Bellevue Community College
Department of English
English 101 (5 credits)
Instructor: Sara Safdie
Voicemail and E-mail: (425) 564-4185; email@example.com
Time and Location: M,W: 12:30-2:50; W106
Required Texts and Materials:
Seeing & Writing 2, Donald McQuade and Christine McQuade
A Writer’s Companion (4th ed.), Richard Marius
Ethan Frome (Penguin edition), Edith Wharton
Highly recommended: a good dictionary, preferably one with etymologies
This course will guide you through the joys and possible problems we run into when we write. It will include in-depth exploration of essays in our reader, an analytical look at the novel, inferential thinking, and the connection between "seeing" what is around us and writing. We will look at writing as a process, one which includes pre-writing, planning, organizing, drafting, revising, and editing skills. This class will solidify the skills you need to write in any and all of your college courses and to think critically about materials you read.
By the end of this class you should be able to write sustained, short essays, both outside of and within class. Your essays should show organization, planning, a recognition of audience, contain a strong thesis statement, and be adequately revised to show mastery of Standard Written English. You'll develop and enhance these writing abilities not only through writing in- and out-of-class essays, but also through careful reading and analysis of the assigned readings and novel as well as working in groups with your fellow students.
Course Requirements, Policies, and Other Important Information:
You'll be writing four out-of-class, 3-4 page essays and one in-class essay. Topics for these essays will be generated from the essays we read in class; one of the essays will specifically deal with issues raised in the novel. As I noted above, writing is a process; to write successfully, you shouldn't plan on doing your major composing the night before a due date. There will be two due dates for each out-of-class essay. The first date will be for a thesis statement and some ideas for support which you'll share with other students in a peer group. The second date will be a few days later when you'll bring in a rough draft version to share with the same group. A few days after this, you'll turn your essay in to me. During these peer-editing sessions I'll be checking in on your work, answering questions, and so on. Please note that the draft should be a real version of your final essay, and even though it's not being turned in directly to me, it should be as complete as possible. Because I feel that peer feedback is so important, insufficient or nonexistent drafts for peer groups will result in a loss of one grade when you submit your essay.
You should use the time between peer group work and submission to assess and possibly incorporate responses to peer comments in order to fine-tune your essay. I will then read your essays for content, appropriateness of response to the topic, an understanding of introductions and conclusions, effectiveness of thesis statement, unity and coherence, and mastery of Standard Written English. I'll return these to you, generally within a week to ten days, with my comments and a numerical grade. You'll have a chance to further revise these essays, if you so desire, for your portfolio. I highly encourage all students, especially those for whom writing may have been a problem in the past, to make use of the Writing Center at all stages of their writing. You should also feel free to talk to me or e-mail me if you're having any problems. Please don't wait until the end of the quarter to talk with me as it will probably be too late for me to give you helpful advice.
All final versions of essays must be handed in on the announced date. I will accept essays up to one class past the due date, but these will be downgraded 15% for the late day. Please note: all out-of-class essays must be typed or word-processed. In-class essays are exactly that: they are to be written and revised during a 50-minute class period. I don't give make-ups of in-class essays unless you have a good reason to miss it. In order to insure that you'll qualify for a make-up, make sure to contact me via voicemail or e-mail no later than the class time on the day of the in-class writing. If I don't receive a message from you either before or on the day of the essay or due date, I will have to enforce the late date policy on essays or give you a 0 for a missed in-class essay.
You'll also be turning in a portfolio at the end of the quarter. This will serve three purposes: it will give you a chance to reflect on your writing from the quarter, give you a chance to revise out-of-class essays if you want or need to for grade improvement, and will serve as the "final" in this class. Your portfolio will consist whichever of your out-of-class essays you choose to revise as well as the ones you choose not to, the in-class essay, and a self-evaluation introductory essay. Your fourth essay will also be included in here; you'll get a chance to work on it in peer groups, but I will not grade it before you submit it in the portfolio. I'll explain more about the portfolio later in the quarter; in the meantime, don't throw away any versions of your essays or delete them from disk.
