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COURSE NAME: "Advanced Composition"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Summer Session I 2017

EMAIL: [email protected] cabot.edu
HOURS: MTWTH 9:00 AM 10:45 AM
PREREQUISITES: Prerequisite: Placement via JCU English Composition Placement Exam or completion of either EN 103 or EN 105 with a grade of C or above
OFFICE HOURS: By appointment

This course reinforces the skills needed to write well-organized essays, focusing specifically on argumentative essays. Elements covered include thesis development, critical reading, organizing and outlining, paraphrasing and summarizing, and citation and documentation standards. Techniques of academic research and the use of the library and other research facilities are discussed. In addition to regular in- and out-of-class reading and writing assignments, students are required to write a fully documented research paper. Students must receive a grade of C or above in this course to fulfill the University’s English Composition requirement and to be eligible to take courses in English literature. Individual students in EN 110 may be required to complete additional hours in the English Writing Center as part of their course requirements.
The course examines a range of fundamental writing strategies, starting with grammar, critical reading of sources, summarizing, paraphrasing and proper quoting; it continues with the writing of a topic proposal, selection and citation of sources, literature review, and thesis development. Research and use of library resources will also be covered. Students will be required to submit assignments through TurnitinUK.
Students will learn to write a well-organized and error-free argumentative research paper. By the end of the course students will be able to:


            Write sophisticated as well as grammatically and idiomatically correct English prose


             Read to comprehend increasingly complex material

             Read and think critically


              Expand vocabulary through reading and writing

              Develop subject specific terminology through reading and writing


             Write well-organized essays, focusing specifically on argumentative essays

             Write a strong and developed thesis statement with supporting arguments

             Think, read, write critically for an academic audience

              Write a developed outline

              Paraphrase and summarize

Cite and write using documentation

             Write a fully documented research paper

Research and sourcing (can be covered by a librarian in one or more workshops in the library)

Be familiar with research and information literacy skills including                      

                        - A reinforcement of searching skills: catalog, database, and web sourcing

                         - Source evaluation

                         - Subject searching

                         - Utilize MLA style for all aspects of a research paper

                         - Understand how to avoid plagiarism

Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
They Say, I Say with readingsGerald Graff, et al.Norton978-0-393-91275-3 There is a copy of this book on reserve at the library.
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
Models for Writers, 10th edAlfred, Rosa and Paul EschholzBedford/St. Martin's978-0-312-53113-3  

Quizzes/Worksheets/Homework 20
In class essays (handwritten in class) 30
Research Brainstorm 10
Annotated Bibliography/Review of Literature 15
Preliminary Outline Required
Rough Draft Required
Final Research Paper 20
Final Presentation 5
Note well: Late assignments will lose five points for each day late  

AWork of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information or content. This type of work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and has an element of novelty and originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of reading beyond that required for the course. (90-92 = A-; 93-100 = A)
BThis is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised.There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluatetheory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture and reference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments. (80-82 = B-; 83-86 = B; 87-89 = B+)
CThis is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings. (70-72 = C-; 73-76 = C; 77-79 = C+)
DThis level of performances demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material. Important information is omitted and irrelevant points included. In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail. (60-62 = D-; 63-66 = D; 67-69 = D+)
FThis work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant. (<60) Note well: Each assignment handed in late will be subject to a loss of five points for each day it is late.

Students are required to attend all scheduled class meetings. Students are allowed 2 absences during the term (excused or unexcused). Each additional absence beyond the four allowed will result in the reduction in the final grade for the course by 5%. Students arriving to class after attendance has been taken will be counted as late. Two late arrivals will count as an absence. Please refer to the JCU catalog for the attendance and absence policies. Please note that there is homework in nearly every class, so if you are absent it is your responsibility to call a classmate for the assignment.
As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.


Please note that this schedule will change depending on course progress. Always check Moodle for the most accurate schedule. There will be in and out of class readings assigned throughout the semester related to the topic that week. Homework will be assigned daily. Be prepared for a minimum of two hours of homework each night. Students who do not come prepared to class with every below-listed element will lose points.

Week 1:  22-25 May

Monday 22 May

Introduction to Course

  • Syllabus and Requirements-Goals, Expectations and Texts
  • Grading Policy and Academic Honesty Policy
  • Moodle and Turn It In.Uk
  • Writing Center
  • Email Etiquette
  • Formal and Informal Register: Letter Writing
  • Grammar review, Run-ons, fragments, semi-colons and commas


  • Graff et al. Ch. 1 “They Say: Writing as Response. Entering the Conversation and the Argument"
  • Graff et. al. Ch. 2 “Her Point is: the Art of Summarizing"
  • Pico Iyer New York Times article “The Joy of Quiet"


  • Formal register writing

Tuesday 23 May       

  • Quiz on course policy/syllabus
  • Critical Reading, Source Criticism, Evaluating Sources
  • Annotating
  • The Characteristics of Summary
  • Listen to Sylvia Boorstein read Pablo Neruda’s “Beautiful Ode to Silence”
  • Begin reading and annotating Pico Iyer “The Joy of Quiet"


  • Finish reading and annotating, and bring Iyer annotation of Pico Iyer’s to class.
  • Listen to On Being Podcast Gordon Hempton “The Joy of Quiet” and take notes. Be ready to discuss.


  • Summary of podcast or Iyer article using techniques learned in class.                        

