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

EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: MW 8:20-9:40 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 prepares students to read, think, and write critically. Students will develop their ability to read critically and analyze primary and secondary sources, hone their composition skills through in and out of class essays, and will complete the course by writing and revising a fully-documented and well-reasoned research paper, complemented by an annotated bibliography and literature review. EN110 focuses on the argumentative form, encouraging students to position their work within current critical discourses. The course develops the following skills: source selection and interrogation, identification and contextualization of themes, thesis development and defense, digital literacies, use of library resources, and careful citation in MLA style. 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.

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, and thesis development. Research and use of library resources will also be covered. Students will be required to submit assignments through TurnitinUK.

This particular section encourages students to identify an area of interest early in the semester and propose a topic for the research project based on this interest. By the end of the semester, students will be expected to have developed a specialization in their research topic, which must be exhibited in the final paper and presentation.
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 NumberCommentsFormatLocal BookstoreOnline Purchase
Rules for Writers 9th EditionDiana Hacker and Nancz SommersBedford/St. Martin's131905742X 8th or 9th edition   

In-Class WritingWarm Ups, Reflections, Responses & Analyses30
Final ExamReflective Writing5
Research ProjectTopic Proposal (5%) Annotated Bibliography (15%) First Draft of the Research Paper (15%) Final Draft of the Research Paper (20%) Presentation (10%)65

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.
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.

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. As a common courtesy, students are asked to notify the instructor before the scheduled class time to communicate your tardiness or absence. Please refer to the JCU catalog for the attendance and absence policies.
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.


Week 1: Choosing an Area of Interest
  • Introduction to Course
  • Reflective Writing
  • Statement of Purpose
Week 2: Identifying a Starting Point
  • Engagement with Texts
  • Topic Proposal Due
Week 3: Becoming A Writer's Reader
  • Engagement with Texts
  • Analytical Writing
  • Thesis Development
Week 4: Presenting What "They Say"
  • Research
  • Annotation
  • Annotated Bibliography Due

Week 5: Planning Your Research Paper

  • Engagement with Models & Templates
  • Revisiting the Thesis
  • Brainstorming & Outlining
Week 6: Putting Pen to Paper
  • Drafting
  • First Draft Due
Week 7: Sharing Your Research
  • Presentations
Week 8: Sharing Your Research
  • Presentations

Week 9: Reworking a Piece

  • Workshop
  • Revising
Week 10: Preparing for Submission
  • Workshop
  • Final Paper Due
Week 11: Seeing the Bigger Picture
  • Final Presentations
Week 12: Seeing the Bigger Picture
  • Final Presentations

Week 13: Switching Gears

  • Project Proposal
Week 14: Catch Up

Week 15: Reflecting on the Experience
  • Final Exam
  • Reflective Writing