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Schulenburg Campus · Humanities · English - ENGL

Composition I

  • Spring 2014
  • Section SECTION_700 CRN-21389
  • 3 Credits
  • 01/13/2014 to 05/06/2014
  • Modified 01/08/2014

Meeting Times

Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:00 - 10:15 a.m.

Contact Information

Professor: Audrey A. Wick


Office Hours

  • Mon/Wed 8:45 - 10:25 a.m.
  • Tues/Thurs 8:30 - 9:00 a.m. and 10:15 - 11:05 a.m.
  • and other times by appointment

Paper Submission Site and Electronic Gradebook:

Free Blinn College Writing Tutor: [email protected]


This writing-intensive first semester freshman composition course includes (1) study of and practice in all phases of the writing process, both individually and collaboratively, and (2) study of and practice in the strategies and techniques for developing research-based expository and persuasive texts.  Emphasis on effective and ethical rhetorical inquiry, including primary and secondary research methods; critical reading of verbal, visual, and multimedia texts; systematic evaluation, synthesis, and documentation of information sources; and critical thinking about evidence and conclusions. Essays, including a 1500-word documented library research-based paper, are required. Credit: Three semester hours.



For writing: ENGL 0321 with a “C “or better, or ESOL 0336 with a “C” or better,  or DIRW 0326 with a “C” or better, or ENGL 0121 (NCBO) with a grade of “pass,” or ESOL 0237 (NCBO) with a grade of “pass”; and for reading: READ 0306 with a “C” or better,  or READ 0307 with a “C” or better, or  ESOL 0325  with a “C” or better,  or READ 0208 (NCBO)  with a grade of “pass,”  or ESOL 0226 (NCBO) with a grade of “pass,”  or “college ready” placement test score or alternative test score,  or with approval of division chair. Three class hours per week.  Credit: Three semester hours.

Corequisites: None

Core Curriculum Statement

This is a Core Course in the 42-Hour Core Curriculum of Blinn College. As such, students will develop proficiency in the appropriate Intellectual Competencies, Exemplary Educational Objectives, and Perspectives.


Students who succeed in this course will:

1. Demonstrate knowledge of individual and collaborative research and writing processes.

2. Develop ideas and synthesize primary and secondary sources within focused 

    academic arguments, including one or more research-based essays.

3. Analyze, interpret, evaluate, and respond to the ethical and logical uses of evidence in a variety of texts.

4. Write in a style appropriate to audience and purpose, credibly and persuasively.

5. Use edited American English in academic essays.

6.  Develop ideas with appropriate support and attribution, applying the conventions of 

     style manuals for specific academic disciplines (APA, CMS, and MLA, et al).

The coursework teaches students critical reading, primary and secondary research, academic integrity, interpersonal collaboration, and the generation, analysis, synthesis, and expression of ideas in oral, aural, written, and visual form that will serve them throughout their post-secondary learning experiences and beyond.


Kennedy, X.J., Dorothy M. Kennedy, and Jane E. Aaron. The Brief Bedford Reader. 10th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2009. Print.

Lunsford, Andrea A. The Everyday Writer with Exercises. 5th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2013. Print.

Course Requirements

Students in ENGL 1301 (Composition I) will produce:

Weekly journal responses (minimum 400 words each) 10%

Two major essays (MLA documented, 750 words minimum) 30%

Two major essay peer edits 5%

Research Paper (MLA documented, 1500 words minimum) 25%

Midterm 10%

In-class Final Exam (hand-written essay of 500-700 words and a multiple-choice course inventory) 20%



A             90-100%               Excellent

B             80-89%                 Good

C             70-79%                 Average

D             60-69%                 Poor

F              Below 60%          Failure

I               Incomplete

Q             Dropped

QF          Dropped Failing

W            Dropped For Good Cause or Withdrew from College

Blinn College Policies

Blinn College policies on civility, class attendance; scholastic integrity; students with disabilities; final grade appeals; and electronic devices as stated in the Blinn College Student Handbook, Faculty Handbook, Blinn College Catalog and specific technical program handbooks. All policies, guidelines and procedures in the Student and Faculty Handbook and the Board and Administrative Policy Manuals are applicable to this course

Civility Statement

Members of the Blinn College community, which includes faculty, staff and students, are expected to act honestly and responsibly in all aspects of campus life. Blinn College holds all members accountable for their actions and words. Therefore, all members should commit themselves to behave in a manner that recognizes personal respect and demonstrates concern for the personal dignity, rights, and freedoms of every member of the College community, including respect for College property and the physical and intellectual property of others.

