Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Class Syllabus

English 102-C02
Researching and Writing about Popular Music
William Brice Building 423

Instructor:       Ben Harley
Office:             Humanities Office Building 308
Office Hours:  Monday: 1:00-2:00
                        Wednesday 1:00-3:00
If these times do not work for you, feel free to schedule an appointment with me for a mutually convenient time.

Catalog Description
This class uses Outkast to learn Aristotle’s rhetorical appeals, System of a Down to discover the meaning of kairos, and Darryl Worley to explain exigency. Developed on the idea that popular music utilizes rhetorical principles in ways that are both enlightening and accessible, this class studies the genre in order to develop rhetorical skills. The class delves further into musical communities by asking students to regularly research album reviews, read music news, explore music networking sites, and research academic critiques of popular music. By the end of the semester, students will have used these new understandings to create their own album reviews, academic criticisms, and music blogs.

Carolina Core Designation
This course fulfills the Carolina Core general education outcomes in Effective and Persuasive Communication Writing (CMW) and Information Literacy (INF).

English 102 builds on English 101 to prepare you for the writing you will do in future college courses and beyond. While English 101 honed your ability to critically read and closely analyze particular texts, English 102 emphasizes helping you to write well-reasoned argumentative papers that draw upon multiple sources and viewpoints. During the semester, you will learn to identify the elements of an effective argument, and then you’ll apply those principles in composing researched essays about academic and public issues.  This course will also strengthen your information literacy skills by teaching you strategies for finding, assessing, using, citing and documenting source materials. We will also discuss basic principles of academic integrity.  You’ll learn these skills not by listening to me lecture about them, but through frequent, intensive practice. By the end of the term, you should feel more confident about your ability to research and write about challenging topics responsibly and articulately.

Learning Outcomes: In English 102, you will:

Learn rhetorical concepts and terms that enable you to identify and analyze the elements of an effective argument.
Write effective college-level papers on a variety of academic and public issues, each of which articulates a central claim (thesis), draws on credible supporting evidence, and effectively addresses opposing viewpoints. 
Do research to find, assess, and use appropriate supporting materials from the university libraries, the Internet, and other sources.
Effectively integrate material from research into their papers via summary, paraphrase, and quotation. 
Document source materials correctly using MLA style and understand basic principles of academic integrity. 
Work through a full range of writing processes—including invention, planning, drafting, revision, and editing—in order to produce effective college-level essays; 
Work with classmates to share ideas and critique each other’s work in progress. 
Develop a clean, effective writing style, free of major errors, and adapt it to a variety of rhetorical situations.

Required Texts
·         Katz, Mark. CapturingSound. Revised Edition. Berkeley: U of California P, 2010
·         Woodworth, Marc and Ally-Jane Grossan eds. How to Write about Music. New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2015.
·         PDFs posted onto the Class Blog:

This is a writing class; for that reason you will write every class session. Some of the writing you do will be short, informal, and ephemeral; some of your writing you do will be substantial, well-crafted, and enduring. For your convenience, I have broken up the assignment descriptions along these lines.

Informal Assignments (12% of Final Grade)

Reading Responses and Homework (6% combined average): For most classes you will be asked to briefly respond to a question about the day’s reading. The purpose of the question is not only to ensure that you have done the reading but also to take attendance and get you thinking about the reading in a particular way. You will be given at least three minutes to thoughtfully respond to the question. Usually the RR will lead directly into the day’s lecture, and often I will randomly select RRs to share with the rest of the class to help jumpstart our conversation. RRs cannot be made up if you miss class or if you arrive late. 

Occasionally I will ask you to turn in homework assignments—e.i. short writing assignments not mentioned under formal assignments. Homework is due at the beginning of class time. If you are going to miss class and would like an opportunity to submit homework due for that day, you must make arrangements with me at least 24 hours ahead of time; if approved, you will have to submit the homework before class starts on the due date. Homework cannot be made up after class for any reason. 

Participation (3% combined average): Participation refers to your input in class discussions, and it is evaluated separately from participation in workshops and other in-class activities (such as group work and in-class writing). Much of the knowledge in this class is derived not only from lectures but also from whole class discussions. Failure to engage the class discussion slows the class down, which hinders the education of every student. It is your responsibility to participate in every class discussion. That being said, I understand that we all have bad days, but you will be expected to participate in most every class (90%).  

