English 111 (025M): College Composition I

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English 111 (025M): College Composition I

Fall 2012, NVCC Manassas Campus, Wednesdays 7:00-9:40 pm, MP 136
Instructor: Mrs. Jennifer Hitchcock email: jhitchcock@nvcc.edu

Office: MC 231 Office hours: W 5:00-6:50 pm and by appointment

Course Description

English 111 introduces students to the fundamentals of college writing as well as writing for the workplace. Through an understanding of the writing process, students will learn to refine topics; develop and support ideas; investigate, evaluate, and incorporate appropriate resources; edit for effective style and usage; and determine appropriate rhetorical choices for a variety of contexts, audiences, and purposes. Formal essays will focus on exposition, argument, and research.
Course Prerequisites

Students must achieve satisfactory scores on placement tests or SATs or have satisfactorily completed ENG 3 and ENG 5.
Course Goals and Objectives

In ENG 111, students will

  • understand that writing is a process that develops through experience and varies among individuals

  • engage in all phases of the writing process: prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, and reflecting

  • incorporate reading and experience into their writing processes

  • analyze and investigate ideas and present them in well-structured prose appropriate to the purpose and audience

  • read, summarize, and respond to college-level texts—their own and others’—of varying lengths

  • create unified, coherent, well-developed texts that demonstrate a self-critical awareness of rhetorical elements such as purpose, audience, and organization

  • appropriately employ grammatical and mechanical conventions in the preparation of readable manuscripts

  • learn how to use and evaluate outside sources of information, incorporate and document source material appropriately, and avoid plagiarism

  • produce 15-20 pages of finished, graded text, including at least one documented essay

Major Topics to be Included

  • Critical thinking

  • Writing process

  • Developing, organizing, and supporting ideas

  • Investigating and evaluating resources

  • Incorporating appropriate resources into text

  • Considering context, audience, and purpose

Required Texts and Materials

  • Back to the Lake, 2nd edition, by Thomas Cooley

  • A Writer’s Reference, 6th (or 7th) edition by Diana Hacker

  • Binder or folder (writing journal)

  • USB/Flash drive to store and backup work

Journals and In-class Writings

In order to foster reflection and critical thinking and practice aspects of the writing process as you work toward writing formal essays, I will assign written responses to questions that relate to course readings and assignment topics. These journal responses—worth 10% of the total course grade—can be handwritten (legibly) or typed, and I only accept them at the beginning of each class for which they are assigned (and only if you are in class). Your journals will be graded on a 0-4 point scale with 4 being an “A”, 3 a “B”, and so on. Students who complete all parts of the journal with minimal, brief responses will usually get a 2 or “C”, while students whose responses demonstrate a higher level of thought, thoroughness, and effort will get a 3 or 4. Students who do not complete all parts of the assignment will usually get a 1 or lower.
I will also frequently assign short in-class writing assignments—often at the beginning of class—that will sometimes be collected. They will count as part of the class participation grade.

I will give five quizzes during the semester that cover course content and will be open notes and book, and they will be completed through Blackboard. Quiz dates are announced on the course schedule. Quiz averages will be based on the best four out of five quizzes, and quizzes cannot be made up if you are absent—unless you have official documentation for your absence.
Participation and Class Success

Part of the course grade will come from class participation in discussions, group work, in-class writings, assignments, and exercises, as well as attendance and coming to class on time. Taking notes, staying awake, asking questions, actively listening, and having an open mind are necessary for your success in this class. All students must also check their college email and Blackboard regularly for class communication from me, including in the case that class is cancelled or the campus is closed due to an emergency. Those who attend class regularly, work hard, and complete all assignments on time will usually succeed in the class with at least a “C” or better. I am here to help you do your best, so please contact me early with any concerns you may have about your work.
Laptops and Cell Phones

In order to avoid disruptions, cell phones should be turned off and not used during class (including texting). Laptops are permitted for taking notes and completing some in-class work as long as the user does not disrupt the class or distract other students (though some in-class writings must be handwritten).

