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USFSP ENC 4311/6319 Advanced Composition/Scholarly Writing

"Cultures of Convergence/Rhetorics of Emergence," volume 2

Fall 2010 Syllabus

Dr. Trey Conner


Office: 119A Davis, TR 9:45-10:45AM, 12:30-1:30PM


where: Florida Center for Teachers 118N

when: T 6:00-8:50 PM


Student Learning Outcomes


The following statement of student learning outcomes is informed by the  WPA Outcomes for First-Year Composition, but extends and amplifies these fundamentals to establish for us a more advanced set of outcomes, which are also geared toward our course themes and topics. This bulleted list provides the most compressed description of what you will learn and demonstrate by and through your writing during this semester:


  •  Students in ENC 4311 will demonstrate advanced Rhetorical Knowledge by focusing on audience, purpose, context, medium, and message, with special attention to the ways these elements of communication and rhetoric have shifted in contexts of media convergence and networked writing environments.

  •  Students in ENC 4311 will demonstrate advanced Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing by developing writing over time through high-frequency interactions with peers that coordinate symbolic analytical skills including finding, evaluating, analyzing, and synthesizing ideas, moods, and information sampled from different sources, and by openly investigating the interdependence of language, power, and knowledge.

  •  Students in ENC 4311 will demonstrate advanced Composing Processes by rigorously testing the adage of open source culture that says "share early and often." This means we will openly prewrite, draft, revise, and edit content individually and with peers across a wide range of composing media

  •  Students in ENC 4311 will demonstrate advanced Knowledge of Conventions by controlling and modulating tone, mechanics, and documentation in a variety of  formats and genres.

  • In addition to meeting the outcomes listed above, students in ENC 6319 will  demonstrate a Scholarly Ethos by determing  an arena of academic writing for review, and engage a particular "problematic" important to the discourse community, by means of two short literature reviews and a substantial research paper.



Gordon Rule Requirement. According to the Gordon rule, you must develop 6000+ words (24 double-spaced, 12 pt. font pages) of polished text in this class. We will, of course, go well beyond this minimum standard of production. Still, to show that you have accomplished this requirement, at the end of the semester you will turn in a portfolio of a significant representation of your work throughout the semester. In order for you to be able to create this portfolio, you will need to keep every single piece of work you produce in this class. The detailed course description, below, will introduce you to our way of growing a robust portfolio.



Course Overview


 In this writing-intensive course, we will focus on the tools, practices and assumptions of community-based interactivity and cultures of participation steeped in new media as we seek to find, create, and develop space for creative and collective ideation and play with words, images, sound, and even moods.  "Cultures of Convergence/Rhetorics of Emergence" will balance emergent techniques of compositional practice with classical strategies for the invention, arrangement, and sharing of prose. Our experiments and exercises will consider emergence as a metaphor for contemporary compositional practice, and provide an opportunity for us to evolve a wiki space for learning and rehearsing both analog and digital techniques for inhabiting and altering contemporary rhetorical/information ecologies, with special attention to the convergence of communities of practice, research programs, business strategies, and technologies on common digital platforms. This framework by no means exhausts the possibilities and dangers inherent in the convergence of complex systems, and we will have ample opportunities to develop and “intertwingle” our interests and energies in this course.


We will treat writing as a process that takes time and feedback. Although I will offer you feedback on your writing, you and your peers will also provide feedback because writers need to hear from more than one person. Indeed, peer writing quickly becomes the "primary text" of the course. Together, we will learn how to tailor our writing for specific readers.  In this course you will write for persuasion - you will analyze and define ideas, texts, and issues, share useful information and novel ideas with specific audiences, and attempt to move someone to do something, such as change their mind. And you will write for inquiry - by putting ideas into different contexts and forms, you will explore problems, evaluate their components, and find (sometimes unexpected!) solutions. We will share our work in oral and digital presentations/compositions, and construct a course portfolio to demonstrate and reflect on the full range of what we learn in the course. Most importantly, we will learn how to build a rhythm and a process for a lifetime of composing.



