Comp II—Spring 2020

Course Details

David Hodges, Writing Arts Adjunct Office, 5th Floor, 260 Victoria Street.

Home Office (856) 854-8385 / Cell Phone (856) 979-6653 / Text (856) 979-6653

Campus: / Personal:

Course Blog

College Composition II – COMP 01112 14
CRN 24374

Time and Place
Mondays:          800-915 am    Enterprise Center 414
Wednesdays:    800-915 am    Enterprise Center 414

Office Hours

Mondays:          730-800 am  AND  9:15-1000 am at Enterprise Center 414
Wednesdays:    730-800 am  AND  9:15-1000 am at Enterprise Center 414

Professor Conferences
Make an appointment for any Monday or Wednesday at the Chart:
Professor Conference Chart

Course Description

College Composition II builds on the concepts and approaches in College Composition I or Intensive College Composition I (prerequisites for CCII). It emphasizes argumentation and information literacy. The course introduces students to argumentative strategies, asks them to identify and analyze forms of argumentation, and requires them to write a variety of well-researched and ethically responsible arguments. Students work to become independent researchers who can find relevant information from a variety of sources (both academic and non-academic, traditional text and digital) and evaluate and present that information to an academic audience. This course fulfills the second of the two-course general education requirement.

In our section of this course, you will develop your own research agenda around an issue that interests you, and you will develop multiple researched, argumentative essays that grow out of inquiry-based research.

By the end of the semester, you will be able to:

  • Use writing and research as a form of inquiry to explore a complex issue, then develop and communicate an original and well-constructed argument that incorporates or builds on ongoing textual discussions from informal and formal research .
  • Understand and write within various rhetorical situations and modes; this variety might include academic and public-facing writing, print and digital writing, alphabetic and multimodal texts, etc.  
  • Analyze written and multimodal arguments for their methods of persuasion, the quality of their logic, and their use of evidence.
  • Understand the ethics and responsibilities of writing, which includes avoiding manipulative arguments and fallacious reasoning. 
  • Support your claims using evidence and outside research, and qualify those claims appropriately.
  • Understand your topic’s complexity by finding, locating, and evaluating sources that represent a variety of perspectives (e.g. political, disciplinary, social, etc.) and information, including sources that represent points of view that differ from your own and sources that represent often marginalized voices, when these sources are available. 
  • Document your use of sources through methods appropriate to the context (e.g. in-text citation, a References page, hyperlinks).
  • Recognize that word and language choices have power and consequences and that adopting the preferred language used by individuals and groups for themselves demonstrates respect and builds your credibility as an informed, reasonable, and respectful voice in a conversation.
  • Use a process-based approach to writing that uses global and local revision strategies, and understand how to utilize outside resources to improve writing (e.g., your instructor, your peers, the Writing Center).

*Note: This course may NOT be taken for a Pass/No Credit grade.

First-Year Writing Program (FYWP)
Language and Correctness Policy

Our program approaches language and grammatical/mechanical correctness rhetorically.  This means that we think about the impact/effects of language, and we encourage students to make linguistic choices in context. Specifically, we believe that linguistic diversity is an asset for composition. Linguistic diversity means that we all have different ways of expressing ourselves, even when we are all speaking English. These forms of expression are influenced by many factors, including our cultural, familial, and class backgrounds, and are a part of our identity. Therefore, we often have more than one language or even more than one English to choose from or work with when we write, and “standard written English” is not always the best or most appropriate choice for every writing situation. Our program also believes in using gender inclusive language to more accurately reflect the multitude of gender identities in the classroom and in the world.

Rowan Core (General Education)

As of Fall 2018, first-year undergraduate students at Rowan University must complete the new general education requirements, known as Rowan Core. (Continuing students and new transfer students will follow the existing general education requirements.) Students in Rowan Core must complete course requirements in six literacies: Artistic, Communicative, Global, Humanistic, Quantitative and Scientific. This course belongs to the Communicative Literacy. All students in this course will be assessed on the following Rowan Core Learning Outcomes for this literacy:

  1. Students can investigate, discover, evaluate and incorporate information and ideas to create rhetorically adept messages.
  2. Students will produce and analyze complex texts (written, oral and nonverbal) for a variety of purposes and demonstrate their understanding of rhetorical strategies, genres, and discourse community expectations, and well as the effect of evolving digital technologies on communication.

