English 125 Writing Skills for College Section #52638 Tuesdays/Thursdays

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English 125, Fall 2012, #52638 Mrs. Berg

English 125

Writing Skills for College

Section #52638


12-1:50pm in CCI 207
Syllabus…………………………………………..page 2
Assignment Calendar…………………………....page 10
Essay Prompts……………………………………page 14
Grammar Assignments Weeks 1-9……………..page 18
Grammar Assignments Weeks 10-16…………..page 27
Syllabus: English 125, Writing Skills for College, Section #52638

Contact Information

Mrs. Berg, Instructor Email: emily.berg@reedleycollege.edu

Office: Faculty Annex 6 (directly behind the SOC building) Phone: 638-3641, ext. 3150

Office Hours: Mondays and Wednesdays from 10am-12pm; Fridays from 11am-12pm. Other times may be scheduled outside these hours as needed.

Course Description

In this course, students will develop the process of writing, revising, and finishing essays, which includes the logical development and organization of ideas. Students will avoid common writing errors, develop their writing skills by reading model essays and analyzing rhetorical strategies, develop critical thinking skills by matching the structures of writing to meaning and audience, and by using writing as thinking to explore and express ideas. This course is a companion to ENGL 126 and prepares students for ENGL 1A. Students must successfully complete written course work to receive credit. Placement for this course is designated by the college assessment process or successful completion of English 252.

Grading Policy

Your grade is calculated by using the following traditional grading scale during the semester:

Passing Grades: A=90-100%; B=80-89%; C=70-79% Failing Grades: D=60-69%; F=0-59%

Assignments and their Due Dates

Point Value

Your Grade

Essay #1 (due week 4)


Essay #2 (due week 7)


Essay #3 (due week 10)


Grammar Midterm (Test on the grammar concepts

from weeks 1-9)


Essay #4 (due week 14)


Essay #5 (due week 17)


Final (In Class, Timed Essay)


Grammar Final (Test on the grammar concepts

from weeks 10-17)


Homework (Weeks 1-9)


Homework (Weeks 10-17)


Reading quizzes


Grammar Quizzes




Grades are promptly posted on Blackboard; please look on Blackboard for your current grade in the class. You are also always welcome to come discuss your progress in the class with me during my office hours.

Changes to the Syllabus/Assignment Calendar

The instructor reserves the right to make changes as necessary for the benefit of the class to change policies on the syllabus or dates on the calendar. Missing class or not checking Blackboard is not an excuse for not being aware of any changes that are made to the calendar or the syllabus.

Required Texts and Materials

Kirszner, Laurie G. and Stephen R. Mandell. Patterns for College Writing: A Rhetorical Reader and Guide.

12th Edition. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2012.
Supplies Needed for Every Class:

  • a flash drive

  • a set of several different colored highlighters

  • plenty of lined paper

  • some computer paper (in case we run out in lab)

  • pencils and blue or black ink pens

  • a binder with organizational tabs to keep all of your work for this class

Additional materials needed: one examination blue book (size 8 ½ x 11) for the final.

Course Objectives/Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Write an essay of at least 750 words which includes an introduction, multiple body paragraphs, and conclusion of some sophistication. This essay will include:

  1. clearly defined thesis statement

  2. unified supporting paragraphs, which begin with topic sentences

  3. quotations that support the topic sentences and the thesis

  4. supporting material that exhibits critical thinking

  5. complete sentences which include a variety of sentence types (simple, compound, complex, and compound/complex sentence)

  6. will avoid fragments, comma splices, sentence fuses and other basic skills errors, such as capitalization, spelling, homophone issues, verb tense issues, subject-verb agreement, pronoun agreement, word choice issues, confused syntax, etc

  7. descriptive vocabulary that exhibits growth and sophisticated word choice

  8. use the MLA guidelines to setup essays, correctly use in-text citations for at least one source, and complete a works cited page

  9. writing that is free from plagiarism

  10. will demonstrate awareness of how to write from the 3rd person point of view for a specific audience

  1. Plan and revise independently, employing all stages of the writing process as necessary and appropriate.

  2. Complete a passing multi-paragraph in-class essay with a thesis and support.

Attendance Policies

Important skills are learned in every class meeting, especially since we only see each other only twice a week—when you are absent, you miss a lot! Please be aware that more than 2 weeks’ worth absences for whatever reason will result in a drop from this class (e.g. 5 absences=drop). Keep in mind that this is a college class—an absence, no matter the reason, is still an absence. That being said, it is common courtesy to inform me should you need to miss class, especially if you miss more than one class in a row. There’s few things more infuriating for teachers than a student who disappears for a few class sessions and then shows up wanting to know if he’s missed anything or expecting to fit right back in.