 The requirements of the class include but are not limited to:


 Acquire and read the books for the course, and integrate the ideas they offer with other ideas, or implement the tools and strategies they offer, on our wiki, in time for our in-class discussions.


Attend class. More than three unexcused absences will result in a failing grade.


Post at least four significant blog posts per week to this wiki. This means you will need regular and reliable internet access.


Complete a proposal and a semester project in a timely fashion.


Contribute energy to class discussions, exercises, and workshops.


Open a tab for this wiki in your browser whenever you are online.


Detailed Course Description


This "composted" screengrab combines diagrams of random boolean nets with randomly generated text.



Our themes: emergence and convergence

If we are going to take emergence as a model, we need a model for reflecting on our process, our experiments, and our efforts to understand complexity in compositional practice so that we can explain our findings to each other, and generate vocabulary and scripts for sustaining a compositional practice far into the future, beyond our time spent in school. In “Understanding the Complexity of Economic, Ecological, and Social Systems” C.S. Holling offers not only a theory but also "a means of assessing information about the internal factors and external influences that interact to determine systemic sustainability" (Ecosystems, Vol. 4, No. 5 (Aug., 2001), pp. 390-405 ). The three primary criteria of this framework are


* Be "as

simple as possible

but no simpler"

than is


for understanding

and communication.


* Be dynamic and prescriptive,

not static and de-

scriptive. Monitoring of the present and past is

static unless it connects to policies and actions

and to the evaluation of different futures.


* Embrace

uncertainty and unpredictability.

Surprise and structural

change are inevitable in systems of people and nature" (Ecosystems, Vol. 4, No. 5 (Aug., 2001), pp. 390-405 )


We can translate these criteria into similar principles for posting to this wiki. The first criteria translates well into the common open source adage, “share early and often.” And we must. Because we meet once per week, we cannot wait to polish and shine our writing until the morning of our weekly meetings. Rather, we need to upload our process as it occurs, so that we can generate the level and quality of feedback necessary for new ideas and configurations of language to emerge between our ideas, analyses, and arguments. Here, “in the between space,” lies the mystery of emergence, the “third term” that is, as the saying goes, greater than the sum of its parts. The second criterion above can be whittled down to “make connections.” In practice we are likely to find ample occasion to reverse this prescription, though, because as our ideas and writing itineraries converge via linking, we will discover that stasis (co-standing) and slow, careful description are essential for composing the complexity in our connections, whether they be harmonious or dissonant. And finally, in order to surf the big waves of our infodynamic age, and compose novel accounts of our world, we must embrace uncertainty.


In the opening chapter of Panarchy: Understanding Transformations in Systems of Humans and Nature, Holling, with colleagues L.H. Gunderson and D. Ludwig, catalogue the most notorious failures of sustainability with a battery of rhetorical questions.


Why do fisheries collapse in spite of widespread public support for sustaining them and the existence of a highly developed theory of fisheries management?...why does moderate stocking of cattle in semi-arid rangelands increase vulnerability to drought?...why does pest control create pest outbreaks that become chronic?...why do flood control and irrigation developments create large ecological and economic costs and increasing vulnerability? (Holling, Gunderson, Ludwig, p. 1)


Set to sparse acoustic guitar and punctuated with blasts of freewheeling harmonica, this battery of rhetorical questions would fit nicely on a playlist of the best “finger-pointing” songs of Bob Dylan's early protest phase (“Who Killed Davey Moore” etc). However, Gunderson, Holling, and Ludwig speak as systems scientists, not folk singers, when they explain that there is no success like failure, and failure is no success at all. “Uncertainty in nature is presumed to be replaced by certainty of human control. Social systems initially flourish from this ecological stabilization and resulting economic opportunity. But that success creates its own failure.” Why? At the ecosystemic level, governance can't help but be myopic, management can't oversee and aid in the development of all aspects of interconnection, and ontological maps, however robust, are never going to be the territory.