      Civility Notification Statement. If a student is asked to leave the classroom because of uncivil behavior, the student may not return to that class until he or she arranges a conference with the instructor; it is the student’s responsibility to arrange for this conference. 

      This statement reflects step one in a possible four step process.  The Incivility Protocol is detailed in the Blinn College Student Handbook.

Attendance Policy

The College District believes that class attendance is essential for student success; therefore, students are required to promptly and regularly attend all their classes. A record of attendance will be maintained from the first day of classes and/or the first day the student’s name appears on the roster through final examinations. If a student has one week’s worth of unexcused absences during the semester, he or she will be sent an e-mail by the College District requiring the student to contact his or her instructor and schedule a conference immediately to discuss his/her attendance issues. Should the student accumulate two weeks’ worth of unexcused absences, he or she will be administratively withdrawn from class.

There are four forms of excused absences recognized by the institution:

  1. observance of religious holy days—The student should notify his or her instructor(s) not later than the 15th day of the semester concerning the specific date(s) that the student will be absent for any religious holy day(s);
  2. representing the College District at an official institutional function;
  3. high school dual credit students representing the independent school district at an official institutional function; and
  4. military service.

Other absences may be considered excused at the discretion of the faculty member with appropriate documentation.  A student enrolled in a developmental course is subject to College District-mandated attendance policies. Failure to attend developmental classes shall result in removal from the course as defined by the College District.

It is the student’s responsibility to officially drop a class he or she is no longer attending.  To officially drop a class the student must obtain the class withdrawal form from Enrollment Services, complete the class withdrawal form, secure the required signatures, and return the completed form to Enrollment Services. The last day to drop with a Q is according to the Academic Calendar.

Scholastic Integrity

Blinn College does not tolerate cheating, plagiarism, or any other act of dishonesty with regard to the course in which you are enrolled.  The following text defines the faculty member’s responsibility with regard to the scholastic integrity expectation for this and all courses at Blinn College.

It is the responsibility of faculty members to maintain scholastic integrity at the College District by refusing to tolerate any form of scholastic dishonesty.  Adequate control of test materials, strict supervision during testing, and other preventive measures should be utilized, as necessary, to prevent cheating or plagiarism.  If there is compelling evidence that a student is involved in cheating or plagiarism, the instructor should assume responsibility and address the infraction.  Likewise, any student accused of scholastic dishonesty is entitled to due process as outlined in Blinn College Board Policy FLB (Local).  The Scholastic Integrity Policy is located in the Blinn College Student Handbook. In a case of scholastic dishonesty, it is critical that written documentation be maintained at each level throughout the process.

Students with Disabilities

Blinn College is dedicated to providing the least restrictive learning environment for all students. Support services for students with documented disabilities are provided on an individual basis, upon request. Requests for services should be made directly to the Office of Special Populations serving the campus of your choice.  For the Bryan campus, the Office of Special Populations (Administration Building) can be reached at (979)209-7251.  The Brenham, Sealy and Schulenburg campuses are served by the Office of Special Populations on the Brenham campus (Administration Building Room 104) and can be reached at (979)830-4157.  Additional information can be found at

Final Grade Appeal

If a student wishes to appeal a final grade in a course, Blinn College Board Policy FLDB (Local), Course Grade Complaints, outlines the timeline for the appeal and the four steps in the appeal.  This policy is located in the Blinn College Student Handbook.

Electronic Devices

Cellular telephones and beepers/pagers must be disengaged while the student is in the Blinn College Library or any classroom/lab, unless otherwise instructed. Any noncompliance with this policy shall be addressed in accordance with the College District civility policy (administrative policy).  This information is contained in Blinn College Board Policy FLB (Local).

Adding / Dropping Courses.

Adding: No courses may be added later than the official calendar add date.  A student adding the course must make up the work missed within two weeks after a course is added.

