Reading, Thinking and Writing for College
English 101, Sections OBS & OBC
Winter Quarter 2004
Office Hours: TBA
* Unless the VISTA server is down, the fastest way to contact me
is to use the e-mail service on the class website. Please do not contact me at my BCC address unless you have an emergency
and cannot reach me on the class website. Only in this case
should send an e-mail to my BCC address. You may also choose to leave me a
message on my voice mail. However, you will then have to wait until I am in the
office to return your call.
- Ishiguro, Kazuo.
The Remains of the Day.
- Marius, Richard. A
Writer's Companion. 4th edition. (ISBN: 0-07-304015-0)
- McQuade, Donald/Christine
McQuade. Seeing & Writing 2 (ISBN:0-312-40004-7
English 101 is a completely online class; therefore, you are not required to
attend classroom sessions. However, English 101 is not a correspondence
course, completed on your own timetable in isolation. Online courses require
particular skills of their participants besides the obvious computer expertise.
Some personal attributes are critical, such as being self-motivated and having
good problem solving skills. Your ability to communicate and work effectively
with "distant classmates" and a "distant instructor" in a totally visual medium
is also important. How much you learn will be directly proportional to how much
you participate in the online community. How frustrated you become will be
inversely proportional to how well you manage your time and follow written
directions. By far, having college level reading and comprehension skills is
terribly important in an online class.
This class will ask you to give much of yourself to learn to write well. Many
students may mistakenly believe that writing is a talent, gifted to everyone
else. But writing is not a single task, accomplished in isolation. Writing is a
skill, developed with practice in reading texts, analyzing texts, thinking
through the texts and then lastly, writing the words down. Anyone with enough
determination and effort can learn to communicate effectively in writing. This
class is designed to use writing, in a variety of forms, to improve your written
communication skills. However, to learn these skills, you must open your mind
and persevere even if the thinking work is hard or the technology doesn't work
as well as you would like.
If you signed up for this course
thinking that it would have less work than a course in the classroom, you were
mistaken. Please be advised that the workload may be very difficult for
you if work and family demands do not allow you a minimum of two to
three uninterrupted hours every weekday to work on the assignments for
Because of the special method of course delivery, several requirements must
- First and probably most important, the student enrolled in this course
MUST have a reliable computer and some attendant software and services,
including a word processor (Office 95/Word 7.0 or better minimum), an Internet
Service Provider, and a browser service (Netscape Communicator 4.7 or Internet
Explorer 5.0 or higher work best). Perhaps more importantly, the student must
be familiar with the use of the above-mentioned items.
- Some critical skills you must have include: uploading and downloading
files, following simple written directions, attaching files to e-mail
messages, and knowing how your browser and computer system work. I do not teach
computer skills; I teach English. I will help if I can, but I am no expert in
- Always keep me informed if you have problems, and I will try
to find help for you. I do my best to establish what
our challenges will be within the first week of the course, but I expect that
you bring some expertise with you to help in solving any problems that arise.
Ultimately, that is your responsibility.
As you know, every teacher has expectations. These are mine.
- I expect that you signed up for this course because you want to learn to
read, think, and write critically. We call that formal academic writing.
Therefore, I expect that you will complete the work I have created to teach
you these skills. I expect that each of you has a varying degree of these
skills already, though you may not have attempted these types of academic
- I expect that you have come to this class with a working usage of modern
English grammar as English 101 does not teach grammar. I may suggest
additional non-graded work for students who struggle with grammar. I have
provided a Grammar Page for additional help in this area.
- I expect that you will participate in all class activities, including peer
editing reviews and discussions as assigned.
- I expect that you will take care to back up your papers and journal
assignments on more than one disk and/or store them on your hard drive
AND a disk. It is your responsibility to keep track of this material.
If some computer catastrophe should occur, you will still be responsible for
producing the work by the due date in order to get a grade. Be careful! Save
and back your work up regularly!
- I expect that you will try to the best of your ability to master the
skills taught in this class. According to the English department at BCC, by
the end of the quarter, you should:
- use a variety of prewriting methods to develop ideas and organize a
- revise, edit, and proofread papers (both on and off
the computer) until the final submitted draft shows the skill and
effort you have put into it.
