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Web Schedule Spring 2018

Revision Date: 09-Dec-17

ENG-1061-VS01 - English Composition

Synonym: 162497
Location: Springfield
Credits: 3 (45 hours)
Day/Times: Monday, 12:30P - 03:15P
Semester Dates: 01-22-2018 to 04-30-2018
Last day to drop without a grade: 02-11-2018 - Refund Policy
Last day to withdraw (W grade): 03-25-2018 - Refund Policy
Faculty: Charity Houghton | View Faculty Credentials

Open Seats/Section Limit: 10/16 (as of 01-21-18 6:20 PM)

Browse the Moodle Site for this class.

Course Description:

In this course, students develop effective composition skills and research techniques. Students learn strategies for organizing, evaluating, and revising their work through extensive reading of a variety of essay styles and literary texts; apply writing and research techniques to their papers; and demonstrate proficiency in first-year college-level writing and information literacy.

Essential Objectives:

1. Consistently apply an appropriate writing process that includes planning, drafting, revising and editing.
2. Demonstrate in written work an awareness of the relationship among writer, subject, audience, and purpose.
3. Demonstrate writing proficiency with a range of rhetorical approaches to include narration, exposition, argument, and critical analysis and recognize the stylistic and structural strategies in the writing of others.
4. Focus written work around an explicit central thesis, a position statement or proposition advanced by the writer that is arguable and supportable and develop the thesis systematically, using specific details and supporting evidence.
5. Compose written work that demonstrates effective use of sentence structure, paragraphing, grammar, syntax, punctuation, and spelling.
6. Demonstrate proficiency in research writing skills by completing one or more papers that:
a) Develop and support an arguable thesis;
b) Locate, evaluate, and incorporate appropriate scholarly and professional sources, including primary and secondary evidence as needed, to address an academic research question;
c) Appropriately acknowledge and document sources, using standard MLA or APA styles.

Additional Instructor Pre-Assignments/Notes/Comments:

Late Assignment Submission Policy

*Due to the depth involved in grading assignments for this course, this policy applies regardless of the cause of late assignment submission.  In cases of documented emergency or illness that prevents completion of work, a meeting can be made with the student, the advisor, & the instructor to discuss an appropriate plan for success.


Notice Requirement: As with absences, I must receive email notice from you no later than the assignment due date when you are unable to submit an assignment on time.  Failure to send notice will result in 0% of the total possible points for the assignment.

When notice is given, late assignments may be submitted to my CCV mailbox, by email at as a PDF file, or in person up to 1 week after the due date with only a 10% reduction of the grade (unless otherwise arrange due to extenuating circumstances).

*No submissions will be accepted more than 1 week beyond the due date.  The assignment in question will receive 0% of the total possible points.

Other Policies:

Mobile Phone Use—Mobile phone should be off/silent and stored in a bag during class, except during breaks.  *If you have an urgent reason to use your phone, inform me ahead of time.  1 accidental phone noise during class will be excused.  More than 1 occurrence = a 10% reduction of your Verbal Participation Grade.  Beyond that = 20% and so on.  Use of a phone at any time during class without prior arrangement = dismissal from the class meeting & an absence.

Other Policies (Continued):

Eating & Drinking In Class—Food/beverages are absolutely OKAY during class, as long as each student takes responsibility for clean-up. 

Class Break Times—I am very generous with break times.  I believe in dividing long classes up into 3 blocks of no more than 45-50 minutes each, so that focus is optimal.  Breaks allow for a recharge of energy, which is just as important to learning as the work we do in class.  Because I value breaks, I ask students to be prompt when returning from breaks.  Many of the clocks at CCV are running at slightly different times, and our classroom clock may be different from your personal timepiece.  Plan to set your watch or mobile phone to the time read on our clock, or set an alarm so that you return to class on time.  2 late returns from break without reason = 10% reduction of your final Attendance Grade.  Each late return after that will be another 10% reduction, eventually affecting your final Verbal Participation Grade.

