Mary Ann Drake, Ph.D.

 INT 101.0V8 Understanding Self and Others

TR 10:50 - 12:05, 4th Hour R 12:15

Office Hours

Home Page                                 Policies and Grades                    Link to Blackboard

Email me:

Office  Phone 301-5616


Digital Stories



Fall 12 Group

Wilderness Weekend



To begin your college career we will journey the path of self-exploration. How do I identify myself? How is my identity composed? Where and how does my-self intersect with others as my identity is formed? How does my race, class and gender frame and inform my self-development? How do poverty and privilege alter my self-development? How do I live consciously and justly in a world that may no longer sustain us? These and other questions will be probed as you learn to read critically, self-reflect, write well, articulate your thoughts, write digital stories, use resources, meet others and learn about yourself. We also read materials from various disciplines to help remind us there is more than one way to look at any subject. This is the nature of our integrative course.

There is a service requirement for this course! It is considered a text.

Specifically, intellectual goals for students are to:

1. Understand the need for intellectual honesty.

2. Evaluate, analyze, and coherently integrate information from a variety of sources in order

to grasp the ideas, structures, and arguments they present.

3. Support valid arguments with empirical, textual, theoretical and/or direct evidence.

4. Apply reflection, qualitative analysis, logical reasoning, and evaluation to formulate judgments, reach decisions, and solve problems.

5. Distinguish between information and knowledge, and what can be done with each.

6. Recognize the difference between the application of knowledge and the practice of Wisdom

7. Enjoy the intellectual process so that life-long learning becomes the obvious outcome.



The above goals are integrated with specific practical goals for student, which are to:


1. Communicate effectively to a given audience.

2. Demonstrate the ability to listen to, reflect upon, and respond to others’ ideas in discussion

and debate in civil and courteous conversation.

3. Demonstrate the ability to comprehend, interpret, and critically evaluate various forms of

communication and media.

4. Utilize a range of rhetorical modes and strategies (verbal, visual, aural), using appropriate

technology, to formulate and express the student’s own original ideas.

And these goals are integrated with goals for becoming proficient writers, which include students being able to:

1.       Understand audience and begin to write complete texts appropriate for a range of purposes.

2.        Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of focus, organization, and logical development in written work.

3.       Recognize the act of writing as a recursive, reflective process of substantive revision.

4.       Digital Story Script

5.       Employ formal and informal writing strategies as a means of both understanding and communicating information, ideas, and arguments.




There are no prerequisites for this course. I do expect you to rise to college level work in reading, writing, and speaking.


Hardwired Behavior: What Neuroscience Reveals about Morality by Laurence R. Tancredi (Jun 28, 2010)

Frankenstein (Longman Cultural Editions) by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley and Susan J. Wolfson (Jul 10, 2006)

Philosophical essay on Kant
_Ring of Gyges_

Art by Kathe Kollowitz

Biblical selections

Graff and Birkenstein, They Say, I Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing, 2nd edition

Aaron. The Little Brown Essential Handbook, 7th ed. Pearson

AVID tutoring experience

Additional readings and texts as required.


 Attendance:   Attendance is critical and you are expected to come to class, to the fourth hour (T 12:15) and to required outside activities such as Service Learning activities and other events as required. More than three absences will affect your grade as follows: a reduction from A to B+ for the fourth absence, from B+ to B for the fifth, etc. If your grade is a  C in the course, absences four and five will reduce the grade to a D. Eight or more absences automatically means you fail the course.

Attendance includes participation. To participate means not only being in attendance, but also providing thoughtful, and informed input as your part of the classroom discussion. I am looking for evidence that you have read the text carefully and thought about the issues involved, and I observe your ability to contribute and listen, your moral courage in offering ideas, the appropriateness of your comments, and your tact and courtesy. See Policies and Grading for specifics.

You are expected to use your Mercer email, and be logged on to our private Facebook group and Dropbox. Note: All communication within our class system is to be grammatically correct. Also, as part of your attendance and participation, you, either individually or with a partner will be responsible for leading discussion on class readings several times during the semester. Even though you are always expected to be prepared, you will be forewarned!

Daily Assignments “Dailies”:        

As noted on the calendar of events, you will submit a  (typed, no more than one page) analysis, which can relate to the questions for your Portfolio/Journal, and which demonstrates your understanding of the more important arguments or topics the author(s) is (are) trying to make in the day's assigned readings.

These dailies should identify a thesis or main point. Ask yourself what the author is trying to convince you of and how. These dailies are to be analytical. In closing, you can raise objections, voice agreement, or share any strong reactions the readings. This is NOT a summary; find a thesis and develop it.

