Everyday object/ive/s 103039

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Accelerated Composition
Everyday Object(ive)s
School: Clemson University
Section: ENGL 1030-39
CRN: 10468
Semester: Spring 2017
Location: ASC 315
Time: TTh 9:30am-10:45am
Instructor: Michael Russo
Contact: On Blackboard
Additional: None
#! This is a course description page, designed for students and containing the course syllabus and expectations.
#! If you are a student, then check this page regularly for updates.
#! All changes are recorded and documented on the course history page.

Accelerated Composition, ENG 1030: Everyday Object/ive/s, Spring 2017, Clemson University, focuses on writing and critical thinking skills through the teaching of rhetorical strategies for reading and composing arguments in physical, print, and digital environments. Students will learn to critically read a variety of texts in different media – including books, articles, podcasts, videogames, and films. Students will also compose five rhetorical projects based on issues and research raised in the reading assignments and the in-class discussions. These five projects, along with other smaller assignments, explore the uses of rhetoric as a tool of persuasion in written, aural, visual, and multimodal texts.

We will also attempt to learn how rhetoric works through attention to persona, audience, and the classic appeals (pathos, logos, ethos, kairos). Rhetoric teaches us how we might persuade others -- and to these ends, we will pay close attention to cultural and individual assumptions, how languages and design cues work in effective argumentation, and the ethics of persuasion. This approach is meant to build a foundation for learning strategies concerning the different types of writing in our shared worlds.

The class theme – Everyday Object/ive/s -- highlights the historical, philosophical, and social significance of everyday things in the world. The purpose of the theme is to motivate you to think critically about your surrounding environment. You should come to understand the political ramifications of material culture, while at the same time explore the depths of knowledge available through rigorous, academic research. Moreover, Everyday Object(ive)s is meant to show that even the most mundane things can be made interesting when discussed in the context of rhetorical inquiry. Within the scope of our theme, you’ll be free to explore any object that interests you, so long as your exploration meets the standards and expectations of this class and Clemson University.

Learning Goals

During this course, there will be five key learning outcomes that will guide our learning, established by the Council of Writing Program Administrators.

Critical Thinking, Reading, & Writing
  • Use writing and reading for inquiry, learning, thinking, and communicating
  • Understand a writing assignment as a series of tasks, including finding, evaluating, analyzing, and synthesizing various materials
  • Integrate your own ideas with those of others
  • Understand the relationships among language, knowledge, and power
Rhetorical Knowledge
  • Focus on a purpose
  • Respond to the needs of different audiences
  • Respond appropriately to different kinds of rhetorical situations
  • Use conventions of format and structure appropriate to the rhetorical situation
  • Adopt appropriate voice, tone, and level of formality
  • Understand how genres shape reading and writing
  • Write in several genres

Knowledge of Conventions

  • Learn common formats for different kinds of texts
  • Develop knowledge of genre conventions ranging from structure and paragraphing to tone and mechanics
  • Practice appropriate means of documenting their work
  • Control such surface features as syntax, grammar, punctuation, and spelling
Processes of Composing
  • Be aware that it usually takes multiple drafts to create and complete a successful text
  • Develop flexible strategies for generating, revising, editing, and proof-reading
  • Understand writing as an open process that permits writers to use later invention and re-thinking to revise their work
  • Understand the collaborative and social aspects of writing processes
  • Learn to critique their own and others' works
  • Learn to balance the advantages of relying on others with the responsibility of doing their part
  • Use a variety of technologies to address a range of audiences
Composing in Digital Environments
  • Use electronic environments for drafting, reviewing, revising, editing, and sharing texts
  • Locate, evaluate, organize, and use research material collected from electronic sources, including scholarly library databases; other official databases (e.g., federal government databases); and informal electronic networks and internet sources
  • Understand and exploit the differences in the rhetorical strategies and in the affordances available for both print and electronic composing processes and texts

Required Texts & Supplies

IMPORTANT NOTE: This list of resources WILL update as the class progresses.
Students are expected to check the syllabus regularly.
Some texts will be provided by instructor.
Others, such as the Envision textbook, you will be required to buy or borrow.