Aside from the essays, you'll have other assignments throughout the quarter. These will include responses to The Writer’s Companion, writing exercises, oral presentations, and journals for which you'll receive credit; you may even see a "pop" quiz on assigned readings. I'll try to have short conferences with each of you around the middle of the quarter to discuss your progress in the class and to personally check in with each of you. These conferences are mandatory since it may turn out to be my only chance to talk with you personally during the quarter.
Class attendance is vital. You cannot expect to succeed in this class if you do not attend as we'll be working in peer groups, discussing readings, and working on the writing process; further, if you don't come, you'll miss out on participating in class, so your fellow students and I won't get to know you. I understand that things go on in our lives that may prevent perfect attendance; however, if you do have to miss a class, it is your responsibility to get any assignments given that day. If there's an assignment due for that day, please call or e-mail me and you won't suffer the 10% late penalty. I'll have you exchange phone numbers with two people in class during the first week; call one of these people to get an assignment if you have to miss a class. I won't be able to give you a passing grade for the class if you miss five classes, which is about 20% of the class time. Lateness counts as part of attendance. Walking in late is disruptive, though I'd rather have you walk in late than not at all. If you do come in late, please take a seat close to the door and sit down quietly. Coming in more than ten minutes late will count as half an absence.
All class assignments, especially essay topics, will be posted on-line. I will not hand out topics in class. You can find these assignments at http://www.bcc.ctc.edu/artshum/studentinfo.asp.
Finally, this class has people from diverse backgrounds. Every student has opinions and ideas worth listening to. It is fine to disagree with someone, but this should be done in a timely and respectful fashion. Listen to and respect others in the same fashion you would like your own ideas considered. Private discussions, reading, writing, or doing homework while others are speaking is not appropriate behavior in this class. If your behavior becomes disruptive to others' learning, I'll ask you to leave the class, but that will count as half an absence. On the other hand, participation in the class is vital: this class will be as exciting as you make it! Both participation and attendance will be a factor in your final grade.
Basically, plagiarism is using someone else's ideas as if they were your own. Even if you change the wording of the idea by paraphrasing or summarizing, if the idea originated in a brain other than your own, or if you've retrieved facts from a book, magazine, or web site, you must acknowledge your source. Similarly, all work submitted must be your own. You will not improve your writing if you let someone else do it for you. If I have even the slightest suspicion that plagiarism has taken place, I will submit your essay to a website that detects plagiarism and its sources. If it turns out that you did plagiarize, you'll receive a 0 for that essay and have it reported to the Dean of Students. I do encourage students to make use of the Writing Lab; they will help you, but they won't write or edit your essays for you.
One final comment. I'm here to help you succeed. Please don't think I'm too busy to be able to talk to you about any problems you may be having. Don't hesitate to come and talk with me, or at the least, e-mail me. If you don't understand an assignment or an issue under discussion in class, ask questions; questions are the best way to learn! I know that if we all work together that this will be a great quarter! I look forward to getting to know all of you in the coming weeks.
Students with disabilities who have accommodation needs are required to meet with the Director of Disability Support Services, B233-G (telephone (425) 564-2498 or TTY (425 564-4110) to establish their eligibility for accommodation. In addition, students are encouraged to review their accommodation requirements with each instructor during the first week of the quarter.
Make sure to turn off any cell phones, pagers, and portable CD players before you enter the classroom. Applying make-up or hand creams or eating during class time is not appropriate behavior. Note: If you stop attending class and do not withdraw from class, I will have to give you a grade based on your work until that point.
The aim of this class is to enhance your writing and analytical skills, not just to receive a grade. Your grade will reflect the quality of work and care you put into the class throughout the whole quarter. Unfortunately, effort alone is not enough; I'll need to see changes in your writing that reflect the course goals and objectives. Your grade will be based on the following calculations:
Out-of-class essays: 100 x 4 = 400
In-class essays: 100
Marius responses: 20 x 5= 100
Presentations, etc. 50
TOTAL: 1000 points possible
A range: 900-1000; B range: 800-899; C range: 700-799; D range: 650-699; F= below 650