Students are responsible for writing dailies on the assigned readings for their class day. You must cite for direct quotations and for paraphrasing or re-telling. These dailies are not to be argumentative or persuasive, rather, they are to be analytical (not for the sake of argument), but to understand. What does this mean? Look at the elements. How do they fit together? What have you learned? How might things be different? Engage in honest, self-reflective, critical analysis of the issues and actively use the texts. I expect clarity, creativity, depth, and concrete connections to the reading materials and class discussions. NO LATE dailies will be accepted, and there will be no extensions on dailies. Each daily note earns either a  9-10 (A),  7-8 (B), 5-6 (C), or 3-4 (schlacky, D). If there are no citations, it will earn a zero. Do NOT email dailies. We will sometimes post dailies to Dropbox for group editing.  

Portfolios/Reading Journal:

Daily Course Goals for Student Reading and Writing:


Active reading and intentional writing are crucial to success in INT 101 and as such, you will have daily opportunities to practice both.  Your commitment to this daily practice will have a direct effect upon your overall grade for the course and a lasting impact upon your academic success. 


Students in INT 101 should make a conscious effort in daily reading, writing, and discussion to:


*Develop and refine skills of critical and analytical thinking, reading, oral communication, and writing

*As readers, learn to analyze readings in terms of their rhetorical structures and situations

*As writers, use the models of effective writing examined in course readings to develop strategies for crafting well-supported, well-structured papers (formal and informal)  in a range of genres for various audiences and purposes

*Gain an understanding of writing as a process of discovering, organizing, revising, and editing ideas

  and evidence.
*Borrowed, with permission from Dr. Denasi.


One of your INT 101 course’s most important tasks is to teach you to read and engage with texts actively and responsibly. Students are to keep a small three-ring binder to use as a portfolio of all their written work, including dailies, journals, in class writings, revisions, etc. I am not usually picky about minor details, but I do mean a small three-ring binder. In this way, you have the option to type your reflection work and place it in the journal, or write in your binder directly. We will have intermittent revision sessions and students need to have access to their prior, graded work.

This assignment provides a place to record your daily work with texts, while also giving you a chance to create a lasting record of your thoughts as you move through the course.  It also allows you to literally “do” something with your reading, so that it goes beyond “busy work” or a mere requirement and becomes instead a resource for both your required participation in class discussions and for your more formal writing assignments, as your initial response to texts and ideas from class discussion feed directly into the papers you will write for the course.

Borrowed, with permission, from Dr. Denasi. The journal/portfolio is also the place where you should take notes during class discussion.  Please note that this is a requirement of the course. 

To summarize, the following kinds of material should be recorded in your Composition Book on a regular (class by class) basis:

a) Ideas drawn from your thorough annotation of EACH of the texts assigned for that day.  This information may be in the form of an outline or bullet points but should be detailed and concrete and must include a citation in the text for each point (page numbers for prose, line numbers for poems, and act, scene, and line numbers for drama) so that you can locate specific passages during discussion.

b) Two questions to share during seminar discussion.  Please Note: these should NOT be informational questions, such as: “what color was the lady’s dress?”  Instead, your questions should focus on larger issues raised in the text, especially issues that seem related to identity or the self, such as: “how do the clothes the characters wear affect their sense of self?” or, “why should a woman’s clothes be more important in composing her self than a man’s?”   

c) Detailed notes taken during class discussion.  It is not necessary to write down every word that is said during the discussion, but you should listen and speak with your Composition Book open and a pen in your hand.  As ideas emerge in the conversation that strike you as important and potentially useful, you should record them in as much detail as possible.  At the top of EACH page of notes, be sure to record the date and the title of the text(s) under discussion.  Entries that are not dated, with complete information on the title of the texts will not be counted when the Composition Book is graded.

***** Students must have their journals during every class period inside or outside of the classroom. No journal means a zero for the day.


Writing instruction and development has a progression. First we have dailies, which are used for immediate feedback regarding thesis development, use of the text for support, proper use of quotations, paragraph development, etc. As some of these problems become obvious, class time will be used for mini workshops as needed.

The next level of writing that is built upon the consistent use of dailies as well as classroom instruction, moves toward lengthier essays. At this level, as needed in-class instruction focuses on paragraph development, sustaining an argument, transitions, successful conclusions, etc.

Writing instruction includes learning how to use appropriate resources. In the course, students will compile a small annotated bibliography, using four to five sources, on the nature of the justice of self-hood. The process of creating an annotated bibliography will include classroom instruction and a trip to the library.

