English 1C

Woodland Community College

Instructor: Melissa Gunby Class: ENGL 1C
Office: 846 TR1:00-2:15 pm
Phone: 530-508-6501 Office Hours: by appointment
E-mail: msgunby@gmail.com
Website: mgunby.wikispaces.com

English 1C – Critical Thinking/Advanced Composition
“The Zombie Class”

Course Description:

This course covers principles of critical thinking, reading, and writing beyond freshman composition. We will discuss principles of, and the development of, logical and analytical reasoning, argumentative writing, and on the principles of rhetoric (invention, arrangement, style, memory, delivery, modes of discourse, audience).

This course will specifically focus on analysis of the rise in popularity of the zombie narrative in popular culture through reading one academic text, several fictional narratives, and examining some recent film/television productions. Writing topics will relate in broad scope to the specific topics covered in discussion of the course readings as well as current events/American life.

Required Texts and Materials:

Boluk, Stephanie and Wylie Lenz. Generation Zombie: Essays on the Living Dead in Modern Culture. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland. 2011. Print.
ISBN: 978-0786461400 This text has been ordered by the bookstore.

Bourne, J.L. Day by Day Armageddon. New York: Pocket Books.2009. Print.
ISBN: 978-1-4391-7667-2

Brooks, Max. World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War. New York: Crown Publishers. 2006. Print.
ISBN: 978-0-307-35193-7

Lunsford, Andrea A. and John J. Ruszkiewicz. Everything’s an Argument. 5th Edition. New York: Bedford/St. Martins. 2009. Print.
ISBN: 978-0312538620 This text has been ordered by the bookstore.

Kirkman, Robert, Tony Moore, Charlie Adlard, and Cliff Rathburn. The Walking Dead: Book 1. Berkeley: Image Comics. 2010. Print.
ISBN: 978-1582406190 This text is a collection of issues 1-12 of the graphic novel. You need to have all 12 issues; I don’t have a preference to whether you buy the single volume or get individual issues.

Other readings will be provided as electronic copies or on handouts.

I have several of these texts in electronic copy (Kindle). You may use whatever media you prefer instead of traditional paperback, like Kindle, Nook, other e-reader, or iPad, so long as you have a full copy of the text.

We will also be screening the following films/television:
Dawn of the Dead (2004) (101 minutes)
Shaun of the Dead (2004) (99 minutes)
Walking Dead (AMC: 2010) (varies)

Recommended texts/materials:
Collegiate dictionary and thesaurus
Floppy disk, flash drive, or some other external source to save your documents
A handbook of your choice (Pocket Style Manual or Writer’s Reference, etc.)

Student Learning Outcomes:
  • Critical Thinking: Students will be able to compose logic-based arguments that include analysis, synthesis and evaluation of evidence.
  • Assessment: An essay assigned toward the end of the semester.
  • Communication: Students will be able to write an essay that develops and supports a clear thesis statement.
  • Assessment: An essay assigned toward the end of the semester.

Course Overview:
This is an advanced composition class, and as such, writing will be a central component. We will be writing 4 essays, 3-5 pages in length. There will be other homework, primarily reading and preparing for classroom discussion.

You will be required to write an original paper for each assignment.


Participation: Active class participation in discussions and activities: 5%
Workshops (being present, with drafts, active participation in process): 10%
Homework: Reading responses, etc.: 5%
4 Essays: 20% each (80%)

Classroom Policies:

Respect: The main policy is to respect each other. All the writing in this class will be shared with your peers. You are welcome to your opinion, as are your classmates, and while we may disagree, it is important to separate your argument over ideas from the individual you disagree with. Attack the argument, not the person.

Food: Please do not bring food into the classroom.

Cell Phones, etc.: Respect your peers and yourself by turning off all pagers, cell phones, wireless devices, iPods, etc. when entering the classroom. Devices used in class will be confiscated until the end of the class period.

Absent/Late Policy: Attendance is mandatory. I grade on participation – if you are not present, you cannot participate. You get three absences, no questions asked. After your third absence, you face the possibility of being dropped from the class, or receiving a failing grade.

I will take attendance at the beginning of each class session. If you arrive late, please see me after class so I can mark you as being in class. Please make your best effort to arrive on time. If you must enter late, please come in as quietly as possible. Three tardies are equivalent to one absence.

