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English 20803 Course Description

Course Requirements

A) Major Assignments (50% of course grade)

We’ll be producing five major assignments on a single research topic of the student’s choice,  totaling 20-30 pages of text or web copy.  Each piece will go through subsequent drafts and revisions, and can be revised for inclusion in the final project, a Wix web site. Due dates are often flexible within units.  

  • Assignment 1: Annotated Bibliography On Semester's Chosen Topic

  • Assignment 2:  Classical (Greek) argument (5-8 pages) 

  • Assignment 3:  Framing Paper (3-5 pages) 

  • Assignment 4:  Conflict Resolution/Arbitration   (MINI-ESSAY)

  • Assignment 5:  Public Advocacy Website & Social Media Campaign                  

Before each assignment is due, you’ll receive a detailed assignment sheet with the relevant grading rubric. [Note:  Except for in-class writings, everything you turn in should be typed.]

B)  Daily Work (20% of course grade)

Daily work includes reading assignments, in-class writings, informal out-of-class writings, pop quizzes, written feedback to peers, etc.  This work, while informal, will be part of the grade within the overall portfolio that comprises your final project (see below) in that not doing them adequately (or not doing them at all) can hamper your grade. The goal of daily writing is to generate ideas, thinking on the page, not about having a finished product. Our daily work assignments will include many short website components generated from  the written assignments above, such as a graphics bank, syllogism, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), gallery slideshow, Twitter research feed, hyperlinked list.


C)  Unit Tests (3) (30% of course grade). Tests will cover assigned readings and the terminology of each rhetorical unit.  Lists of terms can be found on the study guide posted on the website within each unit. WE ARE REQUIRED TO HAVE A “FINAL EVALUATIVE” EVENT IN THIS COURSE. OURS WILL BE A RELAXED PRESENTATION OF YOUR WEBSITES.

FINAL EXAM DATE:   Monday, Dec. 12, 2022 at 11:00 until 1:30


Overview and Outcomes

This course satisfies Written Communication 2 (WCO) requirement in the TCU Core Curriculum. Prerequisite: ENGL 10803 or equivalent and sophomore standing (24 hours). Prerequisite to all upper-division English courses and advanced writing courses at TCU. Topics may vary each time it is offered. Writing workshop that builds on ENGL 10803 by focusing on the analysis and production of arguments in a variety of media (i.e., print, visual, oral, digital) with a particular themed focus.  Students will work individually and collaboratively to read, research, and compose effective arguments on issues related to the theme of the course.  

  • Students will demonstrate facility with the English language and analysis of English-language argument. 

    • Study the terminology of historical and current-day rhetorical theory

    • Analyze a variety of arguments in different media (e.g. print, oral, electronic, and visual)

    • Analyze and assess genre, discourse conventions, rhetorical situation, and argument strategy in complex texts

    • Recognize and produce familiar argumentative genres 

    • Study the implications of contemporary argumentation for individuals and communities

    • Examine how their role as citizens includes participation as critical consumers and producers of arguments

  • Students will demonstrate the ability to write an argument for a specific rhetorical situation. 

    • Compose a variety of arguments in different media (e.g. print, oral, electronic, and visual) 

    • Produce an argument with a situation-appropriate focus, thesis, or controlling idea and recognize such in others’ texts

    • Practice firsthand the complex dynamics of collaborative work and analyze how that affects the rhetorical situation in analyzing and producing arguments

  • Students will demonstrate competency in using sources, (primary, secondary, electronic) in argument construction.   

    • Find, evaluate, and analyze primary and secondary sources for appropriateness, timeliness, and validity

    • Incorporate and synthesize source material (primary, print, digital) in argumentative composing

    • Practice connecting their personal experiences, values, and beliefs with larger social conversations and contexts 

o   Summarize, paraphrase, and quote from sources using appropriate documentation style

  • Edit for style as well as conventions of Standard American English

  • Students will demonstrate the ability to use the internet and social media effectively as a communication mechanism and a research tool.

    • Find, evaluate, and use online sources in academic assignments

    • Create specialized newsfeeds using Twitter or RSS feeds

    • Use word-processing software as well as PowerPoint to communicate and persuade professionally, to produce and incorporate non-print information (e.g. charts, spreadsheets, images, videos, and illustrations) in academic arguments.

