English 1301 - Composition
Instructor: W.T. Dowden
English 1301.X32171S Syllabus
September 5, 2017
I. BASIC COURSE INFORMATION
A. Course Description
B. Intended Audience
- Three hours credit.
- A review of the fundamentals of composition:
- mechanics, including grammar and style,
- diction, and
- development of paragraphs and the essay;
- extensive theme writing in exposition and argument,
- including a unit on logic.
- Students who have satisfied writing requirements.
- Students who desire to improve their writing skills.
William T. Dowden
II. INTENDED STUDENT OUTCOMES
A. Core Competencies (Basic Intellectual Competencies)
- Reading at the college level means the ability to analyze and interpret a variety of printed materials books, articles, and documents.
- A core curriculum offers students the opportunity to master both general methods of analyzing printed materials and specific methods for analyzing the subject matter of individual disciplines.
- Competency in writing is the ability to produce clear, correct, and coherent prose adapted to purpose, occasion, and audience.
- Although correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation are each a sine qua non in any composition, they do not automatically ensure that the composition itself makes sense or that the writer has much of anything to say.
- Students need to be familiar with the writing process including how to discover a topic and how to develop and organize it, how to phrase it effectively for their audience.
- These abilities can be acquired only through practice and reflection.
- Competence in speaking is the ability to communicate orally in clear, coherent, and persuasive language appropriate to purpose, occasion, and audience.
- Developing this competency includes acquiring poise and developing control of the language through experience in making presentations to small groups, to large groups, and through the media.
- Listening: Listening at the college level means the ability to analyze and interpret various forms of spoken communication.
- Critical Thinking:
- Critical thinking embraces methods for applying both qualitative and quantitative skills analytically and creatively to subject matter in order to evaluate arguments and to construct alternative strategies.
- Problem solving is one of the applications of critical thinking, used to address an identified task.
- Computer Literacy:
- Computer literacy at the college level means the ability to use computer-based technology in communicating, solving problems, and acquiring information.
- Core-educated students should have an understanding of the limits, problems, and possibilities associated with the use of technology, and should have the tools necessary to evaluate and learn new technologies as they become available. (The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Report of Subcommittee on Core Curriculum. March 1, 1989).
B. Exemplary Objectives
(Found in the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Document entitled:
CORE CURRICULUM: ASSUMPTIONS AND DEFINING CHARACTERISTICS,Dated: April 1998)
- To understand and demonstrate writing and speaking processes through invention, organization, drafting, revision, editing and presentation.
- To understand the importance of specifying audience and purpose and to select appropriate communication choices.
- To understand and appropriately apply modes of expression i.e., descriptive, expositive, narrative, scientific and self-expressive, in written, visual, and oral communication.
- To participate effectively in groups with emphasis on listening, critical and reflective thinking, and responding.
- To understand and apply basic principles of critical thinking, problem solving, and technical proficiency in the development of exposition and argument.
- To develop the ability to research and write a documented paper and/or to give an oral presentation.
C. Course Objectives for all sections
D. Course Objectives as determined by the instructor
- To help students understand their creative processes for greater expressiveness and apply modes of expression in writing assignments.
- To write concrete, creative essays that thoroughly develop a central idea in an organized manner.
- To understand the importance of specifying audience and purpose.
- To apply the principles of writing as process: writing conceived as a connected and interactive process that includes pre-writing and invention, writing, revision, editing, and proofreading.
- To master mechanics and grammar concepts necessary for clear expression.
- To learn the principles of critical reading and to apply those principles to his or her own and to others’ writing.
- To be able to make logical choices and to apply such logic to writing.
- To understand and apply basic principles of critical thinking in the development of exposition and argument.
- To understand computers and their application to our daily lives.
- To develop the ability to research and write a documented paper.
- To practice oral communication skills.
- Students develop disciplined techniques in documentation style.
- Students develop organizational skill by following an established model.
- Students learn to structure essays and other composition modes through drill and practice.
III. ASSESSMENT MEASURES OF STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES:
A. Assessments for the Core Intellectual Competencies
B. Assessments for the Exemplary Objectives
- Reading: Competency in reading is assessed as students respond to classmates’ writing in the classroom or on-line as well as through exams covering the textbook material and discussion of and responses to material presented in the textbook and on handouts provided by the instructor.
