Course Syllabus for enc 1101 Freshman Composition I – crn 11027 Fall Term 2016 Online for West Campus

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Course Syllabus for ENC 1101

Freshman Composition I – CRN 11027

Fall Term 2016 Online for West Campus

(Subject to Change)
The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.  ~Mark Twain
When something can be read without effort, great effort has gone into its writing.  ~Enrique Jardiel Poncela

Instructor: Sue Beechum

Email: For best results, send messages to me within Blackboard. You may email me at – however, this email is not checked as frequently as in-class email/messaging.
Virtual Office Hours:

  • All Blackboard messages will be answered within 48-hours, although my desire is to connect with you within 24 hours, except weekends. I am not available on Saturday and Sunday.

  • Text messages will be handled in the same manner as Blackboard messages. Remember to give your name and class if you text.

  • Please reserve phone calls for emergencies, and please make those calls between 3 pm and 5 pm Monday through Friday.

  • Cell phone: 407-947-9434


Prerequisites: Score of 103 on writing component of PERT or equivalent score on other state-approved entry test or minimum grade of C in ENC 0027 or minimum grade of C in ENC 0025C or EAP 1640C, and a score of 106 on reading component of PERT or equivalent score on other state-approved entry test or minimum grade of C in REA 0017C or EAP 1620C. Development of essay form, including documented essay; instruction and practice in expository writing. Emphasis on clarity of central and support ideas, adequate development, logical organization, coherence, appropriate citing of primary and/or secondary sources, and grammatical and mechanical accuracy. Gordon Rule course in which the student is required to demonstrate college-level writing skills through multiple assignments. Minimum grade of C is required if ENC 1101 is used to satisfy Gordon Rule and General Education Requirements.


Course Goals and Objectives:

  • Examine the writing situation, how it affects an author’s rhetorical choices

  • Read critically, think creatively, and discover your own writing voice

  • Write effectively and persuasively, applying the principles of the writing process: prewriting, drafting, revising, and editing/proofreading.

  • Compose essays in a variety of modes, culminating in timed writings in which you demonstrate central and supporting ideas, well-planned paragraphs, varied sentence structure, and competent use of writing conventions.

  • Utilize techniques, description, and argument in expository essays.

Online is different from a face-to-face class:

  • It can feel overwhelming—especially in the first week or two.  You’ve probably forgotten how ill-at-ease you felt when you first went to high school, but taking an online class for the first time is very similar.  It takes a while to learn your way around the “virtual campus”.

  • It fits more easily into your schedule.  However, since you will do most of your work at home, it requires more self-discipline in setting aside time to study and participate in the course’s learning activities.

  • As in any course in which you want to do well, this course will take more time than you expect

  • All reminders of due dates are electronic.  If you don’t access the course regularly, you may miss key assignments and due dates.

  • You will collect, reflect on, and respond to information that you have gathered.  In an online course, responsibility for learning rests equally on students and facilitators.

  • It works best when you enjoy using technology and interacting with others online.

To be successful in this course, you will need:

  • Full-time access to a computer with a high-speed connection.

  • Basic computer skills, such as the use of word processing software, sending email with attachments, uploading and downloading files from external source

  • An open-minded attitude, personal honesty, and a willingness to share your knowledge and ideas with others.

  • The belief that online learning is more convenient, but not easier than face-to-face learning.

  • The belief that quality learning can happen anytime and anywhere.

  • The ability to read directions carefully and follow them exactly.

  • An interest in self-reflection

Required Texts:

Buscemi, Santi V. and Charlotte Smith. 75 Readings Plus. 10th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2013.
Bullock, Richard and Francine Weinberg. The Little Seagull Handbook. 2nd ed. New York: W.W. Norton, 2013.

Important Dates:
August 29 Classes begin

September 6 Add/drop deadline

November 1 Last day to withdraw without a grade

November 23 - 25 No classes

December 12 Final exams begin

December 18 Term ends

VCC Competencies: Think, Value, Communicate, and Act are Valencia’s core competencies: complex skills and abilities every student needs to succeed in college and in life. You will engage in these activities and build on them over the course of your lifetime. See the VCC catalog for a more complete reference.
Computer-based learning Activity: to demonstrate competence with the basic use of computers the College's Freshmen Composition Course (ENC 1101) course is designed to include a formal "computer-based" learning activity. All work for this course will be computer-based, fulfilling this requirement.

