. 282-93) and Vaughan “Not Homeschooling” (pp. 646-48)
Writing: RL 3: Exploring Ideas # 1-3


F 02/08 Discuss Chapter 8 readings; Discuss “Not Homeschooling”
HW: Reading: CEL Ch. 13 (pp. 471-85); Review the essays on education we have covered since we began this portfolio.  Choose the essay to which you will respond for the second portion of this portfolio.  You may not respond to “Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work.”
Writing: Critical Response Sketch 1:  Wednesday you will be expected to have a polished summary and a working thesis for your argumentative response (see pg. 284).


Week Five


M 02/11 Mardi Gras Holiday—NO CLASS


 W  02/13  Continue discussing rhetorical strategies for essay; In-class writing
HW: Writing: Critical Response Draft 1: one page


F 02/15                    Peer workshop; Style workshop: Parenthetical citations
HW: Reading: NY Times “The American Way of Learning” (BB)
Writing:     Critical Response Draft 2: full-length



Week Six


M 02/18 Critical Response Essay DUE; Decompression; Discuss Stakeholder Research Paper; Issues surrounding education; Review of readings
HW: Reading: CEL Ch. 7 (pp. 233-39)  and “Learning by Making” (BB)
Writing: RL 4. See BB for details



W 02/20                    In-class writing/invention
HW: Reading: CEL Ch. 7 (pp. 240-249)


F 02/22 In-class writing/invention
HW: Reading: CEL Ch. 7 (pp. 250-55)
Writing: Argument Sketch 1:  Write a short paragraph explaining each stakeholder’s position on the issue.


[*Proposed Writing Center workshops for 10 sections this week(ish)—believing/doubting workshop]


Week Seven


M 02/25 Synthesis Workshop
HW: Reading: Review CEL Ch. 13 (pp. 471-485)
Writing: Argument Sketch 2: Choose which sources each stakeholder will use in their arguments and explain what purpose that research will serve.


W 02/27 Discuss plagiarism, MLA documentation, and works cited page
HW: Writing: Argument Draft 1: Write one stakeholder’s argument.(typed, double spaced). Print and bring to class.


F 03/01 Peer Workshop
HW: Writing: Argument Draft 2: Write the next stakeholder’s argument. Print and bring to class.


Week Eight


M 03/04 Peer Workshop
HW:  Writing: Argument Draft 3: Full-length. Print and bring to class.


W 03/06 Peer Workshop, Drafting the Preface
HW:  Writing: Revise Argument Essay, Write preface


F 03/08 PROJECT 4 PORTFOLIO DUE; Decompression


Week Nine






 Week Ten


M 03/18 Introduce Project Five; In-class review of current education proposals
HW: Reading: CEL Ch. 11 p. 372-373; 390-393


W 03/20 Discuss “Point of Contact” and “Analysis”; In-class invention and writing
HW: Reading: CEL Ch. 11 pp. 394-397Bachtel “Television: Destroying Childhood” pp. 635-636


F 03/22 Discuss “Public Resonance” and “Rhetorical Tools”; Discuss Bachtel; In-class invention
HW: Reading:Writing: CEL Ch. 11 pp. 398-401Sketch 1: Create a one-page outline in which you explain the issue you’ve chosen, your selected audience, and your proposed solution


Week Eleven


M 03/25 Discuss “Organizational Strategies” and “Writer’s Voice”; Discuss student sketches; In-class writing
HW: Reading: CEL pp. 402-405
HW: Writing: Draft 1: At least two pages (typed, double-spaced)


W 03/27 Peer workshop
HW: Writing: Continue drafting


F 03/29 Good Friday Holiday—NO CLASS


[*Proposed Writing Center workshops for 10 sections this week(ish)—believing/doubting workshops]


Week Twelve


HW: Writing: Draft 2: Full-length, typed and printed


W 04/03 Peer workshop/style workshop
HW: Writing: Revise proposal essay


F 04/05 Project Five Proposal Essay DUE; Decompression
HW: Writing: Prepare for your proposal pitch



Week Thirteen


M 04/08 Proposal presentations


W 04/10 Proposal presentations
F 04/12 Proposal presentations
HW: Writing: Bring all your projects from this semester (and last semester, if you want to revise one of the first three projects) to class on Monday.


Week Fourteen


M 04/15 Introduce Final Revision Assessment Assignment

Revision plan; In-class writing

HW: Writing:


W 04/17 Student conferences


F 04/19                    Student conferences


Week Fifteen


M 04/22 Revision draft workshop


W 04/24 First revision project due/style workshop
HW: Writing:


F 04/26

Second revision project due/style workshop


Week Sixteen


M 04/29 Self-evaluation letter workshop
HW: Writing:


W 05/01 Portfolio workshop/course wrap-up
HW: Writing:


F 05/03                    Final Portfolios and Self-Evaluations Due

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