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COURSE NAME: "Italian Composition"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2017

INSTRUCTOR: Federica Capoferri
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: TTH 4:30-5:45 PM
PREREQUISITES: Prerequisite: Placement or IT 301 or permission of the instructor

In this course students will be guided through a variety of types of writing and styles (e.g., journalistic, business and professional, essay). Although mainly designed for advanced non-native speakers, the course may also be taken by native speakers who wish to improve their writing skills. Students will reinforce their knowledge of grammar and syntax, as well as develop vocabulary. In addition, students will learn fundamental writing techniques, such as organizing ideas, selecting examples, drawing conclusions, and using the appropriate style for the given genre or mode of discourse.

The course has both theoretical and practical components in order to improve the ability of the student to analyze written texts, recognize their different typologies, summarize the topics and use the new vocabulary and the structures studied. On the basis of extensive analysis of a variety of texts, students practice advanced reading and writing skills. Studying elements of advanced grammar and syntax will improve the accuracy of the student’s writing. Working on different typologies of text will develop the student’s ability to analyze, summarize and discuss the topics in the reading texts.
The work on the readings also introduces new vocabulary and part of the course is dedicated to the practice of choosing the most appropriate words. The composition assignments will address different genres of writing, including (but not limited to): blogs, short stories, articles, and reviews.
Work in class also provides the opportunity to check and develop accuracy in critical areas such as spelling, punctuation, and the difference between written and spoken registers.
 The class is given in a workshop format, and student participation is essential to its success. In order to follow the structure of the course and reach the goals, students must follow the timetable of the readings and writings assigned as homework.
Students will work both in groups and individually. Work in class and at home will include summaries, synopses, writing and re-writing, peer reviewing, and related research.

All written assignments must be typed.
Make sure you have time to print them out before class.
Late papers will be penalized (10% each day)
Format for assignments written at home:
Typewritten on standard (A4) paper
Double-spaced to leave room for corrections
Paragraphs indented but no extra spaces between them
Name and date in the top left corner of the first page
Title centered over the essay, capitalized. 


Upon completing this course, students will possess the ability to:
Distinguish the different typologies of the texts, understand and summarize the topics.
Apply the structures necessary for the production of both creative and practical texts.
Produce different type of texts using complex syntax, appropriate expressions and precise, not vague, vocabulary.
Use different registers of Italian, in relation to the text chosen and to their own personal and professional needs


AttendanceYour participation grade will reflect your attendance, effort, and growth. More than 2 absences will result in an F for this portion of your grade. The use of cell phones during class is strictly prohibited. Cell phones should be turned OFF (NOT kept on silent or vibrate mode). Text messaging/instant messaging/internet surfing is also PROHIBITED! If caught using a cell phone or misusing your laptop during class, you will receive a warning. Further violations of this policy will result in an F for this portion of your grade. Students encouraged by the Instructor to go to the FLRC Writing Center are expected to follow the advice. The Writing Center is NOT supposed to provide help for graded assignments but to give students further occasions to practise advance grammar and writing techniques. 10%
2 take-home written compositions Compositons on topics given by the Instructor. NO late assignments (for each day of delay, 2 points taken off from the grade).10%
2 in-class writing testsIn-class compositions on a given topic.10%
midtermIn-class essay20%
finalCumulative exam aimed to assess all the language skills, as well as the grammar proficency. It will include: 1)oral exam 2) reading comprehension 3) listening comprehension 4) writing 25%
HomeworkA continuous writing practice is crucial for this class. Students are supposed to regularly do their homework and to submit to the Instructor when due. Late assignments will not be accepted- More than 2 assignments missed will result in an F for this portion of your grade. 20%
Errors/Corrections Report IStudents are requested to compile a report of their writing mistakes, describe the error and provide the correct form.5%
Errors/Corrections Report II 5%

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 cours
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 andreference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments.
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.
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.
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.

More than 2 classes missed will result in a F for this portion of your grade.
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 the instructor can make changes

Week 1--

Introduction to the course. Brief in-class composition.

Feed-back on students ‘ compositions. Introduction to descriptive texts.

Week 2 –

Descriptive text. How to organize paragraphs with connettivi, locuzioni avverbiali, and congiunzioni.

In class oral and written exercises.

 Week 3—

Text cohesion: continue. In class exercises-

Outline, structure, techniques to avoid repetitions.

 Week 4—

Take-home composition I due. Topic: Vivere a Roma. Pro e contro.

Structure-. In-class exercises.

 Week 5

Feed-back on  home compositions. In class re-writing.

Argumentative texts. How to support your arguments. In-class exercises.

 Week 6—

In-class composition 1.

Discussion and written report on a newspaper article.

Take-home composition revised due.

 Week 7—

Argumentative texts- continue.

Midterm. Composition Portfolio Due

Week 8—

Narrative texts. Readings and in-class exercises.

How to analyze a narrative text-

Week 9.—

Feed-back on  home composition 2. In-class revision.

Take-home composition 2.

 Week 10—

How to write a film review- In class practice

Discussion on report on an Italian movie (TBA)

Week 11—

Continue: How to write a film/book review- In class practice

Discussion on report on an Italian movie (TBA)

Week 12—

In class composition -

Introduction to academic writing.

Summarize, quote, introduce your opinions.

Week 13—

Continue: introduction to academic writing

In-class revision composition 2.Compositon Portofolio Due.

Week 14-

Instructor's feedback on portfolio.