Attendance and punctuality affect your grades for class participation, peer reviews, and journals, and they are very important to your overall grade in this course. Any student who misses more four classes will receive an automatic “F”. If you need to miss class due to serious illness or another official, documentable reason, contact me as soon as possible either before or immediately after you miss class, and you are responsible for checking on Blackboard and with a classmate about what you missed. I will only accept and let you make up missed work without penalty if you provide me with official documentation, such as a doctor’s note.
Evaluation and Grades

Essay #1—3-5 pages; Rhetorical Analysis Essay—due 9/12


Annotated Bibliography—due 9/26


Essay #2—5-7 pages; Argumentative Research Paper—due 10/24


Essay #3—3-5 pages+; Compare and Contrast Essay—due 12/5


Résumé, & Cover Letter—due 12/5


Essay #4—2-3 pages; Final Reflection Essay—due 12/12


Peer Reviews (online and face-to-face)




Journal Responses


Class participation (attendance, punctuality, in-class writings, peer reviews, group work, discussions)


Grading Scale

A = 90-100%

B = 80-89%

C = 70-79%

D = 60-69%

F = 59% and below

Paper Requirements

All papers must be computer processed in Times or Times New Roman, with 12-point font, one-inch margins on all edges, and properly formatted using MLA documentation. They should also be double-spaced and contain your name, the course, and date in the upper left hand corner. Final copies of papers will be submitted to the appropriate link in Blackboard on the due date. Any students that ignore the proper format or length for papers can expect to receive a reduction in their grade for the assignment.
Late Papers

The due dates for papers are listed on the schedule. For every day that a major paper is late, five points (about 1/2 letter grade) will be deducted from its final grade (out of 100%). *If you are having any trouble completing an essay on time, contact me before the due date with your concerns.
Revision Policy

Students have the option of revising and rewriting the first two formal essay assignments for a new grade. I only accept rewrites that include major, global revisions. In order to revise an essay, you must meet with me to discuss your planned revisions and provide me with a revision proposal of no more than one page that describes what you will change, how you will change it, and why. All essay rewrites are due by the last day of class.
Plagiarism and Academic Integrity

Plagiarism means using the exact words, opinions, or factual information from another source without giving that source credit. Writers give credit through the use of accepted documentation styles—parenthetical citation and a Works Cited page in MLA format. Plagiarism is the equivalent of intellectual robbery and is not tolerated in an academic setting. At NVCC we use computer software to check essays for plagiarism. Failure to abide by these guidelines and to cite all sources used will result in a “0” for a particular assignment, a report to the dean, and any further infractions will result in an automatic “F” for the course. Repeated occurrences can ultimately result in your expulsion. You can find more information about plagiarism and NVCC policy in the Student Handbook. If you have any questions about appropriate use and citation of sources, see me.
Reading and Writing Center

I strongly recommend that students take advantage of the free resource of the Reading and Writing Center for help with any aspect of the writing process in this course (and for any other courses). Students can make 30-minute or one hour individual appointments to work one-on-one with a writing consultant by calling 703-257-6699 or stopping by the Tutoring Center at Howsmon Hall, Room 112. Appointments should be made at least two to three days in advance. http://www.nvcc.edu/manassas/reading-writing/
Students with disabilities

Students with disabilities are legally entitled to certain accommodations in the classroom. If you are a student with a disability and you need academic accommodations, contact a Counselor for Disability Services in room MH 110, telephone 703-257-6610 to discuss possible accommodations that may increase your chances of success in the academic setting. All information is kept confidential. http://www.nvcc.edu/current-students/disability-services/index.html
Conferences and Office Hours

If you are having any problems regarding this class, or if you need some advice about your assignments, papers, or other concerns, please stop by my office hours or arrange a time with me to meet. Individual conferences are strongly encouraged before papers are due.
Important Dates

Last day to drop (with tuition refund): Sept. 10

Last day to withdraw (without grade penalty): Oct. 3

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