Heritage Class Day Courses

Class Day Policies for Intermediate and Advanced Writing

Over the course of Intermediate Writing and Advanced Writing, we will write expository essays, compare/contrast essays, definition essays (Intermedite only), literary analysis essays, literary compare/contrast essays (Advanced only), poetry explication essays, persuasive essays, and an MLA-style argumentative research essay. These assigned essays constitute the equivalent of two to three years of essay assignments in a public high school English class.

Both Intermediate Writing and Advanced Writing are based on the Writing 110 (five-unit “Freshman Composition”) and Writing 116 (MLA Research) courses I taught at Point Loma Nazarene University. My goal in teaching these classes to high school students is to prepare them well for writing at the college and university level, to challenge and improve their writing skills and abilities, to assist them in transitioning to a college mindset regarding due dates and the quality of their work, and to challenge the assumptions and thinking behind their writing.

We will be writing at least one five-paragraph in-class timed essay (Advanced Writing students will write two in-class timed essays), 7-10 five-paragraph essays written outside of class, and a 5-7 page (Intermediate) or a 7-10 page (Advanced) argumentative research essay in the Modern Language Association (MLA) format. All essays will be graded and returned by the following Class Day, unless the class has been informed otherwise–which is exceedingly rare.

Although I teach classes as an entire entity, one-on-one teaching occurs in my commentary and suggestions on each student essay. I encourage parents to read my commentary on all returned essays and to discuss my suggestions with their students before starting the next assignment. I spend up to an hour grading each five-paragraph essay (two or more hours on MLA research essays), not only pointing out grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors but also encouraging clear, concise sentence structure and a logical progression of ideas, teaching student writers to use the given format to the best advantage, and nudging each student forward in maturing his/her overall writing skills and abilities.

On each essay, I note not only the elements that need improvement, but also the principles in which the student has excelled. Writers need to know what they are doing well–almost more than what they’ve done amiss. If students know that they’ve written an excellent thesis, then they know to continue writing each thesis in that manner, etc. Encouragement is easily as important in grading essays as marking areas for improvement. I take the time to provide both on each essay I grade.

If a student misses a class because of illness or family emergency, the student is responsible for calling the teacher on the day of the missed Class Day to obtain the next assignment from the teacher; the absent student should also try to obtain class notes from another student, if possible. If a student knows in advance that he/she will miss a day of class due to choir trips, debate tournaments, family vacations, etc., then the parent must contact the teacher at least a week in advance to insure that missed assignments will be turned in on time.

If a student misses a class for reason other than illness or family circumstances beyond his/her control, any work done in class cannot be made up and the student will receive an unexcused absence for participation that day.   

Late essays will not be accepted unless a family emergency exists and the teacher has been contacted regarding the contingency. In case of student illness, the essay due that day must be turned in by a parent/sibling at Class Day or e-mailed to the teacher on the due date. If circumstances or problems arise that may prevent a student from submitting certain assignments on time, please contact the teacher as soon as possible to discuss possible solutions. I am happy to extend deadlines or provide assistance as situations warrant.

Plagiarism will not be tolerated. All work submitted must be the original work of the student. The student may not consult with past or present students of these classes regarding assignments nor may the student review the work of past or present students. Parents and others may assist students in the revision stage of the writing process once the student has composed a rough draft of the assigned essay. With the exception of the research paper, resources such as the Internet may not be consulted in the writing of any essay for Class Day courses. Plagiarism will result in a zero on the assignment in question and a report being filed with the school office for further review.

Grades are given as follows: A = excellent; B = good; C = average; D = below average; F = failure; Inc. = incomplete: the paper must be resubmitted (by the following Class Day unless other arrangements are made) in order to receive a grade other than zero. Grades will be distributed in each family’s “mailbox” at the semester break and at the end of the school year. Progress reports may be requested by parents at any time during the school year via e-mail. I suggest that the grades I give for the writing component of of high school English be averaged with literature grades the parents give in order to obtain meaningful and accurate semester grades for English. The Advanced Writing course, as an Honors class, receives a 5-point A, 4-point B, etc., when grade point averages are calculated.

I expect students to turn in their best work every Class Day. These assignments require adequate time allotted for pre-writing, writing, and revision–lots of revision! I expect all spelling, grammar, and punctuation conventions as well as the directions for the assignments to be followed to the best of the students’ abilities.

Essays receiving a grade under 70% must be resubmitted by the next Class Day as a complete revision, along with the original essay (with my markings). The grades of both the original and the revised essays will be averaged to gain an accurate grade for the assignment. Any essay receiving less than an 85% may be resubmitted once; submit both the original essay with my markings and the revised version to be graded. All resubmitted essays will be graded accordingly, and the grades of the two essays will be averaged and the grade changed in my gradebook.

