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English Composition 1

Syllabus: ENG 1001-03 / ENG 1001-04 (Spring 2014)


R. Rambo
Office: A313
Phone: (815) 224-0338
E-mail: randy_rambo@ivcc.edu
Instructor Home Page: http://www2.ivcc.edu/rambo
Course Home Page: http://www2.ivcc.edu/rambo/eng1001.htm

Office Hours
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 9:00-9:50 am, 11:00-11:50 am
(and by appointment)


There is no required textbook for the course. All assigned readings are available online.

Course Description (from the college catalog)

English Composition 1 allows the student to study and apply rhetorical principles of writing in developing effective sentences, paragraphs, and essays, with particular emphasis on analyzing and writing expository prose about short fiction and non-fiction prose. Students' essays will be based upon their readings of a variety of texts on various topics. The course includes the use of various computer applications, including word-processing and the Internet.


Writing Placement
Prior to enrolling in an ENG 1001 course, Illinois Valley Community College students must

Reading Placement
Prior to enrolling in an ENG 1001 course, Illinois Valley Community College students must

Required Labs
The English Placement Test may indicate that a student can enroll in ENG 1001 but must also complete a required English lab prior to completing ENG 1001. If the required lab is not completed successfully by the end of the semester, the student must receive a grade of "Incomplete" in the ENG 1001 course.

Just ask the instructor if you have any questions about the prerequisites for the course or the English labs.

Expected Student Outcomes

Upon successful completion of English Composition 1, students will be able to

  1. Read a variety of texts with understanding and appreciation;
  2. Understand invention as a part of the writing process;
  3. Organize and develop ideas effectively and logically in essays;
  4. Develop effective, logical, and well-supported arguments;
  5. Understand and use a variety of rhetorical methods for developing ideas;
  6. Maintain a consistent and appropriate viewpoint, tone, and voice;
  7. Strengthen essays through the revision process;
  8. Offer informed suggestions during peer critiques of essays;
  9. Write essays free from common stylistic weaknesses;
  10. Write essays free from excessive errors;
  11. Use word-processing software as a writing tool;
  12. Understand the basics of writing with sources and avoiding plagiarism; and
  13. Understand MLA citation and documentation.



Writing assignments will be evaluated and graded according to the grading standards in IVCC's Style Book. Additional assessment criteria will be given for specific assignments. For revised papers, consideration will be given to the extent and quality of revision (possible reorganization, further development and support of ideas, the elimination of errors, etc.).

Final course grades will be determined as follows:
10%    Essay 1
10%    Essay 2
15%    Essay 3
15%    Essay 4
10%    Revision 1
10%    Revision 2
20%    Miscellaneous Assignments
10%    Final Exam

At the end of the semester, final course grades will be calculated using the following scale: 90%-100% = A, 80%-89% = B, 70%-79% = C, 60%-69%= D, 0%-59%= F.

Attendance Policy

Students are expected to attend class regularly. Absences may result in a lowered course grade, and more than six absences may result in a withdrawal from the course without warning. Please be on time for class. Students who are persistently late for class must meet with the instructor to discuss the situation.

General Policies / Requirements for Successful Completion of the Course

  1. Come to class regularly and come to class prepared. Students are expected to complete all reading and writing assignments. Failure to complete assignments may result in a substantial reduction of the course grade. The following policy applies to all essays: A draft of at least 600 words will be due at the time of peer critiques. If a student does not have a draft of the required length, one letter grade will be deducted from the revised draft of the paper.
  3. Be active participants in the class. Active and meaningful student participation is expected, so ask questions, offer comments and suggestions, share your thoughts, make a meaningful contribution to the exchange of ideas in the classroom.
  5. Demonstrate a genuine desire to learn and to succeed in the course. A positive attitude can take you far, so be willing to work: read and reread the texts carefully, take pride in your class work, and please see me if you need additional help. You probably need this course for the credit, but try to work hard both to gain the credit and to gain knowledge and better writing skills.
  6. Be familiar with IVCC's "Student Code of Conduct" (in the college's Student Handbook), which stipulates the behavior expected of students. Violations of the "Student Code of Conduct" include "disruption of the educational process." This disruption could include conduct that is detrimental to the learning environment of the classroom, such as persistent tardiness, sleeping in class, or other distracting and disrespectful behavior.

Cell phone use is not allowed in this class. Cell phones must remain out of sight during the class period. Students text messaging or playing with cell phones or other electronic devices during the class session will be dismissed from class and counted absent for the day.

