I Grasp the Nettle of Life

Catalog Description: College Composition II is the continuation of College Composition I. This course builds on the composition & research foundation acquired in English 110 & concentrates on argumentative writing & advanced research methods. Students are instructed in analytical reading techniques, critical research methods, information literacy standards, & current documentation procedures in preparation for the culminating research thesis. The Composition II research thesis demonstrates fluency in argumentative & research strategies as well as competency in information literacy skills. Prerequisite: Grade of C or better in ENGL110 or equivalent, or permission of the instructor. (Fulfills English or Humanities req.), 4 Credit hrs, 4 Lecture hrs
Required Textbooks: none
Learning Objectives:
A) Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:
Employ rhetorical approaches & research methods to create a sound argument for a persuasive essay;
Conduct preliminary research for an argumentative thesis and develop central research questions;
Conduct a research strategy that demonstrates information literacy;
Employ critical reading techniques when considering information acquired through research in order to
assess its importance to one’s developing argument;
Apply the most relevant information as support for an argumentative thesis and credit information
accurately to its source;
Construct short essays that demonstrate competency with rhetorical approaches and research methods;
Create a persuasive essay that considers the primary information of a contemporary conflict in order to
build an informed argument.
B) The student will also gain competency in information literacy. The information literate student is able to:
Determine the extent of information needed for a project.
Access the needed information effectively and efficiently.
Evaluate information and its sources critically.
Incorporate selected information into his or her knowledge base.
Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose.
Understand the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information and access and use information ethically and legally.

Methods of Instruction – Teaching Philosophy
1) My teaching philosophy is that anyone can learn; it just takes continued communication, effort, and reflection on the parts of both student and instructor. Through discussion, practice, and assessment, hard-working students and instructors can explore course material together and have a successful educational experience.
2) This is a course that fully engages the process of writing: reading, brainstorming, drafting, peer workshops, and revising. It will be important to participate in each part of an essay’s development in order to be successful in the class and to produce quality writing. In this course we will read and analyze model essays, engage with each other and the world to uncover topics for exploration, build essays through a directed draft process, provide feedback for peer writing in workshops, and produce final essay drafts that are reflective of this complete approach.
3) This course will be structured as a workshop, wherein students will conduct research and write in class. To this end, it is recommended that students bring their personal computers to class every week.
4) In this course, students should take the opportunity to explore & research issues related to their majors.
Methods of Testing / Evaluation
1) Composing Argument & Research — The cornerstone of the course is composing clear, logical and well- researched arguments AND practicing advanced research methods in preparation for a Liberal Arts degree. The final essay (term paper) is a 12-page argument- research essay in correct MLA style (standard essay format, in- text citations, and Works Cited). The essay requires at least 10 sources and should demonstrate the skills acquired in the course: revision and incorporation of feedback, development of a central thesis and supporting arguments, finding and evaluating sources, navigating library databases and other research systems, incorporating research into your own analysis of a topic, and presenting a complete, developed, and supported perspective. We have a term to prepare for this and we, as a class, will guide you toward this goal. Your full participation in this process is necessary for successful completion of the research essay.
Essays: The course consists of several essays in preparation for the final argument/persuasive essay. The course’s essays include 1) an exploration of a community/local issue leading to a problem-solution essay; 2) an analytical essay about an event or work of art & 3) an essay that expands on a short literature-based essay written in class.
In addition, as we read literature from various academic disciplines represented at MCC, you write in-class essays about prompts related to these texts. Note that we will have a class discussion about the texts prior to each in-class essay. You are encouraged to take notes about the text during the discussions as well as conduct research about the text’s subject. These notes will likely help you formulate well-developed responses to the writing prompts.
Research Presentation: As part of any complete scholarly research project, you will be asked to present your findings on your term paper. These 10-minute presentations will take place in the final week of class and demonstrate both your research and your ability to summarize it in a visual, engaging presentation.

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