Guide for Freshman Composition: English 1302 and 1304

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Guide for Freshman Composition:

English 1302 and 1304
Freshman composition is a general education requirement for all students who expect to graduate with a baccalaureate degree under any curriculum at Baylor University. Students should enroll in English 1302 and 1304 as early as possible in their college careers. They may wish to take English 1302 and 1304 to develop their writing skills even though appropriate test scores have exempted them from one or both of these courses. English 1302 and 1304 are prerequisites for English 2301, 2304, and 2306.

English 1302

Thinking and Writing
Course Objectives:

English 1302 is designed to help students develop the rhetorical knowledge and practical habits of successful college writers. Students will learn to use the concepts of purpose, audience, and genre as they develop their own documents; to generate claims, ideas, supporting details, and evidence; to use appropriate expository structures; to produce drafts and to revise their work as they develop a final product; to produce a prose style that is readable, effective, and free from error; and to develop critical skills through an analysis of good expository writing.


Reid, The Prentice-Hall Guide for College Writers, 8th ed.

Glenn, Miller, & Webb, The Writer’s Harbrace Handbook, 3rd ed.
*Note: An instructor may use an alternate or additional text approved by the Freshman English Committee.

Students in English 1302 write a minimum of six essays, including the final exam, a departmental in-class essay. The major essay assignments of the course reflect the following emphasis: Reading and Responding, Explaining, Analyzing and Evaluating, Problem Solving and Arguing, and Writing the In-Class Exam or Essay. Drafts and revision work will be included in all course units.

Assignments will present writing as a recursive process in which students will complete a series of both in-class and out-of-class assignments as they work toward creating the final essay document. Assignments address a variety of rhetorical aims and patterns in writing as students develop skills of focusing on interesting topics, providing adequate and appropriate support for assertions, writing clearly and coherently, and organizing material in an effective and efficient manner. Stylistic issues such as precise diction and effective and varied sentence patterns are also addressed. Both in-class and out-of-class assignments help prepare students for writing requirements in other university courses as well as in English 1304.
Final Examination:

The final examination is departmental, given at a time set by the university, and requires students to write an essay within a two-hour period. During this time, students should demonstrate the ability to limit a topic, present a clearly-worded thesis supported by appropriate examples, and effectively organize the presentation. Writing style on the final exam should be precise and effective and also reflect standard conventions of usage as presented in course texts.

Final Grade for English 1302:

Instructors base the final grade upon the following approximate percentages: essays—75%; writing process assignments, tests and other daily work—15%; final examination—10%.

English 1304

Thinking, Writing, and Research
Prerequisite for English 1304: In order to receive credit for English 1304, a student must have credit for English 1302.
Course Objectives:

While continuing to build on the knowledge and skills developed in English 1302, English 1304 focuses on the relationship between critical reading and writing in an academic context. Students will learn to read sources carefully and critically and to evaluate information and arguments; to represent their reading accurately and fairly through summary, paraphrase, and quotation; and to use sources appropriately in their own writing. They will also learn to use an academic library and appropriate research tools. These reading, writing, and research skills will be developed in the context of preparing critical analyses and arguments, including a formal research paper.


Wood, Perspective on Argument, 5th ed.

Glenn, Miller & Webb, The Writer’s Harbrace Handbook, 3rd ed.
Optional text:

MLA Handbook, 6th ed.

*Note: An instructor may use an alternate or additional text approved by the Freshman English Committee.

Students in English 1304 complete four to six major assignments including a research paper. Major assignments of the course reflect the following emphasis: Analysis and Response to Argument; Construction and Presentation of Argument;

Survey and Annotation of Resources; Academic Research Essay. The final research paper must reveal genuine research with the assimilation of a number of appropriate sources and meet all standards of writing and research presented in class.

Final Examination:

Each instructor composes a final examination, to be given at the scheduled time during the finals period. The examination tests critical and argumentative skills and includes questions or topics requiring well-developed, articulate responses.

Research in English 1304:

Instructors assign two basic kinds of research papers. In one, the student reports on or surveys a representative sampling of others’ arguments on a subject. In the other, the student adds a step to the survey by using researched material to support her own thesis. Many instructors combine both approaches in the research unit.

In the report, the investigator uses a variety of resources to present a thorough investigation of a topic. The goal of the research report is for the student to present a thoroughly-researched, coherent, unbiased and accurate review of information and arguments taken from credible sources.

