English 101 (Rhetoric I)

English 101
Rhetoric I
Fall 2020
M–F, 7:05 a.m.–8:01 a.m.
M–F, 8:06 a.m.–9:05 a.m.
M–F, 11:12 a.m.–12:08 p.m.
M–F, 1:14 p.m.–2:10 p.m.
Room H260

As a dual credit student, those enrolled must meet the minimum appropriate placement score(s) to have the ability to earn college credit in this course. Because Plainfield School District 202, in accordance with IL state expectations, requires all Junior high school students to take the SAT, students must have scored 480 or higher on the “Evidence-Based Reading and Writing” area of the test. If the score was not met, students should have received a qualifying score using a different placement test: Accuplacer, ACT, or PARCC. All questions regarding student scores on any of the placement tests, or questions about if the school received the proper score, should be directed to your high school guidance counselor.

This dual credit course is offered through a partnership with Joliet Junior College in Joliet, IL and Plainfield Community School District 202. The partnership makes it possible for enrolled students to satisfy the high school English credit requirement while simultaneously earning college credit. To this end, the class is designed to nurture the thinking, reading, and writing skills necessary for success in college and beyond. It is required for students intending to continue in a baccalaureate program (nearly all bachelor’s degree programs, regardless of the college, require at least an introductory composition course, or the equivalent, the first year). This course will likely differ from other high school classes that you have taken in that it is more of a college style introductory course (i.e. not as much emphasis on the memorization of terminology and “test-taking” strategies as other courses may have had). Rather, I have placed special emphasis upon summary writing, exposition, and argumentation. I have designed the course using the “genre of argument approach.” This means that the course has been divided into sections based on the genre of argumentation that we will work with at that time: rhetorical analysis, classical, definition, causal.

Because this is a dual credit course, we will meet for approximately five hours throughout the week (as opposed to the customary three hours of course time in a college setting). That being said, you will have the ability in this course to earn three college credits. These credits will automatically be applied to any coursework at JJC, but they are also able to be transferred to a wide variety of colleges/universities—both in and out of the state of IL. As a college student, the requirement to earn college credit for the course is a “C” or better. If you fail to earn a “C” or better the first semester, you WILL NOT be able to earn college credit for Rhetoric II (English 102) second semester either.


  1. Comprehend, analyze, and critique a variety of texts including academic discourse
  2. Use various invention, drafting, and revising/editing strategies depending upon the purpose of the writing, the materials available to the writer, and the length of time available for the task
  3. Engage a topic in which the writer explores writing as a means of self-discovery and produces a text that is designed to persuade the reader of the writer’s commitment
  4. Demonstrate a theoretical understanding of rhetorical context (that is, how reader, writer, language, and subject matter interact)
  5. Establish a voice appropriate to the topic selected and the rhetorical situation
  6. Clarify major aims, arrange material to support aims, and provide sufficient materials to satisfy expectations of readers
  7. Select, evaluate, and interact effectively with sources, subordinating them to the writer’s purpose and creating confidence that they have been represented fairly
  8. Demonstrate satisfactory control over the conventions of edited Standard American English and competently attend to the elements of presentation (including layout, format, and printing)
  9. Recognize the existence of discourse communities with their different conventions and forms


  1. Lunsford, Andrea, and John Ruszkiewicz, editors. Everything’s an Argument. 8th ed., Bedford, 2019.
  2. Colombo, Gary, et al., editors. Rereading America: Cultural Contexts for Critical Thinking and Writing. 11th ed., Bedford, 2019.