In Class Activities (3% combined average): Often in the class you will be asked to participate in a group work activity designed for your growth as both a writer and a reader. These activities are built on the belief that the free exchange of ideas and opinions is a vital part of education. Failure to complete the work asked of you in these assignments not only hinders your education but also the education of others in this class. It is expected that you will participate fully in class activities the majority (90%) of the time. Some but not all of these activities are marked in the calendar section of the syllabus. Missed in class assignments may or may not be made up, depending on your situation, on the assignment, etc.

Formal Assignments (36% of final grade)

Worksheets (3% each): Before you write each of your six (6) “Feature Posts,” you will be asked to complete a worksheet related to the post topic. These worksheet instructions will ask you to find and analyze sources that you might use to extend your thinking, demonstrate an opinion, challenge a commonplace, refer to in your argument, or use as a model. Regardless of the specific parameters of any particular worksheet, each will follow a general format:
1.      Pre-research reflection
2.      Source citation
3.      Source analysis
4.      Post-research reflection
Worksheets must be posted to your personal blog before class time on the day they are due. Further, each section of each worksheet must be completed for you to earn credit. In other words, partially completed worksheets will receive zeros. Click on the links below to access each worksheet:

1.      About Me Worksheet

Drafts of Feature Posts (Final grade determined by final blog grade): In this class you will compose six (6) Feature Posts on your personal blog. These posts represent the bulk of the work in this class and span writing genres from the album review to the academic essay. Ideally these posts will build on one another as you expand your thinking on an artist, album, set, genre, or time period; nonetheless, each feature post has its own generic conventions, rhetorical situation, and purpose that must be uniquely reflected in the writing. The topics and word counts for each post are listed below next to a brief assignment description; a longer assignment description can be found by clicking on the assignment in the calendar.

1.      About Me FP (750 words): asks students to develop a brand/style/mission/ethos for their blog that they will sustain/modify for the rest of the semester
2.      Album Review FP  (750 words): asks students to write a review of an album of their choosing
3.      Genre Analysis (1,000 words): asks students to both demonstrate how an artist/album/set/song fits into a musical genre and to critically analyze that genre
4.      Cultural Analysis FP (1,000 words): asks students to discuss the relationship between an artist/album/set/song/genre and the broader culture in which it exists
5.      The Academic Conversation FP (1,500 words): asks students to integrate at least one piece of academic source material about a reoccurring theme for an artist/song/album/set/genre in order to say something meaningful about the artist/song/album/set/genre, culture, concept, ideology, or value
6.      The Academic Argument FP (1,500 words): asks students to engage in sustained research on a theme or topic prevalent within an artist’s career, an album, a song, a music scene, or a musical genre in order to make a meaningful claim about the object of study and the value systems of which it is a part.

Each draft of each Feature Post must be posted to your personal blog before the start of class on the day it is due. No credit will be given for posts that do not meet the minimum word count (though you can revise for full credit). No credit will be given for late posts and you forfeit your right to revise that post for credit. In short, failure to do any drafts of a Feature Post will result in a zero on the final draft of that Feature Post.

Workshops (3% each): You will share drafts of your each of your six Feature Posts with several of your classmates for purposes of review. These informal reviews are meant to be productive time for you to workshop your ideas and improve your writing. Critiques should go beyond the surface of any given piece of writing and should engage fully with the author’s ideas. I take peer review very seriously and expect you to do the same. Your grade will be determined by the following factors:

1.      How well you give verbal feedback to your peers in class and help them to rework and rethink their post. Feedback should be both critical and respectful. Your responses should show that you have thought deeply and critically about your peers’ work and are prepared to discuss not only the comments that you have given but also any questions that your peers may ask.
2.      You should have a page of notes written about the post in real time as you were reading it, providing thorough notations of your peers’ work.
3.      The written aspect of this assignment comes from a half-page, single-spaced letter you will write to each of your peers in response to their posts. This response should consist of your reflections on the global issues of their posts (thesis, structure, etc.) It should explain what the strengths and weakness of the posts are, while demonstrating that you have critically read the piece and are attempting to give the most helpful feedback possible.
4.      In some cases, I will ask for a written or verbal response from you about the workshops in order to get a sense of how they are working and where we need to make some adjustments. Whether I ask for this response formally or not, feel free to talk to me if you have any concerns about the workshops (e.g. if a peer has written an offensive comment or if you don’t understand one of the comments on your draft).

