Course Syllabus


Course Syllabus


Writing 39C, Argument and Research, is the second of UCI‘s two required writing courses that together fulfill the Lower Division Writing Requirement. Like WR 39B, 39C focuses on critical reading and rhetoric and teaches you intellectual strategies for identifying, understanding, and then using various genres and rhetorical situations for important communicative purposes. 39C deepens your understanding of rhetoric and communication by teaching you how to conduct research and to evaluate and use various types of evidence. The reading, composing, and researching practices you will learn in this course and the various intellectual strategies you develop will help you to succeed in your other courses, prepare you to engage in the university community and in your chosen discipline, and deepen your perspective on current issues and problems and the idea of social justice itself. 

Your section of WR 39C will use a central text as the foundation for classroom discussion and for research topics. This text will motivate analysis of current and pressing issues and present us with opportunities to study the rhetorical and argumentative strategies of an established intellectual engaging political problems that challenge us to evaluate both our personal ethics and the broad values that define perspectives on social justice. As you read this material, you may agree with the author or you may vehemently disagree. Either way your critical evaluation is expected, and your teacher and your peers will challenge you to deepen your arguments and claims through discussions and constructive feedback. Your WR39C teacher will not tell you what to think, but your instructor will teach you how to communicate, how to deliver your arguments and arrange your evidence so that your thoughts are clear and persuasive and capably anticipate the expectations and possible reactions of various audiences—scholars, public intellectuals, your peers and people in the UCI community—who are already discussing the same issues. Our hope is that you leave 39C feeling empowered and confident as a college-level researcher and impassioned by the issues you’ve engaged.


Guiding Ideals & Outcomes
   Guiding Ideals, For Teachers

  • Motivate and support intellectual commitments to experimentation, curiosity, and discovery through reading, writing, researching, communicating and composing in and across a variety of genres.
  • Provide opportunities to address timely and engaging contemporary issues.
  • Develop rhetorical knowledge through critical analysis of texts and contexts and the study of audiences, compositional arrangements, deliveries, and varieties of persuasion.
  • Cultivate analytical self-reflection and the habits of mind to analyze compositional choices, methods of analysis, rhetorical positions and persuasive perspectives, and the use of genres, contexts, and appropriate conventions.
  • Define information literacy and develop the ability to assess the credibility of sources, databases, archives, and other repositories of source material.
  • Explain clearly the pedagogical purposes of all assignments, in-class exercises, and course outcomes.
  • Teach to each student individually, both in class and while conferencing, and work diligently to develop a productive and effective working relationship with each student.

   Outcomes, For Students
Rhetoric & Composition:

  • Recognize forms of rhetorical persuasion and understand the functions of generic forms, both academic and non-academic.
  • Craft substantive, motivated, and balanced arguments.
  • Plan, draft, and revise effectively; develop and skillfully employ a variety of revision strategies that attend to structure, arrangement, pacing, and transitions.
  • Read with understanding and engagement across a variety of genres, mediated forms, and discourses.
  • Write clear, correct, coherent prose.
  • Evaluate and improve reading, writing, and organizing processes.
  • Respond productively and constructively to the writing of others and learn to become a fair and rigorous critic.
  • Attend to and control surface features and conventions including grammar, punctuation, syntax, and spelling.

      Multimodal Composition & Communication:

  • Understand the distinctive rhetorical properties and effects of delivering arguments in written forms, orally, and visually, with particular attention to audience/community, discourses/genres/contexts, and occasions/warrants.
  • Arrange, display, and deliver arguments and evidence clearly and coherently.
  • Create substantive, polished, persuasive, richly textured, and deeply researched multi-modal compositions.

       Research Methods and Ethics:

  • Comprehend the importance of Information Literacy, seen as both the act of researching and the skillful evaluation and use of evidence.
  • Understand the definition of Information Literacy as the ability to discern and critically evaluate source materials of different types, in different media, genres, and discourses.
  • Comprehend the communicative and rhetorical intentions of a source and use such understanding to determine a source’s value as evidence.
  • Learn to locate sources using a variety of tools, methods, and databases.
  • Understand the purposes and methods of common citation systems.
  • Learn research ethics and avoid plagiarism.



 *As a student enrolled in this course, you are being asked to participate in a research study. The purpose of this research study is to document and analyze the various ways undergraduate students enrolled in Writing 39C, Argument & Research transfer, repurpose and apply knowledge about writing, rhetoric, and communication.

*The research procedures involve analyzing data obtained from standard course activities, in particular final ePortfolios. The data collected in this study will be reported in aggregate form as the average of a large group of students and as collective case studies from textual analysis of ePortfolios. No personal information will be published or be available outside of this research project, and all research data collected will be stored securely and confidentially. The research data will be maintained for five years for future research in a de-identified form.

*All students enrolled in this course are automatically enrolled in the study. While you will be completing a final ePortfolio as a part of this course, you have the option to opt out of the research study, which will remove your ePortfolio from the analysis. If you would prefer your final ePortfolio not be used in the analysis, contact the lead researcher by email and say you would prefer to not participate. Opting out will not affect your grade. You have the option to opt out, without penalty, any time before the end of the quarter, up to 48 hours after grades are finalized and released.

*Here is the contact information for the lead researcher:

Bradley Queen, PhD.
Associate Director, Composition Program
Course Director, Writing 39C

*You must be 18 years old in order to participate in this project. If you are under 18 as of today, please contact the lead researcher and ask that your data not be used because you do not meet the eligibility requirements.

