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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
8/25 Introduction, Syllabus, the Writing Process, Expectations of Academic Writing
8/27 Review all Week 1 materials located on our class Moodle
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”
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
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)
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
9/29 “Is Google Making Us Stupid?”
10/01 “How Google is Making Us Smarter”
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”