Writing 50: Writing and the Research Process
"Work and the Twenty-First Century"
Monday: 3-5 p.m.
Tuesday: 11-12 noon
Wednesday: 3-5 p.m.
And By Appointment
Reader: Available from Graphic Arts in
ˇ An academic handbook
ˇ The class website, located at http://www.uweb.ucsb.edu/faculty/dean/Writing50-Sum06.html.
The last day to drop Writing 50 is on Friday, January 12, 2007 at 6:45 p.m. You can drop the course via Gold. Students who miss the drop deadline must petition the Writing Program director to drop, and requests are not easily granted.
Course Description and Contribution
You will learn how move from initial thoughts (a research proposal); to field and library research (including surveys and working with online databases); to writing a draft (which is always open to change); to finalizing your writing (creating a final draft); to, finally, presenting your research to your colleagues in a sharp, polished way. Ultimately, the goal here is simple: for you to understand how to research, to write from research that you are interested in¸ and then to present your research in a way that you will be proud of—via a PowerPoint presentation and a final paper.
Finally, I believe that research, and learning about how to do it, should be fun, engaging, and rewarding. Therefore, I will work as hard as I can to make class interesting (via the use of computers, debates, presentations, and even online games). In return, I ask this one little thing: do not allow yourself to be bored. You will be writing about a future career or course of graduate study in this class—and you will choose what you research, so please, by all that’s holy, make sure that your topic does not bore you. I guarantee that if you are not bored, then I will not be bored.
After taking Writing 50, you should be able to:
1. Conduct a significant independent research project, including developing questions; designing and planning research; analyzing, contrasting and synthesizing multiple primary and secondary sources; and drawing conclusions.
2. Recognize differences among disciplinary approaches to a topic.
3. Analyze the theoretical and disciplinary perspectives and rhetorical strategies underlying texts through critical reading and thinking.
4. Identify and use the full range of university library services.
5. Use both general and specialized catalogs, indices, and bibliographies.
6. Build discipline-specific search strategies.
7. Conduct Web-based research efficiently and selectively.
8. Locate books, reference texts, journal articles, and other resources in the library.
9. Distinguish among various types of sources--such as primary and secondary, popular and peer-reviewed, reference and circulating--as they evaluate those sources.
10. Integrate, cite, and document sources correctly.
11. Offer generously and receive readily assistance in collaborative projects.
12. Present the results of their research in a poised and professional manner without the fear of public speaking.
13. See a bridge between the world within academe and the world beyond it.
The syllabus, schedule, assignments, readings, and resources for the course can be found on the Web @ http://www.uweb.ucsb.edu/faculty/dean.
ˇ Attendance and Participation: Since this is a class where attendance is a necessity (due to peer feedback, in-class activities, out of class conferences, and in-class writing assignments), I will take roll. In addition, your drafts and your participation will factor into this part of the grade. In addition, to do well in this area of the class you need to keep your absences to two absences in conferences or class. We will meet two times outside of class to conduct one-on-one conferences. This will be an opportunity for you to ask questions about papers, the conduct of the class, and even more far ranging questions, like “What’s the secret to a happy life?” (The answer to this, by the by, is chocolate—lots of chocolate.)
o Percentage of Grade: 15%
ˇ Résumé: You will actually create a real live résumé that will allow you to look for work. If you ever wondered if your work in a writing class mattered, wonder no more. You will write a résumé that will be letter perfect. The résumé is a document that you can use repeatedly as you actually apply for jobs you want to hold.
o Percentage of Final Grade: 10%
ˇ Research Proposal and Research Question: Contrary to popular belief, research is not about having a result in mind and then finding research that supports your presupposed ideas about a topic. No my friends, research is really about coming up with a question that you want to pursue and following it through in a way that makes sense. Thus, for this assignment, you will write out a research question, plot out an approach, and even do a little preliminary research to see what you actually want to discover, not prove. You will also narrow down a topic so that is manageable. Thus, you will not do your research on “becoming a lawyer”; you will narrow your topic to looking at something particular about becoming a lawyer—such as what does a lawyer actually need to study in law school to be ready to get a job after law school.
o Percentage of Final Grade: 5%
ˇ Information Interview or Survey: Transcription and Abstract or Questionnaire. You will need, for your research, to talk to a live human being about what a career or course of study is all about. To accomplish this, you will interview a professional in a field that you are interested in, and you will transcribe his/her comments. Also, you will write up an abstract of what he or she says. (The abstract being a central part of many academic texts.) This information will be directly relevant to your research report. This interview should be part of your final paper and presentation.
o Percentage of Final Grade: 5%
ˇ Research Blog or Notebook: A key thing that you must do in research is to actually write about the sources that you find. This is the first step toward creating a good PowerPoint and a fine paper. Thus, you will create notes, via a blog or a notebook, for each of your 10-15 sources that you will use. Each entry must have the following: a date, a full bibliographic entry, and a page worth of notes, with references to specific page numbers. There is an example of a blog (an electronic means of keeping notes) located at http://researchblogchris.blogspot.com/. Whatever form you use, you must keep it up to date and have it ready to be checked prior to giving your presentation and prior to turning in your final paper.
