HM 225 Writing & Communications

Fall 2012 – 2 credits

Faculty:         Carol Dickson  |  x110  |

Texts:        Garr Reynolds, Presentation Zen (recommended)

        The Presentation Zen Sketchbook (recommended)

        Handouts and websites as assigned

Description:        Writing & Communications focuses on two main projects: 1) drafting, revising, and polishing a narrative essay; and 2) developing, rehearsing, and delivering a formal presentation to the Sterling community.  As the third in a sequence that includes Work Search and Practicum in Environmental Stewardship (internship), this course is tailored to support each student in reflecting on his or her internship experience through the writing of a narrative about this experience and presenting this experience to an audience. Emphasis is placed on the process of writing (including topic development, writing for an audience, draft revision, peer review, and editing) and the process of developing a presentation (including defining a focus, outlining, revision according to audience feedback, and strengthening presentation skills).

Objectives:        Students in this class will learn to:

  1. Develop topics and write drafts, and related short essays toward a final narrative essay;
  2. Assemble and deliver a formal 15-minute presentation to an audience; and
  3. Work together to support peers in the writing process.

Evaluation:        Final grades will be determined according to the following:

                Participation (comportment, deportment, and zeal)                20%

                Short writing assignments (including bulletin board narrative)         10%

                Narrative Essay (including drafts)                                40%

                Presentation                                                         30%

Note about learning styles, as stated in the Sterling College Student Handbook:

Students bring a variety of learning styles to class.  We do our best to support different learning modes by mixing lecture, discussion, hands-on work, and visual information.  Please feel free to let us know what mode works best for you—we will do our best to accommodate your learning style.   If you have a learning challenge or documented disability, please check in with Leland Peterson, Learning Support Coordinator. Leland can help you determine accommodations that can be helpful in this course.

Writing & Communications

Fall 2012 Preliminary Calendar (subject to revision)

•Week 1 (Week of September 24): Introduction & Overview.

•Week 2 (Week of October 1): Narrative, generating ideas and outlining.

•Week 3 (Week of October 8): Narrative, drafting and group work.

Narrative outline due.

•Week 4 (Week of October 15): Narrative, group feedback and next steps.  Presentation, generating ideas and outlining.

Narrative full draft due.

•Week 5 (Week of October 22): Presentation, development and group work.

Presentation outline due.

•Week 6 (Week of October 29):

Groups A & B: Full draft of presentation due. Work on presentation.

Groups C & D: Second draft of narrative due.  Work on narrative.

•Week 7 (Week of November 5):

A & B: Final presentation work.  Dress rehearsal and feedback, group A.

C & D: TBA.

 Group A presents on Wednesday, November 7 (6:30 pm, Simpson 3).  All attend.

•Week 8 (Week of November 12):

A & B: Final presentation work.  Dress rehearsal and feedback, group B.

C & D: Full draft of presentation due.  Work on presentation.

 Group B presents on Wednesday, November 14 (6:30 pm, Simpson 3).  All attend.

•Week 9 (Week of November 19):

A & B: Second draft of narrative due.  Work on narrative.

C & D: Final presentation work.  Dress rehearsal and feedback, group C.

[Thanksgiving break]

 Group C presents on Wednesday, November 28 (6:30 pm, Simpson 3).  All attend.

•Week 10 (Week of December 3):

A & B: TBA

C & D: Final presentation work. Dress rehearsal and feedback, group D.

 Group D presents on Wednesday, December 5 (6:30 Simpson 3).  All attend.

•Exam Block (Week of December 10): Conclusion & closure.  Final narrative essay due.  Work on poster.