Communication and arts division contacts and commitments

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Instructor Syllabus NorthWest Arkansas Community College Fall 2005



Dr. Anita Jones, Dean, BH 1059 619-4156,

Jim Laughton, Lead Faculty for Reading/Writing, BH 1056 619-4287,

Linda Long, Secretary, BH 1051 619-4331,

To offer curriculum and instructional methods that guide each learner to develop the skills and attitudes leading to academic and career success.



MWF 10-10:50, BH 3023

Instructor: Curtis Harrell

Office Hours: MWF 9-10 and 11-12, TTH 10:30-12:30, by phone, e-mail, and appointment.


Phone and voice mail: (479) 619-4359.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: The study and practice of sentence structure rules, critical thinking skills, writing as a step by step process and basic grammar. Students will learn to express ideas and opinions in clear, organized paragraphs and essays. Students will also learn and use word processing as it applies to academic writing. Successful completion allows a student to enter English Composition I. PREREQUISITE: Beginning Writing (ACSK 0053) with a C or better or minimum placement score: ACT-13, or ASSET-36, or COMPASS-42.

CREDIT HOURS: 3 credit hours, none counting toward any degree requirements.

TARGET AUDIENCE AND TRANSFER: This course is intended for college students who have demonstrated a need to review the writing process and structure. Current high school students are prevented from enrolling in this course by law. A non-transfer course, Intermediate Composition, if completed with a “C” or better grade, indicates sufficient skill to attempt an college-level composition course.

CORE COURSE OBJECTIVES for all NWACC Intermediate Composition sections establish that a successful student will be able to

1. Use grammar rules in improving proofreading techniques.

2. Write good sentences and analyze sentence components for clarity, variety, and coherence.

3. Demonstrate techniques for writing structured and unified paragraphs.

4. Demonstrate techniques for writing a multi-paragraph essay through a focused thesis statement.

5. Use specific detail to support the thesis for expository writing.

6. Choose standard English for writing assignments.


Required: Mosiacs---Focusing on Paragraphs in Context. Flachmann. Prentice Hall, 2005. Third Edition.

Additionally from NWACC:

1. Writers Resources, Software from Harcourt Publishers. Available for purchase at the Bookstore; and for use in the Learning Lab.

2. Supportive web sites, supplemental worksheets, reference materials in the Learning Lab.

3. Study strategy and time management videos in NWACC’s Library.

4. NWACC’s Life Development Center counseling service and programs.

5. Computer access to word processing and internet based e-mail and academic research in the Learning Lab.

6. A Writing Center located in BH 1108 is available to help students add interesting content to their writing. Instructors will be notified when their students use the Center, including information on the topics covered during the visit. Hours of operation are MWTh 8:30-4:30, T 8:30-6:30, F 8:30-2:30.

7. Free ESL resources and classes at NWACC Adult Education. Phone 986-6911.

REQUIRED FORMS OF ASSESSMENT: In all sections of Intermediate Composition a divisional pre-diagnostic is given in the first week of class. Its purpose is to verify placement and to establish incoming skill relative to course success. A parallel post-diagnostic is given during the final exam period at the end of the semester. Grouped statistics regarding overall student learning in the course and developmental program are based on these tools. In addition, an ACSK Developmental Performance Report indicates that students who successfully complete academic skills courses preparing for college level work succeed in those first college level courses in math, composition, and reading intensive social sciences at a rate

comparable to that of students placed directly into those college level courses.

TOPICS (REQUIRED COVERAGE): Grammar and Mechanics: capitalization, spelling, forming plurals, punctuation, pronouns, verbs (action and linking) objects and complements, dangling and misplaced modifiers; usage and organization: sentence structure, sentence errors, effective sentences, wordiness, levels of usage, critical thinking and fallacies in logic, topic sentences, thesis statements, paragraph and essay development, paragraph and essay organization, introductions and conclusions.

OPTIONAL COVERAGE: Use Writers Resource software tutorial to supplement exercises for improvement or to practice for improvement of consistent errors in writing.

Use suggested resources for ESL students who need practice in correcting errors common to second language writers.

ASSIGNMENTS AND REQUIREMENTS: Students will read assigned chapters from the text each week and complete writing exercises. Students will also be responsible for reading handouts and turning in grammar and usage assignments.

TEST AND EXAMS: There will be two major exams--a mid-term and a comprehensive final. Tests include objective, short answer, and essay questions. There will also be numerous grammar and reading quizzes and in-class writing exercises.

GRADING: Grades will be assigned based on the number of points students receive. Points will be translated into grades in this way: 90-100 points=A

80-89 points=B

70-79 points=C

60-69 points=D

59 and below=F

Exams are each worth 100 points. Points for quizzes, daily homework, and writing assignments will be announced when the assignment is made. Grammar, usage, and paragraph writing account for 25% and essays for 75% of the final grade. Students’ final grades will be determined by the following criteria: substantial improvement in writing and usage, prompt completion of homework assignments, and attendance. A grade of “C” on the final essay and final grammar exam is required for students to progress to the next level.

PLAGIARISM: The intentional use of someone else’s words, without proper documentation, will result in an automatic “F” on the assignment where plagiarism has been discovered. Two discoveries of plagiarism will result in failure of the course. See page 150 of the NWACC 2005-2006 Catalog for the specific college regulations concerning academic honesty.

ATTENDANCE: Students are expected to attend all classes. There are no “excused” absences. Following the second absence, students’ grades will be affected. Exemplary attendance will be rewarded with a bonus of 10 percentage points. Excessive absences will result in failure to pass the course. In web-delivered courses, attendance will take on the additional meaning of a student not submitting assignments when due since actual classroom meetings are not required.