Dropping: Students may drop, or withdraw from, courses by notifying Admissions and Records in person or in writing.  The official drop date for a regular semester is the Friday of the 12th week of that semester.  A student who drops on or before the official drop date may receive a grade of W or Q.  A student who drops after the official drop date will receive a grade of QF.  If the student’s work was passing at the time of withdrawal, he or she may petition the instructor to file a grade change from QF to Q.  Students may not drop or be dropped from classes once the final examination period begins.

 Incomplete Grade.  A grade of “I” may be given only in emergencies, such as the serious illness of the student or a close family member.  This grade is not for students who fall behind in their work.  To receive a grade of incomplete the student must have satisfactorily completed all but one or two of the final requirements of the course.  The instructor and student must agree on this grade before it can be assigned, then a course completion contract must be signed by student, instructor, and division chair.  All work must be made up within 90 days of signing the course completion contract, or zeroes will be assigned for the uncompleted work. 

 Textbook:  The assigned textbooks are essential for your learning, especially in classes focusing on the study of the written word.  You must provide yourself with the books from the very beginning of the semester.  You are required to bring the textbook with you every day unless otherwise notified.  You may not share the textbook during class or use photocopied pages instead of the book 


Course Policies

Humanities Division Policies

Grading Standards for Papers and In-Class Essays

Note: To receive a grade of A-C, the paper must meet all requirements of the assignment. All research material of a paper must be correctly documented, and formatting must adhere to instructor requirements and current standards of the Modern Language Association. 

The A paper (90-100) represents original, outstanding work. It shows consistently careful thought, fresh insights, sophisticated analysis, and stylistic maturity.

  • The reader moves through the A paper effortlessly because of its effective transitions, strong organization, and thorough, purposeful development. 
  • The thesis of an A paper is a complete, well-formulated sentence appearing early in the paper. It clearly states the controlling idea of the paper and projects the organization of supporting ideas to follow.
  • An A paper is not marred by distracting mechanical errors such as fragments, run-on sentences, subject-verb agreement problems, and incorrect or missing punctuation. It is meticulously proofread.
  • Directly quoted passages are gracefully integrated into the text with appropriate attribution.
  • Word choice is marked by precision and a varied, advanced vocabulary. It is free of jargon, clichés, and other empty language.

The B paper (80-89) represents clearly good, above average college level work. It demonstrates insight, analysis, and a varied vocabulary.    

  • Its specific points are logically ordered, with appropriate transitions; ideas are well developed and supported with evidence.
  • The thesis of a B paper is a complete sentence, appearing early in the paper, which states the essay’s controlling idea.  
  • It is mostly free of distracting mechanical errors such as subject-verb agreement problems, inadequate proofreading, or incorrect or missing punctuation. Serious syntactical errors, such as fragments and run-ons, do not appear in the B paper.
  • Directly quoted passages are smoothly integrated into the text with appropriate attribution.
  • In summary, the language of the B paper is clear, correct, and often thoughtful, but it lacks the candor and precision of the most memorable writing. 

The C paper (70-79) represents average college-level work. It is a competent expression of ordinary thoughts in ordinary language and exhibits a writing style that is basically correct.

  • The C paper has an organizational pattern, with body paragraphs containing information that is relevant to the assignment.  However, it often lacks varied transitions, clear topic sentences, and other information needed to guide the reader.
  • It has a thesis, but it usually lacks specificity in language and focus.  It may be insubstantial, vague, or simply too broad or general.
  • Analysis is superficial or inconsistently provided.
  • A paper earning a C has relatively few syntactic, usage, and mechanical errors such as fragments, run-on sentences, subject-verb agreement problems, inadequate proofreading, or incorrect or missing punctuation.
  • Directly quoted passages are integrated into the text with attribution.
  • In summary, the language of the C paper is characterized by generalities rather than precise, illustrative details.

The D paper (60-69) represents below average college work. It often demonstrates one or more of the following characteristics:

  • it has only skeletal development and organization;
  • the thesis is often unclear and/or non-existent;
  • it has frequent mechanical errors which are distracting and interfere with the readability of the document, including fragments, run-on sentences, subject-verb agreement problems, incorrect or missing punctuation, and a failure to proofread;
  • sentence structure is awkward, non-standard, and ambiguous.

