intro to writing

636A4B25-3B6C-4634-8769-6B0501F23FA0.gif

class one
time: 
 tuesday and thursday 13:35 – 14:50
location: 285 swkt

class two
time:
tuesday and thursday 15:00 – 16:15
location: b103 jfsb


description: writing is not natural or innate. this class will help you learn how to write.


instructor: zach t power
email: zachtpower@me.com
office times: tuesdays and thursdays by appointment
office location: 3004 jkb


print reading: (you will need to buy these books)
mindful writing third edition by brian jackson

digital reading: (i will provide some of these readings digitally)
structure, sign and play by jacque derrida
a sign in space by italo calvino
the world of wrestling by roland barthes
the typography of stranger things by sarah gless
the good, racist people by ta-nehisi coates
i have a dream by martin luther king jr.
why i am teaching a course called "wasting time on the internet" by kenneth goldsmith
why were confederate monuments built? by miles park
notes of a native son by james baldwin
a plea for captain john brown by henry david throreau
resistance to civil government by henry david throreau
let justice roll down by martin luther king jr.
white debt by eula biss
the case for reparations by ta-nehisi coates


grading: it’s simple, if you do all the work, then you will get an A. if you don’t do the work, then I will find some other appropriate grade to give you. my interpretation of “do” is polished and on time. refer to a dictionary for the meaning of polished.

you know a good piece of writing when you write it and when you read it; me too. I’ll grade papers in a few ways: first, is the paper appropriate to the genre expectations, which we will discuss and outline with each section; second, does the paper subvert expectations / is it interesting and surprising; and, third, is the paper professional (i.e. does it follow MLA style, is the grammar and syntax clean and clear, etc.)? that’s it. if you can write a paper that is genre-appropriate, genuinely interesting, and properly professional, then you’ll get a good grade.


attendance: you are allowed two absences, free of charge. after the second absence, I will reduce your grade by one grade increment (A to A-, A- to B+, etc.). please communicate with me. if you go missing, I can’t help you. I won’t come find you. I have enough trouble finding the ways we feel throughout our lives. also, attending the final is required by the department as well, so don’t try to go to any weddings or orthodontists on this day.


medium:
medium is the platform that you will be using to turn in your assignments. become familiar with this platform, read some pieces, enjoy:
https://medium.com/@ev/welcome-to-medium-9e53ca408c48#.f2ka3qaqn


IMG_1861.jpg

assignments: polish your work before turning it in. don’t turn work in late. also, all of the major assignments are required: rhetorical analysis, opinion editorial, issues paper, and multimodal project. if you don’t complete them, then the department requires me to automatically fail you; just a heads up. late assignments: another way of understanding the word late (as in ‘the late william carlos williams’) is ‘no longer alive.’ the longer the assignment is ‘dead,’ the more it stinks. nobody wants a carcass on their doorstep. each day an assignment is late (dead) it will lose ten percent.

best writing / one piece / starting pointing - in the first week of class, i need you to send me the best piece of writing you have (the operative word here being "have"). if you "have" nothing, then you need to write something and call it the best writing you "have".

initial office meeting / one time / "hello" - i like to have students meet with me in my office in the first week so they know where to find me if they need help with anything. this is the link to the sign-up sheet. it's good to meet you. 

freewrite / a few minutes minimum / attendance - this is how i keep attendance. at the beginning of class you will write non-stop for a few minutes. you should bring your own notebook paper each day for this assignment. if you are late to class you should still do a freewrite when you walk in the door, so i have a record of you being present, and you should also write at the top of the paper what time you walked in the door. 

reading / 250 words minimum / 4 points each / 100 points - each class you should read the provided reading, write a response (minimum 250 words) to it on medium, find a related article on medium, and then comment on that article (minimum 250 words). there will be twenty-five of these assignments throughout the semester.

percolations / one page / 10 points - these are very loose ideas on a paper. i don't care what they look like, how they are formatted, or really much of anything other than as evidence that you are actively thinking about your paper or project ahead of time. they should be at least a full page of text. they should be typed and printed out. 

rough draft / more than half the assignment minimum / 10 points - this should be self-evident.