MAKE-UP POLICY: Scheduled exams and homework assignments may be made up within two weeks of the assignment‘s due date. Students must provide advance notification if they will be missing an exam. Requesting a make-up date at the Testing Center and obtaining missed assignments and announcements are the responsibility of the student. Submitting late assignments and failing to complete assignments will lead to low or failing grades.

COURSE WITHDRAWAL: The last day to drop with a “W” will be by 4:00 p.m. on Friday, November 4. Students who withdraw must fill out the appropriate forms with the registrar. Students who do not officially withdraw will receive a failing grade due to their absences. August 29th is the last day to drop 16-week classes and receive a 100% refund.

BAD WEATHER POLICY: Information relating to the cancellation of classes will be released to local T.V. and radio. Day classes will be announced by 6:00 a.m., evening classes by 3:00 p.m. Student weather line is 619-4377, or look at NWACC’s homepage ( to find out.

DisABILITY SERVICES: If you are a student with a documented disAbility who will be requesting accommodations, you should contact the office of disAbility Services at the Student Information Center in Burns Hall, 619-4384. The director of disAbility Services will meet with you and recommend appropriate accommodations and services after you have submitted the required documentation.

EXIT CRITERIA: Any student needs to perform at an overall grade of “A,” “B,” or “C” to proceed to the next sequenced course; a “D” or “F” letter grade does not signal background skill to succeed at the next level.

FAMILY EDUCATIONAL RIGHTS AND PRIVACY ACT: NWACC is committed to your right to privacy as outlined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

STUDENT CONDUCT: Students at NWACC have rights and responsibilities especially concerning personal conduct. Please refer to page 144 in the 2005-2006 NWACC Catalog for particular guidelines.

August 22 Course introduction.
August 24 Writing diagnostic.
August 26 Grammar diagnostic.
August 29 Chapters 1, 2, and 3.
August 31 Chapter 30--Subjects and Verbs.
September 2 Chapter 31--Fragments.
September 5 Labor Day Holiday.
September 7 Chapter 6--Describing. Chapter 21--read “Magpies,” pg. 256, and “Longing To Die…” pg. 260. Assignment of descriptive writing topic.
September 9 Peer review of descriptive paragraphs. Descriptive writing assignment due. Chapter 32-- Fused Sentences and Comma Splices.
September 12 Chapter 7--Narrating. Chapter 22--read “Eleven,” pg.265, and “Choosing the Path…” pg. 269. Assignment of narrative writing topic.
September 14 Peer review of narrative paragraphs. Chapter 33--Regular and Irregular Verbs.
September 16 Narrative assignment due. Chapter 34--Verb Tense.
September 19 Chapter 8--Illustrating. Chapter 23--read “Homeless Woman…” pg. 275 and “Walk On By,” pg. 280. Assignment of illustration writing topic.
September 21 Peer review of illustration paragraphs. Chapter 35 Subject-Verb Agreement.
September 23 Illustration assignment due. Chapter 36--More on Verbs.
September 26 Chapter 9--Analyzing a Process. Chapter 24--read “Getting Out of Debt…” pg. 287 and “Coming Over,” pg. 294. Assignment of process writing topic.
September 28 Peer review of process essay. Chapter 37--Pronoun Problems.
September 30 Process assignment due. Chapter 38--Pronoun Reference and Point of View.
October 3 Chapter 10--Comparing and Contrasting. Chapter 25--read “The Barrio,” pg. 299 and “A Fable for Tomorrow,” pg. 303. Assignment of comparison and contrast writing topic.
October 5 Peer review of comparison and contrast essay. Chapter 39 Pronoun Agreement.
October 7 Comparison and contrast assignment due. Review for mid-term.
October 10 Mid-term
October 12 Chapter 40--Adjectives, Chapter 41—Adverbs.
October 14 Chapter 42--Modifier Errors.
October 17 Chapter 11--Dividing and Classifying. Chapter 26--read “Rapport…” pg. 307 and “Categories of Time Use,” pg. 313. Assignment of classification writing topic.
October 19 Peer review of classification essay. Chapter 43--End Punctuation.
October 21 Classification writing assignment due. Chapter 44--Commas.
October 24 Chapter 12--Defining. Chapter 27--read “Workers,” pg. 318 and “What is Poverty?” pg. 325. Assignment of definition writing topic.
October 26 Peer review of definition essay. Chapter 45-- Apostrophes , Chapter 46--Quotation Marks.
October 28 Definition writing assignment due. Chapter 47--Other Punctuation Marks.
October 31 Chapter 13--Analyzing Causes and Effects. Chapter 28--read “Shedding the Weight…” pg. 331 and “Life Sentences,” pg. 334. Assignment of cause and effect writing topic.
November 2 Peer review of cause and effect essay. Chapter 48—Capitalization.
November 4 Cause and effect writing assignment due. Chapter 49--Abbreviations and Numbers.
November 7 Chapter 14--Arguing. Chapter 29--read “Why Study English?” pg. 339, “Hate Crime Laws Are Necessary” pg. 347, and “Hate Crime Laws Are Unnecessary” pg. 351. Assignment of argument writing topic.
November 9 Peer review of argument essay. Chapter 50--Varying Sentence Structure.
November 11 Argument writing assignment due. Chapter 51--Parallelism.
November 14 Chapter 4--Revising and Chapter 5--Editing.
November 16 Chapter 52--Combining Sentences.
November 18 Chapter 18--Revising and Editing a Student Essay.
November 21 Final draft workshop.
November 23 Thanksgiving Holiday
November 25 Thanksgiving Holiday
November 28 Chapter 19--Revising and Editing Your Own Essay.
November 30 Chapter 20--Ideas for Writing.
December 2 Final draft workshop.
December 5 Final draft workshop.
December 7 Review for final exam. Portfolios due.
December 9 Final exam. Friday, 12/9, 10-noon.

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