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

INSTRUCTOR: Christin Campbell
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: MTWTH 11:00AM 12:45PM
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.
This intensive-5 -week course explores a range of fundamental writing strategies and key rhetorical moves to strengthen the skills needed to write a well-organized essay and argumentative research paper. The course is organized as a writing laboratory where students can workshop their writing in a structured environment. It begins with formal and informal register and letter writing; the critical reading of sources, summarizing, paraphrasing, accurate quoting, outlining, paragraphing; it continues with the writing of a research question, the selection of primary and secondary sources, an annotated bibliography, thesis and outline development,  and a review of the literature. Paper formatting must be according to the MLA 8th edition standard, and research and the use of library resources will also be covered. In addition to regular in and out-of-class reading and writing assignments, students are required to write a fully-documented research paper. As this course is intensive, at least 2 hours of homework will be assigned every evening.
Students will be able to write a well-organized, evidence-supported 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 Readings. 3rd EditionGraff, Gerald, Cathy Birkenstein and Russel DurstWW Norton & Co Inc., New York/London978-0-393-93751-0  
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
Models for Writers, 10th EditionAlfred, Rosa and Paul Eschholz. Bedford/St. Martin’s.978-0-312-53113-3  

In class essays (handwritten in class) 30%
Quizzes/Worksheets/Participation/Homework 20%
Annotated bibliography/Review of the Literature 15%
Preliminary Outline REQUIRED
Rough Draft REQUIRED
Final Research Paper 20%
Final Presentation 5%
Literature Review REQUIRED
Research Brainstorm 10

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 assignmen
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.


Since the course is based on a series of in-class writing workshops and activities, regular attendance and class contribution are essential. As such, students are required to attend all class meetings. Students are allowed 3no-questions-asked absences per semester for both the expected (i.e., being the best man in your brother’s wedding) and the unexpected (i.e., a flat tire). Each additional absence beyond the 3 allowed, with the exception of absences excused by the Dean's Office, will result in the reduction of the final grade for the course of 5%. Students who arrive to class after attendance has been taken will be counted as late. Two late arrivals will count as one absence. Note well that 6 absences or more will result in an automatic failure for the course. 

Please note that there is homework in nearly every class so if you are absent, you are still responsible for whatever material was covered in classWhen you are absent, you are responsible for all of the work covered during the lesson.  Papers or homework due on the day of the absence are to be turned in via email or via another student. Do not email the instructor asking what the homework is or what we covered in class: contact a classmate instead. 

Scheduled in-class essays may not be made up unless arrangements are made with the professor before the day of the absence. 

The use of computers and phones is not permitted during class unless indicated by the instructor.  

If a major scheduled grading event (assignment due, in-class workshop/peer review, presentation) is scheduled for that class period, and you don’t show up and don’t have a university-sanctioned excuse (see below) then you will lose the points for that activity. Please refer to the JCU Academic Policies link on the website for the University's Absence Policy.


You cannot make-up a major exam (midterm or final) without the permission of the Dean’s Office. The Dean’s Office will grant such permission only when the absence was caused by a serious impediment, such as a documented illness, hospitalization or death in the immediate family (in which you must attend the funeral) or other situations of similar gravity. Absences due to other meaningful conflicts, such as job interviews, family celebrations, travel difficulties, student misunderstandings or personal convenience, will not be excused. Students who will be absent from a major exam must notify the Dean’s Office prior to that exam. Absences from class due to the observance of a religious holiday will normally be excused. Individual students who will have to miss class to observe a religious holiday should notify the instructor by the end of the Add/Drop period to make prior arrangements for making up any work that will be missed. 
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




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 employs the TurnitinUk platform in paper submission.