University of California Santa Barbara

Writing 1 ACE

Enroll Code:  56721

TR 12-1:50 p.m.

HSSB 1228




Dr. Christopher Dean

Office:  Girvetz 1314

Phone:  (203) 313-1343


Mailbox: Located in South Hall 1519.  (Note: box is above name.)

Office Hours

Monday: 3-5 p.m.

Tuesday:  11-12 noon

Wednesday:  3-5 p.m.

And By Appointment


Course Enrollment Code:  56721                                                                Credit Hours:  4    

Course Title:  Writing 1: “Approaches to University Writing”




Principles of critical reading, thinking, and writing in the university.  Students analyze academic discourse, develop rhetorical strategies for exposition and argument, practice examination writing, write and revise source-based papers.  Completion with a grade of C or better meets the Subject A requirement.  In other words, to pass this class you must get a “C” or better in the class.




This is a course about reading, writing, and thinking in their broadest and bests senses.  This course emphasizes these twelve key ideas, and these ideas are emphasized in all other Writing One classes at UCSB.  Our goal, collectively, is to help everyone in this class master college-level writing, and we will all work towards this overall goal as hard as we can with, god willing, patience, effort, and good humor.  Now, for the twelve key ideas:


·         That college students need to read and analyze university-level texts, and they need to be able to do the following with those university-level texts:  identify the underlying assumptions and points of view of the text, distinguish fact from opinion in the text, and draw inferences and reaching independent conclusions after reading a text.  

·         That college students will learn to use reading strategies to continue developing appropriate vocabulary for academic reading and writing throughout their time in Writing One.

·         That college students need to appreciate the close connection between reading and their consequent writing, with particular attention paid to the importance of precision in word choice, the ability to control an audience through language, and how words are tied to argument.

·         That college students need to grasp the following concepts:  that composing is a process, that academic writing is a collaborative effort requiring active engagement with the texts of others, and finally that writing, academic or otherwise, happens best within a community of writers.

·         That college students need to understand that the process of writing involves all of the following:  inventing, planning, focusing, drafting, organizing, revising, editing, and proofreading.  Methods of engaging in all parts of the writing process will be taught in this class.

·         That college students need to understand rhetorical concerns (audience, purpose, tone, organization, development, coherence) and shape their writing with these concerns in mind.

·         That college students need to display a degree of competence in assessing their own writing in order to recognize errors made in early drafts

·         That college students need to respond critically as readers, so that they are able to identify specific areas of miscommunication, faulty reasoning, inadequate evidence, or unexamined assumptions in the work of others.

·         That college students need to employ grammatical principles (punctuation, mechanics, usage) in order to write grammatically correct sentences, with an understanding that the role and function of grammar is not "punitive" but a vital function in clear and effective writing

·         That college students need to learn to write competently in timed writing and essay examinations.  We will work on this in class, and I will do everything in my power to help you with this type of writing.

·         That college students need to realize that writing and reading can be informal or formal experiences, and that both experiences matter.

·         That college students need to realize that writing and reading are not chores to be performed, but activities that should provide your with intellectual stimulation, an almost physical sense of happiness, and, by the by, fun.[1]


To get at these twelve key ideas, we will read and write a great deal, and we will write around the idea of “School” through three distinct types of essays:  the literacy narrative; an interpretive essay, and an argumentative essay.  I am very open to having you work in a variety of genres that you choose, and these will show up in the blogging and in-class writing that you will be doing in class.  You will also find that I encourage, and actually force you, to come up with ideas that you want to write about within the parameters of our readings, your research, and this course.


One final bit of advice.  You will have lots of freedom to write and read about things that interest you in this class, so please find ways to get excited and engaged about our shared topics and the pieces you will be writing.  If you do this you will never have to utter my least favorite phrase, “This (fill in the blank) is boring.”  I’m begging you folks:  please write about stuff you care about.





·         Direct instruction (i.e. minilectures)

·         Demonstration and presentation

·         Cooperative and collaborative group work

·         Large and small group discussion

·         Reflective work

·         Individual research

·         Electronic discourse

·         One on one work with our class tutor and myself.  (One of the coolest things about this class is that you have two people to turn to in-class, and out of it, to get help on anything dealing with this class.  Use the both of us to help you grow as a student, reader, and writer.)



·         Class Packet—available at the Alternative Copy Center in Isla Vista.

·         Handouts distributed in class.

·         The class website, located at         



The Papers:

Since all papers are part of a writing process, students will be expected to turn in drafts of papers—as per the classroom schedule.  You will also receive in writing the following:  sample papers, rubrics, and complete descriptions of each writing assignment as you do the writing for this class.  Also, to receive full-credit for a paper you must turn in your paper on the day it is due by 5 p.m.  Each day it is late, it drops a grade.  (You can turn in your papers to me in class or to the Writing Program Drop box, located in front of the Writing Program Office, which is located in South Hall 1520.)


The Papers

·         Literacy Narrative: An essay (of 4-6 pages) that involves you looking at your life as a student, a reader, or any combination of the both in a critical and reflective fashion.  The story you tell is not as important as the meaning you make of it for this type of essay.  This piece needs to have a point and a purpose.  ALSO, WHEN YOU TURN THIS IN, BE SURE TO INCLUDE ALL MATERIALS USED IN THE CREATION OF THIS TEXT.

·         Analytic Essay:  A paper (3-5 pages) in which you create a thesis that will allow you to work with our texts and create a thesis that analyzes at least two of our shared texts in terms of what they have to say about this question:  what does it mean to work for a living?  You will draw from our readings on this, and you will do a great deal of work in class on this piece.  ALSO, WHEN YOU TURN THIS IN, BE SURE TO INCLUDE ALL MATERIALS USED IN THE CREATION OF THIS TEXT.

·         Argumentative Essay:  A paper (3-5 pages) in which the student takes on an issue dealing with what it means to be, “in college.”  You will use the readings to argue for a point that you want to make.  ALSO, WHEN YOU TURN THIS IN, BE SURE TO INCLUDE ALL MATERIALS USED IN THE CREATION OF THIS TEXT.

·         Portfolios:  A collection of the best work by the student in our class.  There will be a midterm portfolio and a final portfolio submitted.  You will receive instructions on how to assemble portfolios in class, and you will also receive rubrics for these portfolios prior to handing them in to be graded.

o       60% of final grade (25% midterm, 35% final).

·         Your Blog (kept through the duration of the class).  Evaluated twice during the semester.  Once before midterms, and once towards the end of class.  Students will be evaluated on completing the appropriate number of entries in sufficient depth.  You will create your own blog in the second week of class (using the Blogger site,, and then you will be required to write a response to every reading that we do.  This is a multimedia project, so you are encouraged to include pictures, links to cool websites, and other media.  I will show you how to do this.  The blog will help you practice summarizing and analyzing written work, and you SHOULD use you blog to help you write your formal papers.

o       Percentage of total grade:  10%

·         In-class, Timed Essays:  You will write two in-class, timed essays that will help you prepare for the Writing 1 Common final.  The first will be done just before midterms, and the second towards the end of the class.  Prior to each exam, we will work on techniques and approaches that will help you organize your thoughts for such timed writings, techniques that will help you write your thoughts down in an engaging and grammatically correct manner, and, finally, techniques for quickly editing what you write. 

o       First Timed Essay:  2.5% of final grade.

o       Second Timed Essay:  2.5% of final grade.

·         Writing 1 Common Final:  This will be a final that you take along with all the other folks in Writing 1.  It will be administered during a common final time, and it will be worth 10% of your final grade.  It will be graded by someone other than me, your professor, and it will be factored into your final grade.  However, it is worth noting that you can pass this class without passing this final.  It is not a completely high stakes final.

o       Common Final:  10% of final grade.