Cover for Envision in Depth, by Alfano & O'Brien
Cover for Refrigerator, by Jonathan Rees.
McRib sandwich
Stock photo of Billiard Balls.
Screenshot of "Mountain"
Van Gogh's Chair" (1888).

SUPPLIES: This is, after all, a composition course. You will need the tools of composition. Bring a pencil and paper to every class. Also bring you laptop, tablet, or whatever other digital device you feel comfortable reading, writing, and researching on. Please use your device responsibly.

  • Alfano, Christine L. and Alyssa J. O’Brien. Envision In Depth: Reading, Writing, and Researching Arguments (4th Ed.). Print. ISBN: 0134093984

Other Readings
  • Bennett, Jane. Vibrant Matter. Excerpts. Provided by Instructor.
  • Bogost, Ian. "The McRib: Enjoy Your Symptom." The Atlantic.
  • Huxley, Aldous. The Doors of Perception. Excerpts. Provided by instructor.
  • Ovid. "The Story of Pygmalion and the Statue." The Internet Classics Archives. Link.
  • Rees, Jonathan. Refrigerator. ISBN: 1628924322. Link.
  • Wolters, Eugene. "Understanding Jean Baudrillard with Pumpkin Spice Lattes." Critical Theory. Link.
  • Beck, Julie. "The Linguistic Tricks YouTube Voice." The Atlantic.
Still Pictures
  • Van Gogh, Vincent. "Van Gogh's Chair" (1888). Painting. Link.
  • Warhol, Andy. "Campbell's Soup Cans." (1962). Painting. Link
  • Various paintings from Georges Braque, Marcel Duchamp, and Pablo Picasso.
Moving Pictures
  • Helvetica. (2007) Dir. Gary Hustwit. 2007. IMDb Info.
  • The Dark Side of Chocolate (2010). Dir. Miki Mistrati. IMDb.
  • Best of Enemies (2015). Dir. Robert Gordon, Morgan Neville. IMDb.
  • "The Magic Washing Machine." Hans Rosling. TEDWomen.
  • "The Story Behind the Wallpaper We'll Never Forget." MicrosoftNL.
Audio Files
Video Games
  • Purdue Online Writing Lab. Link.
  • The Writing Center at UNC-Chapel Hill. Link.
  • Envision in Depth Companion Website. Link.
  • Clemson Canvas System (used for homework and our online discussion group)

Assignment & Grading

All the assignments in this class are pass/fail. You will receive 100% on every assignment which meets the requirements requested of you. If you fail to meet the assignment requirements, or if you fail to turn in any of the low-stakes assignments by the respective due date, you will forfeit full credit for that assignment. Late homework is never accepted, regardless of your circumstances.

Concerning the larger projects (01-05): these larger projects can be turned in late, however, for every day late you will forfeit a full letter grade (-10% of the grade).

Homework Assignments

15% of Final Grade:
There will be numerous in-class writing exercises supplemented with homework reading, writing, and analysis. These homework assignments will allow you to practice writing in different forms and genres (including electronic environments) for various audiences and purposes. The homework assignments are low-stakes, which means that so long as you turn them in on time, you will receive 100% credit for the work completed. If you do not turn the homework in on time, you will forfeit credit and this portion of your grade will suffer. To repeat: the homeworks cannot be turned in late.

Online Discussion

15% of Final Grade: Weekly participation on the son.edu/canvas/online discussion board is mandatory. A new discussion will be posted on our Canvas at the start of class, each Tuesday of every week. You will have one week to respond in the new discussion channel. You must write a response that's at least 250 words long. You are encouraged to tailor your responses to other students' posts, engage in conversation, and post more often than once. If you have a smartphone, you are encouraged to download and install the Canvas app and post on-the-go.

