Back to English 2 Overview

Modern Media: Reading the Unwritten

David Hurst, Instructor ~

passive entertainmentGeneral Syllabus for English 2, Logic and Composition, Online.

This course will proceed in a roughly modular fashion. Each week will have specific assignments and due dates. You must pay attention to the course duration, the work required each week, and my attendance policy, which is strict. The grading scale is the standard percentage variety and there are 1000 points possible. Get the course text as soon as possible and start reading right away. Familiarize yourself with my Plagiarism policy. Finally, there is disability and contact information at the end of this document

Some important information: This course is FULLY ONLINE. This can pose significant difficulties, but also offers some great possibilities. Please read this syllabus carefully and evaluate whether the course is for you.

Let's be clear:

homework be doneThis course is fully online. As such, it has advantages and disadvantages over a classroom course. Advantages include:

Disadvantages include:

sex appeal

This course will follow a roughly modular schedule--the following is an overview of the progress of the course.

Weeks 1-3: Introductions (to each other and to our online environment) and a survey of the basics of good reasoning.

Weeks 4-7: The second module's primary topic will be advertising.

Weeks 8-12: The third module's primary topic will be news media.

Weeks 13-18: The last module's primary topic will be the internet--but we will be looking at how the internet affects ads and news all along.

action news

The main assignments will progress in this fashion:

First weeks--Lots of reading and some interactive stuff. Build a (free) blog to record daily reading/class responses. If you are unfamiliar with blogs, the process to start is easy and fun. Also form groups with other like-minded classmates.

End of first module--Test on good reasoning. Part multiple guess and part essay.

End of second module--Blogs continue. Begin building a (free) wiki--a collaborative web site--with your group. Again: easy to learn to do and fun. 1st class essay due on some aspect of advertising.

End of third module--Blogs and wiki continue. 2nd class essay due on some aspect of news media.

End of fourth module-3rd class essay due. Final exam. Also, final wikis due.


Course Duration

Class begins the first day of the semester. Our class weeks will begin on Monday and end on Sunday for assignment and due date purposes, except the last week will end on the last day of Finals. Blog responses and Blackboard discussions will be due several times per week. Essays will be a minimum of 4 pages--better essays will be 5-6 pages, not including the Works Cited (which is required--these are research essays).

Grading Scale

Points Possible: Essays - 150 points each; Exams - 100 points each; Blog - 100 points; Discussion Board - 100 points; Group Wiki - 150 points (per person).

Grading: A=900-1000, B=800-899, C=700-799, D=600-699, F=0-599 points


Course Text

Logic And Contemporary Rhetoric: The Use Of Reason In Everyday Life, 10th Ed. -- Kahane -- ISBN 0-534-62604-1

Additionally, there will be extensive readings outside this text, some in online links and some as supplied handouts.


My sense about who is "attending" comes from the submission of your work, from your blog entries, from your queries via email, from your Discussion Board postings, and from your connectedness to the course. You should know that the Bb program allows instructors to track how often and in what ways a student is logging into a course. If you miss submitting three consecutive assignments, it will be presumed that you have chosen to not proceed in the course and you will be removed from the Blackboard system. If this is not the case, contact the instructor immediately. If you are having difficulty with assignments, please let me know as soon as you can.

Cheating and Plagiarism

My personal cheating and plagiarism policy is strict and I take it seriously. My definitions of Cheating and Plagiarism are adapted from Fresno City College's site on the issue. See also the College of the Sequoias Library site, which includes links to help you avoid plagiarism.

Cheating is the act of deception by which a student misleadingly demonstrates that he/she has mastered information on an academic exercise. Examples include but are not limited to: Copying or allowing another to copy a test, paper, project or performance; Using unauthorized materials during a test, for example, notes, formula lists or "cheat sheets"; Taking a test for someone else or permitting someone to take a test for you.

Plagiarism is the act of representing the work of another as one's own without giving credit. Plagiarism includes but is not limited to: Incorporating the ideas or words of another's work without giving appropriate credit; Representing another's artistic or scholarly works, such as musical compositions, computer programs, photographs, etc., as one's own; Merely changing a few words or making a few structural changes to another's work is still plagiarism when passed off as one's own work.

COS ENGLISH DEPT ACADEMIC HONESTY & PLAGIARISM POLICY: Plagiarism is the copied or undocumented use of another's work or ideas. The issue of plagiarism goes deeper than "copying," though, to an issue of academic honesty. In your English class, you will be encouraged to discuss your work at great length with others, you will consult models of reading and writing and other student work to help you, you may confer with a tutor or writing center technician and you will do lots of different activities to guide your learning. But it is NEVER permissible - as Dr. Tim Hankins, professor at New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, so concisely says - "to give or receive answers" or ideas or even words "in a way that bypasses the need to think on your own" about your reading or writing. Help from any source must be acknowledged, and there are accepted ways to do this. If in doubt, please ask your instructor. Violation of the letter or intent of this policy will result in serious harm to your learning, to your grade, to your standing in class, and perhaps to your standing at the college.

Penalties for cheating and plagiarism are severe and can follow you the rest of your college career. After a review of the plagiarism policy, students are required to acknowledge verbatim passages with in-text citations. Any assignment using verbatim passages with no acknowledgement will result in an F or zero on that assignment. Once plagiarism is introduced in class, the students will be expected to produce a "Works Cited" page following MLA format. Once paraphrasing and summarizing have been introduced at the beginning of the semester, students will be expected to acknowledge their sources with in-text citations. Failure to acknowledge verbatim, paraphrased or summarized passages will result in the student's failing the course and receiving a letter of reprimand from the Dean of Student Services. The student's plagiarized work will go on file in the division office. A subsequent offense in another class will result in a second referral to the Dean of Student Services for disciplinary action. The bottom line is that the college and I take this very seriously and so should you.


If you have a disability or believe you have one that requires accommodation, please contact me and the Disability Resource Center (DRC) in Room 109 of the Instructional Media Building (559-730-3805 or 559-730-3913 TTY) for additional information as soon as possible. Information regarding your disability will remain confidential.

Contact and Conferences

My physical office is in Tule, 569D on the COS campus. My office hours will be listed in Banner and in Blackboard. Online office hours will vary, but will be posted as separate hours in Blackboard. I am also available by email almost every day: