English 330: Interdisciplinary Writing

CSU Channel Islands

Professor Rachael Jordan

Catalog Description

Individual and collaborative writing that integrates research from a variety of disciplines. Students will work on projects that incorporate various forms of research, including electronic, and which result in both oral presentations and academic papers. Each section will be based on a theme appropriate for interdisciplinary research and writing.

General Education Requirements


The courses in this area enable students to develop a basic appreciation of the human imagination and understand the value of personal creativity in a complex, global society. Exposure to a diverse range of work in art, literature, languages, and cultures cultivates the students’ ability to express intellectual and emotional responses and make subjective and objective evaluations. Awareness of diverse cultural contributions, in both historical and contemporary work, stresses the interrelationship between individual aesthetics and collective human sensibility. Numerous teaching methodologies involve active participation in the creative experience, leading to personal inquiries into the cultural diversity prevalent in the visual, literary, audible, kinetic, and oral traditions of human expression.

Mission Category:

Interdisciplinary Approaches

Class Activities

This class is activity/project based and most weeks will consist of multiple activities, some involving the whole class, other times group work, and, of course, individual work. Be prepared to complete work for this class each week. All of these activities will help you become a better writer and thinker, which is critical to your future success. If you don’t check in and participate each week, you miss out on your opportunity to improve in the skills you need for your future and will not be successful in passing the course.

Contact Your Instructor

Welcome! As you settle into our class, please understand that regular and effective communication between you and me is essential to your success as a learner, even though the class takes place in an online environment. Remember, I am not physically with you throughout your learning experience and, therefore, will be unaware of many of your challenges and struggles unless you bring them to my attention. As a university student, you must take accountability for your learning and understand how to effectively communicate with me. I look forward to learning with you!

  • My office location is Bell Tower West 1141. You will typically find me there on Mondays 9am-12pm, Tuesdays 11am-12pm, and Thursdays 9am-10am (but meeting in person is not required). We can also schedule an appointment to meet in person or virtually. Just ask.
  • The best way to reach me is via email: rachael.jordan@csuci.edu. I will also contact you via your campus email, so please check that daily.
  • I will typically respond to student emails Monday through Friday, 8:00am - 5:00pm. Messages that arrive outside these times will receive responses the next business day.
  • Students are welcome to address me as Professor Jordan or Ms. Jordan. I look forward to working with you!

Class Theme

This semester, we'll be investigating, exploring, and analyzing the various ways that our society defines, handles, and attempts to solve various "problems." We will look at how various disciplines research and respond to problems by synthesizing those disciplines' ideas with each other and our own. We'll work on these both as a class and you'll be tackling a "problem" of your own choosing, as well.

Student Learning Objectives

Students completing this course will

  • demonstrate their understanding of interdisciplinary writing;
  • determine an appropriate focus for written and oral projects;
  • practice a variety of research approaches;
  • integrate sources from multiple disciplines into a single coherent argument/presentation;
  • deliver an organized presentation that engages the audience;
  • make use of feedback to revise their argument/presentation;
  • revise drafts of their written texts until they are coherent, fully developed, and conform to academic conventions.

Student Requirements

  • You must have access to Canvas.
  • You must read email sent to your Dolphin account.
  • You must be respectful of your peers during discussion and group work.
  • You must be available to work on group projects using online tools.
  • You must type or word-process all papers submitted for evaluation.
  • You must cite all sources using a recognizable academic citation style (MLA, APA, etc.).
  • You must not plagiarize, i.e., misrepresent the work of someone else as your own.

Community Ground Rules

In an effort to ensure our learning community develops, thrives and sustains throughout our time together, the following ground rules will be in effect at all times.

  1. Consider yourself a member of a community. A community is a group of individuals who work together to support a common goal or interest. We are working together to support the successful achievement of our learning outcomes.
  2. Treat the diverse contributions made by other community members with respect.
  3. Have patience and a sense of humor with technology.
  4. Be a learner. Keep an open mind when introduced to new ideas that may challenge your perceptions.
  5. Ask for help when you need it, and assist others when possible.
  6. Understand that communications shared through text have a higher likelihood of being misinterpreted than words that are spoken. Therefore, when you type a thought or a comment, read it carefully before you submit it. If you question the way it is worded, read it out loud to yourself. If you still question the way it's phrased, re-write it.
  7. Contribute regularly to group dialogue (in and outside of class), including blog posts and replies. The contributions of each individual plays a role in the collective strength and diversity of our community.
  8. If, at any time, you feel that any of these ground rules has been violated by a member of our community, you are encouraged to bring your concern directly and immediately to me. Clearly identify which ground rule has been violated and include specific evidence of the violation in your email or visit. Your concerns will be addressed promptly and in an individualized manner.

