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COURSE NAME: "Advanced Composition"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Spring 2021

INSTRUCTOR: Christin Campbell
EMAIL: ccampbell@johncabot.edu
HOURS: TTH 11:30 AM 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
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.
This course explores a range of fundamental writing strategies and key rhetorical moves to strengthen the skills needed to write a well-organized essay and argumentative research paper. The course is organized as a writing laboratory where students can workshop their writing in a structured environment. It begins with formal and informal register and letter writing; the critical reading of sources, summarizing, paraphrasing, accurate quoting, outlining, paragraphing; it continues with the writing of a topic proposal, the selection of primary and secondary sources, and thesis development. Paper formatting according to the MLA standard, research and the use of library resources will also be covered. In addition to regular in and out-of-class reading and writing assignments, students are required to write a fully-documented research paper.
Students will be able to write a well-organized, evidence-supported and error-free argumentative research paper.
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
"They Say, I Say: the Moves that Matter in Academic Writing" with readings (any edition)Graff et alW.W. Norton & Company978-0-393-93843-2  

In class essaysThere are two in-class essays, worth 15% each.30%
Homework This includes everything I may assign outside of what is listed on the syllabus; i.e., the responses, any worksheets, any readings and annotations, notes on any podcasts or talks. 5 points off for each day an assignment is late.20%
Annotated bibliography and Literature Review7.5% each15%
Outline"Required" means that this assignment is due and is an essential aspect of your research paper. It is, however, not graded. Those who do not come prepared with this assignment will be marked down 5% of their overall grade.REQUIRED
Rough Draft1000 words. ibid.REQUIRED
Final Research Paper2000 words25%
Final PresentationInformal, five-minute pitch where you establish your thesis in the context of one academic discipline, your counter arguments and your conclusion. This will count as your final exam.5%
Research Brainstorm  REQUIRED
ParticipationCf. carefully my note on what participation consists of below.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 assignment
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. 

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.

*Due to Covid restrictions, and since we cannot exchange any paper by hand in class, you will need to have a laptop in class at all times so that you can access all of the readings, assignments and materials for peer workshopping, etc. 

If a major scheduled grading event (assignment due, in-class essay, 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 this 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:            

Introduction to Course
Syllabus and Requirements-Goals, Expectations and Texts

Grading Policy
Email Etiquette
Formal and Informal Register: Letter Writing

Grammar review, Run-ons, fragments

HW/Reading: Study for syllabus quiz; Sign up/create account for Moodle; Read Graff et. al. Introduction and Ch. 2 “Her Point is: the Art of Summarizing” and WRP Ch. 8 "Reading and Evaluating Sources" p.127-142 8e

Week 2:           

Quiz on course policy/syllabus
Critical Reading, Source Criticism, Evaluating Sources

The Characteristics of Summary
Paraphrasing and Plagiarism

Descriptive Essay Techniques

HW/Reading:  Read WRP Ch. 7 "Avoiding Plagiarism" p.116 7d-123 7f; At home summary; Read MFW p. 7-12 “The Writing Process;” Prepare for in class essay no. 1 with assigned readings and podcast.                                                                                                                

Week 3:           

In class essay #1
Workshop In class essay #1
MFW p. 12-22 “The Writing Process.”  Study University Plagiarism policy in preparation for quiz. Read Graff et al. Ch. 1 “They Say: Writing as Response. Entering the Conversation and the Argument.” Bring laptops to workshop essay #1 for Wednesday’s class.

Week 4

Quiz on plagiarism
Entering the Conversation and the Argument
Ways of Responding: Agreeing and Disagreeing Simultaneously
The Art of Quoting

In class essay # 2

Read Graff et al. Ch. 3 “As he himself puts it: the Art of Quoting” and Ch. 4 “Three Ways to Respond.” Read and annotate other assigned articles. Read WRP: Ch. 5 "Using Library Sources” p. 83-101 5i ; WRP Ch. 2 "Topic Selection” pp. 31 2a-50 2g. Meet in Library on Monday.