o Percentage of Final Grade: 15%
ˇ PowerPoint Presentation: To work in the 21st century is to be assured of three things: death, taxes, and having to do a PowerPoint. Thus, you will learn how to create a PowerPoint Presentation—based on the research that you have done on your topic—and present said PowerPoint to the class. This maybe your first PowerPoint presentation, but it will not be your last. Also, as a side note, these things are totally fun to put together.
o Percentage of Final Grade: 10%
ˇ Final Researched Essay: This is a 10-15 page piece (with at least ten different sources in your works cited/references), and it will not be a regurgitation of your research. You will get to choose from several formats for your piece, but they will all involve you reflecting, thinking, and doing more than simply throwing out facts. Your paper must have a purpose and a point to it—past “this is what I learned.” This is the major assignment of the class, and the percentage of the grade that is tied to this piece reflects this. Rest assured you will have lots of time to work on this, and I will do everything in my power to help you write a fine paper.
o Percentage of Final Grade: 40%
I strongly encourage you to get help with your writing from friends, family, and the tutors (which you pay for through tuition and student fees) from CLAS (Campus Learning Assistance Services). CLAS is located just across from South Hall. Their physical locations are Buildings 300 and 477, and you can see more about CLAS by checking out their website located at http://www.clas.ucsb.edu/Info.htm. Remember every good writer uses others to help them make their writing better. You can also call and set up an appointment with CLAS by calling893-3269. There are also two other organizations on campus that might prove helpful to you, and they are Counseling & Career Services (893-4411) and Disabled Students Program (DSP) (893-2668). Counseling and Career Services can help you many questions you might have as a student and person, and DSP is a place that can help you if you have a documented disability that might impinge on your ability to academic work at UCSB.
Notice to Students with Disabilities
If you are a student with a documented disability and would like to discuss special accommodations, please contact me during office hours, after class, or in whatever way would be best for you to talk to me privately.
You can rewrite any piece for this class. All rewrites, though, are due by the last day of class. I will not accept rewrites after out last class meeting, so do not ask me to.
As my colleague and officemate Professor Doug Bradley writes, “Plagiarism is the copying of a part or whole of another person’s work while representing the work as your own; it is an extremely serious academic offense.” (Read more of Professor Bradley’s views on plagiarism at http://www.1startists.com/courses/writ2e/syllabus.html.) The best way to avoid plagiarism is to cite all the sources you use in a paper correctly and never ever try to pass off someone else’s writing as your own—period. I will teach you everything I know about properly citing sources, so that you will never face charges of unintentional plagiarism, but I have no patience with people who engage in intentional plagiarism. Plagiarism offenses are treated seriously by the University, and may result in failure of the paper and of the course, in addition to further potential sanctions by the Student Faculty Conduct Committee.
Access to an email account
You will have one by virtue of being a UCSB student, but make sure that you know how to use umail—since this is the email I will be using for you in this class.
For course, we will be using a Moodle site to conduct discussions, crate threaded discussions, and other things. The moodle site is located at http:// moodle.id.ucsb.edu/.
Since we will be working in a computer lab quite a bit, you need to make sure that you have something (like a jump drive) to store your work on. Make sure that you bring your computer storage device to every class we have in the lab.
I teach writing because I love it, and I also teach because I care about students. I want you to succeed in this class, and I also want us all to learn how to research in ways that will, I hope, strike you as fun. I’m serious about a lot of things (being on time, late work, and even making sure that résumés are free of grammatical errors); however, I believe that learning about researching and writing is fun too. My hope is that you will exit this class having written something you are proud to have written, that you will be a more confident researcher and writer, and that you will have laughed and learned while laughing.
Giving Credit Where Credit is Due
Many thanks to Paul Rogers, Doug Bradley, Michael Petraca, and Brian Loftus in helping me think through this course. Particular thanks to Paul and Michael for their syllabi, which have helped me construct the very syllabus you have before you. (Remember friends: we must all acknowledge the sources that inspire us to write.)
(The Calendar is subject to change at the discretion of the instructor.)
Week One: What it Means to Work in the 21st Century—an Overview
TUESDAY: 1-9-07 (Meet in HSSB 1207)
ˇ Writing: What do I like to do and why?
ˇ Class Activities: Introductions, in-class reading, in-class writing.
THURSDAY: 1-11-07 (Meet in HSSB 1207)
ˇ Class Activities: In-class writing, discussion of texts, “What do you Want from Life” exercise, and brainstorming for possible careers and courses of study to research.
Week Two: What it Means to Work in the 21st Century—an Overview and Beginning Research
TUESDAY: 1-16-07 (Meet in Gaviota-Phelps Computer Lab, Phelps Hall 1529)
ˇ Class Activities: Work on writing. Gig discussion. Introduction to computers.