  • All course work MUST be submitted as a Word file (.doc/.docx). Assignments in other formats cannot be accessed. If you do not have Word on your computer, Valencia College students have FREE access to Office 365 ProPlus. Instructions for downloading this software is on the last page of this syllabus.

  • Electronic research will be a component of a documented essay later in the term. Modern Language Association’s (MLA) guidelines for these resources will be required.

  • All assignments will be given a point value. The final grade will be determined by adding all points and dividing by the total possible points.

Students with Disabilities: Students with disabilities who qualify for academic accommodations must provide a letter from the Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD) and discuss specific needs with the professor, preferably during the first two weeks of class. The Office for Students with Disabilities determines accommodations based on appropriate documentation of disabilities.

Message/Email Policy: In order to minimize the risk of computer virus transfers, I will only read and answer student e-mails sent from a student’s Atlas account or through Blackboard. Note that even if Black Board is down or having problems, I can be reached at the e-mail address at the top of this document. Please regularly and frequently check your Blackboard and Atlas e-mail accounts as well as our class site for announcements, changes to our schedule, etc.

Important Notice: Your instructor is NOT technical support. If you are experiencing problems with Atlas, Black Board, or other technology, you will need to contact the appropriate department: Atlas Help Desk: 407-582-5444; Blackboard: 866-946-0998 or

Do not email me with a tech issue; call tech support immediately. The only thing I could do with a tech issue is make it worse!

*******************************************************************************************A special note about computers: Even though computers and word-processing software are marvelous time and energy-saving devices, they can and do cause problems with the production of your documents. Please be aware that a broken or ill-functioning computer or printer, or the inability to retrieve, produce or submit your assignments from a computer will not be accepted as valid excuses for a document that is submitted late. I advise you to save all of your documents to both your hard drive and a CD or flash drive.


Attendance and Withdrawals:

Attendance in this online class will be judged based on a student’s timely submission of academic assignments. A student will be withdrawn as a “No Show” if that student has not submitted at least two (2) academic assignments in the Week One Module within the first week of classes.

At any time during the semester if you decide to drop this course for any reason, you must initiate the process by calling the registrar’s office. Otherwise, you will receive an F at the end of the semester. It is your responsibility to manage your classes. Please take any financial aid you receive into consideration before making a decision. The deadline this session for withdrawing with a W is November 11.

Grading Policy:
All assignments will be given a point value. The final grade will be determined by adding all points and dividing by the total possible points.
The grading scale for the course is as follows:
A 90-100

B 80-89

C 70-79

D 60-69

F 0-59

Note: A “C” or better is required to pass this course per The Gordon Rule.
Format for writing assignments:
Type your own papers. Please double space; a paper that is not double-spaced will not be graded. If you have more than two pages, number each page, beginning with page 2, in the upper right corner. Allow one-inch margins on all four sides of your paper. Use the following signature in the upper left corner of the first page:
Jane Student

ENC 1101

July 1, 2025

Your paper should have a title centered on the top line of the first page. You should skip a line between the title and the first line of the composition. All paragraphs should be indented appropriately. Proofread your paper carefully to correct all grammatical and mechanical errors. DO NOT rely on grammar check and spell check.


  • Deadlines are non-negotiable. The assignments in ENC 1101 are organized sequentially; therefore, they are to be written on time and submitted by the deadline.

  • All assignments, with the exception of the initial discussion post, are due before 11:59 pm on Sunday of the appropriate week.

  • Your original posting in response to the discussion prompt is due no later than Thursday at 11:59 pm each week.

  • For this class, Monday will be the first day of the week; Sunday will be the last.

  • Any assignment not submitted by 11:59 pm on Sunday will be considered late.

  • Any assignment submitted within 24-hours after the deadline will receive a grade no higher than 50%. No work will be accepted more than 24-hours after the deadline.

Essay Rewrites:

  • Only a paper, with a grade of 79 or lower, may be rewritten, and only one paper may be rewritten during the semester.

  • The rewrite grade will replace the original grade.

  • A paper that was never turned in for an original grade may NOT be turned in on the rewrite due date. The rewrite can score no higher than a 92.

  • The research paper, or any part of it, is not eligible for rewrite.

  • If you choose to rewrite, that re-submission is due ONE WEEK (by midnight) after your graded essay is returned to you.