Week 5: 

Library session #1 on sourcing and doing research
Introduce final research paper topics
Workshop in class essays #2

 Write assigned paragraphs.  Bring laptops to workshop essay #2 on Wednesday. Revise in class essay no. 2 and load to Moodle by Friday, 24 February at 5 pm. Read WRP Ch. 3 pp. 51-59 3h “Organizing Ideas and Setting Goals.” Other assigned reading.

Week 6: 

Brainstorm disciplines for papers
Discuss assigned reading
Library session #2 on sourcing and doing research 

HW/Reading: Continue other assigned readings. Begin researching final papers. Make appointments with Librarians. Library worksheets due Wednesday, 8 March.

Week 7

Finish discussion of reading and literary themes.
Parts of the paper: How to write an annotated bibliography

HW/Reading: Finish other assigned readings. Read WRP Ch. 8 pp. 143 8f-145 “Preparing an Annotated Bibliography.” Study all sources on Moodle on annotated bibliography and be ready to present in class. Begin writing annotated bibliography due Wed., 22 March. Prepare for in class essay #3. Library worksheets due next week.

Week 8: 

In class essay #3
Workshop in class essay #3

Library worksheets due

Conferences and Mid-term Evaluations

HW/Reading: Bring laptops to workshop essay no. 3 on Wednesday. Study all sources posted on Moodle regarding MLA 8th edition formatting basics, page layout and paragraphing, and formatting quotations. In particular, study MLA 8th edition “In-text citations” and be ready to present in class.

Week 9:

Mid-Term Warnings Issued

Primary vs. Secondary Sources; Bias and Objective Sources
MLA 8th edition discussion-Formatting Basics, Page Layout and Paragraphing, and
Parenthetical Citation-Works Cited
Quiz on MLA
Parts of the paper: How to Write a Thesis discussion
How to draft a research proposal

: Prepare for Quiz on MLA; Study sources on Moodle on how to write a thesis. Read WRP “Proposal” p. 25-26 1d; p. 45-46 2g “Drafting a Research Proposal: the Short Proposal.” Begin working on research proposals due on Monday, 27 March.   Read Ch. 9 “Developing Outlines and Writing Effective Notes” pp. 153 9a-163 9f. Annotated bibliography due next week.

Week 10: 

Parts of the Paper-How to write an outline
How to write a review of the literature discussion

Annotated bibliography due

HW/Reading: Read WRP “Review the Literature" p. 221 12a- 146-152 146. Study sources posted on Moodle and be ready to present in class on Wednesday. Begin working on literature review due on Wednesday, March 29.  Read Ch. 5 Graff “Distinguishing what you say from what they say.” Begin work on preliminary outline due Monday, 10 April. Research proposals due next week. Literature review due next week.

Week 11: 

Research Proposals due
Academic Writing and Your Own Voice
Review of Literature due
Planting a Naysayer: Addressing your critics

HW/Reading: Read Graff Ch. 6 “Planting a naysayer in your text”.” Over Spring Break: Finish work on outlines. Read Graff Ch. 9 “Ain’t so, Is not.” Read WRP Ch. 12 “Writing the Introduction, Body and Conclusion" pp. 218-235 12c. Outline due after Spring Break.


Week 13: 

Outline due
Ain’t So, Is Not: Mixing the Academic and the Colloquial
Parts of the Paper: How to write the Introduction, Body and Conclusion
So What, Who Cares: Saying Why it Matters
As a Result: Connecting the Parts
Argument and Logical Fallacies

HW/Reading: Read WRP Ch. 10 p. 175 10a-191 10f “Drafting the Paper in the Academic Style.” Read Graff et al. Ch. 7 “So What, Who Cares: Saying Why it Matters” and Ch. 8 “As a Result: Transitions-Connecting the Parts.” Read MFW “Argument” p. 525-531

Rough draft due end of next week.

Week 14: 

Rough draft due (Workshop)
Final course evaluations

HW/Reading: Finish final papers and presentations

Week 15: 

Final papers due-in class presentations

NO FINAL EXAM WEEK. I will be available for consultations.