ENC 4311/6319 explores the role of emergence in composition beginning from this premise: writers today are now facilitators of emergence in information ecologies as much as anything else. Therefore, an advanced compositional practice must closely engage the changing processes and policies concerning control/freedom, work/play, informal/formal modes of sharing information and generating value. Our experiment in advanced composition asks that we closely engage each others' ideas over time (our semester), so that we can create a space for experiencing and reflecting on emergence. In Gunderson, Holling, and Ludwig's framework, engaging our present infodynamic context


entails giving up on myths of flat, balanced, anarchic, or resilient nature, and embracing the panarchy: a nature that is evolving, with a “shifting stability landscape” that operates on “multiple scales and with discontinuous structures,” and that engenders “active learning and new institutions.” (Holling, Gunderson, Ludwig, p. 7)


Most traditional conceptions of nature have attempted to freeze and reify complex systems, positing models that fail to recognize the role of emergence unfolding weave. Similarly, some of our traditional conceptions of writing stymie true learning by forcing knowledge into incomplete parameters that, like the old “myths” of nature, constrain evolutionary dynamics and limit solutions.


Yet, at the same time, as media theorists like Henry Jenkins (Convergence Culture, "Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture") and others have made plain in their arguments and research, new media practices and artifacts "recycle" traditional and even forgotten means and modes of production. Therefore, even as we tinker with and adopt new approaches in our own writing practices, we cannot simply disavow old ways of inventing, arranging, and sharing information.

As we immerse ourselves in web 2.o practices and browse other aspects of the "infoquake" in search of new prescriptions for compositional practice, we will become conversant with and learn from the more descriptive literature of media convergence, as well. For example, the phenomenon of collaborative tagging, inherently heterarchical (i.e. not hierarchical...at least “in the beginning”), is part of a new approach to learning and as such provides numerous and exigent avenues for engaging diverse and specific examples of ecological, social, and institutional change. At the same time, if you "play tag" in social bookmarking networks, such as de.licio.us,  you will inevitably discover a large body of research about social bookmarking. So, sometimes, our experiments with tagging and other web 2.0 practices will seem like "mere" play; at other times, playing together with emergent technologies will necessitate detailed analysis and critique. The writing we produce in this class, whether it be descriptive or prescriptive, will contribute to conversations about this moment-in-process: the convergence of related content across different media forms, the convergence of different technological systems, of producers (writers) and consumers (audience) working with common media content across different media forms...and perhaps convergences much greater and more difficult to describe.


Although this is a cross-listed course (4311 and 6319), we will function as one writing collective. Indeed, we will share our course wiki with another class (a LLS section of ENC 1102) and interaction between classes is encouraged. However, those of us enrolled in the graduate-level 6319 course will be responsible for teaching the class research skills gleaned from regular reading and blogging in response to the "Academic Writing for Graduate Students" text, and must also produce an additional research paper above and beyond weekly wiki'ing and formal projects common to both sections. Therefore, even though our collective ideation will proceed by emergence, 6319ers will be required to lead the way when it comes to analyzing, evaluating, and compiling the arguments and descriptive rhetorics that specific academic disciplines offer concerning our themes, topics, and issues. In accordance with our course title in OASIS, “Scholarly Writing in English Studies” one could begin by searching within specific journals across the broad spectrum of research concerning English Studies for resonance with our themes and topics, and find a conversation already underway from which to follow our interests. For example, the international journal Computers and Composition Volume 25, Issue 1 is themed "Media Convergence" and Computers and Composition Volume 25, Issue 3 collects articles under the aegis of "Reading Games: Composition, Literacy, and Video Gaming." Taking another angle, one could simply consider the history of interdisciplinarity, and formulate a research question. For example, the figure of convergence also provides a way to understand how disciplinary knowledge bases have converged in biotechnology. And so, as you might expect, there are numerous journals and disciplines currently describing, providing insight about, and collating data germane to our course themes and topics. Each 6319 student will determine an arena of academic writing for review and contribution by means of two short literature reviews, which can inform, preface, and even evolve into one final research paper or project geared towards a specific outlet.

