Dept. Of English
|Prof. Joyce Johnston
|Office Hours Thursdays 10:30-noon
A455 Robinson Hall
This section of English 302 uses Blackboard and PBWiki as course software. Access Blackboard at http://mymasonportal.gmu.edu.
After logging in using your MasonLive user ID and password, click
on the Courses tab at the upper right of the screen. Then click
on the course name to access the Blackboard course folder. Both the
Course Schedule and the Course Policies can also be accessed on the
professor's website, available at http://mason.gmu.edu/~jjohnsto
WHAT IS ENGLISH 302B?
In the university catalog, the focus of English 302 is described as follows: "Intensive
practice in writing and analyzing expository forms such as essay,
article, proposal, and technical or scientific reports with emphasis on
research related to student’s major field." This
course is designed to build on the general writing skills and
techniques you have acquired in 101 and other university courses, and
to prepare you for completing advanced level writing, analysis and
research tailored to your major discipline and possible future
workplace. We will, therefore, practice the various genres of
writing you are likely to encounter.
Throughout the semester, you will
also learn to recognize the way(s) that knowledge is constructed in business-related disciplines, adapt your writing to common
purposes and audience needs, conduct and synthesize research, use
computer technologies as part of your research and writing process, and
produce writing that employs the organizational techniques and genres
typical in each discipline.
Building on the strong basis in textual analysis gained from your 200-level English courses, this
section will emphasize types of writing that will serve the more
than 3,550 undergraduate students in the School of Business pursuing majors in such fields as ACCOUNTING, HEALTH SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT, MANAGEMENT and FINANCE. Students
should endeavor to develop a flexible, literate writing style
appropriate to a mature mind both in and out of these areas. Development of an individual, yet field-appropriate vocabulary and tone are primary, as is development of audience awareness. Familiarity with research techniques and sources--whether cyber, human or paper--is also essential.
Since English 302 is an upper-division course, please familiarize yourself with the English Department's description of and requirements for the course to be sure that you meet the criteria.
FEATURES UNIQUE TO OUR COURSE
The section is organized around the concept of branding within a business environment.
The semester's work follows an arc starting with your brand as an
individual, then looks at the brand created by your major within
academia, next investigates the image represented by membership in one
or more professional associations, culminating in a final research
matching your desired personal brand with the one already created by
your optimal future employer. Finally, you have the opportunity to improve your profession's brand by improving its code of ethics.
The course also uses a business-sector tool--the SWOT analysis--to evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities in each of the steps in that progression.
REQUIREMENTS TO ENTER ENGLISH 302
All students who enter English 302 must meed the following requirements:
Students majoring in Computer Science or Engineeering must take English 302N. Students in the School of Management are very strongly recommended to take English 302B.
- complete 45 credit hours (may include transfer hours approved by the GMU Registrar's Office)
- complete English 100 or 101 (may substitute English 111 from a Virginia community college)
- complete one semester of English 200-level literature
- meet with your advisor to determine which type of English 302 to register for
WAIVING ENGLISH 302
Full instructions for submitting a portfolio and taking an essay exam to attempt to waive English 302 may be found on the Waiver of English 302 page. Any student who does not waive the course MUST take it in order to graduate, since it is one of the Foundation Requirements in Written Communication.
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MASON CORE OBJECTIVES
George Mason University's Mason Core is designed
to complement work in a student's chosen area of study. These
classes serve as a means of discovery for students, providing a
foundation for learning, connecting to potential new areas of interest
and building tools for success in whatever field a student pursues.
Learning outcomes are guided by the qualities every student should
develop as they move toward graduating with a George Mason
degree. Through a combination of courses, the Mason Core program
helps students become:
Critical and Creative Scholars
Students who have a love of and
capacity for learning. Their understanding of fundamental
principles in a variety of disciplines and their mastery of quantative
and communication tools enables them to think creatively and
productively. They are inquisitive, open-minded, capable, informed, and
able to integrate diverse bodies of knowledge adn perspectives.
Students who develop the capacity to think well. They can
identify and articulate individual beliefs, strengths and weaknesses,
critically reflect on these beliefs and integrate this understanding
into their daily living.
who are tolerant and understanding. They can conceptualize and
communicate about problems of local, national and global significance,
using research and evaluative perspectives to contribute to the common
Thinkers and Problem-Solvers
Students who are able to discover and understand natural, physical
and social phenomena; who can articulate their application to real
world challenges; and who approach problem-soving from various vantage
points. They can demonstrative capabiity for inquiry, reason and
imagination and see connnections in historical, literary and artistic
OBJECTIVES FOR STUDENTS AS SCHOLARS
This section of English 302 is participating in GMU’s
“Students as Scholars” program. Across campus, students now have increased
opportunities to work with faculty on original scholarship, research, and
creative activities, through their individual departments and the OSCAR office.
