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welcome to  English 1101Smurf laughs - Click image to download. "Honors"  homepage

The two most engaging powers of an author are, to make new things familiar, and familiar things new.
Samuel Johnson

My most important piece of advice to all you would-be writers: when you write, try to leave out all the parts readers skip.
Elmore Leonard

A word is a bud attempting to become a twig. How can one not dream while writing? It is the pen which dreams. The blank page gives the right to dream.
Gaston Bachelard

All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think, we become.

I don't pretend we have all the answers. But the questions are  certainly worth thinking about.
Arthur C. Clarke


Writing comes more easily if you have something to say.
Sholem Asch

The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shock-proof shit detector.
Ernst Hemingway

The secret of good writing is to say an old thing in a new way or to say a new thing in an old way.
Richard Harding Davis

The most original of authors are not so because they advance what is new, but more because they know how to say something, as if it had never been said before.
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
A writer is rarely so well inspired as when he talks about himself.
Anatole France
If you can't annoy somebody with what you write, I think there's little point in writing.
~ Kingsley Amis


Tammie Bob, instructor                                     e-mail

  Fall 2005 Office Hours schedule   phone: 942-3327    office: IC3129b

ARE YOU confused, uncertain, or just in the mood to discuss something relative to the course? Call, e-mail, or stop by during my office hours.

I am always happy to talk to you.

texts      course description        objectives     attendance        grading policies       

Class location: MW 3049 F 3607


Texts(click to return to top of page)Black sheep - Click image to download.Black sheep 2 - Click image to download.

Reading Critically, Writing Well, seventh edition.  Axelrad, Cooper

Tammie Bob's website.       

 Honors English 1101

English 1101 is a required course that teaches the conventions and forms of the argued essay, a form of written communication that allows the writer to explore and examine as well as report. The essay forms the basis for most types of academic writing, and certainly a good essayist can transfer his or her mastery of the necessary writing techniques to any writing needs (and they're out there, both in academia and in the larger world beyond it.)  As "honors" students, I assume that you are reasonably competent in the general mechanics of writing: punctuation, sentences, paragraphs. Many of you are already good writers, comfortable with basic essays, and brimming with ideas. Some of you are uneasy when faced with a blank page or computer screen. Whatever your experience as writers, as "honors" students, I challenge you to expand your skills. You'll do this by learning how to read as writers, opening yourself to a variety of  writers' voices and methods of expression, and by examining what successful writers "do" on the page to achieve certain effects. You'll practice critiquing (not criticizing) your own, and others', writing. You'll learn ways to proceed if you're stuck or blocked.  I challenge you to try different techniques for planning,  drafting, and revising your work, even if you're sure you already use the best process, or that you can't work in a certain way.  And most of all, I hope that you'll find the class an engaging place, where ideas and opinions flow and fly.  That happens through preparation, and then active participation. Welcome to class!


Course Objectives

By the end of the course, you should achieve these competencies:

demonstrate improved writing skills at all levels, from constructing sentences and paragraphs to rhetorical strategies for effective communication with readers

write accurately and effectively in a variety of formats and genres, using appropriate conventions in each

develop an understanding of how writing demonstrates the acquisition of knowledge and promotes critical thinking

interpret, analyze and synthesize materials in a variety of ways to improve writing skills

demonstrate a critical sense of what is appropriate and inappropriate writing

proof-read, edit and evaluate the content of  own and others' texts

work collaboratively with peers on various writing activities and assignments

develop autonomy and self-reflective assessment skills

use writing and reading as resources for life-long learning


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Naturally, I expect you to attend all classes; in reality this doesn't always happen.  If you must miss, please consult the website or your classmates to find out what we did and what the assignments are. It's not necessary to let me know you'll be absent unless you anticipate several absences in a row.

MORE THAN THREE (3) absences may result in a lowered grade.  If you are having a problem attending, please let me know. If at all possible, I will help you succeed in the class.  If I don't hear from you, I can't do that.

Tardiness is disruptive to the class and you will miss material.  Please allow yourself enough time to park, cross campus, get your coffee, etc. Habitual tardiness will be noted and dealt with at the instructor's discretion.

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There are five assigned essays.  Each essay assignment will consist of drafts, assigned reflections and observations, peer reviews and revisions, all of which will figure into the grade of a particular essay.  In advance of an essay's due date, I will make you aware of the specific features and requirements of each assignment, and how it will be graded. However, I reserve the right to base up to 10 percent of  your grade on preparedness and class participation --which is important-- speak up and speak often! Attendance is expected and will not enhance your grade but failure to attend may, as previously noted, detract from it.


Your grades will be based on a portfolio due two weeks before the end of the semester.

Each of five written projects will be due as scheduled. You will get feedback and critique from  your classmates and me at every stage of the writing process, as well as detailed commentary AND grade from me after paper (along with drafts, assignments, critiques) is turned in.

The portfolio will include all five of your revised essays (drafts,critiques, etc.) and grading will work like this:

A: Five  essays, reflecting serious attempt to use targeted forms.  ALL FIVE are carefully revised and edited  to reflect your learning,  prior discussion and critique of the work.  An explanation of the revisions accompanies portfolio, including how prior discussion and critique affected/didn't affect revision. If project received an "A" grade earlier, it's likely that little revision is needed for that project--so don't be afraid to go for excellence. If you stay on top of your work you shouldn't have to scramble at the end of the semester.

B: Five essays, reflecting serious attempt to use targeted forms. THREE  of the five are carefully revised and edited  to reflect your learning. prior discussion and critique of the work.  An explanation of the revisions accompanies portfolio, including how prior discussion and critique affected/didn't affect revision.

C: Five essays, reflecting serious attempt to use targeted forms. If they are graded C or higher no further revision is necessary.

D : Four essays, reflecting serious attempt to use targeted forms. Grade of C or higher for all of them.

F: Fewer than four acceptable essays.


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  Get to know the expectations for student conduct as outlined in the college's student handbook.  You will be made aware of the specifics of plagiarism, but I expect that at the college level all students are aware that trying to pass off someone else's words as your own are dishonest, immoral, and will result in flunking this course with other possible consequences.


Schedule of Events (dates may change)
This schedule gives an overview of material to be covered and major
assignments. It may be modified as needed. In class I will assign specific
readings and written work such as drafts, plans, and critiques, to be
collected in a packet with the final draft of your essays. Specific homework assignments are given in class and posted on the homework section of this website.

Weeks One, Two and Three  Personal narrative                                                                                           key concepts: sequence, time signals, conflict and
suspense, pace , action, dialogue, naming, comparing, sensory language,
vantage point

Weeks Four, Five and Six  Observational essay( utilizing field research)                                                                                                                                         key concepts: observation, interview, note-taking
point of view

Weeks Seven, Eight and Nine      Explaining a concept  (piling on those methods of development)
  key concepts: definition (dictionary, sentence, extended, stipulative, historical)             
classification, comparison, analogy

Weeks Ten, Eleven, Twelve  Argument in some of its common forms (taking a position)
key concepts: arguable assertion, precise language, qualification, methods of
 evidence (facts, statistics, authority, anecdote, scenario, textual) counterargument

Weeks Thirteen, Fourteen, Fifteen  Closely Examining Someone Else's Argument                        key concepts: critical reading strategies, evaluating sources, finding outside sources, documenting sources and ideas.