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COURSE CODE: "EN 110-10"
COURSE NAME: "Advanced Composition"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2019

INSTRUCTOR: David Castronuovo
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: TTH 11:30-12:45 PM
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

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.
Advanced Composition requires students to produce in-class essays, informal and formal annotations of research sources, a literature review, and an 8-page research paper that is both argumentative and academically rigorous.  Students take weekly quizzes, post blog entries on the course Moodle page, and lead class discussions based on reading assignments. All students take a written final exam.
Students will leave the course knowing how to question, fruitfully, the accuracy and quality of their own writing and research methods.

Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
The Elements of StyleStrunk and WhitePearson0000000000  
They Say / I Say, 3rd ed.Graff and BirkensteinNorton0000000000  
Weekly Quizzes 10%
In-class Essays (#1 counts 5%) (#2 counts 10%) (#3 counts 15%) 30%
Annotated Bibliography 7.5%
Full Sentence Outline 5%
Literature Review 7.5%
Argumentative Research Paper (8 pages + Works Cited) 25%
Final Exam (Paper Presentation + Written Exam) 15%
* FAILURE to attend class, to submit assignments, or to participate fully in class, will result in a significant lowering of the final course grade   

A : Work consistently exceeds the instructor's average expectations for the assignment.
B : Work sometimes/often exceeds the instructor's average expectations for the assignment.
C: Work meets the instructor's average expectations for the assignment.
D: This level of performances demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material. The student at this level omits important information and makes irrelevant points. In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail.
F: This work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant.


 While attending class:

After the first class meeting, students may not use computers in class.

Students must put away cellphones during class and may not use them for any reason.  The instructor will ask students who use cellphones or smart watches to leave the class.


Class members must submit written assignments (on Turnitin/Moodle) in docx form (not PDF).  

The instructor does not accept late assignments.


The instructor does not have the authority to excuse student absences.  Such authority belongs to the Dean of Students.

If, due to absence, the student misses a graded, in-class activity (essay or quiz), there is no make-up; the absent student will receive a zero for graded, in-class activities that s/he misses due to absence.

Absences will affect the student's final course grade significantly, as indicated below.

- First absence: the instructor lowers the final grade by 1%. 

- Second absence: the instructor lowers the final grade by an additional 2%.  

- Third absence: the instructor lowers the final grade by an additional 3%.

- Each subsequent absence will lower the student's final grade by an additional 5%

Students may not make-up a major exam (midterm or final) without the prior permission of the Dean’s Office. The Dean’s Office will grant such permission only when a serious impediment, such as a documented illness, hospitalization, or death in the immediate has caused the absence. 

The instructor will not excuse absences due to other meaningful conflicts, such as job interviews, family celebrations, travel difficulties, student misunderstandings, or personal convenience 

Instructors normally will excuse absences from class due to the observance of a religious holiday. 

Individual students who will 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 relevant work.

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.


The Course Theme:

Reading, writing, and discussion will center on the problems of moral relativism, which the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy defines as "the view that moral judgments are true or false only relative to some particular standpoint (for instance, that of a culture or a historical period) and that no standpoint is uniquely privileged over all others."

Several readings, as well as a field walk to the "Ghetto" section of Rome, will focus on the moral problems surroundings the actions of Pope Pius XII during the deportation of Roman Jews to Auschwitz (World War II, Oct. 1943).

Weeks I --> III

Critical Reading and Summary

Annotation (informal and formal) 

The Research Paper: Topic Selection

Pitching a Topic (oral presentation)

Finding and Evaluating Sources:

- Peer-reviewed Sources (scholarly articles and books, both in print and online)

- Informational sources (newspaper articles, websites)

Documentation in MLA style: In-Text (Parenthetical) Citation of Sources

Zotero (bibliographical tool)

The Works Cited

Plagiarism and Paraphrasing

Paragraphs and Topic Sentences

Grammar Review 

In-class Writing Assignment #1

Weeks IV --> VI

The Annotated Bibliography

The Works Cited

Grammar Review (II)

The Writer's Voice (I)

The Literature Review

Organization of the Research Essay

 In-class Writing Assignment #2

Weeks VII --> IX

 The Argumentative Academic Research Paper: Refining the Topic

The Argumentative Thesis Statement

Development of Ideas

Organization of the Argument

The Full-sentence Outline

Research / Argument / Opinion: Finding the correct balance

In-class Writing Assignment #3 

Grammar Review (III)

First Draft of the Argumentative Academic Research Paper

Weeks X --> XII 

The Writer's Voice (II)

Drafting and Editing

Adding / Eliminating Sources

Grammar Review (IV)

Transitions 1 (sentence to sentence)

Transitions 2 (paragraph to paragraph)

In-class Essay #3

Weeks XIII --> XIV


Final Draft of the Argumentative Research Paper  

Preparation of the Final Presentation (oral presentation of the research paper)

Week XV

Written Final Exam