Rhetoric and Composition

Course Details

Course Number
Section Number
Fall 2011
Prothro-Yeager Hall
Classroom Number
Days & Times

MWF 11:00-11:50 a.m.

Dr. David Rankin (view Profile)


LB Brief
Reading Critically, Writing Well

Course Objectives

1.  Write thesis-based essays that provide strong support and specific details.

2. Engage in a writing process that includes invention, drafting, and revision.

3. Read and write critically.

4. Demonstrate proficient use of Standard Written English.

Course Expectations

2 in-class paragraphs (5% each)                                                             10%

4 in-class essays, including final (10% each)                                        40%

4 out-of class essays (10%, 10%, 15%, 15%)                                        50%


Writing assignments will include approximately 5000 words of graded writing, with in-class papers being approximately 350 words and out-of-class papers being 700-800 words.

Grading Standards

IMPORTANT:  For freshmen or transfer students entering Midwestern in the fall of 2011 or later, a grade of C or higher in ENGL 1113 is a prerequisite for enrolling in ENGL 1123, and a grade of C or hgher in 1123 is required for graduation from Midwestern.

In this class, the following numerical equivalents for final grades are A = 100-90%; B = 89-80%; C = 79-70%; D = 69-60%; F = 59-0%.

Final Exam

12/03/2011 8:00-10:00a.m.

Submission Format Policy

All out-of-class papers must be submitted in the format prescribed by the Modern Language Association.  See our textbooks for specific requirerments.

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Late Paper Policy

All out-of-class papers are due at the beginning of class, 11:00, on the day specified on the course calendar (see attachment).  Late papers turned in within 24 hours of this time will be lowered one letter grade.  Papers more than 24 hours late will not be accepted.

Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception.

Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters.

We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student.

We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed.

Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, (940) 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement

The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor

All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements

Attendance and participation are essential for success in this class.  If you must miss a class, let me know ahead of time (email or voicemail) and take full responsibility for all that is covered in the class that you miss.

Other Policies

Draft Policy:  I will read and comment on as many drafts of each paper as students are willing to write.  On each draft I will identify 2-4 "targets" for improvement and will make suggestions about how to proceed.  Usually (not on weekends) I will return drafts the next day.  For even faster responses, students should bring drafts to my office in 214 Bea Wood during office hours.

Writing Proficiency Requirement

All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed the 6 hours of Communication Core and and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.

Campus Carry

Senate Bill 11 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature allows licensed handgun holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, effective August 1, 2016. Areas excluded from concealed carry are appropriately marked, in accordance with state law. For more information regarding campus carry, please refer to the University’s webpage at

If you have questions or concerns, please contact MSU Chief of Police Patrick Coggins at