Writing for the
Social Sciences: ENGL 103 (Departmental Syllabus)
Course purpose and objectives: The goals for
Writing for the Social Sciences, ENGL 103, are to develop studentsí
critical reading, thinking, and writing skills within the context of the
writing and research conventions of the social science fields, including
nursing and education (exclusive of Secondary English Education). Students
in the course should be taught how to read and evaluate texts critically,
how to construct original arguments in response to social science readings,
how to locate research data in the library and through electronic means,
and how to generate original research data through field research projects.
To help students accomplish these goals, teachers are asked to present
writing as a process and to give students some exposure to the
collaborative nature of researching and writing in the social sciences.
Essential skills and outcomes to
be acquired through the course include:
1) the ability to render close
2) the ability to synthesize
information from multiple texts;
3) the ability to generate clear,
4) the ability to structure
well-developed essays, with thesis, textual support, and analysis;
5) the ability to employ standard
written English usage correctly;
6) the ability to locate, evaluate,
and incorporate scholarly materials through library and electronic
7) the ability to generate and
process data through field research;
8) an ability to utilize basic
technology to improve writing, thinking, and data processing skills;
understanding of and respect for ethnic/cultural diversity.
Required texts and materials: Dictionary; Social Ethics:†
Morality and Social Policy by Thomas A. Mappes and Janes S. Zembaty
(or other departmentally approved text); Publication Manual of the
American Psychological Association (APA); computer account for use of
the Knutti Collaborative Learning Computer Lab.
Essays and documented research
papers: A minimum of five documented essays are required, one of
which will be a longer, formal research paper of at least 1,250 words and
one of which will be a documented paper based on an original field-research
project. Each essay will be graded and returned to students before the next
writing assignment, and at least one essay must be an in-class essay. All
papers should be documented according to the APA Publication Manual.
Computer literacy: Because
Shepherd University values the importance of computer literacy and because
the Department of English values the processes of revision and editing in
writing, at least four of the five ENGL 103 essays must be computer
drafted. In addition, both the library research paper and the field
research paper may require students to use a spread-sheet program (such as
Microsoft Excel) to create tables, charts, and graphs. All students
must acquire a university computer account and become familiar with the
three General Studies basic technology/communication requirements: 1)
Internet use, 2) electronic library research, and 3) word processing.
The University Writing Center: To receive individual
instruction and feedback on writing in progress, students should be
encouraged to visit The Academic Support Services Center in the basement of
Scarborough Library. Visits are by appointment (via the online
schedule found at www.shepherd.edu/ascweb)
or through ShepOwl at http://www.shepherd.edu/scwcweb/tutorform.htm.
Grading: Grades awarded
for essays should be consistent with the Department Grading
Criteria http://www.shepherd.edu/englweb/criteria.htm, and the grading scale will be as follows: 90-100=A,
80-89=B, 70-79=C, 60-69=D, 0-59=F.
Revision Approved 04-02-08