Graded Work



*Process work and participation: weekly wiki'ing and in-class activity (all blogging, linking, tagging, planning, mapping, reflecting, feedbacking, participating in discussion, and peer-grading, in-class and on the wiki): 200 points

*Four polished and formal compositions: 100 points (25 points each)

*Final project: 50 points

*Portfolio: 50 points

Total possible points: 400





Notice that process work (composition by emergence starts with simple, easy, but repeatable writing gestures--with daily wiki practice!) equals 50% YOUR FINAL GRADE! Of course we want to write and maintain focus on our writing, not simply document evidence of writing, so here's how we will account for and assess our response-ability to each other as writers:


 Daily practice: You will create your own page on our class wiki—think of this as journal and a means for forging connections with your classmates. Some blog posts will be assigned, while others will be up to you. Either way, you are responsible for 4 posts a week (200 words minimum), and it is best to "grow" these posts a little bit each day. When you blog in response to a particular idea or text, you should include a summary of the idea and/or text and your response.  In addition to writing blogs, you will respond to one another’s blogs, and other texts across the world wide web. Response postings should be about 100 words and provide a link to your peer’s posting. After you receive peer feedback, you should then acknowledge this feedback with another post by responding to and working with a point or points that your peer presented. The purpose of this sort of "rehearsal" homework is to encourage you to engage more fully with assigned readings and to be prepared to discuss them in class. If we generate enough feedback, we'll be able to grow engaging and stimulating projects.


Drafts and Conferences: You are asked to participate in oral, written, and electronic peer conferences in which you will read and critique one another’s projects. You will be asked to provide feedback to your colleagues in this class for each major writing assignment. To earn all available points, you’ll need to not only respond to others’ work and their commentary on your work, but also communicate with me about your work (drafts, responses, revisions). Each time a draft is due, you will link it to your course workspace in the class wiki. Members of the class will read and respond to the draft and to each other’s comments. The principle author(s) will make final changes to the draft.


H0mework:  In order to generate the level of feedback necessary to test hypotheses and models of emergence, each of us will need to post a little bit of writing nearly every day--if we all wait until the hour before class to post our ideas, we will not be able to develop new compositional techniques or grow our projects beyond a basic level. See "Daily Practice," above.


In-Class Work and Participation: To earn full credit for class participation, you need to make a positive contribution to our face-to-face discussions, as well.  Such contributions can take the following forms: Asking thoughtful questions and offering comments that move a discussion forward, showing respect for other members of the class—even if you disagree with them.  We will frequently engage in small-group work in class so that everyone can benefit from multiple forms of feedback. Writers need thoughtful feedback on their writing if they are to improve their writing skills.


Participation Portfolio: However you decide to structure your wiki space, you will need to save, organize, and display "snapshots" of your wiki's emergence. Ultimately, this part of your wiki presence could  consist of (but need not be limited to) daily writings, progress reports, online exercises and draft conferences as well as class discussion, preparation of reading materials, in class assignments, homework, conference preparation, process drafts (on time), oral and written comments from collaborative works, group evaluations, self-evaluations (reflective memos, mid-term assessments, etc.), electronic participation on discussion boards, and documentation of both individual and group presentations. All of this will comprise a significant portion of your final portfolio.


From time to time, we will take stock of our daily practice, and revise our informal work into polished compositions, "fit and finished" for specific readers with specific attitudes, understandings, values, and needs. Click to look ahead at these "unit assignments," anticipate what they require.





Remix your best work, the work of a peer, or refactor information from all across our wiki into a different medium, or a different genre or format, or for a different audience.

Final Project

refashion your process into a polished project equivalent to 15 pages "paper", with collaborative component(s).

required for section 6319 only:

a scholarly assessment with specific outlet in mind.