Building from dailies to longer essays, the final, even longer paper, requires students to choose one of their earlier papers as the basis for revision and extension of the prior piece. Classroom instruction will include what I call time-lines, first in a small group and then as a broad exercise of connections of main themes from various texts.

Throughout the semester, each student will meet with me for an individual conference to discuss the student’s progress in writing for the class. These conferences will be timed with individual students as needed.



Students are to keep a loose-leaf binder, as noted, in detail above, for all their writing assignments. Throughout the semester, we will select certain assignments for review and revision. I will collect these intermittently to note improvement in writing skills.


As needed, class time will be spent on writing instruction, seamlessly integrated into the seminar format of the course. Much of writing instruction time will focus on articulating a clear and concise thesis and the subsequent development of a convincing argument to support said thesis.


Additionally, attention will be given to paragraph development, the use of imagery, recognizing how ethos, logos, and pathos are used as persuasive tools, and effective use of quotations, among other topics.


Paper Assignments:   Three essays and one final response paper are required. Papers must be typed using proper margins (1") and a standard type font (12 point). Papers are to be stapled, and have your name on each page along with the page number. See below for specific guidelines. NO LATE  PAPERS.  DO NOT EMAIL PAPERS TO ME. Keep a hard copy of your paper as well as a backup disk in case there is a catastrophe. Guidelines for paper grading are on my webpage under policies and procedures. UN-PAGINATED PAPERS WILL NOT BE GRADED.

At any time if you want to discuss a paper grade, come see me. If you receive an F on a paper, see me immediately.

Computer/printer/software difficulties are not considered sufficient grounds for late work. Missing class is no excuse for a late paper. Students should allow ample time for their work to be completed to allow for unforeseen difficulties. That is why I have a detailed syllabus with due dates marked from the beginning of the semester.

Assignments must adhere to the length, format and topic matter requested to avoid grade reductions. If you are dissatisfied with a grade, please discuss it with me immediately, not later in the semester.


 The Papers are as Follows:             

    1. Paper one: Personal Narrative
2. Paper Two: Using our texts and experiences as references, assess how being hardwired for morality affects your sense of self and your ability to make decisions.
3. Paper Three: Using your annotated bibliography and class texts, take a position regarding the justice of self-hood.
4. Paper Four: Your written and peer-edited script for your digital story.
5. Paper Five: Thoughtful, integrated responses to a set of end-of-the-semester questions.

 Digital Stories

Besides the final project, each student will develop one digital story. The due dates for the stories are on the Calendar of Events. Instruction and story development will occur within the context of the course, and written instructions are available on this webpage: DS Instructions.

Digital Story:

Your digital story will be presented to the class and maybe guests, during the last few days of school. The presentation will be a creative effort, which incorporates what you learned from your service learning experience intertwined with what you learned about how one composes oneself justly.  Through what lense or lenses do we frame our moral and ethical decisions?

 Outside Class Activities:

Each student will be involved in one civic engagement project and the requisite training. The Afterschool Project  will require everyone's participation in two ways. One to learn the requisite skills required for the project at the school, and the other is to implement the project in the after school setting.. More to come later.  ALL STUDENTS MUST BE INVOLVED IN CIVIC ENGAGEMENT

Other outside assignments and activities as they emerge.


Dailies                            10%
Digital Story/Script   10
Portfolio/Journal       20
Papers averaged        40
Participation                20
              Class discussion and participation (20% of your grade): Participation in classroom discussions is an integral part of the learning process of the class. I will give you feedback on your participation grade at the end of the 4th and 8th week of class. Anyone who has difficulty with talking in class should contact me so that we can work out strategies for your participation. I will use the following rubric to determine your participation grade. Borrowed, with permission from Dr. David Nelson.



Knowledge of material




Demonstrates a lack of understanding of the texts through in-class writing and discussion.

Rarely speaks

Frequently tardy; Daydreams in class


Almost never mentions the texts; talks only about own life experiences

Speaks but does not continue with the thread of the conversation.

Fails to bring text to class; Doesn’t listen carefully to others


Brings in interesting and thoughtful questions from the text

Communicates well and often

Demonstrates a respect for the community of learning


Can integrate the texts into any discussion; Demonstrates a long and thoughtful consideration of the texts

Helps the class to come to a deeper understanding of the content of the course

Is joyful and excited about the exchange of ideas in class


Unusual circumstances may necessitate a change in the syllabus and/or calendar.