English 106: Introduction to Rhetoric and Composition

Division 29; Section 01

Instructor: Adam E. Watkins
Office: 420 Heavilon
Office Hours: Thursday 10:30 – 1:00
Email: aewatkin@purdue.edu

Writing Your Way into Purdue

Welcome to English 106, an entry level course dedicated to your development of effective and efficient writing, composition, and rhetorical skills. In this course you will be engaging with and creating texts in a variety of formats, ranging from the traditional academic essay to visual mediums such as posters, brochures, web-pages, and any other template which maximizes your ability to express your ideas. You will be using these varying composition formats to represent yourself and your own perspective of Purdue University.

English 106 is a required class for all incoming students because it provides a skill-set that is essential for your success at Purdue and the careers for which a university education is intended to prepare you. Employers are expressly interested in hiring applicants who can not only do the mental work, but can express their ideas to others clearly and concisely. Your training for future employment begins in this classroom.

Your work in this course is aimed to instill a range of skills, including, but not limited to: successful writing through effective planning, drafting, revising, editing, citation, and organization; expressing yourself and surroundings through words and images as a means of finding deeper meaning; comprehensive evaluation and interpretive capabilities; understanding of your rhetorical position as an author and audience; and finally to adapt a composition style both effective in its mechanics, structure, and voice to increase your credibility and effectiveness as a writer.

Attendance, Tardiness, and Participation Policy

This is your education and you cannot do well in any class if you do not attend. Everyone gets sick or has days where something else takes a priority. You have 4 absences that are yours. After that, your final score will be dropped by 5% for each absence.

If you are more than 10 minutes late you will be considered absent. However, showing up and participating constructively afterwards will still help your participation grade.

Participation is a significant portion of your final grade and sets the tone for your involvement in this class. Those that participate do better in the long run, it is that simple.

Sleeping is not participating, in fact, it’s the same as being absent, except for the extra use of the classroom’s oxygen. Sleeping in class will be counted as an absence.

Course Texts and Suggested Materials

In this class we will be using three texts, which can be found at Borders, the University Bookstore, or Follett’s. They are as follows:

Lynch, Dennis A., Wysocki, Ann Frances. Compose, Design, Advocate.
Aaron, Jane E., Fowler, Ramsey. The Little Brown Compact Handbook.
Williams, Terry Tempest. Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place.

You will need a three-ring binder to keep your work and hand-outs as well as a note-book.

I also strongly suggest that you purchase a flash drive or similar device for saving and transporting your work and assignments not only for this class, but for all your academic work. It is your coursework, and therefore it is your responsibility to make sure it is maintained and available to be turned in by the specified due date or worked on during computer lab classes.

Course Assignments and Their Value toward Final Grade

Participation and Quiz’s 15%
Peer Review 5%
Journals 15%
Literacy Map and Narrative 15%
Profile 20%
Annotated Bibliography 5%
Research Project Statement of Purpose and Plan 5%
Research Project 15%
Project Presentation 5%

Description of Grades

Use these statements as clues for how I will be determining the grade for individual assignments, and thus your final grade.

100-90 (A) – You did what the assignment asked at a high quality level, and your work shows originality and creativity. Work in this range demonstrates that you took extra steps to be original or creative in developing content, solving a problem, or developing a verbal or visual style.

89-80 (B) – You did what the assignment asked of you at a high quality level. Work in this range needs little revision, is complete in content, is organized well, and shows special attention to style and visual design.

79-70 (C) – You did the assignment asked of you. Work in this range tends to need some revision but is complete in content and the organization is logical. The style, verbal and visual, is straightforward but lacks creativity.

69-60 (D) – You did what the assignment asked at a low level of quality. Work in this range tends to need significant revision. The content is often incomplete and the organization is hard to discern. Verbal and visual style is often non-existent or chaotic.

59 and below (F) – F’s are reserved for those who don’t show up and don’t do their work. This is not what you came to a prestigious university to do. I cannot promise any grade to any student, but if you put forth real effort in this course you will not receive this grade.

Late Assignment and Revision Policy

Unless you have spoken with me before hand and an agreement has been reached, all assignments will be docked a letter grade for each day late.

Revisions will only be granted in cases where a student has displayed effort—second chances are a reward, not a guarantee. Revisions constitute a major reworking of the logical structure and components of an argument (not the mere correction of surface changes). I will accept one revision of an assignment provided the following:

  1. The student meets with either me or a member of the writing lab to discuss changes before revising.
  2. The student writes a one page cover letter detailing the changes they made.

Paper and Project Guidelines

All papers should follow MLA format, be printed, double-spaced, in 12 point and Times New Roman font, and paper clipped. Projects and assignments must be handed in by the beginning of class on the day they are due. For all assignments your name should be in the top left corner, under which follows the title of the assignment, the course title, and the date.

A word on grammar: this course focuses on establishing your credibility as a writer. Would you take writing seriously if it contained spelling and grammatical errors?


I will be meeting with each of you in conferences on Mondays and Thursdays (depending on your assigned day) at 225 Heavilon Hall. These conferences are a chance for you to get closer attention on your work from myself and your fellow classmates. You will meet with me in groups of 3 or 4 for 15-20 minutes. A schedule will be made so that you know when your session begins. You are not required to stay after your session, but you must be ready as soon as your session begins or you will be considered absent.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

Plagiarism can be loosely defined as the appropriation of another person’s intellectual property without proper permission or citation—in other words stealing someone else’s work without giving them credit. I consider this the highest of academic crimes, and so does this university. Offenders will automatically receive a zero on the assignment, will be reported to the dean, and may be failed from the course.

More information can be found at http://www.purdue.edu/ODOS/osrr/integrity.htm

Furthermore, I reserve the right to have papers submitted via websites that detect the percentage of words used from existing sources.

Statement about Professionalism

I want you to know that I take my role in this course very seriously and that I hope to be as much help to you as I can. Please see me during office hours or set up an appointment if you are having any problems or need help.

I expect that each student will also take this class seriously, i.e. not go through the motions. The use of electronic devices is absolutely forbidden during class and students will be asked to leave and considered absent if they are found using such devices. You are allowed to bring food or drink on days we are in the classroom, but if it smells strong or is loud, I ask you to refrain. On days we are in the conference center or the computer lab you are only allowed to bring in drinks in a sealed container (no fountain drinks, coffee cups, etc).

On days we are in the computer labs, students are strongly prohibited from doing anything on the computers that is not a part of our class work.

Statement about Disabilities

Students with disabilities must be registered with Adaptive Programs in the Office of the Dean of Students before classroom accommodations can be provided. If you are eligible for academic accomodations because you have a documented disability that will impact your work in this class, please schedule an appointment with me as soon as possible to discuss your needs.