341 Office Hours: M/W: 1230-130 & 5-6 T/Th: 1-230 or by appointment Required Texts and Other Expenses

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Melanie Jeffrey / English 70 Email: melanie.jeffrey@cerrocoso.edu

Fall 2014/ CRN: 72093 Office: 341

Office Hours: M/W: 1230-130 & 5-6 T/Th: 1-230 or by appointment

Required Texts and Other Expenses

MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th ed.): ISBN-10: 1603290249

The Way to Rainy Mountain, N. Scott Momaday, ISBN-13: 978-0826304360

A Journal, 3 bluebooks (available in the bookstore)

Photocopies of essays and a pocket folder

Please Note: this class utilizes Moodle, an online learning tool; regular reliable access to the internet is a must.

Catalog Course Description

In this course which prepares students to take university-level classes, students analyze and respond to college-level readings, compose expository and argumentative essays for a variety of rhetorical situations, incorporate outside sources into their writing using proper documentation techniques, and revise for coherence, unity, and development. Students write four to five expository essays including a lengthy research paper. Prerequisite: Level 2 Writing or completion of English C040.

This is a writing course. That means you will have to write. A lot. You will be required to write 4 out-of-class essays, including a 6-8 page researched paper. In addition, you will write 3 in-class essays, as well as journal assignments. All of these are designed to create a community of writers and thinkers, which in turn will strengthen your knowledge and comprehension, improve your writing skills, and develop your critical thinking skills.

Course Objectives

Upon entering English 70, students must be able to

  • write short compositions with clear organization, keywords, thesis, and topic sentences.  

  • construct coherent, unified, and well-developed paragraphs. 

  • identify and correct major errors in grammar (fragments, comma splices, fused sentences, subject/verb agreement errors, incorrect pronoun form), although minor errors (irregular comma use) might be present. 

  • determine general versus specific statements, claims versus support.

Papers will be graded assuming these skills are already in place.

In order to pass this course, students are expected to write solid, mostly error-free, college-level compositions. To successfully complete this course, students must be able to

  • organize mid-size (750-word) compositions effectively with cueing devices like keywords, topic sentences, and thesis statements.

  • write clear and grammatically-correct prose, free of both major and minor errors.

  • conduct original research and write a longer (1,250-word) research essay by evaluating and synthesizing multiple sources.

  • work conscientiously and properly with the ideas and wordings of outside sources, clearly distinguishing ideas of their own from those of others, both in the body of papers by means of signal phrases and in the use of MLA, and effectively integrating outside sources: quoting, paraphrasing, summarizing, and giving proper citations.

  • revise substantively, making significant changes in structure, focus and style.

  • work beyond the standard, basic essay, using different modes—explanation, argument, summary, synthesis—and variations as needed. Writing should demonstrate a clear sense of purpose and audience and should be more developed and fluid than at the 40 level.

  • read and understand mid-length essays and determine how they relate to other texts; distinguish between the ideas of multiple writers; and present and reflect on ideas.

  • read longer popular and accessible academic readings and read for comprehension, purpose, audience, and structure.

  • identify central points, both explicit and implied; distinguish fact from opinion; distinguish the major and minor supporting information, and determine author's purpose and recognize tone.

  • recognize structure of essays and longer works by using outlining skills and summarize and annotate texts for more complete understanding.

Student Learning Outcomes

To pass the class, students are expected to write solid, error-free, college-level compositions that carefully and conscientiously employ and cite outside sources. In particular, students must be able to

1. Analyze college-level reading material for structure, purpose, audience, and relation of

ideas to other texts.

2. Compose well-organized, well-developed, college-level academic essays in a variety of

modes of exposition (such as summary, critique, analysis, comparison and contrast,

persuasion, and synthesis) with clear thesis statements, persuasive support, and

appropriate introductions and conclusions.

3. Find, evaluate, organize, and effectively integrate college-level source material.
4. Revise and edit compositions to improve development, structure, unity, coherency,

grammar, punctuation, and spelling.

5. Employ MLA Style formatting and documentation.

Students who have verified learning disabilities and need assistive services or who, due to a sensory or processing disability, require alternative media formats of class materials should contact the ACCESS Office at (760) 384-6250.

Important Dates

  • September 5—Last day to drop with a refund

  • September 8—last day to drop without a “W”

  • November 3—last day to drop with a “W”

Readings Policy of the Cerro Coso English Department

All Associate and transfer-level English courses at Cerro Coso Community College require the reading of at least one novel or other work of imaginative literature. In these works students may encounter material that challenges their viewpoints and/or beliefs. The English department feels strongly that a student's ability to examine carefully and write seriously on ideas that he or she may not agree with is a crucially important critical thinking and interpersonal skill in our diverse community. For this reason, alternative materials will not be assigned. If a student feels that he or she simply cannot study the works assigned, then the student should consider dropping the class.