formal draft / above the assignment minimum / 10 points - this means it has all the parts but maybe not the polish

instructor and peer discussions / several minutes minimum / 5 points each / 10 points - you should come to class on these days to get these points. 

reflection / several minutes minimum / 10 points - this is done in class on the final day of the section. it is handwritten or typed.

rhetorical analysis / 1000 words minimum / 100 points - the purpose of a rhetorical analysis is to feel persuaded (or dissuaded) and then to explain how you and the intended audience felt that way, how the author accomplished or produced those feelings - emphasis on the word -how-. do not engage with the argument. you are not engaging with their ideas, but their approach to expressing those ideas. focus on their use of genre, context, text, subtext, rhetorical strategies, assumptions, audience awareness, etc. keep in mind that analysis is the ability to unpack a concept, to extrapolate commonly felt meanings from a concept or representation of an idea. the “I” you are writing from is a wide I; you’re speaking from the perspective of the audience, for the audience, to the audience. summary is a necessary part of analysis, only because it conveys details. but if you don’t unpack the ideas, and if you only glance off the top of many topics (as opposed to a select few), then you’ll inevitably be summarizing. try to write this on a subject that is interesting to your audience and in a way that is interesting to read.

opinion editorial / 1500 words minimum / 200 points - i don't want to hear that you have no opinions, because it simply is not true. none of you live like bartleby the scrivener, so i won't believe it. tony hoagland said,  “if you have nothing to say, it is because your heart is closed" and i believe that. an opinion editorial is a published stance. you are going to need to make a judgement, take a stance, have an opinion. then you are going to write it in such a way that it is publishable in the newspaper or a magazine (thus the term "editorial"). You are not writing a novel, or a poem, or anything that you would find in a book. this is pulp writing, writing that is written in the current moment, and for the current moment. it is meant to be read on the day that it matters, and if you write one well enough, then people may read it after that day as well, because of how useful it is. 

annotated bibliography / 5 sources minimum / 50 points - the annotated bibliography is a collection of sources that you have commented on. this piece is in preparation to your issues paper. you should have already selected a topic for your issues paper before starting on this, afterwhich you will find five sources that are in dialogue with your ideas on your chosen topic. these sources should not speak for you, but you should be using them as if the authors' are dialoguing with you. next to each of these annotated bibliographies you should include the ideas from the source that are pertinent to your paper, as well as your response to those ideas. in other words, a summary and an opinion in response to the source. before this section you will want to complete the library modules found at this place here.

issues paper / 2000 words minimum / 300 points - the issues paper is a longform article that combines the strategies in the rhetorical analysis and the opinion editorial. you will want to write an analysis on the issue and on the rhetoric surrounding it, attempting to strip down the issue to its core problems, and attempting to explain how it is an issue. you will also offer a publishable opinion, making stances, offering options and suggesting solutions. if you believe life and its constituents is in a state of perfection, then i would like to understand how you have come to that conclusion, if you don't believe so, then you will have many things to address. the issues paper should include at least five sources used throughout. if you ask what style you should use for this essay, then i am likely to respond with a suggestion to use MLA style. 

multimodal project / 5 minutes minimum / 100 points - the multimodal project is a work that includes more than one medium of expression, though (since this is a writing class) you should favor language as one of those media (and i will accept a very loose understanding of the word language here). i could make suggestions here on the various kinds of media that are available to you to use (hint: all of them), but i find that students are often reactive and will cherry-pick from the list, rather than give it sincere thought. feel free to really push the boundaries of expression here. if you are communicating, then you are doing the assignment right. this project should function in much the same way as the issues paper, only you are not limited to just the use of language only. instead of five sources, you will include five similar projects, and trust me, none of you are at the level of innovation to discover a project that hasn't been done before (and you may take that as a challenge). you will also include a 500 word analysis of the media that you use for expression. you should analyze the media by speaking to why the project benefits specifically from the chosen media, and why the project would falter in its expressive potency were you to express it in any other medium. in other words, you'll need to explain how the medium enhances your argument. you will present or perform your multimodal project for the class. these presentations/performances should be between five and seven minutes long. 

