FDENG 101: Writing and Reasoning Foundations
The overall goal of this course is for you to develop clear reasoning and writing skills. By the end of the course, you should be able to employ critical thinking and writing strategies in your other courses and in life.
The best way to learn how to think clearly and write critically is to do a lot of both; you will write two major essays in this course. The Argumentative Synthesis Essay is divided into three parts, each of which you will complete separately. As part of the major researched synthesis paper, you will also learn how to critically read, annotate and summarize what you read, and then synthesize multiple views. The argumentative portion of the Synthesis Essay (Part 3) will help you learn and practice the basic rhetorical skills necessary to persuade a specific audience to take a specific position on a specific issue.
Your course grade is based on how well you develop your thinking and reasoning abilities and the knowledge and skills to write clearly and effectively. You will have many other opportunities to demonstrate your thinking and writing skills in a series of smaller or scaffolding assignments. These smaller assignments are vital to your success in learning how to follow the writing process to produce college-level writing.
Course Objectives and Expectations
Students are expected to do the following:
- Take charge of their learning and their lives.
- Take notes and ask questions.
- Read required course materials.
- Complete required course activities.
- Treat the teacher, the TA, and the other students with respect.
- Seek out help, while still doing all they can do.
Students will learn and demonstrate the following:
- Basic research skills, including analysis of sources.
- The ability to accurately understand, summarize, and synthesize source material.
- Fundamental annotation and critical reading skills.
- A solid understanding of the recursive nature of the writing process.
- A solid understanding of paragraph and essay construction.
- The ability to construct a reasonable, persuasive argument.
- The ability to comply with a standard formatting style, in this case MLA.
- A sound understanding of the English language (i.e., grammar, punctuation, and mechanics).
Course Texts and Materials
All materials will be housed on or linked on the course site on I-Learn.
Assignments and Grades
The course is organized into sections titled "weeks." Each week, including the “Introduction” and “Conclusion” folders, corresponds to the work that needs to be completed within that week (for example, the "Introduction" week takes place in Week 01 of the semester and has to be completed within that week).
Major writing assignments are broken down into smaller assignments and activities. Some of the assignments or activities may be done individually and some in groups. All activities are important as we make our way through the writing process for each essay. You will also have opportunities to meet one-on-one with the instructor during the semester.
There are two essays within this course:
- Argumentative Synthesis Essay (in three parts).
- Personal Essay or Profile Essay (You will do one of these two—as selected by the instructor).
The essays are worth 80% of your grade. The other 20% comes from the other assignments and activities.
To earn exceptional grades (A level) on your essays, formal written work (final drafts) may have no more than an average of two errors per page from any of the following categories:
- Spelling errors
- Comma splices
- Agreement errors (subject/verb, pronoun/antecedent, tense)
Your professor's intent throughout this semester is to help conquer the most common writing errors so that students can write with confidence.
|Letter Grade||Percentage Range|
|A-||93% – 90%|
|B+||89% – 88%|
|B||87% – 84%|
|B-||83% – 80%|
|C+||79% – 78%|
|C||77% – 74%|
|C-||73% – 70%|
|D+||69% – 68%|
|D||67% – 64%|
|D-||63% – 60%|
Plagiarism is a serious form of academic dishonesty. Taking ideas from a source without giving the author credit, or taking three or more words in succession from a source without citing the source (and marking the material with quotation marks) is plagiarism. If you plagiarize, you will not receive credit for the plagiarized assignment, you may fail the course, and, in keeping with University Policy, the Honor Code Office will be notified.
Assignments are due on the date listed in the course schedule. If for some extraordinary reason you cannot turn your work in on time, you must ask your instructor for an extension. Extensions are rare. Back up your work multiple times, and resist the urge to procrastinate. Computer issues, church and family related commitments, and other common life events are not reasons for extensions.
You should schedule time each day to work on this course. There are often multiple activities or tasks due during the week, and you will not be able to do all your work on the weekend or in some other large block of time.
In compliance with applicable disability law, qualified students with a disability may be entitled to reasonable accommodation. It is the student’s responsibility to officially register his or her disability and disclose to the teacher any special need he or she may have before the end of the first week of class.
Online Writing Center
As an online student, you have access to the Writing Center on the BYUI campus by visiting the BYU-Idaho Online Writing Center website. You can see the several options available to help you. For quick questions, you can chat anonymously with an Online Writing Tutor.
You also have the options to set up a virtual session with a tutor through Skype or submit your written work to a tutor who will reply with feedback. These resources are here to help you succeed in the course, so use them any time throughout the semester.
Online Support Center
The Online Support Center (OSC) is designed to help any students taking online courses at BYU-Idaho. If you have questions about any online course or any feedback concerning online courses, instructors, or your online learning experience please contact the OSC.
OSC Contact Information:
Text Messaging: 855-808-7102
Live Chat: BYU-Idaho Live Chat
Website: BYU-Idaho Online Support Center
Hours: Monday-Friday, 7 AM–7 PM, MT