Class procedures and Grading Policy

Please be on time and turn off all cell phones, blackberries, palm pilots, beeping wristwatches, pagers, and any other electronic device that might disturb the class. Also, do not send text messages or fiddle with your phone during class.

Technology policy: although you may use your laptop to take notes or use an e-reader for your texts, please know that students who are using these devices in a way that disrupts the class (working in your online math class, for example) will be given a warning after the first incident. After the second incident, the student will be asked to leave class for the day.

Please complete each reading assignment before class. The majority of your readings have been provided for you, so there really is no excuse for not completing the reading assignments. I do not wish to give quizzes, but will do so if necessary.

Attendance is mandatory. If you miss class for any reason, it is your responsibility to get any assignments that you might have missed. Coming in late as well as leaving early may count toward your absences, especially if it becomes a habit. I may drop any student with 4 or more unexcused absences. Also, due to the unusually large number of grandma dying / cousin in the hospital/ computer crash incidents that occur when assignments are due, all extensions require appropriate documentation.

Regular participation counts toward your final grade in this class. Please note: attendance and class participation are two different things. All students are required to participate regularly in class activities and discussions. Missing quizzes, not completing in class activities, and skipping readings will greatly affect your participation grade.

Please bring your journal and texts to class each time.

All out-of-class essays must be typed or computer printed using a standard font and adhering to MLA guidelines. I will not accept any electronic submissions, including rough drafts, nor will I print from a disk. Late papers, including drafts, will not be accepted and fail automatically. Life threatening emergencies, as always, is the only exception.

All final drafts of essays will be submitted using Turnitin. Please refer to the handout for instructions on how to use Turnitin.

In general grades are determined according to course rubric using the following system:

Essay #1—draft 15 points 90-100%=A

Final 50 points 80-89%= B

Essay #2—draft 15 points 70-70%= C

Final 100 points 60-69%=D

Essay #3—draft 20 points 59% and below =F

Final 100 points

Final Project—Topic Proposal 15 points

outline 15 points

First Draft 25 points

Final Draft 200 points

Bluebook essay 1—25 points

Midterm—50 points

Final Exam—100 points

MLA Exam 1—20 points

MLA exam 2—35 points

Reading Journals—40 points

Participation—Homework, In-class activities, quizzes—75 points total

900 points total

A Note about Journals

Many class meetings will begin with a timed free-write designed to encourage critical thinking, help develop ideas for possible essay topics, and make students more at ease with the writing process. These will be completed in your journal; I will never read from your journal, but may occasionally ask for volunteers to share what they have written. For the most part however, your journal is a private place for you to write. Don’t know what to write? Write a list of ten things you want to accomplish in the next year, write a review of the latest movie you have seen, write a letter you know you could never send—the point is to keep writing.

A Note about Reading Journals

Since part of being a good writer is being a good reader, one of the objectives of this class is to work on improving your readings skills. Throughout the semester we will have 4 separate reading journal assignments that target specific reading skills. These assignments will be done in class and kept in your pocket folder.


“Plagiarism: The action or practice of taking someone else's work, idea, etc., and passing it off as one's own; literary theft” (Oxford English Dictionary). Students are expected to submit their own original work written specifically for this course. All sources quoted, paraphrased, summarized, or otherwise borrowed from, must be given proper credit through the use of quotation marks, parenthetical in-text citations, and Works Cited pages. See a recent edition of an MLA handbook for specifics on documentation. Plagiarism constitutes a breach of academic conduct for which the college imposes severe penalties. It is easy for an instructor to spot plagiarism, especially with the services of turnitin.com. If a paper, quiz, exam, journal entry, or forum post contains plagiarism of any kind or turns out to be associated in any way with an online "research assistance firm," the piece in question will receive an automatic zero and cannot be made up. Depending on the severity of the case, further disciplinary action may be taken. Flagrant cases of plagiarism will be reported to the Vice President of Student Services.

