The specific objectives of the course are these:
Before you start this course, you should have purchased copies of the following books from the BYU Bookstore, Amazon, or another reputable retailer:
This course consists of 19 lessons, one midcourse exam, and one final exam. You will turn in 11 written assignments, ranging from a short response paper to a long research paper. You will also submit one oral assignment (recorded as an electronic file). This oral assignment is required and cannot be omitted.
You will prepare for these assignments, which comprise most of the grade in the course, by going through the lessons and reading the text, Writing in the Social Sciences: A Rhetoric with Readings. The midterm and final exams will mostly test your knowledge of grammar and mechanics. All of the written assignments and the final exam will be graded by your instructor.
We recommend that you work through each lesson by reading first the introduction to each lesson, then the objectives. After that, you might want to read either the Discussion Material next or the reading assignment in Writing in the Social Sciences: A Rhetoric with Readings. They are meant to complement each other, so use them in the order that works best for you—but do read both!
After completing the reading, you should test your understanding by answering the Self Check questions. You will not do yourself any favors by giving nonsense answers to look at the correct answers.
After you have read the lesson and the textbook and completed the Self Check, you should do the style exercises assigned for each lesson. The exercises are meant to complement whatever writing assignment you have in that lesson. Check your answers to the exercises with the Style Packet Answer Key, which is the link right after this Syllabus.
Remember that you will be tested on the information in the Style packet on both the midterm and the final exam.
You will submit written assignments electronically through your course. To make sure I can open and read your papers, please save them as a .DOC or .DOCX. Rich text format, .RTF, is also accepted if can't save it as a .DOC. file (please do NOT send .pdf's). Here’s how to do it:
It’s very important that you submit all of the assignments for a portfolio at the same time. Here’s how to submit your completed portfolio assignments:
Remember: Do not submit any assignment until you have completed all of the assignments for the portfolio!
You will write a 250-word response paper on the chapter you read in Writing in the Social Sciences: A Rhetoric with Readings for this lesson. In this response, you may analyze or criticize the ideas in the reading; extend or elaborate on an idea you found in the reading; connect it to other knowledge you have; or otherwise relate your observations and reactions. This response need not be polished writing, but it should be coherent and thoughtful. Your response might grow out of your answers to the Self Check questions and is worth 1% of your final grade. In addition, you will write 100-200 words about yourself to help your instructor get to know you.
You will locate a recent, brief article from a respected journal in your major discipline. The article must have been peer-reviewed and published in either a print or online (electronic) journal in your field. You will then write a rhetorical analysis of the article not less than one or more than two pages in length. This is worth 5% of your final grade.
You will submit the following:
This portfolio submission is worth 12% of your final grade. Please paste all three portfolio items into a single .DOC or .DOCX file and submit as one document.
You will complete the step-by-step research guide found on your course CD using information you locate via the Library Services Portal. You will also prepare a bibliography of at least 10 sources on the topic you think you will write your research paper about. At least 2 of the sources should come from a careful search of the World Wide Web using a search engine or subject directory. At least 5 of the other sources should come from a search of BYU library resources that you have located via the Library Services Portal link. This assignment is worth 4% of your final grade. All sources should be from scholarly, peer-reviewed journals.
After receiving clearance in an email from your instructor to proceed, you will write a book review of about 3-4 pages, double-spaced. This assignment will probably require more time than some of the other assignments in the course because you will need to take time to read a book before you write the paper. This assignment is worth 8% of your final grade.
You will write a research paper prospectus that should accomplish the following:
This assignment is worth 10% of your final grade.
Using information provided in the assignment instructions you will create tables, bar graphs, and a circle graph. This assignment is worth 2% of your final grade.
This assignment requires you to demonstrate that you can synthesize the information and points of view of a number of different authors, subordinating their voices and arguments to your own, and using them to support your unique thesis in a coherent, well-organized, stylistically effective paper of 10-12 pages (more if you desire). It also requires you to demonstrate that you understand and can use the conventions of academic research writing: attributing, quoting, paraphrasing, summarizing, and documenting; and using ellipses, brackets, outlines, headings, tables, figures, captions, and appendices where appropriate. This is worth 20% of your final grade.
You will write an IRB proposal, which is basically a request for permission to go forward with the research you have planned. Your proposal will not actually be submitted to the BYU Institutional Review Board (unless you want it to be), but it will be read and graded by your instructor as a way of determining how well you can plan research using a primary method of investigation and how well you understand the constraints involved in conducting research with human participants. This assignment is worth 8% of your final grade.