THURSDAY: 1-18-07 (Meet in Gaviota-Phelps Computer Lab, Phelps Hall 1529)
ˇ Writing: First Draft of Research Proposal Due: Research Proposal, three sources, and introduction.
ˇ Class Activities: In-class writing, discussion of Reich, and work on research.
TUESDAY: 1-23-07 (Meet in Gaviota-Phelps Computer Lab, Phelps Hall 1529)
ˇ Class Activities: In-class writing, editing work, and discussion of Nickel and Dimed reading. ALSO, SIGN-UP FOR CONFERENCES.
THURSDAY: 1-25-07 (Meet in Gaviota-Phelps Computer Lab, Phelps Hall 1529)
ˇ Writing: Final draft of research proposal due today.
ˇ Class Activities: In-class writing, peer review of research proposal, more preliminary research, and designing interviews and surveys.
TUESDAY: 1-30-07 (Meet in Gaviota-Phelps Computer Lab, Phelps Hall 1529)
ˇ Writing: FIND AN INTEREVIEW SUBJECT OR CREATE SURVEY. DRAFT OF QUESTIONS OR SURVEY DUE ON TUESDAY 2-5-07.
ˇ Class Activities: In-class writing, designing interviews and surveys, citation work, something fun with Youtube.
THURSDAY: 2-1-07 (Meet in Library)
ˇ Class Activities: Library Assignment, Research Notes, Library Qand A.
Week Five: The Library and Drafting
TUESDAY: 2-6-07 (Meet in Gaviota-Phelps Computer Lab, Phelps Hall 1529)
ˇ Writing: Questions for interview or survey due today.
ˇ Class Activities: In-class writing, peer review of survey or interview questions, work on research project, and note-taking work.
THURSDAY: 2-8-07 (Meet in Gaviota-Phelps Computer Lab, Phelps Hall 1529)
ˇ Writing: Work on survey or interview write up—FINAL DRAFT DUE ON TUESDAY 2-12-07.
ˇ Class Activities: In-class writing, research questions and concerns, research time, and writing exercises designed to get you writing.
TUESDAY: 2-13-07(Meet in Gaviota-Phelps Computer Lab, Phelps Hall 1529)
ˇ Writing: Final draft of survey or interview due today.
ˇ Class Activities: Peer review of interview, PowerPoint samples, PowerPoint exercise, Check in on research. Introduction to final essay.
THURSDAY: 2-15-07 (Meet in Gaviota-Phelps Computer Lab, Phelps Hall 1529)
ˇ Assignment: First four to six presentations (extra credit for those who go first). Viewing of really cool PowerPoint in class. PowerPoint work.
TUESDAY: 2-20-07 (Meet in Gaviota-Phelps Computer Lab, Phelps Hall 1529)
ˇ Class Activities: Presentations: Work with sample essay. PowerPoint work. Writing exercises.
THURSDAY: 2-22-07 (Meet in Gaviota-Phelps Computer Lab, Phelps Hall 1529)
ˇ Class Activities: Presentations. Work with sample essay. Work with sample essay. Drafting of essay. Sign up for conferences with Chris.
TUESDAY: 2-27-07 (Meet in Gaviota-Phelps Computer Lab, Phelps Hall 1529)
ˇ Class Activities: Presentations.
THURSDAY: 3-1-07 (Meet in Gaviota-Phelps Computer Lab, Phelps Hall 1529)
ˇ Writing: First Draft of Researched Essay (10-15 pages, complete works cited, and all notes).
ˇ Class Activities: Presentations. Peer review.
TUESDAY: 3-6-07 (Meet in Gaviota-Phelps Computer Lab, Phelps Hall 1529)
ˇ Class Activities: Presentations. Resume and cover letter work.
THURSDAY: 3-8-07 (Meet in Gaviota-Phelps Computer Lab, Phelps Hall 1529)
ˇ Writing: First draft of resume and cover letter.
ˇ Class Activities: Bring 21 copies of resume for workshop. Mock interviewing. Dicussion on the “job hunt.
TUESDAY: 3-13-07 (Meet in Gaviota-Phelps Computer Lab, Phelps Hall 1529)
ˇ Class Activities: Resume and cover letter work. Evaluations.
THURSDAY: 3-15-07 (Meet in HSSB 1207)
ˇ Writing: All rewrites due today. Final draft of resume and cover letter. Bring latest version of your paper to class.
ˇ Class Activities: Peer review of rewritings. Work on resume and cover letter. Reminder of when to pick up materials and grades.
Final paper due by 5 p.m. at Chris’ Office on Monday 3/18/07.
On the date of our final, you will be pick up your final papers and final grades.
 This statement adapted from the “Guide to Constructing a Writing Program Syllabus,” which is available at http://www.writing.ucsb.edu/information/info.html.