  • A successful rewrite will show attention to the suggestions made about the original, with improvements made in grammar, mechanics, and, most importantly, content (claims, logic, support, etc.). Keep in mind that doing a rewrite is OPTIONAL: your choice

Peer Editing: Draft work and editing are considered part of your grade. Be prepared to work with other students in online writing teams.
Academic Honesty Policy Number: 6Hx28:10-16
All forms of academic dishonesty are prohibited at Valencia College. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, plagiarism, cheating, furnishing false information, forgery, alteration or misuse of documents, misconduct during a testing situation, and misuse of identification with intent to defraud or deceive.

All work submitted by students is expected to be the result of the students' individual thoughts, research, and self-expression. Whenever a student uses ideas, wording, or organization from another source, the source shall be appropriately acknowledged.

Students shall take special notice that the assignment of course grades is the responsibility of the students' individual professor. When the professor has reason to believe that an act of academic dishonesty has occurred, and before sanctions are imposed, the student shall be given informal notice and an opportunity to be heard by the professor. Any student determined by the professor to have been guilty of engaging in an act of academic dishonesty shall be liable to a range of academic penalties as determined by the professor which may include, but not be limited to, one or more of the following: loss of credit for an assignment, examination, or project; a reduction in the course grade; or a grade of "F" in the course. At the option of the professor, the campus provost may be furnished with written notification of the occurrence, and the action taken. If such written notice is given, a copy shall be provided to the student. Students guilty of engaging in a gross or flagrant act of academic dishonesty or repeated instances of academic dishonesty will also be subject to administrative and /or disciplinary penalties which may include warning, probation, suspension and / or expulsion from the College.

The student may appeal action taken by the professor under the provisions of either Policy 6Hx28:10-13 or 6Hx28:10-15 as determined by the nature of the action taken.


Because of the variety of sources, ease of publication, lack of central control and proliferation of commercial information on the free Internet, it is often hard to tell if the information is reliable.  Many sites contain research and information of high quality.  However, unlike traditional print publications or library-based electronic resources, there is usually no process of peer review, nor is there an editor verifying the accuracy of information presented on the Internet.  There are an increasing number of sites containing information that may be incomplete, anonymously written, out-of-date, biased, fraudulent, or whose content may not be factual. Students should, therefore, use caution in use of the free Internet for their research needs.  For academic topics that are addressed in scholarly literature, use of electronic databases or visiting the library may better meet your needs.  However, each professor makes the final determination about what is or is not accepted as a valid source so review the syllabus for specific guidelines from your professor.



  • You will be required to post responses to various discussions on the essays we read and other topics throughout the semester. You will have to post and reply in all discussion threads.

  • The discussion prompts and your responses will go in the “Discussions” link on our Black Board course site.

  • Your responses will be assessed based on the Rubric for Discussion Posts, available on our course home page in the folder titled “Important Documents.” Though content is far more important than spelling and grammar, as this is a college-level writing course, you should be careful to try to write and edit professionally. This means you must use proper capitalization, title format, spelling and grammar at all times. I will cite some student posts as examples of ideal discussion posts, and I’ll be posting myself frequently, so try to model your writing on those examples.

  • Your initial discussion posting will be your response to the prompt and is always due on THURSDAYS by 11:59 pm.

  • Before 11:59 pm on Sunday, you will be expected to read at least ten (10) postings by other students. You will also need to respond to at least five (5) postings written by your peers.

  • Keep in mind that Discussion posts are not accepted late. Be sure to follow Discussion “netiquette” rules as listed later in this syllabus.

  • Note that I will NOT necessarily respond to each student’s post in any given thread; if I feel my response would be repetitive of something I’ve already noted, I will just read the post. I DO, however, read all posts carefully.

  • These threaded discussions are meant to be an alternative to the kind of discussion we’d have in a classroom. Just as in a classroom, some students are more outgoing and talkative than others, so how much/often each of you responds to others will factor into any decisions I have to make if one’s class score is within rounding distance of a higher grade.

  • Please keep in mind that replies should also be thorough and add new ideas or information to the original post; questions can also be asked. However, a reply should not simply be agreement (“Hey, I’m totally down with your interpretation of this poem!”) or praise (“Wow, your answer was really insightful!”). Such comments are all right ONLY if they are followed by further explanation or interpretation, or if you’ve already replied thoroughly to another post.

The 10-5-1 Rule:

  • Read at least 10 main postings of your peers, respond to a minimum of 5 original peer postings, and post at least 1 original posting which begins a new thread under the discussion prompt.