Tentative Class Schedule

And I do mean tentative! If we honor the due dates in bold (under “what's due this week?” column of Table 1.1, below, you will see a sequence of unit assignments segmenting our informal compositional flow) we will win the adaptability and flexibility required for our different projects to emerge and converge in one semester's time. Your projects and the very prose you compose will determine the precise nature of our classroom activities, as well as the sequence of common texts (electronic links and scanned electronic “handouts”) that we will read together each week as part of our compositional process.



What’s Due this week?

Class Activities

For Next Time


24th August



License Arguments, LinkPile, autopoesis—or not (establish a composing space)


tropes of emergence

Read: syllabus, handouts, McCloud, Weston

Write: License Arguments, LinkPile, autopoesis—or not (establish a composing space)



31th August



Journaling as wiki practice: Where and When?

what is rhetoric?

Read: peer writing on the wiki, handouts, McCloud, Weston, Research

Write: linking, transitioning, compiling


7th September



Wiki practice

definitions: one or several?


Write: the third mind

Read: peer writing on the wiki, handouts, McCloud, Weston, Research



14th September




rough draft

workshop, Prose Activation Station

Read: peer writing on the wiki, handouts, McCloud, Weston, Research

Write: “draw a line and follow it”



21st September



Portfolios of Emergence due

branding, analogy,

feedback, peer-calibrated grading

Write: peer-calibrated grading, finding analogies in the field, remixing emergence

Read: peer writing on the wiki, handouts, McCloud, Weston, Research



28th September



Wiki practice

freesound, chat rhythms

Write: Mixmaster blog, freesound, chat rhythms

Read: peer writing on the wiki, handouts, McCloud, Weston, Research




5th October




Convergence draft due

Mapping the writing process: drawings, images, and sounds;

Prose Activation Station; Audacity

Read: peer writing on the wiki, handouts, McCloud, Weston, Research

Write: maps, reflections, freesound, chat rhythms



12th October



Portfolios of Convergence


Causal argumentation: lurking variables


Read: peer writing on the wiki, handouts, Research

Write: “mission” statement, freesound, chat rhythms



19th October



Wiki practice


Read: peer writing on the wiki, handouts, Research

Write: Scope draft



26th October



Scope Draft due


Read: peer writing on the wiki, handouts, Research

Write: Scope



2nd November



Scope Due

Prose Activation Station, Presentations


Read: wiki




9th November



Wiki practice

Media hopping

Read: peer writing on the wiki, handouts, Research

Write: ReMEDIAtion



16th November





Collective presentation

Read: peer writing on the wiki, handouts, Research

Write: putting it all together in a rough draft



23rd November



Final “Paper” Draft due





30th November



Final “Paper” Due;

Final Portfolios Due

Presentations, Reflections, and




Course Portfolio


image sampled from FSI ENC 1101 wiki, tweaked slightly by ShareRiff.


During this semester you will assemble a google.sites electronic portfolio. Even though the final portfolio is not due until the end of the course, you will work on this project throughout the entire semester. Wiki allows infinite space for emergent composing processes; the portfolio is a way to make sure your writing and learning is available for people beyond our class. The portfolio will include a cover letter in which you analyze what you have learned this semester as measured against the aforementioned course learning goals. Essentially, your assertion in the portfolio cover letter is this: “Here are the skills and knowledge that I have learned this semester, and here’s the evidence that I have acquired these skills and this knowledge.” Note that the evidence will be crucial, and you should draw on all sorts of sources to find that evidence—for instance, your journal/blog/wiki-presence, excerpts from formal/unit assignments, notes from peer-group discussions, internet chats with the collaborators in your group, and any other record of your effort. You will turn in a draft of your portfolio at mid-term with a mid-term reflection to make certain that you’re on track.