302-SAS Student Learning Outcomes: For primarily text-based
research that prepares students to make original contributions: students will
Articulate and refine a question, problem, or challenge.
ETHICAL: Identify relevant ethical issues and
follow ethical principles
DISCOVERY: Distinguish between personal beliefs
METHOD: Choose an appropriate research method
for scholarly inquiry.
METHOD: Gather and evaluate evidence
appropriate to the inquiry.
Appropriately analyze scholarly evidence.
CONTEXT: Explain how knowledge is situated and
shared in relevant scholarly contexts.
COMMUNICATION: Communicate knowledge from an
original scholarly or creative project.
Assignments in English 302 will help prepare you to be
contributors to knowledge in your field, not just memorizers of facts: you will
understand how knowledge is created and
transmitted in a field/discipline
understand key methods and conventions of
scholarly research in your field/discipline
articulate and refine your own question for
situate your investigation in an ongoing
context/conversation in your field
and design a final project that adds new
perspectives and/or data to the conversation
ENGLISH DEPARTMENT OBJECTIVES FOR ENGLISH 302
successfully complete English 302 will be able to adapt their reading
and writing to meet the expectations of their academic and future
workplace. They will be able to demonstrate the ability to
- apply critical reading strategies
that are appropriate to advanced reading in their academic discipline and
in their possible future workplaces
- recognize how knowledge is
constructed in their academic discipline and possible future workplaces,
attending to issues such as kinds of claims or questions posed by advanced
or professional writers
- evidence considered sufficient to
- analyze the rhetorical
situations—audience, purpose, and context—of texts produced in their
academic disciplines and in possible future workplaces
- produce writing—including arguments
or proposals—that is appropriate for a range of rhetorical situations
within their academic disciplines and possible future workplaces, with
particular attention to textual features such as
- common genres
- organizational strategies
- style, tone, and diction
- expected citation formats
Writing Goals: Students who successfully complete ENGH 302 will demonstrate
that they have continued to develop their research and writing strategies to an
advanced level. They will be able to:
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- use writing as a tool for
exploration and reflection in addressing advanced problems, as well as for
exposition and persuasion
- successfully employ strategies for
writing as a recursive process of inventing, investigating, shaping,
drafting, revising, and editing to meet a range of advanced academic and
professional expectations—including, when given appropriate time for
drafting and editing, the ability to produce documents in Standard Edited
American English that are generally free from error
- collaborate with others as they
write, through peer review, group projects, and/or consulting with outside
experts (writing center tutors, librarians, subject-matter experts,
workplace informants, etc.)
- identify, evaluate, and use research
sources (print and electronic), to include advanced online library
searching of databases pertinent to their disciplines and the critical use
of web sites
- employ a range of appropriate
technologies to support their researching, reading, writing, and thinking,
with particular attention to the ways that advanced students and
professionals locate, analyze, organize, and share information
course readings will be done online, using uploaded articles, links
provided in the syllabus, and material e-mailed to the class by the
instructor. Please note that online readings are no less required than
paper texts are in other classes.
research handbook is highly advisable, as students will be expected to
use their appropriate professional format flawlessly by the end of the
semester. For the School of Business, the format is APA, so the
handbook is the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Assocation
(6th edition.) This is available at the GMU Bookstore, or any
commercial bookseller, including Amazon. Be sure to acquire the
current (6th) edition, as previous versions have significantly
Diana Hacker's A Writer's Reference
(7th ed.) is an optional but extremely valuable resource for questions of
grammar, usage and research documentation. It contains a section
on APA formatting, so could be substituted for a research handbook. There is also an alternate version titled A Writer's Reference with Resources for Multilingual Writers and ESL (7th ed.)
Since this class is a distance learning section,
it is BYOD (bring your own device.) Students must use their own
personal electronic devices to participate in class activities.
Smart phones are generally NOT adequate to this purpose due to the
difficulty of extended writing on such small screen sizes.
Check email regularly, preferably daily. Any student not regularly
using his or her GMU email account must set that account to forward to
the student's preferred email address. Failure to do so will mean
that the student will not receive any class notices, warnings of
missing assignments or individua contact from the instructor, all of
which are sent to the class list maintained by the Registrar's Office.
If using a PC, use either Chrome or Mozilla Firefox as your browser.
Blackboard, our course Learning Management System, does not play well
with Explorer. If using a Mac, use Safari and Mac OS10.5 or higher.
