ENG 101: College Level Reading, Writing and Thinking

Fall 2009 

Instructor:            David Owens

Office:                 101A

Phone:                 524 - 5153

Office Hours:

             Tuesday & Thursday 11:30 - 12:20

English 101 meets:

Mon - Fri.   12:30 – 1:20 pm      Room: AAA 204

Mon - Fri.   1:30 – 2:20 pm      Room: AAA 104

 e-mail:  [email protected]

home page: http://staff.wwcc.edu/david.owens/eng101.htm

 Required Texts and Materials:

·       An MLA and Grammar Style Guide (The Prentice Hall Reference Guide Recommended)

 Course Objectives:

At the end of the course, the student will be able to demonstrate:

Course Components:

·       Reading: Reading is an essential part of learning how to write well, and some students might need to develop good college-level reading habits before they can be successful in upper level classes, so we will focus extensively on reading this quarter by reading an average of 3 or 4 articles per week. We are going to be reading about civil rights this quarter. What are they? How do we know when they have been violated? Why can't we agree on a set of rights that everyone can enjoy?

First we will look at an Intelligence Squared proposal that “The Freedom of Expression Must Include the Right to Offend.” After that, I will ask the class for suggestions for civil rights issues we might read and write about for the rest of the quarter. I will also ask you for articles for us to read as a class. Juvenile punishment, Title IX, racial profiling, electronic surveillance and prayer in school are just a few examples of possible topics. For more ideas, you might look at an article from the ACLU and think about what pushes your buttons.

You may earn extra credit (maximum 40 points) by submitting articles for the class reader that pertain to our chosen topic. If the article is at least 15 substantial paragraphs, makes a thoughtful argument backing a clear position, and represents a view we have not yet read in class, then you will earn 5 extra credit points. If your article gets posted to the syllabus, you will get an additional 5 points. Short news items and political cartoons can also earn you some points.

·       Quotations and Paraphrases: As we will be working extensively with texts in our essays this quarter, we will start by reviewing proper borrowing and attribution conventions. We will continue to review these conventions as needed throughout the quarter with quizzes and informal assignments.

·       Summary: You will complete summary of one of the texts we read in the first half of the quarter. Each summary should be at least one page long and make clear attributions.

·       Group Deliberation Project: I'm trying something a little new this quarter. In order to understand conflicts concerning civil rights issues, we are going to be developing short plays to explore the issue from multiple perspectives. This will involve creating characters representing different views on the issue, improvising scenes in various settings, workshopping a script based on those improvisations, and finally producing the finished product in front of the class.

·       Essays: You will be writing two out of class essays designed to give you practice in contextual reading and different modes of writing. Essays need to be about 3 - 5 pages long, double-spaced, typed in 12 point Times Roman font with an MLA heading and title. All essays will be graded using this Grading Chart.

·       Comparison Essay: You will be comparing and contrasting the arguments made about one of our civil rights issues.

·      Opening Argument: You will write an opening argument for or against a proposal voted on by the class in the style of an Intelligence Squared debate.

·       Supported Argument Essay: You will be making a sustained argument about another civil rights issue supported by at least three of our authors.

·       In-Class Essay: A 2 hour essay responding to a specific question about one of our readings this quarter. You will need to demonstrate comprehension of the text, an ability to organize your thoughts in to a coherent argument, and the skills to communicate that idea effectively in writing. This assignment is designed to give you strategies, practice and feedback on taking timed written exams, a frequent occurrence in many college classrooms.

·       Portfolio: At the end of the quarter you will submit a portfolio that is 11 to 12 pages long, including a letter reflecting on what you have learned about reading, writing and thinking this quarter. Typically, students will choose two of the above essays to revise into slightly longer, more complex pieces, but you may also combine two essays in to a single longer essay or revise three essays. These revisions will do more than merely correct grammatical errors and structural problems, they will reflect a greater understanding of your subject, will pay closer attention to style, and demonstrate a better awareness of audience. The revisions should be substantial, transforming each essay into an essentially new piece of writing, and often expanding its scope and complexity.

·       Weekly Grammar Quizzes: We will have 10 grammar quizzes, worth 5 points each. I will give you some idea of the emphasis of each quiz earlier in the week, so you will have a chance to study your grammar guide.

