Rhetoric & Composition II

Course Details

Course Number
Section Number
Spring 2015
Bolin Hall
Classroom Number
Bolin 103
Days & Times

ENGL 1123 211 TR  8:00-9:20 AM Bolin 103;

ENGL 1123 215 TR 11:00 AM-12:20 PM Bolin 103

Dr. Peter Fields (view Profile)


The Hunger Games
Suzanne Collins
Of Bread, Blood, and The Hunger Games
Eds.Mary Pharr & Leisa Clark
Ender's Game
Orson Scott Card
Ender's World
Ed. Orson Scott Card
LB Brief
Jane Aaron, 5th ed.

Course Objectives

Students will write two in-class FOUR-paragraph essays: the first examines character and ideas in The Hunger Games and the second examines the same in Ender’s Game. Both essays require citing from secondary sources (Pharr and Clark in regard to The Hunger Games and Card’s anthology Ender’s World).

COMPARISON RESEARCH PAPER. Students will have two weeks towards the end of the semester with Dr. Fields and Faculty Partners (Moffett Librarians Allison Breen and Ryan Samuelson) on the subject of online sources relevant to The Hunger Games and Ender’s Game. Students must then compare the two novels in regard to character and ideas in a SEVEN-paragraph paper that utilizes secondary sources in our required anthologies of essays as well as online sources approved by Dr. Fields. 

The two FOUR-paragraph Essays and the COMPARISON RESEARCH Paper must meet MLA citing standards both in-body and in regard to a Works Cited bibliography. All written material in this course will be graded for grammar and syntax as well as content. 

Before students begin their COMPARISON RESEARCH PAPER, Dr. Fields must approve their ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY. 

Students need to keep a computer journal of motifs. For each class period, they need to describe briefly (no more than one paragraph) a scene or scenario which repeats in the book. The journal is mandatory and is worth 20 percent of the course grade. Dr. Fields will check it off AT THE BEGINNING of each class period (walking by each student’s computer monitor). Students must be present in class and bring up the updated journal on their computers. Students cannot make up a missed entry due to absence. They may do one ahead if approved by the instructor. Journal must be checked in person (not by e-mail attachment). Each missed entry is 5 points from 100. Journal will be printed, hole-punched, and submitted in the clasps of a folder with the COMPARISON RESEARCH PAPER.

Course Expectations

  • Write thesis-based essays that provide strong support and specific details
  • Engage in a writing process that includes invention, drafting, and revision
  • Demonstrate proficient use of Standard Written English
  • Find, evaluate, and synthesize credible sources in support of a research paper
  • Document sources responsibly and follow a designated style guide.

Additional information about course objectives can be found on the department webpage,

Department Requirements: Minimum of 3 revised formal essays for 75 percent of the semester grade; at least one of these essays requires research and correct use of MLA in-body citing and Works Cited bibliography. Recommended: in-class writing and emphasis on writing process.  

Requirements in this course: THREE formal essays and ONE journal for 100 percent of the semester grade—all use MLA citing. Two of the essays are written in class.

Grading Standards

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

IMPORTANT (the “D repeat” policy):  A grade of “C” or higher in ENGL 1123 is required for graduation. 

Grading and Evaluation

  • The journal is worth 20 percent of the final semester grade; each of the four-paragraph essays is worth 20 percent; the comparison research paper is worth 40 percent.
  • Dr. Fields reserves the right to ask students to send him a computer file of their research project by e-mail attachment for archival purposes.
  • MSU Legal Stipulation By enrolling in this class, the student expressly grants MSU a “limited right” in all intellectual property created by the student for the purpose of this course.  The “limited right” shall include but shall not be limited to the right to reproduce the student’s work product in order to verify originality and authenticity, and for educational purposes.
  • 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.

Final Exam

05/13/2015 1:00-3:00 PM

Submission Format Policy

MLA style standards: Use short quotes from your primary texts surgically in your sentences, setting them off with quotation marks and parenthetical page numbers:

 About Ender’s Game: 

The commanding officers of the Battle School decided not to tell Ender that his altercation ended with the death of the bully. The officers were agreed that Ender was “scary” (226), but they were also convinced that he was coming along just fine as a future commander and savior of the world:   “On the one hand, Ender Wiggin not only survived, he passed a threshold, he graduated in dazzlingly good shape” (226). Yes, Ender was a youngster capable of killing someone. On the other, he was somebody dedicated to victory at all costs: “Ender Wiggins isn’t a killer. He just wins—thoroughly” (226).                                                                                                        

About The Hunger Games

Katniss is not interested in giving her heart away, but Peeta is way ahead of her. Irrespective of her feelings, he is intent on persuading the TV audience that a love story is in the making: “But now,” she realized, “Peeta had made me an object of love” (136). In fact, Peeta was implying an elaborate story featuring Katniss as the ultimate romantic conquest: “To hear him tell it,” she realized, “I have many admirers” (136).

