Updated Syllabi and Course Content Coming Soon
Inquiry and Expression Syllabus
Creative Writing Syllabus
GE 101: Inquiry and Expression
Instructor: Dr. Daniel Mancilla
Office Location: 309 Academic Building
Office Hours: Thursdays 3:00-4:00 and by appointment
· A Pocket Style Manual 7th Edition, Diana Hacker (ISBN-13: 978-1457642326)
· You will also be given daily readings handed out in class or distributed electronically
The “Inquiry” portion involves developing strategies for conducting an investigation to seek information, knowledge, and truth. The “Expression” portion involves developing the skills necessary to explain to others the results of one’s inquiry both in writing and in speaking.
This course will help students become aware and active in the writing process while sharpening critical thinking, scholarly reading, and public speaking skills. This is achieved by developing a unique authorial voice, practicing close readings of scholarly and literary works, learning how to select appropriate source material for research projects, becoming aware of one’s audience, editing one’s own as well as peers’ manuscripts, and engaging in lively, thoughtful class discussions.
By the end of the semester students engaged in the learning process can expect to:
We will have four main projects this semester. Each project will culminate in writing a Project Paper. Specific rubrics for these papers will be distributed at the beginning of each Project Cycle. All Project Papers will go through these drafting stages:
· Discovery draft (initial ideas, questions, areas of interest regarding the topic)
· Working draft for peer/instructor review (a paper with a beginning, middle, and end which may still need development)
· Revised draft for evaluation (a mechanically sound, fully developed paper to be graded)
· Portfolio draft (the most polished example of your writing due at the end of the semester)
Project Papers constitute the backbone of this course and without completing them it will be impossible to earn a passing grade.
Final drafts of papers turned in late will not be accepted.
Revision is essential to good writing. The drafting cycle will help you to develop an understanding of the revision process. I don’t expect you to turn out flawless manuscripts on your first, second, or even third drafts. By revising you will notice gradual, steady improvement in your writing skills. Your ability to draw upon your peers’ and my commentary and incorporate that into your work is crucial, therefore:
Project Reflections are writings which will take place after your Project Papers have been submitted. You will write about the process of writing the paper—what worked for you, what didn’t—but you will also write about the project as a whole. What new insights about yourself or the world did you take away from the project? Which exercises, readings, activities resonated with you? Why?
You will keep a journal during the semester. You will be required to do three journal entries per week. We will often do journal entries in class with specific questions to answer. Otherwise, you will be responsible for entries on your own. Journal entries should be about a page in length if you’re writing single-spaced in an 8 ½ x 11 inch notebook.
Students will occasionally be required to attend workshops or presentations outside of class. Attendance at least two of these co-curricular activities is required; failure to attend will be counted as an absence. One of those events needs to be a Contemporary Writer Series reading.
Contemporary Writer Series readings are held at 7:30 pm in the Wege Ballroom. Plan on arriving at least 15 minutes early. This semester’s authors are:
· Lisa Lenzo (Wednesday, September 16, 2015)
· Carlos Eire (Tuesday, November 10, 2015)
Other opportunities include campus plays, lectures by visiting scholars or Aquinas faculty, or similar off-campus events at other local colleges. If you plan on attending an event off-campus, please check with me to make sure it qualifies for this requirement.
Feel free to check the campus events calendar for possible Humanities Connection events to attend:
Once you’ve attended these events, you will write a 1-3 page response. Although not unheard of, single page response papers are rarely long enough to provide any level of insight or critique.
You will be including at least two of these responses in your portfolios, so be sure to put as much care into writing them as you do your project papers.
The portfolio is a revised and polished* collection of your writing presented to me at the end of the semester. Save your instructor evaluated Project Papers (the graded drafts with my comments). These will be used to re-evaluate your work at the end of the semester. Portfolios will constitute total of 30 pages from the following writings:
* Only Project Papers that have been workshopped will be eligible for revision
· Manuscripts must be double-spaced
· Black, 12-point type serif font (Times New Roman or Garamond are acceptable)
· Page numbers on all pages (this is HUGE)
· Title (something other than Project Paper 1 or Reflection 3)
· Standard margins
Being on time for class is mandatory. We will be doing a lot of work and will need to make the most of our time together. Regular tardiness will be considered as an absence.