- Writing: Competency in writing is assessed through the development of writing projects which meet the evaluation criteria and which are mechanically correct. Also students’ writing assignments that fulfill the evaluation criteria will demonstrate proficiency in reading, writing, critical thinking, and computer literacy.
- Speaking: Competency in speaking is assessed based on students’ demonstrated ability to respond appropriately to different communicative situations as well as to a variety of addressed purposes and audiences. Students will interact with teacher and with classmates in the classroom and/or also via email and discussion board.
- Listening: Competency in listening is assessed based on students’ demonstrated ability to respond appropriately to different communicative situations as well as to a variety of addressed purposes and audiences. Students will interact with teacher and with classmates in the classroom and/or also via email and discussion board.
- Critical Thinking: Competency in critical thinking is made as students respond appropriately to assignments, to instructions, and in interactions with instructor and classmates.
- Computer Literacy: Competency in computer literacy will be made based on students’ ability to submit properly prepared, researched documents, on students’ ability to access online writing and grammar resources as well as library database, and on students' ability to communicate via email and/or discussion board.
C. Assessments for Course Objectives for all sections
- The ability to understand and demonstrate writing and speaking processes through invention, organization, drafting, revision, editing, and presentation is assessed through preparation and presentation of writing projects throughout the semester.
- The ability to understand the importance of specifying audience and purpose and the ability to select appropriate communication choices is assessed through students’ attention to the rhetorical situation of each portion of each writing assignment.
- The ability to understand and appropriately apply modes of expression is assessed through activities on correct usage of language and rhetorical devices and in the submission of appropriate writing projects throughout the semester.
- The ability to participate effectively in groups is assessed by student response to in-class or on-line group assignments .
- The ability to understand and apply basic principles of critical thinking, problem solving, and technical proficiency is assessed through student writing projects.
- The ability to research and write a documented paper is assessed by the requirement of at least one documented essay during the semester.
D. Assessments for the Course Objectives as determined by the instructor
- Student understanding of creative processes for greater expressiveness and application of modes of expression in writing assignments will be assessed by effective use approach to a variety of writing assignment topics.
- Student ability to write concrete, creative essays that thoroughly develop a central idea in an organized manner will be assessed by applying a standard grading criteria.
- Student ability to understand the importance of specifying audience and purpose is assessed by presentation of effective writing projects which clearly address the chosen audience for the writer’s chosen purpose.
- Student ability to apply the principles of writing as process: writing conceived as a connected and interactive process that includes pre-writing and invention, writing, revision, editing, and proofreading is assessed through students’ writing multiple drafts and/or revisions using peer and/or instructor review.
- Student ability to master mechanics and grammar concepts necessary for clear expression is assessed through grammar diagnostic, grammar midterm, and grammar final exams, as well as through the appropriate use of grammar and mechanics in the multiple writing assignments and contexts.
- Student ability to learn the principles of critical reading and to apply those principles to his or her own and to others’ writing is assessed through peer response, as well as through successful completion of writing assignments.
- Student ability to make logical choices and to apply such logic to writing is assessed through writing that appeals to the chosen audience in the desired or designated manner and assessed through the student's using clear reasoning while avoiding logical fallacies in a required persuasive essay and while interacting with fellow students and the teacher during discussions in the classroom or on-line.
- Student ability to understand and apply basic principles of critical thinking in the development of exposition and argument is assessed through the writing assignments.
- Student ability to understand computers and their application to our daily lives is assessed as students complete assignments using Writer's Workbench.
- Student ability to develop the ability to research and write a documented paper is assessed through successful inclusion of secondary sources in at least one documented essay.
- Student ability to practice oral communication skills is assessed through in-classroom discussions/presentations, in-person or telephone conferences with instructor, and for Internet courses through optional orientation sessions, in-person or telephone conferences with instructor, or through question and answer sessions at test administrations.
See Dowden's Ten Commandments.
IV. INSTRUCTIONAL PROCEDURES:
A. Methodologies common to all sections
Methodologies that may be utilized in presenting course content include in class or online lecture notes, paper and pencil or online grammar exercises or research exercises which give immediate feedback, in person or email workshops for student writings in progress, audio-visual presentations for view in class or outside of class, online discussions (synchronous or asynchronous), student presentations to groups or to instructor only, and guest participants.
