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COURSE NAME: "Advanced Composition"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2018

EMAIL: [email protected] cabot.edu
HOURS: TTH 8:30-9:45 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, 3rd editionGerald Graff, Cathy BirkensteinNortonISBN-13: 978-1469028613 ISBN-10: 1469028611 Copies of this book may be found at the Almost Corner Bookshop on Via del Moro.

Note well: Late assignments or missing required assignments will lose five points for each day late  
Quiz/Worksheet/Responses 20
In Class Essays 30
Research Brainstorm Required
Annotated Bibliography and Literature Review 25
Outline Required
Rough Draft Required
Final Paper 20
Final Presentation 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 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 evaluate theory 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 4 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.


Policy note: Please note that all late assignments will lose points for each day it is late. Please also note the absence policy.


Week 1:

Class 1 –

-          Course introduction, grading scale for JCU, syllabus

-          late assignments, absences, unprepared,

-          Electronics in class - what the research says; what the student government has asked

-          Moodle/TurnitinUk

-          response vs. summary worksheet

            Homework: Written responses.

Class 2 -

- How homework is checked

-   Professional register

- 99% Invisible: Visuals, Objects 

- What is design? http://defining-design.net/

            Homework: Written responses and Workshopping

 Week 2

Class 1 -

Brown - "Designers - Think Big"

How to read critically

Burckhardt, Lucius. “Design is Invisible” 1980.

Read and annotate article.


           Homework: Annotation of Source

 Class 2 -

-   Quiz on course policy

-   Burckhardt article

            Homework: Annotation of Source and Written Response

Week 3

 Class 1 -

-   Discuss annotation of article and responses

-   Discuss overlapping issues of sources

            Homework: Prepare for in-class essay on Defining Design. Workshopping.

Class 2 -

In-class essay #1 “Defining Design”.

         Homework: Written Response

Week 4

Class 1 -

- Library session on sourcing and research

              Homework: Annotation and Notes on Articles


 Class 2 -

- Plagiarism and academic honesty

- Paraphrasing exercises

             Homework: Study for plagiarism quiz and read and annotate Douglas Rushkoff, "The Ownership Society" Life, Inc. (2009).


Week 5

 Class 1 -

- Academic honesty quiz

- Rushkoff discussion

- James Howard Kunstler, "The Ghastly Tragedy of the Suburbs" (TED, 2004). http://www.ted.com/talks/james_howard_kunstler_dissects_suburbia


            Homework: Notes on Kunstler and Annotations of reading.

 Class 2

- Discuss overlapping issues of design and where we live. 


            Homework:  Written Responses

 Week 6

Class 1 -

Overlapping issues

          Homework: Workshopping and Prepare for second in-class essay on design and how we live.

Class 2 -

Second in-class essay. Subject: Design and how we live. 

     Homework: Response writing


Week 7
Class 1 -

Unpleasant Design

            Homework: Read and annotate: Savicic and Savic, "Unpleasant Design"

Class 2 -
Article, Research Project, Brainstorm

     Homework: Workshopping, Brainstorm,  Response

Week 8
Overlapping issues, essay preparation, research assignment

     Homework: Prepare for final essay, Workshop

Class 2 -
In Class essay three: Design and Unpleasant Design

      Homework: Revise Brainstorm

Week 9
Class 1
Forming a research question, proposal pitch
      Homework: Write a proposal pitch

Class 2
Library session

           Homework: Make appointment with Librarian and Take Notes on the Annotated Bibliography
Week 10
Class 1
Proposal pitches, Middle of term talking points

   Homework: Work on Annotated Bibliography, Take notes of Review of Literature, Library Worksheet

Class 2
Review of literature, Middle of term talking points
       Homework: Annotated Bibliography

Week 11
Class 1
          Homework: Review of Literature

Class 2
Drafting and introduction
            Homework: Thesis notes, outline


Week 12
Class 1
Thesis statements
          Homework: Work on Draft

Class 2
Workshop drafts

Week 13
Class 1
Transitions, Conclusions
         Homework: Work on final paper

Class 2
Conclusions, Works Cited
        Homework: Work on final paper

Week 14
Papers Due
Final presentation instructions

Finals week
Our final exam could be any day during finals week. Make your plans accordingly.