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UNIVERSITY POLICY ON CLASS MEMBERSHIP
Students are responsible for verifying their enrollment in
this class. Deadlines are included in the Course Schedule for this class as
well as the GMU Schedule of Classes.
For Spring 2017, the Last Day to Add or to Drop without
tuition penalty is Monday, Jan. 30, 2017.
The absolutely Last Day to Drop is Friday, Feb. 24, 2017. After the last day to drop a class, withdrawal
requires the approval of the Dean and is only allowed for nonacademic
Undergraduate students may choose to exercise a selective
withdrawal option, which may be used no more than three times in a student's
undergraduate career at George Mason and must be completed within the selective
withdrawal period. For Spring 2017, the period lasts from Feb. 27-Mar. 31. See the GMU Schedule of Classes for selective
ACADEMIC ACCOMMODATIONS POLICY
In accordance with English Department policy, each student will submit a minimum of 3500 words in
the course of the semeter, which will serve as the basis for the course
grade. Any student with a documented disability which could impact the
completion of this requirement must notify the instructor at the
beginning of the semester, using a Faculty Contact Sheet.
Students needing documentation must contact the Office of Disability Services,
located in SUB 1, Room 4205, phone number (703) 993-2474. Documentation is required to obtain
course adaptations to ensure that students recieve appropriate support
and assistance for success in the class.
CLASS POLICY ON EXTRA CREDIT
Extra credit is not awarded in this class.
CLASS POLICY ON LATE WORK
All assignments should be submitted to Blackboard on time.
- Late work will
be penalized one letter grade for the first 24 hours after the due date.
- Late work will be penalized 50% of the original grade if submitted more than 24 hours after the due date until the end of the first week. The late
penalty cannot be removed from work resubmitted or revised.
- No work will be accepted more than a week after the due date
indicated on the Course Schedule.
Late work may be delayed in being graded and returned; delay
is usually one week but may be more. Please keep this in mind, especially near
the end of the semester.
Students should retain all graded files until the final
course grade appears on their transcripts at the end of the semester.
IMPORTANT: Both the Research Paper and the visual presentation project on situational leadership
have non-negotiable due dates due to the necessity of submitting final grades
in time for graduation. They cannot be submitted late.
CLASS PARTICIPATION POLICY
that writing is a time-intensive activity. It is thus very difficult
to make up any significant amount of lost time. Anyone who must
unavoidably miss class activities is advised to notify the instructor
promptly to avoid falling behind. In an online class like this one,
course work and deadlines go on as scheduled, regardless of
weather-related closings, unless there is a network outage or
Since group work
is conducted online, it is crucial that each person contribute
meaningfully to the group to which s/he is assigned, especially in a
business writing section, since the business world is so highly
collaborative. Therefore, participation in the class environment is an
important part of the semester grade, especially for the civility blog,
the wiki project and the peer reviews of research papers. It is not
possible to earn an "A" in this class without timely, meaningful group
in online conversations is essential. This implies brain awareness,
without other distractions, as well as the basic courtesies of formal
social gatherings. A student who is seriously unprepared for class or
group work--having no draft ready for group mates to critique, for
example, will lose class participation points for that activity. Any
serious breach of good online conduct may cause the loss of all
CLASS POLICY ON FORMATTING ASSIGNMENTS FOR SUBMISSION
The instructions for each assignment include the correct title for the file(s) submitted.
be submitted in Word (.doc or .docx) format. The ONLY exception to this
is screen shots of quizzes, which may be submitted as JPEG or PDF
files. No other file types will be scored. If using a Mac
or a Word equivalent like Open Office or Libre Office, it is the
student'sresponsibility to ensure that his/her submissions can be read
in Word 2013.
CLASS POLICY ON FORMATTING EMAIL
questions or correspondence should be directed to the instructor's GMU
email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. All GMU-related correspondence is
handled through that address and ONLY that address. When contacting the
instructor about a message sent to the class list, students should be
sure to reply to
the instructor's email address rather than to the entire list. This places communications within the requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
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UNIVERSITY GRADING REQUIREMENTS FOR ENGLISH 302
It is University policy that in all Mason Core
English classes (English 100, 101, 201 and 302), students must achieve a grade
of C (73) or higher to receive credit for the course. Students with averages of
C- or lower will receive an NC (No Credit) for the course.
It is also university policy that all students in English 302 must successfully complete a major research assignment in order to earn credit for the course. In our case, this is the Research Paper.