B. Methodologies determined by the instructor
Grading Scale: 91.5 - 100 earns an A; 81.5 thru 91.4 earns a B; 71.5 thru 81.4 earns a C; 71.4 or below earns an F
Students are expected to attend? regularly and to participate in class activities when attending. For a class that meets three times a week, the semester consists of 48 contact hours over 16 weeks (3 times 16).? These contact hours involve:
- student participation in class discussions and
- student performance of in-class exercises and other assignments.
Students who are not present miss the learning opportunities offered in the classroom environment; as a result, such students often do not maintain satisfactory performance through the semester. Perfect (100%) attendance is neither required nor expected; however, students who are absent for undisclosed reasons will be noted. Students who accumulate five absences before the mid-term mark without having discussed these absences in advance with the instructor will be dropped. The expected rate of attendance is 90%. (Ten percent of 48 hours is 4.8; therefore students who miss 5 or more absences have not met the expected rate of attendance.) When a student has been absent three or more days even before the mid-term, the student will be counseled.
- Participation may be worth as much as 10% of the students final course grade. Half of this participation credit is earned when students complete on-line course evaluations in MyRecords after mid-semester break. Students who accumulate more than five absences before mid-semester break will be dropped from the course. Students who accumulate more than five absences anytime after mid-semester break will lose their participation credit if their absences exceed five after the last day to drop with a W grade has passed.
- The college classroom is a place for adult men and women to come together with the common purpose of improving their intellectual and academic skills. All students deserve a classroom environment that is free of interruptions or distractions that impede learning. Because active participation in class discussions is essential, it is important that all students are fully prepared for class each day. Any student who arrives unprepared, sleeps in class, or is disruptive will be asked to leave class and will be counted absent.
V. COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND POLICIES:
A. Required Textbooks, Materials, and Equipment
- Hacker, Diana.
- The Bedford Handbook. 10th ed.
- Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2006.
The Writer's Workbench computer program.
B. Assignments (Appropriate due dates, schedules, deadlines)
C. Course Policies
- For online courses, use the course calendar in Blackboard Vista to manage time.
- Assignments and assessments will also have due dates/deadlines that demand student attention.
- This course conforms to the policies of Angelina College as stated in the Angelina College Handbook.)
- Academic Assistance
- If you have a disability (as cited in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 or Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990) that may affect your participation in this class, you should see Karen Bowser, Room 208 of the Student Center.
- At a post-secondary institution, you must self-identify as a person with a disability; Ms. Bowser will assist you with the necessary information to do so.
- From the Angelina College Policy Manual:
- A true evaluation of the teaching-learning situation involves a correlation between attendance and progress.
- It is the responsibility of the student to attend all classes and a record of attendance will be kept for all classes by the instructor.
- It is the responsibility of the student to withdraw officially in the
College District admissions and registrar’s office from a class the student
no longer desires to attend.
- College District instructional standards allow the instructor to set the educational objectives and requirements for each course. The student who
does not meet these requirements because of excessive absences may be
dropped by the instructor on a notice to the College District admissions
office using either a first or second drop slip. The position of the
instructor on submitting a non-attendance drop should be stated in the
- Excessive absences are defined as three or more consecutive absences or four or more cumulative absences from regularly scheduled class periods. The
summer terms call for two or more consecutive, or three or more cumulative
absences. A three-hour night class counts as two class periods.
- Students will not be dropped and will be allowed to make up work for
absences because of
- College District authorized and sponsored activities, and
- religious holy days.
- It is the student’s responsibility to arrange for make-up work with the instructor and to complete it within a reasonable time.
- In accordance with the Texas Education Code, each student is allowed to be absent from a class for the observance of a religious holy day.
- A religious holy day means a holy day observed by a religion whose places of worship are exempt from property taxation under Section 11.20, Tax Code.
- The student must notify the instructor of each class of the anticipated
absence not late than the 15th calendar day after the first day of the
- A student who is excused under this section must complete all
assignments or missed examinations at the direction of the instructor.
