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COM 101 Syllabus

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Syracuse University
COM 101

1 COM 101: Practical Grammar for Public Communication A course about the language you already know and how to use it more effectively • Meeting weekly for 80 -minute lectures • Working online individually to develop your skills • Testing in class to measure your progress FALL 2012 ABOUT THIS COURSE Room 141, Newhouse 3 first floor What do we mean by practical grammar You have enrolled in one of three and why is it important? Let’s pretend that sections of this class: brilliant computer programmers team up • Tuesday, 5-6:20 p.m., starting Aug. 28 with equally gifted experts in linguistics and • Wednesday, 3:45-5:05 p.m., starting create a system that allows you to spe ak and Aug. 29 write about new ideas — not only for your • Thursday, 11 a.m.-12:20 p.m., starting friends but also for the public. Here’s the Aug. 30 really amazing thing: Strangers who know Make-up session: Room 141, Newhouse 3 your language will be able to understand . first floor Now that would be a “killer app”! • Monday from 6-7:20 p.m., beginning Actually, that is the role that grammar Sept. 12. See notes regarding attendance and plays in public communication. It’s a task exams. that has defied attempts to reduce it to a computer program, especially one that PROFESSOR: allows you to communicate with creativity Joan Deppa, Ph.D. and clarity to all sorts of publics. With Departments of Communication and media spanning the globe, able to transmit Newspaper and Online Journalism messages as fast as you can create them, S.I. Newhouse School of Public grammar may make the difference between Communications understanding and misunderstan ding, Syracuse University between well-informed decisions and E-MAIL: [email protected] misguided mistakes. OFFICE: 3|442 Newhouse 3 The Web is definitely intensifying the OFFICE PHONE challenge of mastering English grammar. (315) 443-4006 The language is now viewed as the lingua Please send e-mail if there is no answer. franca of the Internet, used by people with diverse language backgrounds t o SCHEDULED OFFICE HOURS: communicate with each other. But there’s a Thursday 3-5 p.m. complication that you may have encountered Friday 11 a.m.-1 p.m. while surfing the Web: English comes in Other times by appointment flavors, which linguists call “standards,” as Because of the large number of students well as emerging variations, such as participating in this course, please e -mail Chinglish or Chinese English. That can be for an appointment even if you want to visit confusing — even to people who began during scheduled office hours . speaking and reading English as children. This course focuses on Standard INSTRUCTIONAL ASSISTANTS American English, a term describing forms Tuesdays: Christina Riley of the language understood throughout the E-MAIL: [email protected] United States, even where regional dialects Wednesdays: TBA or slang may confuse visitors. It shares E-MAIL: TBA much with Standard British English and Thursdays: Camila Espina well-established standards for Canada and E-MAIL: [email protected] India. But it also has important differences. 2 COM 101 is designed to familiarize you short-changed themselves. Although their with the elements of Standard American homework grades were perfect or nearly so, English and how they work toge ther to help their grades on the in-class test were you communicate effectively. Take this mediocre at best. Many failed the test. course seriously and you’ll become a more Because the investigation showed that confident writer and speaker. You’ll be able the integrity of the online quizzes had been to focus on the content of your work and its seriously compromised, those scores were purpose, whether that is to inform, persuade dropped from the grade calculations. So or entertain your audienc e. You should also those who had obtained high quiz scores do better with practical chores — writing dishonestly did not benefit from their letters to prospective employers or making actions, and those who had received lower formal complaints about poor service or quiz scores by working hard and studying shoddy merchandise, for example. carefully benefited in the long run. Although this is a stand -alone course, it The investigation also gathered a will help you prepare for courses in number of helpful suggestions for deterring Newhouse and elsewhere on campus . Its such cheating and for improving the course goal is to familiarize you with the way we generally. Many of them have been acquire and use language by speaking, incorporated into this course syllabus. So writing and even texting. For those who are study it carefully. less confident in their writing and speaking, the course provides basic training in Syracuse University’s Aca demic Standard American English. For those with Integrity Policy states: above-average knowledge of the language, “At Syracuse University, academic the goal is greater mastery of the concepts. integrity is expected of every community member in all endeavors. Academic THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN integrity includes a commitment to the LEARNING AND GRADES values of honesty, trustworthiness, fairness, This is the third year that COM101 has and respect. These values are essential to the been offered as a stand-alone course, overall success of an academic society. In although much of the material was provided addition, each member of the University as part of COM 107 for two years. Students community has a right to expect adherence who worked hard learned a lot, and to academic integrity from all other professors in COM 107 and other Newhouse community members. courses could see the difference. “An individual’s academic dishonesty Unfortunately, in Spring 2010, many threatens and undermines the central students cheated on online quizz es, a key mission of the University. It is unfair to part of the homework provided via other community members who do not Blackboard. A number of students were cheat, because it devalues efforts to learn, to interviewed as part of an academic integrity teach, and to conduct research. Academic investigation based on Blackboard analytics. dishonesty interferes with moral and Although the reasons they gave for cheating intellectual development, and poisons the