For details on the new Rowan Core and existing general education requirements, please consult the Undergraduate Catalog.


Your attendance in class is incredibly important to your success in this course. A writing class is a community and most classes will include collaborative work that cannot be replicated.

The University’s Attendance Policy
The maximum number of permissible absences—both excused and unexcused—is six. You cannot earn credit for this course if you miss more classes than this. You may withdraw from the course before you have exceeded this number of absences or you will receive an F for the course.

You will be allowed to make up work for excused absences only, providing you have documentation.

Excused absences include: religious observances, official University activities, illness, death of a family member or loved one, inclement weather.

If you must miss class for any of the above or other excusable reasons, you must contact me as soon as possible. If extenuating circumstances force you to miss more than six classes, you must speak to me about the possibilities for accommodating you beyond this. Absences should be used with discretion because you never know when you will suddenly have to miss class.

Accommodation Statement

Not all students learn the same way. The federal government, through the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, tries to ensure that all students have a fair chance at being successful. If you have a documented disability that may have an impact upon your work in this class, please contact me.

If you had a 504 plan or an IEP in high school, then you may qualify for services in college. Students must provide documentation of disability to the Academic Success Center in order to receive official University services and accommodations. The Academic Success Center can be reached at 856.256.4234. The center is located on the 3rd floor of Savitz Hall. The staff is available to answer questions regarding accommodations or assist you in your pursuit of accommodations. We look forward to working with you to meet your learning goals.

Classroom Behavior 

The University Classroom Behavior Policy and Procedures can be found at

Academic Integrity

Ethical and Responsible Writing

One of the goals for this course is to increase your awareness of the ethical ramifications of writing and your ability to write ethically and responsibly. How to avoid unintentional plagiarism is a major component of this course. However, it is ultimately your responsibility to submit ethical writing. If you have any question about the use of sources and citations in your work, you should contact me prior to turning in the assignment.

  • Plagiarism, whether the intentional act of passing off someone else’s work as your own or the unintentional act where sources for material are not acknowledged due to a lack of familiarity with citation forms, is a serious violation of the principles of academic honesty. Acts of plagiarism include parts of as well as the whole of assignment. Students who submit plagiarized work will be subject to process and penalties of Rowan’s academic integrity policy.
  • Academic misconduct includes the recycling of your work from other courses (including other sections of this course and other composition courses) without permission, as well as unauthorized assistance with your work, such as having someone write your assignments for you or submitting the same work as another person.  A full list of activities that are considered misconduct is in the university’s policy, and these activities are also subject to the process and penalties of Rowan’s academic integrity policy.

This detailed policy, which outlines the varying levels of infractions and possible sanctions, can be found at

Department Policy on Previous Assignments

The Department of Writing Arts does not allow students to turn in the same writing assignment for more than one class. Students must receive express permission from both instructors when submitting writing or a substantial part of a written text previously submitted to another class. Not doing so is considered academic dishonesty and, may result in an F for that assignment and possibly an F for the semester.



You will produce a portfolio of your writing for this course that must include two polished Arguments along with drafts and revisions, a Research Position Argument, an Annotated Bibliography, a Visual Rhetoric assignment, and a Reflective Statement.

Your Final Portfolio will be graded as a whole. You will work on and revise the portfolio essays throughout the semester and must turn each draft in as assigned. But, while these drafts will be given individual reference grades, it is the Final Portfolio grade at the end of the semester that counts. Keep in mind that I pay close attention to the quality of revision in the Final Portfolio. The Guide to the First-Year Writing Program contains detailed instructions regarding the portfolio.

Important Reminder: Our hosting arrangement on the course blog includes automatic backup of all drafts. Earlier drafts can be compared to later drafts electronically, side by side, highlighted for changes. Professor feedback is also saved in the form of Replies to your posts.

Class Assignments and Exercises

In addition to essays, you will be required to participate in regular homework assignments and in-class writing exercises that are always practical and skills-based.

Professor Conferences

Once during the first half and once during the second half of the semester, you will meet me for scheduled one-on-one professor conferences. Make appointments on the Professor Conference Chart. I am available for 30 minutes before class (7:30-8:00 am) every Monday and Wednesday, and for 45 minutes after every class (9:15-10:00) or by appointment Mondays or Wednesdays. In addition, we will meet briefly during Finals Week for a Grade Conference. These conferences are considered in determining your class participation grade.

