Failing Essays: ENG 1001

Well, if you’re reading this, it’s very likely you just received on F on one of my ENG 1001 formal essays. Know that it’s not thrilling to give an essay an F, and I’m well aware that it’s even more upsetting to receive one. Because an F on a formal essay makes passing my ENG 1001 course impossible for that semester, I am willing to work with students who are willing to make the effort to rework F-level essays. However, this is a one-time opportunity that can not be repeated by the same student.

An essay rewrite is a one-time opportunity that can not be repeated by the same student in the same semester. I have included alternative direction for online students in italics, when necessary.

Here are my expectations and guidelines for rewriting an essay that originally received an F:

STEP 1: You must contact me within a week of receiving your F to let me know you plan to rewrite the essay. If you turn in a rewrite without contacting me ahead of time, I will not correct it. 

STEP 2: Visit the IVCC Writing Center with your assignment sheet and turn in the writing center slip with your rewritten essay. Online students can utilize the Online Writing Center process rather than the face-to-face process. 

STEP 3: Turn in both the original F essay and your rewritten essay by the date we determine together during STEP 1. Online students will not complete this step and will jump directly to STEP 4

STEP 4: Upload the rewritten essay to the original essay’s assignment link.

Part of the reason I allow students to rewrite an F paper is because I understand and appreciate that it’s not often done just because students are trying to get away with something or simply misunderstood the assignment expectations. Often, an F paper results from a lack of time-management, life circumstances, or a concern about asking for help. I hope that the opportunity to experience what it takes to improve your writing process and see the difference between the first process and the second process, will allow students to learn from the situation WITHOUT it putting them an entire semester behind.

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Essay Revisions: ENG 1001

Students are able to rewrite one essay each semester and must choose to do so within a week of the essay being returned with feedback. When an essay is rewritten, I will average the two grades together to determine the new, replacement grade. I am willing to work with students who are willing to make the effort to rework essays that earned a lesser grade than expected for whatever reason; however, essay rewrites should go beyond simple grammar or citation updates to include updating sentence phrasing, clearer transitions between thoughts/paragraphs, better argument organization, and stronger use of quote sandwich formatting.

An essay rewrite is a one-time opportunity that can not be repeated by the same student in the same semester. I have included alternative direction for online students in italics after each step.

Here are my expectations and guidelines for turning in an essay rewrite:

STEP 1: You must contact me within a week of receiving your grade/feedback to let me know you plan to rewrite the essay. If you turn in a rewrite without contacting me ahead of time, I will not correct it. 

STEP 2: Visit the IVCC Writing Center with your assignment sheet and original essay; include the writing center slip with your rewritten essay. Online students can use the Online Writing Center process instead of a face-to-face visit. 

STEP 3: Turn in both the original essay and your rewritten essay by the date we determine together during STEP 1. Online students will not complete this step and will jump directly to STEP 4.  

STEP 4: Upload the rewritten essay to the original essay’s assignment link.

I include expectations and guidelines because it’s not often in the professional world that you are given a second chance, but seeing that this an educational setting, I hope a second chance in this situation will provide you the opportunity to experience and reflect on the changes to your time-management, writing process, and use of student resources that resulted in a higher essay grade.