Draft of Annotated Bibliography (Final grade determined by final blog grade):After sustained criticism of an album/artist/song/set/genre, students will be asked to create an academic argument about their chosen object of study for Feature Post 6. In preparation for this post, they will find eight sources—a mix of academic, primary, and popular—summarize them, and make a plan for how they will utilize them in their final post. Some of these sources may be repeated from previous worksheets and feature posts. Annotated Bibliography drafts are to be posted to the student’s personal blog on the day they are due. No credit will be given for late bibliographies. The link above provides specific guidelines for the annotated bibliography.

Final Version of Blog (52%)

Revised Feature Posts (42% combined): After I read your revised feature posts, I will assign them a grade. If you wish to raise your grade for any given feature post, you can revise it for the final version of the blog, which will be due at the end of the semester. If you revise a feature post, the grade you had received will be erased and the new grade you earn will take its place. I ask that you demonstrate to me that you wish any given post to be re-graded by titling it “REVISED Feature Post #” Since each post represents a different skill level and difficulty, they are weighted accordingly:

1.      About Me FP  (5%)
2.      Album Review FP (5%)
3.      Genre Analysis FP (7%)
4.      Cultural Analysis FP (7%)
5.      The Academic Conversation FP (8%)
6.      The Academic Argument FP (10%)

Revised Annotated Bibliography (10%): After I read your annotated bibliography, I will assign it a grade. If you wish to raise your grade, you can revise the annotated bibliography for the final version of the blog, which will be due at the end of the semester. If you choose to revise your annotated bibliography the grade you had received will be erased and the new grade will take its place. I ask that you demonstrate to me that you wish your annotated bibliography to be re-graded by titling it “REVISED ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY.” The link above provides specific guidelines for the annotated bibliography.

Course Policies:

Grading: A “C” is the lowest passing grade in English 102. I grade on a 10-point scale (A=90-100; B+=88-89; B=80-87; C+=78-79; C=70-77; D+=68-69; D=60-67; F=50). I’ll specify more detailed requirements in each assignment. If you have a question about a grade you receive on an assignment, please feel free to discuss it with me in my office 24 hours after I have given you back the assignment.

Attendance: This class is grounded in workshop activities and class discussion, so it’s important to attend. If you do miss a class, it is your responsibility to catch up on any missed material. In accordance with University policy, anyone who misses 25% of our scheduled class periods will fail the course, and anyone who misses more than 10% will receive a one-letter deduction from the course grade. Please note that the University’s attendance policy does not distinguish between “excused” and “unexcused” absences and neither do I.

Class Participation and Courtesy: Please come to class promptly, prepared, and ready to do your best.  Treat classmates and their ideas with respect. Take an interest in your classmates’ work and accept constructive feedback of your own.  Don’t be afraid to share your ideas, ask questions, and have a sense of humor. Finally: Use electronic media appropriately during class. Turn off your phone or set it to silent mode before class starts.

Late Papers: All papers are due at the beginning of class on the specified dates in the format requested. I do not accept late work for any reason.

Academic Honesty: You are bound by the university’s policies on academic honesty, which bar you from presenting another person’s work or ideas as your own, allowing someone to write an assignment or part of an assignment for you, or neglecting to properly acknowledge source materials. First-Year English policy also prohibits you from recycling work—that is, from turning in a paper completed in another class for credit in this class. The university takes violations of these policies seriously; penalties include failing the course and expulsion from the university. You are also responsible for reading the Academic Responsibility section of The Student’s Guide toFirst-Year English on the English Department Website. We will learn about and discuss strategies for research and source use, citation, and documentation throughout the semester. If you have any questions about academic honesty or use of source materials, please come to me before the assignment is due. It may be particularly tempting to copy the work of others in this class because you can see your peers’ work. I encourage you to engage with the work of your peers. I also ask that you cite it appropriately.

Subject to change without reason

Week One
F: 8/21             In Class: Course goals and assignments

Week Two
M: 8/24            HTWAM: Foreword (xi-xiii); Introduction (1-3); Introduction and Expert Advice from Chapter 7 “The Blog Piece” (186-90)
Class Blog: Wingell “Chapter One:Writing About Music” pdf
In Class: the rhetorical situation of the music blog

W: 8/26           In Class: identifying brand ethos and style
Due: About Me Worksheet

F: 8/28             In Class: Building your own brand
Due: Feature Post 1 “About Me”

Week Three
M: 8/31            In Class: Workshopping blogs

W: 9/2             Capturing Sound: Chapter One (10-36)
In Class: Considering recordings and albums

F: 9/4               Capturing Sound Chapter One (36-55)
In Class: Considering the effects of albums
Due: Revised Website; Revised Feature Post 1 “About Me”

Week Four
M: 9/7              No Class—Labor Day!

