Sunday, December 12, 2010

Final exam rescheduled for Friday

In case you didn't get the message, this post is to let you know that Monday's final exam has been rescheduled for Friday at the same time, same place. If you're wondering what to study now that I've actually finished writing the exam, I would recommend the following.
  • Vocabulary words
  • Readings
  • Writing process
  • Plagiarism
  • MLA Works Cited entries
  • Critical errors
  • Class motto

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Reminder on rewrites

Rewrites are due at the beginning of class Monday, December 6, 2010. Because I don't remember announcing this deadline in class, I'll accept them through Wednesday, December 8.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Assignment for Monday, December 6, 2010

Monday, November 29, 2010

Assignment for Wednesday, December 1, 2010

  • Learn vocabulary words, Patterns, p. 499
  • Read "On the Internet, There's No Place to Hide," Patterns, p. 495

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Comparison & contrast essay options

Choose one of the following topics for a 500-word comparison and contrast essay.
  • Patterns, p. 445, numbers 1-3, 4-8, 10, 11
Your essay is due at the beginning of class Wednesday, November 24, 2010.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Cause & effect essay options

In case you missed it in-class the other day, here are your options for your cause and effect essay.

  • Choose one of the following topics: 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, or 9 on p. 380 of Patterns.

Again, your essay should be around 500 words. We'll go over your draft essays in class Monday.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Assignments for Monday, November 8, 2010

  • Vocabulary words on p. 355, Patterns for College Writing (As always, it helps to understand meanings before doing the following reading)
  • "Guns and Grief," Patterns for College Writing, pp. 350-53
  • "Gun Control's Twisted Outcome"
  • Bring your cause & effect essay to review with me and your peers in a classroom workshop

Monday, November 1, 2010

Assignments for Wednesday, 11/3/10

  • "Cause & Effect" Patterns, pp. 321-37
  • Vocabulary, p. 366
  • "The Power of Words in Wartime," Patterns, pp. 363-65

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Important announcement

Your process essays are still due Monday, 1 November 2010. I'm sick, however, and so we won't be having class Wednesday. I regret that I won't be at school to help you with your essay, but if you'd like me to give it a look you can email me a copy with the message title, "FOR REVIEW." I'll try to send you comments as soon as I'm feeling better.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Assignments for Monday, October 25, 2010

  • Learn vocabulary words on pp. 289 & 309 in Patterns
  • Read pages 263-78, 287-90, and 304-08 in Patterns

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Exemplification essay assignment

Your exemplification essays are due at the beginning of class Wednesday, 10/13/10. Choose one of the following writings topics as listed on p. 261 of Patterns: 1, 2, 4, 7, 8, 9, or 10. Your essay should follow the format as described on the syllabus and be roughly 500 words long. We'll have a little time at the end of class Monday to go over your rough drafts.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Assignment for Monday, 10/4/10

Rinish the Keep it Simple worksheet.

Read "The Meaning of Sarah Palin" (.pdf file).

Write a journal entry on the Sarah Palin article including at least one sentence answering each of these questions:
1. What is the main idea?
2. Where does the author state the main idea?
3. What evidence does the author give to support the main idea?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Assignments for Monday, 9/27/10

  • Read "The Perpetual Adolescent" [link fixed] (You can also find the same article here.)
  • Write a journal entry including one sentence answering each of these questions:
    1. What is the main idea?
    2. Where does the author state the main idea?
    3. What evidence does the author give to support the main idea?

About your instructor

I'm honored to be your teacher this semester. In case you're interested, you can find out more about me here:

Curriculum vitae
Short essays
Full list of publications
Shorter list of publications

Once again, I look forward to working with you this semester to help you improve your writing, reading, and thinking skills.

Avoiding plagiarism

In addition to the readings in your textbook, you may find these resources helpful for getting a firm grasp on plagiarism and how to avoid it.

Help with critical errors

Here are a few links for guidance on overcoming the critical errors we'll be discussing in class:

Fused sentence or comma splice
Sentence fragment,
Dangling modifier,
Subject-verb agreement error.

I hope these are helpful. If you'd like more help with these, then let me know. I'll be happy to work with you.

Update: Here are a few more resources to help you with run-on sentences (fs or cs):

Course syllabus

Instructor: Milton Stanley, M.F.A.W., M.Div.
Office hours: By appointment

Required Materials
Patterns for College Writing: A Rhetorical Reader and Guide, Eleventh Edition
College dictionary
Notebook for journal writing, written responses, and quizzes

Course Description
English 1010 is an introduction to college writing. This course is intended to equip you not only in the forms of writing, but in critical reading and methods of organizing and presenting ideas. During the semester you will write five graded essays and do journal writings over assigned readings. You will also write a number of in-class essays graded pass-fail. .