Score BIG Details

This is for the 2017 Pilot Program. I have enrolled the following classes for competition: ENG 1002; ENG 1001-10; ENG 0900-01; ENG 0900-04. Here are the details as I understand them; provide din ENG 1002 “storytelling” terms:
The premise: a campus wide competition between 18-20 classes (some are still signing up).
The hero/heroine: you guys as a class!!
The antagonistic forces: the other classes; procrastination; motivation
The war:
  • You will receive email direction and more detail once you complete STEP 1 directions below.
  • Student scores should be updated in Blackboard by Friday morning each week.  On Friday afternoon each week the class leaderboard will be posted on the library’s digital monitor by the cyber cafe.
  • The deadline: student deadline for completion is November 21, 2017.  The program is designed for students to complete the activities on their own time throughout the semester, so the earlier they start, the better they will do in class and in the game.
The aftermath (what you and we win):
  • Class prize: Each class is competing for a class prize.  With the winning instructor’s permission and designation of a class period near the end of the semester, the Student Life Space and its gaming equipment will be reserved for the entire class period and refreshments will be served. The type of refreshment may vary depending on the time of day the winning class meets. A tiebreak is yet to be determined, but likely some sort of final class challenge.
  • Individual prize: based on highest points achieved. The tiebreak will be the first completer with the highest points.  If the student owns a vehicle the prize includes a gas card and a service at the IVCC automotive department.  If the student uses public transportation the prize includes a pass to the transportation system and a gift card to the cafeteria.
STEP 1 Directions:  log into your student email account and send an email to shd@ivcc.edu with “Join Score BIG” in the subject line. Include your K#, name, and which class/section in the email. When you are enrolled in the Blackboard for Score BIG you will get an email response giving them instructions.  Just for accomplishing the sign-up step from your IVCC email account you will get your first 5 point. Visit this link or the Learning Commons if you have trouble accessing your student email account.

ENG 1001 Grading Rubrics

These rubrics are also available in our course Blackboard shell as well as embedded into assignment links. *Note, there may be small differences between these saved files and their embedded electronic versions. I reserve the right to update rubrics as needed but, in doing so, will not alter the intention of the assignment outcomes or expectations.

If you have questions about rubrics, my grading expectations, or have concerns about a grading mistake, please email, message, or visit my office hours. Please bring grading concerns to my attention as soon as possible.

Writing Process Rubrics

Formal Third-Person Essay Writing

Writing Process Assignments, including assignments such as freewriting, thesis/paragraph development, outling, and drafting.

Peer Review Process, includes a complete rough draft, 3 completed peer review handouts, deadline, and peer review reflection. Online and face-to-face rubrics vary.

Essay Writing Process Reflection

Assignment Rubrics

DB Response and Participation Rubric, geared toward online course.

Journal Response

Citation Sandwich Expectations

This can be used as an example for my ENG 1001 and ENG 1002 essays. And while I’ll be specifically grading for citation sandwiches, sandwiching your evidence within your body paragraphs in the way I’ve outlined below will bring a couple key things to your academic writing:

  1. Academic Authority: providing appropriate signal phrases and explanation will show readers that you’re using credible and relevant sources that fit within the context of your argument.
  2. Organization: preparing readers for what is coming with a topic sentence, signal phrase, and helping them see the connections that you’ve just made with your citation examples and wrap-up sentences will help them understand the content that you’re providing them. It’s like a little mini 5-paragraph essay within your body paragraphs.
  3. Grading: while my grading expectations include citation sandwich structure specifically, I’ve simply named a common grading expectation the “citation sandwich” to make things more clear for students. Additionally, most IVCC English instructors use the department grading guidelines that look for strong organization, thesis and support within student writing, something use of citation sandwiches will generally provide your essay.

Citation Sandwich Expectations

Every body paragraph needs to contain the following elements. These will add academic authority to your writing, showcase the relevance/credibility of the sources you’ve chosen as evidence of your claims, and help readers see the context of your evidence within your paragraph and essay claims.

  • Body Paragraph Topic Sentence
  • 2-3 sentences that state your claim
  • Evidence: signal phrase with citation
  • 2-3 sentences that explain (1) how the quote supports your claim or (2) context for the quote
  • Repeat “claim, evidence, explain” steps, as needed (at least once is suggested)
  • 1-3 sentences that wrap up the paragraph’s point and may transition to the next paragraph.

Here’s an Example Direct Quote

Topic sentence of body paragraph. 2-3 sentences that set-up or build the paragraph’s point. The article “Generation X Defined” from Slate Magazine claims that “The great drawback to becoming a celebrated voice of a generation is that it encourages writers to believe that whatever idle thoughts drift through their minds … are automatically of interest (Pond et al. 455). While those in previous generations were taught that children should be seen, not heard, the up-and-coming Generation X has generally been encouraged for individual opinions. Repeat steps 2-4 as needed. 1-3 wrap-up and transitional sentence (remember that your transitions can be at the end of this paragraph, the beginning of the next paragraph, or combination of the two via connecting language/words.