Project 01: Advanced Show and Tell

10% of Final Grade:
Bring in an object and talk about it (for 6 minutes and 40 seconds)

Each student will give an advanced show-and-tell analysis in the PechaKucha style (20 slides at 20 seconds each). The presentation will cover an ephemeral object of the student’s choosing. The object should be discussed in terms of its rhetorical and/or cultural significance using image-heavy slides. After the presentation, there will be a brief question-and-answer session in which the presenting student will field inquiries about his or her object. The assignment should demonstrate depth of research, time management, and articulatory skills. Remember that you must bring the object into class as well – so choose an object that is easily passed around. Examples of ephemeral objects might include: a ball point pen, a lottery ticket, a roll of film, a baby bottle, a flower pot, etcetera. The point is to take something seemingly normal and make it entirely interesting through applied research and skilled presentation.

Note: Students are excused from submitting homework assignments due on the same day as their PechaKucha presentation. In lieu of the homework , the PechaKucha file or link should be submitted instead.

Project 02: Research Proposal

5% of Final Grade: This assignment requires you to shift from rhetorical analysis of a single text to broader cultural, social, or political issues in multiple modes of authoring. Before doing any research, you need to provide justification for why the research is important. You will write a detailed proposal that discusses your topic, planned method, and purpose concerning your Researched Argument (Project 04).

Provide an overview of your topic, your potential sources, some problems that might arise, and the significance of the proposed project.

Project 03: Annotated Bibliography

15% of Final Grade: After identifying potential sources for your Research Argument (Project 04), compile a list of sources into an Annotated Bibliography. List your sources in alphabetical order, provide complete MLA-formatted citations for each source, and compose a concise annotation for each source. These annotations should include summaries, quotations from your source, and/or supplementary information about the source (how helpful is it according to B.E.A.M., what is the author's ethos and stance, does it provide background information, etcetera).

Project 04: Researched Argument

20% of Final Grade: This assignment requires students to practice your rhetorical knowledge and develop an extended researched argument using multimodal composition strategies. Write an argumentative essay on a topic that matters to both you and society as a whole. You must include a clear thesis, be persuasive, and support your claims with evidence from a variety of sources. Remember to incorporate possible objections to your argument (i.e., rebuttals to those objections) with a goal of helping to mediate opposing sides of an issue (rather than offer mere opinions). The goal is not to achieve consensus, but to put forth a well-reasoned and well-supported argument that helps your audience move toward understanding, rather than conflict. Your essay should be at least 2000 words and have a Works Cited of at least 10 sources (formatted using MLA guidelines).

Project 05: Multimodal Argument

20% of Final Grade: This group assignment requires students to develop and re-mediate one of the Researched Arguments (Project 04) into a new form and genre, using multimodal composition strategies discussed in class (visual, textual, audio, tactile). Students will choose from their group which argument to develop, and each member will take on their own responsibilities (again dictated by the group). Examples of the form your multimodal argument might take are: op-ads, photo-essay, documentary, website, remix, collage/montage, video-game, podcast, mp3 file(s), blog, or other multi-media combinations. It will be important to decide on your topic, create a plan, then organize, and structure your project according to effective argumentative writing and design principles you are learning in this course. The project also requires a Works Cited, video credits, etc., documenting all sources used. Projects will be evaluated on the overall quality of the argument, the design quality, as well as the creativity and effort needed to produce a final product comparable to a 2000-word traditional essay. This does not mean your project needs to include 2000 words, but it should represent an equal amount of work (research, designing, writing. Projects will be presented in class the final week of class (see schedule for due dates) as well as turned in to instructor.

NOTE: This multimodal assignment is a group project and must be accompanied by a written statement in which the group grades itself and its members based on effort, engagement, and participation. The statement must be signed by all members of the group, and the grades therein will be considered in the professor's final assessment.



We will be using Google docs for most of the written assignments. Use your g.clemson.edu account (not your personal account).