Communication—One of the easiest ways to avoid confusion, conflict, and/or grading difficulties due to absences and late assignments is to simply communicate.  If you have a need, a concern, a question, difficulty with another student in class, personal challenges that make schoolwork or attendance/punctuality difficult, contact me directly and right away.  There are many ways to find help with these issues, and I am here to facilitate that if you take the first step to communicate.  Because I make this so clear throughout my courses, I tend to be pretty unforgiving when a student fails to communicate.  In other words, please keep communication a top priority.

The Importance of Moodle

Moodle will be your first resource for all vital course information; therefore…

you are required to check Moodle a minimum of once weekly.

This document and other course and assignment outlines will be uploaded as links for your reference and printing.  The Weekly Calendar is your guide to our class meeting agendas and post-meeting assignments for the semester.  If you must be absent, Moodle will be your first step in learning what you missed and what to have prepared for the following week’s class.  News and forums for discussion will also be posted on Moodle as needed.  Grades will also be uploaded onto Moodle throughout the semester.  All information on Moodle is subject to change at any time, so please link your preferred email address to our Moodle site so you will receive instant notice of updates.  If you do not know how to do this, ask a classmate, someone in the Learning Center, or your advisor.  This is especially important for keeping up with class cancelation assignments and other revisions to the Weekly Calendar.  NOTE: If you do not have a home computer/home internet, you must find a way to keep up-to-date on Moodle.  Please log onto Moodle at the beginning of the semester to ensure you are able to access it, and see tech support or your advisor at CCV right away if you have difficulties.

Additional Items of Note

Faculty Contact Options: As listed at the top of this document, the method for contacting me is via CCV email.  I do not typically make it a practice to share personal contact information with students, though I occasionally make exceptions.  Unless otherwise specified, please follow the below steps to getting in touch with me:

1.     For quick questions that are not general to the class interests or confidential in nature, approach me during class meeting breaks or after class. 


2.     Email me: 


3.     If your need is urgent or relates to an assignment that is due at the next class meeting, and I do not respond within 24 hours, please contact the CCV front desk to get a message to me.


4.    If you have a specific concern or question that requires an in-person confidential and/or extended conversation, please request a meeting with me as close to 1 week in advance as possible. 



Teaching will be…

student-centered and student-guided.  Though it is my aim as the instructor to offer wisdom, opportunities, feedback, and help, you will be encouraged to find what works for you in the writing and editing processes.  Writing topics will always be shaped by your clear personal voice, and not just by assignment requirements. Composition 1 doesn't have to be painful, especially if you bring your unique voice into the class.

practice-based. This course will be taught in the spirit of practice, not perfection.  You will develop a deeper understanding of creative writing genres and tools for the writing process, but evaluation and assessment will focus on your effort and individual development within each composition category, as well as within research and information gathering processes.

Learning will be…

accountable to the self and other. You will be required to participate in thoughtful writing, editing, research and information gathering, as well as in occasional sharing of your written work with the class. You will also be asked to offer and receive personal reflections on our text reading assignments, applying your unique perspective and hearing the unique perspectives of others.

safe but not risk-free.  This classroom will always be a safe place to go through the writing and research processes, no matter how you feel about writing. Because it is safe, you will be not only encouraged, but also expected to take risks in all aspects of your learning.  Nothing of worth comes without risk, so enter our course ready to push through fear knowing that you will be supported.

Evaluation Criteria:

 *See Grade Criteria for details on grading percentages & descriptions of each part of your grade.*

Your general evaluation criteria will be as follows:

Attendance & Particpation = This is an easy grade to acheive. If you come to class each week, arrive on time & stay for the whole class period, your attendance grade will be at full credit. If you participate in discussions and Moodle forum assignments with a thoughtful perspective, your participation grade will be at full credit. Attendance points will go down with each absence, late arrival, and/or early departure (see Attendance Policy). Participation points will go down for students who don't actively engage in discussion during each opportunity in class and on Moodle.


