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COURSE NAME: "English Composition"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2020

INSTRUCTOR: Christin Campbell
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: TTH 11:30-12:50 PM
PREREQUISITES: Prerequisite: Placement via JCU English Composition Placement Exam
OFFICE HOURS: by appointment via MS teams

This course concentrates on the development of effective paragraph writing in essays while introducing students to the various rhetorical modes. Elements covered include outlining, the introduction-body-conclusion structure, thesis statements, topic sentences, supporting arguments, and transition signals. Students will also become familiar with the fundamentals of MLA style, research and sourcing, as well as information literacy. To develop these skills, students will write in- and out-of-class essays. Critical reading is also integral to the course, and students will analyze peer writing as well as good expository models. Students must receive a grade of C or above in this course to be eligible to take EN 110. Individual students in EN 105 may be required to complete additional hours in the English Writing Center as part of their course requirements.
This course emphasizes the planning, writing and revising of compositions and focuses on the development of critical and logical thinking skills. Class time will be devoted to writing that stresses analytical, evaluative, persuasive, and argumentative writing.  We will embark on writing by reading a variety of essays, poems, articles, and podcasts meant to spur class discussion and provide fertile material for different types of composition. We will also do a great deal of "writing practice" or in-class writing and revision, and peer review assignments using rubrics. Grammar and structural issues will be reviewed as needed. Learning is hands-on in this class. You will participate in discussion and exercises in a practical, workshop-oriented atmosphere. Emphasis will be on honing critical thinking, and on the generation and revision of papers aided by regular peer reviews as the foundation for excellent writing. Students may be required to submit their work through TurnitinUK.

Students who successfully complete EN 105 (with a grade of C or higher) should be able to


·      Write grammatically and idiomatically correct English prose with more sophistication



·      Read to comprehend complex material

·      Read and think critically



·      Expand vocabulary through reading and writing

·      Develop subject specific terminology through reading and writing



·      Write effective paragraphs and essays

·      Summarize critically

·      Understand how to recognize and utilize rhetorical modes

·      Construct detailed outlines

·      Understand the introduction-body-conclusion structure

·      Write a strong thesis statement

·      Construct topic sentences and supporting arguments

·      Utilize transition signals to form an essay that flows                               

·      Think, read, and write critically for an academic audience


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

·      Be familiar with research skills including

o   Understanding databases, web-based sourcing, and source evaluation

·      Utilize MLA format to cite sources

·      Understand how to avoid plagiarism

NB: You should always feel free to contact me with any concerns you may have about the class or issues you may be struggling with. The sooner you write, the sooner I can help.

Let's see who is reading this syllabus. Please do a search for the 1980's sci fi TV character Mork and send me a picture of him in an email.

Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
Models for Writers: Short Essays for Composition (Tenth Edition)Alfred, Rosa and Paul Eschholz, eds.Bedford/St. Martin'sISBN-10: 0-312-53113-3  
Readings for Writers Eleventh EditionMcCuen, Jo Ray and Anthony C. Winkler, eds.Thomson/WadsworthISBN: 0-8384-0546-0  

Two in class essaysThere are two, five-paragraph, in-class essays.30%
At home essayThere is one, five-paragraph, at-home essay.15%
Final examThe final exam will consist of-at the professor's discretion-a reading, a listening, or video, and an argumentative essay in response to the sources.20%
HomeworkHomework will consist of many elements: readings, peer reviews, responses, summaries, worksheets et al. 20%
Major QuizzesThere will be two major quizzes, each worth 5 % of your final grade.10%
ParticipationCf. Read carefully my note about what participation means under "Attendance Requirements."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
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. 

5% of your final grade will reflect your timeliness, your work ethic, your attentiveness, your grit and perseverance, your inquisitiveness and creativity, and your respect for your colleagues. If you are dwindling in these areas, you will be given an opportunity at the Mid-term conference to improve your conduct after which point, should you not improve, you grade will be thusly affected.

Writing Center: I encourage you all to visit the Writing Center as good practice for excellent composition. As such, I may take into consideration your Writing Center attendance in calculating your final grade if: 1) at the end of the semester your grade is on the cusp i.e., a 79.9% and 2) your writing has demonstrably improved as a result of your having put into practice what you have learned at the writing center.

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 class. 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 and of course, check Moodle.

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 cell phones is not permitted during class unless indicated by the instructor.  During this particular semester, you may be asked to bring in your laptop or tablet from time to time.

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 Moodle more accurately reflects the course schedule. Please check there. Also, the course schedule will change depending on course progress. There will be in and out of class readings assigned throughout the semester related to the topic that week. Homework will be assigned daily. 

Week 1:  Orientation-Introductions, Syllabus, Writing Program, Texts, Academic Honesty, Turnitin.uk, Writing Center, Expectations, Pet Peeves, The Paragraph, Descriptive Essay

Week 2:  From Paragraph to Essay-Three parts of an essay-Introduction, Body and Conclusion; Thesis; Descriptive Essay cont.

Week 3: The Essay- The Definition Essay; Unity and Coherence; Outlining; Supporting Details and Quotations

Week 4:  The Essay-The Definition Essay cont;
The Division and Classification Essay;

Week 5:  The Essay-The Division and Classification Essay cont.;

Week 6:  The Essay- The Compare and Contrast Essay; Primary and Secondary Sources

Week 7: The Essay-The Compare and Contrast Essay cont.,

Week 8:  The Essay-The Cause and Effect Essay

Week 9:  Research- Conducting Research and Plagiarism; Quotations; MLA, Formatting, Works Cited and Parenthetical Citation; and Library Visits

Week 10:  The Essay-Cause and Effect Essay cont.

Week 11: Argument-Summary and Paraphrase; The Thesis Statement, Introduction to Argument

Week 12:  Argument-Elements of Argument, Defining Rhetoric; Ethos, Pathos and Logos

Week 13: Argument-Classical Rhetorical Strategies; Cicero’s Model of Argument Arrangement, Inductive and Deductive Reasoning; Logical Fallacies

Week 14: Final Exam Preparation