Assignments are due on the due dates. In-class assignments cannot be turned in after the class period during which they are assigned and completed. Essay assignments also are due on the due dates. However, the instructor can approve a late submission of an essay if an emergency or some other legitimate situation arises that prevents a student from turning in an essay when it is due. Talk to the instructor if this situation comes up.

Working in the Computer Lab

All of our class meetings are held in one of the college's computer labs. The computers should help us complete assignments and should not be a distraction from those assignments. While we are in the computer lab during class time, we must work on material related to the course. A student who uses the computer during class time for purposes that are not course related will be asked to leave the classroom and will be counted absent for the day. Please ask if you have any questions about whether a particular use of the computers is course related.

Academic Accommodations

If you need support or assistance because of a disability, you may be eligible for academic accommodations through IVCC's Disability Services. See the Disability Services Web site for more information.

Plagiarism and Cheating

Plagiarism is the use of another personís ideas, information, or exact words in your own writing without properly acknowledging your source in accordance with a standard system of documentation. In writing classes, plagiarism most often occurs when students use someone's else work and submit it as their own.

Make sure that all of the work you contribute to the class is your own. If a student is discovered submitting work that is plagiarized, depending on the severity of the plagiarism, the student will receive a grade of "F" on the assignment with the option to revise, a grade of "0" on the assignment without the option to revise, or a failing grade in the course. In addition, the student's name and a description of the incident will be reported to IVCC's Office of Academic Affairs. The Office of Academic Affairs will keep a record of these submissions. According to IVCC's "Student Code of Conduct," "when a student has been identified as committing an act of academic dishonesty twice" in any courses, the Vice President of Academic Affairs and Vice President of Student Services "will conduct an investigation, which may include a formal hearing, and will recommend or impose appropriate discipline."

Most Important of All

It's my job to help you succeed in the course, so please let me help you. Do not hesitate to ask questions and to see me during my office hours. Also, be aware that additional assistance to help you succeed is available through the college's Writing Center.

Tentative Schedule: ENG 1001-03 / ENG 1001-04

This schedule is only an overview of the approximate due dates for major assignments. Please see the course home page for daily assignments. Additional assignments will be given in class. This schedule is subject to change.

Week 1 (1/13, 1/15, 1/17)
Introductions. Review of the Essay form. In-class Diagnostic Essay.

Week 2 (1/20, 1/22, 1/24)
No Class Monday, January 20 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day). Reading assignment to be announced. Discussion of Essay 1.

Week 3 (1/27, 1/29, 1/31)
Draft of Essay 1 due for peer critique. Peer critiques of Essay 1. Revising Essay 1. Reading assignment to be announced.
(Monday, January 27: Last day to drop the course for a refund.)

Week 4 (2/3, 2/5, 2/7)
Revising Essay 1, cont. Revised Draft of Essay 1 due.

Week 5 (2/10, 2/12, 2/14)
Reading assignment to be announced. Discussion of Essay 2 and assigned readings.  

Week 6 (2/17, 2/19, 2/21)
No Class Monday, February 17 (All Presidents' Day). Draft of Essay 2 due for peer critique. Peer critiques of Essay 2.

Week 7 (2/24, 2/26, 2/28)
Revising Essay 2. Revised Draft of Essay 2 due.

Week 8 (3/3, 3/5, 3/7)
Reading assignment to be announced. Discussion of Essay 3 and assigned readings.

Week 9 (3/10, 3/12, 3/14)
No Class Monday, March 10, through Friday, March 14 (Spring Break).

Week 10 (3/17, 3/19, 3/21)
Draft of Essay 3 due for peer critique. Peer critiques of Essay 3.

Week 11 (3/24, 3/26, 3/28)
Revising Essay 3. Revised draft of Essay 3 due. No Class Friday, March 28 (Development Day).

Week 12 (3/31, 4/2, 4/4)
Reading assignment to be announced. Discussion of Essay 4.

Week 13 (4/7, 4/9, 4/11)
Continued Discussion of Essay 4. Draft of Essay 4 due for peer critique. Peer critiques of Essay 4.
(Thursday, April 10: Last day for student withdrawal from the course.)

Week 14 (4/14, 4/16, 4/18)
Revising Essay 4. Revised draft of Essay 4 due. Discussion of Final Revisions. Work on Final Revisions.

Week 15 (4/21, 4/23, 4/25)
Continued work on Final Revisions.

Week 16 (4/28, 4/30, 5/2)
Continued work on Final Revisions. Two Final Revisions due.

Week 17 (5/5, 5/7)
Discussion of the Final Exam. Final-Exam Pre-Test.

Final Exam
ENG 1001-03: 10:00 a.m., Friday, May 9
ENG 1001-04: 1:00 p.m., Monday, May 12

Copyright Randy Rambo, 2014.