final portfolio / four projects minimum / 50 points - the final portfolio is your last chance to make changes to your major projects. i will grade the final portfolio based on your ability to implement the suggestions i make on your assignments. i also want you to write 1000 words on what you learned this semester, and how you are a different writer. i want you to be as personal and real in this essay as you can be (avoid being overly formal), but I do want you to be in-depth and employ the strategies you have learned throughout the semester. this paper is where you can prove how much you have really learned throughout the semester.

impromptu analysis / an hour minimum / 50 points - on the day of the final you will be asked to do an impromptu rhetorical analysis. for more info on this, look up the words: impromptu, rhetoric, and analysis. (attendance to the final is mandatory. finals will not be given early.)


A61D6E15-457C-42DA-AAB7-C295B8C8573C.jpg

schedule: the schedule is rather simple: you have reading and responding assignments due before class each day, and you have a sequence of assignments that will help you work toward completing the major assignments. 

day one / september 5 / intro to class
due / book purchased / syllabus read /
class / freewrite / introduce people / discuss syllabus / explain platforms / where are you now with writing? / what are your desires for writing / what do you hate about writing? / what are your fears with writing and this class? / the importance of a spirit of inquiry / what is your question to life? 

day two / september 7 / intro to writing
due / mindful writing preface read / structure sign and play by jacque derrida first three pages read / a sign in space by italo calvino read /  medium essai on provided reading (minimum 250 words) written / related medium essai found and highlighted / commentary on related medium essai (minimum 250 words) written / time to meet with instructor scheduled (here) / best thing you've ever written emailed to instructor /
class / freewrite / language and literacy / what exactly is language /

day three / september 12 / rhetorical analysis and reading
due / mindful writing chapter 15 (examples one and two) read / the world of wrestling by roland barthes read / the typography of stranger things read / medium essai on provided reading (minimum 250 words) written / related medium essai found and highlighted / commentary on related medium essai (minimum 250 words) written / percolations assignment description read / rhetorical analysis assignment description read / 
class / freewrite / introduce rhetorical analysis assignment / what is rhetoric / what is analysis / is a wave rhetorical? / rhetoric is trying to control how people interpret things / analysis as understanding, as looking, as dividing, as connecting, as inquiry to the “truth” underneath the thing, as the joy of discovery, as observing, as interpreting, as critique, as perspective, as taking things beyond themselves,  / what do you analyze in your personal life / analysis as not reducing, not stereotyping, not assuming / rhetorical analysis as rhetor’s relationship with audience / rhetorical analysis as not summary, not engaging with the opinion / rhetoric as persuasion of the mind / rhetoric as not biological, not physical coercion / what are you persuaded by? / why are you persuaded / what are you disuaded by / why are you disuaded /

day four / september 14 / rhetorical analysis and reading
due / mindful writing chapter 15 (examples three and four) read / i have a dream by martin luther king jr. read / good racist people by ta-nehisis coates read / medium essai on provided reading (minimum 250 words) written / related medium essai found and highlighted / commentary on related medium essai (minimum 250 words) written / article for rhetorical analysis picked / rhetorical analysis percolations printed /
class / freewrite /

day five / september 19 / rhetorical analysis and reading
due / mindful writing chapter 1 and 2 read / why i'm teaching a course called "wasting time on the internet" by kenneth goldsmith read / medium essai on provided reading (minimum 250 words) written / related medium essai found and highlighted / commentary on related medium essai (minimum 250 words) written / rhetorical analysis rough draft printed / 
class / freewrite / discuss paper with instructor / logos / 

day six / september 21 / rhetorical analysis and reading
due / mindful writing chapter 3 read /  why were confederate monuments built? by miles parks read / medium essai on provided reading (minimum 250 words) written / related medium essai found and highlighted / commentary on related medium essai (minimum 250 words) written / rhetorical analysis formal draft printed / 
class / freewrite / discuss paper with peers / kairos

day seven / september 26 / rhetorical analysis and reading
due / mindful writing chapter 4 read / [provided reading] read / medium essai on provided reading (minimum 250 words) written / related medium essai found and highlighted / commentary on related medium essai (minimum 250 words) written / rhetorical analysis final draft printed / 
class / freewrite / reflect on rhetorical analysis

