ENGL 101 Syllabus, Spring 2011

Composition and Literature I (ENGL 101 for non-native speakers)

Class time:  TR, 9:30-10:45 AM
Location:  Capers Hall 111
Section:  01
Office phone:  843/953-5141
Office:  Capers Hall 128A
Office hours:  MW, 2:00 -3:20 PM /F 2:00-2:50 PM / and by appointment
Email:  kathryn.strong[at]citadel.edu

Course description: English 101 is designed to help you develop the skills necessary for college-level analytical thinking.  To do so, we will practice pre-writing, drafting, and revising essays. We will also enhance your grammar and vocabulary.  Over the course of the semester you will write a series of essays that will help you to:

  • demonstrate your understanding and interpretation of short non-fiction texts.
  • generate and organize a thesis-driven argument.
  • review and expand your knowledge of English grammar.
  • draft, revise, and edit texts.
  • use evidence to support claims about texts.
  • enhance your knowledge of writing style, essay structure, and source documentation.

By the end of this course, you should be able to read and understand challenging texts and write clear, correct prose in a unified, coherent paper of at least 1000 words. Further, you should be able to follow conventions for citing sources in your work.

Required text:  Brian Altano’s Reading Themes and Skills: A Skills-Based American Culture Reader

Recommended text:  Diana Hacker’s The Bedford Handbook (or similar grammar handbook)

Attendance and participation: You must be awake and engaged during class.  You must come to class having completed all of your assigned reading and be ready to participate in discussion.  Bring your books (as noted on the course schedule and as announced in class), notes, and writing material (paper and pen) with you to class.  I reserve the right to grade you for your class preparation.  Please also note that, as a component of participation, I expect you to check your Citadel email address regularly and stay aware of what is posted on the class’s website.  Also, phone use of any kind during class will negatively affect your participation grade, and you will be punished for having your phone on your desk.  I also reserve the right to part you from your phone for the duration of class.

If you miss class, it is your responsibility to find out what we covered and come prepared for the following class.  If you are absent on the day of a quiz or other in-class assignment, you will receive a zero unless the absence is excused; there will be no opportunities to make up missed quizzes or in-class assignments.  Please note that this class will begin at the scheduled time.  Arrivals after I have called roll will be recorded as late, so be on time.  Should you experience any serious medical condition that would prevent you from attending more than one class, email me immediately to make arrangements.

Assignments: The bulk of your grade will result from four essays, and I will distribute specific information as I assign each essay.  In-class work will include quizzes, which will be unannounced.  Quizzes may cover assigned readings as well as any information discussed in class, or may ask you to produce writing in class.  In-class activities, homework, and short writing assignments will also factor in to your in-class work grade, and three exams will test how much information you have retained.

Keep all pre-writing, essay drafts, revisions, graded work, and in-class assignments.  These are intended to help you strengthen your writing, and I may ask you to bring these materials to class.

Papers are to be submitted at the beginning of class the day they are due; if you turn in an essay more than 10 minutes after the start of class, it will be marked as late. I require both hard copy and email copies of your essays, but will the hard copy will determine whether an essay is on time.

Please do not include a cover page.  Essays will be formatted as follows:

Font:                12-point Times New Roman
Margins:           1 inch (top, bottom, left, and right)
Spacing:          Double spacing throughout your essay, with no additional spaces between paragraphs, or before or after your title
Heading:          In the top left corner of only your first page, include the following four lines: (1) your name, (2) the course name, (3) my name, and (4) the date
Title:                Title each essay with your own unique title (not the assignment name or the assignment number)
Pagination:    In the upper right corner of each page, include your last name and the page number

Grading:  Grades are not distributed on a “curve,” and follow the traditional scheme of A= 90-100, B= 80-89, C= 70-79, D= 60-69, and F= 0-59. Grades for the course will be calculated using the following breakdown:

Quizzes, in-class work, and participation       25%
Essay #1                                                                     10%
Essay #2                                                                     10%
Essay #3                                                                     10%
Essay #4                                                                     10%
Exam #1                                                                     10%
Exam #2                                                                     10%
Final exam                                                                15%

We will discuss the hallmarks of good college writing many times over the course of the semester, but essentially, essay earn grades based on the following criteria:

  • Strength of argument (including logic) and discussion of topic’s overall importance
  • Well-chosen evidence and support, including selection and use of quotations and evidence of scholarship
  • Strength of organization (including well-organized supporting paragraphs, strong transitions between ideas, and building of information in a logical sequence)
  • Language use (style, tone, and grammar, for example) and clarity of expression
  • Proper formatting (including pagination, source citation, and heading)

Lateness of work:  All work is expected on time. All assignments are due at the beginning of class unless otherwise specified.  If you have an excused absence on a day when assignments are due, you must submit your work in advance or, also in advance of the due date, make alternate arrangements for its submission.  Work submitted late will be penalized one grade level.  That means that a work of “B” quality turned in between 10 minutes and one day late will earn a “C.”  Computer difficulty is not a justifiable excuse for lateness, so be sure to take possible problems with computing and printing into account as you schedule your time.

I will return graded work to you in as expeditious a manner as possible, striving to take no more than a week.  Instances of instructor illness or emergency will be exceptions to this, but I will make every effort to return your work to you quickly.

The honor code and plagiarism:  Plagiarism is a form of academic misconduct and a violation of the cadet honor code.  The honor code governs this class, but in essence, plagiarism can be defined as the copying of the language, phrasing, structure, or specific ideas of another and presenting them as your own work, including the paraphrasing of someone else’s ideas without giving them credit.  If you have any questions regarding proper documentation of sources or use of another’s ideas, consult me.  Note well that you are responsible for understanding and avoiding plagiarism; ignorance of what constitutes plagiarism will not exempt you from the consequences of having engaged in it.

The Academic Support Center:  Located in Thompson Hall 117, this center provides free tutoring to students of The Citadel seeking improvement in their writing skills.  The Center has a staff of trained tutors who work with students to help them become more effective writers, from planning and organizing a paper, to writing and then proofreading it.  The Academic Support Center is a valuable resource for all students of writing, and I encourage you to make contact with the staff there within the first two weeks of the semester.