ENG 112 Argument-based Research Course Syllabus
Department of English and Humanities
Sandhills Community College
Spring Semester, 2013


Course Description

ENG 112 Argument-based Research                                                                     3 Credit Hours/3 Lecture Hours

Prerequisite: ENG 111

Corequisite: None, although keyboarding skills are essential, and familiarity with the Internet is important. However, you need access to the Internet.

This course, the second in a series of two, introduces research techniques, documentation styles, and argumentative strategies. Emphasis is placed on analyzing data and incorporating research findings into documented argumentative essays and research projects. Upon completion, students should be able to summarize, paraphrase, interpret, and synthesize information from primary and secondary sources using standard research format and style. Students should also be able to prepare and deliver an oral presentation of the results of their research. This course has been approved to satisfy the Comprehensive Articulation Agreement general education core requirement in English composition.


Faculty Information

Name Ray Linville, Associate Professor of English and Humanities
Office Location   Logan 130
Office Hours 11–11:50 a.m. MWF and by appointment
Telephone 910-695-3867
Email linviller@sandhills.edu

Major Course Goals

Using the composition skills that were acquired in English 111, students in this course will be expected to compose written and oral research reports that are argumentative or persuasive in form. The professor will determine the number of graded assignments. Upon successful completion of the course, the student will have demonstrated the following basic skills of academic research, argumentation, and oral communication:

  1. Critical Reading:
  2. Research Techniques: Demonstrated the ability to locate appropriate information using an assortment of media, including books, magazines, journals, newspapers, and electronic sources. Students will have used both primary and secondary research techniques during the course. (Avoid open-source reference sites on the web such as Wikipedia; they are not legitimate scholarly resources and are often simplistic or just wrong. Specifically, avoid the unacceptable practice of rephrasing information about your issue from a selection in Wikipedia.)
  3. Effective Expression: Developed language appreciation and expression through elements of punctuation, grammar, sentence structure, and diction. (See Parts 3-8 in The Little, Brown Handbook.)
  4. Documentation Styles: Demonstrated a mastery of the Modern Language Association (MLA) method of documentation through the proper inclusion of in-text citations and bibliography.
  5. Argumentative Strategies: Demonstrated the ability to express the differences between inductive and deductive reasoning, to apply both forms in their written work, and to distinguish between fact, opinion, and belief and to recognize the most common fallacies (evasions and oversimplifications) in weak arguments.
  6. Oral Communication: Presented the results of their research in individual and group presentations before a classroom audience. Note: Students must demonstrate competence in oral communication in order to pass the course.

General Education

Reading Literature and Writing Argument textbookStudents who are successful will improve in the following general education areas: social and personal responsibility, communication, critical thinking, and technical literacy.


Required Course Materials

  1. James, Missy, and Alan P. Merickel, eds. Reading Literature and Writing Argument. 5th ed. Boston: Pearson, 2013. ISBN: 0-213-87186-3.
  2. Fowler, H. Ramsey, and Jane Aaron. The Little, Brown Handbook. 12th ed. Boston: Pearson: 2012. ISBN: 00-205-21307-3 (should have been purchased as a required textbook for ENG 111). The Little, Brown Handbook textbook
  3. Course website.
  4. Portable flash drive to connect to USB port of classroom computers for saving documents.
  5. Boyd Library on the SCC campus provides online databases and tutorials for searching for materials online in addition to books and periodicals on its shelves. To use the online databases and tutorials, connect to the “Online Databases” links.
  6. Guides to Writing with Microsoft Word.

Departmental Attendance Policies

The state auditor requires that the instructor be able to demonstrate that students are participating in the course on a regular basis. All students are expected to attend all classes and to be on time for each class. For emergencies or illness, not vacation, students may be allowed to miss no more than three hours per semester. Vacation must be taken between semesters or official college breaks or holidays during the semester or summer session. At their discretion, instructors in the Department of English and Humanities may, but are not required, to permit additional hours of absences. For this course you may miss up to five hours; however, for each hour over five, the course grade may be dropped one letter grade. Additional college policies with regard to absence are explained below:


Grading Policies

EVALUATION CRITERIA

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accredits Sandhills Community College. This is the same agency that accredits all colleges and universities in the southern United States. To maintain that accreditation, Sandhills must meet this general education requirement: “The institution (4.2.2-07) must demonstrate that its graduates of degree programs are competent in reading, writing, oral communication, fundamental mathematical skills and the basic use of computers.” To insure that all graduates of its degree programs are competent in reading, writing, oral communication, and the basic use of computers, all students who pass ENG 112 must present all written documents in an approved format written with Microsoft Word, must conduct research via the Internet and library, and must demonstrate oral and written communication competency according to the following college and departmental standards:

  1. Criteria for Evaluating an Argumentative Essay.
  2. Criteria for Evaluating a Research Paper.
  3. Criteria for Evaluating an Individual Presentation.
  4. Criteria for Evaluating a Group Presentation.

GRADING SCALE FOR INDIVIDUAL ASSIGNMENTS AND FINAL COURSE GRADE

DETERMINATION OF FINAL COURSE GRADE

Essay #1  10 percent
Essay #2  15 percent
Research Project  40 percent
Research Paper 30 percent
Individual Oral Presentation 10 percent
Quizzes  10 percent
Quiz #1  5 percent
Quiz #2  5 percent
Class Activities  10 percent
Small Group Presentation  2 percent
Reading Reflections  4 percent
Class Work and Engagement  4 percent
Final Exam  15 percent
TOTAL 100 percent

LATE OR MISSED WORK

If the instructor is not notified in advance of a student's absence, then the following conditions apply:

If an emergency occurs and a student misses a test or assignment, the instructor will evaluate each situation on its own merit. The best way to notify your instructor is by e-mail if you do not have the opportunity to discuss your situation during a class session.

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY AND ACCESS/DISABILITY POLICY

See the “SCC Policy Statements” in a subsequent section for more information.


Sandhills Community College Student Governance Statements

See the summary on line of various policies and services listed in the Sandhills Community College General Catalog.


Other Considerations


Content of Course Modules

Module One: Thinking About Argument: Argument Structure and Audience Appeal

MODULE OBJECTIVES

One of the purposes of this course, Argument-based Research, is to learn how to make an effective argument. To do so means that you should be able to understand opposing positions and to articulate your own position. Thus the purpose of this objective is to learn the basic elements of argument structure and audience appeal. At the end of this module, you will have completed the following:

  1. Defined and described the elements of argument to help you understand the positions of others and of yourself:
  2. Identified, analyzed, and evaluated claims, evidence, and assumptions in fiction, poetry, drama, and non-fiction.
  3. Identified, analyzed, and evaluated the appeals of pathos, logos, and ethos in fiction, poetry, drama, and non-fiction.
  4. Identified and used the Rogerian strategy of argumentation and audience empathy.

Module Two: Writing to Evaluate and Articulate

MODULE OBJECTIVES

To make an effective argument, you need to understand your own process about forming opinions and arguing those opinions to others. At the end of this module, you will have completed the following:

  1. Defined fact and opinion and described the differences between the two.
  2. Defined inference and implication and described the differences between the two.
  3. Understood the extent to which your own opinion and the opinion of others is based upon
  4. Understood the extent to which one's thinking is based upon hasty generalizations, stereotypes, and other logical fallacies.
  5. Defined the logical processes of deduction and induction and identified those processes in the arguments of others and use them in your own arguments.

Module Three: Research and Documentation Strategies

MODULE OBJECTIVES

To prepare to make an effective argument, you should be able to read, evaluate, and document source material relevant to a research question so that you can form and argue your own point of view in writing and in speech. At the end of this module, you will have completed the following:

  1. Found materials that provide answers to or support for a research question or topic.
  2. Analyzed the validity and relevance of those sources.
  3. Integrated source material into your text and documenting sources appropriately.
  4. Used MLA documentation to complete in-text citations and a works cited list.

Module Four: Writing to Argue One's Own Position in a Group

MODULE OBJECTIVES

With well-developed research and documentation skills, you should be able to formulate a research question or, having been given a research question or topic, read and evaluate source material relevant to that research question so that you can form and argue your own point of view in writing and in speech. At the end of this module, you will have completed the following:

  1. Found materials that provide answers to or support for a research question or topic.
  2. Analyzed the validity and relevance of those sources.
  3. Worked individually and in a group to formulate an argument in support of your answer to the research question.
  4. Made a group presentation on the findings of research.
  5. Written an argumentative essay in support of your position, using MLA documentation.

