Argument and Exposition English 2152 section 01

We are a blended online class that meets face to face on Tuesdays from 2:00pm - 3:15pm in Hagg-Sauer 109.

Instructor: Anna Hamann
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Office: HS 349

Office Phone: (218) 755-2486
Office Hours: noon - 2pm Tuesdays and Wednesdays, or by appointment

Required Texts

Schick, Kurt and Laura Schubert. So What?: The Writer's Argument. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2013. ISBN: 9780199949076

We will encounter other assigned readings as well. These will primarily be from online sources via the library or World Wide Web. Links to these will be provided on the class wiki as they are assigned. If you prefer to read longish articles off of dead trees paper, get to know your print options. The library is very easy to use, folks. Plan ahead.

You will need to bring your text to the lab for our meetings. Otherwise, this is a paperless writing class. Just bring your book, yourself, and your fully functioning, awake and prepared brain.

Incidentally, if you prefer your own laptop or tablet to use during our face-to-face meetings on Tuesdays, feel free to bring those as well. Otherwise we have these lovely dual-boot macs to use.

Other Requirements

This is a blended online class. We only meet once per week, but DO NOT think this means less work, if anything this puts more of the burden on you to keep up with the reading, thinking, writing assignments. Information and assignments will be posted to the wiki on Tuesdays and Thursdays by noon. Notes and updates and clarifications will be posted on the days between as the need arises. Get in the habit of checking the wiki regularly.

You will need reliable access to the internet at least five days per week. This is a three credit class. The University expectation is that you will spend approximately nine hours per week on this class alone. Every week you need a minimum of 9-12 hours of internet access and time set aside to work on this class. If you don't have that, drop this class and take it when you do.

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.

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.

Additional Expectations

  • Be in class on Tuesdays. If you aren't, check the wiki. Then, find out from your colleagues what you missed. You are still responsible for understanding the information and keeping up with the class. This is not a self-paced class. In my experience, those lead to disaster for all involved. You have things due every week. Know what they are. Finish things on time.
  • If you get lost, come find me. I keep my office hours. I respond to email queries generally within 24 hours. You can also message me via this wiki. I can usually help you figure out what is going on if I know you're lost.
  • Get to know your colleagues in this class. They will be a critical source of information and support. Writing (particularly argument) is a social activity.
  • Read, people, read. If I assign a reading it is because I think it will help you become a more critical and effective thinker and writer. It is not because I want to ruin your life. I don't often require a text. This one is quite lovely, easy to read, and doesn't waste our time with inane and useless bits of prose.
  • Participate in class. Be here and work on what we're working on. Engage in discussions. Read and re-read. Take notes. Ask questions. Give answers. These practices will help you get you what you need to move ahead in the course. Students who are here will have more to work with, but that's no different than any class. That is what you gain when you attend any class.
  • Familiarize yourself with the library and all its wonder. It is here for you.
  • Finish work on time. Each piece of work has its own distinct due date. The belief that you have until May to finish everything will not serve you well. It is due when it's due. If you have something serious going on and need an extension, contact me and we will discuss it.


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.

Enrollment in this course assumes that you have successfully completed ENGL 1151: Composition. At this point you need to have a mastery of appropriate sentence construction, punctuation, and usage for university-level writing. This is not a remedial course; I will not be covering basics in class. If you need help with issues of mechanics (punctuation, grammar, etc.), or would like more information about proofreading in general, visit with the peer tutors in the Writing Center. They can be found next door in HS 110 (phone 755-3919, ude.etatsijdimeb|retnecgtw#ude.etatsijdimeb|retnecgtw).


Since the wiki is visible to others in the class and the general public, I will post your grades and feedback to D2L. If you have trouble logging on to D2L, contact Information Technology Services @ 218-755-3777. I will suggest some edits on the wiki, but will *hide* them as a previous version. We will talk more about this when we get there.

Grades will be tentatively broken down as follows:

  • Formal Writing – 70%
    • Argument Analysis (750-1000 words) 15%
    • Annotated Bib (1500-2000 words) 15%
    • Part 1 of Semester Writing Project (1500-2000 words) 20%
    • Semester Writing Project (3500-4000 words total) 20%
  • Process Work (all other assignments) – 30%

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

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

Students are expected to practice the highest standards of ethics, honesty and integrity. Plagiarism is using the words or the ideas of others without crediting them. Academic integrity includes submitting your own work, and work written specifically for this course, not resubmitting papers or work you've done for other courses. Any form of academic dishonesty (e.g., plagiarism, cheating, and misrepresentation) will result in a failing grade for this class and may result in disciplinary action by the University. For details, refer to the Academic Integrity section of the BSU Student Handbook.

A Note on Wikis

You will be working in a closed, but public wiki. The world can see what we're posting, search engines can locate it, but only registered users can edit and post comments. Registered users for this wiki include only present students and myself. Basically, your work is visible and you have an audience, but that audience is comprised of this class. People can find us, but since we aren't really that interesting, Google doesn't usually send them to us. Try it.

However, at the end of the course, if you so choose, you can delete your work from this space.


You have the right to accessible learning. I try to make all materials as available as possible, in whichever forms are most accessible to members of our classroom community. If you require a different format for the materials needed in this class, please don't hesitate to contact the University folks that take care of those requests at 755-3883. As with all class matters, you can also talk to me directly.


Check the Syllabus FAQs.

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