Things to note about this example:

  1. The parenthetical documentation formatting of this source tells readers this article includes an author name (and the page number of the citation, when known–often this is not known on Internet source). On the Works Cited page, this entry would begin with the last name of Pond.
  2. The use of the introductory signal phrase as well as the continued reference back to the source while including additional information helps show readers the credibility of your source while reminding them that you’re using borrowed information.
  3. The explanation or context provided by you the student is nearly as long as the paraphrase citation, making your voice be just as strong (or stronger) than the voice of the citation. 

Additional Resources:

And here’s a link to transitional language post if you’re looking for ways to provide more transition within and between your paragraphs.

Direct Quote & Citation Sandwich Example

Information in this post can used as example for the ENG 1001 or ENG 1002 source-based essays. It first provides an example direct quote citation with resources, and then provides a reminder to use “citation sandwich” formatting to incorporate all your citations. For information about paraphrase/summary citation, see this post.

Direct Quote Example

A direct quote is language taken word-for-word from a source, enclosed in quotation marks. It should be incorporated into your body paragraph only after you provide a topic sentence and begin your paragraph’s claim.

Topic sentence of body paragraph. 1-3 sentences that set-up or build the paragraph’s claim. An article “Generation X and Mixed Messages” by Amy Pond, John Smith, and Rory Williams found in Slate Magazine describes how “the great drawback to becoming a celebrated voice of a generation is that it encourages writers to believe that whatever idle thoughts drift through their minds … are automatically of interest (12). While those in previous generations were taught that children should be seen, not heard, the up and coming Generation X has generally been encouraged for individual opinions; however positive this message is, many fear it is creating a generation that will be quickly disillusioned by professional expectation when individuals enter the workforce.

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Example Paraphrase/Summary Citation

This post provides direction and best practices about properly incorporating MLA Style paraphrase and summary citation for ENG 1001 and ENG 1002 source-based essays. First there’s an example of how to incorporate a paraphrase/summary citation using proper MLA formatting and Citation Sandwich body paragraph structure. After that, you’ll find a description of “Paraphrase Best Practice” and a “Strong vs. Weak Example” of a paraphrase/summary citation.

More detailed information can be found in the “Paraphrasing from Sources” page the IVCC Stylebook.

Example Paraphrase/Summary with Citation Sandwich Steps

A paraphrase or summary citation happens when you describe all or part of an article/text/source in your own words rather than using word-for-word language from a source. Because a paraphrase uses your own language, it does not need quotation marks, but it should be incorporated into your body paragraph only after you provide a topic sentence and begin your paragraph’s claim.

Topic sentence of body paragraph. 2-3 sentences that set-up or build the paragraph’s claim. According to the article “Kids, Gender, and the Complexity of Social Gender Norms” from The Atlantic, gender expectations can be established as early as toddler years. Researchers have seen children as young as two years choosing gendered toys when given the option. The article also makes the claim that children brought up in gender neutral environments do not show a marked difference in their choice of toys (Stevens). It is easy to claim that parents are responsible for teaching a young girl to like pink or dolls or a young boy to like blue and trucks; however, the evidence it showing that parents can make all the effort at home to provide a neutral environment with little impact. Until the outside social exposure that children receive via television, grocery stores, day care providers, and the like becomes less gendered, there is little lasting impact parents will have. 

Things to note about this example:

  1. The parenthetical documentation formatting of this source tells readers this article is by 1 author with the last name of Stevens. On the Works Cited page, this entry would begin with the authors last name, comma first.
  2. The use of the introductory signal phrase as well as the continued reference back to the source helps show readers where the paraphrase begins and where it ends as well as the source in which the info/idea originally comes.
  3. The explanation or context provided by you, the student, is nearly as long as the paraphrase citation, making your voice just as strong (or stronger) than the voice of the citation. 

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