It is also the policy of the College of
Humanities and Social Sciences that once final grades have been recorded,
instructors should not accept any additional work from a student to change a
In addition, the
University requires that students submit a minimum of 3500 words
in course of the semester, upon which the course grade is based.
COURSE GRADING SCALE
Each assignment, as well as the final course grade, is
based upon a total of 100 points. Grading ranges are:
A+ = 98-100. A = 93-97. A- =
90-92. B+ = 88-89. B = 83-87. B- =
80-82. C+ = 78-79. C = 73-77. C- = 70-72. D+ =
68-69. D = 63-67. D- = 60-62. Any grade below D- receives no
credit for the assignment.
ESSAY GRADING CRITERIA
Essays are graded using the following general criteria:
"A" level grade (90-100%) marks an essay that is a delight for
the reader. Even more than in a "B" essay, its author
anticipates and responds to possible reader questions, uses a wide range
of supporting evidence, engages the reader in a provocative conversation,
provides unexpected insights, and/or uses language with care and facility.
"B" level grade (80-90%) highlights a strong example of college
writing and thinking. In addition to meeting the "C"
level requirements, such an essay goes further in some way(s): it
demonstrates some insight into the "gray areas" of the topic,
provides original or very thorough support that is tightly woven into the
overall argument, reads smoothly at both the sentence and paragraph
levels, and/or exhibits a personal "voice" or style. It
has few sentence-level errors.
"C" level grade (70-79%) denotes average college-level writing
and achievement. The essay is a competent response to the
assignment: it meets, to some degree, all the assignment
requirements, and demonstrates that the author has put significant time
and effort into communicating his/her ideas to his/her targeted
audience. It has a thesis, presents some support, and moves
from point to point in an orderly fashion; sentence-level errors do not
significantly prevent comprehension. Essays that do not meet
these criteria will not earn a "C."
and "F" level essays do not meet the basic expectations of the assignment.
CALCULATING THE SEMESTER GRADE
individually graded on a scale of 0-100, as described in the previous
section. They are then assigned percentage values (sometimes
known as weights) to calculate the final semester grade.
Calculations are handled by Blackboard' grade book function.
In ascending order, weights/percentage values for course assignments are:
|Quiz on Course Policies
|1, 3, 6
|Class Civility Blog and Survey
|What is Your Academic Discipline? Worksheet
|Quiz on APA Format
|1, 5, 6
|Peer Review of Research Paper
|1, 2, 3, 4, 7
|Memo on Choosing a Professional Assocation
|3, 4, 6, 7
|1, 3, 5, 7
|Personal Branding Analysis
|Visual Presentation: Becoming an Effective Situational Leader
|Disciplinary Resources Wiki and Assessing Your Wiki Group's Functioning
|2, 3, 6
|Research Paper on Professional Branding
|1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
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METHODS OF INSTRUCTION
There are four MAJOR WRITING ASSIGNMENTS for this course, each in a different format. Each assignment has an instructions containing goals, skills
developed by the assignment, procedures to complete the assignment, and grading
criteria. There are also help files supplementing each assignment, designed to
provide support in locating materials and/or developing needed critical
analysis and research skills.
Disciplinary Resources Wiki--prepares for research in a specific field
of study by constructing a simple database--a wiki--that identifies
some basic resources, scholars, organizations, questions, issues and
on Choosing a Professional Association--compares three professional
associations that offer valuable opportunities for networking, hiring,
reading materials, conferences/training, outside contacs and benefits
to an aspiring professional
Presentation on Becoming an Effective Situational Leader--synthesis
project combining skills from the three other majr assignments.
Analyzes attributes needed in students' business careers at the
Research Paper--reviews current professional, scholarly and media
knowledge about a proposed corporate or government employer. Identifies
contact points between the corporate brand and the student's personal
brand and values. Successful submission of a complete paper by the due date is required to earn credit for this course. At
a minimum, a complete paper must contain an title page, abstract page,
body with internal citations for sources and a references page.
Four SHORT WRITINGS will establish appropriate
online behavior norms, used for critical reading, writing and reflection on research
class blog in which students compare appropriate with potentially challenging
topics for online interaction, followed by a survey to establish a class
code of conduct for a business environment
worksheet designed to introduce and reinforce the concept of an academic
review of classmates' research paper drafts
- a personal blog reflecting on writing progress and issues in each of the four major assignments, which also supports
the university's Students as Scholars/QEP objectives
Three QUIZZES, taken online, will cover concerns in business
research and writing.
After the due dates for the quizzes, students will be
expected to use these elements accurately and appropriately, with grade
penalties if this goal is not achieved.
