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Alfred J. Drake, Ph.D.
MWF 10-10:50, Humanities
Interim Classroom Facility (HICF) 100F. Code 21218
Building (HIB) 409
MW 11-11:50 and by
al. Writing from A to Z: The Easy-to-Use Reference Handbook. 3rd
edition. Mountain View: Mayfield, 2000.
John. A Student Guide to
Writing at UCI. Ed. Raymond
Zimmerman. 7th edition. Edina: Burgess, 1999.
Linda et al. The Norton Reader. New York: Norton, 2000.
is 39B? Welcome
to Writing 39B, a class designed to help you become a good reader and a
proficient writer. 39B will prepare you to succeed in 39C (research), and 139
(the upper-division writing seminar).
If you have not satisfied the Subject A requirement, you must pass WR 39A or
39A/Plus Humanities Core S/A (with a “C” or better) before enrolling in WR
39B. If you are required to take ESL courses, you must complete those courses
before enrolling in WR 39A or WR 39B. If you are not sure about your ESL status,
check with the ESL program in HIB 200.
If you want to drop in the first two weeks, ask your instructor for a drop card.
After the second week, you may not drop this course without permission from the
Assistant Director of the Writing Program, Dr. Ellen Strenski (HIB 405,
949-824-5355). Such permission is rarely given. The same is true of attempts to
change from a grade to the pass/no-pass option, or vice versa. If you are trying
to add this class, your instructor can do that within the first two weeks if
there is room for you. Otherwise, talk to the Composition Office (HIB 420,
949-824-6717). They are open from 8-12 and 1-5 Monday through
If you are absent on the second day of class (Wednesday, April 5th.), you will
lose your place on the class roster or the waiting list. If you lose your place,
you must drop this course yourself by obtaining a drop card from the instructor
and submitting it to the Registrar. You will not be dropped automatically.
is the goal? My
main goal this quarter will be to help you improve your analytical skills
and your writing. I shall grade your work in part on your success in
improving your grammar and other basic skills. Still, perfection is not a
practical goal for a ten-week course. The goal is tangible improvement that will
allow you to deal confidently with other writing classes, meet the demands of
the workplace or graduate school, and explore your thoughts. I’ve designed
study guides and a paper-commentary system to help you deal with the most common
writing difficulties. I’ll leave aside the finer points of style in favor of
building confidence in analysis and grammar.
is all this about reading? The
meaning of texts is not self-evident; exploring meaning demands attentive,
disciplined, yet imaginative interpretation. I hope that this class helps you
gain a sense of confidence in your ability to read and write critically and
constructively. Most or all of you will, in some capacity, be writers and
readers all your lives, especially if such terms are taken broadly, not confined
to their usual literary connotation. Putting some effort into doing these things
well in our current academic setting will be valuable to you in future.
as Contract: I
think of this class as an ethical contract: I shall come to class prepared to
help you understand the texts assigned and to work with you afterwards, and you
will read the assigned materials attentively, show up for class having done your
work on time, and be willing to improve your writing.
and Assignment Completion Policy: Please
attend class on time. More than three absences may affect the course grade; an
even greater number of them may result in failure. You must complete all
four papers; otherwise, you will fail the course without exception. Those
who keep failing to complete their work or to attend class will fail the course
as well. Only a “C” or above grade for the course counts as
suggest that you meet with me this quarter for at least two of your paper
assignments. Conferences usually last 20-30 minutes, and during them I can
offer you individually tailored advice that it would be difficult to provide in
class or in the comments I make on rough drafts. I direct those comments
at the class as a whole. Conferences are a major time commitment on my part and
only a small one on yours, so please write down the time and location of
appointments and keep them. Missing an appointment for no good reason
will count as an absence.
require that exploratory drafts and reasonably complete working drafts be turned
in at a set due date before I accept any final papers. Late drafts may affect
the final grade for the paper in question. I expect working drafts to be
typed, double-spaced, spell-checked, and reasonably edited. Failing to turn
in a rough draft makes me suspect plagiarism, and I reserve the right to refuse
to read the final draft.
on Working Drafts: My
grammar markings for individual words and sentences will correspond to the
abbreviations listed on the “Grammar Key” sheet that you will receive along
with your marked draft. That hard-copy sheet is keyed to the explanations
you will find in the web page entitled “Grammar.”
Please familiarize yourself with this system by examining the relevant web page.
I do not usually mark entire papers because editing is an important part of your
job as a developing writer. I may, therefore, mark about two-thirds of your
draft, taking care to catch a few instances of a given writing problem. Then you
can look up the problem in the Grammar Guide and find subsequent problems of the
Paper Policy: Late
essays will be marked down 2/3 grade for the first meeting they are late, 1/3
grade for each meeting thereafter. Don’t write your papers at the last
minute! Obviously, at my discretion and in accordance with my sense of fairness,
illness or legitimate emergency may earn an exemption from this rule.
Entry Requirement: By “journal entries,” I simply mean your
responses to selected study questions that you can find by clicking on the “study questions” hyperlink at the top (the
bar,” as it’s called) of this web’s pages. You can find instructions and a
lettered list of journal entries in the “study questions” page. All
entries are due in class the day we plan to discuss the relevant texts. After
that I’ll still accept them, but will mark them as late. Lots of late entries
will affect a student’s grade for the journal requirement, so please keep up
with the reading. Word-process your responses and label them according to the
entry numbers (as “A,” “B,” etc.) I’ll hang onto them so
they make up a file of responses to be graded at an appropriate point in the
quarter and then at the end of the quarter for a percentage of the course grade.
Most likely the percentage will be around 10%. Important:
despite the relatively low percentage of the total grade the journal entries
make up, I reserve the right to flunk students who fail consistently to do their
journals. Neither is turning in all or nearly all of the entries at the quarter’s end acceptable. They are to be done on time and
conscientiously, and if you do them that way, you will find that your responses
prepare you for class discussion and for writing your essays.
Editing Requirement: The
purpose of peer editing (which may make up a percentage of the course grade) is
to help writers get a better grip on their own ways of structuring arguments and
a better sense of their own stylistic strengths and weaknesses. 1. On the
day the working draft is due, everyone will bring two extra copies (aside
from the one to be given to me) of the draft and exchange them with the other
two members of his or her peer-editing group. 2. Then, in class, each
writer will read the other two writers’ papers in accordance with the
guidelines you can find on the Peer
Editing web page. 3. Once the essays have been edited, the editor
should sign and return the edited drafts to the writer. 4. Finally,
on the day the final draft is due, students will include in their folders the
two copies of their own paper that others have signed and edited.