We will emphasize the use of digital sources and technology in this multimodal course. All readings, documentaries, and research materials will be taken from the public domain online or accessible via subscriptions held by TCU’s Mary Coutts Burnett Library.  An electronic syllabus will be posted on the course website provide links in most cases; however, students will be asked to search online for materials as well.

Our organizing “textbook” will be a course website accessible here:

You will also be able to access the link to the course website from inside D2L/TCUOnline


Course Policies and TCU


Attendance is a requirement of this class.  unless TCU is officially closed due to inclement weather or COVID-19 diagnosis or pandemic closings. 

Official university absences are excused. Students representing TCU in a university-mandated activity that requires missing class should provide official documentation of schedules and turn in work in advance. 

Two weeks of unexcused absences (6 in a MWF course) constitute grounds for failure of the course.  

Absences due to illness, sleeping, and long weekends are NOT excused--they all count toward the three weeks' absences limit.  

Students following TCU policies and guidelines for reporting and self-isolating in the event of COVID infection will not be counted absent if they are keeping up with the class and in full communication with the instructor.



Students simply fulfilling the minimum requirements of the course warrants an average grade (as in C), not an A.  Coming to class every day and doing assignments is not something that earns “extra credit” or an automatic A; it’s expected by your being in the course.  A higher grade will be based on the distinctive quality and development of your work, on your ability to guide a piece of writing through the various stages of revision, and on a willingness to explore new subjects, genres, and techniques.  Below is a thumbnail breakdown of how I view letter grades; as we move into the semester you’ll receive more detailed descriptions and we’ll talk more about how I evaluate your writing:

A—excellent overall

B—good with some excellent aspects


D—mostly adequate with some unacceptable aspects

F—unacceptable overall

TCU's Academic Conduct Policy

Refer to the TCU Undergraduate Studies Catalog (quoted below)

An academic community requires the highest standards of honor and integrity in all of its participants if it is to fulfill its missions. In such a community faculty, students, and staff are expected to maintain high standards of academic conduct. The purpose of this policy is to make all aware of these expectations. Additionally, the policy outlines some, but not all, of the situations which can arise that violate these standards. Further, the policy sets forth a set of procedures, characterized by a "sense of fair play," which will be used when these standards are violated. In this spirit, definitions of academic misconduct are listed below. These are not meant to be exhaustive. 
Academic misconduct. 
Any act that violates the spirit of the academic conduct policy is considered academic misconduct. Specific examples include, but are not limited to: 
A. Cheating. Includes, but is not limited to: 
1. Copying from another student's test paper, laboratory report, other report, or computer files and listings. 
2. Using in any academic exercise or academic setting, material and/or devices not authorized by the person in charge of the test. 
3. Collaborating with or seeking aid from another student during an academic exercise without the permission of the person in charge of the exercise. 
4. Knowingly using, buying, selling, stealing, transporting, or soliciting in its entirety or in part, the contents of a test or other assignment unauthorized for release. 
5. Substituting for another student, or permitting another student to substitute for oneself, in a manner that leads to misrepresentation of either or both students work. 
B. Plagiarism. The appropriation, theft, purchase, or obtaining by any means another's work, and the unacknowledged submission or incorporation of that work as one's own offered for credit.

Appropriation includes the quoting or paraphrasing of another's work without giving credit therefore. 
C. Collusion. The unauthorized collaboration with another in preparing work offered for credit. 
D. Abuse of resource materials. Mutilating, destroying, concealing, or stealing such materials. 
E. Computer misuse. Unauthorized or illegal use of computer software or hardware through the TCU Computer Center or through any programs, terminals, or freestanding computers owned, leased, or operated by TCU or any of its academic units for the purpose of affecting the academic standing of a student. 
F. Fabrication and falsification. Unauthorized alteration or invention of any information or citation in an academic exercise. Falsification involves altering information for use in any academic exercise. Fabrication involves inventing or counterfeiting information for use in any academic exercise. 
G. Multiple submission. The submission by the same individual of substantial portions of the same academic work (including oral reports) for credit more than once in the same or another class without authorization. 
H. Complicity in academic misconduct. Helping another to commit an act of academic misconduct. 
I. Bearing false witness. Knowingly and falsely accusing another student of academic misconduct. 
Sanctions. Sanctions will be imposed for acts of academic misconduct. Students may obtain a complete copy of the Academic Conduct Policy in the offices of all the academic deans, the Dean of Campus Life, the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs, and the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs. 

