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Rhetoric and Composition I

WRIT 1301.16

Beth Eakman Re


Sorin Hall #208

Contact Info:                    

Best way to reach me: Email

Other ways to reach me

  • Text me at 512.468.2228 (identify yourself; you are not in my contacts list)

  •  Leave a note on my office door

  •  Slowest, worst way to reach me: My office phone (not recommended)  



11-12:15 TR

Library 143



There is no textbook for this course***. Read articles and notes as assigned.

A real paper notebook or journal to take notes in class (occasional checks will count as homework grades)

Internet access

***Printing costs: You will print your final portfolio for this course through Walmart Photobooks online. These cost around $25-$30 and are surprisingly good quality for the speed and cost. We will do these in November, so budget accordingly. 

***Camera: You will need images for your final portfolio. The camera on your phone is fine. You can check out nice camera equipment if you are so inclined at the digital media center in the library on the second floor next to the writing center. 


COURSE OBJECTIVES and Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)
Rhetoric and Composition I

Students in Rhetoric and Composition I (WRIT 1301/FSTY 1311) will compose a variety of texts designed to develop competencies in the following areas:

  • Orient readers effectively through the appropriate use of thesis statements, topic sentences, and textual signposts, such as transitions.

  • Write paragraphs that are sensitive to readers’ needs for transition and connection.

  • Write sentences that are easy for readers to understand.

  • Develop and organize ideas appropriately for specific audiences and purposes.

  • Use voice, tone, and levels of formality appropriate for specific audiences and purposes.

  • Write multiple revised drafts for out-of-class writing.

  • Adapt a recursive sequence of invention, drafting, revision, and editing for each assignment.

  • Critique their own and others’ work constructively.

  • Edit texts according to the conventions of Edited American English.

  • Identify the main idea and supporting points in readings.

  • Identify a writer’s purpose and target audience and understand how these factors affected the writer’s choices.

  • Recognize how different sources address a similar issue.

  • Engage meaningfully with the ideas of other writers by summarizing, paraphrasing, and quoting appropriately and accurately with clear attribution.

  • Document the words and ideas of others using correct MLA form.

Moral Reasoning and Civil Discourse
  • Identify the values underlying their own and others’ arguments.

  • Discuss respectfully their own and others’ viewpoints both orally and in writing.


Submissions (100 points each)

1. Report on rhetoric at the recent events at the University of Virginia

2. Proposal for research/analysis paper

3. Annotated Bibliography

4. Synthesis Map

5. Formal research/analysis paper

6. Revised paper

7. Multimodal presentations

Homework/Daily work (100 points)

Syllabus quiz (100 points)

Portfolio (100)


The math for determining your grade for this course is simple addition. The assignments listed above combine for a total of 1000 possible points. At the end of the semester, just take that total number and move the decimal to the left. So, for example, if you had a total of 7596 points, you'd move that decimal and find that you have a 75.96, which would be a 76 (rounded up). 

Values with plus/minus grading

1000-970      A+

960-940        A

930-900        A-

890-870        B+

860-840        B

830-800        B-

790-770        C+

760-700        C

690-600        NP      

590-0             F


Please note that there is no D for this course. If you have given it your best effort and are simply not ready to move on to the next level of college writing, you will receive an NP (No Pass) for the course. This means that you will have to take the class again, but it will not harm your GPA. If you have simply not completed the work, you will receive an F (Fail) for the course.

Grading Criteria

Think of your grade as happening in 25 point increments of the possible 100 points. You get 50 points (25 x 2) just for turning your assignment in on time and complete. Please note that on time and complete are calculated together (see the asterisks). That means that if the submission is either late or incomplete it will lose 50 points. Here's how that works. 

  • 25 points for submitting the assignment on time*

  • 25 points for submitting the assignment complete*

  • 25 points (+/-) for the assignment meeting specifications

  • 25 points (+/-) for excellence



This means that the assignment is submitted on Canvas before the assignment window shuts down with no exceptions. If your computer spontaneously combusts five minutes before the deadline and you can't run across campus to the nearest computer lab to upload it, then it's zero points. 


