Expository Writing: Exploding the Nuclear Family:

How the American Dream became the American Consumer Dream

8:00-9:15am TR, Room SH180

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Original text-only version of the syllabus

Instructor: Professor Doe

photo of Professor Doe

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Digital photography can enhance any topic. Pictures provide another way of looking at and understanding a specific topic.

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Office Hours:

In trying to keep with the current advances in technology, as well as to provide flexibility to you, I will have drop-in office hours two days a week (Tuesday and Thursday from 1:00 to 1:45pm) at my office and on-line office hours three days a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 12:30 to 1:30pm). If you choose to use the on-line office hours, we will discuss your work through instant messaging on the universities Blackboard site (I have an included directions of how to do that below).

table displaying office hours

Provide students with the flexibility of making an appointment when it is convenient for them. Online office hours offer the convenience of being able to connect with your students from any location.

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When you click the online link in the schedule, you will be connected to the online communication page. It will look similar this:

Screenshot of BlackBoard

Office Location:

My office is located at 555 Jiff St., Building #38 below on the map. Our class is held in Building #31.

Map of campus

Electronic Mailbox:

Click on the icon below and submit your paper. Please attach it with your name and email address. I will make comments using the "Track Changes" feature and email you the paper when I am done. You can also hand your paper to me in class, but the comments I make will be in ink as opposed to digital format.

email icon

In addition to a physical mailbox or asking students to hand in their papers in class, offer your students a choice of sending their finished paper to you through email or through a course website drop box.
This icon is hyperlinked directly to the professor's email.

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Click here to email me: jdoe@umass.edu

By digitizing your syllabus, you can provide your students with a direct link to your email.

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My office phone number is 603-862-4320 and the TTY number is 603-842-4321

To ensure access to ALL students, include a TTY number for students who are hard of hearing or deaf. Check with your Disability Services office for the TTY phone number on your campus.

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Course Description:

We will consider the family as a social, economic, political, historical, legal, aesthetic, value-laden cultural institution. Our explorations will lead us to many questions, including: What is a family? What is the American dream? How do the two concepts fit together? How does the family function as a social unit? As an economic unit? We will explore how the term "family" has been used historically. Who are the "families" we see and hear on television and in film? In books? On-stage? In popular magazines? In the news?

I have represented the objectives of the course using the Inspiration document below. This graphical representation is just another way for you to view the course. (EQ Inspiration for syllabus.rtf)

Represent the course description in alternative formats to reduce the amount of text on your syllabus and to address multiple processing styles. Graphic representations, digital pictures, tables and audio clips are just some of the ways that you can describe your course without using a lot of text.

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Course Texts:

  1. Because this course is a writing course, you will want to keep a good dictionary handy. If you prefer, I suggest using this link: http://www.onelook.com
  2. I encourage students to visit the Journal for Writing Instructors frequently throughout the course. www.humnet.ucla.edu/humnet/wp/resources
  3. Hacker, Diana. Rules for Writers. In Exploding the Nuclear Family Course Pack, available from the Emerson Copy Center.

Provide different types or different media formats of your texts so that your students can choose which format works best for their learning style. Having a variety of texts to choose from increases the number of perspectives that your students will have on a particular topic. Students' interest in the topic will increase when they are able to access material in the format that compliments their learning style.

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I have provided additional information on the author of our text. It is important to understand who the author is when interpreting his/her work.

From http://www.dianahacker.com/rules

Diana Hacker 1942-2004
Diana Hackerclick here to listen to a reading of this textListen to a reading of this text
For those of us who worked with Diana Hacker, who died on January 12, the loss is both personal and professional. Tough-minded and creative, she took everything she knew from her 35 years of teaching and made it work on every page of her books. With her uncanny sense of what students needed in a handbook, she brought more innovation to the genre than any author I know. It was no accident that she was one of the most successful college textbook authors of all time, and we take the responsibility of carrying on her legacy very seriously.

If you would prefer to review this book in alternative formats, you should investigate the following resources:

Product Number: AB-BZ364
"Rules for Writers: A Brief Handbook" Hacker, Diana - ©1985
Status of Book: Available for ordering. Book is in the Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic library.

If you are interested in purchasing this book in Braille format go to the National Braille Press website at www.nbp.org or call them at 888-965-8965."


Week 1, Assignment 1
Due Jan. 28th

Depict someone in present-day America chasing the American Dream. This person can be real or fictional. Be sure to address these points at some point in the assignment:

  • What is their dream?
  • How does that dream relate to the American Dream?
  • Has this person achieved their dream?

Express this person and their dream in a medium that makes sense to you. Choose from essay, PowerPoint, audio, video, Inspiration, webpage, or other medium. Prior to beginning the assignment, discuss with me the reason you are choosing that particular medium. Once the assignments are done, discussion groups will be formed and we will discuss how successfully each student answers the above questions.

Below, I have provided you with three examples of past students work using this same assignment in order for you to see what I am expecting from your work.

Please take a moment to fill out our Equity and Excellence UCD syllabus evaluation survey.

In this first assignment, three different students chose various methods to represent their interpretation of Tiger Woods. Each student demonstrated their knowledge in a manner that worked best for their individual learning style. The assignments were graded according to how well the student displayed their knowledge.

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