Note: A paper exhibiting major weaknesses in any specific area—content,  development, organization, grammar and mechanics, documentation conventions, writing style—or, indeed, a failure to address the assignment is usually considered, at best, a D paper.

The F paper (59 and below) is characterized by writing that falls below minimal standards for college-level literacy. It often demonstrates one or more of the following characteristics:

  • little or no organization;
  • an unclear or missing thesis;
  • lack of thought and purpose;
  • numerous and pervasive mechanical errors which are distracting and interfere with the readability of the document, including fragments, run-on sentences, subject-verb agreement, incorrect or missing punctuation, and a failure to proofread;
  • a garbled or immature style.

Note: Sometimes inadequacy in one area is enough to fail a paper—the writer, for instance, may not have control of punctuation, producing fragments or comma splices in almost every paragraph. However, serious weaknesses usually occur in several areas of concern.

The No-Credit Paper (0) demonstrates one or more of the following serious errors

  • plagiarized content in any form, including the failure to acknowledge the source of any borrowed material (summarized, paraphrased, and directly quoted) and unmarked exact wording (directly quoted from either a primary or a secondary source), whether a specific well-chosen word, a phrase (two or more words), a clause, or full sentence(s);
  • failure to address the assigned topic;
  • failure to meet the requirements of the assignment;
  • failure to follow directions.

 Late work is not accepted!


Electronic Submission of Work: All major written work will be submitted (in its final form) to TurnItIn dropboxes, a service utilized by Blinn College.  Full instructions for usage will be provided in class. 

This system serves as a method of plagiarism control while also allowing the creation of an electronic portfolio.  Graded essays will be returned via this system using a service called GradeMark.  To view comments/grade:

  1. Reaccess the essay dropbox.
  2. Click on the blue hyperlinked grade next to the submitted assignment.
  3. View the marks and comments in the new window, which will appear automatically.

Scroll through not only textual marks but also general comments; printing or saving this file is advisable.

Please note: Pleading a case of "computer malfunction" is the dog-ate-my-homework excuse of the 21st century, and such an excuse will not be accepted. Access to reliable technology and avoiding procrastination are a student's responsibility. Please note also that failure to appropriately submit an assignment to the Turnitin dropbox is not an excuse the instructor will accept. (To ensure a successful file submission, students should always check their digita portfolio by re-accessing [refreshing] the dropbox page and ensuring a Turnitin digital receipt.)


Departmental Reminder for Submission of New Work: Students who have been enrolled in English 1301 (online, in a classroom, or otherwise) in a previous semester should remember that the work they submit this semester must be new.  This means, for instance, that students cannot submit papers (or any other assignments) that were initially written in a previous semester.  Students need to treat this semester as a fresh start--because recycled work from previous semesters will not be accepted.  Likewise, if students have friends and/or family members who have previously taken this class, then students should remember that papers (or other assignments) from these friends and/or family members cannot be submitted in place of students' own work.  The work that each student submits this semester must be originalAny student who submits recycled and/or copied work this semester will be subject to the Blinn College policies governing scholastic dishonesty.


Manuscript Form: All papers must exhibit an understanding of MLA format.  Remember: English 1301 is not a course in creative writing.  Adherence to guidelines and directions in writing is imperative.


Print Management System: Each student is automatically given a print system account at the start of the semester along with 15 credits (i.e. $15.00). The credits can be utilized in the library and lab settings for any print jobs. Credits are not refundable nor does the balance roll over to the next semester.


E-mail Policy: While e-mail is an acceptable form of student-instructor contact, note that e-mail does not take the place of face-to-face contact.  Therefore, e-mail shall not be used as a substitute for one-on-one conferencing.  Any e-mail should be properly addressed, appropriately composed, and free of grammatical/mechanical errors.  E-mail containing errors that hinder readability will be returned to the student, unanswered.


