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COURSE CODE: "EN 110-17"
COURSE NAME: "Advanced Composition"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2023

EMAIL: tkeenan@john cabot.edu
HOURS: MW 10:00-11:15 AM
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.
The course examines a range of fundamental writing strategies, starting with grammar, critical reading of sources, summarizing, paraphrasing and proper quoting; it continues with the writing of a topic proposal, selection and citation of sources, literature review, and thesis development. Research and use of library resources will also be covered. Students will be required to submit assignments through TurnitinUK.
Students will learn to write a well-organized and error-free argumentative research paper. By the end of the course students will be able to:

            Write sophisticated as well as grammatically and idiomatically correct English prose

             Read to comprehend increasingly complex material

             Read and think critically

              Expand vocabulary through reading and writing
              Develop subject specific terminology through reading and writing

             Write well-organized essays, focusing specifically on argumentative essays

             Write a strong and developed thesis statement with supporting arguments

             Think, read, write critically for an academic audience

              Write a developed outline

              Paraphrase and summarize
Cite and write using documentation
             Write a fully documented research paper

Research and sourcing (can be covered by a librarian in one or more workshops in the library)
Be familiar with research and information literacy skills including                      
                        - A reinforcement of searching skills: catalog, database, and web sourcing
                         - Source evaluation

                         - Subject searching

                         - Utilize MLA style for all aspects of a research paper

                         - Understand how to avoid plagiarism

Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberCommentsFormatLocal BookstoreOnline Purchase
They Say, I Say, 5th editionBirkenstein and GraffNortonISBN-13 978-0393538700 This book may be obtained at the Almost Corner Bookshop on Via del MoroHard CopyAlmost Corner Bookshop 

Each assignment handed in late will be capped at 75%. It is the student's responsibility to approach the instructor to schedule a makeup for any missed in-class work within one week of the missed work.  
Reading, Short Assignments, and Quizzes 20
Writing assignments (4) 30
Midterm 20
Final Exam 30

A Work 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. (90-92 = A-; 93-100 = A)
B This is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised. There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluate theory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture and reference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments. (80-82 = B-; 83-86 = B; 87-89 = B+)
C This is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings. (70-72 = C-; 73-76 = C; 77-79 = C+)
D This 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. (60-62 = D-; 63-66 = D; 67-69 = D+)
F This work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant. (<60) Each assignment handed in late will be capped at 75%. It is the student's responsibility to approach the instructor to schedule a makeup for any missed in-class work within one week of the missed work.



You cannot make up a midterm or final without the permission of the Dean’s Office. The Associate Dean’s office should not be involved in correspondence regarding any other type of routine absence. This means that if you need to return home for a funeral, if you need to go to the dentist, if you have a fingerprinting appointment, if you are ill, or for any other reason that I have not listed, you simply do not come to class that day and you contact a colleague to find out what went on in class. Do not create extra work for the Dean’s office by reaching out to them on these, rather routine, issues. Let us all agree that if you need to be absent, I believe you and I trust that you will find out what you missed from a colleague. Let’s create a world in which we believe each other and trust that we would be in class every session if we could. Let’s refuse to participate in bureaucratic processes that deskill us in terms of independent decision-making, taking personal responsibility, and direct student-professor communication. Absences should be rare. Suffice to say that your grade will go down with frequent absences. At the 5th absence, you will be asked to withdraw from the course. 

There are always one or two obvious common sense extreme exceptions to this aspiration, but generally it is best to avoid triggering institutional responses for routine short-term absences. The bottom line is that every student, including you, is a treasured resource for each class. We need you as much as you need us. Without you, it's just not the same.

One category of the Class Engagement Rubric is attendance. The Class Engagement Rubric will be posted to Moodle on the first day of class and students will be evaluated and receive feedback on attendance twice per semester using this rubric.


The very point of why we are all here is that we want to develop ourselves into a well-rounded life-long learner. Cutting corners with paper-writing services and Chatbots, or recycling older papers cheapens everyone’s experience of the course and professors tend to take it personally. A good rule is that if you have to ask, “Is this okay to do?”, it probably is not.

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.


Each assignment handed in late will be capped at 75%. It is the student's responsibility to approach the instructor to schedule a makeup for any missed in-class work within one week of the missed work.


Week 1: 

 Week 2 -

Week 3 -

Week 4 -

Week 5 -

  • Class 2 - Workshop

 Week 6

Week 7 -

  • Class 1 Writing 2 Due, literature review

  •  Class 2 - Review for Midterm

  • Class 3 - Midterm exam

Week 8

Week 9
  • Class 2 - No class, holiday     
Week 10
Week 11
  • Class 2 -Writing 3 Due
Week 12
Week 13

Week 14
  • Class 2 -Review for Final exam
Finals week
Our final exam could be any day during finals week. Make your plans accordingly.