- write for a specific audience with a specific purpose, as assigned, using an appropriate voice
- build a complex, but coherent paper around your own thoughts and
- use a single, well-stated sentence that clearly expresses
the central idea of your essay, focuses your topic, and controls ideas to
the point of creating unity.
- connect paragraphs to the thesis and each other; produce a smooth flow
of ideas using appropriate coherence techniques.
- construct paragraphs that develop and support the main idea with specific examples and
- analyze, evaluate and interpret complex material.
- write essays with effective introductions and conclusions.
- construct clear, grammatically correct sentences of precise and
- understand and apply subordination and coordination in sentences to
emphasize important ideas.
- be able to differentiate your personal opinions and assumptions from
- be able to self-assess.
- I expect each final draft will be submitted to the appropriate locations
and in the manner specified on the assignments page by the date shown on the
specific assignment page and the class calendar. Papers submitted after the due date/time specified on the course
calendar will lose 10% per 24 hour period that they are late. I will not
accept papers more than 2 days late.
- I expect honesty. I expect that you will neither do work for others nor
use work done by others. Cheating and/or plagiarizing will not be tolerated.
Plagiarizing is cheating, as is copying answers on a test, glancing at nearby
test papers, swapping papers, buying papers, using ideas from other sources
without proper documentation, writing papers for others, or having them
written for you. BCC utilizes a plagiarism detection software, and if I even
remotely suspect your paper sounds plagiarized, I will submit it to this site.
If you cheat or plagiarize, the following actions will be taken:
- You will receive a grade of "0" on the work (period).
- A report of the incident will be filed in the Dean of Students' Office.
This report may become part of your permanent record or the Dean may choose
to pursue further disciplinary action.
- Personal conferences on your paper can be held in my office if you can or
want to come to the campus; otherwise, e-mail or phone conferences can be
held. Please contact me first to set up an appointment BEFORE coming to the
Expectations): This class is conducted entirely online, yet I expect you to be
as courteous and respectful to me and to your classmates as you would be in
person in a classroom setting. Emails and discussion board posts cannot be
"taken back". So, please write all of your correspondence with care and
courtesy; don't send emails or posts that you might later regret - in terms of
content, words, and tone. A good test is, "Would I say that in person, in
exactly those words, to my professor or classmate I don't know well? How would I
react if I were on the receiving end?" (Also keep in mind that even if you're
thick-skinned, many of your classmates are not and shouldn't have to be here.)
Another good rule of thumb: Before sending something, write it up, save it, go
away for an hour or more, then re-read it before posting.
What do I have to do for this course?
You will write four (4) formal papers in this class. The process for writing,
revising and submitting work is on a tight timeline. Don't fail to meet these
deadlines. The process will look like this for all papers except the two
- You will post an original, self-revised draft of each paper to the
discussion area in the appropriate forum by the date on the calendar. This
draft should be copied/pasted into the correct forum. If you expect to get
help on your papers, you must post them early. Papers posted late in the
review process may overlooked by other students as the deadline nears.
- While you wait for comments on your paper, you will give peer comments, as
described below, on two other group members' papers which have been posted. (I
will give direct feedback on your peer comments for Paper 1 Review only, so
that you know how to do this important work.)
- After giving comments, collect your comments and revise your paper. Then,
revise and edit your paper before submitting it to me by the date and time
listed on the calendar.
Assessments: You will also write two self-assessments: one at the opening
of the quarter and one at the end. These assignments are available in the
Assessments area of the course, or you can access the Beginning Assessment in
the Start Here! module and the Closing Assessment in the final module. Each
self-assessment is worth 10 points.
Total self assessment points available: 20
points for the quarter.
- Your papers will be graded
based on the standards posted under the
Standards link, which may be accessed from the Resources and Tools area. Papers 1 - 4 are worth 50
points each. Total 200 points.
- I will read and grade papers when they are submitted. It usually takes about 6 working days to process the
papers for a full class.
- You MUST average a C- or
better on the papers in order to pass this class. Points from peer review and
discussions are important, but if your papers do not average a C- or better,
you will not pass the class.
