March 8 - April 30, 2021
This is an accelerated 8-week class in college-level writing. Our focus will be on one general topic: Ecosystems and Invasive Species in Florida. All work, including your research project, will deal with this topic. The following are the requirements for this course.
Discussion Board Posts. These DISCUSSIONS are informal 250-word opinion-based responses to a few questions or a specific prompt. They count as class participation and are the only interactive component of our course. In addition to posting your own response, you are expected to read your classmates' posts and respond directly to at least two of your classmates with replies that are a minimum of 150 words. These discussions take the place of face-to-face interaction, so they must be conversational, and build on what other students have written in a way that "advances the discussion," similar to real-life, face-to-face conversation. Replies shorter than 150 words will not be accepted. These discussion board posts will count as 10% of your overall grade for the course.
Mini-Essays. Four mini essays that are at least two full pages, double-spaced, using 12 pt. Times New Roman, and have 1" margins. Essays that fall short of the length requirement will be considered underdeveloped and will lose points. Two of these essays will be Summary/Strong Response essays, the third will be a Proposal essay that provides a preview of your plans for your Research Project, and the last one will be a Course Reflection that asks you to reflect upon the work you've done throughout the semester and comment on your growth as a writer. To ensure you submit your very best work for each of these essays, you are strongly encouraged to meet virtually with our dedicated Writing Tutor, Nathalie Tomas, (see her link on our course menu) to review and edit your work before you submit it to me for grading.
These mini essays count as 40% of your overall grade for the course.
Miscellaneous Assignments. These include the F.I.T. sheet, miscellaneous assignments, and various activities other than those described elsewhere in this section of the syllabus. These assignments will count as 10% of your overall grade for the course.
Research Project. This semester's Research Project is divided into two assignments that will respond to these open-ended essential questions:
1) What is the probable extent of the impact of an invasive species on an ecosystem's dynamics?
2) In what ways and to what extent can the impact of an invasive species on an ecosystem be prevented or mitigated?
The first assignment for this project is to compose an annotated bibliography of THREE of your best sources. These sources can be found using the MDC Library Databases or Google Scholar. The sources will reflect multiple points of view on your choice of controversial issues related to our course theme: Invasive species in Florida. The second part of the research project involves composing a multi-section research paper that answers the two essential questions listed above. You will use information pulled from your five sources to support your in-depth analysis of ONE of Florida's most invasive species. Your paper will be divided into sub-sections:
(1) Background and Context for [insert name of invasive species here],
(2) What is the extent of the impact on the ecosystem?
(3) What Has Been Done So Far? and
(4) Where Do We Go from Here?
This project will count for 40% of your overall grade for the course.
To assist you in this endeavor and to ensure you comply with all APA formatting guidelines, you are required to work together with our class Writing Tutor, Nathalie Tomas, as you compose your paper, and before your submission will be accepted for grading by me.
NOTE: Everyone must complete and submit both parts of the Research Project; it is a mandatory requirement for passing this class. If you do not complete the Research Project, you will fail this class. The final version of the Research Paper is due on Saturday April 24 by or before 11:59 PM. No exceptions.
We will not be using a textbook in this course.
There will be no midterm exam or final exam.