THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI iStudy | Home | Ole Miss | Request Info  link to facebook  link to twitter

The University of Mississippi Online

iStudy Course Syllabus

WRIT 102, First-Year Writing 2, v 1,
University of Mississippi

3 credit hours


Wendy Goldberg

Instructor name:

Wendy Goldberg, Core Instructor

Instructor Information:

I have taught at the University of Mississippi for six years. Prior to coming to Mississippi, I taught at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and at the University of Connecticut.

I've also taught summer courses through Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth and most recently worked with teen-agers in Saudi Arabia through this program.

I am excited to be teaching a pop culture themed iStudy course because my research interests are in comic books, especially Japanese manga and anime. I look forward to working with you!


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, Department 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


This Independent Study course, WRIT 102 (Writing 102) is a theme-based, first-year writing course designed to build on writing skills learned in WRIT 100/101 and develop critical thinking and research skills appropriate for use in academic writing. The course pays special attention to developing argumentative skills, analyzing texts, and synthesizing information into thoughtful, coherent essays and projects. Students enrolled in WRIT 102 will produce papers that are longer and more in-depth than in WRIT 100/101.

Course Theme: Pop Culture. Movies, music, television, social media, advertising--in our daily lives, we are surrounded by a constant stream of popular culture. But how often do we stop to ask ourselves what it all means? In this theme of WRIT 102, we will examine the various ways in which we influence and are influenced by pop culture. Some questions we may attempt to answer are: How are we affected by advertising? What can we learn from television, film, and music? What are the roles of race and gender in popular culture? Students should come into this course prepared to examine critically and thoroughly a variety of media and sources that are often disregarded or taken for granted.


Required Textbook:

textbook cover

Maasik, Sonia, and Jack Solomon, ed. Signs of Life in the USA: Readings on Popular Culture for Writers. 8th ed.

Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2015.

ISBN: 978-1-4576-7025-1

textbook cover

Hacker, Diana, and Nancy Sommers. A Writerís Reference with Writing in the Disciplines. 8th edition.

Boston: Bedford: St. Martins, 2015.

ISBN: 978-1-3190-3086-5

It is your responsibility to order your textbook. Online textbook retailers such as,, or usually provide used textbooks at economical prices. Click the images to go directly to Amazon.

Use the ISBN number to make sure you are ordering the exact book required in this syllabus.


The objectives of this course are:

  1. to develop basic writing skills learned in WRIT 100/101, including the understanding that writing is a process that develops over time through revision
  2. to write for specific purposes and for specific audiences
  3. to respond critically to different points of view, allowing the student to create effective and sustainable arguments
  4. to become skilled at locating primary and secondary research from a variety of sources and at evaluating their reliability
  5. to become effective researchers and writers of research papers as a member of an active writing, reading, and researching community


This course consists of 7 instructional modules (or lessons).

Reading Assignments
Due for Grades
Start Here

You MUST take the syllabus quiz within 2 weeks of enrolling or you will be dropped from the course. NOTE: you must pass the Syllabus and Orientation Quiz for the course materials to appear on the Lessons page.

Syllabus Quiz

Analysis paper

Journal reflections, reading quiz, Analysis paper draft, Analysis paper final draft

Synthesis paper

Journal reflection, reading quiz, Synthesis paper draft, Synthesis paper final draft

Research paper part one

Journal reflection, research proposal, annotated bibliography

Timed Essay

To be scheduled and completed before proceeding
Research paper part two
Journal reflections,
Research paper draft, mandatory conference, Research final paper

Multimodal project

Journal reflections,
Multimodal rough draft, Multimodal final draft

Epilogue reflection

Epilogue reflection draft
Epilogue reflection final draft
Final Timed Essay
To be scheduled and completed before proceeding



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:

Nota Bene: Grading may take up to 5 working days. Please do not email me grade-related questions before 5 days have elapsed. Students must complete all assignments in order to pass the class.


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.



In an Independent Study course, a student's reading comprehension and written communication skills become even more important than in traditional lecture courses because they are the student's primary means of receiving knowledge and demonstrating mastery of that knowledge. Accordingly, reading comprehension and written communication skills are necessary for success in this course.

Online Attendance Verification: The University requires that online students show active virtual participation as a substitute for physical presence. Active participation is evaluated by submission of a graded assignment within the first two weeks of the course. Simply logging in to Blackboard does not count. For iStudy, you can show engagement by taking the syllabus quiz. You will be dropped from the class if you fail to take the quiz by the end of the second week after enrollment. If you have already submitted any other assignment, you do not need to take the quiz.


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.