*You will not be compensated nor is there any cost to you for your participation in this research. There are no known harms or discomforts associated with this study beyond those encountered in normal daily life. The possible risks and/or discomforts associated with the procedures described in this study may include reactions to seeing analysis of student work from Writing 39C in published work. None of the evidence collected and used in the study will be tied to you by name. The possible benefits you may experience from the procedures described in this study include knowing that your academic work has contributed to the ongoing improvement of teaching and learning in Writing 39C.

*The lead researcher and authorized UCI personnel may have access to your study records to protect your safety and welfare. Any information derived from this research project that personally identifies you will not be voluntarily released or disclosed by these entities without your separate consent, except as specifically required by law.

*If you have any comments, concerns, or questions regarding the conduct of this research please contact the lead researcher.

*Please contact UCI’s Office of Research by phone, (949) 824-6662, by e-mail at or at 5171 California Avenue, Suite 150, Irvine, CA 92617 if you are unable to reach the researchers listed at the top of the form and have general questions; have concerns or complaints about the research; have questions about your rights as a research subject; or have general comments or suggestions.

*Participation in this study is voluntary. There is no cost to you for participating. While all of the means of data collection are a normal part of the course and must be completed for grading purposes, you are free to withdraw from this study at any time so that your data is not included for further study. If you decide to withdraw from this study please notify the lead researcher immediately. Withdrawing or participating in the study will not affect your grade in WR 39C, and your instructor will not know whether or not you are participating.




You must have satisfied all Academic English and Entry Level Writing Requirements and passed WR 39B with a grade of "C" or better in order to enroll in WR 39C.


If you want to add, drop, or change your grade option for this class, it is your responsibility to obtain an authorization code from your instructor (issued by the Composition Office). You will not be dropped automatically if you simply stop attending class. You must use the Composition Office authorization codes for all drops/adds/changes. During the first week of class, you can get help finding a class to add in the Composition Office (HIB 420: 824-6717). You must be attending a 39C class by the end of the 1st week in order to add the class, and your authorization code must be processed via WebReg by the end of 3rd week of classes.

Students who wish to drop this course must complete the drop in WebReg by the end of the 2nd week of classes. These deadlines are strictly enforced. An exception to the above policies will only be considered for extenuating and documented circumstances outside the student's control; see

Students who wish to change their grade option to P/NP should first check with their academic counselors to make sure this choice is available to them. The Composition Office can assist students wishing to change their grade option between weeks 2 and 7. After week 7, students must see the Humanities Office staff.

            FIRST DAY RULE


All students enrolled in first-year writing courses (WR 37, WR 39A, WR 39AP, WR 39B, WR 39C) are REQUIRED TOATTEND THE ENTIRE FIRST CLASS MEETING. Enrolled students who do not attend THE ENTIRE class on the first day WILL BE DROPPED from the instructor's roll and their spot will be given away. If you lose your place, you must manually drop this course yourself by submitting an authorization code to the

Registrar by the end of the second week of classes. If you do not drop the course, you will receive a grade of NR, which becomes a permanent F after one quarter. This policy has been approved by the Composition Director and by the Executive Committee of the School of Humanities in order to allow instructors to admit students on the wait list in time for them to keep up with the course.



  • For all UCI writing courses, final grades of C or above satisfy the writing requirement. If you earn a final grade of C- or lower in any writing course, you must repeat that course and you must drop your enrollment in the next course in the sequence.
  • If you are repeating WR 39C, you may NOT resubmit the same papers. Resubmitted papers from a previous WR 39C will receive a non-passing grade.
  • All assigned work must be completed to qualify for a final grade. In other words, you may not omit an assignment.
  • Draft(s) must be submitted in order to receive a grade on the final paper.
  • Final submissions of all major projects—final versions of the HCP, AP, and ePort Reflective Introduction—must be submitted to Turn It In.
  • Your instructor may move choose to lower your grade on an assignment by 1/3 of a letter grade for each day an assignment late. If you are having trouble making deadlines, please see your instructor who will help you with organization and strategy.
  • Excessive absence from class is grounds for failure. Most WR 39C instructors consider more than 10% unexcused absences from class to be "excessive." Your instructor may choose to lower your participation grade, your grade on an individual assignment or your overall course grade by 1/3 for each unexcused absence beyond 10%.



Please read the university policy on Academic Honesty in the Registrar Website ( You might also consult the plagiarism links found on the website of Campus Writing Coordinator. Submitting a paper that is based on the words and/or structure of another student's work or submitting a paper that includes researched information that is not properly cited is plagiarism, and thus, grounds for failure in the course. All information borrowed from print or electronic sources must be identified. Failure to do so is theft. Copying a sentence and changing a word or two does not make the ideas or the information yours. Deliberately altering data to fit your thesis is also a form of cheating. Plagiarists fail the course and have their offense recorded in their School and in the School of Humanities. Violations of academic honesty can affect a student's graduation, financial aid, and eligibility for honors. The Composition Program deals with plagiarism cases every quarter, even though most people do not hear about them. No matter how pressured you feel, do not plagiarize; it is not worth it. Note: submitting the same work for more than one class without notifying the instructor is considered plagiarism at UCI.


There are some important forms that you need to fill out for this class that are available online:

Consent to Reproduce and Publish / Academic Honesty, Plagiarism, TurnitIn

Please make sure you complete these forms by the end of the first week of class.





*Excessive absence from class, including repeated lateness to class, may be grounds for failure or grade reduction. The Composition Program considers more than 10% unexcused absences from class to be "excessive." Your instructor may choose to lower your participation grade, your grade on an individual assignment, or your overall course grade by 1/3 for each unexcused absence beyond 10% or for excessive lateness.

Course Summary:

Date Details Due