A good discussion post is:

  • Substantial- thoughtful, original, relevant and contributes to the overall learning of the group

  • Thought-provoking- stimulates thinking and reasoning

  • Timely- post early to give your peers time to respond, this contributes to a rich discussion

  • Logical, concise and grammatical

  • Conveys “your presence”- reinforce your conclusions with real life and professional experiences

Discussion Forum Code of Conduct/Netiquette: As stated above, a large percentage of your grade will come from your responses to questions I will pose to the class in our discussion forum as well as your responses to ideas posted by classmates. Just as civil behavior conducive to learning is important in a face-to-face classroom, so are there certain standards necessary in our discussion forum:

  • Though I hope that we will all become comfortable with and interested in each other’s ideas as shown in our postings, posts answering course questions or responding to classmates’ posts must remain on topic. They are not the place for telling us what you did last weekend and so on. An off-topic forum (the ungraded “Coffeehouse” section) is provided on our site for side conversations, though even that forum must conform to the further guidelines below.

  • Follow standard netiquette, too: don’t use all caps (the equivalent of shouting), over-use sarcasm/irony, forward jokes or other internet nonsense, post inflammatory/snide responses to classmates, etc.

  • Basic expectations of normal civility (respectful address of classmates and instructor, reasonable tone, etc.) are always in effect.

  • Violating any of these guidelines will result in a quick e-mail from me; if such violations continue, you may be subject to withdrawal.


(Subject to change)

Reading Assignments

75 Readings Plus


-Read “Narration”

-Read Maya Angelou’s “Grandmother’s Victory”

-Read George Orwell’s “Shooting an Elephant”


-Read “Description”

-Read E.B. White’s “Once More to the Lake”

-Read Joan Didion’s “Marrying Absurd”


-Read “Process Analysis”

-Read Richard Marius’s “Writing Drafts”

-Read Diane Ackerman’s “Why Leaves Turn Color in the Fall”

-Read John (Fire) Lame Deer and Richard Erdoes’s “Alone on a Hilltop”

-Read “Definition”

-Read Jo Goodwin Parker’s “What is Poverty”

-Read Ellen Goodwin’s “The Company Man”

-Read Gloria Naylor’s “Meanings of a Word”

-Read “Classification and Division”

-Read Kesaya Noda’s “Growing Up Asian in American”

-Read Judith Viorst’s “The Truth About Lying”

-Read William Lutz’s “Doublespeak”

-Read “Comparison and Contrast”

-Read Bruce Catton’s “Grant and Lee: A Study in Contrasts”

-Read Suzanne Britt’s “Neat People vs. Sloppy People”

Read Scott Russell Sanders’ “The Men We Carry in Our Minds”


-Read “Example and Illustration”

-Read Brent Staple’s “Black Men and Public Spaces”

-Read William Zinsser’s “Clutter”

-Read John McPhee’s “Silk Parachute”

-Read “Cause and Effect”

-Read Shelby Steele’s “White Guilt”

-Read Philip Meyer’s “If Hitler Asked you to Electrocute…”


-Read “Argument”

-Read Michael Rubinkam’s “Texting in Class is Rampant”

-Read Nat Hentoff’s “Should This student Have Been Expelled?”

-Read Alan Dershowitz’s “Shouting ‘Fire!’”

-Read “Persuasion”

Read Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal”

Read Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream”

Read Judy Brady’s “Why I Want a Wife”
Documented paper and research using internet and on-line database resources:

The preliminary steps leading to the completed paper will also receive grades. The final draft pf the research paper will be given the weight of two essays - 200 points and will replace the final examination.

Free Microsoft Office Offer for Mac and PC

To: All currently enrolled students

From: Atlas Information Systems Team

Subject: Microsoft Student Advantage Now Available at Valencia College!

Dear Student,
Valencia College is pleased to announce that we are now able to offer the Microsoft Student Advantage to our current students! Microsoft Student Advantage offers students the free Office 365 ProPlus which is a full version of Office and includes Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Access, and more. Office 365 ProPlus is a user-based service and allows each student to install on up to five PCs or MACs and access Office mobile applications on iPhone and Android phones. Your Office ProPlus subscription will remain valid while you are an active Valencia student.
To download your free subscription to Office ProPlus:

  1. Log into your Atlas Account

  2. Click on the EMAIL icon in the upper right corner

  3. If given an option, select Atlas Email & Office 365

  4. Click on the Settings Icon

  5. Select Office 365 Settings

  6. Select Software

  7. Follow the instructions provided to install the software

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