Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger GamesCOURSE POLICY STATEMENT

Composing with Popular Culture
English 106 First-Year Composition

16983 – ENGL 10600 – 12

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

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 and different genres’ conventions.

We will examine the roles that utopias and dystopias play in both our culture and pop culture in order to analyze and create multimodal rhetorical texts.
Course Texts

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

compose design advocate by Anne Wysocki and Dennis Lynch

V for Vendetta by Alan Moore and David Lloyd

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

As a class we will watch Ondi Timoner’s 2009 documentary We Live in Public and Alfonso Cuarón’s 2006 film Children of Men.  The screenings will take place after class or on 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
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                                                                                            20%

Quizzes and In-Class Participation                                                    15%

Attendance                                                                                          5%

TOTAL:                                                                                             100%

I will use the scale below in determining the value of your three projects and your portfolio:



Points (20%)


































Assignment Descriptions: 

Project 1 Analytical Paper: For this project you will write an analytical paper related to the Hunger Games series.  Although I will provide you with suggestions of ways in which to engage critically with the texts, I am open to your suggestions. Your essay will be 5-8 pages long (1,500-2,400 words). You will need at least three sources.  One from the web, one from print or the library catalogue and a third that can be whatever you wish as long as it’s credible.

Project 2 Video: This is a group project and it has three components: a 3-5 minute video (either a documentary or a movie preview), a 5-8 page-long written analysis and your presentation of that analysis and the video.  You will choose groups of 3-4 students to work with.  You will be taught how to film and edit digital video, and you will be made familiar with cinematic storytelling conventions.  You will make a documentary about people who have had dystopian or utopian experiences or organizations that create dystopian or utopian spaces.  You can also make a movie preview for a film dealing with dystopian or utopian societies.  In order to make your video and write your analysis, you will research your topic. You will need at least three sources.  One from the web, one from print or the library catalogue, and a third that can be whatever you wish as long as it’s credible.

Project 3 Website: You can choose to do this project alone or with a partner.  You will make a website about a work dealing with utopias or dystopias, a utopian or dystopian society, or utopian or dystopian aspects of a society.  You will be taught accessible website-making software, as well as online conventions and visual rhetoric. You will need at least three sources.  One from the web, one from print or the library catalogue and a third that can be whatever you wish as long as it’s credible.  The text in your site should be 1,500-2,400 words.

Portfolio: Your portfolio is a way for you to reflect on what you have learned this semester.  You will define and provide examples for two of the many rhetorical concepts discussed throughout our course, as well as show how you applied them to at least two of your projects.

Quizzes: Your quizzes will be worth two points each.  You will start the semester with 15 points.  If you don’t miss any quizzes, you will have 15 points at the end.  If you miss half a quiz, you’ll have 14 points and so on.  I will quiz you pretty much every time we have a reading/movie assignment, and if you have done the assignment (and paid attention), you will be able to answer without problem.  The quizzes’ role is to give you an incentive to engage with the texts we discuss in class, since without understanding the assigned texts, you will not profit from this class.

Extra Credit: You will be able to earn two points of extra credit by watching documentaries from a list I will provide for you and then writing a response to the works.  You will receive one point per documentary and can do a maximum of two. 

Tentative Class Schedule


Friday, July 8               Project 1 draft due (bring an electronic copy)

Monday, July 11          Project 1 due

Friday, July 22             Drafts of Film Plan, Screenplay and Storyboard for Project #2 due

Wednesday, July 27     Project 2 due

Friday, July 29             Project 3 draft due

Tuesday, Aug. 2          Project 3 due

Friday, Aug. 5              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 three classes or conferences without penalty.  After that, two percentage points will be deducted for every class session you miss. If you miss more than five 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 three absences and who participate responsibly in class.  You will receive one extra credit percentage point per each class you attend beyond your allotted three absences.  For example, if you miss no classes and have no tardies, you will earn three 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:

NOTE: These are likely to change.  Please check the syllabus on our course website for updated information. 


Monday, June 13:  No reading.  Syllabus discussion and introductions.

Tuesday/Thursday Conferences:  No conferences this week.

Wednesday, June 15:  compose design advocate, “producing a (more complex) composition,” p. 79-98. Introduction to key rhetorical concepts (ethos, pathos, logos, thesis, audience awareness).

I will email you Eric S. Rabkin’s “Atavism and Utopia,” as well as Laura Miller’s “Fresh Hell: What’s behind the boom in dystopian fiction for young readers?”

Friday, June 17The Hunger Games, chapters 1-12, p. 3-171.

WEEK 2: 

Monday, June 20: The Hunger Games, chapters 13-21, p. 172-374.

Project 1 assignment sheet discussed.

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

Wednesday, June 22: Catching Fire, chapters 1-13, p. 3-187

Understanding MLA.  I will email you links from the Purdue OWL to read for class.

Friday, June 24: Catching Fire, chapters 14-27, p. 188-391.

Read “Evaluating Sources” to “How do I evaluate web sources?” p. 184-191 (I will email you a PDF with this assignment).


We will watch We Live in Public this week on an evening to be determined.

Monday, June 27: compose design advocate, “analyzing essays” p. 427-429 and “The Plaintiff Speaks” 476-491.

Library Scavenger Hunt.  Please read the information on the following links:

If you have laptops, please bring them.

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

Wednesday, June 29: Mockingjay, chapters 1-14, p. 3-202.

Friday, July 1: Mockingjay, chapters 15-27, p. 204-398.


We will watch Children of Men this week on an evening to be determined. 


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

Wednesday, July 6: compose design advocate, “analyzing comics” p. 509-532.

We Live in Public discussion 1.

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.

Friday, July 8: FIRST DRAFT OF PROJECT 1 DUE.  Draft Workshop.

Documentary extra credit assignment discussed.

We will watch and analyze previous students’ documentary work.



Please read the information on storyboarding and screenwriting at:


We Live in Public discussion 2.

Tuesday/Thursday 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, July 13: Children of Men Discussion 1.

From 2:30-3:20 we will be in Heavilon 227 for our workshop on iMovie.

Friday, July 15: V for Vendetta, p. 9-161.  

We will watch and analyze previous students’ movie preview work.

WEEK 6: 

Monday, July 18: compose design advocate, “about visual modes of communication” part 1, p. 263-284.

V for Vendetta, p. 162-265.

Tuesday/Thursday Conferences:  Groups working previews will bring their screenplay and their storyboard.  Groups working on documentaries will bring their film plan and their storyboard. Final questions and arrangements before video shooting.

Wednesday, July 20: compose design advocate, “about visual modes of communication” part 2, p. 285-312

Children of Men Discussion 2.

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


We will analyze previous students’ websites.




Monday, July 25: Photoshop workshop.

We will meet in Bearing B286 for our workshop.

Workshop on software for making websites and website mapping.

Tuesday/Thursday Conferences: Partners or individuals bring their website map as well as their three sources.  We look at website drafts.

Wednesday, July 27: We will meet in Wetherill 212. 

PROJECT 2 DUE.  Video presentations.

We will work on our websites in class.

Friday, July 29: PROJECT 3 DRAFT DUE.  Website Workshop.

Portfolio assignment discussed.

WEEK 8: 

Monday, Aug. 1: Website presentations.

Fill out evaluations.

Tuesday, Aug. 2: PROJECT 3 DUE.

Friday, Aug. 5: PORTFOLIO DUE.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: