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ENG 401/G Advanced Composition
 +Course Description
     -Content Map
     -Required Texts
     -Methods of Instruction
     -Aims and Objectives of the Course
     -Learning Outcomes
     -Instructor's Additional Expectations
Guidelines for Communication

     -Reading Assignments

     -Writing Assignments

     -Discussion Board Postings

     -Digital Portfolio

     -Graduate Project


     -Class Requirements


     -Extra Credit Opportunities

 +Course Policies
     -Deadlines and Late Work
     -Code of Academic Integrity/Plagiarism
     -Students Disability Services
     -Academic Deadlines
 +Technical Support
     -Advice for Online Students: Virtual Orientation


Frequent Asked Questions <FAQ>

Can I take this course if I know that I am going on a four-day vacation during the second week of the course?

Why not? It doesn’t matter where you are as long as you have access to the internet and are able to post assignments by the due date. Nevertheless, let your group members know about your plans.

Can I sign up for the course if I’m computer illiterate, have no internet connection, and prefer dropping off my assignments in paper format in the instructor’s office?

Successful completion of the course cannot be guaranteed under these circumstances. Paper assignments are not accepted.

Where can I buy the course books?

Although all three books are currently available at the university’s bookstore in Bowling Green, you can buy either new or used copies from any other regular (Borders, Barnes and Noble) or online (amazon.com, ebay, half.com, etc.) bookstore. However, if buy The Fourth Genrenew from Western’s bookstore, you will have free access to the publisher’s online tutoring service. I believe that everybody in this course would benefit from the feedback they receive from Longman’s trained writing instructors, but undergraduate students should really take advantage of this opportunity. I will not require that you buy the new book and use the tutoring service, but I strongly recommend that you do if you want a good grade. You can order your books online from Western’s bookstore by going to this URL: http://www.bookstore.wku.edu.

Will my instructor help me if I have a technical problem with Blackboard?

In case of technical difficulties, you’d better contact WKU by sending an email to ReachU@wku.edu or bbhelp@atech.wku.edu or call 1-800-535-5926 or 270-745-4158. If you are experiencing technical problems with Blackboard (or BB for short), please call (270)-745-7020 or email bbhelp@wku.edu. Since it is your responsibility to find answers to your technical problems, i t is helpful to locate some computer guru friends and relatives who can help you out when you have questions.

If I want to contact a group member, can I leave a message in his/her personal folder on the Discussion Board?

I wouldn’t recommend it, because you don’t’ want to mess up somebody’s neatly organized folder. Only the author of the message can delete a posting; the “owner” of the folder can’t. Why don’t you send an email instead.

Can I post assignments as attachments?

Please do not post assignments as attachments on Blackboard and do not send files attached via email to anybody.

What is mycomplab.com?

It’s an online tutoring service that comes free with your purchase of a new copy of The Fourth Genre. If you sign up, you’ll be able to get feedback from their online instructors.

Are we going to cover grammar rules in this course?

No, we won’t. This course was not designed to help you with your grammar and usage skills or to provide you with systematic, structured grammar instruction. If this is contrary to your expectations, you probably signed up for the wrong course. It is assumed, however, that you have fairly sophisticated language skills at this level. Surface errors in assignments will not be tolerated. If you are making mistakes because you are not familiar with the rules, you can always learn them. Let me know if you need info on some online resources.

Can I write pieces of fiction instead of nonfiction for this course?

No. Please refrain from pieces of fiction. This course is specifically about creative nonfiction, so all your paper assignments should fall under this category.

Where can I get additional feedback?

If you buy a new copy of The Fourth Genre, you can sign up to a free online tutoring service at mycomplab.com and request feedback on your papers.

Can I get an A in this course if my papers have language errors?

No. Your final portfolio drafts have to be error free.

Is there an exam in this course?

No, there is no exam in this course. Your end-of-term portfolio carries the weight of an exam.


  • To improve your writing skills, you have to write, write, write, and revise. Writing improves only by writing.
  • Help your peers in any way you can. Answer their question on BB if you know the answer.
  • Don’t double-space your assignments online.
  • Don’t trust the spellchecker. Use your own judgment.
  • Observe email etiquette. E.g.: Use salutation and sign your messages.
  • When sending email, specify subject. E.g.: “Eng 401G-C70: Question about paper 1”
  • This syllabus has been digitized. Look for hyperlinks.
  • Play it safe and have several electronic and paper copies of your work.
Copyright © 2006-2007 Dr. Judith Szerdahelyi >> Course content and course materials may not be reproduced without Dr.Szerdahelyi’s written consent. Last modified: May 12, 2007.