JCU Logo


COURSE CODE: "EN 110-10"
COURSE NAME: "Advanced Composition"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Spring 2021

INSTRUCTOR: Andrea Rossi
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: TTH 4:30-5:45 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 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 aims to develop and hone advanced academic writing and reading skills necessary for your university career and beyond. The lessons will focus on reading and analysing source materials, utilizing critical thinking strategies, understanding what constitutes valid claims and arguments, recognizing appeals to the reader, and identifying and refuting common fallacies. The five-stage writing process will be followed to produce argumentative papers utilizing research techniques, including library sources, Zotero, formatting and citations standards. Students will be required to produce various in-class and out-of-class writing assignments including a topic proposal, a detailed outline, critical summaries, a literature review, an annotated bibliography, and a critically argued and fully sourced 2000-word term paper. Students must receive a grade of C or above in this course to fulfill the University’s English Composition requirement and be eligible to take courses in English literature. Students will be required to submit assignments through TurnitinUK.


At the end of the course, the student will be able to

Understand rhetoric and write:

  • utilizing advanced writing strategies

  • coherent and cohesive argumentative papers

  • and develop strong thesis statements

  • clear and concise supporting arguments

  • a topic proposal

  • a detailed outline

  • critical summaries and paraphrases

  • effectively following the 5 stages of the writing process: planning, drafting, revising, editing and proofreading

  • a literature Review

  • an annotated Bibliography

Read and think critically:

  • analysing claims and arguments from source material

  • understanding appeals, as well as common fallacies

  • annotating texts effectively

  • using strategies to summarize and paraphrase texts

  • analysing and understanding challenging texts and other types of source material

Develop advanced academic vocabulary:

  • using rhetorical ‘moves’ accurately and effectively

  • with appropriate transitioning words and expressions

  • using appropriate vocabulary in academic register

  • with subject specific terminology

 Research sources:

  • using advanced techniques

  • evaluating source validity and reliability

  • using library resources effectively

  • identifying and exploiting web-based sources

  • using MLA format for correct citation of sources

  • utilizing Zotero as an effective researcher

  • avoiding plagiarism

Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
They Say, I Say (Fourth Edition)Graff, Gerald and Cathy BirkensteinNorton978-0-393-63167-8  

Assessed essays 25%
Final Paper – Proposal, Outline, First Draft, Final Draft 40%
Annotated Bibliography & Literature Review 20%
Homework & Quizzes 10%
Final Oral Presentation 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 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.


Attendance is compulsory for this course. Any student who misses more than six lessons without having medical certification which has been validated by the relevant university authorities may risk failing the course. For obvious reasons of academic seriousness, clasess begin punctually and a student who is not present when the roll is called will be considered late. Two lates constitute an absence. In the event of their absence, students are responsible for finding out what has been covered in class and set for homework, either by contacting the professor or other students.

Submitting Coursework

Students will submit hard copies of coursework and homework on the due date as well as electronic copies in the case of at-home essays. Late work will be penalized by a reduction of half a grade for each late day. The granting of essay extensions is at the instructor's discretion. In the event of absence, the student is responsible for getting the hard copy to the instructor via a classmate on the day of absence. If this is impossible, students must send an electronic version before class. Late submission will result in grade reduction and assignments will no longer be accepted if more than one week late.

Students who miss class when an assignment is given must contact the instructor promptly (on the same day) to find out what the question is and what the required readings are.

As the final coursework grade will be an average, it is very important not to miss an essay as this will have a very significant effect on the final average score.

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.


EN 110 (7) Schedule





Introduction – Course Requirements / Smart Studying / First Writing Assignment

Theme – Education - What is the role of education in society? / Summarizing Source Materials


Critical Reading / Evaluating Sources (Primary & Secondary) / Quoting

Paraphrasing & Summarizing / Plagiarism (avoiding) / Critical Thinking


Responding to Texts / Distinguishing What You Say From What They Say

Summary-response Essay


The Writing Process / Argumentative Essay format

Planning – Brainstorming & Outlining


Research & Sources (Primary & Secondary) / Using the Library / MLA Formatting / Citations

Using Zotero / Web Sourcing


Theme – Education - Why is there differential attainment between groups in society?

Annotated Bibliography


Thesis Statements/Topic Sentences/Supporting Sentences/Arguments

Essay Structures – Rhetorical Modes / Linking Devices


Mid-Term In-Class Assignment

Using Meta-commentary / Formal Outline


Theme – Education - Evaluating & Comparing Education Systems

Skepticism – Anticipating & Entertaining Objections


Research Proposal – on the topic of Education


Literature Review


Theme – Education - Towards a new model of education

Why does it matter – Refuting Earlier Thinking / Appealing to Stakeholders


Academic Writing style – Structures & Vocabulary



Review Week