English/Communication Department / Orchard Ridge Campus





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Oakland Community College, Winter 2013

(ADVISORY: extensive use of music in each class)


Instructor: Dr. David L. James

Office Hours: Mondays: 11-12, 3:45-5:30; Tuesdays: 11-12:00; Wed.: 8:00-9:00, 12:40-1:30; or by appointment.  Email is an excellent way to contact Dr. James.

Office: G-205, Orchard Ridge Campus

Class: Section O1547: Wed., 9:30-12:25, G214

Phone/e-mail: (248) 522-3685; dljames@oaklandcc.edu

Web Page: www.oaklandcc.edu/or-eng/FullTimeFaculty/dljames/djhome.htm

Required Text: A Pocket Key for Writers, Ann Raimes, 4th edition


Course Description: (prerequisite ENG 1510)                       Students will write persuasive and argumentative papers.  They will acquire skills in library research and use a process that includes critical thinking, logical reasoning, and investigation of primary and/or secondary sources.  Students will write a documented academic research paper. 


Course Objectives:

Students will

·         Write three papers using proper MLA academic documentation

·         Use academic library resources to locate relevant information

·         Learn how to paraphrase, summarize, and use direct and indirect quotes

·         Evaluate evidence for validity and quality

·         Demonstrate competence in using logic, emotion, and ethics in a paper

·         Understand and practice the rudiments of sampling techniques and survey development

Plus, this course fulfills the following General Education requirements:

·         Communicate effectively and think critically and creatively

·         Information Literacy


F i n a l    G r a d i n g


Three papers (first paper: 30 points; second: 60; third: 100)             190

Ten homework/in-class assignments (4 points each)                           40

Two group quizzes (10 points each)                                                   20

Final Exam (in-class, individual)                                                          20

In-class writing prompt                                                                       30

            Attendance                                                                                       + or –

            TOTAL:                                                                                           300


Helpful Websites: Writer’s Handbook:      http://www.wisc.edu/writing/Handbook/index.html

                               Univ. of Purdue’s Writing Lab:              http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/

                               Bedford/St. Martins:                           http://www.dianahacker.com/resdoc/


A         300-286                    A-        285-270

B+       269-260                     B         259-249         B-        248-240

C+       239-225                     C         224-210         C-       209-181

D         180-165                      WP      164 or lower

Students who miss the first three classes will receive an ‘N’ mark for non-attendance and will not be able to complete the course.



Students requiring special assistance (including those affected by the Americans with Disabilities Act) should contact the ACCESS Office, (248) 522-3480, Room K-111, who will inform the instructor of any special conditions pertaining to the students’ learning.


Privacy Information:

In compliance with federal law (FERPA), no personal information of yours (grades, attendance, etc.) will be shared with anyone unless you provide written permission.


Attendance Policy:

Your participation in class discussions, activities, and in-class writing is a vital part of this class.  You may miss two classes without penalty (unless you miss an in-class 4-point assignment).  Beyond that, each absence after two will lower your final grade by 8 points.  Arriving 15 minutes late or leaving early constitutes a ½ absence.  To inspire those diligent writers who attend class, 8 points will be ADDED to your grade if you have less than two absences for the entire semester.  Texting during class will result in a ½ absence per occasion.


Late Papers and Exams:

Papers turned in late will be marked down by 10% automatically.  Sorry, but no papers will be accepted beyond one week from the stated deadline.  Late quizzes are marked down by 1.5 points. If you take the final exam late, your score will be marked down by four points automatically.  



Students who plagiarize will receive an ‘F’ on their papers with no exceptions and no opportunity to rewrite. This is a major academic offense.  If a paper contains large passages of plagiarized material, the instructor has the option of failing the student for the entire class.


Instructor Assumptions about Learning:

My philosophy of learning recognizes that students have varying strengths, weaknesses and learning styles. This is one reason why I use a variety of grading techniques: writing, tests, group assignments, and presentations, in the hopes of capitalizing on one or more of those strengths.  I also recognize that students have different attitudes toward learning. My assumption, however, is that students are here to learn, willingly and eagerly. They want to take advantage of their education.  Deep learning alters thinking and perception, thereby altering behavior…

100% refund: close of 6th business day from first class

Last day to withdraw: Friday of the 12th week of class

Last day of class: April 22

Winter Break: Feb. 25 - March 2




My advice is to try to find unique, original topics to write about that have some intense interest to you.  No papers will be accepted on the following overdone topics: school uniforms, capital punishment, gun control, euthanasia, lowering the drinking age, legalizing drugs, cloning and stem cells, gay marriage, smoking, abortion, video game violence and others as decided by the instructor.  Papers should be double-spaced, in MLA format, using 12 point font.


