English 419

Fall 2012

Instructor: Jim Manis

Office: Memorial 105

Phone: 570.450.3189

E-mail: jdm12@psu.edu

Office Hours: Monday, Wednesday & Friday: 12:00 to 12:50 pm and by appointment

Website: http://www2.hn.psu.edu/faculty/jmanis/

Course Description:

The purpose of this course is to help students acquire the knowledge and writing skills that make successful negotiation of professional communities possible. Because you have taken English 202, I will assume you are already familiar with the forms of communication typically used in business settings: memos, instructions, reports, presentations, résumés, and letters. This class is designed to help you become more adept at writing these kinds of documents. In addition, you will work to become a writer who understands WHAT a good argument entails, WHEN and WHY certain documents are used, HOW to define your audience and its expectations, and WHICH strategies you might employ to convince a particular audience to heed your message.


Because this course is concerned with the writing process, we will move through the stages of invention, drafting, revision, and editing to arrive at a “finished” product—that is, one you are confident in presenting as the communication of your ideas and efforts. Modeling our class on the pursuits of the workplace, we will proceed in a largely collaborative fashion, as we seek to gain a critical awareness of contexts, communities, and tasks.  Yet we will constantly endeavor to become more than skilled technicians. Along the way we will also ask questions about values, ethics, and politics, as we try to understand how we individually fit into this larger picture of writing for and in professional communities.


Required Texts

Philip C.  Kolin. Successful Writing at Work (Tenth Edition). Abbreviated on course schedule as  SWAW.

James Rickards. Currency Wars. ISBN 978-1-59184-449-5

Ellen E. Schultz. Retirement Heist. ISBN: 978-1-59184-333-7

Michael Lewis. Boomerang. 978-0-393-08181-7

John Mauldin and Jonathan Tepper. Endgame. ISBN: 978-1-118-00457-9


Grades for the course are based on a 100 point scale, and will be weighted in the following way:


Group Presentation 20%

Analysis of presentations 3% (1% each)

Research Paper 25%

White Paper 15%

Individual Participation 9%

Three Reviews 15% (5% each)

Six E-mails 12% (2% each)

Résumé 1%

Final Grades will be calculated as follows:


A: 100-93 points; A-: 92-90; B+: 89-87; B: 86-82; B-: 81-80 points; C+: 79-77; C: 76-70 points; D: 69-60; F: 59 points and below.


Group Work/ Workshops/ Conferences

You will work in small groups, participate in group discussions, and various other activities. Writing workshops ask you to provide constructive feedback on your peer’s writing. In general, when you are in class, I expect that you have something constructive and relevant to contribute. You are also required to schedule and participate in conferences with me during the term. Each activity is designed to help you improve your writing.


After one unexcused absences, I will subtract 10 points from your final course grade for each additional absence. If you miss more than three classes, you will automatically fail the course. Repeated tardiness will be treated like absences.


If you do need to miss a class, make every effort to inform me before the class you will miss and always follow-up after concerning what you missed. 


Class Participation

I expect you to come to class prepared; that is, having read all the assigned material for that day and ready to contribute to class discussions, writing exercises, and group projects. Participation includes discussions, small group work, workshops, conferences, and in-class writings. 


In general, a “C” for participation means that the student attends class with the assignments completed, but seldom participates in class discussions. A “B” for participation is reserved for those students who satisfy the requirements for a “C” AND contribute to class discussion on a more regular basis. An “A” for participation is reserved for those students who satisfy the requirements for a both a “C” and a “B” AND consistently find ways to make relevant comments during class discussion. Keep in mind that when it comes to speaking in class, quantity is not always the same as quality.


Late Papers

Out of class assignments are due at the beginning of class on the day they are due--after that, they are considered late.  I will subtract one full letter grade from an assignment for each day it is late.


Academic Integrity

All students are expected to act with civility and personal integrity. You are expected to respect other students' dignity, rights, and property. You are expected to help create and maintain an environment in which all students can succeed through the fruits of their own efforts.


Academic integrity includes avoiding acts of falsification, misrepresentation, or deception. You will not cheat, copy, plagiarize, submit another person's work as your own, use Internet sources without citations, fabricate citations, steal examinations, tamper with the academic work of another student, or facilitate another student's act of academic dishonesty. Students charged with a breach of academic integrity will receive due process. If the charge is found valid, academic sanctions may range from an F for the assignment to an F for the course. The University's statement on academic integrity is available at   http://www.campuses.psu.edu/UCpolicies.pdf .


Course Accommodation

The  Pennsylvania State University is committed to providing access to a quality education for all students, including those with documented disabilities. If a student has a disability and wants to request an accommodation for a course, it is the responsibility of the student to first obtain a University accommodation letter confirming the disability and suggestion appropriate remedies. This letter can be obtained from the Penn State Office for Disability Services (105Boucke (814) 863-1807) or from the campus Disability Contact Liaison. The contact liaison at Penn State Hazleton is Jackie Walters, who is located in The Learning Center (Laurel-105, (570) 450-3005, jxw2@psu.edu)


It is encouraged that students request accommodation need early in the semester and, once identified, a reasonable accommodation will be implemented in a timely manner.

Course Schedule:

All assignments must be completed by class time on the dates listed. Remember to bring your textbook to class.


If inclement weather results in class cancellation, then we will simply double up class periods. If we do not meet on a Tuesday, then all the work due on that Tuesday will automatically shift to being due on Thursday, along with the work originally due on Thursday, etc.


Should it become necessary to modify the course schedule, I will notify you.

Week 1

Intro to course; résumés due on Wednesday.

Friday begin discussion of white papers

Week 2

Continued discussion of white papers

Friday: 1st E-mail assignment due by midnight

Week 3

Proposal for white paper draft due on Monday

Rough draft of white paper due on Friday

Friday: 2nd E-mail assignment due by midnight

Week 4

Final draft of white paper due on Friday

Friday: 3rd E-mail assignment due by midnight

Week 5

Presentation of Boomerang.

Friday: 4th E-mail assignment due by midnight

Week 6

Short analysis of Boomerang.are due this week.

Presentation of Retirement Heist

Friday: 5th E-mail assignment due by midnight

Week 7

Short analysis of Retirement Heist are due this week

Presentation of Endgame.

Friday: 6th E-mail assignment due by midnight

Week 8

Short analysis of Endgame.are due this week

Presentation of Currency Wars

Week 9

Short analysis of Currency Wars are due this week

2-4 page reviews of Boomerang.due Friday

Week 10

2-4 page reviews of Retirement Heist due on Friday

Week 11

2-4 page reviews of Currency Wars due on Friday

Week 12

2-4 page reviews of Endgame due on Friday

Week 13

Rough drafts of research papers due on Friday

Week 14

Final drafts of research papers due on Friday

Week 15

Complete course work

NOTE: No final exam is given in this course. Course Schedule:

All assignments must be completed by class time on the dates listed. Remember to bring your textbook to class.

Please note that Successful Writing at Work is an excellent reference tool, with extensive explanations and examples for preparing all of the assignments for this course, with the possible exception of white papers. I will augment in this area.