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The University of Mississippi Online

Writing 101, First-Year Writing 1

University of Mississippi
3 credit hours

Instructor Information:

Dave Nichols

Instructor name:

Karen Forgette (pronounced 4-jet):

Instructor Information:

Karen Forgette is a core instructor in the Center for Writing and Rhetoric at the University of Mississippi. She has been teaching in the UM first-year writing program since 2005.

Prior to joining UM, she taught writing, literature, and speech in high schools and community colleges in Ohio, New York, and North Carolina. Her work as a freelance writer and editor has focused primarily on education, corporate communications, and family life.

Contact Information:

If you have questions concerning the content of the course, you may contact the instructor directly using the Email Your Instructor link in the Lessons or Content page. NOTE: Whenever sending email, please be sure to indicate your course title and number in the subject line.

For lesson or test administration issues, please contact the iStudy department:

The University of Mississippi
Division of Outreach and Continuing Education
P. O. Box 1848
University, MS 38677

Phone: (662) 915-7313, toll-free (877) 915-7313
Fax: (662) 915-8826

Course Description

Writing 101 will assist students in recognizing and understanding different audiences and rhetorical purposes for reaching those audiences. Throughout the course, students will be assigned readings and participate in activities that address various rhetorical purposes. In addition, students will develop a writing process that nurtures ideas and texts over time.

The course will feature major assignments from five different genres culminating in a reflective ePortfolio project that considers the student's own writing development. The assigned work in Writing 101 should prove simultaneously challenging and interesting, encouraging students to better understand how the written language functions academically, professionally, and privately. To that end, students will examine ideas critically, engage in reflective practices, begin to interact with and document secondary source material in anticipation of Writing 102 or Liberal Arts 102, and learn to better understand and navigate the standard conventions of academic English.

Textbook Information:
WRIT 101 textbook 1

Bullock, Richard, and Maureen Daly Goggin, eds. The Norton Field Guide to Writing, with Readings. 2nd ed.

New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2010. ISBN: 978-0-393-93976-7

WRIT 101 textbook 2

Hacker, Diana, and Nancy Sommers. A Writer's Reference with Writing in the Disciplines. 7th ed.

Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2011. ISBN: 978-0-312-60143-0

It is your responsibility to order your textbook(s). Online textbook retailers such as,, or usually provide used textbooks at economical prices.

Use the ISBN numbers to make sure you are ordering the exact books required in this syllabus.

Course Objectives:

The purpose of Writing 101 is to help provide and build on the foundations in composition, grammar, and reading in preparation for future academic writing and learning situations. Writing 101 is a three-credit hour core curriculum course that partially satisfies requirements for most degree programs.

Objectives include (but are not limited to):

  1. Writing Process: Students will demonstrate composing as a recursive process that includes brainstorming, planning, drafting, reviewing, revising, editing, and proofreading.
  2. Exploration and Argumentation: Students will use writing and other modes to analyze texts, explore unfamiliar ideas, engage with thinking different from their own, develop sound arguments, and reflect.
  3. Purposes and Audience: Students will write with a variety of academic purposes for a variety of audiences.
  4. Research: Students will understand what constitutes credible evidence, how to incorporate evidence in their own writing, and how to use library databases to find sources of evidence.
  5. Conventions and Mechanics: Students will produce writing that is free of grammatical and mechanical errors that inhibit or interfere with the reader's understanding. Students will follow conventions for documentation, formatting, and length requirements.
Course Outline:

This course consists of 14 instructional modules (or lessons).

Learning Assignments
Due for Grades
Start Here
Syllabus and orientation materials
Syllabus and Orientation Quiz

Introduction to Rhetoric: Chapters 1-5: Rhetorical Situations, videos

Journal entry, Blackboard assignments

Literacy Narrative Part 1: Chapter 7: Writing a Literacy Narrative, "Mother Tongue," "Literacy Behind Bars," and videos

Blackboard assignments; first draft of literacy narrative to ePortfolio

Literacy Narrative Part 2: Attached readings, video

Journal entry, final draft of literacy narrative to Blackboard

Analysis Unit Part 1: A Writer's Reference, Section A1, Rhetorical Analysis Assignment Sheet, video

Unit reflection on ePortfolio, Blackboard assignments
Analysis Unit Part 2: A Writer's Reference, Section C2 and C3-a-b-c
First draft of the analysis essay to ePortfolio

Analysis Unit Part 3: Donald Murray's article

Journal entry, final draft of the analysis essay to Blackboard
Mid Course Study Guide: Lesson 7 readings and weblinks
Mid Course Exam
Timed essay exam with prompt based on "Fremont High School" by Jonathan Kozol: 60 minutes
To be scheduled
and completed
before proceeding
Argument Unit Part 1: Chapter 10: Arguing a Position, Accommodating Other Viewpoints, and "Anti-Intellectualism: Why We Hate the Smart Kids," video
Unit reflection on ePortfolio, Journal entry, Blackboard assignment

Argument Unit Part 2: "Constructing Reasonable Arguments" and "Evaluating Arguments, A Writer's Reference, A2-A3, student essay example, videos, weblinks

First draft of the position argument to ePortfolio
Argument Unit Part 3: Donald Murray's article
Journal entry, final draft of the position argument to Blackboard