Units of Study

Unit 1 (weeks 1-4)


  • Review rhetorical modes

  • Understand features of a thesis, topic sentence

  • Learn effective organizational strategies for maintaining essay coherence and unity

  • Learn and apply features of a classification essay

  • Learn strategies for developing paragraphs

  • Understand the difference between summary and analysis

  • Review reading comprehension strategies and how to read a textbook

  • Reading Journal: How to annotate a text

  • MLA: Learn basic features of MLA format and documentation

  • Grammar and mechanics: punctuation, conjunctions, and transitions

  • Learn effective ways to transition between sentences

Unit 2 (weeks 5-8)


  • Learn and apply features of a discussion / argument essay

  • Learn effective strategies for transitioning between paragraphs in order to maintain essay coherence

  • Learn to distinguish facts from opinions in one’s writing

  • Reading Journal: How to Read a Textbook

  • Learn features of appropriate critical sources and college level sources

  • MLA: Learn effective ways to integrate source material

  • MLA: Understand features of appropriate paraphrase

  • MLA: Learn to recognize and avoid plagiarism

  • Grammar: fragments and run-ons

Unit 3 (weeks 9-13)


  • Learn and apply features of comparison and contrast essays

  • Reading Journal: Framing a text

  • Learn effective strategies for responding to primary readings

  • Learn effective strategies for responding to source materials

  • Learn to synthesize primary readings with source material

  • Evaluating sources for credibility

  • Learn effective strategies to develop critical thinking skills

Unit 4 (weeks 14-16)


  • Learn and apply features of a definition essay

  • Reading Journal: Summarizing, Contextualizing, and Synthesizing multiple texts

  • Synthesizing college-level sources

  • Learn features of outline

  • Preview expectations of English 101

Tentative Reading Schedule

The dates listed are the dates we will discuss the selected readings, so they should be completed before the dates. This is especially true when we are reading from the novel. Also, please note that except for the novel and your MLA book, all other sources have been supplied for you and are available on our course Moodle under the appropriate week.

Week 1

8/25 Introduction, Syllabus, the Writing Process, Expectations of Academic Writing

8/27 Review all Week 1 materials located on our class Moodle

Week 2

9/01 Labor Day—No class

9/03 “Everything you Wanted to Know about Thesis Statements but were Afraid to Ask,” “The Joy of Reading and Writing: Superman and Me,” “Advertising’s Fifteen Basic Appeals” “Excerpts from Marshal McLuhan,” “Classification Essays”

Week 3

9/08 “Making Connections: Conjunctions and Transitional Words,” “With these Words I Can Sell You Anything”

Diagnostic Paragraph due

9/10 Reading Journal 1: How to Annotate a Text

First Draft of Essay 1 due (Bring 2 copies)

MLA Workshop: Documenting Sources

Week 4

9/15 No Class—Individual Conferences

9/17 “Focus on Grammar and Mechanics: Review Basic Sentence and Punctuation”

Punctuation Workshop: Comma Rules 1-4

In-Class essay #1 (Bring Bluebook)

Week 5

9/22 “Focus on Writing: Making Arguments”

“How Computers Change the Way We Think”

Final Drafts Essay 1 due by 1159 pm via Turnitin

9/24 Focus on Grammar: Fragments, comma splices, and run-ons,”“Diagnosing the Digital Revolution: Why It’s so Difficult to Tell Whether It’s Really Changing Us”

Reading Journal 2: How to read a Textbook: Bring at least one textbook from another class

Week 6

9/29 “Is Google Making Us Stupid?”

10/01 “How Google is Making Us Smarter”

Week 7

10/06 “Six-ish Degrees of Separation”

MLA Workshop: Integrating Sources

First Drafts of Essay #2 due (bring 2 copies)

10/08 “Relationships, Community, and Identity in the New Virtual Society”

Review Connecting sentence handouts

Transitions handout

Week 8

10/13 “Mind Over Mass Media”

Identifying Fragments, Comma Splices, and Run-ons

10/15 “I Tweet, Therefore I am”

Final Drafts Essay 2 due by 1159 via Turnitin

Week 9

10/20 Midterm (Bring Bluebook)

10/22 “The Power of Myth” (video)

Week 10

10/27 The Way to Rainy Mountain: “Prologue” and “Introduction”

10/29 The Way to Rainy Mountain: “The Setting Out”

Week 11

11/3 The Way to Rainy Mountain: “The Going On”

11/05 The Way to Rainy Mountain: “The Closing In”

MLA Workshop: Appropriate paraphrasing

First Draft of Essay #3 due

Week 12

11/10 The Way to Rainy Mountain: “Epilogue”

11/12 “Of Altruism, Heroism, and Evolution’s Gifts”

Reading Journal 3: Summarizing, Contextualizing, and Synthesizing Multiple Texts

Week 13

11/17 “Superman” lyrics, “How to Be Great,” “We Need a Hero”

11/19 “On Heroism”

“Are Humans Hardwired to Be Heroes”

Week 14

11/24 CNN Heroes: choose 3 profiles

MLA Exam 1

11/26 CNN Heroes: choose 3 different profiles

Week 15

12/01 First Draft of Final Projects due (bring 2 copies)

12/03 MLA Exam 2

Week 16

Final Exam TBA

Final Draft of Essay 4 due Wednesday night via Turnitin.com
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