Conferencing: There will be three required video or in-person although you are invited to conference with me more often. Conferences can be held through email, Skype, Google Hangouts, or Zoom. I require a conference after you have submitted your research paper draft but the other conferences will depend on your needs. An excellent time to conference is during the drafting stages of your papers and during the early stages of your research paper process.


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 donít ìproofreadî or merely ìcorrectî errors. They will help you brainstorm, explore resources, and answer your grammar questions. Aside from one-on-one meetings with teachers during office hours, the best way to improve your writing is to work with writing consultants at one of the Universityís Writing Centers. On the Oxford campus, the writing center is on the 3rd floor of the J.D. Williams Library. Writing consultants will work with any student writer working on any project in any discipline. To learn more about Writing Center hours, scheduling, and services, please go to

A comment on grades: Though this will be explored further in the grading rubric that will used to assess your work this semester, I want you to understand that your work will be held to vigorous standards.
A ìCî grade represents ìaverageî work. Fulfilling the minimum requirements of the assignment means that you will at least receive a ìCî grade. Likewise, this is the average grade on papers and for the course.
A ìBî grade means that the essay has done better than average work and has done more than satisfactory work in several grading criteria. ìBî grades represent good, solid work.
An ìAî grade means truly exceptional work. An ìAî paper excels in more than one grading criteria. This is rarely received because ìAî level work is extraordinary work.

Grading Policy: Your instructor will grade and return your essays electronically within 5-6 days. There will be extensive comments on them as well as a marked rubric. Please do not email grade-related questions before five days have elapsed.

24-Hour Policy on discussing grades: Please wait 24 hours from the time you receive a grade on a major assignment before contacting me concerning the grade. I am happy to talk with you about it, but I encourage you to read the comments and the rubric before we talk.

Drafts and Homework: Grades for worksheets, rough drafts, peer reviews, quizzes, discussion board posts, and other shorter homework assignments will be part of the final project grades. Failure to do them results in deductions off final paper/project grades. The number of assignments will vary per project but will be stated in the assignment sheet.

Description of major assignments:
Analysis paper: is an analysis of a single text. This can be a response paper to an authorís argument or a profile or analysis of a person, place, or thing. It should be 750-1000 words with at least a single entry on the Works Cited page and is worth 15% of the studentís final grade.
Synthesis paper: is a paper where students weigh at least two different arguments and synthesize a unique thesis in reaction to these arguments. It should be 1000-1250 words with at least two entries on the Works Cited page and is worth 20% of the studentís final grade.
Midterm Timed Essay: is a timed writing exercise where students respond to a prompt with an essay. This will be related to paper #3, the research paper. The timed essay is worth 10% of the studentís final grade.
Research Essay: is the research paper where students will come up with their research question in the context of the class theme. This paper should be 7-9 pages and use at least seven credible sources. This assignment is worth 25% of the studentís final grade.
Multimodal Project: revises the research paper into another mode (video, PowerPoint, etc). This assignment is worth 10% of the studentís final grade.
Journal reflections and epilogue reflection: is a series of essays where the student reflects on his or her writing, including, but not limited to, issues around process, audience, purpose, research and argumentation. The student will receive guided questions about the current writing he or she is doing. The final written reflection will focus on the student's writing with a larger scope and focus.

Final Timed Essay: is a timed writing exercise where the student will respond to a question that encapsulates both his or her reflection as well as the content of the course.


The University of Mississippi is committed to the creation of inclusive learning environments for all students. If there are aspects of the instruction or design of this course that result in barriers to your full inclusion and participation or to accurate assessment of your achievement, please contact the course instructor as soon as possible. Barriers may include, but are not necessarily limited to, timed exams and in-class assignments, difficulty with the acquisition of lecture content, inaccessible web content or the use of non-captioned or non-transcribed video and audio files. Students must also contact Student Disability Services at 662-915-7128 so that office can:

  1. provide you with an Instructor Notification form
  2. facilitate the removal of barriers
  3. ensure you have equal access to the same opportunities for success that are available to all students

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.).

Academic Honesty: As a student at the University, all work submitted under your name, for your credit, is assumed to be your original work. While teachers hope and expect you to incorporate the thinking of others in your work, you must credit othersí work when you rely upon it. In your written assignments, there are only three methods for properly importing the work of others: quotation, paraphrase, and summary (see pp. 376-379, 448-451, and 502-504 in A Writerís Reference).

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.

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.

Welcome to iStudy

iStudy classes are flexible and self-paced. Our distance learning program allows you to learn anytime, anywhere. Most courses are available online through Blackboard. We also have classes that are paper based. Many are available in both formats. Learn More »

iStudy on Twitter

UM Calendars

UM Academic Calendar