ENG 2150: Writing 2

Baruch College ⋅  Spring 2022

  • Class Section: JMWM (55441)
  • Meeting Time: MW 12:25 – 2:05pm
  • Professor: Zach Muhlbauer, Dept. of English
  • Office Hours: Tue 1-2pm & Wed 3-4pm (via the #conferences channel of our classroom server)

Course Texts

  • Course website: ENG 2150: Writing 2
  • Readings linked via schedule
  • For style, editing, and document, I suggest Purdue OWL
  • Reminder: announcements & updates are posted in the #announcements channel of our classroom server

Course Overview

In this course, the second semester required writing course at Baruch, you will develop your ability to read, write, and think critically. One of the most important abilities you’ll develop over the course of your studies (and hopefully throughout your life) is the ability to discern how the way we think is shaped by language and other semiotic codes such as sound and images. This course will ask that you think critically about the arguments of others and in turn develop and communicate your own ideas and arguments.

For our course theme, we will explore the current and emergent conditions of the Digital Age, with attention to the writing and literacy technologies at the heart of its unfolding history. In turn, we will reflect on how these technologies mediate and shape our writing, reading, and thinking practices all across the digital universe. If indeed language makes worlds, then we will consider how digital technology molds and shapes those worlds in ways seldom visible to the naked eye. Our inquiry will flesh out how these technologies at once enable and constrain the scope of our knowledge and know-how, determining where and how we find information. We will also investigate the fabric of personal identity, data, and privacy when entangled with social media and its surveillance technology. Our goal through this process will be to converge on what it means to critically and ethically interact with digital technology — and how by extension we can learn to assert greater control over our lives as digital citizens of the world.

Learning Goals

  • Read and analyze texts critically: analyze and interpret key ideas in various discursive genres (e.g. essays, news articles, speeches, poems, movies, short stories), with careful attention to the role of rhetorical conventions such as style, tropes, genre, audience, and purpose.
  • Write your own texts critically: compose with an awareness of your own rhetorical situation (audience, purpose, genre, medium) and the role personal experience and social convention play in shaping how and what we write.
  • Identify and engage with credible sources and multiple perspectives: identify sources of information and evidence credible to your audience; incorporate multiple perspectives in your writing by summarizing, interpreting, critiquing, and synthesizing the arguments of others; and avoid plagiarism by ethically acknowledging the work of others when used in your own writing, using a citation style appropriate to your audience and purpose.
  • Compose as a process: experience writing as a creative way of thinking and generating knowledge and as a process involving multiple drafts, review of your work by members of your discourse community (e.g. instructor and peers), revision, and editing, reinforced by reflecting on your writing process in metacognitive ways.
  • Use conventions appropriate to audience, genre, and purpose: adapt writing and composing conventions (including your style, content, organization, document design, word choice, syntax, citation style, sentence structure, and grammar) to your rhetorical context.

Major Writing Projects

Digital Literacy Narrative

20% of course grade / 1500-2000 words

Digital Research Paper

25% of course grade / 2000-2500 words

Group Wikipedia Project

30% of course grade / N/A

Low-Stakes Writing Activities

Group Annotations

12.5% of course grade / 25-100 words per annotation

Blog Posts

12.5% of course grade / 250-300 words per post

Course Policies


I use a 100% grading scale to assess individual assignments and your final course grade, as is commonly the case at Baruch. If you have a question or concern about your grade in the class, please bring it to my attention immediately.

B+   87-89 C+   77-79 D+   67-69
A   93-100 B     83-86 C     73-76 D     60-66
A-  90-92 B-    80-82 C-    70-72

What I Expect From You

I expect that you will attend each class and complete the assignments due. Learning is a collaborative activity, and I expect that you will be attentive to, engaged with, and respectful of everyone in the class, especially in light of the fact that we’re still in the middle of a global pandemic. We’re all in this together, and I expect that our class this spring will be a source of encouragement rather than distress when it comes to interacting with each other.

I ask that we all be respectful of one another and the wonderfully diverse opinions, ethnic backgrounds, gender expressions and sexual orientations, social classes, religious beliefs, and ethnicities among us. In the same spirit, written work in this course should employ inclusive language, which shows that the writer honors the diversity of the human race by not using rhetoric that would universalize one element of humanity to the exclusion of others. For example, use men and women or people instead of the generic man; use they or alternate he and she instead of the generic “he” to represent “all people.”

What You Can Expect From Me

I will treat you with respect and will spend a good deal of time this semester giving you feedback on your writing for your major projects, commensurate to the amount of time you spend on your writing. I will always read and often respond to your annotations and blog posts, keeping note of your intellectual interests as well as your writing habits and styles, all in an effort to offer you the thoughtful feedback that you deserve when responding to your major writing projects.