Module Five: Researching, Writing, and Arguing One's Own Position Before a Group

MODULE OBJECTIVES

To make an effective argument, you also need to be able to formulate a research question or, having been given a research question or topic, read and evaluate source material relevant to that research question so that you can form and argue your own point of view in writing and in speech. At the end of this module, you will have completed the following:

  1. Found materials that provide answers to or support for a research question or topic.
  2. Analyzed the validity and relevance of those sources.
  3. Worked individually to formulate an argument in support of your answer to the research question.
  4. Written an argumentative essay in support of your position, using MLA documentation.
  5. Made a presentation before the classroom audience on the findings of your research.

This module also shows you how to apply your experiences as a writer to public speaking and to offer techniques that are appropriate for making effective oral presentations. At the end of this module, you will have completed the following:

  1. Understood the roles of purpose and audience in developing an oral presentation.
  2. Organized material for an oral presentation into an effective introduction, body and conclusion.
  3. Understood methods of delivery.
  4. Used techniques to help reduce anxiety.

Schedule of Assignments

Semester View
A schedule of reading and writing assignments will be posted weekly. These assignments will include the following department requirements: at least one analysis of the main ideas and arguments of a series of fiction, poetry, and non-fiction reading assignments, a group oral report on selected readings from the textbook and other sources, one research paper that incorporates a variety of sources, and one individual oral report on the findings of the research paper. In addition, your class will participate in several small group discussion and writing assignments.

GENERAL GUIDANCE FOR ALL WRITING ASSIGNMENTS

For each writing assignment, you will post your proposed topic (and approach) and a complete draft on the Moodle discussion forum according to the schedule. The topic selection, introductory paragraph, and initial draft are integral parts of each module assignment and must be completed on time to receive full credit for the assignment. In addition, the initial draft should be well written and reviewed effectively before being posted on the discussion forum (it should not be a rough “first” draft). In addition, a printed copy of the final version of each essay will be submitted to the instructor, and an electronic copy will be submitted using the assignment link on Moodle (rather than the discussion forum) according to the class schedule. Submissions of essays by e-mail are not accepted. Each essay, after it has been graded, will be returned to keep for the remainder of the semester and to use during the writing process for future assignments. You should bring all completed essays and their evaluations to the review class held before the final exam.

ESSAY WRITING ASSIGNMENTS

  1. Based upon small group and class discussions, you will prepare two argumentative essays. Each essay should follow one of the argument strategies: (1) traditional or (2) Rogerian.
  2. Use either of these plans for writing an essay:
    1. “Argument Outline” (from textbook as well as the class website)
    2. “Rogerian Argument Outline” (from textbook as well as the class website)
    3. Before the final version of an essay is submitted to your instructor, you will review draft essays of other students and provide the response assigned for them to use in revising their essays. (Peer reviews completed before Module Five will be considered in assigning the “Classwork and Discussion” grade.) In addition, consider the comments provided on the peer reviews that you receive as your revise your draft essay. For peer reviews of essays, use the questions on the class website.
  3. For each essay, you will post your proposed topic, introductory paragraph, and a complete draft on the Moodle discussion forum according to the class schedule. The topic selection, introductory paragraph, and initial draft are integral parts of each assignment and must be completed on time to receive full credit for the assignment. In addition, the initial draft should be well written and reviewed effectively before being posted on the discussion forum (it should not be a rough “first” draft). In addition, a printed copy of the final version of each essay will be submitted to the instructor, and an electronic copy will be submitted using the assignment link on Moodle (rather than the discussion forum) according to the class schedule. Submissions of essays by e-mail are not accepted. Each essay, after it has been graded, will be returned to keep for the remainder of the semester and to use during the writing process for future assignments.
  4. Each essay will be evaluated according to the Criteria for Evaluating an Argumentative Essay. Each essay will consist of a minimum of five paragraphs developed using the keyhole pattern identified in ENG 111.
    1. For Essay #1, identify clearly any source material cited by naming the author or work as appropriate in the text. A works cited list is not required. Comply with the style demonstrated on page 715 of TLBH.
    2. For Essay #2, comply with the full requirements of using in-text citations as well as preparing a list of works cited in the style and format of the Modern Language Association. Cite a source for information that you do not create on your own or that is not common knowledge. In addition, you must cite at least two sources from the RLWA textbook. Comply with the style demonstrated on pages 746-51 of TLBH. In addition, for Web sources, include the Web address (uniform resource locator) as illustrated in example #61 on page 703 of TLBH.

SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION ASSIGNMENTS

You will be assigned to participate in several small group discussions and presentations. The discussion topics will be based on the reading assignments. Your group will prepare presentations to the class on topics assigned. The presentation in Module Four will be evaluated according to the Criteria for Evaluating a Group Presentation. At the class before the presentation is scheduled, provide the instructor a copy of any presentation aid or handout that you plan to use for this module. (If you prepare an electronic presentation, submit it using the assignment link on Moodle.)

READING REFLECTIONS

You will complete several reading reflections that explore your views, reactions, and evaluations of reading assignments in RWLA. Reading reflections completed before Module Five will be considered in assigning the “Classwork and Discussion” grade. Reading reflections completed after Module Four will be graded and constitute the score for the “Reading Reflections” grade.

RESEARCH PAPER WRITING ASSIGNMENT

  1. After completing the initial reading assignments for Module Five, select one of the topics, questions, or activities as a research issue or question and write either a research-based argument paper or a research-based Rogerian argument paper based upon the topic, question, or activity that you choose.
  2. Follow the guidelines in Chapter 4 of RLWA and Part 9, “Research Writing,” in TLBH to help you complete your research paper.
  3. The assignment must contain the following: a title page, an outline that reflects the contents of the paper, the paper itself (five to seven pages — not less than five full pages), and the works cited list. In addition to any encyclopedic source used, the works cited must include at least two electronic sources (including one source from an online database), one periodical, two literary works in RLWA (works need to be different from works cited in Essay #2), and one other book. Comply with the style demonstrated on pages 718-45 of TLBH. In addition, for Web sources except for online databases such as EBSCOhost, include the Web address (uniform resource locator) as illustrated in example #61 on page 703 of TLBH. Do not enclose your paper in a binder or protective folder.
  4. For this assignment, you will post your proposed topic, preliminary outline, and a complete draft on the Moodle discussion forum according to the class schedule. The topic selection, outline, and initial draft are integral parts of this assignment and must be completed on time to receive full credit for the assignment. In addition, the initial draft should be well written and reviewed effectively before being posted on the Moodle discussion forum (it should not be a rough “first” draft). Further, a printed copy of the final version of the assignment will be submitted to the instructor, and an electronic copy will be submitted using the assignment link on Moodle (rather than the discussion forum) according to the class schedule. Submissions of papers by e-mail are not accepted.
  5. Before the final version of the paper is submitted to your instructor, you will review draft work of other students and complete the review form for them or provide the response assigned. (Reviews completed during Module Five are considered in assigning the grade for the research paper.) In addition, consider the comments provided during the reviews that you receive as you revise your draft essay.
  6. Your research paper will be evaluated according to the Criteria for Evaluating a Research Paper.

INDIVIDUAL ORAL PRESENTATION

  1. After completing your research paper in Module Five, present the findings of your research in an oral presentation of approximately seven minutes before your classroom audience. (Your presentation should not exceed ten minutes or be less than five minutes.)
  2. Follow the guidelines for your oral presentation in TLBH section 5d, “Oral Presentations.”
  3. Consider the benefits of developing a handout or visual aid for your presentation. (If you prepare an electronic presentation, submit it using the assignment link on Moodle.) At the class before the presentation is scheduled, provide the instructor a copy of any presentation aid or handout that you plan to use for this module.
  4. Your oral presentation will be evaluated according to the department’s “Criteria for Evaluating an Individual Presentation.” That evaluation form also provides helpful advice on preparing and delivering your report. Note: Students must demonstrate competence in oral communication to pass the course.

TENTATIVE SCHEDULE OF ASSIGNMENTS: A schedule of reading and writing assignments will be posted weekly. Reading assignments will be from Reading Literature and Writing Argument and The Little, Brown Handbook.

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