Blog and Blackboard

All coursework will be conducted on the Course Blog, Counterintuitive,, where you will find all of our course materials, including the schedule, assignments, and links to sources. The Course Outline located at the blog gives a general idea of the schedule of activities, but the daily Agenda provided for every class meeting is the ultimate source for accurate expectations and deadlines.

In addition to the course blog, the University has also linked the course to Blackboard. Access Blackboard at, using the username and password as your email to access Blackboard. We will use Blackboard only rarely and only when noted in the daily Agendas.

Digital Devices in the Classroom

Access to a laptop, phone, or tablet during class is highly recommended. Because our class is conducted, live, on a blog, and since your instructor will make constant use of blog pages during every classroom meeting, your active participation in classroom activities will always benefit from your ability to take notes and engage in classroom exercises on an internet-connected device.

Student Support

Rowan Success Network

The Rowan Success Network powered by Starfish® is designed to make it easier for you to connect with the resources you need to be successful at Rowan. Throughout the term, you may receive email from the Rowan Success Network team (Starfish®) regarding your course grades or academic performance. Please pay attention to these emails and consider taking the recommended actions. Utilize the scheduling tools to make appointments at your convenience and keep an eye on your reminders and flags to track your progress and get help when needed. Additional information about RSN may be found at the Office of Academic Transition.

Rowan First-Year Writing Program’s Student Support Site

The Writing Center

The Rowan Writing Center is a space where all student writers can find support at every stage of the writing process. Whether it be invention strategies to get you started, organizing ideas or revising drafts, the center and its tutors provide a comfortable environment for success.

Meet with tutors face-to-face at the center for one-on-one or small group consultations. There are also two online options offered. The first is a synchronous, live session where students and tutors chat over an uploaded paper. The second are asynchronous sessions in which uploaded papers are reviewed within a specific timeframe (typically by the next day) with tutor comments.

The Writing Center is located on the 1st floor of the library. Make appointments by registering for an account at . Free accounts give students access to a list of tutors and their hours. Click on an open timeslot and fill out the form to request personal, live chat, or asynchronous sessions. Limited walk-in appointments are also available. For help with scheduling or any other questions, call 856-256-4376 or email

Suggestions for getting the most out of a 30- minute session:

  • Bring the writing assignment your instructor gave you.
  • Have a clean, hard copy of your draft.
  • If possible, make your appointment well before the due date to allow yourself time to revise.
  • Come prepared with some awareness of what specific concerns you have about your work.
  • Ask questions and, if the responses are not clear to you, ask more.

Web Resources


College life can be busy, overwhelming, and stressful. When your body is run down or you’re suffering from anxiety or distress, it can be difficult or impossible to be an effective student while balancing work, friends, family life, and more. And according to a 2017 poll, 48% of Rowan University students have experienced food insecurity. Hunger, homelessness, financial concerns, and other struggles with basic needs are a growing problem among college students at Rowan and across the country. This statement is intended to help disarm stigma or shame—we all have basic needs, and I, along with your other faculty and administration here at Rowan, want to ensure that your basic needs are being met so that you can learn and succeed.

If you are facing challenges, we urge you to use the resources available to support your well-being:

  • Any student who faces challenges securing their food or housing is urged to contact the Dean of Students: 203 Savitz Hall, 856-256-4283,
  • If you or someone you know ever thinks about hurting yourself/themselves, call the Crisis Hotline and ask to speak to a counselor (it is confidential): 856-256-4911.
  • If you are experiencing anxiety, depression, or other mental wellness issues, visit or call Counseling & Psychological Services: Winans Hall, 856-256-4333.
  • If you need support academically, the Academic Success Center offers a variety of services, including tutoring and academic coaching: Savitz Hall, 3rd floor, 856-256-4259.

Even more resources to help you navigate college life, academically, personally, financially, etc. can be found in this handy guide:

Grading Scale

F   (0-60)
D- (61-63)   /   D (64-67)   /   D+ (68-70)   /   C- (71-73)   /   C (74-77)    /   C+ (78-80)
B- (81-83)   /   B (84-87)   /   B+ (88-90)   /   A- (91-93)   /   A (94-97)   /   A+ (98-100)

Note that you must earn at least a D- to pass the course, but most majors require at least a C to graduate from the college.

