Composing with Popular Culture
English 106 First-Year Composition

42115 – ENGL 10600 – 331

Spring 2011
Instructor: Alexandra Hidalgo
Office: HEAV 208. Email:
OFFICE HOURS: Monday 3:25-4:25

Course Website:

Course Description
In this course you will be taught to think rhetorically when developing written and visual documents. You will learn to determine and fulfill the needs of your audience as you create different kinds of texts, as well as to show yourself to be a trustworthy source through your tone and the correct use of research.

We will examine the roles of heroes and superheroes in both our culture and pop culture in order to analyze and create multimodal rhetorical texts.
Course Texts

The Annotated Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Edited by David M. Shapard
compose design advocate by Anne Wysocki and Dennis Lynch
Runaways Vols. 1-3 by Brian K. Vaughan, Adrian Alphona, and Takeshi Miyazawa

All texts are available at Von’s Book Shop at 315 West State Street.

As a class we will watch Carl Deal and Tia Dessin’s 2008 documentary Trouble the Water, Almudena Carracedos’s 2007 documentary Made in L.A., and Ethan and Joel Cohen’s 1998 film The Big Lebowski. The screenings will take place on the evenings that are most convenient to the majority of the students. I will not take attendance at the screenings. If you cannot attend, you can watch the films on your own, but you must make sure to watch them, as they will be pivotal to our class discussion.

You will also print texts that I will email you or post on our course website.

Other Resources
Purdue Writing Lab (HEAV 226)
Digital Learning Collaboratory (Basement of Hicks)
Purdue Libraries:
Computer Labs:

Course Assignments
20% Project 1 Analytical Paper (individual project)
20% Project 2 Video (groups of 3-4 students)
20% Project 3 Website (individual or in pairs)
20% Portfolio
15% Quizzes and In-Class Participation
5% Attendance

100% TOTAL

Tentative Class Schedule

Wednesday, February 23 Project 1 draft due (bring an electronic copy)
Friday, February 25 Project 1 due
Wednesday, March 23 Drafts of Film Plan, Screenplay and Storyboard for Project #2 due
Monday, April 11 Project 2 due
Wednesday, April 20 Project 3 draft due
Monday, April 25 Project 3 due
Thursday, April 28 Portfolio draft due
Sunday, May 1 Portfolio due

Late Work
Workshop drafts must be ready on the day of the workshop to receive any credit. Missed quizzes cannot be made up. A letter grade will be deducted per each day that a project is late.

Students will be expected to show up for every class and pay attention, but I realize that illnesses and other emergencies do come up. Therefore, you may miss five classes or conferences without penalty. After that, one percentage point will be deducted for every class session you miss. If you miss more than ten classes and/or conferences, whether your absences are excused or not, you will receive a failing grade. For extended absences due to medical or family emergencies, you should consult me upon return, if not sooner. A student who attends class but is not participating or paying attention will be counted as absent. Tardiness is inexcusable. Every tardy equals half an absence. The same applies for anyone who leaves class early. Bonus points will be awarded to students who miss fewer than their allotted five absences and who participate responsibly in class. You will receive one extra credit percentage point per each class you attend beyond your allotted five absences. For example, if you miss no classes and have no tardies, you will earn five percentage points.

I will use our course email list to notify you of important information between class meetings. Plan to check your email account at least once a day. Email is an effective and efficient way to reach me. I will check my email daily. In the event of a major campus emergency, course requirements, deadlines and grading percentages are subject to changes that may result in a revised semester calendar.

Students with Disabilities
Students with disabilities must be registered with Adaptive Programs in the Office of the Dean of Students ( before classroom accommodations can be provided. If you are eligible for academic accommodations because you have a documented disability that will impact your work in this class, please schedule an appointment with me as soon as possible to discuss your needs.

Student Code of Conduct
Purdue University has adopted a Student Code of Conduct ( All students must behave in a mature manner and respect others. You should avoid all disruptions to instruction. Cell phones and ipods must be turned off prior to class time. Do not work on reading or assignments for other classes nor engage in other forms of reading and writing not related to the class. Do not distract others by talking or whispering. You should abstain from packing your things before class time is over.

Academic Dishonesty
Students who knowingly plagiarize will be reported to the Dean of Students. Plagiarism can result in failing the course. For a definition of plagiarism and an explanation of university policies see

The Writing Lab
The Writing Lab offers consultations to graduate and undergraduate students at Purdue. You can visit the Lab for feedback on any aspect of writing, including getting started on an assignment, grammar, or developing an argument. Sessions are thirty minutes long, so come with some specific questions about your assignment. To make an appointment for a consultation, you call at 494-3723 or stop by Heavilon 226. For more information about the Writing Lab, you can visit

Additional Information About English 106 Requirements and Policies
Additional information is available in the ICaP Student Guide, which you can find online at

Course Grade
I will use the scale below in determining your course grade.

Letter Grade Total Points
A+ 97-100
A 94-96
A- 90-93
B+ 87-89
B 84-86
B- 80-83
C+ 77-79
C 74-76
C- 70-73
D+ 67-69
D 65-66
F 0-64

Daily Class Assignments:


Monday, Jan. 10: No reading. Syllabus discussion and introductions.

Tuesday/Friday Conferences: No conferences this week.

Wednesday, Jan. 12: compose design advocate, “Chapter 1: a rhetorical process for designing compositions,” p. 23-31. Introduction to key rhetorical concepts (ethos, pathos, logos, thesis, audience awareness).

Thursday, Jan. 13: The Odyssey, “In the One-Eyed Giant’s Cave,” p. 211-229 (I will email you a PDF file with The Odyssey chapters).


Tuesday/Friday Conferences: General introductions.

