Research In Childhood Issues Syllabus

In the four plus years I've been teaching there is no class that I have transformed more than the second semester college English Composition class. I have taught this class under a number of themes from the Other South to speculative fiction. Below is a syllabus I've developed to teach a research class with the theme of childhood issues. As always I don't mind anyone taking a look at or sharing my syllabus, but do know that this (like everything else on this site) is of MY CREATION, so if you use it, CITE ME!

Course Description

College English II is the second college-level writing course designed to prepare students to make the transition from college to career by familiarizing them with the standards for the academic writing they will encounter throughout their educational and professional careers. In particular, students will learn to produce clear, adequately developed, well-organized, and grammatically correct writing. Central to academic writing and reading is thinking.  This composition course improves students’ critical thinking skills through close readings and interpretations of selected outside readings. In College English II, students will write compositions that stress analysis, synthesis, and research.

Learning Objectives/Outcomes


Students in this class will:

1. Write multi-paragraph essays structured and organized around a thesis statement;

2. Compose multi-paragraph essays that persuade the reader, analyze a work, synthesize sources, and research a topic;

3. Demonstrate critical thinking skills;

4. Write essays that correctly cite and document materials from course readings, internet, and traditional and non-written sources according to correct MLA format;

5. Demonstrate skills that aid in self and peer-editing; and,

6. Demonstrate library and online research skills.


Upon completion, students will be able to:

1.  Locate research material that supports a position;

2.  Write researched essays that support a position;

3.  Present researched information using technology (PowerPoint, etc.)

4.  Pass the course with a grade of “C” or higher (required to leave course).


Course Schedule


Week 1: (1/18-1/20): Welcome!

Wednesday = Diagnostic Essay (Welcome to Comp II)

Friday = Theme Introduction (Why Childhood Matters)


Week 2: (1/23-1-27): The First Assignment

Monday = Class Discussion (So What's Up with This Class?)

Wednesday = Argument Paper Discussion (Let's Argue)

Friday = Citation Exercise (Teach Yourself)


Week 3: (1/30-2/3): The Foundation

Monday = Continue Citation Exercise (Why Do We Gotta Do All This Stuff?)

Wednesday = Argument Paper Breakdown (So How Am I Supposed to Do This?)

Friday = Critical Reading Discussion (Can You Read?)


Week 4: (2/6-2/10): Parental Controls

Monday = Read and Discuss: Forged By Fire (excerpts) (Sins of the Mother)

Wednesday = Peer Review of Argument Paper (Let's Work Together)

Friday = Read and Discuss: "Through My Eyes" (The Battle Within)


Week 5: (2/13-2/17): Systemic Childhoods

Monday = Read and Discuss: "Brownies" (The Brown Girls)

Wednesday = Read and Discuss: "Rich Life" (Street Life)

Friday = Quiz on the first four stories (Have you Been Keeping Up?)



Week 6: (2/20-2/24): Let's Get Serious

Monday = Read and Discuss: "At Last" (Coming Out and Coming of Age) 

Wednesday = Read and Discuss: "Wolf" (Fairy Tale Gone Wrong)

Friday = NO CLASS (Make Sure You READ!)




Week 7: (2/27-3/3): The Last Stories

Monday = Read and Discuss: Legend of the Orange Scepter (excerpts) (Super Kids Super Problems) 

Wednesday = Discussion of Research Proposals (Propose to Me)

Friday = Turn In Argument Paper (Gimme That Paper!)


Week 8: (3/6-3/10): Research on Childhood

Monday = One-on-One Meetings (What ARE ya Writing?) 

Wednesday = One-on-One Meetings (What're YOU Writing?)

Friday = Quiz on the final three stories (Keep Up MORE)


Week 9: (3/13-3/17): Spring!!

SPRING BREAK (Release Your Inner Child)


Week 10: (3/20-3/24): Let's Get Down to Business

Monday = Research Paper Discussion (The Hard Part)

Wednesday = Visit to the Library (Off to the Library)

Friday = Annotate Scholarly Sources (Source It!)


Week 11: (3/27-3/31): So....About This Paper....

Monday = Discussion of Qualitative/Quantitative Sources (How to Create Your Own Sources)

Wednesday = Discussion of Paper Outlines (On the (Out)Line)

Friday = Turn In Paper Outlines (How Are You Gonna Do This?)


Week 12: (4/3-4/7): Kids On Film

Monday = Begin Watching: Coraline OR Don't Look Under the Bed (Button Button)

Wednesday = Continue Watching: Coraline OR Don't Look Under the Bed (Filmed Issues)

Friday = Finish Watching and Discuss: Coraline OR Don't Look Under the Bed (Boogie....Person)


Week 13: (4/10-4/14): THE RESEARCH PAPER

Monday =  Research Paper Breakdown (Break it Down)

Wednesday = Continue Research Paper Breakdown (Break it ALL THE WAY Down)

Friday = Turn in first rough draft of Research Paper (Put It On Paper)


Week 14: (4/17-4/21): Present to Us

Monday = Begin Presentations 

Wednesday = Continue Presentations 

Friday = Continue Presentations


Week 15: (4/24-4/28): Keep Presenting

Monday = Continue Presentations

Wednesday = Finish Presentations 

Friday = Turn in second rough draft of Research Paper 


Week 16: (5/1-5/3): The End

Monday = Class Wrap-Up (Looking to the Future)

Wednesday = TBA (Unknown Issues)

Final Exam (Research Reflection) During Finals Week

Research Paper Final Drafts Due: May 10th at 11:59pm