ENG 1021                                              Ken Harmon
Rhetoric & Composition II                 [email protected]
Sect. 6: TR 12:30-1:45, GWC 409         Office: Suite 530, Gateway Center, 5th floor
Sect. 14: TR 3:30-4:45, AC 422             Office Hours: MW 11:00am-12:00pm     
3 Credit Hours                                                              & by appointment
Spring 2024                                                              


Welcome to Rhetoric and Composition II (The Big Ideas of Science Fiction and Visual Culture)! 


This is a topic-focused course that will explore the large philosophical ideas of science fiction presented in literature and film. Our primary focus will be how authors of texts shape their arguments and attempt to connect with their audience(s).

On our journey we’ll explore some of the following familiar sci-fi topics:  virtual reality, space travel and time travel, extraterrestrial life and intelligence, artificial life and intelligence, the technological alteration of human nature (e.g., cloning, genetic engineering, cybernetics, transhumanism, posthumanism, and so on), the impact of technology on society, and much, much more.  Reflection on these topics will provoke all kinds of fascinating and difficult philosophical questions about the nature of reality, the existence and nature of the divine, the limits of human knowledge, the relationship between mind and body, the meaning of free will, the notions of personhood and personal identity, the nature and foundations of morality, and the meaning of life and death.  

We will begin the term with an examination of photography and art and practice analyzing still visual frames before moving onto film analysis and learning a director's tools for visual communication.  From there we will delve into literature and research-based argument.  The purpose of these steps is to develop competence in communication, critical and creative thinking, and the ability to evaluate, integrate, and apply knowledge from multiple perspectives when making decisions and solving problems. This is also an attempt to develop an awareness of ethical responsibility and cultural/ global diversity, to live and work collaboratively as contributing members of society all of which are guiding principals of the university mission statement. 

As in Composition and Rhetoric I (ENG 1020/1024), you will read and reread texts and write essay projects through a process of several drafts.  The goal in this course is not only to improve your reading, writing, and critical thinking skills, but also to help you enter into various intellectual conversations via argumentative reading, writing, listening, and through the development of a critical understanding of film.  That said, as in ENG 1020/1024, you will read and reread texts and write essay projects through a process of several drafts.  The goal in this course is not only to improve your reading, writing, and critical thinking skills, but also to help you enter into various intellectual conversations via argumentative reading, writing, listening, and through the development of a critical understanding of film. The majority of the writing that we do this term will be formal and academic.

This course is a continuation of ENG 1020/ENG 1024 and will build upon the audience and research skills developed in that course.  All work, both written and oral, is aimed at persuading an audience, and instruction begins with the essential components of a logically constructed and articulated argument.  Critical thinking skills will be reinforced throughout the course, as students develop, peer critique, and present projects to the class.  Research and MLA skills are expected of students, and many projects require research from a variety of sources.   

This is a reading and writing intensive course.

All course readings provided by professor in Ulearn

You will need to pay for at least one film rental. The best option is Amazon Instant Streaming Video (avg. cost = $4.99).

Recommended Items:  

A laptop, a tablet (such as an Ipad), and/or a smart phone. You should bring one of these items to class every day. These will be used to complete in-class course work such as blogging, electronic quizzes, etc.



1.Demonstrate skill in basic grammar, punctuation, mechanics, sentence structure, paragraphing, and essay writing as defined through class lecture, model writings, practice, and rubrics.
2.Analyze and discuss the style and structure of various genres and the different approaches to persuasive communication.
3.Collaborate with peers in an exchange of ideas and the preparation and delivery of research-based presentations.
4.Conduct research and examine and compare information from various sources in order to evaluate reliability, accuracy, authority, timeliness, relevance, and point of view or bias.
5.Demonstrate competence in oral presentation skills, group communication skills, and group and oral communication theory.
6.Demonstrate the importance of collaborative work through the successful planning and delivery of panel or individual presentations, following established guidelines.
7. Students should become aware of their individual writing voices and how they can be adapted to fit different audiences and rhetorical situations.
8. To develop critical and independent thinking.