Assessment Criteria for Final Grade

End of Semester Portfolio 70% Includes all the following:

  • 3000-word Research Position Argument
  • Annotated Bibliography for the semester’s research
  • Two 1000-word Short Arguments, with drafts and feedback
    • (The Short Arguments become components of the Research Position Argument)
  • Self-Reflective Statement
  • Visual Rhetoric Argument

Early Drafts of Portfolio Arguments 15%

Non-Portfolio Assignments 10%

Daily Class Notes and Professor Conferences 5%


Very special circumstances only! Students in good standing with a B average at the time of their incapacity who suffer a serious illness, injury or pressing emergency which renders them unable to complete the required work for the course may be given a grade of (incomplete) at the discretion of the professor and only by approved proposal.

Course Outline

A week-by-week schedule of all class activities is available as a separate document, always available on the blog, and updated as needed. I have attached the current version of that outline to this Syllabus document below the double line.

Schedule Expectations

Subject to Override by Daily Agendas



Unless otherwise indicated in the official assignment, the deadline for “weekend assignments” is Sunday just before midnight. The deadline for “midweek assignments” is midnight Tuesday.

Weekend Assignments:
For example, if an assignment is due before class MON JAN 28
the deadline for publishing your draft is 11:59PM SUN JAN 27.

Midweek Assignments:
For example, if an assignment is due before class WED JAN 30,
the deadline for publishing your draft is 11:59AM TUE JAN 29.


Portfolio Assignments:
The Short Arguments and other Portfolio items will undergo revisions during the semester, so grade penalties and deadlines are somewhat flexible. One thing is certain: Portfolio materials MUST be available for professor feedback and student revision WELL BEFORE the end of the semester.

No student can pass the course whose work has not been reviewed early in the semester and thoroughly revised in response to feedback. The penalty, therefore, for failure to post drafts and revisions timely will ultimately be a course grade of F.

Students who are not keeping up with the publication schedule will be advised to drop the course during the Withdrawal or Late Withdrawal periods to avoid ultimate failure.

Non-Portfolio Assignments:
The Stone Money Argument, the Purposeful Summary Assignment, the Critical Reading Assignment, and several other tasks are not eligible for Rewrites and will not be part of the end-of-season Portfolio. For these Non-Portfolio assignments, late penalties are severe but the impact is smaller than for Portfolio failure.

  • Early posts are eligible for early feedback before the first draft is graded.
  • On-time posts published before midnight or noon on the due date: Full Credit
  • 0-24. Posts published within 24 hours of the deadline: 10% Grade Penalty
  • 24-48. Posts published 24-48 hours late: 20% Grade Penalty
  • 48+. Posts published more than 48 hours late: Maximum grade 50 for a perfect essay (can’t pass regardless of quality)


Daily Class Plans

Week 1


  • Class Photos
  • Text your Professor at (856) 979-6653
    • Text your Name plus C2 SP18
  • Introduction to Blogging
    • Open and Write a Post
    • Check off the appropriate Categories
    • Publish
    • Open in Edit, Revise, Update
    • Find in the Sidebar
  • Lecture/Demonstration: Narrowing the Topic to a Counterintuitive Hypothesis
  • Task: My Hypothesis

Week 2



Week 3



  • Lecture/Demonstration: Stone Money
  • Class Discussion Stone Money Source Material
  • Task: Stone Money
    • Incorporate the lesson of Purposeful Summary
    • Use Informal In-Text Citation and References Page (APA style)

Week 4


  • Blog Mechanics
    • Navigation Tips
    • Uncategorized
    • Feedback Please
  • A Good Hypothesis
    • Essay writing is like the scientific process, designed to test hypotheses with experiments, not prove preconceptions.
    • Research is the targeted search for evidence to test a hypothesis.
    • “Analyze Data and Draw Conclusions” (not “Prove Hypothesis”) is the last step.
  • Hypothesis Illustrated
  • USAID tested the theory that direct aid to the poor would improve childhood nutrition more than trying to engineer nutrition programs for them, on the theory that the poor know what to do; they simply lack the resources.
  • Writing Workshop
    • Cows and Chips
      • This post contains lecture material, demonstrations of the “Cows and Chips” technique in action, examples of advice I have given other student authors for enlivening their posts with livestock, and the details of a simple exercise.