Portfolios and Program Assessment


Please be aware that all portfolio materials should be considered public writing. Electronic portfolios will be collected and used to assess USFSP's  composition program. Although these documents are public, individual students will not be identified in the program assessment. In addition, electronic portfolios may be used in composition research. Please review and complete the Student Permission Form for Portfolio Research. Although you may opt-out of the portfolio research via the student portfolio permission form, all portfolios will be collected for program assessment. If you have any questions about this form, your portfolio, or who will have access to your work, please let me know.




Grading Policies


Not all work in this class will receive a grade. For some work, you will merely receive participation points; for others, you will receive feedback. Your final grade for this class will be determined by the quality of the portfolios you turn in at the end of the semester. However, you should be prepared to turn in all work you have done on any given project at any time, especially when you are asking for a tentative grade in the course.


A and B are honor grades, and they reflect active class participation, leadership in your own education, and attention to detail. I believe everyone is capable of A work, but it is work that takes both time and resources.


Attendance. You are expected to be in class because much of the significant work for the course is done during class--planning, drafting, group work, discussing samples, and practicing a variety of strategies—and missing class hurts not just you, but the entire class. Please read the section on Student Rights and Responsibilities, below,  for exact numerics of the attendance policy. You must be in class to turn in papers, and you must have your work to participate in class activities. You have a responsibility to participate fully in your own education.


Information Management. All of your work in this class must be available to be posted electronically. Please back up everything you write for this course.  Information technologies carry a trace of instability, so it is always good to have redundancy in your writing process: make copies and put them in different places! If you need more information about backing up, please see me or talk with your classmates.


Computer Labs. To find a place to work on campus, consult Campus Computing.


Formal Compositions. Formal assignments will be graded on a rubric like the basic one below. Each major assignment will have additional criteria underneath each main heading.





Grading Criteria




0—No attempt




1—Incomplete Attempt




2—Needs Attention












5—Highly Effective




Rhetorical Knowledge

















Critical Thinking, Reading and Writing
















Composing Processes
















Knowledge of Conventions















Peer-calibrated grading

In order to create and sustain a livable writing practice, writers need thoughtful feedback on their writing. In order to guarantee this "critical mass" of meaningful interaction, we will rigorously pursue an evaluation process known as peer-grading for select unit assignments. Response-able and consistent interaction in wiki will help us create rubrics for each assignment, and each student will do an evaluation of each group assignment. We will be well-prepared for this response-ability, as we will frequently engage in small-group work in class so that everyone can benefit from multiple forms of feedback.  This "swarm" approach will ensure a steady and ample rate of useful and ongoing feedback on our projects. The professor will, in turn, grade the evaluations, and pay special attention to the written rationales detailing and justifying each evaluation performed. Also, wherever necessary and at his discretion, and in order to protect our commons from both uncritical (and therefore unhelpful) feedback or ad hominem/malicious feedback, the professor will override any "off-the-mark" peer-assigned grades.


These standards build on the WPA outcomes listed above and will help us produce accurate, consistent, and rhetorically-informed assessments of the 4 polished compositions and final projects.


Course Portfolios. The final course portfolios will be graded holistically by a team of writing instructors in a blind review. They will be scored on the following criteria, and the score for the portfolio will count toward your final grade for the class.






Beginning (1)




Developing (2)




Competent (3)




Mature (4)




Exemplary (5)




Rhetorical Knowledge









Critical Thinking, Reading, Writing









Composing Processes


















Overall score








Incomplete Grade Policy. An “I” grade indicates incomplete coursework and may be awarded to an undergraduate student only when a small portion of the student’s work is incomplete and only when the student is otherwise earning a passing grade. 


Make-up, Missed Work Policy. We will stipulate deadlines in our class meetings. While in-class work cannot be made up, if you must miss a class, let me know in advance so that we can rearrange draft deadlines. You are responsible for obtaining any handouts or assignments for that class session. Late work will not be accepted.


Examinations.  In lieu of a final examination, we will complete course portfolio and particate in a 1101/1102 student showcase.


