ENGL 1010-003 | Expository Writing

Summer Session 2, 2011

Room: PH 320 | Time: MTWR 1010-1230

Dr. Lavery | Texts and Other Required Materials | About This Course | About This Particular Section | Course Policies and Procedures | Course Requirements | More About the Essay Assignments | Revision Policy | Power Points | Class Members | Websites | Links | Readings | Agenda | Daily Show and Colbert Report Blog | Little Seagull Handbook Online | Essay Evaluation Form | Things You Should Know about Essay Submissions | Essay One Problems | From Your 2nd Essays | Logical Fallacies, Propaganda Devices, Language Misuse: Web Page | Power Point


Dr. David Lavery

Office: PH 372 | Office Hours: Office Hours:  by arrangement | E-mail: david.lavery@gmail.com | Office Phone/Voice-Mail: 615-898-5648 | Home Page: http://davidlavery.net/

Dr. David Lavery is Professor of English at MTSU (1993- ). The author of over one hundred twenty published essays, chapters, and reviews, he is author / co-author / editor / co-editor of twenty three books, including Joss: A Creative Portrait of the Maker of the Whedonverses and The Essential Cult Television Reader. The organizer of international conferences on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Sopranos, a founding co-editor of the journals Slayage: The Online International Journal of Buffy Studies and Critical Studies in Television, he has lectured around the world on the subject of television (Australia, Turkey, the UK, Portugal (where he gave a keynote address on The Onion, The Daily Show, and The Colbert Report), New Zealand, Ireland, Germany) and has been a guest/source for the BBC, NPR, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, The New York Times, A Folha de Sao Paulo (Brazil), Publica (Portugal), Information (Netherlands), AP, The Toronto Star, USA Today. From 2006-2008, he taught at Brunel University in London.



The Little Seagull Handbook (hereafter LSH); The Daily Show and Philosophy (hereafter DSP); Stephen Colbert and Philosophy (hereafter SCP)

     Click on the images to go to the Amazon page for each book or order online from any other seller.


Other Required Materials: A USB drive, access to D2L and your MTMail account, access to Microsoft Word.


About This Course

Expressive writing emphasizes the writer’s feelings/reactions to people, objects, events, or ideas. Expository writing focuses more on objects, events, or ideas than on the writer’s feelings about them. When you report, explain, clarify, or assess, you are practicing exposition.


Students in 1010 write 4 essays, each of which go through multiple drafts and at least two of which demonstrate the student’s ability to support a thesis and properly integrate and cite primary source material. Some sections of 1010 focus on an issue or theme; all sections have a substantial reading component. Instructors use the workshop method to teach the writing process as well as build community.


English 1010 introduces students through a clear and definite sequence of writing assignments to expository writing. It is the first course in a two-semester writing sequence. In this course, students will be exposed to the various stages of the writing process. Students will learn how each of these stages can be utilized most effectively to help us communicate our ideas to specific audiences. Students will write in a variety of genres and perform a variety of rhetorical moves.  The sequence of essays assigned will assist students in transitioning from very personal writing to more audience-oriented pieces.


English 1010 Objectives

1. Students will improve their ability to generate a writing plan with informed writing objectives.

2. Students will draw writing content from experience, imagination, and outside resources (e.g., printed materials, interviews, films).

3. Students will be introduced to strategies for synthesizing and analyzing different types of text and material.

4. Students will gain a greater sense of the process of writing: prewriting, drafting, rewriting, and editing.

5. Students will write out-of-class essays that illustrate their knowledge of the writing process and at least one in-class essay that illustrates their on-demand writing ability.

6. Students will write at least four essays of 1000 words each.

7. Students will be able to analyze their writing strengths and weaknesses.

8. Students will improve their ability to develop a thesis clearly with a variety of supporting evidence (e.g., definition, illustration, description, comparison and contrast, casual analysis).

9. Students will learn to adapt their writing to audience and purpose.

10. Students will learn to integrate and document primary sources accurately.

11. Students will develop the ability to vary the structure and length of sentences and paragraphs.

12. Students will learn to write with grammatical competence and use conventional punctuation and spelling.


About This Particular Section

This particular section will take as its focus the Comedy Central "fake news" programs: The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, which will serve as a springboard for discussion of and writing about such topics as politics, the media, news coverage, the culture wars, science, evolution, advertising, religion, parody, satire, humor, celebrity, propaganda, the nature and future of America. We will (be warned) often plunge deep into controversy, but we should have some fun too, and we will laugh often.