Wednesday 24 May

  • Discuss Gordon Hempton Podcast
  • Paraphrasing
  • Narrative Essay Techniques


  • Read Models for Writers (MFW) pp. 7-22 “The Writing Process”
  • Read Models for Writers (MFW) pp. 357-360 “Narration"

Thursday 25 May

            In class essay #1-1 hour

            Library Visit #1


  • Study University Academic Honesty Policy and watch video in preparation for quiz
  • Read Graff et al. Ch. 3 “As he himself puts it: the Art of Quoting.” Be ready to present.
  • Read and annotate Rushkoff pp. 72-83 “The New Old Urbanism”


  • Write a response to Rushkoff, print and bring to class. (How to on Moodle)

Week 2: 29 May-1 June

Monday 29 May

  • Quiz on Academic Honesty
  • Response to Rushkoff
  • Quiz on Rushkoff
  • Check over Rushkoff annotation
  • "The Art of Quoting" presented

Listening/Writing: Listen and write responses to each of these. For how to write a response, see Moodle.


Tuesday 30

  • Discuss homework sources
  • Relate these sources to Rushkoff 


Wednesday 31

  • Discuss Kunstler and the landscapes.
  • Read Burkhardt in class weaving Kunstler and Landscapes
  • Introduce research project

Writings/For next class:

  • Prepare for essay 2 on Urban and Suburban design – You may bring in handwritten notes, one side of one page, don’t write microscopically.
  • Write a topic brainstorm (two paragraphs) on any aspect of design thinking, so start with a problem and think about a solution.
    • How to rehouse the homeless in abandoned properties
    • Bikesharing in Rome
    • How to improve the foster-care system in the US
    • How to implement maternity leave policies in the US
    • Dead White Men: Solving the problem of the Western literary Canon
  • Meet Offsite tomorrow. Be sure you know where we are meeting. If you do not know, call multiple colleagues until you find out. Do not miss class because you did not know where to go.

Thursday 1 June

  • Students hand in drafts of their brainstorms.
  • In class essay no. 2-1 hour.
  • Library session 2 on research


  • Revise brainstorms. Due Monday.
  • Meet with librarians. Make appointments first!
  • Start reading and annotating sources as much as you can.
  • Fill out library worksheet. Due next Wednesday, June 7.

Week 3: 5-8 June

Monday 5

  • Conferences
  • Brainstorm Due


  • Keep working on Library Worksheet. Due Wednesday
  • Read Graff Ch. 4 “Yes, No, Okay But: Three Ways to respond” and be ready to present.
  • Watch Video on "How to Write a Research Question". Take notes. Be ready to present.

Tuesday 6

  • Students present Graff Ch. 4-“Three Ways to Respond”
  • Present How to Write Research Question


      1. Consult Purdue Owl on “Annotated Bibliography”
      2. Watch Video on Annotated Bibliographies. Take notes. Notes will be checked.
      3.  Source Evaluation Matrix-Print and fill out for each source.
      4. Write your research question. Print and bring to class.
      5. Finish Library Worksheets. Due tomorrow.

Wednesday 7

  • Library worksheets Due
  • How to Write an Annotated Bibliography-students present
  • Workshop research questions

Writing: Finish Annotated Bibliography. Submit to Moodle and bring to class.

Thursday 8

  • Annotated Bibliography Due on Moodle and in class.
  • How to Write A Literature Review

Writing:  Write Literature Review over the weekend. Submit to Moodle. Print and bring to class on Monday.


Week 4: 12-15 June

Monday 12

  • Literature Reviews-due today
  • How to Write an Outline
  • How to Write a Thesis Statement.


  • Write outline and thesis. Print and bring to class.
  • Read Graff Ch. 6 “Planting A Naysayer” and be ready to present.
  • Print "Village where Everyone has Dementia" article posted to Moodle. Bring to class.

Tuesday 13

  • Outline and Thesis due-workshop
  • Planting A Naysayer-Students present
  • Naysayer-in-class exercise. Hodgewey article. 


  • Write rough draft-1,000 words (3-4 pages)

Wednesday 14

  • Last day to Withdraw from course
  • Parts of the Paper: Intro and Body

 Writing: Keep working on rough draft. Due tomorrow.

Thursday 15

  • Rough draft due and workshop
  • MLA In-text citation


  •  Study for MLA quiz
  • Come prepared with questions-student leads paper conference on Monday

Week 5: 19-22 June

Monday 19

  • MLA Quiz
  • Conferences papers-debrief rough draft workshop-student leads


  • Work on papers

Tuesday 20

  • Conclusion
  • Work on papers         

Reading/Writing: Work on papers


Wednesday 21

Final papers due


Thursday 22



Friday 23

Final Exam – Do not make travel plans for earlier than 4 p.m. on this day.


NB: *Remember that according to John Cabot’s grading scale, an essay that earns a “B” demonstrates reading beyond what is required in class. An “A” does this while also demonstrating novelty and originality. If you decide to go for the A or B, have you done reading beyond what was assigned?


Offsite days: On these days, we will meet elsewhere in the university. If you do not know where to meet, it is your responsibility to call multiple colleagues to find out.

 Offsite Visit 1- Thursday, 25 May

Offsite Visit 2- Thursday, 1 June


Class Main Texts:  Graff, Gerald, Cathy Birkenstein and Russel Durst. They Say, I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing, with Readings. 3rd ed., W.W. Norton & Co Inc., 2015.

 Required Reserved Reading:  Alfred, Rosa and Paul Eschholz. Models for Writers, 10th ed. Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2010.

This course requires submission through Turnitinuk