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

INSTRUCTOR: Christin Campbell
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: MTWTH 1:30-2:50 PM
PREREQUISITES: This course carries 6 semester hours of credit. Prerequisite: Placement via JCU English Composition Placement Exam

This intensive course has two components. One concentrates on developing the ability to write grammatically and idiomatically correct English prose, and includes an in-depth grammar review and examination of academic register. The other focuses on the elements of academic writing, from sentence structure through effective paragraph writing in essays, and introduces 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. Individual students in EN 103 may be required to complete additional hours in the English Writing Center as part of their course requirements. Students must receive a grade of C or above in this course to be eligible to take EN110. Students who receive a grade ranging from C- to D- can take EN105 or repeat EN103. Students who receive an F must repeat EN103.

This course reflects the building blocks of writing of a good essay. Class time will be devoted to narrative, definitive, comparative and persuasive essay writing techniques.  The course begins with the basics of the sentence, from spelling, punctuation and syntax to structure, style and vocabulary, and moves onto examining good sentence construction, with particular emphasis on transitional words and phrases, and how to combine several sentences together to form intelligent and cohesive paragraphs.  We will then embark on writing by reading a variety of essays, listening to podcasts and using other academic media 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. These elements will be reinforced by regular writing activities which will allow the students to become aware of their own individual voice and ability to apply critical thinking in their academic work. Learning is hands-on in this class: You will participate in discussion and exercises in a practical, workshop-oriented atmosphere. Emphasis will be on developing critical thinking, and on the generation and revision of papers aided by peer reviews as the foundation for excellent writing.




Midterm Outcomes

By mid-term of EN103 successful (grade of C) students should be able to:


-Write grammatically and idiomatically correct English prose

-Clearly differentiate between dependent and independent clauses

-Understand simple, compound and complex sentence structure


-Punctuate sentences correctly


-Read to comprehend complex material

-Read and think critically

-Critically read and annotate an article/text


-Understand how to expand vocabulary through reading and writing

-Develop subject specific terminology through reading and writing


-Write academically by constructing effective sentences and paragraphs


-Write an outline

-Understand the introduction-body-conclusion structure

-Use parallel structure effectively

-Understand topic sentences and how they shape the paragraph

-Construct effective supporting sentences using varied/unvaried, subordinate and periodic sentence construction

-Utilize transition signals to form a paragraph that flows

-Understand academic register and write for an academic audience

-Write with unity and coherence

-Use quotations correctly

-Write a wonderful narrative essay

-Write a clear definition essay

-Write a sophisticated cause and effect essay


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

-Be familiar with research skills including

-Basic library tools - catalog keyword searches, call numbers, Boolean searches, and reference sources

-Utilize basic MLA format to submit their work

-Understand how to avoid plagiarism


End of Course Learning Outcomes     

Students who successfully complete EN103 (with a grade of C or higher) should be able to



-Write grammatically and idiomatically correct English prose with more sophistication


-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 effective paragraphs and essays


-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:

The use of primary and secondary sources

Understanding databases, web-based sourcing, and source evaluation

-Utilize MLA format to cite sources ad understand in-text citation

-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 do a little experiment to see how many people read this syllabus. If you've made it this far, please use google images to find a picture of the 80's tv character, "Alf"and send it to me in an email with the subject line "It's Alf."

Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
Readings for Writers 11th EditionMc Cuen, Jo Ray and Anthony C. Winkler Eds.,Thomson/Wadsworth0-8384-0546-0  
Models for Writers 10th EditionRosa, Alfred and Paul Eschholz, Eds.Bedford/St. Martin's0-312-53113-3  

One At Home EssayOne at-home essay15%
In Class Essays2 in-class essays30%
Final ExamThe final exam is divided in two-parts: 1) A comprehensive exam that will consist of multiple choice, true-false, fill-in-the blank, error correction questions, reading comprehension. 2) Part 2: A five-paragraph argumentative essay.20%
Graded QuizzesThere are two graded quizzes, each worth 5% of your final grade.10%
ParticipationCf. my guidelines regarding what this means under "Attendance Requirements"5%
HomeworkHomework will include grammar practice assignments, short writing assignments, any extra quizzes, and other assignments.20%

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.
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 6no-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 6 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 also note that the Participation 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.  You may be asked to bring your tablet or laptop on occasion.

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 the schedule is tentative and subject to change. There will be numerous readings assigned throughout the semester both in and out of class, each connected to a select theme related to to the topic that week.

Week 1:   Introductions and the Sentence-Introductions, Syllabus, Writing Program, Texts, Academic Honesty, Turnitin.uk, Writing Center, Expectations, The Sentence-Types of Sentences

Week 2:  The Sentence-Parallelism, Sentence Problems; Noun Clauses and Adverb Clauses; Critical Reading and Annotation; the Writing Process, Timed Essay Strategies, 

Week 3:The Paragraph-Paragraph Structure; Topic sentences, supporting sentences, concluding sentences; Outlining

Week 4: The Paragraph
-Unity and Coherence; Simplifying writing; Transition signals; Summary and Paraphrase

Week 5:  The Paragraph-Characteristics of a well-designed paragraph; Vern tense shifts; Supporting Details and Quotations;

Week 6:  From Paragraph to Essay-Three parts of an essay-Introduction, Body and Conclusion; the Narrative Essay

Week 7:The Narrative Essay cont.; the Definition Essay

Week 8:  Essay-The Definition Essay cont.; the Cause and Effect Essay; Conferences, and Mid Term Warnings

Week 9: Essay-The Compare and Contrast Essay; Primary Sources and Secondary Sources

Week 10:   Research-Conducting Research and Plagiarism; Conference on research proposal and Library Visits

Week 11: Research-MLA and APA Formatting; Works Cited; Parenthetical Citation; Compare and Contrast cont; Introduction to Argument

Week 12: Argument-Elements of Argument; Persuasion; The Thesis Statement

Week 13:  Classical Rhetorical Strategies; Defining Rhetoric; Ethos, Pathos and Logos; Cicero’s Model of Argument Arrangement, Inductive and Deductive Reasoning; Logical Fallacies

Week 14: Argument and Final Exam Preparation