Participation: I understand that some people are reluctant to participate in class discussions. The participation element of this course includes class discussion, but also in class writing and turning in homework. Participation also means being awake and attentive during class.

The workshop accounts for a different portion of the grade for this class. Please be prepared with drafts on your workshop days. If you do not bring a draft on a workshop day, you will be asked to leave and marked absent. If you are absent on a workshop day, your final grade will be lowered accordingly.

Part of your class participation grade is being prepared to discuss the reading in class. This includes bringing all texts to class, every day. If you do not have your texts for more than two class sessions, your grade will be lowered.

Academic Honesty: Plagiarism is the use of distinctive ideas or works belonging to another person without providing adequate acknowledgement of that person's contribution. Plagiarism is a serious offense. Please see Section 7 of the Yuba Community College District Code of Conduct (http://www.yccd.edu/conduct.html#7) Essays containing plagiarism will result in lowered grades and will be reported to the appropriate authorities.

Other incidents of cheating or other issues regarding academic honesty will also be reported to the appropriate authorities.

Late Papers: All assignments are due at the beginning of class on the assigned date. A paper turned in late will lose 10% (1 letter grade)for each day over-due. If you are going to miss class, I expect you to make arrangements to see that your paper is turned in by a classmate, or left in my box before class starts.

I do not accept late assignments via email. Late work must be handed in or turned into my box.

Technology failures are not an excuse for a late or missing paper. Back up your files to a floppy or flash drive, or keep alternate copies on your hard drive.

Four Major Assignments:
We will be writing four major essays for this class.

Essay 1 (3-5 pages) - Memoir/Autobiography/Literacy Narrative (Reading: Day by Day: Armageddon)

Essay 2 (3-5 pages) - Fear of others: race, racism, and discrimination in the wake of 9/11 (Reading: The Walking Dead: Book 1 with screenings of the television series)

Essay 3 (3-5 pages) - Reflection of Advertising on Modern Culture, Society, and Culture (and its anxieties) (Reading: World War Z)

Essay 4 (6-8 pages) - Final Project: Critical Essay that not only explains why zombies are a popular reflection of modern American culture, but why they also play an important role in explaining American culture.

Essay Guidelines

We will be following MLA format in this class. Each essay should be submitted in Times New Roman, Arial, or Courier New 12 pt. font, double spaced, with 1 inch margins all around. Name, class, and date go in the upper left hand corner. Each page after the 1st should be numbered in the upper right hand corner with your name (see pages 148-154 in the Pocket Style Manual). Each essay should have a title.

The first draft of each paper will be work-shopped with your peer response group. Please bring 3 copies of your first draft on workshop days.

Homework and In-class writing:
Homework will be evaluated on the number of assignments completed and the quality of assignments, and will be due the class period they are assigned (see schedule). Where possible, homework should be typed, however, handwritten homework is acceptable.

Homework assignments may not be announced in class each day. It is your responsibility to refer to the class schedule and syllabus for the assignments and due dates. The day the assignment is listed is the day the assignment is due.

Percent of total grade: 5%

Abbreviations for readings:
HO = handout
GZ= Generation Zombie
EA = Everything’s an Argument
DbD = Day by Day: Armageddon
WWZ = World War Z
WD = Walking Dead (page numbers will be based on my anthology, since that’s the text I’m using).

Final Exams: December 5-12

Additional Resources:

Tutoring Services
The Tutoring Center is available in room 809. If you are interested in signing up for tutoring, please contact them at 661-5733.

The Writing Center is available in room 850 and no appointment is necessary.

Services for Students With Disabilities (DSP&S)
If you are a student with special needs, please contact DSP&S in the 700 building, or call Todd Sasano at 530-661-7266.

Your Teacher & Your Classmates
My office hours are there for you to use. Please don't hesitate to see me. I'm also available by email. You may also want to get the contact information from a few of your peers. They are a great resource to get course information if you miss class, or to put together additional peer review groups.

I teach this class on two campuses; please make sure you download the correct syllabus for due dates, etc. Assignments are the same, however.

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- ppt first day discussion on Day by Day Armageddon

this is the CDC's graphic novel about disaster preparedness, using zombies as a medium. It plays into our discussions on how zombies have become pervasive in American culture.