Students are allowed up to TWO (2) absences (excused or unexcused) without penalty. If students reach the limit of absences by the drop date, the instructor may drop them from the class for excessive absences. The instructor also reserves the right to drop any student who has missed half or more of the total number of classes before the last day to drop a class or withdraw from the University.

The instructor will determine what to do in case of extended illness or personal crisis on a case-by-case basis. However, excessive absences are an adequate reason for being failed in first-year composition, even if students have turned in all the required papers on time. If a student uses all excused absences, she will not receive unexcused absences above and beyond those excused absences. For example, if a student misses ONE (1) classes for athletics, she will have an additional absence to use at her discretion.


Arriving late to class or leaving early is unprofessional and will be factored into the attendance policy. Each recorded instance will count as ONE (1) tardy. Two tardies equal one absence. Any student will be marked absent if you arrive more than 10 minutes after the start of class.

Late Submissions

All required work must be uploaded to Canvas by the start of class. Writing prompt and forum posts will not be accepted if they are late. High-stakes projects, such as the Annotated Bibliography or the Researched Paper , will be penalized by 10% for each day the work is turned in late. Students are expected to bring a copy of all written work to class -- either on laptop or on printed paper.

NOTE: If for any reason you have technical difficulties, you may submit a printed paper copy on the day the assignment is due.


I will not answer emails from students who miss class and need to know what happened in their absence. Also, I do not need to know the reason you missed class unless you plan to be absent for an extended period of time.

Electronic Devices

You are allowed to use laptop computers, tablets, and cell-phones in this class (except in cases when you are asked to put them away). However, you are expected to use these devices for in-class activities only, with respect to other students and to the instructor. Disruptive behavior will result in a marked absence.

Academic Dishonesty

The following is Clemson’s official statement on Academic Integrity: “As members of the Clemson University community, we have inherited Thomas Green Clemson’s vision of this institution as a 'high seminary of learning.’ Fundamental to this vision is a mutual commitment to truthfulness, honor, and responsibility, without which we cannot earn the trust and respect of others. Furthermore, we recognize that academic dishonesty detracts from the value of a Clemson degree. Therefore, we shall not tolerate lying, cheating, or stealing in any form.”

A simple definition of plagiarism -- one that we will expand upon this semester -- is when someone presents another person’s words, visuals, or ideas as his/her own. The most serious offense within this category occurs when a student copy-pastes text from the Internet or from a collective file. This type of academic dishonesty is a serious offense that will result in a failing grade for the course as well as the filing of a formal report to the university.


Clemson University is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, pregnancy, national origin, age, disability, veteran’s status, genetic information or protected activity (e.g., opposition to prohibited discrimination or participation in any complaint process, etc.) in employment, educational programs and activities, admissions and financial aid. This includes a prohibition against sexual harassment and sexual violence as mandated by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. This policy is located here.

  • Mr. Jerry Knighton is the Clemson University Title IX Coordinator and is also the Director of Access and Equity. His office is located at 111 Holtzendorrf Hall, 864.656.3181 (voice) or 864.565.0899 (TDD).

Schedule of Classes

The following is a tentative breakdown of meeting times and assignments.This schedule WILL update as the class progresses, including added homework assignments and other small changes. Students are expected to check the schedule regularly.

