English 104 Section 92 – Composing Research
Tuesday/Thursday 5-6:15pm
LaFollette 18S

Cameron Eigner
ceigner@bsu.edu
Office: Robert Bell 397
Office Hours: TBA
Office Phone: 765-285-8580 ext. 0021

Required Materials:
From Inquiry to Academic Writing by Stuart Greene and April Lidinsky.
BallPoint volume two, available online at: http://goo.gl/nMnnb

Contacting Me: E-mail is my preferred method of communication. I have my office phone listed, but seriously, don’t call it. E-mail gives me an easy way to track what you have asked (and more importantly, what I have responded), meaning it’s simple for me to double check what I have told you. This works in your favour.

Course Description:

English 104 applies the fundamentals of rhetoric to the research process: methods of research; the rhetorical nature of research; elements, strategies, and conventions common to research writing, including multi-modal presentations of new knowledge. Prerequisite: ENG 101 and 102; or ENG 103; or appropriate placement.

Course Goals:

• Create and complete research projects. This involves generating a research question, engaging in critical/analytical reading, developing an argument with evidence collected from both primary and secondary research, and documenting sources appropriately.
• Align research questions with appropriate research methods
• Employ critical thinking in evaluation, speculation, analysis, and synthesis required to evolve and 
complete a research project.
• Use a variety of strategies to gather and organize information appropriate for the context and 
persuasive to the intended audience.
• Use the university research library to forward their research agenda.
• Engage in collaborative research.
• Employ format, syntax, punctuation, and spelling appropriate to various rhetorical situations in a 
stylistically sophisticated manner.
• Collect, analyze, and organize research information in verbally and visually compelling ways.
• Take initiative for the development and completion of individual and joint research projects.

Research writing doesn’t have to be a miserable slog. I’ve designed the assignments in this course to gradually build upon one another. There is going to be a strong emphasis in class about how to tie things together in meaningful and sophisticated ways. That said, there are four major assignments, described below, which will be coupled with weekly informal writing assignments to be completed both inside and outside of class. The goal is that each piece of writing you do for this class will be applicable to every piece of writing that follows.

Assignment Overview:

Informal Writing
100 points possible

We will be doing weekly writing assignments via Blackboard. These will typically be responses to prompts, but small pieces of larger assignments (an outline or annotated bibliography, for example) may take their place from time to time. These are not expected to be long, ultra-formal productions. They are expected to be between 150-250 words, and they aren’t supposed to take hours and hours to complete. The purpose here is that more writing leads to better writing – these ongoing informal pieces are meant to keep all of us writing, at least a bit, week to week.

Project 1:
Research Proposal 2-3 pages
Historical Essay/Lit Review – 6-8 pages, 12 sources
100 points possible

The first assignment focuses on the background of your research topic. You will be expected to gather 10 to 12 academic sources relating to your topic, then give a summary of the conversation surrounding it. By becoming aware of what has been and is being said, you prepare yourself for the second stage of the assignment: the research proposal. With this shorter document, you’ll be examining areas of your topic that require further research or more information.

Project 2:
Interview/Survey Essay – 5-6 pages, 10-15 people
150 Points Possible

For this assignment, students will engage in primary research about their selected topics. This can take the form of interviews and surveys. Students will need to conduct two personal interviews, as well as administer a total of 15 surveys. We will go over appropriate survey and interview questions beforehand, so everyone should be able to get some immediate information that is relevant to the discussion at hand. The interview essay will report on trends in the data; we’ve looked at the published conversation, but what are real people saying?

Project 3:
Rhetorical Research Essay – 12-15 pages, 15 sources
300 points possible

This is where assignment one and assignment two come together. The rhetorical research essay will assess any differences or similarities between research materials and collected data. Using information collected throughout the course, students will have the opportunity to suggest what might be causing the difference of opinion. This essay must make an argument. It is not simply presenting information – find the nuances of the research and merge those with the nuances of your interviews and surveys.

Project 4:
Video Project – 5 minutes, 2-3 page explanation.
150 points possible

The video project will be a documentary-style presentation of your research. It must incorporate several elements – voiceovers, images, video clips, transitions, and music. Using these, you will add flare to the argument made in your rhetorical essay. It will focus on iMovie and Windows Movie Maker – there will be ample opportunity in class to explore the software. You also have available a large number of Lynda tutorials should you run into trouble.

Grading System:

Project 1: 100 Points
Project 2: 150 Points
Project 3: 300 Points
Project 4: 150 Points
Informal Writing: 100 Points
Attendance/Participation: 100 Points
Total: 900 Points

846-900 A
845-809 A-
808-770 B+
769-747 B
746-720 B-
719-682 C+
681-666 C
665-630 C-

NOTE: In order to fulfill the University's Core Curriculum requirement in Writing Program courses, students must earn a minimum grade of C to pass; a grade of C- is not considered acceptable. Writing Program courses may be repeated as many times as necessary to meet the requirement but:
• The first and all other grades will show up on the transcript.
• All grades except the first will be used to compute the GPA.
• A grade of W will not replace a previous grade.
• Course credit hours apply only once to graduation requirements.
• Students who do not successfully complete ENG 104 before earning 90 credit hours will not be 
able to take the Writing Proficiency Exam. These students will instead need to take an additional writing course [WP 393] after completing ENG 104.

