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ENGL 211: Writing in the Humanities and Social Sciences:

The Rhetoric of South Park

Dominique Salas | | MWF 11:30-12:20 | OH 133

Course Description:
This class should prepare you to research and write in whatever discipline you choose. But
before we begin, here are a few caveats:
This isnt a comprehensive South Park class. And you are also not required to love
South Park. This is a rhetoric and composition class that focuses our discussion over
topics that are raised in SP episodes. My goal as your instructor is that you write and
read and communicate more effectively after having analyzed and researched
throughout the semester.
This class requires more personal responsibility than ENGL 111. We still have
regular peer-reviews, and I hold office hours to meet about your concerns. It is your
responsibility to make sure you are ready for this class, and that you take the
appropriate steps (meeting me in office hours, visiting the writing center, etc.) to
ensure your engagement and success.
I am very exciting about getting to engage with South Park as a group. I am expecting
everyone to have a different take on issues well be discussing, which is great, but I hope
youll keep in mind that respect of everyone is key. Were studying and researching in
conjunction with a show that has been airing for over a decadeisnt that great?
Class Objectives
Analyze and evaluate the cultural artifact of South Park and the characters it employs
Identify and construct a rhetorical argument using trope characters within the
episodes context with evidence appropriate for an explicit audience and purpose
Use research and writing in conjunction to persuade and inform on the specific
rhetorical strategies used within episodes.
Practice effective research strategies in which research is used to inform/persuade in a
creative and honest manner
To orally present themes within a group to the class and draw conclusions involving
critical analysis of episodes
Do I accept late work?
No, except in the event of hospitalization for an extended period of time. Still, this requires
the student to be very proactive about e-mailing me, providing documentation, and
creating a schedule for make-up work. However, this may not be applicable to specific

assignmentsmaybe only to major assignments so always consult with me and dont

assume everything is able to be turned in late. The absence policy still applies, as it will be
impossible for a student to succeed, even with his or her best efforts, after ten absences
have passed.
Computers will not be allowed in the classroom unless specifically instructed by the
instructor. Similarly, the inappropriate use of technology, such as cell phones, iPods,
laptops, calculators, etc. in the classroom is not tolerated. If you are using electronics
without permission (especially texting) you will be asked to leave and will receive an
absence for the period.
The NMSU library defines plagiarism as "using another person's work without
acknowledgement, making it appear to be one's own." Plagiarism and other acts of
academic dishonesty will result in serious consequences, such as failing the assignment,
failing this class, and/or being removed from NMSU. It is the instructors prerogative to
decide the level of punishment. In addition, it is academically dishonest to submit your own
previously written work for a current assignment or to submit an assignment in more than
one class. The NMSU library plagiarism pages provide some basic information and a
tutorial at: All course texts have
information about how to properly document your sources. Please review them carefully
and consult your instructor, a Writing Center tutor, or a librarian with questions.
Please note that if you choose to withdraw from the course with a "W" (not a letter grade),
you are responsible for initiating the appropriate paperwork by the date the university
specifies. The instructor is not responsible for ensuring that students who simply
stop attending class are withdrawn, and the English Department is not responsible for
initiating withdrawals for students with attendance problems. If you stop attending the
class and do not withdraw, you will fail the course. Refer to the NMSU Academic Calendar
online for more information about deadlines to withdraw from a course.
The Department of English has established the following policy governing attendance:
No distinction between "excused" or "unexcused" absences. The only exception is
when students miss class for documented, university-sanctioned activities. In such
cases, students must provide official documentation in advance and make
arrangements for work missed or due. In all other cases, missing class counts as an
Attendance will be taken for each class period. Attendance plays a role in your final
grade; specifically, attendance and participation account for 10% of your final grade.

If you are absentor anticipate being absentfrom class at any time, notify your
instructor as soon as possible. If you cannot contact your instructor immediately on
your own, find someone who can do so for you.
Attendance will be graded using the following scale:
Class Meets 3 Days a
3 or fewer absences = A for
10% of final grade
4 absences = A- for 10% of
final grade
5 absences = B- for 10% of
final grade
6 absences = C- for 10% of
final grade
7 absences = D- for 10% of
final grade
8 absences = F for 10% of
final grade
9 absences = F for 10% of
final grade
10 absences = F for final
class grade
Also, 3 tardies will count as an absence. I start class on time so coming in after class has started
immediately counts as a tardy.

Assignments & Percentages



Case Studies on Characters Rhetorical Aim & Implications (3 in total)


Research Project on Specific Issue Representation (Feminism, Healthcare,



Weekly Reading Responses to Critical Articles




Canvas Discussions on Readings or Episode Analysis


Group Presentation of an Episode


Final Project (Individual or Group by choice): Creation of Your Own Episode


Each assignment will have a corresponding assignment sheet with specific details. These
sheets will be on Canvas and will also be initially handed out in class.

Grading Response Time

You can expect assignments to be graded within two weeks of their completion. For e-mails,
please expect about 48 hours before receiving a response.
Writing Center:
The following description comes from the Writing Center website:
"The Writing Center is a free service available for all NMSU students. We work with writers
at any level of experience. The Center is staffed by graduate assistants who teach
undergraduate writing courses through the English Department. We provide one-on-one
consultations at any stage of the writing process, from understanding assignment
directions to revising final drafts. Please be aware that we do not offer editing services,
although we can work with you on aspects of proofreading and editing.
To make an appointment, call us at 646-5297, or stop by Room 102 in Clara Belle Williams
Hall during working hours. Appointments begin on the hour and last approximately 4550
minutes. We recommend that you schedule an appointment a day or two in advance, and
we ask that you please be on time for your appointment. We'll hold your slot for
approximately 10 minutes, but after that, we may have to give your appointment to
another writer. We also welcome walk-in appointments, but may not be able to
accommodate walk-ins at busy times.