Students are expected to come prepared to each class. Students who miss a class meeting are responsible for all material covered. You have two excused absences for the semester. Upon the third absence from class or special events, the following policy will be implemented:
· three absences: final participation grade reduced by half
· four absences: final grade for course dropped a full letter grade
· seven absences: final grade for course dropped a second full letter grade.
· beyond seven absences: an automatic no credit for the course
Electronics and the Classroom
I understand that we all have more going on in our lives than this class. All I ask is that when we’re together your attention be focused on Inquiry and Expression. This means silencing and putting away phones and closing laptops (unless they’re being used for GE 101 coursework). Students observed text-messaging, updating Facebook statuses, playing video games, etc. will be noted in my grade book and will automatically earn a failing participation grade for the semester.
Your final grade in this class breaks down as follows:
50% Final Portfolio
25% Daily Work
· quizzes on readings
· short writing assignments
· effort in peer editing
· activity in class discussions
*Unprofessional student behavior includes allowing phones to ring/vibrate in class, text messaging, using laptops or tablets for anything other than I&E, and sleeping. Professional behavior includes contributing in a meaningful way to class discussion, coming prepared to class, and providing thoughtful feedback on student papers throughout the drafting process.
In this section of GE 101 you will receive a final grade of B if you:
1. Represent real thinking in your writing: Find a genuine question or complex issue, and wrestle with it. Make your paper go somewhere.
2. Attend class regularly as per the attendance policy.
3. Complete nearly all homework assignments on time and in a quality fashion.
4. Meet the required criteria for all major assignments.
5. Participate in all in-class activities.
6. Follow directions for all in-class activities.
7. Give engaged, insightful, useful, on-task peer feedback to your colleagues during workshops.
8. Invest yourself consistently in each draft of every paper.
9. Make significant revisions on drafts when the assignment calls for revision. This means extending or changing the thinking or organization, not just fixing grammar or punctuation.
10. Carefully copy-edit all final revisions of main assignments until they conform to the conventions of edited, revised English.
11. Get regular help at the Writing Center.
12. Arrive to instructor/student conferences on time and well-prepared (i.e. questions ready).
13. Use technology in appropriate, productive ways.
In academic life, a “B” is known as solid work. In this class, for grades higher than B, you will not just meet the above criteria, but exceed it, writing papers of the utmost quality—final essays judged to be excellent, in the “A” category of our program rubric can be found on the Inquiry and Expression website.
ALL PROJECT PAPERS must be submitted and receive a passing grade in order to pass the course. A C- or higher in IE is required in order to enroll in Humanities (GE 201).
All papers turned in to me must be written by you, specifically for this class. This means no recycling papers from other college courses, from high school, from a friend, sibling, roommate, etc. If this is your second time in I&E, it means no old papers. Papers downloaded from the internet or taken from other sources will not be accepted. Consult the Aquinas academic honesty policy in the college catalogue for more information on this subject. Please consult me if you are not clear on what constitutes cheating or plagiarism.
Late assignments will not be accepted. Due to the pace of this course and the amount of papers assigned, falling behind is dangerous for even the best of students.
A Note on Preparation
Work needs to be turned in to me in hardcopy (not emailed) when the assignment is due. Have your work printed out before you arrive to class. I will not accept work unprepared for submission at the outset of class. Likewise, if your work is more than one page it needs to be stapled and pages numbered. Handwritten assignments (unless otherwise noted) will not be accepted.
Students with Disabilities
The mission of the Disability Services Office at Aquinas College is to ensure equal access
to the learning environment. Therefore, if any student has a documented disability and
would like to request accommodations, please contact the Disability Services Office at (616)
632-2166 or email@example.com to schedule an appointment to discuss reasonable accommodations. After reasonable accommodations have been decided, you will receive a verified letter of accommodations which must be presented to me. Please contact the Disability Services Office as soon as possible.
Academic Learning Services (616) 632-2166 offers free tutoring to all students. All students are encouraged to visit the Writing Center. For further questions contact Julie Bevins, Writing Center Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org or 632-2168.
PHILOSOPHY: The AQ Writing Center understands writing to be a process. We believe “good” writing is not a “gift” given to some individuals and denied others. It is, instead, a craft which individuals develop over time, and all writers—regardless of current skill level, writing experience, or academic discipline—benefit from receiving feedback from intelligent readers and engaging in conversations about their writing.
No two colleges courses are similar. Therefore, I reserve the right to amend the syllabus during the semester in order to address any classroom or scheduling needs. Please feel free to ask me questions about the syllabus, course, or anything relevant to our class. If you don’t feel comfortable asking questions in class, then take advantage of my office hours, write me a note, or email me. Your questions and concerns will help to maintain a positive learning environment this semester.
HU 322: Creative Writing
Instructor: Dr. Daniel Mancilla Office Location: 320 Woodbridge
Office Hours: Wednesdays 2:30-3:30, after class, and by appointment
Required Texts None. You will be given daily readings handed out in class or distributed electronically Required Materials · Pen, pencil, crayon, lipstick, etc.…something to write with · Notebook for in-class writing/journaling · Your laptops for drafting/revising manuscripts Recommended Texts An English grammar handbook. The Elements of Style, A Writer’s Reference, etc. Purdue University’s Online Writing Laboratory is an excellent and easy-to-use grammar resource: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/ Description
This is an introductory creative writing course that will emphasize the elements of craft in writing narrative while providing a forum for lively and informed discussion of student and published work.
You’ll do a lot of writing for the course, but you’ll also do a lot of reading, familiarizing yourself with and discussing works by some of our finest writers. In addition, the course will introduce you to the workshop, a public discussion and critique that will help in the revision efforts of your work.
By the end of the semester the student-writer should have a clear understanding of point of view, formatting dialogue, and the ways in which setting, character, and incident work in crafting a narrative. While you should have the basics under your belt at the end of the term, don’t worry about mastering these techniques in your writing any time soon; you (and I and every other author I know) will spend a lifetime working out these finer points.
Upon beginning this course all students are expected to demonstrate a basic proficiency with grammar.
While all manuscript drafts presented for critique are considered works-in-progress, they need to be as mechanically sound as possible. Problems with basic sentence structure, punctuation, paragraphing, etc. interfere with comprehension and ultimately wake the reader from what we will call the “fictive dream.” If you failed a freshman composition-level course (Written Rhetoric), received a grade lower than C, or haven’t taken that course or its equivalent, you may want to strongly consider enrolling in another writing-intensive class that focuses on mechanics. Feel free to talk to me after class if you have any concerns.
NOTE: Though this is a class concerning creativity, it is not an easy or automatic A. We’re not working under the assumption that all writing is subjective, and thus, cannot be evaluated or graded. Much of the writing you do for this class will be presented and critiqued in a public forum.
Students with concerns or special needs regarding classroom accommodations or coursework due to physical or learning-related issues, please consult me individually.
LATE WORK WON’T BE ACCEPTED. SEE ATTENDANCE POLICY BELOW.
All students will sign up to have manuscripts workshopped by the entire class. Students are responsible for making and distributing hardcopies of their work to everybody in the class (or group) before their workshop. Failure to participate in your own workshops will result in a failing course grade. (Consider your workshops equivalent to midterms or finals.)
Full-length workshop stories should be no longer than 12 pages in length and no shorter than 5. If you’re working in the short-short form, feel free to develop a group of pieces linked by theme, character, or setting. If you’re working on a novel, that’s great. I’ll be happy to provide feedback outside of class, but I request that you refrain from workshopping chapters unless they can truly stand alone.
· Black, 12-point type serif font (Times New Roman or Garamond)
· Page numbers on all pages (this is HUGE)
· Standard margins
· Titled (something other than Story 1 or Sketch 2)
When a classmate’s manuscript is up for workshop, it’s your responsibility to arrive that day with two copies of a typewritten critique (one for me and one for the author), as well as handwritten comments on the manuscript itself. In addition, students must come prepared to take part in a sincere and respectful discussion. (We’ll discuss workshop etiquette further.)