Student Rights and Responsibilities


  •  You have the right to do well in this class. You are responsible for earning the grade you want; grades are not “given,” or “deserved,” or “received.” You earn your grade by your performance not only on final drafts but also by participating in groups, drafting and revising documents, and making connections to work outside this class. Please make sure that you ask any questions you have.


  •  You are responsible for being in class and being in class prepared. It is your right to choose to attend class. If you choose not to attend, there are certain consequences. After the third absence, you will fail the course. If you are more than 15 minutes late to class, you will be considered absent for that day.


  •  You have the right to a full class period of work. If I am unexpectedly delayed at the beginning of class, you are asked to wait 15 minutes from the beginning of class. If, after 15 minutes, a designated member of the English department has not otherwise notified you, class is dismissed.


  •  You have the right to prompt feedback. This feedback will come not only from your instructor but also your peers.


  •  You are responsible for showing all work (from notes to emails to presentation-ready material) you have completed over the course of the semester. Please keep all work (from handwritten notes to email to final drafts) until you receive your final grade at the end of the semester. Delete nothing (especially email) and throw nothing away. Make frequent back-ups of your electronic documents. Failure of technology is not an excuse for late or missing work.

  •  You are responsible for completing all assignments for the class. You must complete all major assignments and turn in complete portfolios in order to be eligible to pass the class. All presentation portfolio material must be turned in at least twice—as drafts seen by your classmates and me, to meet this requirement.

  •  You are responsible for finding out what you missed when you are not in class. Get the names, phone #s, and email addresses of at least 3 classmates. Daily agendas are posted on the class wiki with homework assignments. Be sure that you check your email and the wiki page on a regular basis before class, in class, and between classes.

  •  You are responsible for contacting me when you are absent, have questions, or want to discuss your standing in the class. You may do so during office hours or by email or phone. Emergencies happen, but I can’t do anything to help unless I know about your situation.

  •  You are responsible for making sure you know what is due when. If you are unsure, ask.

  •  Because we will be moving at the pace set by the class, some dates may change. Any changes will be announced in class and on the course wiki.


University Policies


Religious Preference Absence Policy. Students who anticipate the necessity of being absent from class due to the observation of a major religious observance must provide advance notice of the date(s) to the instructor in writing. 


Accommodation Policy. Students with documented learning and/or physical disabilities in need of accommodation are strongly encouraged to work with Student Disability Services and inform the instructor about any special requirements they may have regarding note taking, reading assignments, and test taking. 


Academic Dishonesty Policy. (from USF Undergraduate Catalog



Students attending USF are awarded degrees in recognition of successful completion of coursework in their chosen fields of study. Each individual is expected to earn his/her degree on the basis of personal effort. Consequently, any form of cheating on examinations or plagiarism on assigned papers constitutes unacceptable deceit and dishonesty. Disruption of the classroom or teaching environment is also unacceptable. This cannot be tolerated in the University community and will be punishable, according to the seriousness of the offense, in conformity with this rule.


Penalties for Academic Dishonesty. Penalties for academic dishonesty will depend on the seriousness of the offense and may include assignment of an “F” or a numerical value of zero on the subject paper, lab report, etc., an “F” or an “FF” grade (the latter indicating academic dishonesty) in the course, suspension or expulsion from the University.


Disruption of Academic Process. Disruption of academic process is defined as the act or words of a student in a classroom or teaching environment which in the reasonable estimation of a faculty member: (a) directs attention from the academic matters at hand, such as noisy distractions; persistent, disrespectful or abusive interruptions of lecture, exam or academic discussions, or (b) presents a danger to the health, safety or well being of the faculty member or students.


Punishment Guidelines for Disruption of Academic Process. Punishments for disruption of academic process will depend on the seriousness of the disruption and will range from a private verbal reprimand to dismissal from class with a final grade of “W,” if the student is passing the course, shown on the student record. If the student is not passing the course, a grade of “F” will be shown on the student record. Particularly serious instances of disruption or the academic process may result in suspension or permanent expulsion from the University.