Multimodal Unit Part 1: Multimodal Assignment Sheet, video, student sample

Unit reflection on ePortfolio, first draft of the Multimodal assignment to Blackboard
Multimodal Unit Part 2
Final draft of the Multimodal assignment to Blackboard
ePortfolio Reflection Unit Part 1: "Reflecting on Your Writing Portfolio," "Prepare a portfolio; reflect on your writing," student sample, ePortfolio Reflection Writing Prompt
Unit reflection on ePortfolio, first draft of ePortfolio reflection to ePortfolio, Blackboard assignment
ePortfolio Reflection Unit Part 2:
Blackboard self-review assignment, Revise ePortfolio reflection, Post final reflection on ePortfolio.
Final Exam
Timed reflective essay: 60 minutes
To be scheduled
and completed
to finalize credit



93 - 100% = A
90 - 92% = A-
87 - 89% = B+
83- 86% = B
80 - 82% = B-
77-79% = C+
73-76% = C
70-72% = C-
65-69% = D
Below 65% = F


The grading format is as follows:

Literacy Narrative 10%
Analysis 15%
Midterm timed writing 5%
Argument 20%
Multimodal 10%
ePortfolio Reflection 20%
Journals 5%
Assignments 10%
Final timed writing 5%

Nota Bene: Grading may take up to 5 working days. Please do not email me grade-related questions before 5 days have elapsed.

Testing Information

A student who wishes to receive credit for an Independent Study course must take all required exams under the supervision of an approved test site official (a proctor). The Department of Independent and Online Learning has a testing facility to proctor tests for iStudy students in the Oxford area. Students near Tupelo, Southaven, Grenada or Booneville can use our regional campus testing centers. Other students are allowed to take tests from any approved 2 or 4 year college or university. Testing centers and public libraries can also serve as proctors, but K-12 schools are not acceptable. More information is available on the iStudy website.


  • It is the student's responsibility to contact a proctor and schedule a testing appointment for each and every test he/she is required to take.
  • It is the student's responsibility to provide Independent Study at Ole Miss with his or her proctor information at least seven (7) days before the examination window opens.
  • If you are unable to use one of the proctors on the list, you are still responsible for locating a proctor for each and every test.


You are expected to complete all readings, assignments, and projects. The assignments are intended to emphasize the primary concepts from each unit. Because of the intensive nature of this class, it is essential that you allocate adequate time to prepare for every module. You are also required to hold three writing conferences with your instructor (through email, Skype, Google Hangouts, etc.).


Call anytime between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. M-F (662-915-1493). If you leave a voicemail, please include the course and section you are in and your full name.

E-mail anytime ( I will try my best to return e-mails within 24 hours. Again, be sure to include the course name and section in the subject line and state your full name at the end of the email.

Virtual Office Hours: Thursday , 1-3 p.m.(or by appointment) in Google Hangout or Google Chat


Online sessions with tutors at the University Writing Center are available. Working with a tutor is a great way to improve your writing. The goal of the Writing Center is to help students become better, independent writers, so the tutors don't "proofread" or merely "correct" errors. They will help you brainstorm, explore resources, and answer your grammar questions. To learn more about Writing Center hours, scheduling, and services, please go to


The University of Mississippi is committed to ensuring equal access to an education for enrolled or admitted students who have disabilities under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). The office serves those with physical, nonphysical, and mental disabilities. University policy calls for reasonable accommodations to be made for eligible students with verified disabilities on an individualized and flexible basis.

It is the responsibility of any student with a disability who requests a reasonable accommodation to contact the Office of Student Disability Services (662-915-7128) in 234 Martindale Center to be verified with that office. SDS will then contact the instructor through the student by means of an Instructor Notification of Classroom Accommodations form. For more information, please visit their website at


You should not share your private personal passwords (for your Blackboard account or for your email) with anyone else, including brothers or sisters, boyfriends or girlfriends, or parents. Logs of all your activity within the Blackboard course environment, including the Internet location from which you are accessing Blackboard, are available to the instructor and to the Independent Study office. Any evidence of logins to a student's Blackboard course by someone other than the student will be treated as an act of academic dishonesty and will result, at minimum, with failure in the course; the student may also be subject to the more severe disciplinary actions outlined in The University Policy on Academic Dishonesty. (ACA.AR.600.001)

Academic Dishonesty is expressly prohibited by The University of Mississippi. See The University of Mississippi's M Book. This includes plagiarism and self-plagiarism. Plagiarism is not only prohibited by the university but it could also be a legal offense (ex: copyright, infringement, fraud, etc.).

  • Self-plagiarism is defined as re-using a paper written for another class and submitting it in whole or part for credit in another class, without obtaining permission from the instructor prior to the submission of the paper.
  • Plagiarism is harder to define, but it boils down to representing someone else's ideas as your own.

To be absolutely clear, working with another person to answer submitted questions or any of the test questions is unacceptable. If it is determined that any student has violated this policy, the instructor will take the appropriate steps under The University of Mississippi's Academic Dishonesty policy. These range from failing the course to being suspended from The University of Mississippi.

If you have any questions about plagiarism please consult the web links below or contact the iStudy office.


Set aside a regular time for studying and preparing your lessons.

  • Submit the lessons at regular intervals.
  • Review constantly. Do not merely submit new material and permit the old to stagnate.
  • Note carefully the comments and corrected errors on the assignments that are returned to you. If you have difficulty understanding the corrections, never hesitate to ask for help.
  • Do not hesitate to contact your instructor about any difficulties you may have or any phase of the work you may not understand.

You can contact your instructor in one of these ways:

  1. Contact your instructor directly by using the Email Your Instructor link to send an email via Blackboard.
  2. Contact your instructor indirectly by sending a written message or email message ( to the instructor in care of the iStudy department. Your message will be promptly forwarded to the instructor.

Do not let unanswered questions keep you from getting the maximum out of each lesson.

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