  1. Major Writing Assignments—In order to meet state guidelines for transfer, students must complete a minimum of 4000 words of formal written essay assignments, excluding quizzes, exams, journals, prewriting activities, and revising/editing activities. The week-by-week portion of the syllabus identifies four main, formal writing assignments of increasing length. I will provide electronic copies of the detailed assignment sheets as the semester progresses. Generally, the word count for each essay is as follows: Essay 1 (750+ words), Essay 2 (1000+ words), Essay 3 (1000+ words), Essay 4 (1250+ words).
  2. Exercises, Exams, Quizzes, Journals, and Other Assessments—Because the primary focus of this course is on the satisfactory completion of the major essays, a large amount of your grade will be reflected through them. Beyond formal writing assignments, both formal and informal presentations as well as quizzes over articles and readings, when deemed appropriate by Mr. Depew, will be utilized. Moreover, ACTIVE PARTICIPATION in class discussions, both small group and whole group, and a variety of other in-class activities and checks will influence your grade.
  3. Attendance and Tardiness—We will follow Plainfield Central High School’s attendance and tardiness policies. For excused absences, students will have one day for every excused absence day to make up the work. Work not completed within the established time frame will result in an NHI. For unexcused absences, missed work will result in an automatic NHI (including days with quizzes, exams, and projects). Essentially, in order to receive the college credit that is possible for you to earn through this course, you are responsible for being at all class meetings. As an example, most college courses (of merit) will automatically remove you from the course if you have missed three class meetings throughout the semester—no refunds are given in those situations.


  • Computer Lab Classes—I will determine a schedule and request computer lab time as is needed for research, drafting, and completion of papers. Otherwise, open labs are available for your use throughout the PHS campus or at various library facilities at JJC.
  • Late Work—Formal essay assignments submitted late will lose one letter grade (10%) per day they are late. After one week, an essay will not be accepted and an NHI will be averaged. Individual situations will be determined at my discretion. Please be aware that because such a large portion of the grade is determined by the four major essays, it will not be possible to pass this course without properly completing all the formal writings.
  • Intellectual Property—Students own and hold the copyright to the original work they produce in class. It is a widely accepted practice to use student work as part of the college’s internal self-evaluation, assessment procedures, or other efforts to improve teaching and learning and in promoting programs and recruiting new students. If you do not wish your work to be used in this manner, please inform me.
  • College Statement about Grades of “F” and Withdrawal from Class—Students may withdraw from a course by processing an add/drop form during regular office hours through the Registration and Records Office at Main Campus or Romeoville Campus, or by phone at +1 (815) 744-2200. Please note the withdrawal dates listed on your bill or student schedule. Every course has its own withdrawal date. Failure to withdraw properly may result in a failing grade in the course. At any time prior to the deadline dates established, an instructor may withdraw a student from class because of excessive absence, poor academic performance or inappropriate academic behavior, such as, but not limited to, cheating or plagiarism. If you are enrolled in a dual credit section, please note how this may affect your dual credit for this class, as well as your future plans for completing any degree.
  • Intellectual Honesty—All work should be original and created by the individual student assigned the work in the course within the time frame for the given assignment. All formal written assignments will be submitted to Turnitin.com. Any instances of plagiarism, as determined by Mr. Depew, will result in a ZERO for the assignment (further disciplinary action may also be warranted as the case dictates).
  • Self-plagiarism, sometimes referred to as recycling fraud, undermines the academic purpose of the exercise of working on course assignments. You plagiarize yourself if you submit for course credit a piece of work that is the same or substantially similar to work for which you have already gained or intend to gain credit in current or past courses (including this or any other academic learning facility). To avoid self-plagiarism, you must have prior permission from the relevant instructor(s) and give full attribution to the source (i.e. yourself). Essentially, you are not allowed to submit a paper/work that you completed outside of this course.


  • Assessment Points ——————– 80%
    • Formal Essays
    • Presentations
    • Quizzes
    • Classwork
    • Homework
    • Discussion/Participation
  • Final Exam —————————– 20% (YES, there WILL be a final 1st semester)

Because this is a dual credit course, you will have two separate systems of grades that will be updated: PHSCC, and JJC. The grading system established within Plainfield Community Consolidated School District 202 does not allow for a “+ / -” attachment to a final semester grade. However, JJC’s grading system does allow for the attachment. As a result, it is possible to receive the grade of “B” as reflected on your final PHSCC transcript but receive a “B+” or “B-” on your JJC transcript.