During one period this semester students will be responsible for leading a class discussion on one of the published short stories listed on our schedule. Depending on class size, stories will be assigned to individuals or pairs. See schedule for more details.
Each class you’ll have a group of stories, poems, or essays to read. These works must be read closely, and it is recommended that you make notes in a notebook, on Post-Its, or on the texts themselves so that you can engage in a lively classroom conversation.
Miscellaneous Writing Assignments
Throughout the semester you’ll be asked to do short written assignments. These are used to help you generate ideas for your workshop pieces or to reinforce concepts discussed in lecture. Any written exercise assigned for homework must be turned in typed. Handwritten assignments (unless otherwise noted) will not be accepted. Any work not printed out at the outset of class will be considered late.
A Note on Preparation:
Work needs to be turned in to me in hardcopy (not emailed) when the assignment is due. Have work printed out before you arrive to class. I will not accept any work that isn’t ready for submission at the outset of class. If your work is more than one page it needs to be stapled and pages numbered. Failure to do so will also result in a zero.
You will keep a writer’s sketchbook for this class. This can be kept on a computer file or in a dedicated notebook—whatever best facilitates your writing process. Some sketches will be assigned while others will be up to you. Bring your sketchbook to every class. You are responsible for one sketch per week outside of class. You’ll need a minimum of 30 entries by the end of the semester (that’s two a week). Sketches should be at least one page in length.
At the end of the semester, you’ll turn in a portfolio containing at least 20 pages of your most polished work. At least 10 pages of your portfolio must be revised versions of something you’ve workshopped this semester. You can include more if you choose to do so. Other than workshopped material, you can include revised versions of your sketches.
You have one absence to use at your discretion. Additional absences will lower your final grade by half a letter: A to A-, B- to C+, etc. Participation in your own workshops is mandatory to earn a passing grade. If you miss someone else’s workshop, be sure to give the writers your written critiques the next time our class meets. If you’re absent, it’s your responsibility to find out what you missed and come prepared for the our next meeting.
NOTE: If you arrive very late, leave very early, regularly arrive a few minutes late, or make a habit of disappearing for extended periods of time during class, this also counts as an absence.
It’s come to my attention that an epidemic is sweeping this state on or around Fall Break, Spring Break, and mid-terms. Sadly, grandmothers tend to “pass” at these times. For their sake and mine, exercise your creative writing chops and come up with a more original story about missing class.
You are responsible for making yourself aware of and understanding the policies and procedures in the Undergraduate Catalog that pertain to Academic Integrity. These policies include cheating, fabrication, falsification and forgery, multiple submission, plagiarism, complicity, and computer misuse. If there is reason to believe you have been involved in academic dishonesty, you will be referred to a student judicial affairs board. You should consult with me if you are uncertain about an issue of academic honesty prior to the submission of an assignment or test. And hey, this is a creative writing course. What could be less creative than plagiarism?
Electronics and the Classroom
I understand that we all have more going on in our lives than this class. All I ask is that when we’re together your attention be focused on class. This means silencing and putting away your phones or tablets and closing your laptops (unless you’re using them for coursework pertaining to our class). Students observed text-messaging, updating their Facebook status, playing video games, etc. will be noted in my grade book and will automatically earn a failing participation grade for the semester.
Your final grade in this class breaks down as follows:
40% Final Portfolio
30% Workshops (presentation and critique)
30% Participation (sketchbooks, story discussion, quizzes, and class engagement)
No two creative writing workshops are similar. Therefore, I reserve the right to amend the syllabus during the semester in order to address any classroom or scheduling needs. Please feel free to ask me any questions about the syllabus, course, or anything relevant to our class. If you do not feel comfortable asking questions in class, then take advantage of my office hours, write me a note, or send me an email. Your questions and concerns will help to maintain a positive, and hopefully fun, learning environment this semester.