FYC Research and Writing Syllabus


FYC Research and Writing applies the fundamentals of rhetoric to the research process: methods of research; the rhetorical nature of research; elements, strategies, and conventions common to research writing, including multi-modal presentations of new knowledge.

At the completion of the course students should be able to achieve the following goals:
— Create and complete research projects. This involves generating a research question, engaging in critical/analytical reading, developing an argument with evidence collected from both primary and secondary research, and documenting sources appropriately
— Align research questions with appropriate research methods
— Employ critical thinking in evaluation, speculation, analysis, and synthesis required to evolve and complete a research project
— Use a variety of strategies to gather and organize information appropriate for the context and persuasive to the intended audience
— Use the university research library to forward their research agenda
— Engage in collaborative research
— Employ format, syntax, punctuation, and spelling appropriate to various rhetorical situations in a stylistically sophisticated manner
— Collect, analyze, and organize research information in verbally and visually compelling ways
— Take initiative for the development and completion of individual and joint research projects

As an outcome of the course content and format, which enable the accomplishment of the course goals, students are required to complete:
— Four or more research projects that address different audiences, contexts, and data collection/analysis processes
— One project will take the form of a Research Proposal and Annotated Bibliography
— One project will culminate in a research driven, academic essay of 8-12 pages; appropriate works cited is additional
— Reading assignments for discussion, analysis, and response including texts created through a variety of media
— Informal writing assignments (such as journals, reading reflections, in-class writings, or smaller pieces intrinsic to major research projects)

The Bedford Researcher 4th Edition. Author: Mike Palmquist
Monsters (Foundtainhead Press V Series). Eds: Brandy Ball Blake and L. Andrew Cooper
— Composition Notebook (to be used only for this course)

Writing Project 1 Personal Narrative with Primary Research (150 points):
For this assignment, you will be asked to critically reflect on a meaningful personal experience with a monster (whether it be a film you watched, a nightmare you had, or a time you studied a monstrous historical figure) and the effect it had on you or the lesson you learned from it. You will incorporate some form of primary research—either an interview or an observation—into your narrative.

Writing Project 2 Research Proposal and Annotated Bibliography (150):
This first part of this assignment is a formal document that establishes your research intentions and a tentative essay plan for WP 3. For the second part of this assignment, you will conduct secondary research on your proposed topic, gather at least 10 scholarly sources, and turn in a bibliography that includes each source with a correctly formatted citation and notes on the content.

Writing Project 3 Research Paper (200):
This assignment will be 10-12 page research paper based on the topic you outlined in your research proposal. You will take a firm, debatable position on your topic, incorporating research and evidence to support your argument, and you will also discuss the conflicting viewpoints and show why yours is the correct one.

Writing Project 4 Multimodal Presentation and Metacognitive Reflection (150):
In the final weeks of class, you will give a 5-7 minute presentation to the class and turn in a written paper discussing the choices you made in the process of creating your multimodal deliverable(s).

Participation (150):
In-Class Participation (40/45):
Class participation means, primarily, contributing to class discussion; this includes reading for class, asking questions, listening to others, and offering your own insights and analysis.
You will receive two grades for in-class participation: one out of 40 points for the first half of the semester (weeks 1-7) and one out of 45 points for the second half of the semester (weeks 8-16).
To achieve a satisfactory (C) grade, I expect you to voluntarily ask and answer questions, make comments, and share experiences that relate to course materials.

Discussion Board Postings (65):
Each week some of you will be assigned a “Posting Responsibility,” which means you will be responsible for creating a thread on the Discussion Board. In any week in which you do not have blog responsibility, you are required to comment on at least two posts. Each week is worth 5 points, and you cannot make up late posts or comments.
Posts (250 words) are due on Sunday before midnight and comments (150 words) on those posts are due by the following Friday before midnight.
Your blog posts and comments should be well-written, timely, and thought-provoking. You may post on anything related to the course material. This includes responding to the course readings, class discussion, something read or discussed in another course, something you noticed outside of class, or current events, as long as you make clear the connection to this course.

Miscellaneous Assignments (200):
Discussion Leaders (50):
Once this semester, in groups, you will lead the class discussion (30-35 minutes) on the daily assigned reading from Monsters. You will be required to do some additional research related to the reading’s topic, and come prepared with a handout and at least 10 discussion questions for your peers. You’re in charge of the conversation. If you want to have a debate where we take sides, you can do that. If you want people to share their own experiences, you can ask them to. If you want to challenge us to develop opinions or build on what you give us in the guide, you can ask questions to push us further. This is not a lecture or a presentation; you need to engage with your audience in a meaningful conversation.

Informal Writing (100):
We will have writing assignments on a regular basis in your composition notebook. These writings will especially be an opportunity to work on the revision process—you’ll generate on Monday (feel free to use this as a place to experiment, brainstorm, outline, and whatever else you find to be productive) and revise (a more polished few paragraphs) what you’ve written on Wednesday. I’ll collect these notebooks every so often and grade them informally—i.e., I won’t check your spelling or the organization of your ideas; I just want to see that you’re writing thoughtfully on the topics at hand.

Reading Quizzes (50):
Quizzes, when given, will be based on the readings from both Bedford and Monsters.

This course is primarily discussion-based, and I expect you to come to class each day and participate in an active and engaged manner by responding to the readings, commenting on other students’ work, and sharing your own work and experiences as they relate to the classroom materials. With that said, please keep the following in mind:
Respect for others in our classroom is non-negotiable. We will be discussing ideas and concepts that may challenge your current thinking, and I expect you to participate in these discussions in a respectful manner, even if you are expressing disagreement. Disparaging or disrespectful comments or behavior directed at another’s gender, race, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, class, etc. are unacceptable.
Part of participation is being an active listener. Please keep your laptops closed and do not engage in side conversations during discussion. Phones are never okay.