ENG 102- Composition II

Those who choose not to empathize enable real monsters; for without ever committing an act of outright evil ourselves, we collude with it through our own apathy.” -J.K. Rowling


English 102 focuses on persuasive and researched writing, and is designed to build upon the strategies for successful writing learned in English 101. English 102 will help you develop critical thinking and writing skills as you learn to synthesize your perspectives with those of other writers. We will be focusing on the summary, analysis, and synthesis of texts, as well as forms of research.This section of 102 is themed around monsters and the monstrous, and will allow you to think carefully about these terms as concrete figures and abstract ideas that incorporate social values and consequences. Essentially, we will be looking at what makes something monstrous, and how we define/categorize/identify monstrosity in our society. We’ll be looking at classic “monsters” you already know, like Frankenstein’s Creature and Count Dracula, but we will look at other, less famous ones as well, and consider how they all fit into the descriptions of “monstrosity”—from how the authors at the time framed it and from what we today have made it. In exploring various contexts through which we encounter monsters, you will critically reflect on writing by engaging different forms, including academic articles, opinion pieces, essays, and fiction.


ENG 102 is a GEC-required course at USM, and students taking this course are expected to meet the following GEC learning outcomes:

  • The student is able to develop a topic and present ideas through writing in an organized, logical, and coherent form and in a style that is appropriate for the discipline and the situation.
  • The student can observe conventions of Standard English grammar, punctuation, spelling, and usage.
  • The student can write a coherent analytical essay [considering the] rhetorical situation or through written communication effectively analyze the components of an argument.
  • The student can find, use, and cite relevant information.

In order assist students in meeting these GEC learning outcomes,The Composition Program at Southern Miss has identified specific learning outcomes for each of its first-year writing courses.At the completion of ENG102, students will: Save

  • Have a deeper appreciation for how rhetorical situations influence reading, writing, speaking, and thinking;
  • be able to engage texts more critically, and to more appropriately and accurately incorporate the ideas of others in writing;
  • know the “moves” for making and supporting several different kinds of academic arguments, including how to use a range of evidence to support claims;
  • be able to use several common academic genres, including annotated bibliographies, reports, research studies, scholarly reviews, etc.;
  • be more adept at addressing different academic audiences, including how to discover the specific conventions for communicating in a range of academic communities;
  • appreciate the differences in how various disciplines and fields create and circulate knowledge, and the assumptions that inform various research methods;
  • know how to conduct focused research using a range of library resources, including the library catalog and databases of scholarly articles;
  • understand that an integral part of the revision process is discovering meaning and rethinking the rhetorical choices that best portray these ideas;
  • communicate more effectively using the conventions of standard edited English.

Project One: Literary Analysis (15%) A brief paper (3-4 full pages) examining how a piece of writing is organized and works in relation to its audience and context.You will pick a short story from the textbook and or supplemental BB options, and make a thesis argument about how the author’s choices in the story are working (or not working), and what those choices bring to the audience’s interpretation of the story.

Project Two: Synthesis Essay (20%) A brief paper (4-6 full pages) in which you explore the complexities of a specific issue related to monsters or monstrosity. You will choose a selected reading from the textbook (either Frankenstein or Dracula), a movie or television adaptation of that story, and an additional article in order to make an informed argument regarding your own position on the issue of how monstrosity is perceived according to all three sources.

Project Three: Research Project (35%)

Proposal: A brief proposal (250-500 words) regarding your tentative research project that includes your working thesis, specific research questions and goals for the project. Your topic is either to research something “monstrous” within your own field of study/major, or a topic of interest developed from earlier in the semester. Either option must include a thorough synthesis of original sources, thoughtful analysis of the topic, and coherent thesis supported throughout.

Annotated Bibliography: An assignment in which you gather at least 10 sources related to your research project and summarize and analyze each source to determine how the source might be of use to you in your research project.

Research paper: An argumentative research essay (8-10 full pages) exploring the proposed topic, using at least 6-7 sources and a Works Cited page.

Final Portfolio: Revisions and Reflective Essay (15%) This assignment consists of three parts: a significant and systematic revision of a project from earlier in the semester, as well as a polished editing of the research project, to be submitted with copies of the original papers.You will also submit a self-reflective cover letter representing a critical reflection on your work for the entire course in which you describe what you’ve learned, how you’ve grown as a writer, how you feel you’ve met the course learning outcomes, etc.

Class Participation/Homework (15%) Your active attendance, contributions to class discussions, successful completion of homework assignments, participation in peer review workshops and group assignments, weekly blog posts, etc.