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

INSTRUCTOR: Andrea Rossi
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: MW 1:30 PM 2:45 PM
PREREQUISITES: Prerequisite: Placement via JCU English Composition Placement Exam

This course concentrates on the development of effective paragraph writing in essays while introducing 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. Students must receive a grade of C or above in this course to be eligible to take EN 110. Individual students in EN 105 may be required to complete additional hours in the English Writing Center as part of their course requirements.

The emphasis of this course is more focused on critical thinking and logical analysis employed in reading texts, and planning and writing your own. It will involve reading a variety of essays and articles in order to deconstruct the elements and stimulate our own writing skills. There will be a prevalence of writing activities, peer reviews and workshops aimed at skills development. Structural and grammatical issues will be dealt with on an ad hoc basis.


This will be done through:

  • An analysis and practice of building a variety of paragraph structures to form a range of essay types

  • Looking at the 5 stages of the writing process; planning, drafting, revising, editing and proofreading

  • Developing an understanding of research techniques and sources, as well as correctly citing sources

  • Discovering how to effectively formulate and develop ideas, using appropriate rhetorical modes, while employing relevant appeals to the reader

  • Working on the clarity of writing through; the use of appropriate language, the balancing of ideas, and useful transitional words and expressions

  • Understanding the pitfalls to avoid in English writing, and typical mistakes to be aware of


All of this will be realized through:

  • analytical exercises carried out through pair-work, small groups and plenary feedback

  • interactive workshop activities

  • practical writing sessions

  • Peer review sessions

  • Assessed and non-assessed essay writing


This course focuses on:

  • Planning and writing essays

  • Understanding of and developing the Introduction/Main body/Conclusion structured essay

  • Critical thinking employing sound deductive and inductive logic

  • Understanding logical fallacies

  • Critical reading and analytical skills

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

Understand rhetoric and write:

  • grammatically & idiomatically correct sentences

  • a strong Thesis Statement

  • a Topic Sentence & supporting arguments

  • a detailed outline

  • cohesive paragraphs using a variety of rhetorical modes

  • developed argumentative, persuasive and analytical essays

  • critical summaries

  • and, plan and write an essay following all the 5 stages: planning, drafting, revising, editing and proofreading

Read critically:

  • critically analyse viewpoints in a text

  • understand challenging materials

  • and annotate texts

Grammar issues will be dealt with on an ad hoc basis:

Develop advanced academic vocabulary:

  • use correct and appropriate vocabulary in academic register

  • subject specific terminology

  • transitioning words and expressions

  • using techniques to expand your vocabulary

Research sources:

  • evaluating sources

  • using databases

  • web-based sources

  • basic library tools

  • MLA format for correct citing of sources

  • avoiding plagiarism


Assessed Essays (in-class) 20
Assessed Essays (at home) 30
Homework & Quizzes 10
Mid-term Test 15
Final Exam 25

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 cours
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.


·        If you are unable to attend a class session, you should make arrangements with one or more of your classmates to catch up on anything you missed. While illness and emergencies are often unavoidable and understandable, this does not affect how the absence policy will be applied.

· You are allowed 3 absences during the semester. Any absences after this will have a detrimental effect on your final grade. Any student with more than 3 absences at mid-term will receive a mid-term warning. After 5 absences you will receive another warning informing you that your chances of passing the course are now at risk. Seven absences including the 3 absences you are allowed and you fail the course.

Keep in mind that it will be difficult for you to make up missed peer reviews, small group discussions, and spoken lectures and instructions. Even if you are not able to attend, you are still responsible for making sure any assignments due that day are in my hands by the start of class.

You are expected to do your own work. Cheating, plagiarism and any other form of academic dishonesty will not be tolerated.

Class participation is part of your grade in this course. This includes both library sessions. To participate you must attend class having prepared the materials for the day. All students are expected to come to class prepared and on time, and remain for the full class period.

Laptops and Cellphones are not permitted in class.

Disruptive behavior will result in dismissal from the class and will be counted as one absence. This includes repeatedly entering and leaving the class once the lesson has begun, doing work for other classes during this class, inappropriate use of the computers (checking on your e-mail while in class, surfing the ‘net, etc), talking to others while someone else is talking, repeatedly arriving late to class, sleeping, using profanity, personal or physical threats or insults, damaging property.

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 105 (7) Schedule





Introductions / Syllabus / Books / Academic Honesty / Deadlines & Assessment / Peer Editing /

Writing – Product v Process Writing / The Paragraph – Topic Sentence & Supporting Sentences


The Paragraph – Structure / Supporting Details / Fact v Opinion / Unity & Coherence / Logical Order / From Paragraph to Essay – 3-Part Structure / Introduction / Thesis Statement / Main Body / Conclusion / Transitions


5 Steps in Writing an Essay (Intro.) – Planning / Drafting / Revising / Editing / Proofreading

The Sentence – types of Sentence / Conjunctions / Punctuation / Parallelism / Sentence Problems


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

Plagiarism / Summarizing & Paraphrasing / Planning your Essay


Rhetorical Modes – Descriptive Essays / Process Essays / Drafting your Essay


Rhetorical Modes – Definition Essays / Classification & Division / Revising your Essay


Rhetorical Modes – Comparison & Contrast Essays – Patterns (Point-by-point v Block) /

Editing your Essay


Rhetorical Modes – Comparison & Contrast Essays -  Signal Words (Comparison/Contrast/Concession) / Proofreading your Essay


Rhetorical Modes – Cause & Effect Essays -  Structures (Block or chain) (Causes v Effects essays)


Rhetorical Modes – Cause & Effect Essays -  Key Lexis / Transitions


Argumentative Essays – Elements of Argument / Thesis Statement


Argumentative Essays – Reasoning – Inductive v Deductive / Logical Fallacies


Argumentative Essays– Appeals – Ethos, Logos & pathos / Examples & Illustrations


Review Week