WRA 110 – Writing: Science and Technology

214 Ernst Bessey Hall

Michigan State University

Fall 2012

Instructor:  Jennifer Fisch-Ferguson

Office: Virutal

Phone:  810.309.9879


Office Hours:  by appointment.

Course Description

As part of the general education requirement, First-Year Writing contributes to the Michigan State

University mission by focusing on inquiry-based teaching and learning that encourages students to

begin to understand themselves as:

• contributing members of MSU’s community of scholars

• committed to asking important questions and to seeking rich responses to those questions

• developing skills, knowledge, and attitudes that improve the quality of life for self and others through scholarly, social, and professional activities.

In pursuit of these goals, Tier I Writing and Preparation for College Writing courses engage students

in writing and reflection activities that make overt the ways that invention, arrangement, revision, style

and delivery literacy activities:

• can be engaged across inquiry situations (scholarly, social, and professional)

• require the development of knowledge about the importance of contextual factors that affect the application of these methods of inquiry

Our shared learning outcomes support inquiry-based learning that transfers across writing situations

in relation to three major issues:  writing, reading, and researching.

Our Course Section

Our section of WRA  will focus on the skills, knowledge, and attitudes that successfully enhance writing, reading, and researching in higher education in America.  Some course materials have been pre-selected to support this goal and focus us on the shared learning outcomes for the First-Year Writing Program at MSU.  Specifically, we will be looking at issues and concepts dealing with digital technology, social media, and visual rhetoric to think about what we know about literacy, how we know what we know, and how we can engage and enhance our literacies through deep explorations of what things mean.  I look forward to working with you this semester.  We all have some shared and some different literacy experiences, strengths and weaknesses; please remember to be respectful of the other members of this class as we support one another this semester.  Specific learning objectives for each assignment appear on individual assignments sheet.

Required Texts

All texts are online and links are provided for you.

Policies and Procedures


All courses in the Tier I Writing Program are interactive and require high levels of student participation.

Attendance is posting the required material on the due dates. No late work is accepted


Late Assignments:  

No late work is accepted.

Completion of Assignments:

The First-Year Writing Program requires that students produce a significant amount of writing to fulfill their requirement.  You must complete all major assignments to fulfill this requirement and receive a passing grade in First-Year Writing courses.

Major Assignments:

There are five major projects in this course:  three essays and two multimedia projects.  The schedule at the end of this syllabus outlines the due dates for these major projects.  Grade distribution occurs as follows:

Lived Literacies Paper:         100 (90 Essay, 10 Data Consumption Log)

Cultural Literacies Paper:        150  (100 essay,  25 Footprint Flow chart, 25 Social Imprint analysis)

Disciplinary Literacies Paper:        200 ( 125 essay, 50 annotations, 25 interview)

Multimedia Remix Project:        150 (100 remix, 25 remix plan)

Revising Literacies Assignment:       100

Reading Responses:         100 ( 5 @ 20 points each)

Social Footprint Profile:  50

Feedback to Peers: 120 (6 @ 20 points each)

Reflection: 30 (2 @ 15 points)

Final Narrative Reflection 200

Grading Scale:

90% – 100%   = 4.0

85% – 89.9%   = 3.5

80% – 84.9%    = 3.0

75% – 79.9%   = 2.5

70% – 74.9%   = 2.0

65% – 69.9%   = 1.5

60% – 64.9%   = 1.0

59.9% and below  = 0.0

Academic Honesty

Michigan State University has adopted the following statement about academic policy:



The principles of truth and honesty are fundamental to the educational process and the academic

integrity of the University; therefore, no student shall:

• 1.01 claim or submit the academic work of another as one’s own.

• 1.02 procure, provide, accept or use any materials containing questions or answers to any examination or assignment without proper authorization.

• 1.03 complete or attempt to complete any assignment or examination for another individual without proper authorization.

• 1.04 allow any examination or assignment to be completed for oneself, in part or in total, by another without proper authorization.

• 1.05 alter, tamper with, appropriate, destroy or otherwise interfere with the research, resources, or other academic work of another person.

• 1.06 fabricate or falsify data or results.

Procedures for responding to cases of academic honesty and possible repercussions are outlined in Spartan Life: Student Handbook and Resource Guide.

They can also be found on the web at:  Note: the new procedures require that instances of academic dishonesty be reported through the registrar’s office and forwarded to the Dean of the College in which the student’s major resides.

University Resources for Writers: 

The Writing Center, the Library, The Learning Resource Center, and the English Language Center all offer support services for First-Year Writing students.  You should consult these centers’ web sites for information about their specific resources.

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities 

Michigan State University is committed to providing equal opportunity for participation in all programs, services and activities. Requests for accommodations by persons with disabilities may be made by contacting the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities at 517-884-RCPD or on the web at Once your eligibility for an accommodation has been determined, you will be issued a verified individual services accommodation (“RISA”) form.

Please present this form to me at the start of the term and/or two weeks prior to the accommodation date (test, project, etc.). Requests received after this date will be honored whenever possible.


Week 1

We: Post your Introduction, Read about Lived Literacy Assignment

Th: Respond to at least 2 Introductions, Detail how you plan to keep your Data consumption Log

Fr: Reading Response to “Finding Ones’s Space”, Read about essay 3- list the people you want to interview


Week 2

Mo: Extended outline posted, Send formal emails for Essay 3- please read about it.

Tu: Post a video and summary of social media spaces, Feedback to peers on outline

We:  “From Silence to Words: Writing as Struggle”  Response

Th: Reflection on Working in an online space, Post Data Consumption Logs  Charts – respond to at least 2 others

Fr: Essay 1 Due


Week 3

Mo:  Read About Essay 2, Abstract posted,

Tu:Feedback on Abstracts, Post 8 Interview Questions

We:  Social Network Sites Response

Th: Social Footprint assignment due

Fr: Essay 2 due – please post the URL for all to view


Week 4

Mo: Extended Outline posted
Tu:Feedback to peers on the outline

We: Annotations due

TH: Response to the The Nature of Reading and Writing at Work”

FR: Essay 3 due


Week 5

Tu: Reading Response on Digital Bill of Rights

The Digital Bill of Rights


Th: Reading Response: Users of the World Unite

Fr: Remix Due


Week 6

FR: Final RAIDS Assessment of Essay 1 and 2 due.


Week 7

Final Reflection narrative Essay


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