Students will:  

  •   Attend class meetings and complete all reading, writing, and editing assignments.

  •   Read extensively critical essays by peers and experienced writers with attention to audience, purpose, tone, style, grammar, and punctuation.

  •   Complete daily blog entries 

  •   Actively participate in daily reading discussion groups. 

  •   Complete homework as specified during the term. Homework may include exercises, shorter writing assignments, and other work that develops writing skills. Students should expect to write during or after every class. Students will be expected to participate in collaborative activities and class discussions and listen to lectures.

  •   Demonstrate competence in basic grammar, punctuation, mechanics, sentence structure, paraphrasing, and essay writing as defined through class lecture, model writings, practice, and rubrics.

  •   Conduct, compile, document, and present a research project.

  •   You will compose three major argumentative writing projects along with some more informal writing assignments. I will be more specific about the assignments as their assignment date approaches (see course schedule).

All written work is to be typed, including most in-class writing. All paper assignments will be covered in detail well before they are due. All papers must be typed, double-spaced, Times New Roman font, 12pt., with 1” borders on top, sides, and bottom according to MLA format.

Each major written assignment will include planning, drafting, revising, editing, and reflection. You are responsible for turning in all materials related to an assignment. This includes: invention strategies, draft versions, peer critiques, a final version, and a reflection. Failure to submit drafts, peer critiques, or reflections on the due date will affect your grade.

You must complete all major writing assignments in order to pass the course. Failure to complete any of the required MAJOR assignments will result in a final course grade of F.


You must complete all MAJOR assignments in order to pass the course. Failure to complete any of the required assignments will result in a final course grade of F.You must complete all MAJOR assignments in order to pass the course. Failure to complete any of the required assignments will result in a final course grade of F.

The following assignments will be graded. You can accumulate 400 points, which are distributed as follows:

Blog Entries                                   10%         (40 pts.; 10 @ 4pts. ea.)
Reading Quizzes                           12.5%       (50 pts.; 10@ 5pts ea.)
Lecture Notes                                    4%       (10 pts.; 2 @ 5 pts. ea.)

PAPERS (75%)
Claims/Subclaims                           .25%     (10 pts., 2@3 pts. ea., 1@4pts.)
Drafts                                                             (15 pts., 3 @ 5 pts. ea.)
Peer Critiques                                                (10 pts., 2 @ 5 pts. ea.)
Revision Plans                                               (15 pts., 3 @ 5pts. ea.)
Research Topic Proposal                 2.5%    (5 pts.)
Annotated Bibliography                     5%    (20 pts.)  
Visual Analysis Essay                        10%    (40 pts)
Scene Analysis Invention                2.5%     (5 pts.)
Scene Analysis Essay                       20%     (80 pts.)
Researched Argument (Collab.)      15%     (60 pts.)
Portfolio                                             10%     (40 pts.)

Final Grades:

360 - 400 A

320 - 359 B

280 - 319 C

240 - 279 D

  0 - 239 F

Official academic grades can be accessed via jwuLink. Grades maintained in the Ulearn course management system are for tracking purposes only and may not reflect all of the criteria considered with calculating a student's final grade.

Taking classes is your job here at the university. Thus, you should treat the work and requirements accordingly. In the workplace things such as absences, tardiness, and not doing your work properly have negative consequences. This is the case in my class as well. Many students’ low grades are a result of not following directions or policies as well as not expending enough effort. It is your responsibility to be aware of the policies on this syllabus. If you miss class it is your responsibility to check with your classmates to find out what you have missed. And though you are always welcome to follow up with me if you are absent, do not ask me if you “missed anything important.”

Your grade is dependent on a number of factors that, together and holistically, inform the evaluation and assessment of your performance. In summary, these criteria include attendance, participation, reading responses/journal entries, reading quizzes, discussion questions, a presentation, and the successful completion of any other reading and written assignments.

Note: The reading load is quite heavy and the pace fast. Also, because writing is a means of discovery and a pathway to understanding, it is an important activity in this class in conjunction with the reading. Indeed, you should think of your writing as a mode of reading that will help you begin to understand the literature at hand. When essays, journals, and in-class assignments are considered together you will be doing some kind of writing assignment every week. Be prepared to spend much time carefully reading, considering, discussing, and writing about the texts in the course. If you cannot devote the time necessary to keep up with the assignments, and to do so in a critical manner, you will not do well in this class and may want to consider if this is the right class for you.


I'm available to answer questions or address your concerns between 10am and midnight 7 days a week.  You will find my cell number under the "Professor Info" link in Ulearn.   Please feel free to text if you have a question that needs an immediate answer.  Quite often questions don't occur until one sits down to work on assignments.   You may also contact me via email.  If I don't answer right away, I'm busy with other things, but I will respond as soon as I'm free.  Don't assume I'm ignoring your message.  You also shouldn't wait to ask questions right before an assignment deadline.


I will respond to most texts immediately, but within several hours at most.  I typically quickly respond to emails; however, at most it should never be longer than 24 hours.

If I don't respond within these stated time frames, please message/email me again.

PLAGIARISM: All course assignments ask you to write using what you have learned in the course and using your own thinking and writing skills. If you use any ideas, paraphrases, or exact wording from a source other than yourself (including class readings), you must document the source using MLA parenthetical documentation style (see handbook or ask instructor). Any source used but not documented will be considered plagiarism, for which you will receive a failing grade for the course. You might also be placed on probation or expelled from the university. If you have any questions about plagiarism, ask before you act. Ask me; see Best Practices for Avoiding Plagiarism.


A. Plagiarism, a SERIOUS, academic violation, which can lead to an F for the course, is the use of WORDS, IDEAS, or STRUCTURES of others (published sources, friends, relatives) without acknowledgment. There is no excuse for willful plagiarism.
B. Except where appropriate (quoting or paraphrasing from primary or secondary sources), your work is presumed to be totally your own writing (i.e. original).
C. When you QUOTE OR PARAPHRASE FROM ANY sources, you MUST cite them with appropriate specific documentation (usually author and page number in parentheses + Works Cited list at end). This includes subject matter of the essay. If you quote or paraphrase precisely from a work of literature, you must cite the author of that work.  
D. If you do not understand the format for documenting sources, see me for help before turning in an essay. Refer to your handbook for further clarification.


Artificial intelligence applications have the potential to support student learning and development when used ethically and responsibly. However, inappropriate use can be a barrier to student learning and can pose a significant risk to academic integrity.

The authorization of the use of generative artificial intelligence (GAI tools) in a course is at the discretion of the course instructor, and it is up to the instructor of the course to determine if and how generative artificial intelligence tools can be used and explicitly communicate those expectations to students. 

If a student has a question on a particular GAI tool, it is her responsibility to review it with the instructor to be granted permission. 

In this class, the use of GAI is a violation of student academic integrity.

Refer to the academic integrity policy:

TURNITIN.COM: All major essays written for this course must be submitted electronically to no later than class time on the date that an assignment is due. Essays that are not uploaded to will not be accepted. 

SMARTHINKING TUTOR:  Students are required to submit each draft of an essay assignment to the Smarthinking tutor at least once per essay for feedback and are expected to use that information to revise each essay assignment.   If a student fails to do so, they will lose one letter grade per each assignment not submitted to the tutor.  See the SmartThinking link in Ulearn for submission details.

SUBMITTING COURSE ASSIGNMENTS:  You are required to electronically submit all assignments to Ulearn or a blog for this course.  Assignments not submitted in the manner will not be accepted.  Any items sent by email will be deleted.

ATTENDANCE: Students are expected to attend all classes, arrive on time and remain for the entire class period, and report to class fully prepared with all required materials. While active learning will take different forms in different classroom contexts, students are expected to demonstrate active engagement in the classroom. Missed in-class assignments will be recorded as a zero and cannot be made up. Your success in this course is tied to regular attendance.

Official academic grades can be accessed via jwuLink. Grades maintained in the Ulearn course management system are for tracking purposes only and may not reflect all of the criteria considered with calculating a student's final grade.


It is the student’s responsibility to initiate procedures leading to a formal withdrawal (“W”) in order to avoid a failing (“F”) grade. To receive a W, a student must withdraw prior to April 23, 20244

TARDIES: If a student is more than 10 minutes late for class or leaves more than 10 minutes before class is over, they are counted absent for the day. 

ETIQUETTE: Students are expected to respect their classmates’ time and learning environment. Therefore, show up for class prepared and on time. ALL CELL PHONES SHOULD BE SET TO SILENT BEFORE ENTERING THE CLASSROOM. Each time a cell phone disrupts class the entire class will take a pop quiz. Also, if a student leaves the classroom to answer a call, they will be counted absent for the day and not allowed back in the classroom that dayOther disruptive classroom behavior, defined as anything that would interfere with “an instructor’s ability to conduct the class” or “The ability of other students to profit from the instructional program,” is strictly prohibited.   This includes texting while the professor is lecturing or during group work when students should be focused on completing the task at hand.


NOTE: Persons other than registered students are not allowed to attend academic sessions, laboratory classes, computer labs, and other University academically supported areas.

LATE PAPER/ASSIGNMENT POLICY: Turn in all your assignments on their scheduled due dates. You must submit the final drafts of all essays and their associated process work (critique, reflection, etc.) in Blackboard. NO PROCESS, NO GRADE. Keep a duplicate copy of all assignments you turn in and save all of your files in several locations (flash drive, hard drive, email, etc.). I DO NOT ACCEPT LATE PAPERS.

REVISION: You may rewrite one failing essay (original grade of D or F); the rewritten essay may receive no higher than a “C.” Revision must accompany the original graded copy.

GRADED ESSAYS: All essays for this course are graded electronically. Please see the Turnitin Grademark Feedback video for instructions to obtain the comments and grading rubric for your essay. 

STUDENT E-MAIL: Students are required to obtain and use a JWU e-mail account for University communication and to access my public folders. You must obtain your password to do so. Student accounts are created automatically for those who are active and in good standing. Student email addresses are available through Immediately contact the helpdesk at 1-866-598-4357 if you need assistance. Take care of this the first day of class. Students are expected to maintain an email account throughout the semester and check it daily for important information regarding upcoming assignments, course announcements, etc.

IN-CLASS ASSIGNMENTS: Students will often complete in-class assignments and short writing projects. In-class projects and quizzes are team-based and scheduled for a specific class period and cannot be made up after that class date.

WORKSHOPS: All essays will be critiqued by peer groups in class. Essays without workshop response will drop one full letter grade.

PARTICIPATION: Come to class prepared to discuss the assigned readings. Contribute productively to discussion. Quizzes and in-class writings are usually based on the readings.


WRITING CENTER: Located in the academic building, 4th floor, the writing center is open to all Johnson & Wales University students who need help with writing, whether they are taking an English course or not. Students are encouraged to seek assistance with essays, research projects, and related assignments. Students are asked to make an appointment with a Writing Center staff member in order to receive prompt assistance. The center provides 30 minute appointments and is staffed from 8:30-2:30 M-R. Consultants work with students on any part of the writing process -- planning, drafting, focusing, organizing, revising, or editing, and with papers from all disciplines. Please do not hesitate to use the tutor’s assistance. Remember to bring a copy of your assignment and your drafts to any Writing Center conference.
Going to the Writing Center does not guarantee you a good grade because tutors will not proofread your papers. The Writing Center’s goal is to improve your overall writing skills (organization, thesis & supporting paragraphs, audience/assignment issues, as well as teaching punctuation and grammar rules after reviewing big picture issues), which sometimes takes several sessions, depending on your existing writing skills. For more information, you may contact them at [email protected]
You may also visit the Center for Academic Support website at:

You can book appointments with a writing tutor in the Center for Academic Support using JWU Link.

