ENG101.CV1 - English Composition I (Freshman Seminar)
Prof. Eileen Joy

FALL 2006

Personal History, Bearing Witness, and the Ethics of Memory

Mondays/Wednesdays 12:00-1:15 (Peck Hall 2414)

"The need of truth is more sacred than any other need. Yet it is never mentioned." (Simone Weil, from The Need for Roots: Prelude to a Declaration of Duties Towards Mankind, 1949)

". . . . and I can hear Will talking, his voice rises, spreads in waves around me and I feel it hoist my arms and I open my mouth to breathe it all in and I am shaking, and I listen to my dead friend, my feet on his ribs, roots from a nearby oak woven through him like careful threads and he says I must remember him, I must remember how this place, this soil, these roots hold him like this late-December day holds the dizzy light and dense air." (Brad Land, from Goat, 2004)


Special Note: This section of English 101 is linked to History 111B-CV (Intro to Modern Western Civ.: On Memory and Forgefulness, Reality and Fiction in History) and fulfills a New Freshman Seminar requirement. The two courses (HIST111B & ENG101) offer you a unique learning opportunity: You will work with a cohort of students in two courses, which provides you with an opportunity to forge new social and intellectual networks. You will also begin to make connections between ideas in two courses, which is what college is all about--synthesizing information across disciplines. Here, you will have a deliberately constructed opportunity to do that, one that we hope will be a model for the rest of your learning at this university. In that regard, your experience in this section of ENG101 will be different from students who are not in this linked CIV experience. Further, while all the faculty teaching the linked ENG101 sections have worked and will continue to work closely in the planning of this learning experience, each of the linked ENG101 sections will be somewhat different from each other. Nonetheless, you can be assured that each section is comparable in terms of overall amount of writing, grading, and purpose, and that the sections are in line with the standards of the Expository Writing Program at SIUE. Each section will be unique. We feel that the opportunity to learn will be rich if you actively engage with the course.

The SIUE Department of English Language & Literature tells us that the first-year writing sequence at SIUE is designed to help students build upon what they have learned about writing in high school in order to successfully navigate the complex endeavor of becoming college writers. To that end, it is the hope that students who complete the first part of the sequence, ENG101, will:

And I would like to add that, in addition to learning how to use writing as a cognitive tool, and how to communicate our ideas in writing, we will also work to understand how LANGUAGE = POWER. In an increasingly technological world where much money is to be made deciphering genetic codes, constructing chemical micro-robots, designing artificial forms of intelligence, engineering "smart" cars, and the like, the ability to communicate effectively with others has not lost its significance. One might even say that the ability to communicate well--to express ideas clearly and even beautifully--is a vital necessity for success, the importance of which it would be dangerous to overlook. You may possess any number of abilities and skills in areas other than writing, but without a firm grasp of your language and culture and the skillful means to express yourself, whether in a love letter, inter-office e-memo, technical prospectus, or court brief, you cannot command attention or regard for yourself or your ideas. The 21st century is being hailed as the Information Age, as well as the Age of Technology, and the global airwaves are already jammed with billions of voices. In order to succeed, you must aim to stand above the crowd and be heard. You will want to be smart, articulate, sleek, stylish, daring, and commanding. Believe it or not, that's exactly what this course is all about.

But there is one last thing, too (perhaps most important to me): because this section is linked to your HIST111B course, one of the themes of which is "memory and forgetfulness," this course will also serve as a collective site for debate and dialogue over the ethics of memory--historical, artistic, personal, and otherwise.

COURSE OBJECTIVES (the more concrete version)

This is something slightly different, yet altogether connected to our “COURSE DESCRIPTION.” This is also a good example of an outline.

I. We are going to learn to read critically and think logically.

II. We are going to produce good writing by means of a process, and we are going to understand that the drafting process is a thinking process.

III. We are going to write to accomplish our own personal rhetorical goals while also being sensitive to the needs of our readers.

IV. We are going to analyze our writing processes and modify them when necessary to strengthen our ability to communicate.

V. We are going to learn how to focus on a central idea and how to develop and support a topic through sustained discourse.

VI. We are going to learn principles for organizing our writing and how to utilize formal conventions to strengthen our message.

VII. We are going to learn how to develop confidence in our own judgment.

VIII. We are going to learn how to locate, evaluate, and integrate primary and secondary source material into our writing.

IX. We are going to always be on the lookout for ways to increase the powers of our vocabulary, both verbal and cultural, in order to empower ourselves.


from Textbook Rental Services:  
The Allyn & Bacon Guide to Writing by Ramage, Bean & Johnson (4th edition)
Seeing and Writing by McQuade & McQuade (2nd edition)
The Scott Foresman Handbook for Writers by Hairston, Ruszkiewicz & Friend (7th edition)
from University Bookstore:  
The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien (paperback edition)

A good, thick collegiate dictionary is highly recommended. In addition, be aware that the online Oxford English Dictionary is available on Lovejoy Library's website.