Disabilities Statement

If you are a student with a disability requesting reasonable accommodations in this course, please visit Disability Accommodations and Support Services (DASS) located on the second floor of Arroyo Hall, or call 805-437-3331. All requests for reasonable accommodations require registration with DASS in advance of need. You can apply for DASS services here. Faculty, students and DASS will work together regarding classroom accommodations. You are encouraged to discuss approved accommodations with your faculty.


Grading Policy

A = 93-100%

A- = 90-92%

B+ = 87-89%

B = 83-86%

B- = 80-82%

C+ = 77-79%

C = 73-76%

C- = 70-72%

D+ = 67-69%

D = 63-66%

D- = 60-62%

F = 59 or lower

Course Grade Breakdown

Oral Report: They Say/I Say 10%

Discussion Board/Voice Thread/Reading Responses 20%

Group Project– Collaborative Group Blog/Website 10%

Project 1 – Grant Proposal 10%

Project 2 - "I Say" Essay 10%

Final Portfolio 40%

Total: 100%

*note: points for your Group Project, Project 1, and Project 2 are made up of drafts, peer review, and prewriting assignments

Assignments (more detailed prompts available on Canvas)

Oral Report: (See sign up sheet on Canvas) (10% )

Goal: Share an aspect of writing instruction with the class. Utilize presentation skills to explain a topic clearly for a targeted audience.

Disciplines: English Composition.

Source: They Say, I Say by Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein.

Product: An original 4-6 minute Prezi, PowerPoint, ScreenCast, animated cartoon, or live video, in which the student explains an assigned concept from the textbook and gives several examples, preferably using texts we’ve read as a class and/or your own writing or that of your peers.

You must create a video and upload it to the Presentations Canvas Page.

Note: There are many of these presentations floating around the internet (most are boring regurgitations of the chapters). Make sure yours is original so you do not get charged with plagiarism and thereby fail the course.

Discussion Board/In-Class Discussions/Reading Responses (20%)

Goal: Discuss ongoing concepts in the texts assigned throughout the course.

Disciplines: Varied

Sources: All class sources

Product: Each week, you will need to respond to readings on the Discussion Board, or on VoiceThread, using text, voice, or video. This also includes giving feedback on your peers' oral presentations.

Group Project – Collaborative Writing - Group Blog - Meeting Draft Deadlines, Participating Fully in Group Project, Peer Review & Revision (10%)

Goal: Identify other perspectives and points of view, gain in-depth knowledge of the topic your group has chosen to research. Write collaboratively. Gain feedback and use it to improve your writing.

Disciplines: Varied

Product: a public blog that includes a collaboratively written overview of your group’s topic and three blog entries by each group member.

Sources: a minimum of three substantive sources (one of which must be a minimum of 10 pages long): either long form journalism from well-known and reputable sources, or peer reviewed articles from scholarly journals or books . At least one of your three texts should provide a counter-argument or a very different perspective from your own.

Project 1 - Grant Proposal - Pre-writing Activities, Meeting Draft Deadlines, Participating in Peer Review, Revision (10%)

Goal: Writing reports and asking for funding support with regard to a project is a common activity these days in most employment situations. Moreover, a great number of jobs can be found in the non-profit sector where seeking funding is a part of management staffs’ daily activities. Taken from such work experiences, this project is a step in preparing you for this common workplace writing activity.

Disciplines: Varied

Product: A proposal that is 4-5 pages in length, single-spaced (double-space between paragraphs) 12 pt. font, 1″ margins.

Sources: a minimum of 4 outside sources cited in the text in MLA format and a works cited section at the end of the proposal, which is also in MLA format. These sources must be substantial and credible sources worthy of academic research.

Project 2 – “I Say” Essay - Pre-writing Activities, Meeting Draft Deadlines, Participating in Peer Review, Revision (10%)

Goal: Identify an issue to research relevant to the class theme: either one specifically identified in one of the class texts, or closely related to it, identify other perspectives and points of view, gain in-depth knowledge of the topic you’ve chosen to research. Get feedback and use it to improve your writing.

Disciplines: Varied

Product: a 5-7 page essay that makes a clear argument for why your topic matters, why it should be looked at through an interdisciplinary lens, and how it impacts American society.