W: 9/9             HTWAM: Chapter 1 (18-29)
In Class: How to review albums.
Due: Album Review Worksheet

F: 9/11             HTWAM: Chapter 1 (30-35)
In Class: Continue discussing album reviews
Due: Feature Post2 “Album Review” 
Week Five
M: 9/14            In Class: Workshopping album reviews
W: 9/16           Capturing Sound: Chapter 2 (56-68)
In Class: Determining music’s quality

F: 9/18             Capturing Sound: Chapter 2 (68-79)
In Class: Musical Enculturation
Due: Revised Feature Post 2 “Album Review”

Week Six
M: 9/21            Class Blog: Walter Ong “The Writer’s Audience is Always a Fiction” pdf
In Class: What is a genre

W: 9/23           HTWAM: Nicholas Croogan and James Parker on The Trouble with Contemporary Music Criticism (194-202).
In Class: Musical genres
Due: Genre Analysis Worksheet

F: 9/25             HTWAM: Ross Simonini on Jamaican Rude Boys (333-337)
In Class: Musical Scenes
Due: Feature Post3 “Genre Analysis”

Week Seven
M: 9/28            In Class: Workshopping genre analysis 

W: 9/30           Capturing Sounds: Chapter 6 (124-131)
In Class: Turntablism as genre and scene

F: 10/2             Capturing Sounds: Chapter 6 (131-145)
In Class: describing and problematizing the genre
Due: Revised Feature Post 3 “Genre Analysis”

Week Eight



Week Nine
M: 10/12        PDF: Nicholas Cook “Chapter 7: Music and Gender"
In Class: Discuss Cultural criticism

W: 10/14         HTWAM: Chris Deville on Mumford and Sons (188-193); Brian Morton on Computer Music (100-102)
In Class: Continue discussing cultural criticism
Cultural Criticism Worksheet

F: 10/16           HTWAM: Greil Marcus on Clarence Ashley (361-363)
In Class: Continue discussing cultural criticism
Due: Feature Post 4 "Cultural Criticism"

Week Ten
M: 10/19         In Class: Workshopping Cultural Criticism

W: 10/21         HTWAM: Tavi Gevinson on Taylor Swift (76-84)
Revised Feature Post 4 “Cultural Criticism”

F: 10/23           No Class—Fall Break!      
Week Eleven
M: 10/26        Library Day: Class meets in TCL
W: 10/28        HTWAM: Jordan Ferguson on J Dilla’s Donuts (103-106)
                        Due: Academic Conversation Worksheet

F: 10/30          HTWAM: Carl Wilson on Celine Dion (347-355)
Due: Feature Post 5 “The Academic Conversation”

Week Twelve
M: 11/2           In Class: Workshopping Academic Conversation  
W: 11/4           Capturing Sound: Chapter 7 (146-160)
In Class
: Musicians and Digital Technology

F: 11/6            Capturing Sound: Chapter 7 (160-176)
                       In Class: Democratizing Music?      
Due: Revised Feature Post 5 “The Academic Conversation”
Week Thirteen
M: 11/9           PDF: Shane Greene “The Problem of Peru’s Punk Underground”
In Class
: What makes an argument “academic?”

W: 11/11         PDF: Julius Bailey "When Apollo and Dionysus Clash"
In Class:
What’s type of knowledge do we gain from the academic argument?  
F: 11/13          Class Blog: Discuss Bailey and GreeneDue: The Academic Argument Worksheet 

Week Fourteen
M: 11/16          No Reading: Work on annotated bibliography!
In Class: Rethinking ethos with Against Me!

W: 11/18          No Reading: Work on annotated bibliography!
In Class: Rethinking pathos with Outkast
F: 11/20           No Reading: Work on annotated bibliography!
In Class: Rethinking Logos with Mark Ronson (ft. Bruno Mars)
Annotated bibliography

Week Fifteen
M: 11/23          PDF: Wayne C.Booth “The Rhetorical Stance”
In Class: The importance of balance in writing
W: 11/25         No Class—Thanksgiving Break!
F: 11/27           No Class—Thanksgiving Break!
Week Sixteen
W: 12/2            In Class: Workshopping Feature Post 6 
F: 12/4             No Reading: Revise your blog
In Class: What, if anything, did we learn?

Finals Week
Final Version of blog due during our final period—Details TBA