Class Requirements
· Do all assigned readings in time for journal assignments and class discussions.
· Always come to class ready to write.
· Participate in class discussions.
· Complete and turn in all writing assignments on time.
· Do all in-class assignments in dark ink on wide-ruled paper.
· Turn in both printed and electronic copies of out-of-class assignments (please talk to me if you do not have access to word processing and printing services).

To complete this course, you will write five graded papers:
Essay 1 Description
Essay 2 Example
Essay 3 Process
Essay 4 Cause & effect
Essay 5 Comparison & contrast
You will also be writing many essays for a grade of pass or fail.

Grades in this course will be assigned according to the following scale:
A = 90-100
B = 80-89
C = 70-79
D = 60-69
F = 0-59
Remember that according to academic convention a C is an average grade. The grade of B indicates above-average work, and an A is given only for outstanding performance. I want you to make the best grade you honestly can. I’m willing to work individually with you through the semester to help you improve your grade. I urge you also to take advantage of a wide range of services offered by Motlow State. Late-term begging, however, is a very bad idea.

Your final grade will be determined according to the following formula:
Essay 1 10%
Essay 2 15%
Essay 3 15%
Essay 4 15%
Essay 5 15%
Journal & in-class writing 15%
Quizzes & class participation 10%
Final exam 5%
No matter what your other averages may be, you must have an average of D or better on your graded essays to pass this course.

Essay Format
For all out-of-class papers, use a 12-point standard font. Double space your essays on plain white paper with one-inch margins. Please follow MLA format.

Major Error Policy
At the beginning of this course you will be reminded how to eliminate these major grammatical errors:
Fused sentence (fs)
Comma splice (cs)
Sentence fragment (frag)
Dangling or misplaced modifier (dm, mm)
Lack of subject-verb agreement (sva)
After each error has been covered in this course, each instance of one of the errors in an essay will result in a one-half letter grade penalty.

Attendance Policy
You are expected to attend classes regularly, and attendance is sometimes critical for mastering the skills developed in this class. Please remember that quizzes and in-class writing assignments will be given almost every day and cannot be made up.

Classroom Deportment
Please keep in mind we’re all adults here. Texting, talking on the telephone, or web browsing during class is simply rude and shows disrespect for your teacher, your fellow students, and yourself.

Plagiarism is copying someone else's work without giving proper credit to the author. It's cheating and can cause you to fail the course if you're caught. Even inadvertent plagiarism, such as failing to cite a source, is a serious academic offense. Make sure you avoid plagiarism with everything you write. If you're not sure what plagiarism is or how to avoid it, review your Little, Brown Handbook. I am available to help you in person or by e-mail, provided you come to me before turning in your paper.

Assignments, helpful information, and special notices will be posted each day on the course weblog: Be sure to check the site frequently for important information about the course. Please see me if regular Internet access is a problem for you.

You also have the benefit of online tutorial help from the SmartThinking service at Please take advantage of it.

Other Information
I accept late work only in unusual circumstances. In no circumstance will I give make-ups for daily quizzes or in-class writing assignments. Late work will be lowered at least one letter grade. I do not accept very late work (e.g., saving all your essays till the end of the semester).
In most cases, in-class essays will be graded pass/fail. For the in-class average, every passing essay will be averaged as a grade of 100 and every failing essay as a 50. A missed assignment is averaged as a 0. That said, the vicissitudes of life are sometimes outside our control, so I'll cut you a generous amount of slack. I will drop your three lowest quiz grades and your three lowest pass-fail essay grades. You will also be given the option of rewriting one graded paper. For rewrites, I will accept only papers that have already been graded and returned, and you must turn in your original, graded paper along with your new version.
Please see me if you need special accommodations in keeping with the Americans With Disabilities Act.

This syllabus hits only the high points and cannot include everything you need to know during the semester. Stay tuned for more.

A Final Note
Don't let all these dos and don'ts get you down. If you've made it this far, you probably have what it takes to make it through this course. I want you to do as well as you can, and I'll do my best to help you. But remember that you're the one in charge of your education, so take the initiative in doing the work, asking questions, and seeking help when you need it.

Monday, August 30, 2010


This weblog is for Motlow State Community College students in Milton Stanley's Composition 1 class. Be sure to check back here daily for important course information. Please keep in touch, both in-person and electronically. You can contact me electronically either through the comments section on this blog or by email. I look forward to working with you in the days ahead to help you enjoy a fruitful, rewarding, and enriching semester.