Late Paper Policy:

I will only take late assignments if there are appropriate circumstances for missing the deadline. That your printer didn’t work or that your hard drive crashed or that you overslept (a 5pm class, no less) does not qualify. My definition of “late” includes things that are sent to me by e-mail during or after class on the same day. Do not e-mail me papers. I expect you to be in class on the days assignments are due.

Classroom Expectations:

Please come to class prepared. I cannot stress this enough. Do the reading assignments, do the writing assignments, and come to class ready to discuss them. Much of the work we do revolves around your participation.

I also expect everyone to be respectful. Sometimes discussions will be organic and free-flowing, but at least part of the time, that won’t be appropriate. It’s very difficult for anyone to listen to two people talking at once: don’t talk when other people are talking.

Some instructors hate cell phones. I happen to love mine. However, out of respect for you, I won’t spend our class periods playing around on it. I can only ask that you do the same. I won’t throw you out of class if your phone rings, it happens to everyone sometimes, but try to remember to silence them before we begin. Phones are so ubiquitous now that they aren’t as disruptive as they used to be. They are still disruptive, though.

I would like to request that iPads, laptops, and other devices remain put away unless I’ve specifically asked you to take them out. I know that some students use them to take notes, but I think for the purposes of this class, the risk of distraction outweighs the benefits of whatever notes you may or may not be taking.

Attendance and Tardy Policy:

Every class period is important, but I know that things come up from time to time. Whether you get sick, or if you just need to take a mental health day, know that you only get three miss days. After that, you will lose 45 points (5% of your total grade) per missed class. After 6 absences, per university policy, you will fail the course. This is beyond my control: know that if you miss the equivalent of three full weeks, including the days I grant without penalty, you will fail.

Tardiness is obnoxious. Don’t be tardy. We’re all adults. Tardiness is a nuisance, but it won’t become a factor in your grade unless there is a serious problem. If you foresee yourself having a serious problem, perhaps because of a conflict from another class halfway across campus, let me know in advance. It’s for my benefit just as much as it is for yours.

A note about conferences:  If you miss a scheduled conference, you will be marked as having missed the entire week of class.  There are no exceptions to this rule: you have an entire week where you don't have to come to the classroom.  You can manage the 15 minutes you're required to meet with me.  Please show up on time for your CHOSEN time slot.  If you come late and hope there will be time later, you may be disappointed in the outcome.

Academic Honesty and Plagiarism:

Don’t use someone else’s words or ideas without attribution. Do cite your sources, even if you haven’t used their wording directly (paraphrased). I have very strict guidelines of what to do with source material when you hand in your assignments, and I will be checking them.

Be aware that it’s also possible to plagiarize yourself. It might not make much sense, but the takeaway is this: absolutely do not re-use papers, either from high school or your other classes. You may write about the same topics, but the papers must be original.

Both of these are violations of the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities as defined in the student handbook (or at www.bsu.edu/sa/dean/stucode/) and will be treated as such. If you are concerned about inadvertently violating this policy, please see me before completing the assignment.

Disability Statement:

If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, if you have emergency medical information to share with me, or if you need special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible. My office location and hours are TBA.

The Writing Center:

Want extra feedback on your papers? The Writing Center is a community of Ball State students who value writing. Come and collaborate with one of our trained peer tutors on any project for any major. The Writing Center is a comfortable, supportive environment for writers from all communities and backgrounds. We are located in RB 291. Our hours are M-Thurs 10am-8pm and Fridays from 10-2. To make an appointment go to ballstate.mywconline.com.


Here is the tentative weekly schedule. Refer to it often. I will do my best to keep it up to date should anything change.

Week 1
Monday/Tuesday Introduction, Review of Rhetorical Analysis/Writing
Wednesday/Thursday BallPoint v2. Chapter 1, particularly Digital Literacy

Week 2 
Inquiry, Chapter 2, pg. 29-50
Inquiry, Chapter 4, pg. 73-98, Ballpoint pg. 9-24, introduce Historical Essay/Lit Review Topics: Itsokaytobesmart.com

Week 3 
MLK DAY (Section 96 will plan for: Inquiry, 22-26, “Disliking Books,” in-class writing of Literary Narrative, Tie-together-day)
Library Day

Week 4 
Project 1 Peer Review
Project 1 Due, in-class advertisement analysis

Week 5 
Inquiry, Chapter 5, pg. 99-119
Ballpoint pg. 156-163, Multimodal miniproject

Week 6
Inquiry, Chapter 10, pg. 295-316
Creating Consent Forms and Interview Questions

Week 7 
CONFERENCES
CONFERENCES

Week 8 
Peer Review
Project 2 Due

Week 9
SPRING BREAK
SPRING BREAK

Week 10
Inquiry, Chapter 6, pg. 120-138, Strategies for Reading
Inquiry, Chapter 7, pg. 139-179

Week 11
Inquiry, Chapter 7, pg. 180-198 PLAGIARISMMMM
Synthesizing Primary and Secondary Research

Week 12
CONFERENCES
CONFERENCES

Week 13
Peer Review
Project 3 Due

Week 14
Introduce Video Project – Video as Argument: Different Shots and Meanings
Ethical Issues of Video Production – Consent and Credit

Week 15
Evaluation of Video – Relation of Modes (voiceover, image, background music -> complimentary, supplementary, redundant)
In-class video editing and technical workshop

Week 16
Peer Editing and Publishing
Project 4 Due/Presentations and Analysis

Finals week:
Continued Presentation and Analysis

Available Syllabi

English 103