2014 Syllabus

Argument and Exposition English 2152 section 04

Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays 10:00am - 10:50am in Hagg-Sauer 109

Instructor: Anna Hamann
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Office: HS 321

Office Phone: (218) 755-2821
Office Hours: 11 am - 1 pm Mondays and Wednesdays, or by appointment


Required Texts

Harvey, Gordon. Writing with Sources: A Guide for Students. 2nd ed. Cambridge: Hackett, 2008.

We will encounter other assigned readings as well, from online articles and open sources textbooks. Links to these will be provided on the class wiki as they are assigned.

Our theme is food – production, safety, marketing, health, etc.

Course Description and Objectives

As stated in BSU catalog, this course involves instruction and practice in writing for various academic and similar contexts, with particular focus on formal and informal argument for specific rather than general audiences. Emphasis in this course also includes seeking out, selecting, using, and documenting written sources, as well as a component on oral presentation. The oral presentation component of this particular section will involve three different debate sessions interspersed throughout the semester.

The ability to argue effectively, both in writing and orally, is of the utmost importance as you pursue your university degree and engage with the world. This course will introduce you to, and expect of you, university level academic writing. Effective argument involves critical analysis of the information available for any given situation, as well as careful and serious consideration of both the audience and purpose of your writing.

A final note: effective argument is a skill that is achieved through practice. Like many other skills, one learns to write (and persuade) by actually doing it. In other words, expect to be doing a lot of writing, both in class and outside of it.

Expectations for you

  • Be in class. Regular attendance is required;
  • Complete formal, substantial, argumentative writing assignments;
  • Complete informal writing and research assignments;
  • Engage in classroom activities and support your peers;
  • Read and respond to assigned critical readings;
  • Participate in the research, development, and presentation of your team’s assigned debate position;
  • Demonstrate familiarity with the university library and research methods;
  • Complete all work by the assigned due date; and
  • Turn off and put away cell phones when entering the lab. Also, you have a computer in front of you that you will be using daily. Please resist the urge to distract yourselves and your classmates by checking out Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or any other number of non-class related things online (see this Slate Magazine article on multitasking and the effects of responding to texts while in class)

Expectations for me? For this class?

Late Work

Any written work not completed by the due date may be considered for grade, as long as it is within one week of the due date. However, late work will not receive the grade it would have received had it been done on time. You will lose points for missing critical deadlines. If it is not complete within one week past the due date, please note that it will not be graded and you will receive a zero for that assignment.
Debate days are another matter. Please view those dates very seriously – you will be competing in teams, and your team is going to debate whether you are there or not. You will not be able to make these up easily. If you have a serious reason you have to be gone that day, let me know as soon as possible so we can make arrangements for an alternate assignment.


This class will have a Desire to Learn (D2L) shell, but the class handouts and materials will be only available on our wiki. You can, however, access the class list and emails via D2L. Log on to D2L through your MyBSU portal. Once there, click on the D2L link, then type in your user name (usually your student ID), and password (typically your last name). If you have trouble logging on, please contact Information Technology Services @ 218-755-3777.


In this course the primary goal is to work on developing thesis-driven academic arguments. At minimum, work will be assessed to ascertain whether you have:

  • articulated your arguments, oral and written, in adequately formal and correct academic prose;
  • appropriately documented all quoted material, such factual claims that are not common knowledge to this class, and other points for which you are indebted to specific sources;
  • anticipated and responded to counter-arguments likely to arise in the minds of an intelligent skeptical audience; and
  • demonstrated organization and overall coherence of ideas in a written discourse of substantial length.


Revision is an important part of the writing process. It is assumed that your work will have gone through a thorough process of re-reading and revising before the due date assigned for that project. However, you will have the opportunity to revise one of your graded works for the chance at a better grade. You may only do this once during the semester, so choose wisely. Anyone wishing to revise a previously graded work must schedule a conference with me to discuss this undertaking before proceeding. The revised work must be composed on a separate wiki page than the original graded work.


Grades will be broken down as follows:

  • Papers – 60%
    • Paper 1 (4-6 pages) 15%
    • Paper 2 (4-6 pages) 15%
    • Paper 3 (10-12 pages) 30%
  • Debates – 30%
  • Class participation/Attendance – 10%

Final Grading Scale
90-100% = A
80-90% = B
70-80% = C
60-70% = D
Below 60% = F

Academic Integrity

Students are expected to practice the highest standards of ethics, honesty and integrity in all of their academic work. Please be sure to carefully and properly document the use of outside sources. Any form of academic dishonesty (e.g., plagiarism, cheating, and misrepresentation) may result in disciplinary action. Possible disciplinary actions may include failure for part or all of the course, as well as suspension from the University.

Students with Disabilities

Upon request, this document, as well as any other class materials, can be made available in alternate formats – just let me know. For further assistance, please contact the Office for Students with Disabilities at 755-3883.

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