Course Policies and Procedures

Class format: We will follow a lecture / discussion format during most class meetings. Manuscript form: All written assignments must be word-processed and submitted as Microsoft Word or Rich Text e-mail attachments in the proper Drop Box on D2L. Please name the file with your own last name (for example: lavery.doc.) Essay Evaluation: I will evaluate your essays using a grading scale which can be found here. Go here to see a catalog of things you should know about essay submissionsReading assignments: You are responsible for having read the entirety of each day's assignments See the agenda. Participation & involvement: Please come prepared for each day’s class. I encourage you to become an active participant in class discussion and to ask constructive and meaningful questions at all times. Take note that 20% of your grade will be based on class participation. Attendance: Regular attendance is essential to the ongoing progress of the course. Two absences will be permitted. A third absence may result in the loss of a letter grade. A fourth absence may result in failure of the course. Inclement Weather Policy: Go here. Plagiarism / Cheating: The unacknowledged use of the words / ideas / insights / original research of another is, of course, prohibited. Should I catch you plagiarizing, or cheating in any way, you will receive a grade of "0" on the assignment in question, the violation may be reported to University authorities, and you may fail the course. Students with Disabilities: Any student with a disability will be given all the rights and privileges guaranteed under the Americans with Disabilities Act if he/she is registered with Disabled Student Services (call/contact John Harris, KUC 120/2783). University Writing Center: At The University Writing Center (now located in the Walker Library), sponsored by the English Department and staffed by full-time and adjunct faculty and graduate teaching assistants, you can get constructive help with a variety of writing problems, from pre-writing to organization to grammatical errors. (Please be aware, however, that the UWC does not do proofreading.) Lottery Statement: Lottery Scholarship Requirements: To retain Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship eligibility, you must earn a cumulative TELS GPA of 2.75 after 24 and 48 attempted hours and a cumulative TELS GPA of 3.0 thereafter.  You may qualify with a 2.75 cumulative GPA after 72 attempted hours (and subsequent semesters), if you are enrolled full-time and maintain a semester GPA of at least 3.0.  A grade of C, D, F, or I in this class may negatively impact TELS eligibility.  Dropping a class after 14 days may also impact eligibility; if you withdraw from this class and it results in an enrollment status of less than full time, you may lose eligibility for your lottery scholarship. Lottery recipients are eligible to receive the scholarship for a maximum of five years from the date of initial enrollment, or until a bachelor degree is earned.  For additional Lottery rules, please refer to your Lottery Statement of Understanding form, review lottery requirements on the web at http://scholarships.web.mtsu.edu/telsconteligibility.htm, or contact the Financial Aid Office at 898-2830. Grading Scale: 90-99%=A | 80-89%=B | 70-79%=C | 60-69%=D | 0-59%=F


Course Requirements

Four essays of at least 1000 words each (each worth 20% of course grade). Go here to learn more about the essay assignments. Class Participation: 20% of Grade.


Revision Policy

Each project will be revisable once.  Once projects are handed back, students will be given a week to revise projects for a better grade.  Each revision must be turned in with a cover letter noting the revisions made and reasons for making such changes from the previous graded draft.  Revisions should not merely include editing of errors made in previous draft but rather constitute a significant improvement from the original work.  Instructor comments from the previous graded draft should be considered and utilized in this process.  Failure to revise substantially will result in the second draft not being graded.  If the revised grade is higher than the previous grade, it will replace it; otherwise the original grade will stand.


Class Members

Roshika Banerjee | Reid Bennett | Amy Cook | Lakeshia Day | Matthew Dravis | Chris Dunson | Jason Frazier | Jessica Herron | Gary Hord | Rami Khoury | Crystal Lusk | Douglas Rowland | Dewan Swett | Meigong Zhang


Power Points

The Onion | Fake News | Bleeping | The Assault of Laughter | Satire & Parody The Daily Show | The Colbert Report | Propaganda, Logical Fallacies, Language Misuse



Wk | Date—Subject | Reading Assignment—Course Requirements

1 | 6/6—Introduction to the Course

6/7—Introduction to the Course (continued) | The Onion

6/8—The Daily Show | Segment 1 in DSP (Erion, Gettings)

6/9—The Colbert Report | First Segment in SCP (Johnson, Gimbel)

2 | 6/13—The Daily Show | Segment 1 in DSP (Sotos, Zinzer)—Essay 1 Due

6/14—The Colbert Report | First Segment in SCP (Torosyan, Sotos, Southworth)

6/15—The Daily Show | Segment 2 in DSP (MacMullan, Barad)

6/16—The Colbert Report | Second Segment in SCP (Pierlott, Mills)

3 | 6/20—The Daily Show | Segment 2 in DSP (Michels & Ventimiglia, Barcenas)—Essay 2 and Revision of Essay 1 Due

6/21—The Colbert Report | Second Segment in SCP (Tiboris & Schaff, Detmer)

6/22—The Daily Show | Segment 3 in DSP (Torosyan, Dempsey)

6/23—The Colbert Report | Third Segment in SCP (Balkowski, Stone)

4 | 6/27—The Daily Show | Segment 3 in DSP (Blessing & Marren, Sneddon)—Essay 3 and Revision of Essay 2 Due

6/28—The Colbert Report | Third Segment in SCP (Frazier, Michaud)

6/29—The Daily Show | Segment 4 in DSP (Lopresti, Frazier, Pigluicci)

6/30—The Colbert Report | Final Segment in SCP (Schiller, Smith, Patton & Webb)

5 | 7/5—The Daily Show | Segment 1 in DSP (Erior, Gettings)—Essay 4 and Revision of Essay 3 Due

7/6—The Colbert Report | Segment 5 in DSP (Vanderheiden, Holt, Griffioen, Decker)

7/7—Final Meeting