Imagine that your instructor is the editor of a new interdisciplinary journal, Social Studies, and that you are a member of the editorial board. This journal’s goal is to publish good papers on everything from anthropology to sociology. But because the editor is not an expert in all these fields and cannot read all the manuscripts that are sent for publication, members of the board are asked to read them and recommend changes in the manuscripts to help them meet the journal’s high standards for research and writing. You have been asked to read and review the manuscript by Maggie Harris (it is included at the end of lesson 17). You are to write a 3-4 page review of the manuscript, outlining its strengths and weaknesses and recommending changes that the author might make before resubmitting it for final consideration. Write your critique in the form of a memo addressed to Maggie Harris, with a copy to the instructor who will read and grade your critique. This assignment is worth 5% of your final grade.
You will write a position paper/opinion piece, 3-4 pages long, based upon the research you have done for your formal research paper. This portion of the assignment is worth 4% of your final grade. Create and record an 8-10 minute oral presentation for submission. The oral presentation is not the same as the opinion piece. Carefully craft these two different mediums for the different audiences. This portion of the assignment is worth 6% of your final grade. The oral presentation is NOT optional. It is a requirement to receive credit for this course.
The midcourse exam has 70 questions, each worth one point. All of the questions are multiple-choice. Some of the questions are a bit harder than the others, and you will need to read carefully in order to choose the correct answer. More information is provided in the “How to Prepare for the Midcourse Exam” section of the course. The midcourse exam is worth 7% of your final grade.
For most of your submissions, I will make extensive comments right on your document and return it to you. Make certain that when you look at the Instructor’s copy of your assignment that you can actually see my comments (if I have no comments, then I won’t return an Instructor’s copy of the assignment). Some programs, including MAC may not show my comments. If you cannot see my comments, you may need to display them on a different computer.
The final exam has 26 questions, each worth a varying amount of points. Altogether, the exam is worth 8% of your final grade. All of the questions except the last one are short answer, and the exam will be graded by your instructor. In order to do well on the exam, you will need to prepare carefully by reviewing the following parts of the Style booklet: Pronoun Reference, Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement, Constructing Effective Sentences, and Constructing Effective Paragraphs.
|4||correspondence portfolio (letter, resume, memo)||12%|
|5||research guide and preliminary bibliography||4%|
|7||research paper prospectus||10%|
|8||creating and adapting visuals||2%|
|17||research paper peer critique||5%|
|19||position paper/opinion piece (written adaptation of the oral presentation) and oral presentation||10%|
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University policy requires all university employees in a teaching, managerial, or supervisory role to report all incidents of Sexual Misconduct that come to their attention in any way, including but not limited to face-to-face conversations, a written class assignment or paper, class discussion, email, text, or social media post. Incidents of Sexual Misconduct should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or (801) 422-8692. Reports may also be submitted through EthicsPoint at https://titleix.byu.edu/report or 1-888-238-1062 (24-hours a day).
BYU offers confidential resources for those affected by Sexual Misconduct, including the university’s Victim Advocate, as well as a number of non-confidential resources and services that may be helpful. Additional information about Title IX, the university’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, reporting requirements, and resources can be found at http://titleix.byu.edu or by contacting the university’s Title IX Coordinator.
BYU is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere which reasonably accommodates persons with disabilities who are otherwise qualified to participate in BYU's programs and activities. In this spirit, BYU Independent Study aspires to improve web accessibility for users. While not required by law, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Levels A and AA provide a wide range of helpful recommendations to make Web content more accessible. BYU Independent Study strives to apply WCAG 2.0 recommendations where feasible, but may deviate from any recommendations that would result in an undue hardship to BYU Independent Study or alterations to program and course content and objectives. If you have questions about accessibility, or if you need to report problems with any accessibility features please see our Accessibilities and Accommodations Web Page.
These policies are specific to this course. For additional information about general policies, please refer to Independent Study Course Policies page.
8 written assignments no resubmissions, the portfolio submissions may be resubmitted once for a fee EXCEPT the IRB Proposal Portfolio Submission.
2 proctored computer-graded exams, may retake each once for a fee, must pass the final exam to earn credit for the course.
Please use the help menu in this course to contact Independent Study or your instructor. You can find a list of free tutors available to BYU Independent Study students on the Free Tutoring Services website.
Note: The Harold B. Lee Library website provides a number of online resources and librarians are available via phone, chat, and email to answer questions about library-related issues.
All course materials (e.g., outlines, handouts, syllabi, exams, quizzes, media, lecture content, audio and video recordings, etc.) are proprietary. Students are prohibited from posting or selling any such course materials without the express written permission of BYU Independent Study. To do so is a violation of the Brigham Young University Honor Code.
Copyright © 2016 Brigham Young University. All rights reserved.
Published by the
Department of Independent Study
Division of Continuing Education
Brigham Young University
Provo, Utah 84602-1514