day eight / september 28 / opinion editorial and writing process
due / mindful writing chapter 13 (examples one and two) read / [provided reading] read / medium essai on provided reading (minimum 250 words) written / related medium essai found and highlighted / commentary on related medium essai (minimum 250 words) written / opinion editorial assignment description read /  
class / freewrite / introduce opinion editorial assignment / 

day nine / october 3 / opinion editorial and writing process
due / mindful writing chapter 13 (examples three and four) read / [provided reading] read / medium essai on provided reading (minimum 250 words) written / related medium essai found and highlighted / commentary on related medium essai (minimum 250 words) written / opinion editorial percolations printed / 
class / freewrite /

day ten / october 5 / opinion editorial and writing process
due / mindful writing chapter 5 read / [provided reading] read / medium essai on provided reading (minimum 250 words) written / related medium essai found and highlighted / commentary on related medium essai (minimum 250 words) written / opinion editorial rough draft printed / 
class / freewrite / discuss paper with instructor

day eleven / october 10 / opinion editorial and writing process
due / mindful writing chapter 6 read / [provided reading] read / medium essai on provided reading (minimum 250 words) written / related medium essai found and highlighted / commentary on related medium essai (minimum 250 words) written / opinion editorial formal draft printed / 
class / freewrite / discuss paper with peers

day twelve / october 12 / opinion editorial and writing process
due / mindful writing chapter 7 read / [provided reading] read / medium essai on provided reading (minimum 250 words) written / related medium essai found and highlighted / commentary on related medium essai (minimum 250 words) written / opinion editorial final draft printed / 
class / freewrite / reflect on opinion editorial 

day thirteen / october 17 / annotated bibliography and seeking process /
due / mindful writing chapter 16 (example one) read / [provided reading] read / medium essai on provided reading (minimum 250 words) written / related medium essai found and highlighted / commentary on related medium essai (minimum 250 words) written / annotated bibliography assignment description read / issues paper assignment description read / mindful writing issues paper example read / library modules one thru five completed (here) / 
class / freewrite / introduce annotated bibliography assignment / introduce issues paper assignment

day fourteen / october 19 / annotated bibliography and seeking process / room 2232 in the HBLL
due / mindful writing chapter 16 (example two) read / [provided reading] read / medium essai on provided reading (minimum 250 words) written / related medium essai found and highlighted / commentary on related medium essai (minimum 250 words) written / issues paper percolations printed / 
class / library instruction day / bring your own laptops

day fifteen / october 24 / annotated bibliography and seeking process / room 2232 in the HBLL
due / mindful writing chapter 16 (example three) read / [provided reading] read / medium essai on provided reading (minimum 250 words) written / related medium essai found and highlighted / commentary on related medium essai (minimum 250 words) written / annotated bibliography rough draft printed
class / library instruction day / bring your own laptops

day sixteen / october 26 / annotated bibliography and seeking process
due / mindful writing chapter 16 (example four) read / [provided reading] read / medium essai on provided reading (minimum 250 words) written / related medium essai found and highlighted / commentary on related medium essai (minimum 250 words) written / annotated bibliography final draft printed / 
class / freewrite / reflect on annotated bibliography

day seventeen / october 31 / issues paper and engaging process
due / mindful writing chapter 8 read / [provided reading] read / medium essai on provided reading (minimum 250 words) written / related medium essai found and highlighted / commentary on related medium essai (minimum 250 words) written / 
class / freewrite /

day eighteen / november 2 / issues paper and engaging process
due / mindful writing chapter 9 read / [provided reading] read / medium essai on provided reading (minimum 250 words) written / related medium essai found and highlighted / commentary on related medium essai (minimum 250 words) written / issues paper rough draft printed /
class / freewrite / discuss paper with instructor

day nineteen / november 7 / issues paper and engaging process
due / mindful writing chapter 10 read / [provided reading] read / medium essai on provided reading (minimum 250 words) written / related medium essai found and highlighted / commentary on related medium essai (minimum 250 words) written / issues paper formal draft printed /
class / freewrite / discuss paper with peers

