Michael Delahoyde, PhD

Professor of English

Research and Writing

Section 06
Fall 2014
SLN 01979
MWF 10:10 – 11:00 am.
Thompson 19
Dr. Michael Delahoyde
Avery Hall 355 — Washington State University
Hours: MWF 9:00-10:00, and by appointment.
Phone: 509-335-4832
E-mail: delahoyd@wsu.edu


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 also need something to write about, and the tricky part about crafting a class such as this is that I do not want to be so restrictive that I’m forcing unwelcome topics nor so open that insufficient guidance yields panicked reversion to hackneyed and unworthy subjects. The middle course chosen for this section of 298, then, requires only that your major research/writing projects are interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary — that is, they will be scholarly, academic, critical analyses of topics that come especially alive when viewed from more than one perspective. I will show you several examples of what this means: the results of a project combining art, literature, history, and geography; a project combining science, film, and mythology; a project combining the history of medicine, popular culture, psychology, and lycanthropy. I think this should minimize most of the pain.

Learning Outcomes:

Student Learning Goals are best described by the University here:
In particular, though, this course focuses especially on #1 Creative and Critical Thinking, #4 Information Literacy, #5 Communication, and #7 Integration of Learning.

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.

Required Text:

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; 509-335-3417) at the start of the semester to schedule an appointment with an Access Advisor. All accommodations must be approved through the Access Center.

Academic Integrity:

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. Any student plagiarizing on any assignment or cheating on any exam in this class will receive an F for the course and will be reported to the Office of Student Standards and Accountability, who remind us that Washington State University reserves the right and the power to discipline or to exclude students who engage in academic dishonesty. Cheating is defined in the Standards for Student Conduct WAC 504-26-010 (3). It is strongly suggested that you read and understand these definitions.

Safety and Emergency Notification:

Washington State University is committed to enhancing the safety of the students, faculty, staff, and visitors. It is highly recommended that you review the Campus Safety Plan (http://safetyplan.wsu.edu/) and visit the Office of Emergency Management web site (http://oem.wsu.edu/) for a comprehensive listing of university policies, procedures, statistics, and information related to campus safety, emergency management, and the health and welfare of the campus community.

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.