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COURSE NAME: "Intensive English Composition"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2023

EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: TTH 10:00 AM 12:45 PM
PREREQUISITES: This course carries 6 semester hours of credit. Prerequisite: Placement via JCU English Composition Placement Exam
OFFICE HOURS: by appointment

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.
The course commences with an introduction to the five steps of the writing process (pre-writing, planning, writing, editing and proofreading). Each step of the writing process will be accompanied by practice activities.  As the semester progresses, students will produce a number of writing assignments.  While the emphasis of the course is on production of correct sentence structures, students will also be introduced to the essential elements of a well written paragraph (topic sentence, supporting point, supporting details and concluding sentence) which forms the basis of subsequent essay development.  The course culminates with the writing of compositions of approximately 500 words.  Essays written in class and for homework will be reviewed by your peers and by your Professor.  A second ‘reviewed’ draft is expected of you, and it, along with your first draft, must be kept by and presented for final review at the conclusion of the course. 

During the secong half of the course we will discuss and practice various rhetorical modes (illustration, cause and effect, compare and contrast, etc.) and practice the writing of between five-seven paragraph essays (introduction, body, conclusion).  By the end of the course, you will be expected to be able to write a well structured, coherent argumentative essay. 

Readings will be used to offer models and stimulate ideas for writing assignments. Class time will be spent reviewing grammar, discussing assignments and readings and practicing writing techniques. The course will include an ongoing and in-depth grammar review.
By the mid-point of the course students will be able to produce grammatically and idiomatically correct English prose; have a greater understanding of the intricacies of paragraphing and essay production and be able to use a variety of sentence structures and appropriate vocabulary.

By the end of the course, course participants will have become more perceptive readers, and more critical writers. In their own writing, students will find themselves using a broader range of vocabulary, varied sentence structures and be able to take advantage of the various rhetorical modes to improve essay organization and clarity. All this should increase your confidence and make writing more enjoyable.

Your full participation in the course will lead to greater progress in written English and contribute to you achieving your personal academic ambition.

In-Class Writing Assignments 25
At-Home Writing Assignments 25
Mid-term Exam 10
Final Exam 20
Homework (other), Quizzes, Class Participation 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 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.

Regular attendance is mandatory, not optional. Frequent absences will lead to a lowering of your grade or even failure of the course, and you will be required to repeat the course. In the case of illness, a doctor’s note is required or the absence is unexcused. If you are seriously ill and will be out for more than one class, please contact the professor via email. If, for whatever reasons, a student cannot attend classes regularly, after five absences, the student will be asked to withdraw from the course. It is the student’s responsibility to contact a classmate to find out what was missed and to come to the next class fully prepared. Late work, for whatever reason, will be accepted at the instructor’s discretion; however, habitual late work will not be accepted. Make ups will not be given for unexcused absences. Late arrivals are very disruptive. Habitual late arrivals will not be tolerated and three late arrivals (after the class has already started) will be counted as one absence.
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.


The following academic writing activities will be accompanied with weekly readings and homework assignments to be emailed within the set deadline. During the course there will be in-class and homework assignments which will contribute towards your final course result. A mid-term exam will also be included, the date of which will be established and communicated to you. Grammar activities will also be introduced where and when necessary.


The following 103 schedule may vary depending on progress.

Lesson 1 Introduction to the course and process of academic writing overview

The writing process step 1: Creating (pre-writing) with practice activities.

Lesson 2 The Writing process step 2: Planning (outlining) with practice activities.

The Writing process step 3: Writing with practice activities.

Lesson 3: The Writing process step 4: Editing (polishing) with practice activities.

The Writing process step 5: Proofreading with practice activities

Lesson 4: Editing practice activities 1 and 2 Paragraph structure

Lesson 5: Three parts of a paragraph (part 1). The topic sentence with practice activities

Three parts of a paragraph (part 2). Supporting sentences with practice activities

Lesson 6: Three parts of a paragraph (part 3). Supporting sentences with practice activities

Three parts of a paragraph (part 4) with practice activities Unity and Coherence

Lesson 7: Unity practice activities
Coherence practice activities (repetition of key nouns, consistent pronouns, transition signals) 

Lesson 8: Logical order with practice activities.

Supporting details: Facts, Quotations, and Statistics

Lesson 9: Facts v Opinions

Lesson 10: What is plagiarism and how to avoid it

Lesson 11: Citing sources

Lesson 12: Incorporating direct quotations

Lesson 13: Reporting verbs and phrases. Punctuating direct quotations Sentence Structure

Lesson 14: Independent and Dependant clauses

Lesson 15: Simple sentences with practice activities.

Compound sentences with practice activities

Lesson 16: Complex Sentences. Compound complex sentences

Lesson 17: Sentence types and writing style

Lesson 18: Course Review

Lesson 19: Mid-term exam preparation

Lesson 20: Mid-term exam

From Paragraph to Essay

Lesson 21: Three parts of an essay with practice activities. The Introductory paragraph with practice activities

Lesson 22: Thesis statements. Body paragraph with practice activities (logical division of ideas)

Lesson 23: The concluding paragraph. Essay Outlining practice activities

Lesson 24: Writing practice and peer review Causes and Effect Essays

Lesson 25: Organization for a Cause/Effect essay. Block organization v Chain Organisation (part 1)

Lesson 26: Block organization v Chain Organisation (part 2). Cause/Effect signal words and phrases

Lesson 27: Writing practice (with peer review) Argumentative Essays

Lesson 28: Organisation of Comparison/Contrast essays. Comparison and contrast signal words

Lesson 29: Comparison and contrast signal words (practice activities) Writing practice activities (with peer review)

Argumentative Essays

Lesson 30: Organisation of argumentative essays. The introductory paragraph and the Thesis Statement.

Lesson 31: Plagiarism v paraphrasing: What is the difference?

Citing sources. Introduction to MLA. 1

Lesson 32: Course review and exam preparation.

Lesson 33: Final Exams