Readings & Journal = In Composition 1, most journal entries will be responses to text reading assignments. The Journal will also include writing prompt entries. If you do the readings and follow the response prompts and journal expectations, your grade for the journal will be high. Missed journal assignments, and/or disorganized journals will reduce this grade.


Polished Pieces = Assigned papers which are written, edited & typed/printed are called Polished Pieces. Polished Pieces cover the writing categories outlined in our text. Each writing category will include a teaching week complete practice writing, readings, and clear written expectations for the final paper that will be graded. If you complete all of your assigned Polished Pieces on time & according to the expectations, your grade in this category will be high. Missed deadlines &/or unmet expectations in this important grading category can have a big impact on your overall grade. 


Self-Reflections = You will be asked to complete a guided self-reflection at midterm and at the end of the semester. At the beginning of the semester, you will set goals for the class that will help you to expand your feelings and abilities around college-level writing. Your self-reflections will help you keep track of your goals and your progress. These papers count as a separate portion of your overall grade. You will receive full credit if you complete each self-reflection on time and with thoughtful responses to the guided questions and prompts.





Grading Criteria:

Grading Outline

Written Participation: 70%

This grade encompasses not only your best writing, but also your efforts throughout the writing process.  You will keep a binder of everything you write during our course, which will count for half of your grade.  This ‘Throw Nothing Away’ policy will allow for reflection and feedback on your complete writing journey.

Journal Entries: 10%

You will be asked to keep a notebook or computer file specifically for journal reflections.  Examples of journal entries are reading responses, brainstorming exercises, and prompt assignments.  You will be asked to share your journal reflections in class, and you will submit your journal for grading for midterm and final grading. 

Polished Papers: 60%

Polished pieces refer to your edited, typed and printed writing assitnments.  You will have opportunities to write polished pieces in the categories outlined in our text: Narration, Description, Exposition, and Argumentation. 


Verbal Participation: 20%

From our first class meeting, we will establish a comfortable space in which to share and offer insight and feedback on the craft of writing.  Even Composition 1 can include writing that applies your unique voice, and our discussions about how to write will be part of building your writing voice. This grade reflects your presence and your contributions to our discussions.

Attendance: 10%

Your presence in each class is vital to your success.  Though situations beyond your control may require your absence from class, you will still be graded according to your Attendance Tracker record for the semester.  Plan to make attendance a priority.  *See the Attendance Policy below.

In-Class Discussions: 5%

Every voice is important to our group, and each student must be held accountable for engagement in discussion, sharing, and feedback.  This is an observation grade that will be tracked according to my notes on your level of verbal contribution in each class, as well as your grades for the smaller presentations you will give throughout the course.

Forum Participation: 5%

At times you will be required to participate in Moodle forum discussions as an extension of our weekly meetings.  Examples of forum activities include analysis of published creative texts, sharing excerpts of original work for the purpose of receiving feedback, and discussions of particular elements of the writing craft.

Self-Reflections: 10%

** The last part of your overall grade will fall under the category of Self-Reflection. At midterm and at the end of the semester, you will be asked to reflect on your goals, your work and your learnings within our class. These self-reflection assignments will be guided and graded according to clear written expectations.


*NOTE: All grades are given according to the written expectations for each grading area and assignment.  Expectations will be posted on Moodle in the form of rubrics, outlines, and checklists for your reference.  Grades are not subject to change unless a mathematical error is found. 

If you are not receiving the grades you hope for, below are the steps you may take:

1. Review the relevant written expectations and/or policies I provide on Moodle with a classmate, in the Learning Center, and/or with your advisor.

2. Email me with detailed questions that could not be answered by reviewing the written expectations and/or policies with other assistance.  Your questions should be specific, referring directly to the relevant written expectations and/or policies.

3. Request a meeting with me for extended help with an issue that cannot be resolved by reviewing written expectations and/or policies, or in an email conversation.  A meeting request should include an explanation of your specific objectives for the meeting. 

