About this Syllabus
What you have in your hand now (or are reading on screen) is the central document for this course and it is called a “syllabus.” From the Latin for “collection,” “syllabus” now means “program of study” and serves as both the description of the course and a de facto contract between the instructor and the student. Almost all questions about the basics of this course are answered in this document. All students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with this material.
In ENG 101 students focus on the process of writing clear, correct, and effective expository essays in response to materials drawn from culturally diverse sources. Emphasis is placed on using various methods of organization appropriate to the writer’s purpose and audience. Students are introduced to argumentation, fundamental research methods, and documentation procedures. Students write frequently both in and out of class, and attention is given to a thorough review of grammar and sentence structure (3 credits; 4 hours.) Prerequisites: Students must have placed into English 101 with a passing score on the ACT.
ENG 103 takes up the skills needed to prepare and write a formal research paper. The students learn and practice the skills involved in research reports for such major disciplines as the social sciences, humanities, human services, and English. These include choosing an appropriate topic and limiting its focus; using library reference materials; outlining and taking notes; using quotations and paraphrases; preparing footnotes and bibliography; and, finally, incorporating these skills in the development of a typed (word processed and printed) manuscript.
LIB 110 is a one-hour integrating seminar used to tie together the content material of the Liberal Arts Cluster. This class does not meet at the regularly scheduled time unless otherwise indicated by the instructor. Rather, the 12 hours are used in blocks for fieldtrips, viewing films, special events, and research at activities. Attending LIB 110 events is a required part of the cluster—your grade is determined solely on attendance.
Assumptions and Responsibilities
Essentially, my job is to do everything I can to help each of you improve your critical thinking, reading, and writing abilities. My basic assumptions about writing are that writing is a way of thinking, good writers are even better readers, the main goal of writing is argument (in the sense of seeking the truth), and writing is both a process and a product. Keeping these basic assumptions in mind, I have come up with the following suggestions to help each of you understand what I expect in this class.
What you should do to succeed in this course:
• Attend class regularly and actively participate.
• Read actively, take notes, and be ready to ask questions.
• Complete all assignments fully and on time.
• Take your responsibilities to your workshop group seriously.
Classroom and Computer-lab Etiquette
In general, you should use your common sense about what is appropriate classroom behavior. Inappropriate behavior includes anything that unnecessarily disrupts lectures, class discussions, small group work, or individuals at work. When you enter any college classroom you should have already turned off your cell phone (and etc.) and be prepared to pay attention, participate, and treat your fellow classmates with respect.
Assignments Points Comments
Blog Series (graded 6 times) 600 points, Multiple entries per week.
Essays 1-6 P/F, Special / Included in the Blogs
Encounters 200 points, Field Trips / Exercises / Tests
Final Research Project 200 points. Multi-media
Web-log (or “Blog”) and Workshops
Each week you will be expected to participate in the web-log (blog) assignments and workshops as indicated by the instructor. In general, the questions will open on Monday morning (at 12am) and close on the following Monday night (at 12am) unless otherwise indicated in the syllabus or by the instructor. Participation in the online discussions is a required part of the course and serves as the basis for all other class activities. Online discussions will be graded based on weekly participation as evaluated every two weeks.
Essays and Rewrites
You must pass a draft of all essays in this class including the final in-class essay (no rewrite possible). Essays are due on the designated date whether they are submitted online, in hard-copy, or both. All late essays automatically drop one letter grade (10%) for each business day they are late beginning with the due date. Papers may never be submitted via email or email attachment.
Be here. Your active participation in the course is vital to your comprehension of the material. You will receive a warning after the fourth hour of class is missed. A grade of “F” or “WU” for the course may be issued after the student is absent for the fifth hour. Refusal to participate in any class activity (including exercises and journals) will result in an absence for the day. All absences due to approved university activities should be brought to my attention as soon as possible. Any assignments, including papers, due on these days must be turned in early.
Plagiarism and Academic Dishonesty
The purpose of research writing is to locate answers to difficult questions in order to share that information with others in a format that may be verified and extended with further research. To that end, part of the research process in this course will be the continual fact-checking of your classmates’ writing for accuracy and unintentional errors in citation. If you locate an error in citation in a classmate’s drafts or blog posts, you should bring it to their attention immediately and work with them to rectify the problem. If you have a problem with your own draft, you should notify me immediately and I will help to rectify the problem. Reminder: most assignments in this class are published on the web and are, therefore, subject to federal copyright laws.
The Writing Center
The Writing Center is located in room E-111. Students may go to the Writing Center to work on any part of the writing process, from getting started through finishing a draft all the way to making revisions after the teacher has marked the paper. The Writing Center aims to empower students to become skilled, independent writers able to critique their own work and the work of others. For that reason, tutors do not “edit” or “proofread” student writing. They do help students to edit and proofread their own writing. Students do not need an appointment, but should arrive for tutoring a few minutes before the beginning of any LaGuardia class period. If the session involves a paper for a class, the actual written assignment from the professor is very important to the effectiveness of the session. If the teacher has already seen a draft of the paper, the teacher’s suggestions for revision are also very important.
Required Texts and Materials
William Irwin, ed. The Matrix and Philosophy
Raimes, Ann. Keys for Writers: A Brief Handbook. Any edition.
*Additional materials are to be printed from online sources as indicated by the instructor.
*Additional purchases of materials or the paying of fees (i.e. museum entrance) may be required for the class.
Schedule of Readings and Assignments
All readings should be complete before class on the dates indicated and may be discussed in any order. Drafts, rewrites, and final copies of papers will generally be due on the second meeting of the week unless otherwise stated by the professor. However, you should always bring all your current drafts—otherwise known as your portfolio—to class for every meeting in the Micro-Lab.
C. Jason Smith, Ph.D. is Professor of English at the City University of New York-LaGuardia CC. He has published books and articles on gender in science fiction film and fantasy and is an active science and technology writer.