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COURSE CODE: "EN 110-11"
COURSE NAME: "Advanced Composition"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Spring 2021

EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: TTH 3:00-4:15 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 only

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 particular section of advanced composition was designed to provide undergraduate students with an introduction to formal academic research-based writing in the English language. Over the course of the semester, each individual student will have the opportunity to develop skills in research, writing and presentation in an area of interest of their choosing based on their particular experience and goals. Students are required to identify a problem early in the semester and submit a research proposal aimed at developing a deeper understanding of that problem, complete with a list of possible sources, as well as a working thesis statement with supporting claims; by the end of the semester, students will have thoroughly conducted research on their topic, produced an annotated bibliography and literature review, submitted a well-written research paper, delivered an oral presentation, and formulated a project proposal that provides a potential solution to the problem explored in their paper. This course provides students with the unique opportunity to develop the written communication skills necessary to write at the undergraduate level in the US system.


By the end of the course, students will be able to: 

1. Produce formal academic writing that

     a. Demonstrates their understanding of the writing process, from brainstorming, planning, and drafting to revising, finalizing and presenting
     b. Showcases their ability to identify a problem, propose a thesis statement, and present an original argument on the subject in a well-                       organized paper, complete with the following clearly-divided sections: introduction, literature review, body, and conclusion
     c. Exhibits their aptitude in written communication skills, specifically the use of grammatically & idiomatically correct English prose for an             academic audience in the English language university context
     d. Shows their capacity to effectively incorporate evidence into their writing from outside sources according to MLA style

2. Conduct primary and secondary research that

     a. Demonstrates their understanding of the research process, from identifying preliminary sources to completing an annotated bibliography
     b. Showcases their ability to find and seamlessly incorporate strong evidence for an argument into their writing, in particular a literature                   review and the body section of a research paper
     c. Exhibits their aptitude in source evaluation and critical literacy skills, showing their capacity to select reliable sources

3. Participate in a writing community in ways that

     a. Demonstrates their understanding of the peer review process and how it can be applied to their own individual writing process
     b. Showcases their ability to collaborate with their peers, instructors, and mentors to receive and provide feedback, thus improving their craft
     c. Exhibits their capacity in identifying relevant problems and proposing actual solutions based on research projects, as part of a larger goal             of improving their community through collaboration.


Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
They Say / I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing with Readings Gerald Graff & Cathy BirkensteinGildan Media1469028611 Print edition should be available in the Almost Corner Bookshop and in the library reserves.
In-Class WritingIn the same spirit as the portfolio project, in-class writing assignments provide students with multiple opportunities over the course of the semester to develop the skills needed to meet the learning outcomes required to pass the course. Currently called "Written Studies" in the course schedule below, these exercises will be assigned as needed throughout the semester; prompts range from questions that will aid you in the development of larger assignments, to activities that require you to hone a particular aspect of your craft, perhaps as it relates to one of the learning outcomes listed above.30
Final ExamTBA. The final exam will be communicated to students either near the end of the semester or during the final exam period. Students can expect the exam to be an extension of the portfolio project, meaning that active participation in the course—on the individual and group level—will have thoroughly prepared you for the final exam.10
PortfolioTopic Proposal (5%), Annotated Bibliography (10%), Literature Review (10%), Research Paper (30%), and Presentation (5%). The portfolio project was designed to provide students with multiple opportunities over the course of the semester to develop the skills needed to meet the learning outcomes required to pass the course. Since the project evaluates student growth over a period of time, students must submit all work on time and to the correct submission form (in simpler terms, this means that all assignments must be turned in to the appropriate submission form on the stated due date; all deadlines will be posted to Moodle and/or communicated in our classes, providing students with an adequate amount of time to complete and submit them). By default, any failure to submit any assignment on a given due date will result in a "0" on that assignment.60

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. Within the context of the current approach to the handling the COVID-19 pandemic by not only the university but also the instructor, the word "attend" means either a) being physically present in the classroom for the entirety of our lessons, or b) being logged in to our virtual classroom on Microsoft Teams for the entirety of our lessons with your camera on. In the event that we are not able to have class, students are expected to spend our scheduled class time, which amounts to a total of 75 minutes, engaging with coursework and providing evidence of having done so, if needed.

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.


Note on changes: The course schedule is subject to change. Changes will be communicated orally in class and/or in writing via email and/or Moodle.
Note on readings: We will engage with texts from a wide range of authors from various linguistic and cultural backgrounds, based on student interest and whatever direction our course will take. I will try to make as much as possible available as online, digitized texts; however, if you are interested in digging deeper, you're encouraged to get your hands on one of texts listed above in "Recommended Reserve Readings."
Note on assignments: While the dates below will provide you an official deadline for most assignments, the course schedule is subject to change. All information related to assignments can be found on Moodle. To avoid any confusion, all assignment requirements, instructions, rubrics, etc. will be posted directly to the Assignment Submission Form (labeled as such) in the corresponding week block, as well as discussed at length during our class meetings.

Week Unit Focus Readings Major Assignments Due dates for Major Written Assignments
1 1 Introduction to Unit Selected Readings Written Study: TBA


2 Topic Peer Writing Topic Proposal Due Thursday, January [email protected] 3pm (Rome time)
3 Sources Peer Writing Written Study: TBA Tuesday, February 2nd @ 3pm (Rome time)
4 2 Introduction to Unit Selected Readings Written Study; TBA Tuesday, February [email protected] 3pm (Rome time)
5 Drafting Peer Writing Annotated Bibliography Due Tuesday, February 16th @ 3pm (Rome time)
6 Drafting Peer Writing Written Study; TBA Tuesday, February 23rd @ 3pm (Rome time)
7 3 Introduction to Unit Selected Readings Literature Review Due Tuesday, March [email protected] 3pm (Rome time)
8 Reviewing Peer Writing Written Study; TBA Tuesday, March 16th @ 3pm (Rome time)
9 Reviewing Peer Writing Research Paper Due Tuesday, March 23rd @ 3pm (Rome time)
10 4 Introduction to Unit Selected Readings Presentations Due Tuesday, March 30th @ 3pm (Rome time)
11 Presentations Peer Writing Written Study: TBA Tuesday, April 6th @ 3pm (Rome time)
12 Presentations Peer Writing Written Study: TBA Tuesday, April 13th @ 3pm (Rome time)
13 5 Introduction to Unit Selected Readings & Peer Writing TBA Tuesday, April 20th @ 3pm (Rome time)
14 Conclusions Selected Readings & Peer Writing TBA TBA
15 Final TBA TBA