Quantitative: This means that the submission contains all of the required components. For example, if an article calls for 500 words. It should be as close to that number as possible. It should have a clear beginning, middle, and end and no missing information. Again, easy 25 points. 

Meets Specifications

Qualitative: Each assignment has detailed specifications described in the assignment prompt. Specifications describe these qualitative features. 25 points +/-.


So, if just submitting your assignment on time and up to specifications gets you up to 75 points, what moves that number up from 75? Excellence can come in many forms and I am looking for it--usually with a highlighter in hand: perfect word choice, tight editing, thorough development, logical organization, innovative style, timeliness, thorough research, narrative technique, etc. 25 points +/-. 

*A note on "complete and on time": These two must happen together or neither counts. This prevents students from turning in one paragraph on the due date or a complete assignment weeks late and expecting to lose only 25 points. 



St. Edward’s University is committed to the retention and success of its students. Regular class attendance is critical to academic success. Plan to attend all class meetings unless you are nearly dead from illness. If you are well enough to function, plan to sit in the back row so that you do not spread your disease to your classmates. If you do miss class, it is your responsibility to get any notes or assignments from a classmate. I do not repeat lectures or assignments. In-class work cannot be made up. If you miss more than three class meetings, you may lose up to ten points toward your final grade or you may be dropped from the course with a W/A (withdrawn for absences).


Because this course emphasizes argument and civil discourse, your active participation in class discussions is critical. You can earn points for thoughtful participation in class activities, but you may lose points for disrespectful behavior (eg, sleeping in class, reading outside material, texting, etc.).

The good news is that perfect attendance adds two points to your final grade and only one absence adds one point. If you have any type of emergency (medical, family, personal, etc.), I encourage you to contact the office of student disabilities as soon as possible. They will help you to take the appropriate steps to avoid serious damage to your academic standing. The office is located on the ground floor of Moody Hall.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity includes not only cheating on quizzes and exams, but also plagiarizing, presenting someone else’s work as your own. The SEU Undergraduate Bulletin states that “The normal penalty for a student who is dishonest in any work is to receive a mark of F for that course. Students who commit academic dishonesty more than once may be subject to expulsion. Please see your Undergraduate Bulletin for a description of the full range of penalties.



If you have a medical, psychiatric, or learning disability and require accommodations in the class, please present your documentation to me as soon as you are eligible so that we can work together to make the appropriate accommodations. You will need to bring me official documentation from the Student Disability Service Office in Moody Hall 155 in Academic Planning and Support. Please be aware that we cannot make accommodations without 504 documentation or retroactively. 

Diversity and Inclusion Policy

St. Edward's, First Year Writing, and Freshman Studies support an inclusive learning environment where diversity and individual differences are understood, respected, appreciated, and recognized as a source of strength. We expect that students, faculty, administrators and staff will respect differences and demonstrate diligence in understanding how other peoples’ perspectives, behaviors, and worldviews may be different from their own.

We want to create a classroom community where everyone participates and is treated respectfully by the rest of the class. 

Title IX Policy

Title IX makes it clear that violence, harassment, and discrimination based on sex and gender are Civil Rights offenses subject to the same kinds of accountability and the same kinds of support supplied to offenses against members of other protected groups such as those defined by race, national origin, etc. Please contact me or the Dean of Students if you need to report Title IX violations. Dean of Students Office: 512.448.8408.


Writing Center

Your tuition gives you access to excellent writing tutoring absolutely free of charge. The tutors who work in the Writing Center (in the lovely new library!) are writing professors here at SEU. I strongly encourage you to take advantage of this resource. Students who regularly use the writing center typically make better grades than those who do not.

Student Academic Support Services

This website provides quick links to all of the campus services.

Student Disability Services

Coordinates reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities (medical, learning, or psychological). 512.448.8561

Health and Counseling Center

High quality integrated health, counseling, and wellness services 512.448.8686 or 512.448.8538, 101 Ladybird Johnson Hall

Digital Media Center

In-person and online resources to help students create digital media, including audio and video production and editing, digital imaging, graphic design, and web development. Located on the second floor of the Munday Library next to the writing center.

Computer Help

The Office of Instructional Technology (OIT) helps with computer issues and supports learning new technologies. 512.448.8433, Moody Hall 309,










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