Research and Writing
HONORS ENGLISH 298
MWF 9:10 – 10:00 am.
Dr. Michael Delahoyde
Avery Hall 355 — Washington State University
Hours: MWF 11:00-12:00, and by appointment.
English 298 seeks to empower you with advanced and effective practice in gaining access to information and knowledge, processing and integrating that information within your own perspectives, and articulating the resulting knowledge in effective written discourse. In other words, you will be cementing some skills in information retrieval and information literacy, critical thinking, and discourse conventions across the disciplines. In yet other words, you will improve your skills in research and writing.
Although our primary attentions will be devoted to these skills, we need a topic or field for research and writing for our section of 298, our learning community, ideally a topic that allows for an interdisciplinary range of research and writing projects. Although this is not and will not be a literature class, I have chosen a focus on the “Shakespeare” authorship controversy and Hamlet. This play has been declared an “infinite” work, but if that is too high-flown, at least it is encyclopedic enough to connect with interests ranging from history and psychology, to botany, music, astronomy, medicine, and on and on. And not all the writing or work for the semester will concern this subject directly.
Assignments & Grading:
Obviously the semester will be spent researching, writing, and revising a few distinct assignments of assorted types and lengths, beginning with a short and somewhat personal essay about yourself as a researcher and a writer. We will visit a bit of business writing and other modes along the way, but ultimate emphasis will be on the full, substantial, researched, interpretive or analytical paper, mastery of which is still a hallmark of success at the university and beyond.
I am hoping that we can run this course largely as a workshop, with ongoing progress towards several completed, sterling manuscripts. Thus, I want to maintain some flexibility here with regard to the number of assignments, their length, and their weight in terms of final grades. Know that by the end of the semester, you will likely have about 24 pages of revised writing, packaged as assorted types of projects.
Ballenger, Bruce. The Curious Researcher. 7th edition. Boston: Pearson Longman, 2011. ISBN 978-0205172870.
Students with Disabilities:
I am committed to providing assistance to help you be successful in this course. Reasonable accommodations are available for students with a documented disability. If you have a disability and may need accommodations to participate in this class fully, please visit the Access Center (Washington Building 217) at the start of the semester to meet with an Access Advisor. All accommodations must be approved through the Access Center. Either drop by the Access Center or call 509-335-3417 to schedule an appointment.
As an institution of higher education, Washington State University is committed to principles of truth and academic honesty. All members of the University community share the responsibility for maintaining and supporting these principles. When a student enrolls in Washington State University, the student assumes an obligation to pursue academic endeavors in a manner consistent with the standards of academic integrity adopted by the University. The University does not tolerate acts of academic dishonesty including any forms of cheating, plagiarism, or fabrication. Any student plagiarizing on any assignment or cheating on any exam in this class will receive an F for the course and will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct, who remind us that Washington State University reserves the right and the power to discipline or to exclude students who engage in academic dishonesty.
A Note About College Writing:
Countless students, at the beginning of a course such as this, feel compelled to confess to me that they are math whizzes or have already discovered a hitherto unclassified species of pseudopod, but that they are terrible writers or “have no talent” when it comes to writing. Please realize up front that I am not among those who believe in god-given abilities in English grammar, or that certain lucky individuals pop out of the womb with an instinct for the apostrophe. Like pretty much everything else that no one wants to admit, skill in writing is a matter of work: work work work without shortcuts. So sorry, you’re not off the hook. Not even insistences about brain chemicals or DNA are going to convince me or somehow get you out of this.