·         Attendance and Participation:  I will take roll orally for the first couple of weeks, and then silently after that.  You will need to be in your seat within the first five minutes of class to not be marked absent.  Since this is a seminar like class, with an emphasis being put on in-class discussions, writings, and activities, you need to attend class.  To facilitate that, I give you ten points a day simply for showing up to class, and then, at the end of the semester, I tally up the number of times you have orally participated, combine that with my sense of your participation, and then give you your attendance and participation grade.  Also, we will meet at least one time 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.)  ONCE YOU GET ABOVE FOUR ABSENCES YOUR OVERALL GRADE WILL DROP ONE LETTER GRADE FOR EACH ADDITIONAL ABSENCE.  The only way to “excuse” an absence is to bring a signed note for your absences past four.  Needing to be there for you pet goldfish “Stanley” as he has elective surgery will not be considered an excused absence. 

o       Attendance and Participation:  15% of final grade


Other Matters


·         Additional Help:  Remember that our tutor and I are paid to be here for you, and both of us really like working with students, so please talk to us during class and outside of class.  I also 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  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 calling 893-3269.  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.[2]

·         Rewrites:  Once your final drafts of papers are done you can rewrite them—the only time your papers will be graded are in our midterm and final portfolios.

·         Plagiarism:  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  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.

·         One 3.5” floppy disk or CD-ROM or Flash Drive (for your work done in this class when we use computers).




Week One

Unit One:  Literacy Narrative

Tuesday:  1/9/07

·         Reading:  In class.  “The Poisoned Fish” by Ken Macrorie

·         Assignments:  In class, brainstorm for literacy narrative

·         Class Activities:  Getting to Know You, In-class reading, and Writing Exercise. 

Thursday:  1/11/07

·         Reading:  “Theme for English B” by Langston Hughes (located online at and “Homemade Education” by Malcolm X (located online at 

·         Assignments:  Start work on literacy narrative.  First draft due on 1/18/07. 

·         Class activities:  Discussion of Hughes and Malcolm X.  In class response to readings.  Check in on literacy narrative ideas.


Last Day to Drop Writing 1 is this Friday (1/12/07) on Gold by 6:45 p.m.


Week Two

Unit One:  Literacy Narrative


Tuesday:  1/16/07 

·         Reading:  Sample Literacy Narrative (located online at 

·         Class Activities:  In-class work on literacy narrative.  What is good writing exercise?  Work with sample literacy narrative.

Thursday: 1/18/07

·         Reading:   “No Name Woman” by Maxine Hong Kingston.  The text is located at 

·         Assignments:  First Draft of Literacy Narrative Due Today. 

·         Class Activities: Peer review.  Discussion of Kingston.  Work with annotation.


Week Three

Unit One:  Literacy Narrative

Tuesday:  1/23/07 

·         Reading:  Sample Literacy Narrative from course reader.

·         Class Activities:  Class grading session.  Introduction to second paper.  Reading strategies discussion and practice.  SIGN UP FOR FIRST CONFERENCES WITH CHRIS.

Thursday:  1/25/07

·         Reading:  Re-read and annotate either Macrorie, Hughes, X, or Kingston’s piece.  Be prepared to talk about the piece you re-read.

·         Assignment:  Final Draft of Literacy Narrative.

·         Class Activities:  Editing Work.  Student led discussion of our readings to date.  Pre-reading work on Freire.  


Week Four

Unit Two:  The Argumentative Essay on School Life
Tuesday:  1/30/07 

·         Reading:  Paulo Freire’s “The Banking Concept of Education.”  Available at  Also, in our course reader.

·         Class Activities:  Discussion of Freire.  Pre-reading work on Kozol.  Hand out and go over reading for in-class writing on Thursday.

Thursday:  2/1/07

·         Reading:  None.

·         Assignment:  In-class timed essay.

·         Class Activities:  In-class timed essay.  Debriefing and introduction to essay.


Week Five

Unit Two:  The Argumentative Essay on School Life

Tuesday:  2/6/07

·         Reading:  Jonathan Kozol’s “Life on the Mississippi: East St. Louis, Illinois” from Savage Inequalities.  An online version is available at  Also, in our course reader.

·         Assignment:  First Draft of “Argumentative Essay” due.  Final Draft due on 2/13/07.

·         Class Activities:  Work with starting lines piece—in class.  Work on Kozol.  What are schools like in your hometown?

Thursday 2/8/07

·         Reading:  Alissa’s Quart’s “Schools for Sale” from Branded:  The Buying and Selling of Teenagers.  In course reader.