MLA style format for a quote of five lines or longer is different. Instead of quotation marks, set the passage in 10 extra spaces on the left. Make sure the longer quote is preceded by a good, comprehensive set-up:

Suzanne Collins presumes the reader of The Hunger Games is a teenager who feels as if life is about fulfilling a role. Feelings are hard. Love is especially intimidating. The very notion of committing to one person is horrifying. Katniss, for instance, is angered by Peeta’s confession of love for her on Capitol television and says so to their mentor: “But we’re not star-crossed lovers!” (135). Haymitch then expresses what many of Collins’s readers may feel about life. Life is just a role or a performance. What matters is not how a person feels but how a person looks to others: 

Haymitch grabs my shoulders and pins me against the wall. “Who cares? It’s all a big show. It’s all how you’re perceived. The most I could say about you after your interview was that you were nice enough, although that in itself was a small miracle. Now I can say you’re a heartbreaker. Oh, oh, oh, how the boys back home fall longingly at your feet. Which do you think will get you more sponsors? (135)

 MLA style format for secondary sources are similar to those above, but sources should be introduced with “According to” or something similar:

As Katheryn Wright observes in “Revolutionary Art in the Age of Reality TV” in Of Bread, Blood, and The Hunger Games, Katniss is now a reality TV star which means, ironically, that she must learn to fake it. She must conduct herself as a character in a Romeo and Juliet love story rather than express her true feelings which are never useful and only get in the way of what people expect from her, including those she must rely on in the arena: “She becomes, for better or worse, a performance artist who composes what can only be considered art by using the seemingly crass and debased realism of reality television as a starting point” (103). 

According to Hilari Bell in her essay “Winning and Losing in Ender’s Game” in Ender’s World, Ender’s teachers misunderstand Ender’s real strengths. They seem to want him to be a strong loner. Instead he excels at connecting with, and bringing along, other people: “From the start, the teachers set out to isolate Ender, first from his family, then from all the friends and allies he makes throughout the book—completely overlooking the fact that Ender’s real genius, his real strength, comes from his ability to build alliances” (71). 

MLA style format requires the use of last names (as well as page numbers) when quotes refer back to different authors:

Ender’s goal all along is to draw other young people into his orbit because his “real genius, his real strength” (Bell 71) is all about bringing the right people together to form an effective team. Card is intent on surrounding Ender with not just teammates but also good friends. Friendship seems crucial to young people who feel isolated: “In our world, gifted children are singled out by simply being labeled gifted and subsequently burdened with all the baggage that comes with it: the expectation that they will always do a perfect job, without ever screwing up, and that the solutions to problems will come to them easily, every time” (Kontis 115). 

MLA in-body style format for online sources like Children’s Literature in Education, a journal found on Academic Search Complete (Moffett Library database) and websites like

Melissa Gross, in her article “Prisoners of Childhood? Child Abuse and the Development of Heroes and Monsters in Ender’s Game” for Children’s Literature in Education, remarks that Ender is not so much trained by his Battle School teachers as he is abused: “The word ‘training’ here is a euphemism for institutionalized, government sanctioned, manipulation of children in service to developing the traits believed necessary in the greatest military commander ever known” (117). 

Even if not directly quoting a source, make sure you acknowledge the author and source of the information you’re summarizing for the reader:

According to Christopher Rudolph in his Huffington Post article “Ender’s Game and Philosophy, ‘New Book, Asks: ‘How Queer is Ender?’” Orson Scott Card may be notoriously homophobic but he tells a story that is ironically edgy with homosexual motifs that inadvertently imply that boys learn the best in quasi-homoerotic scenarios. Rudolph’s article presents a chapter entitled “How Queer is Ender?” by Nicolas Michaud and Jessica Watkins, according to whom Battle School is all about coming to terms with male relationships including some that are remarkably tender and affectionate (even sealed with a kiss) and which culminate in Ender sharing intimate quarters with an elderly teacher, almost like the classic Greek model of older male teacher and younger male protégé. 

