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Blinn College • Distance Education • Humanities • English - ENGL

Composition I ENGL-1301

  • May Minimester 2014
  • Section SECTION_N01 CRN-60009
  • 3 Credits
  • 05/12/2014 to 05/28/2014
  • Modified 05/08/2014

Contact Information

Professor: Audrey A. Wick


On-campus and online office hours

  • Times available by appointment

Free Blinn College Writing Tutor: [email protected]

Desire2Learn (d2l) Log in Homepage:



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.


MindTap English Instant Access Code for VanderMey/Meyer/Van Rys/Sebranek's The College Writer: A Guide to Thinking, Writing, and Researching (5th ed.)

ISBN10: 1-285-75340-2

ISBN13: 978-1-285-75340-9

Course Requirements

Students in ENGL 1301 (Composition I) can expect the following graded activities:

"Getting Started" Chapter Responses/Participation Discussions: 15%

Students are required to post and respond to discussion forum topics as assigned for credit.  While not all work will be directly responded to, it will all be evaluated for credit (on the 0-5 scale noted below) and is therefore expected to be completed responsibly.

Grade Equivalencies for Discussion Forum Postings:

5 points = Outstanding; see "A" in “Grading Standards” section. 

4 points = Good; see "B" in “Grading Standards” section. 

3 points = Average; see "C" in “Grading Standards” section. 

2 points = Significant Improvement Needed; see "D" in “Grading Standards” section. 

1 point  = Below Minimal Standards; see "F" in “Grading Standards” section. 

0 points = Unacceptable (incomplete, plagiarized, directions not followed, late, and/or assignment not submitted); see "0" in “Grading Standards” section. 

Chapter Activities/Homework, including Aplia Quizzes: 15%

These activites are linked through MindTap chapters to assess knowledge of material presented.

  • Activities and homework are to be completed by each student individually. Students who collaborate or share questions/answers will be subject to the Scholastic Integrity policy.
  • Students are responsible for accessing, completing, and submitting activities during their designated available days and times. Students who do not access, complete, and submit these during their available window will receive zeros.
  • Some activities are graded for immediate feedback; some require a wait while the instructor responds.
  • For Aplia quizzes, note that students can attempt each problem set up to three times; the highest of those attempts is the score recorded.
  • The "Grade it Now" button must be pressed for those scores to save and carry-over to the gradebook.  

Two Major Essays (MLA documented, 750 words minimum): 30%

The instructor will assign two major essays (documented 750-word, minimum) to help the student learn to prewrite, draft, critique, revise, and polish written assignments.  All essays (text and works cited) should be electronically submitted within their appropriate MindTap dropbox as a SINGULAR file by 11:55 p.m. on the due date.  (save as .doc, .docx, .rtf,  .txt, .odt, or .pdf  file extension).   Essays must follow MLA format for margins, headings, spacing, and page numbering.  Late essays will not be accepted.

Graded essays will be returned within the MindTap software prior to the final due date of the next major assignment so that students have the opportunity to review their mistakes on an earlier essay before turning in the next essay.  To view comments and grades:

  1. Reaccess the essay dropbox.
  2. Click on the 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.

Students are invited and encouraged to ask the instructor questions during the writing process and are free to submit drafts to the instructor or through the Writing Center at [email protected] for comment prior to the final due date.  

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

A research paper (1500 words minimum) will be assigned to allow students to demonstrate knowledge of skills taught in class. The research paper is an attempt at incorporating scholarly source material into a fluid argument.  As such, library resources are to be utilized instead of Internet resources.  Note that no Internet source materials (such as those obtained through Google or other comparable searches) will be allowed for the Research Paper.  Because of the final draft’s length and proximity to the end of the semester, the text may not be returned prior to the student completing the final exam. 

Final Exam (typed essay and a multiple-choice course inventory exam) 15%

This exam will be given to determine whether or not the student has sufficient knowledge of the skills needed to advance to the next level of college-credit English.  It will include a 650-word (minimum) essay (90% of this grade) and course inventory test (10% of this grade).



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 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 electronic dropboxes linked out in MindTap.  Full instructions for usage will be provided in class. 

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 dropbox is not an excuse the instructor will accept. (To ensure a successful file submission, students should always check their digital 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.


Free Tutoring: The Writing Room on the Brenham campus will provide online tutors to help with planning, organizing, formatting, revising, and editing writing assignments during this minimester. This service is free of charge. To submit your paper for feedback, please send it as a MS WORD attachment to [email protected] and expect your feedback within 24 hours. Please note that tutors do not edit papers for students, but do provide activities for idea invention, reference books to help students find the answers to their questions, and feedback to students as they learn to identify both the strengths and weaknesses of their own writing.


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: Students should remember the above when interacting with one another (and with the instructor) inside (or outside) the online classroom.  In short, students should be respectful of others, both actually and virtually, whether they are interacting face-to-face, on the telephone, within e-mail, inside instant chat, or inside the discussion forum.