Wednesday, Jan. 19: The Odyssey, “Odysseus Strings his Bow,” p. 424-438 and “The Great Rooted Bed,” p. 455-467.

Thursday, Jan. 20: Pride and Prejudice, chapters I-XV (Vol. I), p. 2-139.

Monday, Jan. 24: Project 1 assignment sheet discussed. Pride and Prejudice, chapters XVI (Vol. I) – XXIII (Vol. I), p. 140-245.

Tuesday/Friday Conferences: No conferences this week.

Wednesday, Jan. 26: Understanding MLA. I will email you links from the Purdue OWL to read for class.

Thursday, Jan. 27: Pride and Prejudice, chapters I (Vol. II) – VII (Vol. II), p. 245-315.

Monday, Jan. 31: Pride and Prejudice, chapters VIII (Vol. II) – I (Vol. III), p. 316-473.

Tuesday/Friday Conferences: Select a research topic related to Project 1 for the Library Scavenger Hunt and for your paper.

Wednesday, Feb. 2: Read “Evaluating Sources” to “How do I evaluate web sources?” p. 184-191 (I will email you a PDF with this assignment). Learning to distinguish between credible and non-credible sources and websites.

Thursday, Feb. 3: Pride and Prejudice, chapters II (Vol. III) – XIII (Vol. III), p. 474-637.

Monday, Feb. 7: Library Scavenger Hunt. Please read the information on the following links:

We will meet at Hicks Undergraduate Library. If you have laptops, please bring them.

Tuesday/Friday Conferences: Bring your three sources as well as your thesis statement for Project 1.

Wednesday, Feb. 9: Pride and Prejudice, chapters XIV (Vol. III) – XIX (Vol. III), p. 638-712.

Thursday, Feb. 10: compose design advocate, “analyzing essays” p. 427-429 and “The Plaintiff Speaks” 476-491.

We will watch Trouble the Water this week on an evening to be determined.

Monday, Feb. 14: David M. Shapard’s introduction to Pride and Prejudice, p. xv-xxxii.

Tuesday/Friday Conferences: Bring your paper’s outline for discussion.

Wednesday, Feb. 16: No reading. We will watch and analyze internet videos about organizations and people doing heroic things.

Thursday, Feb. 17: compose design advocate, “analyzing comics” p. 509-532.

Monday, Feb. 21: Discussion of Trouble the Water part 1.

Tuesday/Friday Conferences: No conferences this week.

Wednesday, Feb. 23: FIRST DRAFT OF PROJECT 1 DUE. Draft Workshop.

Thursday, Feb. 24: Discussion of Trouble the Water part 2.

Project 2 assignment sheet discussed.

You will choose your groups for Project 2 and decide whether you want to make a documentary or a preview, as well as the subject/topic you want to cover.


We will watch Made in L.A. this week on an evening to be determined.

Monday, Feb. 28: Runaways, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2.

Tuesday/Friday Conferences: Each group member will bring two sources for the paper. Groups will discuss their ideas for the video, as well as assign roles.

Wednesday, Mar. 2:

Please read the information on storyboarding and screenwriting at:

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Thursday, Mar. 3: Runaways, Vol. 3.


Monday, Mar. 7: Discussion of Made in L.A., part 1.

Tuesday/Friday Conferences: Groups doing previews will bring their screenplay and their storyboard. Groups doing documentaries will bring their film plan and their storyboard.

Wednesday, Mar. 9: No reading. We will watch and analyze superhero movie previews.

Thursday, Mar. 10: Discussion of Made in L.A., part 2.


WEEK 10:
Monday, Mar. 21: We will meet in Stanley Coulter 183.  IMovie Workshop.

Tuesday/Friday Conferences: Final questions and arrangements before video shooting.


Thursday, March 24: compose design advocate, “about visual modes of communication” part 1, p. 263-284.


WEEK 11:
We will watch The Big Lebowski this week on an evening to be determined.

Monday, Mar. 28: compose design advocate, “about visual modes of communication” part 2, p. 285-312

Project 3 assignment sheet discussed. Students select their partners for Project 3.

Tuesday/Friday Conferences: Discussion about video editing/paper analysis.

Wednesday, Mar. 30: No reading. We will explore fan and organization websites.

Thursday, Mar. 31: We will meet in Stanley Coulter 289. Workshop on software for making websites and website mapping.

WEEK 12:
Monday, Apr. 4: We will meet in Stanley Coulter 277.  Photoshop Workshop.

Tuesday/Friday Conferences: No conferences this week.

Wednesday, Apr. 6: No class. I will be at the Conference on College Composition and Communication.

Thursday, Apr. 7: No class. I will be at the Conference on College Composition and Communication.

WEEK 13:
Monday, Apr. 11: PROJECT 2 DUE. Video screenings and presentations.

Tuesday/Friday Conferences: Partners or individuals bring their website map as well as their three sources.

Wednesday, Apr. 13: Video screenings and presentations.

Thursday, Apr. 14: Walter Kim’s “A Hero for Our Time.” (I will email you a PDF). Discussion of The Big Lebowski.


WEEK 14:
Monday, April 18: We will meet in Stanley Coulter 289. No reading. We will work on our websites in class.

Tuesday/Friday Conferences: Final website discussion and questions.

Wednesday, April 20: PROJECT 3 DRAFT DUE. Website Workshop.

Thursday, April 21: No reading. Portfolio assignment discussed.

WEEK 15:
Monday, April 25: PROJECT 3 DUE. Website presentations.

Tuesday/Friday Conferences: Bring your portfolio outline.

Wednesday, April 27: Website presentations.

Thursday, April 28: We will meet in Stanley Coulter 289. PORTFOLIO DRAFT DUE. Portfolio Workshop.

Fill out evaluations.

Thursday, May 5: PORTFOLIO DUE.

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