Rhetoric and Composition

Course Details

Course Number
Section Number
Fall 2010
Dillard College of Business Administration
Classroom Number
Days & Times

TR 9:30-10:50

Dr. David Rankin (view Profile)


LB Brief. 4th ed
Aaron, Jane. LB Brief. 4th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson, 2011. Print. Weekday New York Times (free in Clark Student Center).

Course Objectives


  • 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

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

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 require 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

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%.  The Writing Competency Rubric (copy attached) contains the standards by which your writing will be evaluated.  Make it your friend.  Written handouts explaining what is required and expected in each paper will complement the Writing Competency Rubric

Final Exam

12/07/2010 1:00-3:00

Submission Format Policy


All papers must be submitted in the format prescribed by the Modern Language Association (see our text for specific requirements).

By enrolling in this class, the student expressly grants MSU a “limited right” to 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.

Late Paper Policy

All out-of-class papers are due at the beginning of class, 9:30, on the day specified on the course calendar (copy attached).  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

The best and easiest way for you to improve in this course is to write drafts.  Drafts are not required—they are your responsibility.  On each draft, I will identify 2-4 “targets” for improvement and will make suggestions about how you should proceed.  Usually (not on weekends) I will get drafts back to you the next day, sometimes the same day.  If you want an even faster response, bring a draft to my office during office hours.  Why wait until you get a grade to try to improve a paper?  Think about it.

 Revision Policy

Revisions are also optional.  Revisions with substantial improvement in content, style, or organization will be “regraded,” and the new grade will be averaged with the original grade to get the final grade for the assignment.

Writing Labs Policy

I encourage you to begin drafting papers as early as possible and to take advantage of the MSU Writing Labs located in 224 Bea Wood and RC246 Moffett Library.  Writing tutors will not edit your papers for you, but they will provide you with specific suggestions for improving your writing.

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