English 1301.700 (tentative) Daily Plan

BED = The Brief Bedford Reader(10th ed.)
EVE = The Everyday Writer, with Exercises (5th ed.)
HW = abbreviation for “homework,” which is listed for completion by the next class day

1-14 Class: Introduction to the course.  Diagnostic essay.
 HW: Access/read Course Syllabus:
Read BED “Introduction” p. 1-5.
Read EVE Ch. 2 “Expectations for College Writing” p. 12-19, Ch. 3b “Join Class Discussions” p. 24-25, and Ch. 20 “Writing to the World” p. 245-50.

1-16 Class: Lecture: Origins of the English language and using textbooks effectively.
HW: Read BED Ch. 1 “Critical Reading” p. 9-12.
 Read EVE Ch. 12a-d “Critical Reading” p. 129-37.

1-21 Class: Lecture: Critical reading and
defining “good writing.” Course Inventory. 
HW: Read EVE Ch. 1 “The Top Twenty” p. 3-12, Ch. 39 “Commas” p. 400-12, and Ch. 28a-e “Shifts” p. 303-05. 

1-23 Class: Grammar Day:  Comma usage, pronoun reference, parallelism, and shifts.
 HW: Read BED Maya Angelou’s “Champion of the World” and “On Writing” p. 93-98 and Amy Tan’s “Fish Cheeks” and “On Writing” p. 99-103.

1-28 Class: Lecture: Angelou and Tan.  Discuss Essay One.  
HW: Read BED “Comparison and Contrast” p. 189-97.
Read EVE Ch. 6 “Exploring Ideas” p. 59-65 and Ch. 7 “Planning and Drafting” p. 66-77.

1-30 Class: Lecture: Comparison/Contrast writing, thesis statements, and prewriting/writing stages with various activities.                 
HW: Read BED Suzanne Britt’s “Neat People vs. Sloppy People” and “On Writing” p. 199-204.
  Read EVE Ch. 18 “Integrating Sources and Avoiding Plagiarism” p. 224-34.

2-4 Class: Lecture: Britt, Revision, and MLA Format.  In-class practice.
HW: Read EVE Ch. 10 “Reviewing and Revising” p. 104-16 and Ch. 11a “Edit” p. 117-22.
Typed rough draft of Essay One due to dropbox by Wed., Feb. 5 at 11:55 p.m. (750-word minimum)

2-6 Class: Peer edit Essay One in Lab 127.
HW: Read BED “Argument and Persuasion” p. 429-44, Colleen Wenke’s “Too Much Pressure” p. 445-50, and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” p. 483-88.
 Final draft of Essay One due next class.

2-11 Class:  Final draft of Essay One due to dropbox by 11:55 p.m.  Lecture: Argumentation,
Oration, Wenke, King, and in-class writing activity, with paired Clinton supplement.  Discuss Research Paper.      
HW: Read EVE Ch. 14 “Constructing Arguments” p. 161-84 and Ch. 13e “Thinking Critically About Fallacies” (text) p. 151-53.

2-13 Class: Lecture: Argumentation and Classroom Court activity. 
HW: Read BED “Classification” p. 309-17 and Deborah Tannen’s “But What Do You Mean?” p. 325-33.
 Read EVE Ch. 17f “Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing” p. 219-23.

2-18 Class: Lecture: Classification writing and Tannen.  Plagiarism discussion and in-class documentation Practice, with MLA video clip.
HW: Read EVE Ch. 9 “Making Design Decisions” p. 94-104.
 Choose Research Paper topic; due next class.

2-20 Class: Sign-up for Research Paper topic.  Socratic Method Writing Activity.  Lecture: Document design, “real world” technical writing, and the J. Peterman approach.HW: Read EVE Ch. 15a “Scope” p. 189, Ch. 15d “Set up a Research Log” p. 191, and Ch. 16 “Doing Research” p. 193-205.

2-25 Class:  Lecture: Using the Library Effectively.  Distribute “Gathering Sources” worksheet for Research Paper.  Guided time in Lab 127.
HW: Read BED “Narration” p. 81-92 and George Orwell’s “Shooting an Elephant” and “On Writing” p. 489-98.
Familiarize yourself with EVE Ch. 49, 50, and 51 on MLA, p. 457-501.
 Gather Research Paper sources. 