 Texas Christian University complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 regarding students with disabilities.  Eligible students seeking accommodations should contact the Coordinator of Student Disabilities Services in the Center for Academic Services located in Sadler Hall, 11.  Accommodations are not retroactive, therefore, students should contact the Coordinator as soon as possible in the term for which they are seeking  TX 76129, or at (817) 257-7486.


Getting Started with TCU Online

Technical Requirements: Check your computer is ready by looking at the specifications list. (

Log In: (using your TCU Network Credentials)

  1. Access via > Student Quick Links > TCU Online

  2. Login at the following website (

*For information about logging into TCU Online, view these instructions. ( Orientation Tutorial for TCU Online: If you have not yet taken the TCU Online Student Orientation Tutorial, please do so now. To access it, click on the Orientations semester OR view all courses in your My Courses widget visible upon logging in to TCU Online. Click on the "Student Orientation Tutorial” to enter the orientation course. Follow the instructions in the course. You can return to this tutorial at any time.

Getting Help with TCU Online

If you experience any technical problems while using TCU Online, please do not hesitate to contact the TCU Online (D2L) Help Desk. They can be reached by phone or chat 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. 

Phone: 1-877-325-7778
Chat: Chat is available within TCU Online in the Help menu on the navigation bar.

If you are working with the Help Desk to resolve a technical issue, make sure to keep me updated on the troubleshooting progress.

If you have a course-related issue (course content, assignment troubles, quiz difficulties) please contact me.


Personal Settings & Notifications for TCU Online

As a student, you should set up your account settings, profile, and notifications. To do this you will login to TCU Online and select your name on the top right of the screen. In the Profile area, you can upload a photo of yourself and add personal information. In the Notifications area, you can add your phone number to receive text messages when grades are given as well as reminder texts for upcoming assignments and quizzes. 


Student Success Tools for TCU Online


ReadSpeaker includes a number of tools that can enhance your understanding and comprehension of course materials. ReadSpeaker can create an audio version of content that you can listen to while on a page within a course or that you can download to listen offline. ReadSpeaker can also read Microsoft Office files and PDFs. There are additional tools and features to assist you with reading and focusing in TCU Online, tools that provide support for writing and proofing text, and tools that can read non-TCU Online content aloud. You can learn more about how to use ReadSpeaker tools here:

Support for TCU Students

Campus Offices

  • Alcohol & Drug Education Center (817-257-7100, Samuelson Hall basement) 

  • Brown-Lupton Health Center (817-257-7938 or 817-257-7940)

  • Campus Life (817-257-7926, the Harrison 1600)

  • Center for Academic Advising (817-257-7486, Jarvis 140)

  • Center for Digital Expression (CDeX) (, Scharbauer 2003)

  • Counseling & Mental Health Center (817-257-7863, Samuelson Hall basement)

  • Mary Couts Burnett Library (817-257-7117) 

  • Office of Religious & Spiritual Life (817-257-7830, Jarvis Hall 1st floor)

  • Student Access and Accommodations (817-257-6567, The Harrison 1200)

  • Center for Writing (817-257-7221, Reed Hall 419)

  • Transfer Student Center (817-257-7855, BLUU 2003)

  • Veterans Services (817-257-5557, Jarvis Hall 219)


Center for Writing:  The Center for Writing offers assistance with writing projects and assignments to all TCU students. Staffed by professional writing instructors and peer consultants, the Center for Writing provides students with one-on-one tutorials free of charge. Conferences usually focus on a particular project or assignment, but may also include general writing instruction. The 10 PCs in the center's computer lab are available for use by any TCU student during normal office hours. Located in REED 419,  the Center for Writing is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Students may make appointments by accessing an online scheduling service through the center's Web site ( or by calling 817.257.7221. Those who wish to submit a paper online may do so via the center's web site. A consultant will read the paper and offer feedback within 48 hours.  Zoom tutorials are also available. 