If summarizing (not quoting) a source with page numbers, provide the page for where we can find the information:

Melissa Gross makes the point that the child abuse model of Battle School is fraught with unintended consequences (116-119). Ender and other children are suspicious of their teachers and assume that adults are misrepresenting the nature of earth’s adversary (117-118). Ender especially becomes cynical, disgusted, and, ultimately, burned out. He has no passion for winning by the time the Battle School is ready for him to fulfill his promise as savior of humankind (118). 

MLA citing from the preface to Ender’s Game

In his 1991 introduction to Ender’s Game, Orson Scott Card argues that the chief reason the book meets with so much resistance is that adults are not yet ready to grant full “personhood” (xx) to children. He wanted this story to assert the equality of children to adults in regard to their thoughts and emotional life: “And in writing Ender’s Game, I forced the audience to experience the lives of these children from that perspective—the perspective in which their feelings and decisions are just as real and important as any adult’s” (xx). 

MLA citations in the Works Cited

Note use of MLA cross reference system for Ender’s Game and Ender’s World (because more than one item is used from each book). The last item in the Works Cited below (for Katheryn Wright) illustrates what we do if we’re using no more than one item from an anthology. Otherwise, for more than one item from an anthology (e.g., Ender’s World and Of Bread, Blood), use the cross reference system. 

MLA citations in the Works Cited that are CROSS-REFERENCED

If we use more than one item from a source, we list the source and the item(s) separately even though one source contains all the items. NOTE: Hyphens indicate repetition of the author. 

Brown, John. “The Monster’s Heart.” Card, Ender’s World 17-37.

---, ed. Ender’s World: Fresh Perspectives on the SF Classic: Ender’s Game. Dallas: BenBella Books, 2013. Print.

---. Q and A. Card, Ender’s World 38-40.

To create the hanging indent, students should highlight the source information, click on “paragraph,” and then under “Special,” click on “hanging” and “double-spaced.” 

Works Cited 

Blackmore, Tim. “Ender’s Beginning: Battling the Military in Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game.” Extrapolation 32.2 (1991): 124-142. Academic Search Complete. Web. 20 Nov. 2014.

Brown, John. “The Monster’s Heart.” Card, Ender’s World 17-37.

Card, Orson Scott. Ender’s Game. New York: TOR Tom Doherty Associates Book, 1991. Print.

---, ed. Ender’s World: Fresh Perspectives on the SF Classic: Ender’s Game. Dallas: BenBella Books, 2013. Print.

---. Introduction. Card, Ender’s Game xi-xxvi.

---. Q and A. Card, Ender’s World 38-40.

Chapell, Paul K. “The Hunger Games vs. the Reality of War.” War Is A— A Global Movement to End All Wars. Web. 20 Nov. 2014.

Collins, Suzanne. The Hunger Games. New York: Scholastic, 2008. Print.

Gross, Melissa. “Prisoners of Childhood? Child Abuse and the Development of Heroes and Monsters in Ender’s Game.” Children’s Literature in Education 38.2 (2007): 115-126. Academic Search Complete. Web. 20 Nov. 2014.

Doyle, Christine. “Orson Scott Card’s Ender and Bean: The Exceptional Child as Hero.” Children’s Literature in Education 35.4 (2004): 301-318. Web. 20 Nov. 2014.

Hubler, Angela E. “Lois Lowry’s and Susanne Collins’s Dystopian Fiction: Utopia and Anti-Utopia.” Against the Current 29.3 (2014): 23-27. Academic Search Complete. Web. 20 Nov. 2014.

Lem, Ellyn, and Holly Hassel. “‘Killer’ Katniss and ‘Lover Boy’ Peeta: Suzanne Collins’s Defiance of Gender-Genred Reading.” Pharr and Clark 118-127.

Pharr, Mary F. and Leisa A. Clark, eds. Of Bread, Blood, and The Hunger Games: Critical Essays on the Suzanne Collins Trilogy. Jefferson, North Carolina, and London: McFarland & Company, 2012. Critical Explorations in Science Fiction and Fantasy 35. Print.

---. Introduction. Pharr and Clark 5-18.

Rudolph, Christopher. “Ender’s Game and Philosophy, New Book, Asks: ‘How Queer is Ender?’” The Huffington Post: Gay Voices., July 25, 2013. Web. 14 Aug 2014.

Simmons, Amber M. “Class on Fire: Using the Hunger Games Trilogy to Encourage Social Action.” Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy 56.1 (2012): 22-34. Academic Search Complete. Web. 20 Nov. 2014.

Wright, Katheryn. “Revolutionary Art in the Age of Reality TV.” Pharr and Clark 98-107. 