It is the responsibility of the parents to enforce all policies and deadlines for this class. It is the responsibility of the students to submit their best work, to meet all deadlines, and to apply information from class lectures and my comments and suggestions on their returned essays to their future work.

If there are any questions regarding the policies and guidelines for Intermediate Writing and/or Advanced Writing, please do not hesitate to contact me via the “Contact Susanne” e-mail address in the sidebar, and I will be happy to discuss any issues with you. I will also provide my home and cell phone numbers to students on our first Class Day.

Looking forward to working with you,

I have now placed all my grades on a new web site called Engrade. I will be e-mailing families with their students’ ID numbers so they can access my classes and see all their students’ grades for each of their assignments. Plus, Engrade keeps a running average of all assignments so parents can see how their students are faring at any one time.

So here’s the link to my Engrade account: http://www.engrade.com/susannebarrett

I also have an Engrade link in the side bar for ease of use.

Grades will be posted on Engrade before or on the day that they are returned to the students at Class Day.

2010/2011 Syllabus for Intermediate Writing
(Subject to Change)

09/09: Elements of the Paragraph: Keen Observation paragraph assigned

09/23: Five Paragraph (5/P) Expository Essay Format Introduced – 5/P Biblical Impact assigned

10/14: 5/P Contrast Essay assigned

10/28: 5/P Comparison Essay assigned

11/11: 5/P Definition Essay assigned

12/09: Intro to Short Story; Discuss Literary Terms – Read “The Most Dangerous Game” (provided)

01/13: Story Elements discussed in class; Literary Analysis Essay (“Most Dangerous Game”) assigned

01/27: Intro to Poetry; Discuss Poetry Terms – Read Poetry Packet (provided)

02/10: Poetry Discussion; Poetry Explication Essay assigned

02/24: Present 5/P In-Class Timed Essay Technique

03/10: In-Class Timed Essay – Complete Revision of Previous Essay assigned

03/24: 5/P Persuasive Essay assigned

03/31: Intro to MLA Research Paper (5-7 pp)

04/14: 5 Source Cards and 20 Notecards Due

04/28: MLA Outline Due

05/12: MLA Rough Draft Due–In-Class Peer Evaluations

05/26: MLA Paper Due/Short Oral Presentations

06/09: MLA Paper Returned–Final Notes on Writing

2010-2011 Syllabus for Advanced Writing
(Subject to Change)

09/09: Introduce Five Paragraph Paper (5P); Assign 5P Spiritual Autobiography Essay

09/23: Discuss Spiritual Autobiographies; Introduce and Assign 5P Compare/Contrast (C/C) Essay

10/14: In-Class Timed 5P C/C Essay; Assign additional 5P C/C Essay

10/28: Introduce Literary Analysis; Assign reading of short story: “The Cask of Amontillado”

11/11: Analyze “Cask” in class & cover elements of short story; Assign 5P Literary Analysis Essay on “Cask”

12/09: Discuss “Cask” essays; assign reading of “Revolt of Mother” and 5P Literary Analysis Essay on “Revolt”

01/13: Introduce 5P Literary C/C Essay; Assign 5P Literary C/C Essay based on home study

01/27: Discuss 5P Literary C/C Essays; Assign reading of short stories: “The Necklace” and “Gift of the Magi”

02/10: In-Class Timed 5P Literary C/C: Characters in “Necklace” and “Magi”; Assign complete revision of a previous essay for a new grade

02/24: Introduction to Poetry: in-class discussion of Poetry Elements; Assign poetry to read and analyze at home from provided Poetry Packet

03/10: Analyze assigned poems in class; Introduce 5P Poetry Explication Essay; Assign 5P Poetry Explication Essay (Frost – “Stopping by Woods” or Donne –“Holy Sonnet 10”)

03/24: Continue analyzing poems from packet in class; Assign 5P Explication of Poem: student’s choice

03/31: Introduce 5P Persuasive Essay; Assign 5P Persuasive Essay: student’s choice of topic

04/14: Introduce MLA Research Paper: student’s choice of topic; Assign 7-10 page MLA Research Essay, including Notetaking (Source and Notes); Assign 5 source and 20 notecards

04/28: Check source and notecards; Introduce and Assign MLA Outline

05/12: Check Outlines; Introduce and Assign Rough Draft of MLA Essay

05/26: Rough Draft of MLA Essay (7-10 pages) Due; In-Class Peer Evaluation

06/09: 7-10 Page MLA Essay Due! (Essays will be graded and returned by mail within two weeks of due date)


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