2-27 Class: Lecture: Narrative writing and Orwell. Guided time in Lab 127.
 HW: Read BED “Process Analysis” p. 229-37, Linnea Saukko’s “How to Poison the Earth” and “On Writing” p. 238-42, and Ian Frazier’s “How to Operate the Shower Curtain” and “On Writing” p. 250-55. 
Continue gathering Research Paper sources. 

3-4    Class: Lecture: Process Analysis writing, Saukko, and Frazier.  Group letter reading activity. 
HW: Read EVE Ch. 17a-e “Evaluating Sources” p. 206-217.
 Begin reading/highlighting/note-taking on Research Paper sources.

3-6 Class: Diction and figurative language activity: Stephen Crane text (supplement).  Lecture: Bibliographies and annotated bibliographies.  In-class practice.
HW: Continue reading/highlighting/note-taking on Research Paper sources.
 Read BED “Definition” p. 397-405 and Gloria Naylor’s “The Meanings of a Word” and “On Writing” p. 406-11.  
Read EVE Ch. 23a-e “Word Choice and Spelling” p. 256-67.  
Work on documenting Research Paper sources.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Spring Break: Mar. 10-14 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

3-18 Class:  Lecture: Definition writing, Naylor, standard language, OED discussion, and midterm review. HW:  Study for Midterm Exam.

3-20 Class: Take Midterm Exam.
HW: Prewrite for Research Paper.

3-25 Class: Discuss writing the Research Paper rough draft.  View The Story of English video.
HW: Read BED “Description” p. 117-25 and Yiyun Li’s “Orange Crush” and “On Writing” p. 144-49.
 Continue prewriting for Research Paper. 

3-27 Class: Lecture: Descriptive writing and Li.  Discuss Essay Two.
 HW: Read BED E. B. White’s “Once More to the Lake” and “On Writing” p. 504-12.
Work on Essay Two and Research Paper rough drafts.

4-1    Class: Lecture: Continue discussion of descriptive writing. Begin White with visualization activity.
HW:  Read EVE Ch. 13a-d “Analyzing Arguments” p. 143-50.
Work on Essay Two and Research Paper rough drafts. 

4-3 Class: Lecture: Finish White and discuss coherence and effective argumentation. 
HW: Review EVE “Guidelines for Peer Response” p. 107.
Typed rough draft of Essay Two due to peer review dropbox by Mon., Apr. 7 at 11:55 p.m. (750-word minimum)

4-8 Class: Peer edit Essay Two in Lab 127. 
HW: Read EVE  Ch. 52 David Craig’s sample essay p. 501-11.  Note annotations throughout.
Read EVE  Ch. 29 “Conciseness” p. 307-11.
Work on final draft of Essay Two.
Work on Research Paper rough draft.

4-10 Class: Final Draft of Essay Two due to dropbox by 11:55 p.m.  Lecture: Research paper components, tone, and style.  Make “To Do” list for Research Paper. HW:  Work on Research Paper rough draft.

4-15 Class: Lecture: Source credibility and author responsibility as researcher— Blair, Rosenblatt, and Mortenson stories.
HW: Read EVE Ch. 19e “Guidelines for Revising a Research Project” p. 240.
Work on Research Paper rough draft.

4-17 Class: Typed Research Paper rough draft due (minimum 1,500 words, 6 sources, and 10 parenthetical citations).  A self edit will be completed in class and credited with your draft (-5 on final draft for no rough draft today).  Lab time in 127 for troubleshooting the final draft.
HW: Work on Research Paper final draft due next class.

4-22 Class: Research Paper final draft due to dropbox by 11:55 p.m.  Debriefing on writing assignments and research paper.  Lecture: Citation revising and application of research skills.  HW: Read BED Sandra Cisneros’ “Only Daughter” and “On Writing” p. 476-82.

4-24 Class: Journals due in class.  Lecture: Definition writing techniques.  Final review for the Course Inventory and for the essay portion of the final exam. 
 HW: Prepare for Course Inventory exam.

4-29 Class:  In-class evaluative essay.  Course Inventory exam.
 HW:  Prepare for final exam essay.

Final exam:  Monday, May 5 from 7:45 - 9:45 a.m.

You will be given two hours to complete the written definition essay.