·         Class Activities:  Peer Review.  Discussion of Quart.  Walking ad-tour of Campus and “the Branded Challenge.”


Week Six

Unit Two:  The Argumentative Essay on School Life

Tuesday 2/13/07

·         Reading:  Kathleen Cushman’s “Going Beyond the Classroom” from Fires in the Bathroom:  Advice for Teachers from High School Students from the course reader.  Also read selection from Starting Lines—TBA. 

·         Assignment:  Blog check.  Turn in final draft of “Argumentative Essay.”

·         Class Activities:  Discussion of Cushman and Starting Lines piece.  Responses to “the Branded Challenge.”  Common Errors Jeopardy.

Thursday:  2/15/07

·         Reading:  “Prologue” and “Prehistory” by Brendan Halpin.  Both selections are from Losing My Faculties:  A Teacher’s Story.  Both are in our course reader.

·         Class Activities:  Discussion of Losing My Faculties.  Dialogue writing of situation between Trenton and Halpin.  Brainstorming for final piece.  Grammar and editing work.  Introduction to midterm portfolio.


Week Seven

Unit Three:  The Analytic  Essay on Life After College
Tuesday:  2/20/07

·         Reading:  Piece from Starting LinesTBA

·         Assignment:  TURN IN MIDTERM PORTFOLIO.  Start first draft of the “Analytic essay”—due on 3/8/07

·         Class Activities:  Drafting work on next assignment.  Discussion and rhetorical analysis of Starting Lines piece.  Set up for bringing in piece about what you want to do with your life.

Thursday:  2/22/07

·         Reading:  Pieces you selected.

·         Class Activities:  Class literature circles work.  Writing exercise.  Prep for Bronson.

Week Eight

Unit Three:  The Analytic Essay on Life After College

Tuesday:  2/27/07

·         Reading:  Selections from What Should I Do with My Life?  by Po Bronson—in course reader. 

·         Class Activities:  Discussion of “Dream Jobs” and Bronson.  Outlining for next paper, “What do I do After College?”  Use of Starting Lines to help understand the structure of academic argument.  Also, select a selection from Gig to read and discuss in groups on Thursday 3/1/07.

Thursday:  3/1/07

·         Reading:  Selection from Gig by John Bowe, Marisa Bowe and Sabin Streeter—in our course reader.  You should read the introduction to the book by Marisa Bowe, and then choose one or two selections that interest you.

·         Class Activities:  Discussion of Gig readings.  Brainstorming for interview subjects.  Debate prep and start of debate.


Week Nine

Unit Three:  The Analytic Essay on Life After College

Tuesday:  3/6/07

·         Reading:  Read  “Cyberslacking and the Procrastination Superhighway” by Jennifer Lavoie and Timothy Pychyl; it is in the course reader.

·         Class Activities:  Discussion of readings.  In-class practice interviewing.  QandA about problems with papers.

Thursday 3/8/07

·         Reading:  US Census Data on earnings by occupation and education—from course reader.

·         Assignment:  Turn in your first draft of “The Analytic Essay.”

·         Discussion of Census data.  Peer reveiew.  In-class writing on what it means to “make a living.”  In-class writing exercises aimed at polishing your essay.


Week Ten

Unit Three:  The Analytic Essay on Life After College

Tuesday:  3/13/07

·         Reading:  “None of Our Business” in course reader.

·         Class Activities:  Debate on Business ethics/Discussion of “None of Our Business.”  Hand out paper for final in-class writing—go over strategies for work on it.

Thursday:  3/15/07

·         Reading:  None

·         Assignment:  Turn in final draft of “The Analytic Essay on Life After College.” (Add email address if you want full and final comments for portfolio consideration.)

·         Class Activities:  In-class writing.  Go over information for common final.  Including time and place of final.


Your final portfolio must be turned into me by 2/21/07 at 5 p.m. 





[1] These outcomes are tied to the Writing 1 Curriculum Guidelines, which you can view at

[2] This statement adapted from the “Guide to Constructing a Writing Program Syllabus,” which is available at