Research Writing


Dr. Gerard Smith

English 102

Room: CCW 104

Section 1H2, 4758: 9:00a-10:15a  MW

Phone: 992-6058

Office: 225 D CCW

Office Hours: 10-30-11:30 M-F


Aaron, Jane. The Little Brown Compact Handbook. 6th ed.
Walker, Janice.  Bookmarks  3rd ed.  Longman 2005. 

Tutoring/Writing Center:  Hawkins Hall 102/103 or AA4 106.   Open M-F 8a to 5p.

Assignment Schedule

You will find a list of the course work with accompanying due dates and grade values here:  Assignment Schedule  and  Lecture and Reading Schedule.

The writing assignments and research assignments listed can be found by following the links. You can use the schedule to chart your progress in the course, and to organize your time.

Attitude and Philosophy

You can think of research writing as an exploration of ideas, an exploration during which you will visit many destinations and search many resources, gathering information and data in order to achieve your goal: the tale of what you found. Making this course a learning experience is not only my responsibility, it is also your responsibility. This means I will not provide interpretation, but only suggest alternative points of view and counter arguments. I will provide questions which should be asked concerning the texts and concerning your research material, but you must formulate the thesis statements for your synthesis papers and your research project.

Course Goals and Assessment

Research Writing will focus on these Clark College Abilities: Information Retrieval, Communication and Critical Thinking. Each of the assignments contain a brief explanation about how they match the college-wide abilities. In addition, many of the assignments include a self-assessment segment. Since research writing is a skill building class, how well you do on each individual assignment is not as important as the improvement you make during the term. You will be asked to practice the most important skills in researching and writing an argument paper, so that you can successfully complete a ten-page paper that uses ten academic sources. Reading the evaluation criteria for the final paper now, will help you set your goals, and provide a basis for your self-assessment during the term.

Course Requirements

Attention: Unless you achieve a C or better on your final paper in Research Writing, you will be required to repeat the course. I will not grade research papers unless all assignments have been turned in prior to the research paper due date.  Safety Net: If, however, you attend all classes and turn in all work on time, you may revise a borderline (C-) paper in order to meet the course requirements.  If you turn in all work on time and your research paper fails (F), you may still earn enough points to avoid receiving an F as a final course grade.

Late Work Policy: Summary and Research Assignments may receive full points if turned in on time: work turned in one day late, will receive up to half credit; work received two days late will receive no credit. Late Papers: Papers must be turned in on the due date, unless previous arrangements have been made. Papers will be docked 10% for each day late.  Warning: All assignments must be completed before the research draft is due: students who do not complete all assignments by this time will not be allowed to write the final paper, and thus will fail the course.  All assignments are at the beginning of class, unless otherwise noted.

Withdrawal policyYou must officially withdraw from the course in order to avoid receiving a grade. Withdrawal must take place by the end of the 7th week of classes:. If you wish to withdraw after this date, you must appeal to the Dean Ray Korpi.

Attendance:  Attendance is mandatory and represents 10% of your overall grade (100 out of 1000 pts). For each day that you miss, 2.5 points will be taken from your attendance score.  Illness and emergency are exceptions to this policy and will be handled on an individual basis. Students must call or email if they will miss class due to illness. Students should make arrangements to turn in assignments;  even though, they may miss class due to an illness.

Course Conduct

 English Department Policies and Practices  and Plagiarism

Grading Breakdown:  Combined, assignments and attendance points equal 1000.   A = 1000-960;  A- 959-900; B+ 899-870; B 869-830; B- 829-800; C+ 799-770; C 769-730; C- 729-700; D+ 699-670; D 669-630; F 629 and below.

Blatant Plagiarism:  Students who plagiarize will receive a failing grade for the class, and will be reported to the Dean of Students.

Inadvertent Plagiarism: Students who inadvertently plagiarize will receive a 5% reduction in their grade for each instance of the plagiarism.


Course Internet Logistics

During the course you might communicate with fellow students.  Please read these pages concerning email etiquette. In addition, you will be using the Internet to conduct research, so it behooves you to gain Internet and Email access from home.

Important Internet Links

 American Memory, Thomas Legislative Information, Department of Education

Other Useful Links