varied, one theme was especially troubli ng. atmosphere of open and trusting intellectual The students were concerned about their discourse.” grades, not about learning the material. They For more information, see reasoned that if they could obtain the answers and do the quizzes quickly, they cprograms/academicintegrity/index.aspx#po could save time and get a high grade. But licies most of those who cheated on the quizzes 3 GRAMMAR, ETHICS AND Brief Writing Sample See description DIVERSITY below. Due Sunday, Sept. 16 at 11:59 p.m. Grammar can be a controversial subject. Complete and submit via after For example, how far should writers or the first class meeting and before deadline. speakers go to avoid terms that som e people find offensive? Is the expression “man up” More about the Syllabus Quiz. This is sexist? How do you decide which pronouns designed to make sure that you read and to use when it is not possible to determine understand the syllabus. It is an “open book” the gender of the nouns to which they refer? quiz, so you should be able to answer most Which words should be avoided as hate of the questions correctly. The points you speech? How should journalists deal with receive — 25 points are available — will direct quotations that come from sources depend on the number of correct answers who misspeak, for example, a former and whether you meet the deadline. president who used “childrens” as the plural of child? Similar issues arise in ad copy, More about Self-diagnostics Tests I and photo captions and blogging. II on Blackboard. You receive 50 points if In discussing such issues, we need to you complete each part by its deadline for show respect for different viewpoints about a total of 100 points. the language, even though our goal is to The questions are designed to help you learn about Standard American English as identify what you know, but also what you the preferred mode of public don’t know or are unsure about. You should communications. pay special attention to those issues. Every question has a “Not sure” option, so use this BLACKBOARD AND ACADEMIC instead of guessing. INTEGRITY The self-diagnostic tests will also help Practical Grammar for Public your professor identify misunderstandings Communications has its own Blackboard that students share and see unusual problems site, and you will be using it frequently. that a few students may need to overcome. Homework is to be done independently on Hence, the grade on this test will be based Blackboard. That means you are to use on whether you complete this online test on your own efforts in trying to figure out the Blackboard in a timely fashion, not on how right answers. Remember that SU’s many items you answer correctly. Academic Integrity policy also forbids It is presented in two parts for your collusion, which involves assisting or convenience. You may do them one after attempting to assist another in an act of another or on separate days. Be sure to academic dishonesty. check MyGrades in Blackboard Tools after submitting each part and take time to go The first Blackboard assignments are over the results. (See p. 1 2 of this syllabus classified as diagnostics. for help in doing this.) It will show you Part I of the Self-diagnostic test: 50 grammar issues likely to cause you problems questions due Sunday, Sept. 16 at 11:59 and will provide feedback about each p.m. However, do not wait until that date. question. You may also find it useful to take Syllabus quiz. An “open book” test to notes on questions that caused you make sure you understand the requirements problems. of the course. Also due Sunday, Sept. 16 at WARNING: So far we have detected 11:59 p.m. It contains 20 questions. Up to only one case of a student trying to 20 points depending on the accuracy of “game” a self-diagnostic test. That answers. student received zero points instead of Part II of the Self-diagnostic test: 50 50 because Blackboard data showed no questions due Sunday, Sept. 16 at 11:59 real effort on the test. p.m. Again, do not wait until that date. 4 More about the Brief Writing Sample those languages? How do you think You should submit this assignment after the your knowledge of other languages first lecture. Write an essay of 200-300 may be helpful or confusing when words about your training and/or experience you are studying the grammar of with grammar before this course. If the Standard American Englis h? essay is submitted by its deadline, you will receive 30 points after it is evaluated. If  How does the role of grammar not, your grade is zero. described on p. 1 of the syllabus differ from your earlier In writing this paper, think of your understanding of grammar? audience as the general public. In fact, grammar is becoming a public issue. A  What concerns, if any, do you have majority of states have adopted a Common about your ability to write and speak Core of English Language Arts standards. It English grammatically? How do you lists expectations about many of the issues see them affecting your work in the we cover in this course. Newhouse School and in your Your essay or commentary needs to career? include a thesis statement and a conclusion. It should be written with the same care you  Do you have any other thoughts would use if you were trying for a good about grammar? What specific grade on the paper. Here are guidelines: topics concern you?  Stories that illustrate your  Submit the essay as a Word or Rich experiences are encouraged, as are Text Format (RTF) document via lessons you remember from your Turnitin. See instructions in the grammar training — or you wished Assignments folder on Blackboar d. you had learned.  Write and submit your essay  Be sure to answer these questions, independently. This will help us to not necessarily in this order: identify any grammar problems that may  When, if ever, did you first learn surface in your writing. It will also make about English grammar and what do us aware of any difficulties you have in you remember from those lessons? using turnitin. If you are unable to What training have you had since submit your paper via turnitin, send it as then? How would you evaluate any an e-mail attachment to training you’ve had, and what [email protected] reasons can you give for that conclusion?  