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April 7, 2014

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Classroom Policies


Dr. Laura L. Runge
Office: CPR 360 D
Phone: 813-974-9496

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ENG 6005 Scholarly Writing and Research

Spring 2014
Time: Tue 3:30-6:15 pm
Room: CPR 257

    Course Description

    This is a required course for PhD students in literature and rhetoric and composition to hone their research and writing skills and prepare them to write a prospectus for the dissertation. It will be both a writing workshop and a discussion seminar. Topics to be covered include finding and assessing research in your field; improving your writing style, skills and methods; understanding different methodologies; finding a topic; practice writing abstracts, articles, longer research projects; bibliography; research proposals; peer review; new affordances of technology; changing publication forms; grant writing / postdocs (if time).

    Our first class meeting will determine the focus and needs of the class based on the students enrolled. All students MUST COME TO CLASS WITH A COMPLETE RESEARCH PAPER (15-25 pages long), which will be the foundation for the workshop skills in the class. Although students do not need to know exactly what their dissertation topic is, students should have a direction for research in mind with a sample paper to workshop.

Required Materials

Elements of Style, by Strunk and White. Longman, 4th edition (1999). There are many cheap versions of this classic reference text, including a free Kindle edition. Any version will do.

All other texts will be determined by the group when we meet.

Electronic Discussion We will be using the USF Canvas lms and the discussion board I have created for this class: ENG6005.001S14. You can gain access to it through My USF. You are automatically registered by virtue of being registered for this course.

My website: information on class, assignments and links to other important sites.

Other important websites are listed following the assignments.


Notes for each class will be updated throughout the term

Jan 7 Class Introductions/ Review Syllabus / Student Survey

Jan 14 Strunk and White / Personal Writing Habits / Research Tools of the Trade

    Reading: Strunk and White, Assorted Peer-Review essays
    Due Post 1 on Peer Review

Jan 21 Finding and Assessing Research

    Sign up to meet with instructor to discuss Research Plan for 2014
    Research Award Winning articles in your discipline
    Reading: MLA Style Guide, Fowler (TBA)
    Due: Personal Research Plan, Post #2 on Award winning articles

Jan 28 Methods and Workshop

    Required: Attendance at one session of Big Data Colloquium (Jan. 24)
    Reading: Award winning article by Swarts (Cagle assigned to lead)
    Peer-review essay by Cagle
    Due: Post #3 on Big Data Colloquium
Feb 4 Methods and Workshop (Introductions)

    Reading: Award winning article Kociszewska (Danielle assigned to lead)
    Peer-review essay by Danielle
    Due: Post #4 on Method in assigned essay.

Feb 11 Methods and Workshop (Thesis)

    Reading: Award winning article Chadwick (Brianna assigned to lead)
    Peer-review essay by Brianna
    Due: Post #5 on Method in assigned essay.

Feb 18 Workday

    Due: Post #6 Open

Feb 25 Methods and Workshop (Organization and Argument) Review how to find and read a book review

    Reading: Award winning article Kaiser (Tim assigned to lead)
    Peer-review essay by Tim
    Due: Post #7 on Method in assigned essay.

Mar 4 Publication Strategies for articles; Begin Longer Works (getting the idea, checking the field, testing the idea, planning) Vote on class book. Create Class Blog list on publication.

    Reading: Luey on article publication, other TBA
    Due: Book Review presentations
    Post #8 article publication process

Mar 11 Spring Break - NO CLASS

Mar 18 Abstracts and Book Writing Process / Book Introductions (Speaker: Marty Gould)

    Reading: Class book, at least the introduction
    Post #9 on current events in scholarly publishing.

Mar 25 Bibliography and Incorporation of research (Speaker: Meredith Zoetewey)

    Reading: Class book; Harner pamphlet
    Post #10 on current events in scholarly publishing.

Apr 1 Prospectus and Chapter organization and transitions (Speaker: John Lennon)

    Required: Review sample prospectus(es)
    Reading: Class book
    Post #11 on current events in scholarly publishing.

Apr 8 Proposals -- Grants / Post Docs / Awards (Speaker: Cynthia Patterson)

    Required: Review Sample grant applications
    Post #12 on current events in scholarly publishing.

Apr 15 Professional affiliations / affordances of new technologies / / (Speaker: Heather Meakin)

    Post #13 on current events in scholarly publishing.

Apr 22 Demystifying the Publication Process -- Portfolio presentations/ end of class

    Reading: Luey on Book Publication
    Post #14 on Closing Thoughts

** Students who anticipate the necessity of being absent from class due to the observation of a major religious observance must provide notice of the date(s) to the instructor, in writing, by the second class meeting.

** In the event of an emergency, it may be necessary for USF to suspend normal operations. During this time, USF may opt to continue delivery of instruction through methods that include but are not limited to: Canvas, Elluminate, Skype, and email messaging and/or an alternate schedule. It is the responsibility of the student to monitor Blackboard site for each class for course specific communication, and the main USF, College, and department websites, emails, and MoBull messages for important general information.