day twenty / november 9 / issues paper and engaging process
due / mindful writing chapter 11 read / [provided reading] read / medium essai on provided reading (minimum 250 words) written / related medium essai found and highlighted / commentary on related medium essai (minimum 250 words) written / 
class / freewrite / 

day twenty-one / november 14 / issues paper and engaging process
due / mindful writing chapter 12 read / [provided reading] read / medium essai on provided reading (minimum 250 words) written / related medium essai found and highlighted / commentary on related medium essai (minimum 250 words) written / issues paper final draft printed / 
class / freewrite / reflect on issues paper

day twenty-two / november 16 / multimodal project and embodying process
due / [provided reading] read / medium essai on provided reading (minimum 250 words) written / related medium essai found and highlighted / commentary on related medium essai (minimum 250 words) written / multimodal project assignment description read /
class / freewrite / introduce multimodal project assignment / 

november 21 and 23 / no class

day twenty-three / november 28 / multimodal project and embodying process
due / [provided reading] read / medium essai on provided reading (minimum 250 words) written / related medium essai found and highlighted / commentary on related medium essai (minimum 250 words) written / multimodal project percolations printed / 
class / freewrite / 

day twenty-four / november 30 /  multimodal project and embodying process
due / [provided reading] read / medium essai on provided reading (minimum 250 words) written / related medium essai found and highlighted / commentary on related medium essai (minimum 250 words) written / multimodal project rough draft printed / 
class / freewrite / discuss project with instructor

day twenty-five / december 5 / multimodal project and embodying process
due / [provided reading] read / medium essai on provided reading (minimum 250 words) written / related medium essai found and highlighted / commentary on related medium essai (minimum 250 words) written / multimodal formal draft printed / 
class / freewrite / discuss project with peers

day twenty-six / december 7 / multimodal project and embodying process
due / [provided reading] read / medium essai on provided reading (minimum 250 words) written / related medium essai found and highlighted / commentary on related medium essai (minimum 250 words) written / 
class / freewrite / 

day twenty-seven / december 12 / multimodal project presentations / group one
due / multimodal project final draft presented by group one
class / present multimodal projects / write index card rhetorical analyses on presented multimodal projects 

day twenty-eight / december 14 / multimodal project presentations / group two
due / multimodal project final draft presented by group two
class / present multimodal projects / write index card rhetorical analyses on presented multimodal projects

day twenty-nine / final / class one - december 18 from 11:00 – 14:00 / class two - december 20 from 15:00 – 18:00 / 
due / final portfolio
class / impromptu analysis / reflection on writing


key terms:

  • writing
  • audience
  • title
  • argument
  • context
  • paragraph
  • clarity
  • continuity
  • tone
  • style
  • logic
  • narrative
  • organization
  • persuasion
  • thesis
  • structure
  • opinion
  • explanation
  • evaluation
  • summary
  • analysis
  • genre
  • order
  • introduction
  • conclusion
  • editorial
  • issue
  • problem
  • specificity
  • grammar
  • syntax
  • punctuation
  • counter-argument
  • meaning
  • irony
  • focus
  • bias
  • prepositions
  • articles
  • verbs
  • nouns
  • concrete
  • abstract
  • reference
  • terms
  • premise
  • syllogism
  • claims
  • evidence
  • expectations
  • em dash
  • en dash
  • dash
  • hyphen
  • research
  • investigation
  • interpretation
  • topic
  • perspective
  • information
  • judgement
  • questions
  • appeal
  • emotion
  • ethos
  • pathos
  • logos
  • kairos
  • metaphor
  • diction
  • reason
  • support
  • voice
  • expression
  • text
  • subtext
  • context
  • metatext
  • placement
  • timing
  • protasis
  • apodosis
  • generalization
  • hyperbole
  • stereotype
  • foil
  • independent clause
  • dependent clause
  • conjunction
  • phrase
  • dialogue
  • construct
  • transitions
  • framing
  • contradiction (contra-diction)
  • non-sequitur
  • assumptions
  • solution
  • citation
  • quotation
  • symbolism
  • arrangement
  • concept
  • personality
  • perspective
  • parralellism
  • consistency
  • usage
  • redundancy
  • literality
  • figurality
  • comparison
  • sequence
  • statements
  • idiom
  • pun
  • description
  • detail
  • pronouns
  • referrants
  • discovery
  • emphasis
  • objective
  • subjective
  • colloquialisms
  • sentence
  • situation
  • juxtaposition
  • source
  • circumstance
  • position
  • contrast
  • pacing
  • fallacies
  • straw-man
  • rhetoric
  • cliche
  • method
  • criticism
  • media
  • cognition
  • reading
  • literacy
  • evaluate
  • ethics
  • language
  • drafting
  • revision
  • editing
  • credibility
  • document
  • outline
  • community
  • public
  • discourse
  • participation
  • invention
  • exclusion
  • conflict
  • composition
  • reflection
  • provocation
  • awareness
  • patterns
  • process
  • mechanics
  • review
  • collaboration
  • understanding
  • comprehension
  • exigency
  • analogy
  • testimony
  • libraries
  • archive
  • meta-literacy
  • rhetor
  • scope
  • authority
  • technique
  • body
  • observation
  • impact
  • author
  • speaker
  • fact
  • implication
  • imagination
  • intention
  • content
  • form
  • utility
  • definition
  • effect
  • affect
  • sense
  • mode
  • subject
  • tension
  • attachment
  • reaction
  •  