Resources for this Class


Each Other. Successful communicators compose for other people. They write or sketch things out for themselves, muddle about in ideas for a while, and eventually they realize what their main point is in communicating. At some point in this process, they begin to shape their communications for others. If others are to understand what you compose and be attentive to all your fine points, then you have to think about how you shape your text for the particular people you most want to understand your compositions. In this class, we will try to test your texts with the particular audiences you identify, but we will also test them out with each other. This process requires that in this class we develop respectful and thoughtful ways of listening and attending to each others’ communications: I want you to be able to work in the safest of contexts to get feedback on your work in order to make it as effective as possible. Therefore, you will have to get to know others in class and give their work the same respect and attention you would like for your own. Sieze this this opportunity to take chances, to experiment with your writing, and form a creative commons by and through your writing!


My hope is that you will all be invested in the course and the ideas we explore and discover. Investment always involves a certain amount of passion, and therefore, there will be a great deal of give and take in our discussions. As I am sure we will not all share the same views, different opinions should be expressed in a manner that facilitates communication. Because writing is often a personal experience, and explores personal situations, it is imperative that we develop an atmosphere of respect and safety in this class. If at any time you are uncomfortable with the class material and/or discussions, let me know. I expect you to 1) come to class prepared and take pride in the work you do, 2) offer support and encouragement to your classmates, 3) listen to others carefully before offering your opinion, and 4) talk to me outside of class if anything that happens during class bothers you. In order to maintain a productive work environment, I expect you to turn off your cell phone or pager before each class period and refrain from eating, sleeping, reading the newspaper or your personal email, talking outside of group discussion or lectures, and entering the classroom late or leaving early without permission.


The Professor. People who come regularly to office hours usually get better grades in class because they give their work more attention and also are more engaged with it. When you come to office hours, you don’t need to make any special preparations: just come with a question or something on which you’re working. (And if you can’t come during my scheduled office hours, talk to me after class or send me an e-mail to make an appointment.)


Freedom of Speech and Cognitive Liberty. As you will see, classrooms are spaces devoted to free inquiry. This is a rhetorical space, one where composers are response-able to each other: they think and write in response to each other, and not to a preconceived notion of each other. Assume the best in those you study with and be generous with your respect, and you will teach them to respond in kind.


 The First Amendment of The United States Constitution


Gender and Pronoun Reference. It is no longer customary to use the masculine pronoun for cases of indefinite pronoun reference, for example, “When a professor grades papers, he is often swayed by a student’s degree of effort.”  Instead, style books recommend changing pronouns to the plural form, for example, “When professors grade papers, they are often swayed by a student’s degree of effort.” Some call this practice “gender-fair language.” Others just call it good sense. Regardless of the reason, it is required in this course, so bring your gender-bender sentences to class so we can figure them out together.


Contacting Me. The quickest and most reliable way to reach me is to post to this wiki! You can also find me quickly through e-mail (trey.conner@gmail.com). I check it often. You can even add me as a buddy on AIM--"rhythmizomenoid" is my handle. In an emergency, dial "ShareRiff" on skype and I'll pick up. You can also call my office at 873-4783. If you do leave a message, please leave a number where I can reach you.


Required Texts

In addition to a number of links and .pdf files, which be made available throughout the semester, and, of course, peer writing, we will consult the following texts.

For ENC 4311:

Colomb, G. G., Williams, J. M., & Booth, W. C. (1995). The craft of research. Chicago guides to writing, editing, and publishing. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Weston, Anthony. A Rulebook for Arguments. Hackett Pub Co Inc; 3 edition (January 1, 2000)

McCloud, S. (1994). Understanding comics: The invisible art. New York: HarperPerennial.

In addition to these 3 texts, students enrolled in ENC 6319 will need to purchase the following text:


Swales, John, and Feak, Christine B. (2000). English in Today's Research World: A Writing Guide. ISBN 978-0-472-08713-6


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