Once the paper has been evaluated, you will receive 30 points and will be  How do you think the way in which able to read the feedback. This may you learned English grammar take several weeks. The class will be affected you? For example, did your notified when the points are posted. family move frequently or did a Feedback can be retrieved by following relative help you? Did you have a the instructions on p. 12 of the syllabus. teacher who explained grammar in a way that helped you learn? ACADEMIC INTEGRITY ON EXERCISES AND QUIZZES  Are you fluent in any languages in The exercises and quizzes are addition to English? How did you considered “open book,” so you may go to learn them, and did you receive Web sources or books about gramm ar. In training in the grammar of any of fact, the exercises often contain links that 5 the instructor thinks may help you. But you calculation — unless you skip the chapter. can use other Web resources if you do so In that case, you will receive a zero for that carefully. Let’s say that you are asked a exercise — unless you then use the chapter, question about the irregular verb “go,” and followed by a serious attempt of the you have to figure out whether th e correct exercise. form in the context is “go, went or gone.” You can anticipate at least one more You could go to chapter during the semester , which will be and search for treated the same way with regard to your “irregular verbs.” It might also help to go to grade. and search for “go.” You could Google the three Exercises: words, which would present you with These are designed to supplement several options, including “go went gone lectures and help prepare for quizzes that are grammar.” That will bring up sites for offered each week. Up to 14 points can be Germans who are learning English, as well earned per exercise, but each exercise must as a variety of sites for people who have be completed before the related quiz is been speaking English all their lives. One begun. Results will be available as soon as blog the exercise is submitted and must be reviewed before attempting the egone-went-for-gone.html turns out to be accompanying quiz. Exercises are quite informative. If you shorten the Google repeatable, an option which may be useful in search to “go went gone,” you’ll find the preparing for in-class tests. same choices but they’ll be scattered among Total: Up to 100 points possible , song lyrics that may not conform to providing all exercises are completed Standard American English. carefully. (In addition to receiving up to 98 However, you may not consult with points for the seven exercises, you receive 2 friends about the answers to specific points because they’re like treats. That’s my questions. The online search process takes dog Lolly’s idea.) However, p oints will be time, but it will help you to think about the lost if Blackboard data indicate: problem that you’re trying to solve. Just  An exercise was not done before the asking your roommate or friend may seem quiz on the same topic. natural, but you risk getting the wrong  Work on an exercise was not done answer and/or becoming dependent on him independently. or her for grammar guidance. You need to  You miss the deadline for your first “walk the walk” so you can “talk the talk” of try of the exercise. Standard American English. Blackboard will record the time that you start and finish each exercise. About the Online Grammar Book Your score on the exercise will be After Labor Day, we expect to post a shown on Blackboard based on the number chapter of The Whys of Grammar by your of questions you answer correctly. The instructor. It resembles a podcast, but with percentage of correct answers will be used animations and interactions. The current to calculate the points. For example, if an plan is to post it in the Assignments folder exercise contains 20 questions and you on Blackboard, along with a related answered 18 correctly, you would receive 90 Blackboard exercise. At the end of the percent of the 14 points. That would be 12.6. chapter you will find a button that lets you send email about your experience with the About Quizzes: chapter. Blackboard will also record how These are designed to te st understanding long you spend on the chapter and whether of issues covered in lectures and exercises. you visit it more than once. The Blackboard Total: Up to 200 points possible . exercise will be used as part of your grade Length of quizzes and points earned will 6 vary. The quiz questions are drawn quizzes. (Up to 140 points, 40 % of the 350 randomly from pools of questions. For many points) questions, the order of the answers is a lso random. Twelfth week. This test is cumulative. It You may take a quiz on each topic will cover all eight lectures and twice. Each quiz version on a topic will be accompanying exercises and quizzes. (Up to generated randomly, so it is unlikely the 210 points, 60 % of the 350 points) second will include identical questions. Be sure to review results after you take a Are you satisfied with your grade after quiz for the first time. Last semester students the second in-class test? who did the quiz a second time without Great! You’ve completed the course. reviewing tended to make mistakes very similar to the ones they made the first time. Do you want more work to help you Also review the relevant exercise, lecture improve your understanding of grammar? and other material. Again, points will be lost You are invited to attend workshops at if Blackboard data indicate: the same time and in the same classrooms as  A quiz is done before the exercise earlier lectures for the rest of the semester. on the same topic. See the tentative schedule. Although  Work on a quiz was not done attendance is taken, no extra credit is given. independently. This is to encourage you if you need more  You miss the deadline for your first work on grammar and to discourage those try of the quiz. hoping for an easy way to increase their As with the exercises, Blackboard will grade. record the time that you start and finish each quiz. “Final” final. This test is given during Ignoring the rules about working finals week at three times. Take it if you independently on exercises and quizzes may want to improve your grades on the in-class also lead to an academic integrity process. tests. It will cover essentially the same Let us know of any problems you material as the one given in Week 12. If the encounter in accessing any of the content or
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