IMG_2457.jpg

class content: being in college (being human) means you will have to deal with some heavy/tough stuff. if any objectionable content is presented in class you are welcome (even encouraged) to express yourself. that all said, I will be as conscious and respectful as I can.


words required by b.y.u.:

Honor Code: In keeping with the principles of the BYU Honor Code, students are expected to be honest in all of their academic work. Academic honesty means, most fundamentally, that any work you present as your own must in fact be your own work and not that of another. Violations of this principle may result in a failing grade in the course and additional disciplinary action by the university. Students are also expected to adhere to the Dress and Grooming Standards. Adherence demonstrates respect for yourself and others and ensures an effective learning and working environment. It is the university’s expectation, and every instructor’s expectation in class, that each student will abide by all Honor Code standards. Please call the Honor Code Office at 422–2847 if you have questions about those standards.

Sexual Harassment: Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits sex discrimination against any participant in an educational program or activity that receives federal funds. The act is intended to eliminate sex discrimination in education and pertains to admissions, academic and athletic programs, and university-sponsored activities. Title IX also prohibits sexual harassment of students by university employees, other students, and visitors to campus. If you encounter sexual harassment or gender-based discrimination, please talk to your professor or contact one of the following: the Title IX Coordinator at 801–422–2130; the Honor Code Office at 801–422–2847; the Equal Employment Office at 801–422–5895; or Ethics Point at http://www.ethicspoint.com, or 1–888–238–1062 (24-hours).

Student Disability: Brigham Young University is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere that reasonably accommodates qualified persons with disabilities. If you have any disability which may impair your ability to complete this course successfully, please contact the University Accessibility Center (UAC), 2170 WSC or 422–2767. Reasonable academic accommodations are reviewed for all students who have qualified, documented disabilities. The UAC can also assess students for learning, attention, and emotional concerns. Services are coordinated with the student and instructor by the UAC. If you need assistance or if you feel you have been unlawfully discriminated against on the basis of disability, you may seek resolution through established grievance policy and procedures by contacting the Equal Employment Office at 422–5895, D-285 ASB.

Academic Honesty: The first injunction of the Honor Code is the call to “be honest.” Students come to the university not only to improve their minds, gain knowledge, and develop skills that will assist them in their life’s work, but also to build character. “President David O. McKay taught that character is the highest aim of education” (The Aims of a BYU Education, p.6). It is the purpose of the BYU Academic Honesty Policy to assist in fulfilling that aim. BYU students should seek to be totally honest in their dealings with others. They should complete their own work and be evaluated based upon that work. They should avoid academic dishonesty and misconduct in all its forms, including but not limited to plagiarism, fabrication or falsification, cheating, and other academic misconduct.


disclaimer: The syllabus is subject to change.