Introductions (JJC registration, TII.com registration, course materials, personal intros)
Intro to Argument
EA chapters 1, 17

Sequence I: Rhetorical Analysis (Essay 1)
EA chapters 2–5

Rhetorical Analysis, continued
MLA formatting, quoting/citing sources
EA chapter 6
EA chapters 20–22
Practice rhetorical analysis on selected essays/materials in class

Workshop Week
Rough draft workshops, peer review, grammar/style review
**Essay 1 due at end of Week 4

Sequence II: Learning Power: The Myth of Education and Empowerment (Essay 2—classical argument)
“Introduction: Thinking Critically, Challenging Cultural Myths” (1–14)
“The Essentials of a Good Education” by Diane Ravitch (105–114)
“Against School” John Taylor Gatto (114–123)
In-class activities, questions, debates, summary/response activities

Continued readings/discussion
“I Just Wanna Be Average” Mike Rose (123–136)
“Learning to Read” Malcolm X (161–170)
“Still Separate, Still Unequal” Johnathan Kozol (170–188)
In-class activities, questions, debates, summary/response activities

Classical Arguments/Writing Arguments
Review EA chapter 17
Read EA chapter 7 (“The Classical Oration”); EA chapter 13

Workshop Week
Computer lab time, rough draft workshops, peer review, conferences, grammar/style review
**Essay 2 due at end of Week 8

Sequence III: Harmony at Home: The Myth of the Modern Family (Essay 3—definition argument)
“What We Really Miss About the 1950s” Stephanie Coontz (25–41)
“Aunt Ida Pieces a Quilt” Melvin Dixon (41–44)
“Why Are All the Cartoon Mothers Dead?” Sarah Boxer (86–97)
In-class activities, questions, debates, summary/response activities

Continued readings/discussion
“Looking for Work” Gary Soto (19–24)
From Marriage Markets: How Inequality is Remaking the American Family June Carbone and Naomi Cahn (77–86)
In-class activities, questions, debates, summary/response activities

Arguments of Definition
Read EA chapter 9; review 13/17 as necessary

Workshop Week
Computer lab time, rough draft workshops, peer review, conferences, grammar/style review
**Essay 3 due at end of Week 12

Sequence IV: The Wild Wired West: Myths of Progress on the Tech Frontier (Essay 4—causal argument)
“Growing Up Tethered” Sherry Turkle (236–253)
“Love Me Tinder” Emily Witt (270–282)
“CyberSexism” Laurie Penny (253–270)
In-class activities, questions, debates, summary/response activities

Continued readings/discussion
“The Loneliness of the Interconnected” Charles Seife (289–303)
“Inequality: Can Social Media Resolve Social Divisions” Danah Boyd (303–322)
“Our Future Selves” Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen (219–235)
In-class activities, questions, debates, summary/response activities

Causal Arguments
Read EA chapter 11; review 13/17 as necessary

**I may choose to incorporate a small amount (one outside source) of research to Essay 4 as intro/preparation for research in English 102. If so, I will add EA chapters 18 and 19**

Workshop Week
Essay 4 due the Friday before Semester Finals Week (Friday, 15 December 2017)

A final examination is required for all classes and must take place during the scheduled examination time during final exams week,
Monday, 17 December 2018–Friday, 21 December 2018.

The major essay assignments for English 101 fall into the following pattern:
Assorted Items in Class
       Essay 1 (Rhetorical Analysis, 750+ words)—due at end of Week 4
The Myth of Education and Empowerment
       Essay 2 (Classical Argument Essay, 1000 words)—due at end of Week 8
The Myth of the Modern Family
       Essay 3 (Definition Argument Essay, 1000+ words)—due at end of Week 12
Myths of Progress on the Tech Frontier
       Essay 4 (Causal Argument Essay, 1250 words)—due at end of Week 15
Final Examination