  • A Note about the Hypothesis / Research / Thesis Process
    • Identify a Hypothesis
    • Read in the topic
    • Investigate sources
    • The purpose of assigning a Hypothesis very early in the semester was not to put you behind or thwart your progress, it was to get the ball rolling.
    • Summarize sources in your White Paper
    • Let the research alter your hypothesis
    • Develop a thesis you can prove
    • Write early drafts along the way
    • Moving forward is always the solution
    • Revise your drafts as many times as needed
    • Combine short arguments into the 3000-word Research Paper
  • Today’s New Material
  • Task: Critical Reading, PTSD Claims

Week 5


  • Research Tips
    • I Can’t Find Any Sources!
  • Writing Mechanics
  • The White Paper Task
    • White Paper First Draft
      • 5 New Sources
      • Link to sources in your White Paper
      • Sketch the Bibliographic data
      • Purposefully Summarize New Sources
      • Use Research Tips to find New Sources at Google Search or Rowan’s Campbell Library Database


  • Wake up
  • Claims
    • Another look at the Claim Types list
      • Claims defined and modeled using the article “Is PTSD Contagious?” as its subject matter.
    • Link to the Lasik Surgery Claims Demonstration
      • A lecture on claims that includes a chart for applying several claims types to your own hypothesis.
  • Definition/Categorical Argument
    • Your Professor’s Model Definition Essay
      • Attempts to answer the question, “Does polio belong to the category of eradicable diseases?”
    • Model Definition/Categorical Essay
      • The editors of the New York Times defines a crucial constitutional term: protected class that deserves heightened scrutiny.

Week 6


  • Housekeeping
    • 123 Uncheck this Box
    • Linking to sources in your posts
    • Feedback please
  • Visual Rhetoric
  • Visual Rhetoric Argument
  • Visual Rhetoric, Static Image
    • The first assignment destined to end up in your Portfolio will be the Visual Rhetoric analysis. You’ll receive provisional analysis of your first draft, then post a Visual Rhetoric Rewrite, which you’ll add to your Portfolio at the end of the semester.
  • A Sample Analysis: Thai Life Insurance
    • Here we examine just 10 seconds of a 2-minute long-form commercial produced by the Thai Life Insurance company to promote the universal human good of doing small selfless gestures for others. How in the world is that supposed to sell life insurance?
  • Portfolio Assignment Visual Rhetoric Argument


Week 7



Week 8




Week 9



Week 10



The Rhetoric Unit

Week 11


  • Rebuttal In-Class Workshop by Request


Week 12


  • Writing Advice
    • Just Passed Scenic Views
  • Writing Center Help When You Need It
  • Prepping for the Portfolio
    • White Paper Becomes Annotated Bibliography
  • Task: Annotated Bibliography
  • Wield Your Statistics
  • Examine An Argument: Ag-Gag Laws


Week 13



Week 14


  • Last Call for Course Evaluations of Instructor Effectiveness
  • Invitation to post at RateMyProfessor
  • Grade Levels 2
    • An “in reverse” unpacking of dense, content-rich statements into their component parts: backwards advice.
  • Stephen Hawking Was Wrong
    • Revision advice on how to grab reader attention with bold claims you can actually support.
  • Not a Crank
    • How to present your personal views without sounding like a conspiracy theorist.
  • A Good Model for Citation and References
    • BeezKneez has updated the in-text citations and References section to meet our class standards (even gone beyond our class standards for linking text to the sources).
  • Building Refutation Language into your Refutations
    • This links to the same post by BeezKneez as the Citation model above. Read the feedback chain for examples of “refuting while reporting” on the claims made by your “opponent.”


Portfolio Readiness Double-check

  • Open each Portfolio item in Edit one at a time.
  • For each item, check the category UsernamePortfolio, where Username is YOUR username, of course.
  • Remember to Update the item.
  • Look for your UsernamePortfolio in the blog sidebar with a number in parentheses indicating how many items it contains.
  • Your target number is 8 items.
    • (1) Self-Reflective Statement
    • (1) Research Position Paper
    • (2) Two Short Arguments (Definition, Causal, Refutation)
    • (2) The Rewrites for those Two Short Arguments
    • (1) Visual Rhetoric Rewrite
    • (1) Annotated Bibliography
  • Prof will Certify your Portfolio on WED MAY 01.
  • Your Grade Conference appointment can be Confirmed when your Portfolio is certified complete.
  • You will be dismissed.



Final Grade Conferences


Final Grade Conferences

Final Grades