Total essay points
200 for the
Rewrites: Please note that you are required to
substantially revise two papers this quarter. Revision 1 (see the
course calendar for due dates) requires
you to select either paper 1 or paper 2 to rewrite. Revision 2 requires
you to select either paper 3 or paper 4 to rewrite. While the grade for the rewrites
does not erase the original grade, each rewrite is worth twice as many points. Rewrites
must demonstrate substantial
revision--that means addressing my comments and suggestions, rather than just
fixing superficial errors. Each rewrite is worth 100
Though I have created a discussion forum for
each rewrite, you are not required to post
your paper there or to give comments on papers posted there. I have created the
forum for your use, if you and others wish to ask for help on your rewrite
Total rewrite points available: 200
points for the quarter.
Peer Reviews: Much of what you will
learn in this course will come from participating in a peer review of others'
papers. Do not fail to participate in this area of the course. See the
Assignments area/Peer Review Section for details on this critical work!
To participate successfully in peer review, you will complete these tasks:
- Review two other students' papers using the Peer Review
MUST use this assessment tool to earn full credit for comments on student papers.
this specific feedback on the two papers in the appropriate discussion areas.
Directions for how to post your peer comments are given.
- Email to me the name and comments of the student
whose review was the most helpful to you in revising your own
paper. Briefly explain in your email why that review was helpful.
These emails will be kept confidential.
- For posting reviews of two students'
papers on assignments #1, #2, #3, and #4 to me, you can earn 5 points per
posting (40 points total).
your comments are identified by at least one student as being most
helpful, you will earn an additional 5 points for each paper assignment (20
Total review points
available: 60 for
Discussion: I have created discussion areas for the Ishiguro, McQuade,
and the Marius texts.
Instructions and requirements for participating in discussions are posted in the
Points available -- McQuade reading
discussions (12 pts. each X 3 discussions) total
36 points; Marius seminar
discussions (12 points each X
5 discussions) total
60 points. Ishiguro reading
discussions (12 points each X 2 discussions) total 24 points.
Total discussion points
available: 120 for the quarter
for the course: 600
* Note: To figure out your grade at any time, simply divide
the total points you have earned by the total points you have submitted to that
How do we communicate with each other?
The discussion area **for the class provides an asynchronous
place for student discussions regarding course materials. The discussion area
has several fora (forums) each of which has a specific purpose.
- Class Announcements: This forum is where I will post class
announcements. Do not post questions for me here. Check this regularly;
I will update you about paper returns, computer problems, and anything I think
would be of interest to the class.
- McQuade discussions: These fora will house your discussion
about our readings in the McQuade text. Please follow the dates on the class
calendar for posting questions and for commenting. I have allowed time for you
to do this work; don't fail to do it before the deadlines posted on the class
- Marius Seminars : These fora will house
all of our discussions on Marius text about writing and editing.
- Remains discussion fora: These fora will house our discusions of
Kazuo Ishiguro's novel, The Remains of the Day.
- Peer Reviews: These 4 fora are named by paper number and draft
number. Here is where you will post your drafts and give comments to your
group members for peer review.
- Questions for Instructor forum: Post questions for me in this area
if you think that others in the class may benefit from knowing the answer to
your question. If your question is of a very
personal nature, please use my website mailbox.
You are responsible for posting the discussion messages into the correct
forum depending on its purpose. You must also handle the postings, downloading
messages you wish to keep to your home computer, and creating folders to store
that information. Please do save any messages you wish to keep as I will get rid
of excess information every two weeks or so as too much of it clogs up the
A mailbox** has been provided for private e-mail
communication between you and me or you and other classmates. I get between 40
and 50 e-mail messages every day at my various addresses, so I will appreciate
"URGENT" notices in the subject line, if you have a real emergency. Please use
the Questions for the Instructor forum (in the Discussion Area) rather than
e-mail to post questions about the class. I do my best to respond in a timely
manner to all messages, whether or not they are urgent. Please do not use
e-mail to submit your work unless we cannot work out another method. If you are
having problems submitting your work, let me know in an e-mail rather than
submitting a paper as an attachment.
**Certain web browsers may not
work with these sections of the web site. Please contact me immediately, if you
have any problems. AOL is notorious for limiting your ability to participate in
this class. Please consider using another internet service. WebCTVista works the
best with Netscape 6.1 or Internet Explorer 5.0 or higher (excluding 5.5).
Site Updated: 03/31/03