- The form for notification of absences is in the office of admissions and
will include the following:
- Student name and identification number;
- Name of religious institution and tax code number;
- Name and date of holy day(s);
- Classes to be missed;
- Schedule for delivery of form by student to instructor(s);
- Conditions and deadlines for completing missed assignments;
- Instructor’s signature and date; and
- Student’s signature and date.
- A student dropped because of excessive absences will be notified by mail by the College District admissions office and will be directed to obtain a readmit form and seek the approval of the instructor for admission. All students in developmental education must obtain approval of the instructor and the vice president and the dean of instruction.
- A student who fails to contact the College District admissions office within one week of the date the notice was mailed will be dropped permanently from class.
- All make-up work is at the discretion of the instructor.
- Attendance in developmental courses is guided by the Texas Success
Initiative rules and regulations and additional steps are required.
VI. COURSE CONTENT:
A. Required Content/ Topics (common to all sections)
B. Additional Content (as required by the individual Instructor: See Dowden's Ten Commandments.)
- Mechanics Emphasis:
- Mechanics and grammar study is an ongoing one that is an integral part of the writing process.
- Students will be tested at the beginning of the semester and will be given specific assigned studies to correct any weaknesses.
- Students will be given a major test at the end of the semester to determine the student's mastery of mechanics and grammar.
- Approximately 20-25% of all class time will be given to drills on concepts.
- The Bedford Handbook with corresponding Internet resources will be the primary source for this continuing study.
- There will be no separate unit for the study of mechanics and grammar, but it will be a part of the writing unit.
- Essay Writing:
- Futher, all essays will be evaluated closely for correct usage, spelling and correct use of sentence parts.
- Every essay assignment will provide the student several options from which to choose.
- Every essay must be formatted in the standard style of the Modern Language Association (MLA).
- The documentation of any quoted, paraphrased, or "borrowed" materials must be of the documentation style of the MLA.
- Research Exercises
- Online research and the documentation of the results of the research exercise computer literacy skills.
- Field research to discover facts on the ground emphasizes the importance of primary sources.
- Interviews are also an important option for fact-based research.
- Research Paper Assignment
- The standards that apply to Essay Writing are strictly applied to the research paper.
- The documentation of sources used in the Research Paper must be complete and must follow the MLA style.
VII. EVALUATION AND GRADING:
A. Grading Criteria (percents, extra credit, etc.)
- Evaluation: 4 or 5 major grades
- 75 to 80% writing grade:
- At least 60% of this writing grade must be from essay writing: example/illustration,
comparison/contrast, definition, classification/division, process, cause-effect, argumentation
- The other 15 to 20% writing grade might come from journal writing, essay tests, correspondence
(letters, editorials), creative writings, critiques and to prepare students for future proficiency tests.
- 20 to 25% Mechanics and Grammar:
- This grade should be derived from daily exercises, quizzes on spelling, diction, punctuation and other mechanics
- and from at least one major objective test.
- Determination of Grade (assignment of letter grades)
- A (90-100) Excellent
- B (80-89) Good
- C (70-79) Average
- D (60-69) Minimum passing
- F (50 or below) Failure
- Standard Grading Policy for the English Department for all Essays Assigned
- A–above average.
- Good organization,
- exceptional content,
- No more than one major Error.
- A+ = 98, A = 95, A- = 92, A- - = 90
- B–above average.
- Good organization,
- exceptional content,
- and only one or two major errors.
- B+ = 88, B = 85, B - = 82, B - - = 80
- clear content,
- no more than 3 major errors.
- C+ = 78, C = 75, C - = 72, C - - = 70
- D–below average.
- Either lacks content and/or organization
- or has many major errors.
- More than 5 major errors drops the grade to an F.
- D+ = 68, D = 65, D - = 62, D - - = 60
- Shows little or no effort.
- Contains 6 OR MORE major errors.
- F = 50.
- 0–[ZERO]no grade.
- Did not turn in work,
- plagiarized an essay,
- or did not write on the assigned topic.
- Please Note:
- In the case of a plagiarized essay or research paper, a student may be dismissed from this course with an F.
- Major errors include the following: Sentence Errors: fused, comma splice, fragment and Agreement Errors: verb agreement errors and pronoun case agreement
VIII. SYLLABUS MODIFICATION:
The instructor may modify the provisions of the syllabus to meet individual class needs by informing the class in advance as to the changes being made.