Otherwise, grammar will be taught in this class only occasionally, on an
as-needed basis. Please consult the instructor if a particular grammar question
- The first will cover parallel structure used in
lists, resumes and bullet point formats like Prezi or PowerPoint.
- The second
will test proficiency with formatting research papers, internal
citations and references in APA style, as required by the School of
- The third will review
plagiairism and intellectual property. It is a prerequisite for acceptance of the research paper, which in turn is required in order to pass the class.
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HONOR CODE; STUDENT SAFETY
Mason University has an Honor Code, which requires all members
of this community to maintain the highest standards of academic honesty and
integrity. Cheating, plagiarism, lying and stealing are all prohibited.
Instructors in the Composition Program support the George
Mason Honor Code, which requires them to report any suspected instances of
plagiarism to the Honor Council. All judgments about plagiarism are made after
careful review by the Honor Council, which may issue penalties ranging from
grade-deductions to course failure to expulsion from GMU.
In academic writing, integrity of results falls under
acute scrutiny from fellow professionals. All students are therefore expected
to scrupulously observe all GMU policies as well as individual instructors'
guidelines, plus respect the intellectual property of others. Please read and
observe the English Department's Statement on Plagiarism below.
Plagiarism means using the exact words, opinions, or
factual information from another source without giving that source credit. Writers
give credit through the use of accepted documentation styles, such as
parenthetical citation, footnotes, or end notes; a simple listing of books,
articles, and websites is not sufficient. Plagiarism is the equivalent of
intellectual robbery and cannot be tolerated in an academic setting.
Student writers are often confused as to what should be
cited. Some think that only direct quotations need to be credited. While direct
quotations do need citations, so do paraphrases and summaries of opinions or factual
information formerly unknown to the writers or which the writers did not
discover themselves. Exceptions to this include factual information which can
be obtained from a variety of sources, the writers' own insights or findings
from their own field research, (what has been called common knowledge). What
constitutes common knowledge can sometimes be precarious; what is common
knowledge for one audience may be so for another. In such situations, it is
helpful to keep the reader in mind and to think of citations as being
"reader friendly." In other words, writers provide a citation for any
piece of information that they think their readers might want to investigate
further. Not only is this attitude considerate of readers, it will almost certainly
ensure that writers will not be guilty of plagiarism. Consult the George
Mason Honor Code for more information.
This class will include direct instruction in strategies for
handling sources as part of our curriculum. However, students in
composition classes must also take responsibility for understanding and practicing
the basic principles listed below.
To avoid plagiarism, meet the expectations of a US academic
audience, give their readers a chance to investigate the issue further, and
make credible arguments, writers MUST, at a minimum,
quotation marks around, and give an in-text citation for,
any sentences or distinctive phrases (even very short, 2- or 3-word phrases)
that writers copy directly from any outside source: a book, a textbook, an
article, a website, a newspaper, a song, a baseball card, an interview, an
encyclopedia, a CD, a movie, etc.
rewrite—not just switch out a few words—any information they find in a
separate source and wish to summarize or paraphrase for their readers, and
also give an in-text citation for that paraphrased information
an in-text citation for any facts, statistics, or opinions which the
writers learned from outside sources (or which they just happen to know)
and which are not considered “common knowledge” in the target audience
(this may require new research to locate a credible outside source to
- give a new in-text
citation for each element of information—that is, do not
rely on a single citation at the end of a paragraph, because that is not
usually sufficient to inform a reader clearly of how much of the paragraph
comes from an outside source.
While different disciplines may have slightly different
citation styles, and different instructors may emphasize different levels of
citation for different assignments, writers should always begin with these
conservative practices unless they are expressly told otherwise. Writers who
follow these steps carefully will almost certainly avoid plagiarism. If writers
ever have questions about a citation practice, they should ask their
George Mason University is committed to providing equal
opportunity and an educational and work environment free from any
discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex,
disability, veteran status, sexual orientation or age. GMU adheres to all
applicable state and federal equal opportunity/affirmative action statutes and
George Mason University is
also committed to a campus that is free of sexual misconduct and
incidents of interpersonal violence. If you experience or witness
such an incident, contact the Title IX Coordinator's Office at (703) 993-8730 for available options and resources. Students seeking additional counselling or advice should contact Counseling and Psychological Services at (703) 993-2380. In an emergency, call Crisis Link at (703) 527-4077 or go to Online Crisis Chat. You may also call the campus police at (703)-993-2810.
The University Catalog is the central
resource for university policies affecting all students, faculty and staff conduct
in university academic affairs. Other policies are available at http://universitypolicy.gmu.edu/.
All members of the university community are responsible for knowing and
following established policies.
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