Paper 1: An Inquiry Argument (30 points)

The first paper should select a controversial topic and explore both sides of the issue, leading the reader on a journey through your research.  The purpose is to inform, discover, enlighten, and come to a tentative decision based upon the strength of your research. Written in informal English, double-spaced, this paper will use four to six sources, NONE of which can be an internet source.  All sources must be in print form (but you can access them electronically…) 

Length: 4 - 5 pages, not including the Works Cited page (MLA format).  NOTE: Your Works Cited page must be revised until it’s correct to receive any points for this paper. You have until the 13th class to revise it.

DUE: Class #6


Paper 2: An Argument (60 points)

This paper should present a controversial issue that needs to be solved.  The purpose is to sway a person, group, supervisor, committee, etc., into seriously considering your viewpoint on the issue.  Your ideal goal is to change the reader’s point of view. Writers should address the history of the issue, review possible causes and effects, effectively explain and deal with the opposition, and offer ample evidence to support their view. Written in professional English, double-spaced, this paper will have between five to eight sources, two of which may be internet sources.

Length: 5 - 6 pages, not including the Works Cited page (MLA format).

DUE: Class #10


Paper 3: A Persuasive Argument (100 points)

This paper is the culmination of the research class.  Students will research a controversial issue or problem, establish a cogent argument and try to persuade the reader to take action. Students will write a paper with all the essential attributes of academic research.  This final paper must include survey results (survey developed and distributed by the student). Written in professional English, double-spaced, this final paper will have between seven to twelve sources with at least three sources in print form. As the final paper in ENG 1520, it will be held to the highest standards and expectations…

Length: 7 - 9 pages, not including the Works Cited page (perfect MLA format).

DUE: Class #14



ENG 1520: Schedule of Events (WI)


Class 1            Introduction and Review of the Writing Situation; Research and Argument; argument topics; Show Me What You Know Survey


Class 2            Understanding Argument (read pages 7-22); Arguing to Inquire; MLA introduction (pages 63-110); freewrite on inquiry argument topic due, 1-2 pages (4 points); library tour and scavenger hunt (4)


Class 3            Writing Research Based Arguments (pages 33-48); Readers’ Expectations (pages 5-9); MLA in-paper citation (4); in-class work day


Class 4            Avoiding Plagiarism (49-62); Works Cited and exercise (4); punctuation review (220-226—quotation marks); in-class work day


Class 5            Critique Day: typed draft due with Works Cited (-3 without feedback sheets); in-class work day; Group Quiz #1 (10)


Class 6            INQUIRY ARGUMENT DUE (30); Arguing to Convince; Source-Note Card ppt. and exercise (4); 5 C’s for Style (159-170); argumentation technique/practice


Class 7            Freewrite on argument topic due, 1-2 pages (4); Visual Arguments; in-class research and work day


Class 8           In-class work day; 3 source cards/6 note cards due (4)


Class 9            Typed draft due with Works Cited page: Critique Day (-6 without feedback); logical and emotional fallacies


Class 10          ARGUMENT PAPER DUE (60); Arguing to Persuade; survey development; freewrite on final topic due (4); in-class research and writing


Class 11          Research methods and survey populations; in-class research and writing day


Class 12          Survey pretesting (bring in four copies of your draft survey); 4 source, 8 note cards due (4); in-class research and writing day


Class 13          Group Quiz #2 (10); Critique Day: typed draft and Works Cited due (-10 without feedback); final survey due (4); work day in-class; class evaluation


Class 14          PERSUASION PAPER DUE (100); in-class writing prompt: 3 pages min. (30)


Class 15          Individual Final exam (20); final comments


Revised 11/12                                                        As always, subject to minor revision.


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Updated 12/6/2012  by Joe O'Loughlin ( jaolough@oaklandcc.edu )