** Students in need of academic accommodations for a disability may consult with the office of Students with Disabilities Services to arrange appropriate accommodations. Students are required to give reasonable notice prior to requesting an accommodation. Contact SDS at 974-4309 or For more information about student responsibilities related to disability accommodations, see .

For further information on class policies, please see my website link:

Graded Assignments

Daily writing commitment (5%)

    Based on an assessment of goals and resources, each student will be required to commit to a weekly hourly writing commitment for the duration of the class. The purpose of this will be to establish a scholarly writing practice for which the class will provide some accountability. This will be written in weeks one or two of class, and students will reflect on their progress throughout the term. Grades will be assigned based on self-reporting. The student's progress in his or her writing commitment will form one foundation for the reflection in the Research Portfolio.

Weekly posts, in-class writings and participation in peer-review/workshop (20%)

    Each week, students will post an informal essay of approximately 300 words to our Canvas discussion board in response to the prompt listed in the syllabus. Grading will be based on completion of the assignment in a timely fashion. These posts provide grounding to your reading for class and form the basis for discussion in seminar. Weekly posts will be due by 8 am on Tuesday, and students should seek to read the posts before class. Additionally, there will be weekly in-class writing and research assignments as well as a five-week period of individual workshop. In all cases, all students will be responsible for completing the writing assignments as described in class. For workshop, please see further instructions below.

Research Plan for 2014 (due January 21) (5%)

    Based on the example in class, each student will be required to complete a personal Research Plan for 2014 and meet with the instructor for discussion of it. Work in this class should contribute substantially to the research productivity in the plan, and the plan will form a basis for reflection in the research portfolio.

Lead discussion of award winning article (10%)

    As a class, we will choose a selection of award-winning essays from a variety of English sub-disciplines to discuss methodology. For each, one student will be responsible for leading discussion. The focus topic for each week is listed in the syllabus, e.g. introduction, argumentation. The student should begin discussion by highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of the article in the area of focus, but extend discussion to other relevant topics based on the class material. Students should introduce the work in no more than 10 minutes and prepare focused discussion questions.

Book review presentation (Mar 4) (10%)

    The students of the class will vote on one award-winning scholarly book to read as a group. In order to choose, the class will prepare a list of candidates and each student will present an overview of book reviews of the text. (Students must read the book selected for their review presentation.) The book review presentation is oral, but the student should be well prepared with notes. The project will be graded on the methods and substance of research done in preparation as well as the clarity and intellectual value of the presentation itself. Presentations should be no longer than 15 minutes. The class will vote and the winner will be excused from reading an additional book (because he or she will have already read the class book!).

Revised essay with publication plan - due before spring break (by Mar 7) (25%)

    Each student will be required to submit his or her completed research essay for workshop review in class (Jan. 28 - Feb. 25). Based on this critical feedback and the material introduced in class, each student is expected to substantially revise the essay with the intention of submitting it for publication. Work on this should be continuous until the deadline and can be incorporated into your research plan and weekly writing goals. The revised essay and publication plan will be evaluated based on the issues discussed in class, including Strunk and White's style guide and the critical essay rubric.

Research Portfolio: includes draft of research proposal/prospectus, annotated bibliography, and reflection. (25%)

    The last half of class will be devoted to understanding the writing and publication for long research works, e.g. dissertations and books. To that end, much of your work will be focused on researching your dissertation subject, forming a foundational bibliography and a draft of a dissertation prospectus. Even while we discuss other subjects, such as grant proposals and your professional identity, you should continue to devote substantial hours to this research. Again, work on this can be included in your research plan and your weekly writing commitment. I do not expect you to have your prospectus completed by the end of class; rather I want you to research and draft a proposal that might be formed into a dissertation. It will be evaluated based on the criteria for research we establish in the class, including style, contribution, originality, relevance, methodology. Students will do a brief presentation of this research in the last class, and the portfolio will be due by the end of the last week of class - April 25. The portfolio comprises the following:

  • Draft of prospectus - a clear, well-written statement of your research plan based on the sample prospectus. It need not be a complete prospectus, but it should be the draft of a legitimate project. No less than 2400 words, no more than 4500.

  • Annotated bibliography - the bulk of your work should be evidenced here, in a substantial list of relevant scholarship on your subject. Annotations are not simple summaries. In your annotations you should reflect on what is useful about this scholarship for your project and where yours stands in relation to it (e.g. Foster's analysis of x provides an enduring framework for the study of x, and my work departs by adjusting y and z). Include assessment of the state of the field as a whole when evaluating the scholarship. Bibliography should contain no less than 20 items and no more than 40. Annotations should be SUCCINT and meaningful, from 100 to 300 words. If your project merits exceptions to this, please consult with the instructor.

  • Reflection - A persuasive and elegantly written essay of 600-1200 words that documents your progress in scholarly writing and research; the essay should assess your goals and methods and indicate what you intend for the future.

    This syllabus is subject to change.

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