4. Request the opportunity to re-submit an assignment.  You may do this before taking any of the above steps if you feel you understand the assignment expectations.  *Re-submissions will only be granted for certain assignments and up to 3 weeks prior to the end of the semester.  All re-submissions will be due within 1 week of being granted, and the new grade will be averaged with the original grade.

5. For ongoing needs, consider utilizing the Learning Center as part of your writing process.


Spring 2018 textbook data will be available on December 4. On that date a link will be available below that will take you to eCampus, CCV's bookstore. The information provided there will be for this course only. Please see this page for more information regarding the purchase of textbooks.

ENG-1061-VS01 Textbooks.

Contact Faculty:

Email: Charity Houghton
Hiring Coordinator for this course: Marianne Shaughnessy

Notes: Email is the best way to contact me with questions, absence notices, concerns, and requests to meet. EMAIL: If you need immediate assistance, please ask the CCV front desk or your advisor to contact me by phone. I generally do no offer my personal phone number to students.

Attendance Policy:

Attendance Policy

*Due to the discussion-based format of this course, this policy applies regardless of the cause of absence.  In cases of documented emergency or illness that prevents attendance, a meeting can be made with the student, the advisor, & the instructor to discuss an appropriate plan for success.

Notice Requirement: If you must be absent, you are required to treat the absence as you would an absence from work.  I must receive notice from you via email no later than the day of the absence.  An absence with no notice will result in an immediate 100% reduction of your final Attendance grade (10% of your overall grade).  2 absences with no notice will result in a 100% reduction of your final Verbal Participation grade (20% of your overall grade). 

1 Absence = 50% reduction of final Attendance grade

2 Absences = 100% Reduction of Final Attendance Grade

3 Absences = 50% Reduction of Final Verbal Participation Grade & Danger of Course Failure!  If you have reached 2 absences, please see me immediately about how to avoid failure if a 3rd absence occurs! 

3 Absences without prompt communication OR More than 3 Absences with or without prompt communication = ***COURSE FAILURE

*Please note that 2 late arrivals to class beyond 20 minutes = 1 Absence.


''''Weekly Calendar''''

*Please note that this 'Syllabus' is a framework highlighting due dates and weekly meeting themes.  Assignment and meeting details will be given each week on Moodle, and they are subject to change based on the particular pace and group dynamic of our class.



22 - Who We Are & Why We're Here: Intros, Housekeeping, & Why We Don't Have to Hate Comp 1

29 -  I Am: How to tell Your Story (Narrative Writing)



5 -  Due: Strength Story (Narrative Essay)

12 -  Writing the Room & The 5 Senses (Descriptive Writing)

19 - Due: Description Essay

26 -  Feedback & Editing: How to Turn a 1st Draft into a Polished Draft Due: Journal Submission 1



5 -  Due: Writer's Choice Polished Draft (Choice of Narrative or Descriptive Re-write)

12 - Explaining Things So They Make Sense (Expository Writing Basics)

19 - Due: Writer's Choice Expository Essay 1 (Writer As Expert Essay)

26 - Explaining Things Using Research as Your Back-Up (Expository Research Papers)



2 - Due: Expository Research Essay

9 - Arguing in Writing (No, Not on Facebook): How to Argue Smart

16 - Due: Argumentation Essay 1

23 - Writer's Workshop Intensive

30 -  Due: Argumentation Essay 2 + Journal Submission 2 + Final Self-Reflection






Please note: In order to receive accommodations for disabilities in this course, students must make an appointment to see the Americans with Disabilities Coordinator in their site and bring documentation with them.

Academic Honesty: CCV has a commitment to honesty and excellence in academic work and expects the same from all students. Academic dishonesty, or cheating, can occur whenever you present -as your own work- something that you did not do. You can also be guilty of cheating if you help someone else cheat. Being unaware of what constitutes academic dishonesty (such as knowing what plagiarism is) does not absolve a student of the responsibility to be honest in his/her academic work. Academic dishonesty is taken very seriously and may lead to dismissal from the College.

Course description details subject to change. Please refer to this document frequently.

To check on space availability, choose Search for Classes.

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