It is your responsibility to get assignments and handouts and to make sure that they are turned in if you are absent. I suggest that you find a reliable person in class to turn in papers for you, get homework assignments, and pick up work for you should you need to be absent from a class.
Tardies and early departures are disruptive and will not be tolerated; two tardies or early departures of more than 5 minutes will result in one absence. If you arrive late, it is your responsibility to check in with me at the end of class, or your absence will remain on your record. Please come in quietly and take the closest available seat by the door to minimize disruptions to the class. Should you need to be tardy more than 10 minutes of any class or need to leave more than 10 minutes early, I will count that as an absence.


The homework assignments are checked at the beginning of class only for full credit. If you are late (or absent) for whatever reason, your work is late. If you were late, absent, or you didn’t do your work on time, you still have the opportunity to earn up to half credit. You have until the midterm to make up any homework from weeks 1-9, and the final to make up any work from weeks 10-17. The grammar packet will be collected at the midterm and again at the final for homework points. No homework can be turned in after then.

Getting Additional Help

The Writing Center is located in HUM 58 on the Reedley College campus. Stop by to enroll in English 272, a course designed to help you on any writing assignment from any class. Or take advantage of our walk-in or online tutorial. The Writing Center is open Monday - Thursday: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Writing Center aims to help students become more confident and skilled writers, create a student-centered environment that focuses on the ideas of the writer, and offer students resources for all of their writing needs.

Word Processing Formats

The most common word processing format is Microsoft Word (.docx). If you use another word processing program, you will need to learn to save your work in Rich Text Format (RTF). Do not use Microsoft Works or any other program that does not allow for easy conversion. Using WordPad is unacceptable. If you have a program other than Microsoft Word, you must plan to visit a local library—public or school—to convert your work before posting it for the final product.

Essays—Getting the Work Done on Time

For each essay assignment, you are required to submit outlines and several drafts before the final draft is due. To receive full credit for your work, your drafts need to be on time and of substantial length –the same page requirement as the final draft assignment. If you are absent for whatever reason on the day a final draft is due, it is nonetheless your responsibility to turn in the work on time. You will need to submit the paper to me, in class, by email, or in my mailbox before class begins to receive full credit for the assignment.

Any essays written during the semester will only be accepted up to one week after the deadline for any credit. For each class meeting that you submit the essays late, a full letter grade will be deducted from the overall grade. If you turn in a paper late, you will not have an opportunity to rewrite the paper.
All of your final drafts will be submitted on Blackboard, through Turnitin.com. Before you upload the file, double check to make sure that you are submitting the correct draft of this assignment. Upload the file to the Blackboard site (find it in this essay’s details folder). Save your file with your first and last name plus the essay number in it (e.g. the file should be called “John Smith Essay #1.docx”), and make sure you save this file as a doc or .docx or .rtf file (I do prefer .docx). To submit an essay, follow the detailed instructions in each essay’s folder, where the link to submit your paper is located.
Please remember that computer problems inevitably will occur when submitting your paper online. I have found that when students wait until the last minute to upload their papers, they will usually end up having problems (such as having the computer crash). Remember, a paper turned in 5 minutes late is late and a full letter grade will be deducted! I will not be able to respond to a last minute, panicked email to have me clear a failed upload attempt. The smart student will take this warning into consideration and upload the paper several hours or days in advance of the due date, allowing time to get help or make alternative arrangements should computer problems occur.

Essays--Rewriting Policies

You are allowed to and encouraged to rewrite only one essay over the semester to try to earn up to one letter grade higher than the final grade you received on the paper. Please note you can only rewrite your work if you turned in the final draft of the paper on time. You have up to one week from when I return your essays to rewrite the paper. Here’s the steps you will need to follow to rewrite your paper:

  1. Once I have returned the essays to the class, you have up to one week from then to rewrite the paper. On the rewritten draft, highlight exactly what you have changed in the document itself.

  2. Then, after the works cited page, include a separate typed paragraph explaining exactly what changes you have made and explaining how these changes improved your paper. I will only award a grade higher for papers with substantial, significant changes in them and for people who have followed these directions.

  3. Turn into me the rewritten copy with the highlighting and your explanation of what you changed.

  4. You will not have the opportunity to rewrite Essay #5, as grades are due soon after you turn in that final paper.

Individual Conferences

Occasionally throughout the semester, I will hold mandatory individual conferences to discuss your progress in the class or to review your drafts with you. Please make sure you arrive early for this appointment with the homework due that class period ready to show me during your appointment. Missing a conference counts as a class absence, and you still need to check in with me regarding your draft or your grade—you will then need to reschedule your appointment during my office hours.


Bottom line: Do not copy someone else’s words or ideas without giving them credit. Do not use another student’s paper as your own. Do not use a paper you wrote from another class in this class. Do not have another person write the paper for you. All of these are forms of cheating. You will receive a zero on the assignment and a report will be filed with the administration for their review.

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