The following guidelines (which apply to all communication inside the online classroom) help to ensure that the online classroom is a positive and respectful learning environment:

  • Students should conduct themselves online as they would conduct themselves in a traditional classroom.
  • Students should respect the varying opinions and backgrounds of others; thus, the use of abusive, derogatory, harassing, or profane language or tone inside the online classroom is inappropriate and should be avoided.
  • Students should not type in all caps, as such typing implies SHOUTING and is generally considered rude.
  • Students should remember that the online classroom is not an entirely private setting.  Blinn College administrators do have access to the online classroom, and no online communication inside this classroom, not even e-mail, is truly private.
  • Students should remember that communication in the online classroom is recorded.  As a result, students should refrain from writing, posting, or sending any messages that they might later regret, as all messages inside the online classroom are easy to copy, to forward, to print, etc.  In other words, students should not generate written messages that they would not actually say to someone else in person.
  • Because communication inside the online classroom is written and not oral, and because this written communication is received without vocal tone, body language, or physical facial expressions, students should approach this communication carefully.  Real people, not just a computer, are the recipients of this communication, and as a result, online miscommunication is all too easy.  The use of “emoticons,” such as happy faces :-), can help to alleviate some of this miscommunication.
  • Students should be considerate of the recipients of their messages.  These recipients should be greeted by name, should receive messages that are concisely and accurately titled (in the “subject line”), and should be presented with clear and grammatically standard written communication.
  • Students should not expect instant replies or responses to their messages, as other participants in the online classroom are not necessarily constantly or simultaneously online.
  • Students should remember that “flaming,” or sending angry messages to others, must be avoided.  (If a student is tempted to send a hostile message, then that student should stop, take a break, and calm down.  After the student is calm, a respectful message, as opposed to a hostile one, should be sent.)
  • Students should send questions or complaints about course requirements directly to the instructor via Course Mail inside the online classroom.  Broadcasted complaints in any form are both inappropriate and unacceptable; such complaints also become part of the class record.

Online Attendance Policy: This class follows the college attendance policy (detailed previously), but there is a point of clarification that needs to be made because of the online format.

“Attendance” means both logging-in and attempting work. That work may take the form of such tasks as responses, discussion, homework, quizzes, or essay submissions. An accurate, daily record of attendance is kept by the eCampus system.

In line with the collegiate attendance policy, a student failing to attend/complete work for an assigned unit is assessed a week’s worth of absences. A student failing to attend/complete work for a second assigned unit is administratively withdrawn from the class.


English 1301.N01 Online (tentative) Daily Plan     

For this online section, we use an e-book and learning platform called MindTap inside of eCampus (https// Here's the information you need to purchase an instant access code:

MindTap English Instant Access Code for VanderMey/Meyer/Van Rys/Sebranek's The College Writer: A Guide to Thinking, Writing, and Researching (5th ed.)

ISBN10: 1-285-75340-2

ISBN13: 978-1-285-75340-9

Our minimester course is set-up in three units. At the end of each unit, students must complete the required responses, discussions, homework, quizzes, essay, and any other graded activity in MindTap. Units follow weekdays; weekends are reserved for reading, writing, research, and working ahead.

Note: a daily break-down of work is given to aid in time management. The instructor will grade material as it comes in, but unit due dates are the ABSOLUTE last day/time material will be accepted for credit. The end of a unit is at 11:55 p.m. on its day.

  • Unit One closes: Thursday, May 15 at 11:55 p.m.
  • Unit Two closes: Wednesday, May 21 at 11:55 p.m. (This is also the last day to drop the course with a “Q.”)
  • Unit Three closes: Monday, May 26 at 11:55 p.m.
  • Final exam must be completed no later than Wednesday, May 28 at 9 a.m.

More detailed weekly information is available in MindTap.  Within this platform, students should click on each separate "Daily Work" link (such as the "Day One Work" link), in addition to the links for each activity therein.  Textbook readings should be completed before online activities are attempted.


-------------------DAY ONE (May 12): START OF UNIT ONE-------------------

Ch. 1: Critical Thinking Through Reading, Viewing and Writing


-------------------DAY TWO (May 13)-------------------

Ch. 12: Comparison and Contrast: Essay One assignment

Ch. 2: Beginning the Writing Process

Ch. 3: Planning


-------------------DAY THREE (May 14)-------------------                    

Ch. 25.10: Conducting Research , but section 25.10 (a-d) only: “Finding Articles via databases”

Ch. 28: MLA Style


-------------------DAY FOUR (May 15): CLOSE OF UNIT ONE-------------------

Final draft of Essay One due by Thursday, May 15 at 11:55 p.m.  

Ch. 4: Drafting

Ch. 5.1-5.5 and 5.7-5.8: Revising


-------------------DAY FIVE (May 16): START OF UNIT TWO-------------------

Ch. 35: Avoiding Sentence errors                  


-------------------DAY SIX (May 19)-------------------

Ch. 11: Cause and Effect: Essay Two Assignment

Ch. 17: Strategies for Argumentation and Persuasion: Research Paper Assignment


-------------------DAY SEVEN (May 20)-------------------

Ch. 18.1: Taking a Position, but section 18.1 (a-f) only: “Reading Position Writing”

Ch. 24: Getting Started


-------------------DAY EIGHT (May 21): CLOSE OF UNIT TWO-------------------

Final draft of Essay Two due by Wednesday, May 21 at 11:55 p.m.  

Ch. 26: Building Credibility: Avoiding Plagiarism


-------------------DAY NINE (May 22): START OF UNIT THREE-------------------

Ch. 27: Drafting Papers with Documented Research

Ch. 13: Classification


-------------------DAY TEN (May 23)-------------------

Ch. 14: Process

Ch. 15: Definition


-------------------DAY ELEVEN (May 26): CLOSE OF UNIT THREE-------------------

Final draft of Research Paper due by Monday, May 26 at 11:55 p.m.  

Ch. 32: Finding the Right Word

Ch. 9: Forms of College Writing


----------DAYS TWELVE (May 27) and THIRTEEN (May 28): FINAL EXAM----------

Final Exam: typed essay and multiple-choice post test due by Wednesday, May 28 at 9 a.m.


LAST DAY TO ACCESS COURSE: May 28 (continue routine login until this time)