New Media Writing Studio

The New Media Writing Studio (NMWS) is available to assist students with audio, video, multimedia, and web design projects. Located in of the Scharbauer 2003, the Studio serves as an open lab for use by students during posted hours. The Studio has both pc and Mac computers outfitted with Adobe CS3, which includes Adobe Acrobat, Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Flash, and InDesign. A variety of equipment is available for checkout to students whose teachers have contacted the Studio in advance. For more information and a schedule of open hours, see  



TCU Anti-Discrimination and Title IX Information

Statement on TCU’s Non-Discrimination Policy

TCU is committed to providing a positive learning, living, and working environment free from unlawful discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, and retaliation. In support of this commitment, in its policy on Prohibited Discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct and retaliation, TCU has a range of prohibited behaviors, including unlawful discrimination and harassment and related sexual and other misconduct based on age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, ethnic origin, disability, predisposing genetic information, covered veteran status, and any other basis protected by law. The Office of Institutional Equity (OIE) is responsible for responding to all reports of discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct and retaliation.

To make a report, you may call OIE at 817-257-8228, email, visit us at The Harrison, Suite 1800 or click here: Make a Report.

To learn about the Campus Community Response Team (CCRT) and Report a Bias Incident click here:


Title IX

TCU’s Title IX Coordinator works within OIE. Andrea Vircks-McDew serves as TCU’s Title IX Coordinator. You may call 817-257-8228 to make a report, email or, or make a report here. Additional Title IX resources and information are available at


Mandatory Reporters

ALL TCU employees, except confidential resources, are considered Mandatory Reporters. Mandatory reporters are required to immediately report to OIE any conduct that raises Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Misconduct (Title IX or Violence Against Women (VAWA)) or Retaliation. Mandatory reporters cannot promise to refrain from forwarding the information to OIE.


Confidential On-Campus Resources

Campus Advocacy, Resources & Education | 8147-257-5225


Counseling & Mental Health Center | 817-257-7863


Religious & Spiritual Life | 817-257-7830


On Campus Resources

TCU Police | 817-257-8400 Non-emergency | 817-257-7777 Emergency


TCU Policy for Religious Observations & Holidays

“Students who are unable to participate in a class, in any related assignment or in a university required activity because of the religious observance of a holy day shall be provided with a reasonable opportunity to make up the examination or assignment, without penalty, provided that it does not create an unreasonable burden on the University.” For more information, please visit the TCU Policy for Religious Observations & Holidays webpage.

Inclement Weather

When the university announces an official campus closure, all academic instruction and activities, online or in-person, on or off campus, will cease until the university officially reopens. Since there is no guarantee of the ability to communicate or access academic resources during a closing, students will not be expected to attend class online, submit assignments, take exams, or meet any scheduled deadlines during the closure. When classes resume, faculty will inform students of adjusted course expectations and deadlines to make sure course learning objectives are met. Any make-up time will take place during the scheduled class time or through out-of-class activities, which could include asynchronous lectures.

Student Access and Accommodation

Texas Christian University affords students with disabilities reasonable accommodations in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. To be eligible for disability-related academic accommodations, students are required to register with the TCU Office of Student Access and Accommodation and have their requested accommodations evaluated. If approved for accommodations, students are required to discuss their official TCU Notification of Accommodation with their instructors.  Accommodations are not retroactive and require advance notice to implement. The Office of Student Access and Accommodation is located in The Harrison, Suite 1200. More information on how to apply for accommodations can be found at  or by calling Student Access and Accommodation at (817) 257-6567.

Emergency Response Information

Please review TCU’s L.E.S.S. is More public safety video to learn about Lockdown, Evacuate, and Seek Shelter procedures. (

TCU’s Public Safety website provides maps that show our building’s rally point for evacuation and the seek shelter location. (

In the event of an emergency, call the TCU Police Department at 817-257-7777.

Download the Frogshield Campus Safety App on your phone. (

Student Perception of Teaching (SPOT)

Towards the end of the term you will receive an email asking to complete your SPOT for this course. I appreciate your thoughtful and reflective feedback to help make this course successful for future students. You can fill out the SPOT by clicking on the link in the email or in TCU Online when SPOTs open. 

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