Date Reading Due Assignment Due
Th.01.12 Read & Review: the Syllabus, Assignments, Policies
Tu.01.17 Read: Envision, Chapt. 01
Watch: "The Magic Washing Machine," Hans Rosling
Set up user account on the online forums, answer ONLINE DISCUSSION 01.
Use your real name and a real picture of yourself as your avatar.
Also, upload TEST HOMEWORK.
Th.01.19 Read: Envision, Chapt. 02
Listen: "The Lightbulb," BBC
Tu.01.24 Read: "Refrigerator," Rees (1/2) ONLINE DISCUSSION 02
& Homework Assignment 01.
Th.01.26 Read: Envision, Chapt. 03.
Watch: "The Story behind the Wallpaper...," Microsoft
Homework Assignment 02.
Tu.01.31 Read: "Refrigerator," Rees (2/2) ONLINE DISCUSSION 03.
& Homework Assignment 03.
Th.02.02 Read: Envision, Chapt. 04
Listen: "We All Scream for Ice Cream," Missed in History
Homework Assignment 04.
Library Session
Cooper 204
Read: Envision, Chapt. 05
(Start considering your research object.)
For Extra Credit: Film Analysis 1 Due.
Th.02.09 Read: "The McRib," Bogost
Read: "Pumpkin Spice Lattes," Woltors
Research Proposal Due!
Th.02.16 Read: Envisions, All Index Entries on 'Thesis' (see pg 562)
Homework Assignment 05.
Also, bring possible research book/s to class.
Tu.02.28 Look over OneNote & Evernote ONLINE DISCUSSION 07.
Be ready to share your online research notebook!
Th.03.02 Read: Envision, Chapt. 07
Read: BEAM, by J. Bizup (file on Canvas)
Browse: Purdue OWL: MLA Syle Guide
Annotated Bibliography Due!
Th.03.09 Read: Envision, Chapt. 06
Browse & Research: Mind-mapping Software (see this & that)
Listen: either "Concrete" or "Cardboard," Surprisingly Awesome
Tu.03.14 Watch: Light-Research Film (student choice) ONLINE DISCUSSION 09.
& Homework Assignment 06
Th.03.16 Homework Assignment 07 (Garbage Draft)
Spring Break
Spring Break
Tu.03.28 Homework Assignment 08 (Decent Draft)
For Extra Credit: Film Analysis 2 Due.
Th.03.30 BOTH Homework Assignment(s) 9 & 10
Researched Argument Due!
Th.04.06 Read: Envision, Chapt. 08, esp. pp. 328-339
Download & Install: Adobe Creative Cloud
Homework Assignment 11
Tu.04.11 PLAY: Example Text Adventure Games (in Homework Prompt 12)
RESEARCH: Twine and Wiki
Homework Assignment 12
& Homework Assignment 13
Th.04.13 Listen: Student Choice of any episode of "99% Invisible," from the archive here Homework Assignment 14
For Extra Credit: "The Pathos of Music"
Final Multimodel Presentations!
Th.04.27 Final Multimodel Presentations!

Extra Credit

  • Details concerning the extra-credit film analyses on "The Best of Enemies" and "The Dark Side of Chocolate" will be announced in class. These assignments, if completed, will each add 1/2 a letter (50%) to one of your writing prompts.
  • The extra credit mashup music video is worth 100% of a writing prompt, which means a whole extra assignment! Details and due-date are on Canvas!


The Writing Center | 307 Academic Success Center:

The Writing Center is a free tutoring service available to the entire student body, regardless of major or academic standing. It provides students opportunities to discuss questions or problems related to academic writing—from generating a topic and thesis to organizing a draft and integrating appropriate citations. The Writing Center’s goal is to help Clemson students become confident and effective writers. As an English 1030 student, you should feel free to utilize the Writing Center to receive additional help or feedback on any course assignments or projects. You can make an appointment with a tutor by visiting the Writing Center’s website, by calling them at 864-656-3280, or by simply stopping in.


Clemson University values the diversity of our student body as a strength and a critical component of our dynamic community. Students with disabilities or temporary injuries/conditions may require accommodations due to barriers in the structure of facilities, course design, technology used for curricular purposes, or other campus resources. Students who experience a barrier to full access to this class should let the professor know, and make an appointment to meet with a staff member in Student Accessibility Services as soon as possible. You can make an appointment by calling 864-656-6848, by emailing studentaccess@lists.clemson.edu, or by visiting Suite 239 in the Academic Success Center building. Appointments are strongly encouraged – drop-ins will be seen if at all possible, but there could be a significant wait due to scheduled appointments. Students who receive Academic Access Letters are strongly encouraged to request, obtain and present these to their professors as early in the semester as possible so that accommodations can be made in a timely manner. It is the student’s responsibility to follow this process each semester. You can access further information here.