PROPER FORMAT (MLA format for in-body citing and Works Cited bibliography)

  • All typed documents must be 12 point Times New Roman double-spaced.
  • For header and page number in the .5 default position: click on “insert,” then “page number,” “top of page,” and “plain number 3.” The cursor will show to the immediate left of the page number. Simply type your last name, and it will magically appear. Space once between name and number.
  • Top, right, and bottom margins should be set at one inch; the left margin should be an inch and a quarter to accommodate the folder. NOT A HEADER: On the first page of an essay, the student name, instructor name, course, and date should be in the upper left, double-spaced. These items do not appear on subsequent pages.
  • Students must submit their work in person (from their hands into the instructor’s hands). Submission for a due-date is never by e-mail attachment or under the office door, or left on a desk, or by surrogate (classmate or relative). Late work also must be submitted in person.
  • When submitting the comparison research paper, students must provide their marked four paragraph essays hole-punched and in the brads; then their journal (complete) hole-punched and in the brads; finally, their comparison paper hole-punched and in the brads.
  • Print-outs/photocopies of online database sources like Academic Search Complete (with key passages bracketed) are provided in the pockets of the folder (along with a signed copy of the annotated bibliography).
  • Work submitted apart from these guidelines will not be evaluated and must be resubmitted (correctly) and penalized for lateness.



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

An assignment is late if submitted after the class period it is due. If late by one period, the assignment will be penalized 10 points. If late by two class periods, the essay is penalized 20 points (the penalty is capped at 20 points). No late work may be submitted after the last official class period of the semester according to the MSU official calendar. A class period is officially over when the instructor dismisses it. All late work must be submitted IN PERSON.

If students are too ill to submit their work personally, they should submit it when they return to class. They may avoid penalty for late submission by obtaining documentation from a relevant professional in a timely fashion (e.g., a doctor or the Dean of Students’ office). NOTE: Documentation cannot excuse an absence—only the lateness of an assignment.

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

 You are allowed no more than SIX absences and all absences count under this policy. The seventh absence will result in an automatic F for the semester grade. Roll is taken right away as soon as class begins. Late is the same as ABSENT. All absences count under this policy including car accident, car breakdown, natural disaster, illness (even documented illness), illness of a relative (including child or parent), court date (including for custody or to avoid jail), or university sanctioned event (sports, theatre, etc)—the reason does not matter. No absence is considered valid except for official campus closure (as in the case of snow or ice) or cancellation of the class period (as in the case of instructor illness).

Other Policies

ENGLISH DEPARTMENT 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 in the body of the paper and a listing in the "Works Cited" bibliography)—whether you use that material in a quotation, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not. 

Plagiarism and Proper Documentation

Any use of a non-documented source as if it were a student’s original work is considered plagiarism and academic dishonesty. Plagiarism can be of ideas; it can be of exact phrasing. In either or both cases, if the student has failed to acknowledge the source in the body of the essay and to document it in the Works Cited, the grade will be a “0” (no points) for the assignment even if the rest of the assignment is original and use of other sources properly documented. Upon being informed of the plagiarism, the student is no longer welcome in the class. The student may withdraw from the course with a penalty-free “W” if available; if not, the student must cease attending and the grade will be whatever points the student has accumulated minus the plagiarized document and any other tests or assignment as yet not completed (which are forfeit).  If the student continues to attend, the instructor will contact the Dean of Students or Student Conduct office and withdraw the student with a WF. 

Phrasing that is too close to the student’s own documented sources.

Students who reproduce the phrasing of their documented source(s) as if it were their own phrasing will be penalized for language that is too close to source. Students can use terminology they find in their documented sources, but four words in a row are too much without quoting. Verbatim use of a documented source must be confined to QUOTES set off with quotation marks or ten extra spaces on the left if the verbatim passage works out to be five or more lines of student typing or handwriting. All such quoting requires parenthetical page numbers if provided in the source. Even if page numbers are not provided, the language must be clearly attributed to the author and set off by quotation marks or an extra ten inches on the left.

  • Students must write in class and show progress.
  • Students may consult with each other during class (except during timed in-class writing) as long as they don’t hinder the progress of those around them.
  • Students may take an important call in the hallway or use the restroom at their own discretion except when the instructor is explaining a detailed point to the whole class.
  • Student topics and progress are NOT private. The instructor is ALWAYS at liberty to share a point in one student’s work with another student or the whole class.
  • Students must have the instructor’s permission to leave class for the rest of the period.

Students cannot leave before the whole class is dismissed (unless the full hour and 20 minutes has expired—then any student may leave).


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.

>Calendar Attachment

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