3 FORMAL ESSAYS (20% each = 60%)

Special Note: In this course, you will learn that writing is an inherently social act, and the best writing is produced through collaboration with other writers--in this case, your fellow students and me. And because one of the emphases in this class is also on the development of critical and analytical thinking and reading skills, you will also learn that one does not think well in a vacuum. Our ideas benefit immeasurably when exchanged with others in a series of critical dialogues. Preparing for and participating in class are vitally important to your success in this class, and therefore, your contribution to in-class discussions and draft workshops, as well as your attendance record, will be factored into your final grade. In fact, not showing up on the days when draft workshops and draft conferences are scheduled will result in the lowering of your final paper grades, and in some cases, can result in my not accepting an essay at all. If there are legitimate reasons for not being able to attend a draft workshop or for missing a scheduled draft conference, let me know in advance and I will help you to make other arrangements for making up the work in a timely fashion.


Follow these guidelines for submitting final work:


I am happy to consider revisions of major essays you would like to rewrite for a higher grade (with the exception of the final essay), with the following provisions:


This support service resides in Peck Hall #1419 (Chad Verbais, Coordinator). Writing consultants are available there to work with you by appointment on ANY writing assignment, at any point in the drafting process. Smart students, no matter how advanced or limited their writing skills, understand the benefit of such a service and regularly seek it out.


If you feel that you are entitled to special accommodations (for example, a volunteer note-taker, interpreter, special desk, or extra time on tests), please contact the Disability Support Services office in Rendleman Hall #1218 (Jane A. Floyd-Hendey, Director), and they will help you fill out the necessary paperwork.


I do not accept late papers. Period. If there is an extraordinarily good reason for needing an extension on a paper due date, let me know in advance, and I will be kind.


Attendance, promptness, and participation are essential to success in college courses. Faculty members recognize that unexpected occasions may arise when a student must be absent from class, but my general attendance policy is that if a student is absent more than the number of required class sessions per week (in this case, that would be more than 2 sessions), I have the option of lowering the student’s final course grade by one letter grade for each additional session missed.  Furthermore, if absences become excessive (more than two weeks' worth of sessions), the SIUE Registrar, at my request, reserves the right to withdraw the student administratively. For more information on this, please consult the following: SIUE Class Attendance Policy. Failure to attend class in a responsible and committed manner may thus be grounds for failure in or administrative withdrawal from the course.


Any student found engaging in an act of academic dishonesty will be promptly dismissed from the course with a grade of "F." By "academic dishonesty," I mean PLAGIARISM (the act of representing the work of another as one's own), which the University considers a grave breach of intellectual integrity. All definitions, terminology, concepts, and patterns of organization taken from an outside source must be identified and given credit in any essay or exam you write--whether it be for the English department or any other department. For more detailed information on this, please consult the following: SIUE Plagiarism Policy.


A 90-100
B 80-89
C 70-79
D 60-69
F under 60

PLEASE NOTE: You will receive a separate grade for ENG101 and HIST111. While the courses are linked, the grades are not. Also, students must be enrolled in both courses simultaneously; therefore, if you drop one course, you must drop both!


SW=Seeing & Writing

Monday Aug. 21 Introduction to Course
Wednesday Aug. 23 In-Class Writing
Monday Aug. 28 Plato, "Allegory of the Cave"
    Notes on "Allegory of the Cave" (Wikipedia)
    The Matrix and Plato's Cave
Wednesday Sep. 6 Plato, "Allegory of the Cave"
Monday Sep. 11 Dillard, "Seeing" (SW, 94-104)
Wednesday Sep. 13 Cole, "A Matter of Scale" (SW, 111-115)
Monday Sep. 18 Iyer, "Why We Travel" (SW, 189-194)
Wednesday Sep. 20 No Class -- Draft Conferences
Monday Sep. 25 No Class -- Draft Conferences
Wednesday Sep. 27 In-Class Draft Workshop: Essay 1
Monday Oct. 2 Essay #1 Due
Wednesday Oct. 4 View: Platoon (film)
Monday Oct. 9 View: Platoon (film)
Wednesday Oct. 11 No Class -- Professor at Conference
Monday Oct. 16 Discuss & Write: Platoon (film)
    My Lai Massacre (Wikipedia Encyclopedia)
    Battlefield: Vietnam (PBS)
    The Wars for Vietnam: 1945 to 1975 (Vassar College)
    Eyewitness Account: Kent State, 4 May 1970
    Lewis & Hensley, "The May 4 Shootings at Kent State"
    The Self-Immolation of Thich Quang Duc
Wednesday Oct. 18 O'Brien, The Things They Carried
    **extremely important that you have read ALL of O'Brien's book by this date
Monday Oct. 23 O'Brien, The Things They Carried
Wednesday Oct. 25 O'Brien, The Things They Carried
Monday Oct. 30 In-Class Draft Workshop: Essay 2
Wednesday Nov. 1 View: The Fog of War (film)
Monday Nov. 6 Essay #2 Due
    View: The Fog of War (film)
Wednesday Nov. 8 Discuss & Write: The Fog of War (film)
Monday Nov. 13 William Langewiesche, "Rules of Engagement" (handout)
Wednesday Nov. 15 William Langewiesche, "Rules of Engagement" (handout)
Monday Nov. 27 NO CLASS: Group Work
Wednesday Nov. 29 Discuss: Haditha/Group Project
Monday Dec. 4 NO CLASS: Group Work
Wednesday Dec. 6 Essay #3 Due
Wednesday Dec. 13 (10:00-11:40 a.m.) Final Exam Period: Multimedia Project Due