In another approach, the writer uses this survey of information and arguments to support his or her own conclusions on the subject. This paper may focus on causal relationships, evaluation of evidence, or further development of a previously established argument. The goal of the paper is to reach a logical and insightful conclusion based on thorough academic research.

Instructors will establish individual guidelines for the completion of the research process and final paper. In all classes, students will be required to demonstrate adequate knowledge of documentation and manuscript form as well as thorough research of their topics.
Final Grade for English 1304:

A student cannot earn credit for English 1304 if the research paper receives the grade of “F.” Instructors base the final grade upon the following approximate percentages: essays and final examination—60%; a passing research paper—25%; writing process assignments, tests and other daily work—15%.

General Policies

For English 1302 and 1304
Grades: Instructors consider all essays and other assigned work when giving students final grades. Students must achieve a passing average on the final four essays in order to receive credit for English 1302 or 1304. Students must complete all essay assignments in order to pass the course. Plagiarism on any assignment warrants failure in the course.
Essay Evaluation: Instructors will inform students of grading standards and expectations, often presenting a specialized rubric for each major assignment. Students should ask for clarification of any assignment expectations before the assignment is due.

Instructors will evaluate essays in the following categories: overall meeting of criteria specific to assignment; a title indicating the focus and tone of the essay; an introduction engaging the reader’s interest and providing clear direction for the essay; an easily identifiable thesis; clear and logical organization; thorough development of ideas; careful and thoughtful reading of sources; correct presentation and documentation of sources; logical and analytical thinking in response to sources and in development of ideas; appropriate supportive detail for ideas and arguments; unity and coherence throughout the essay; effective transitions within and between paragraphs; a satisfactory conclusion; clear and concise sentences with varied and effective structure; consistently precise diction appropriate for audience and subject; conventional special, grammar, and punctuation usage.

An A essay demonstrates excellence in fulfilling the specific assignment and in the majority of listed criteria. The B essay also fulfills the assignment and presents a thorough treatment of the subject but may lack the mastery of all writing skills as demonstrated by the A essay. The C essay reflects writing competency in addressing the assignment but may offer superficial development of content, weakness in meeting several criteria, or contain mechanical and grammatical errors that obscure content.

The D essay marginally fulfills the assignment but fails to demonstrate competency in a number of areas. The F essay does not fulfill the assignment and/or is so deficient in areas of content and mechanical proficiency that it fails to communicate ideas clearly and coherently.

Returning of Essays: Instructors will return graded essays to students. Students will return all graded essays to their instructors who retain all essays for one semester after the course ends.
Class Attendance: Students are expected to attend all classes. In keeping with the Baylor University attendance policy, any student who fails to attend at least 75% of all classes will fail automatically. Instructors set their own policies regarding excused absences and penalties for unexcused absences.
Make-up Work: An instructor will allow a student full credit for a make-up essay only if the student has an excused absence and completes the work within two weeks. Make-up work or late essay assignments for unexcused absences will be penalized according to the instructor’s policies. Students should assume responsibility for keeping up with assignments missed during an absence and for contacting the instructor to make up any material missed during an absence.
Incomplete Grade for the Course: Only serious emergencies qualify students for the grade of “I.”

Students in English 1302 and 1304 are expected to be familiar with the Baylor University Honor Code and the Policies and Procedures of the Office of Academic Integrity. Information is available at . All students should read all Academic Integrity documents available through this page.

The Honor Code states that “Baylor University students and faculty shall act in academic matters with the utmost honesty and integrity.” Students violate the honor code if they engage in dishonorable conduct in an academic matter.

Among the types of dishonorable conduct defined in the Honor Code, the following are particularly relevant to a writing course:

  1. “Offering for course credit as one’s own work, in whole or in part, the work of another.”

  2. “Incorporating into one’s work offered for course credit passages taken either word for word or in substance from a work or another, unless the student credits the original author and identifies the original author’s work with quotation marks, footnotes, or another appropriate written explanation.”

  3. “Offering for course credit one’s own work, but work that one has previously offered for course credit in another course, unless one secures permission to do so prior to submission from the instructor in whose course the work is being offered.”