·       Attendance and Participation: It is your responsibility to create and take advantage of this community of readers, thinkers and writers by coming prepared every day to class having read and thought about the material we are discussing, by having drafts completed on time, contributing to class discussion and being respectful, thoughtful and responsive listeners. I expect that you will contribute something to class discussion at least twice a week. I will be calling on people randomly to volunteer responses to in and out of class exercises, but it will be your responsibility to make sure you are contributing weekly, even if you are only asking questions.

Failure to participate can significantly lower your grade. You will earn 1 point for showing up PREPARED for class, and can earn up to 2 participation points per day of class by asking intelligent questions, answering questions, or making a meaningful contribution to class discussion. You may be marked absent if you are not in class by the time I take roll, if you come without the materials to work that day, or if you are mentally absent from class. I will subtract two participation points for every day you fail to show up to class at all, and 5 from workshop days (which includes days we exchange papers for workshopping). (100 points max.)

Plagiarism is the submission of work for credit that includes materials copied or paraphrased from published or unpublished works without proper attribution or documentation. You are also committing plagiarism if you attribute your own words or ideas to someone else, or if you submit work previously submitted for another class as original work.

It is part of my job to make sure that you are aware of the proper conventions used in borrowing text and ideas from other people’s writing, so errors of sloppy or incorrect attribution will only result in deducted points. Wholesale plagiarism of an entire essay or large chunks of someone else’s work, or an attempt to be deceitful about the use of sources is a serious matter and will not be tolerated.

If I suspect a student of deliberate or extensive plagiarism, he or she will be called in to prove, through the use of notes, drafts and explanations, that they did not plagiarize. If the student is found guilty of academic dishonesty, either by plagiarizing someone's work or by allowing their own work to be misused by another, they will automatically fail English 101 and have to take the course again.

Submitting Assignments: You may submit any written assignments by e-mailing them to me at [email protected]. I will submit my feedback to you in the form of a MS Word document with review comments in the margin. Make sure you have your MS Word view set on "Print Layout" or "Normal" so that you can read the comments. You may also submit assignments on paper, and you will get them back the same way.

Late Work: Essays* will lose 10 points for every day they are late, starting with the hour after they are due.  Late Informal Writing+ will receive no credit, but it may be looked over and receive comments. Missed Quizzes may not be made up unless arrangements have been made ahead of time, and I usually prefer to have the student take the quiz before the anticipated absence. The mid-term and final quizzes are designed to help you make up points on missed quizzes.

Revisions: Revision is an important concept in this writing class.  No piece of writing is perfect (and is very rarely even effective) on its first draft, so revisions are built into the syllabus. Your rough drafts will receive two grades: one as a final and one as a draft – you will then work to improve the final draft grade in your revision. However, if you still receive a failing grade on the final, you may revise and resubmit the essay as many times as it takes to receive a score of 70 points. Revisions are ALWAYS due the Wednesday after the graded assignment is handed back to you.

Incompletes: No incompletes given unless 3/4 of the total course work is already completed. A request for an incomplete must be accompanied by a plan for completion.

Disabilities Policy: If you have a disability and need accommodations, please see the instructor after class or contact Claudia Angus, Coordinator of Disability Support Services at 527-4262 or 527-4543.

Writing Center: Students needing assistance with Writing may drop in or make an appointment to work with a Writing Center tutor. The Writing Center is open 7:30a.m.-4:00p.m. Monday thru Friday. If you have any questions about the Writing Center, you may contact the Writing Center Director, Lauren Fink, at 509.527.4316 or [email protected].


Quotations and Paraphrase Exercises (2) +

25 points

Introductory Essay *

30 points

Summary +

25 points

Comparison Analysis Draft +

50 points

Comparison Analysis Essay *

100 points

Opening Argument *

75 points

Character Sketch +

30 points

Supported Argument Draft +

50 points

Supported Argument Essay *

100 points

In-Class Essay *

50 points

Group Deliberation Project

100 points

Final Portfolio

300 points


50 points

Participation (in-class discussion)

75 points


1060 points

Items with an * count as Essays for the purposes of late work and can be revised for inclusion in the Final Portfolio

Items with a + count as Informal Work for the purposes of late work.

Your final grade will be determined based on a straight percentage of points earned out of points possible, based on this Grade Chart

Please refer to the Class Calendar to see when Reading and Written Assignments are due.