You will have opportunities to meet with me about each project you’re working on during our studio time at the end of (some) classes. I also may hold conferences with each student individually during regular class time in my office in lieu of a formal class meeting. If the latter, it’s important that you make the conference or you will be counted absent for class on that day. If you ever have questions about your grade or progress in the course, or about an assignment you’re working on, please do not hesitate to ask me, either by direct messaging, emailing, or making an appointment with me going forward.

Writing Center

As a writer you’ll want to seek feedback from many different readers. Writers at all levels of experience get feedback on their writing. Asking for and receiving feedback is not a sign of weakness and it does not equal weak writing; it’s actually a sign of wisdom and makes your writing much stronger. You’ll give feedback to and get feedback from your fellow writers in your writing groups in this class throughout the semester and at all stages of your projects. I also encourage you to get feedback on your writing from professional writing consultants (some of whom also teach first-year writing courses) at the Writing Center.

The Writing Center offers free, one-to-one (in-person and online) and small-group workshop writing support to all Baruch students. The Center’s consultants work collaboratively with you to deepen your writing and English language skills. At any step in the process, they’ll help you become a more confident and versatile writer. I encourage you to schedule your appointment well in advance of when your writing is due. You can schedule an appointment at: https://bc.mywconline.com/. Visit the Writing Center in NVC 8-185 or at the Newman Library Reference Desk, or log on to their website, writingcenter.baruch.cuny.edu, to learn more.

Late Work

All writing assignments should be submitted prior to the stated deadline. Given the extraordinary time in which we’re living, however, I will be open to granting extensions for longer writing assignments, but only if you email me requesting the extension well ahead of the deadline. I may also request to meet with you during my office hours to bounce around ideas for how to budget your time more efficiently in the future. You should try your absolute best to meet these deadlines, but I understand that certain factors are out of our control this semester and will do my best to be as flexible and open, yet realistic, as I can about these deadlines. Finally, and most importantly, if you feel even the faintest urge to plagiarize, then  please do yourself a favor and reach out to me for help. That’s what I’m here for.


Attending class means doing the work required rather than coming to campus this spring. Much of the learning in this course happens through your doing the writing and reading assignments each week, showing up to synchronous video sessions prepared and ready to discuss your thoughts, as well as engaging wholeheartedly and thoughtfully in our in-class writing activities. You’ll be in a group with four-to-five of your peers from our class over this semester, and you will be meeting with me and them on a semi-regular to discuss the course readings and your writing projects. “Attending class,” then, means engaging with me and others in the class through class discussions, as well as doing the blog posts, Hypothesis annotations, and working with your group in various peer-review activities and writing workshops.

Disability and Accommodations

Baruch is committed to making individuals with disabilities full participants in the programs, services, and activities of the college community through compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. It is the policy of Baruch that no otherwise qualified individual with a disability will be denied access to any program, service, or activity offered by the university. Individuals with disabilities have a right to request accommodations.

If you require any accommodation, please contact the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities at (646) 312-4590, and let me know as soon as you can, ideally during the first two weeks of class. I encourage you to meet with me to co-design accommodations. For additional information check out the Student Disability Services webpage.

Academic Integrity

It is essential that you give credit to sources of any ideas that are not your own. Plagiarism is a serious offense with severe consequences, ranging from an automatic failing grade on the assignment to a failing grade for the course, with your case reported to the Office of the Dean of Students, as is mandated by standard protocol for Academic Dishonesty at Baruch College. Each student is responsible for knowing what constitutes plagiarism and for understanding the college’s policies and procedures for academic dishonesty. For further reference, please see the official college statement on academic dishonesty, excerpted below:

Academic dishonesty is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Cheating, forgery, plagiarism and collusion in dishonest acts undermine the college’s educational mission and the students’ personal and intellectual growth. Baruch students are expected to bear individual responsibility for their work, to learn the rules and definitions that underlie the practice of academic integrity, and to uphold its ideals. Ignorance of the rules is not an acceptable excuse for disobeying them. Any student who attempts to compromise or devalue the academic process will be ontologically sanctioned.

Classroom Conduct

A class grounded in democratic forms of discussion and collaboration requires its participants to act in an ongoing manner of respect, care, and generosity. As part of a course dedicated to the theory and practice of rhetorical expression, students are therefore expected to maintain responsible and engaged sense of awareness as to the feelings and values of their peers. If students feel it necessary to address any matter or event in conflict with the ethical code of our course and Baruch College at large, then they should not hesitate to contact me in an effort to represent and resolve their concerns.