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Tunxis Community College
Composition 101 Syllabus

Basic Information
English Composition ENG*101 (Late Start: September 12 through December 15)
No: 3775
Time: TR 1:00-2:30 P.M.
Semester: Fall 2019
Credits: 3
Instructor: Steve Ersinghaus

Contact Information

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Student Contact

Your college email is the principle method for contact with the professor outside of the classroom. Updates, information, questions, and other information will be sent to your college email.

Course Description

Composition focuses on the study and practice of writing in an academic community. The course develops skills in text-based writing and introduction to college-level research. Students sharpen their ability to read, analyze, evaluate, and synthesize texts and ideas and to argue effectively in writing that exhibits an intended purpose and audience. Students will draft and revise essays that are focused, organized, developed, and written in clear, standard English.

The Student Handbook
Follow this link the current Student Handbook.

Required Texts
There are no required texts to purchase for this course other than readings provided on the Course Calendar. Here is a link to the freely provided Academic Reading and Writing text for the course. Other texts will be linked to from the course’s Reading Calendar.

Attendance is a significant factor in your success in this course, as most of the instructional importance comes from the in-class discussion, modeling of assignments, and alterations to the pace of the course. 3 or 4 missed sessions will seriously impair your ability to keep up. But, as we know, life happens. Attentiveness to the schedule and to study habits are a plus.

A Note on Classroom Decorum
I encourage the use of mobile tech, laptops, and tablets in the course. However, disruptions, such as leaving or entering late, are not encouraged. Complaints or problems should be reserved to one on one meetings in my office. Smart phone screens should be kept on the desktops face down.

Ability-Based Learning and Assessment

In this course, you will be introduced and expected to practice discipline based and General Education abilities. What follows is a list of the specific expectations. Each statement begins with The student:

Course/Discipline Abilities

1. Interprets and evaluates complex texts

2. Demonstrates a process of critical inquiry

3. Writes essays that articulate convincing arguments supported by authoritative evidence

4. Clearly expresses ideas in writing through the effective use of standard English and documentation

General Education Abilities

GENERAL EDUCATION: (Numbering reflects General Education Outcomes as they appear in the college catalog)

11. Written Communication – Students will be prepared to develop written texts of varying lengths and styles that communicate effectively and appropriately across a variety of settings.

Demonstrates: Writes articulate texts using appropriate evidence and appeals as determined by the rhetorical situation.

Does Not Demonstrate: Writes texts lacking appropriate evidence and appeals as determined by the rhetorical situation.

Statement on Grades and Evaluation

In the Abilities-Based approach, grades themselves are not a priority although you will receive grades as either an association to ability rankings, at the mid term, or at the end of the course. What’s emphasized instead is the degree to which you demonstrate learning, application, and understanding of the subject regarding each ability.

You will be responsible for several written assignments and two major written projects. Most assignments for the class are linked to from the Course Reading Calendar. Some of the assignments will not become available until specified dates.

Conventional Grade Breakdown

A=95-100 C+=77-79 D-=60-63
A-=90-94 C=74-76
B+=87-89 C-=70-73
B = 84-86 D+=67-69
B- =80-83 D= 64-66

Ability-Based Equivalents and Their Values

1 Not Satisfactory = F, D
2 Satisfactory = C through B+
3 Distinguished = A

Typically, the degree to which you demonstrate ability at the 1, 2, and 3 ratings will depend on sufficiency and depth. Most assignments will be scored against one or several of the above abilities.

Writing Assignment Guidelines and Evaluated Projects

All written material for this course, with the exception of in-class writing, must be word processed using whatever word processor the student is comfortable with. Documents should not be shared with a link to any online facility, such as Google or Microsoft.

All written work should be submitted with page numbers at the header right, with your name, my name, the course title, and the date placed at the top left of the header left (MLA style: see sample papers). All work should have a title that articulates the subject or point of view of the essay. The title should be centered and fixed 2 spaces beneath the date. See provided MLA sample papers for reference. Note that MLA guidelines have been updated for 2009.

All research, where appropriate, must be credited in MLA documentation format.

No work will be accepted if it is submitted late unless we come to an agreement prior to the date for submission. Since this courses teaches the importance of completing work within a given amount of time and depends upon your understanding of argument development and planning, extensions must be carefully considered.

I allow and encourage resubmission of work as a function of “learning to revise and edit” not as a way of “getting a better grade.”  If you are rated at 1 for one or numerous abilities according to the ability-based model on a paper, in other words, you can always show improvement by revising the paper and focusing on weaknesses or missed elements. If, however, improvement is not “demonstrated,” scores will remain the same. Note that in this course, students will be provided very little on-paper feed back. Most of the feedback will come in the form of comment on the abilities themselves and what they mean in the context of a particular assignment.

Course Theme

In this section of Composition, we will be concentrating on foundational, college level texts. We will focus on the building blocks of writing and thinking for an academic community. Subjects will range from appropriate reading materials, foundational ideas in the liberal arts, and the kinds of traditional questions asked at the college level.

This semester we will concentrate on the idea of civic virtue and virtue in general.

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