FYS 201 Section 02S
Transfer FYS: Learning for a 21st Century Life
Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9:35am
Quad 365

Instructor: Molly Ewing
Office: Quad 357A

Office Hours:  Tuesdays, before or after class, Tuesdays, before or after class, Wednesday mornings, before noon, other times, at your request. Be aware that my responsibilities as a librarian do cause variations in this schedule. Check with me if you need to be sure I am available at a particular time.

WordPress: This course has a WordPress Blog site ( that will always have the most up-to-date schedule, assignments, readings, and due dates.

Download the doc file: syllabus (5)

Course Description and Goals:

This class will develop in response to a variety of events on the CSB and SJU campus throughout the semester. Some you will elect to attend on your own, others will be assigned by me. Student tickets to FAE events are cheaper than textbooks! We will also take advantage of several Open Online (free to you) textbooks and websites for advice on writing and research.

Your own blog will showcase your developing sophistication as a thinker and writer as well as your mad skills with the WordPress platform. In our increasingly digital world such skills are practical and highly marketable no matter your major or intended life goals.
In addition to the academic learning goals below, I hope to make this class stimulating, enjoyable, pragmatic, and useful for all of you.

The academic learning goals for FYS are to advance thinking and communication skills. In particular:
1. Students will engage in discussions that develop their active reading, critical thinking and engaged listening skills to further their understanding of various topics
2. Students will compose clear and coherent writing in support of an argument at the level of an extended researched essay
3. Students will successfully revise and refine their arguments while engaging different points of view
4. Students will select, integrate and cite appropriate sources in support of researched argument
5. Students will speak effectively about their research in front of an audience of their peers.

In quest of these goals we will use a variety of local events, people, and printed texts, Open Access online textbooks, and other resources to be determined.

Grading is a necessary evil. Grades are not a valuation of you as a person, nor are they based on your effort. Grades are a measure of the quality of your own achievement in the goals of this course. Your course grade will be based on

  • (40%) The quality of your research and application of it to a significant researched argument essay. (10% for proposal, annotated bibliography, counterargument. 30% for the final essay.)
  • (15%) The quality of your thinking and writing in your three best out of seven essay/responses on other class assignments.
  • (15%) Your thoughtful intellectual engagement with ideas in your weekly blog entries, and the quality of your responses to the blogs of your classmates
  • (15%) Two oral presentations; one informal, informational presentation on the subject of your campus interview, one formal, persuasive presentation on the subject of your research essay
  • (15%) Your participation and leadership in class discussions
  • (10%) Attendance

Course policies:

  1. You must attend class. If you are sick or have a family emergency and cannot attend, you must get prior approval from me. You will be given a zero for any in-class discussions or assignments and will lose one letter grade for each day an assignment is late, beginning with one letter grade at the start of class.
  1. You must meet deadlines. Print assignments are due at the beginning of class. You will immediately lose one letter grade and another letter grade for each day an assignment is late. The only exception is if you have received prior approval from me to hand in your assignment late due to illness or other approved emergency. Blog assignments are due before midnight on the day scheduled.

3. All assignments must be typed double-spaced and printed, or posted to your blog as specified in the assignment.

4. You must keep all graded copies of your written work, from your first draft to revised copies and final papers, so we can both keep a check on your progress.

5. Plagiarism cannot not be tolerated. The plagiarism policy for this course is that anyone who deliberately commits plagiarism will get an F for the course and will be reported. Instances of unintentional plagiarism will be handled on a case-by-case basis and can result in a reduced or failing grade for that assignment. For more information on the CSB/SJU plagiarism policy, please see

Technology Policy:  The class assumes collective and individual responsibility for insuring that use of digital technologies is appropriate and not disruptive to learning.
Other important information
Disability Information: CSB/SJU has Student Accessibility Services in place for students with an official diagnosis for learning disability or a physical disability. I request that any student with a documented disability and in need of accommodations to speak with me the first two weeks of class. (This will remain confidential if you desire.)

Libraries: I encourage you to take advantage of the research assistance available from our librarians. You can make Individual Research Appointments as often as you like, or make use of their regular service hours.

The Writing Center
I encourage you to use the services of The Writing Center as you prepare written work for this course. The Writing Center offers day, evening, and weekend hours; the staff consists of thirty peer tutors from nineteen different majors and minors. You can get more information about services, hours, tutors, and appointments by visiting the Writing Center website on the CSB/SJU homepage.
To make an appointment, click on “online scheduler”; then look for “First time here?  Click here to register.”  If you have any difficulty, you can call or just stop in.
CSB (5499) in HAB 103            SJU (2711) in Quad 263
When you keep a Writing Center appointment, ask the tutor to send me a confirmation note so that I am aware of the extra time you are investing in your writing.


To begin:
On Thursday, January 14, we will meet in the computer lab in Simons G60 for WordPress training, so you can each create your own blog sites.
Thereafter, check the class WordPress site: for assignments and activities.