Sources: a minimum of three substantive sources (one of which must be a minimum of 10 pages long): either long form journalism from well-known and reputable sources, or peer reviewed articles from scholarly journals or books . At least one of your three texts should provide a counter-argument or a very different perspective from your own.

Final Portfolio - Includes Substantially Revised Drafts of Project 1 & Project 2 (40%)

Goal: Use course knowledge, peer and instructor feedback to revise and polish Projects 1 & 2.

Disciplines: Interdisciplinary

Product: A portfolio of written work that displays your knowledge of the course content, which will include the final draft of the Grant Proposal and the final draft of the "I Say" Research Essay.

Classroom Policies


Every student in our online community is valued member of the group with a unique perspective and set of experiences. Your voice is valued in this course, and you are not presumed to speak for anything more than your own experience, ideas, and point of view.

Further, in this course, you have the right to be called by your preferred name, and to determine which pronouns should be used to refer to you.

If there are aspects of this course that result in barriers to your inclusion or a sense of alienation from the classroom community or the course content, please contact me at any time.

Completing Assignments

  • Each week you must complete the activities listed on the Module Overview.
  • Failure to complete these weekly activities will result in failing the course.
  • All homework/draft assignments must be submitted on Canvas
  • All homework/drafts are due on Thursdays and Sundays by 11:59pm (see Canvas for specific dates)
  • Late homework assignments will negatively impact your grade, including the possibility of failing the course. If you find you need extra time to complete an assignment, contact me prior to the deadline to receive an extension.


All work that students submit as their own work must, in fact, be their own work. If a paper presents ideas or information from other sources, it must clearly indicate the source. Word-for-word language taken from other sources – books, papers, websites, interviews, conversations, etc. – must be placed in quotation marks and the source identified. Paraphrased material must be cited. Students are encouraged to consult with the instructor if they have questions about appropriate citation methods.By enrolling at CSU Channel Islands, students are responsible for upholding the University’s policies and the Student Conduct Code. Academic integrity and scholarship are values of the institution that ensure respect for the academic reputation of the University, students, faculty, and staff. Cheating, plagiarism, unauthorized collaboration with another student, knowingly furnishing false information to the University, buying, selling or stealing any material for an examination, or substituting for another person may be considered violations of the
Student Conduct Code.

According to the
Academic Senate Policy on Academic Dishonesty, “Instructors who are convinced by the evidence that a student is guilty of academic dishonesty shall assign an appropriate academic penalty,” and in cases where “the instructors believe that the academic dishonesty reflects on the student's academic performance or the academic integrity in a course, the student's grade should be adversely affected.”
In this course, if there is reasonable evidence of intentional academic dishonesty that has significantly affected your academic performance and/or impaired your academic integrity, the appropriate academic penalty shall be a failing grade in the course.
In addition, a referral will be made and submitted to the Dean of Students office. Please ask about my expectations regarding academic dishonesty in this course if they are unclear.

Principles of Learning

  • You will learn only as much, or little, as you choose to learn.
  • Each of you has a unique learning style, so not every assignment will appeal to everyone. But the variety should provide you with a chance to show what you're capable of doing.
  • The more often you collaborate with your classmates--in discussion, in study groups, on papers--the richer the experience will be for you.
  • Writing, you will discover, is always a collaborative process.
  • You will teach yourself more than I teach you.
  • You will learn more from each other than you do from me.
  • All of you are capable of succeeding in this class; my job is to help you succeed.

Emergency Intervention & Basic Needs Program

As CI’s website points out, “a recent study commissioned by the CSU Chancellor’s Office shows that nearly 25 percent of CSU students either regularly skip meals for financial reasons or lack access to toiletries and sufficiently nutritious food options. In addition, more than 10 percent are displaced from their homes due to things like an unexpected loss in income or personal safety issues.”

If you recognize yourself, or someone you know from this description, please know that there are resources on campus to help, including the Dolphin Food Pantry for students, Emergency Housing, Emergency Funds.

The Dolphin Food Pantry offers free food, toiletries and basic necessities. The Pantry is located in Arroyo Hall, Room 117, and is open Monday – Friday from 8:30 – 4:30.More information on these, and other services available at CSUCI can be found at: https://www.csuci.edu/basicneeds/


Writing and Multiliteracy Center

Most successful writers get feedback from other writers. Writing Center tutors receive special training in order to help you work on your papers at any stage in the writing process from generating ideas to finalizing your works cited page. The Writing and Multiliteracy Center is located on the north side of second floor of the Broome Library. You can drop by, visit the website, or call 805-437-8934 for appointments.

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