Johnson & Wales University supports all students’ academic needs. Students with documented disabilities interested in accommodations and/or auxiliary services must contact Accessibility Services, meet with an Accessibility Services advisor, and together complete an Accommodation Agreement. Students are encouraged to speak privately with their professors regarding their academic accommodations. Contact Accessibility Services at for campus-specific information including office location and contact number.


All students are required to read, understand, and abide by the provisions of the Catalog and Student Handbook applicable to their campus, which can be found at 

In particular, students should be aware of the following university policies:

General Information and Policies
Prohibited Discrimination and Harassment
University Holds

Academic Policies:
Academic Integrity/Academic Integrity Review Process/Turnitin Notification
Occupancy in Class
Outcomes Assessment  

Student Affairs:
Student Code of Conduct 

Student Services:
Center for Academic Support/Services/Students With Disabilities

a. Any synchronous class any student takes remotely shall be conducted via Zoom or another similar platform and will use software to record synchronous classes. 
b. The recording feature for others is disabled so that no one else will be able to record the class. Students may not record—whether via audio, video, photograph, screen capture, screenshot or otherwise—any class or share any recording or URL of a recording with anyone else. Doing so would violate the Student Code of Conduct and could lead to disciplinary action, up to and including suspension and expulsion.
c. Each student’s participation in synchronous classes may be audio and video recorded unless the student disables the student’s video camera and/or mutes the student’s microphone. If a student does not wish to be videotaped, the student must disable the student’s video camera, and if a student does not wish to be audiotaped, the student must mute the student’s microphone. Absent good reason, each Faculty (defined to include any faculty or any other instructor teaching or otherwise presenting class material) will allow each student to do so. d. If any student would like to ask a question, the student may do so privately through the software chat feature by addressing the chat question only to the Faculty (and not to “everyone”), or the student may contact the Faculty by another private method. If students have questions or concerns about this, they shall contact the applicable Faculty member. 
e. Each student’s name may be displayed on the recording and heard audibly if Faculty takes roll, asks the student a question, or the student asks the Faculty a question. Students who prefer to participate under a pseudonym may do so; if a student chooses that option, all communications with the student, including offline communications, will use the pseudonym to avoid confusion (to the extent reasonably possible). Students should communicate with appropriate Faculty about this. 
f. On-ground classes may be recorded as well. 
g. Class recordings will be posted on uLearn and any other platform the university deems reasonably necessary. They will be made available only to Faculty and students enrolled in the class or others at the university with a legitimate educational purpose. 
h. By enrolling in the university and participating in the class, each student acknowledges and agrees to the terms of this Notice and Consent Related to Class Recordings.

A FINAL NOTE: I want you to use your time and effort as positively as possible, to read and write about topics relevant to your personal and academic interests. Whenever possible, I will encourage you to learn and write about all the other subjects you are taking. If at any time you have a question about your writing, please talk to me after class, at my office, or via email.

“If you want to write, you can. Fear stops people from writing, not lack of talent, whatever that is…You’re a human being, with a unique story to tell, and you have every right. If you speak with passion, many of us will listen. We need stories to live, all of us. We live by story. Yours enlarges the circle.”
-Richard Rhodes

“Everybody is talented, original and has something important to say.”
-Brenda Ueland

“Follow your curiosity and passion. What fascinates you will probably fascinate others.”
-Diane Ackerman

“A writer… is someone who has found a process that will bring about new things.”
-William Stafford

“Writing and rewriting are a constant search for what one is saying.”
  -John Updike