  4. “Offering for course credit work prepared in collaboration with another, unless the student secures the instructor’s permission in advance of submission. A student does not prepare work in collaboration with another if he or she merely discusses with another a matter relevant to the work in question.”*

*Work with a tutor in the English Department Writing Center does not

constitute dishonest collaboration.
Plagiarism on any work in English 1302 and English 1304 warrants failure in the course.

Students should avoid the intellectual theft of plagiarism by (1) using quotation marks and documentation of the original source for any word-for-word copying of any part of another’s work, (2) documenting the source of any partially quoted or paraphrased passage from a source, and (3) documenting the source of any completely paraphrased passage. Students are expected to follow the MLA documentation forms presented by their instructors.

Students can avoid plagiarism by studying the following explanations, which are based upon a passage occurring in Loren Eiseley’s essay, “The Hidden Teacher,” in The Unexpected Universe (New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1964), pp. 52-53.

  1. With the rise of the human brain, with the appearance of a creature whose upright body enabled two limbs to be freed for the exploration and manipulation of his environment, there had at last emerged a creature with a specialization….Many animals driven into the nooks and crannies of nature have achieved momentary survival only at the cost of later extinction.

    1. If a student completely quoted Eiseley’s passage, he would be required to supply quotation marks (another’s words) and an appropriate note (another’s ideas).

  2. The human brain allowed mankind to specialize. With the rise of the human brain, a being developed with an asset that permitted him to be freed for the exploration…of his environment.

    1. If a student partly quoted Eiseley’s passage, he would be required to supply quotation marks around copied words and a note. The above passage requires a note to indicate that the ideas are not the student’s. If a student retains any phrasing or word order of another author, he must include it in quotation marks.

  3. When homo sapiens was able to use his hands independently, he was able to think. Once he was able to think, he was capable of focusing on different social tasks that insured the survival of his species. He was no longer confined to a few repetitive tasks.

    1. If a student wished to include Eiseley’s ideas in his essay but did not wish to quote them directly, he should completely recast the ideas into the student’s own language. The above passage requires a note because the ideas are not the student’s; he would not have arrived at them without Eiseley’s help. Quotation marks would be incorrect because the student has completely paraphrased Eiseley’s words.

Below appears an unacceptable paraphrase of the original passage from The Unexpected Universe:

When homo sapiens was able to use his hands independently, he discovered and manipulated his surroundings. A specialized being at last issued forth, with a mind which provided release from specialized activities. Humankind would not be trapped in a biological dead-end by overdeveloping one of its traits.
This passage of course requires a note (another’s ideas). However, the writer, ,in the italicized sections, is depending too heavily on Eiseley’s words and phrasing; Eiseley is doing much of the student’s writing for him. Placing quotation marks around the words and phrasing in question would be incorrect; the writer is not directly quoting Eiseley’s essay. The student must paraphrase the passage again so that all words and phrasing are his own.
Common Knowledge:
Sometimes the student is confused about whether she must cite every idea that she encounters in her reading.

A student does not need to cite “common knowledge.” The phrase “common knowledge” refers to factual knowledge possessed by most intended readers of the student’s essay. For example, if the intended audience consists of members of the educated populace, and if the writer’s subject is the American Civil War, she does not need to cite the fact that Alabama was a Confederate state. If the student’s intended reader is someone widely read on American literature, she does not need to cite the fact that Hester Prynne’s “A” in Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter could stand for adultery. Virtually every imagined reader would know this fact.

The key lies in identifying an intended reader for the essay and consistently citing those factual ideas derived from another author that the reader would not know.

The student should not confuse common knowledge, which is factual, with the critical opinion or judgment of another author. Another writer’s opinion or judgment should always be cited, even if the student believes that it would be common knowledge to the imagined reader of the essay. The passage from Eiseley’s The Unexpected Universe is not factual knowledge; it is an interpretation of facts, an opinion, and so requires a citation and possibly quotation marks.

Writing Center: The English Department’s Writing Center is located on the ground level of Carroll Science Building in G06. The Center is staffed by English Department Graduate Students with training in tutoring student writers. Tutoring services are available at no extra cost for any student enrolled in any course at Baylor. Tutors will not proofread or edit papers for students, but instead will work with students in all stages of the writing process and answer specific questions from students about their work. Faculty may make specific referrals or students may sign up for tutoring sessions on their own. Students should schedule appointments in advance to reserve tutoring time. Sing-up sheets are located at the front desk; students may also make appointments by calling the Center at 710-4849.
Revised July 2008

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