ENG 101-008: The Protest Song

Instructor: Lisa Chinn

Fall 2012

Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8:30am- 9:45am


Office Hours: Thursdays, 10:00-12:30 and by appointment, in Jazzman’s coffee shop

Class website: English 101: The Protest Song can be found here


Line by Line: How to Edit Your Own Writing. Claire Kehrwald Cook. Modern Language Association of America, 1985.

They Say/ I Say: Moves that Matter in Academic Writing. Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein. W.W. Norton & Co., 2006.

All other materials will be in pdf form on the class website or emailed to you a week in advance.

Course Objectives:

What is a text? What does it mean to read? How do we read texts that are not in the traditional form of a book, newspaper article, or even the newer tradition of online publication? This writing-intensive course will center on protest music from the 1960s to the present and account for the ways in which we may be able to read the musical form as a form of resistance to a certain historical-cultural tradition. We will treat songs as text by close examination of lyrics, by developing an ear for musical form, and by comprehending music within the context of cultural resistance. My goal for you is to come away from this class knowing how to critically think, how to translate critical thinking into critical writing, and how to write persuasive sentences, paragraphs, and essays.

I focus English 101 on developing reading, writing, and critical thinking skills to prepare you for future academic writing. We will listen to songs written for political purposes and read essays about singers, songwriters, and the political change that they wanted to effect in the hopes that you will develop critical listening and writing skills along the way. These skills are invaluable for you future academic endeavors, thus attendance and participation are two key components to your success in class. And developing solid research skills will keep you from any problems with plagiarism.

Class Format:

Participation and discussion are two major components of this course. Thus, if you have more than three absences, your grade will automatically fall one letter grade. If you have more than six absences, you will automatically get an “F” for the course. If you cannot meet these requirements, I encourage you to drop the course before the end of the “Add/ Drop” period. If you arrive fifteen minutes late, you’ll automatically be counted absent.

Academic Honesty Policy:

Emory University is committed to academic integrity in all its practices. The faculty value intellectual integrity and a high standard of academic conduct. Activities that violate academic integrity undermine the quality and diminish the value of educational achievement. Cheating on papers, tests, or other academic works is a violation of Emory rules. No student shall engage in behavior that, in the judgment of the instructor of the class, may be construed as cheating. This may include, but is not limited to, plagiarism or other forms of academic dishonesty such as the acquisition without permission of tests or other academic materials and/or distribution of these materials and other academic work. This includes students who aid and abet as well as those who attempt such behavior. The instructor reserves the right to use the resources of the College to check student work for plagiarism.


It is your responsibility to keep up with the readings and songs for each week. You will find the blog on the class website I expect you to write a 150-word maximum response to the reading/ song(s) for the next day on our blog, to be posted by midnight before each class session. We will discuss the questions and concerns raised in the blog posts for the next class.

You will also write four essays. The essays are broadly categorized as 1) textual analysis essay, in which you will examine closely the text of a song or group of songs for critical evaluation, 2) text in-context essay, in which you will examine a song or group of songs in historical context, 3) cultural analysis essay, in which you will evaluate and analyze broader cultural claims for a song or group of songs, and 4) a final research essay. Further information on essay assignments is posted on our course website, and you will learn in class how to formulate topics and write essays for each of the outlined essay types. Rough drafts are counted in the final grade listed below, so it is in your best interest to come prepared with a full working draft on workshop days. I will collect rough drafts at the end of class and give you feedback for your final essays two classes before the final is due. If you fail to turn in any of the above, you will automatically receive a failing grade for the course. Half of your grade for each of these assignments will be based on preparation of drafts leading to the final draft. Extensions for papers are not allowed. If you know that you will be out of town the day a paper is due, turn it in via email before 8:30am on the Tuesday or Thursday that it is due.


Paper 1: Textual analysis essay                                                     15% final grade

Paper 2: Text-in-context literature review                                   5% final grade

Paper 2: Text-in-context abstract                                                  5% final grade

Paper 2: Text-in-context essay                                                      15% final grade

Paper 3: Final research paper literature review                         5% final grade

Paper 3: Final research paper abstract                                        5% final grade

Paper 3: Final research paper                                                       25% final grade

Blog posts (15 blogs total):                                                             15% final grade

Attendance:                                                                                       10% final grade


Course Accessibility Statement:

Emory University seeks to provide effective services and accommodations for individuals with documented disabilities. If you need an accommodation because of a documented disability, you are required to register with the Office of Disability Services at the beginning of the semester. If you will require assistance during an emergency evacuation, notify your instructor immediately. Look for evacuation procedures posted in your classrooms. Please contact the Office of Disability Services byphone: 404-727-9877 or by email:

Emory Writing Center:

The Emory Writing center offers tutoring and writing instruction as well as clarification for assignments. You are highly encouraged to visit the writing center on a regular basis. The writing center is located in N212 Callaway. You can also reach them by phone: 404-727-6451. Their website is The center is open M-Th 10-8, F 10-3, and Sun. 1-8.

International Student Academic Center:

If you are an international student working with English as a your second language, I encourage you to take advantage of the International Student Academic Center, located at SAAC 310 on the Clairmont Campus.  Tutoring, workshops, and groups to practice English conversation and other skills are available.  Contact Jane O’Connor ( or Denise Alvarez ( Their website is: and select “ESL.”

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