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Course Planning by Program


Essential Objectives

Course Syllabus

Revision Date: 15-Jul-24

Fall 2024 | ENG-1061-VO02 - English Composition

Online Class

Online courses take place 100% online via Canvas, without required in-person or Zoom meetings.

Location: Online
Credits: 3 (45 hours)
Day/Times: Meets online
Semester Dates: 09-03-2024 to 12-16-2024
Last day to drop without a grade: 09-16-2024 - Refund Policy
Last day to withdraw (W grade): 11-04-2024 - Refund Policy
This section is waitlisted (1). Please contact your nearest center for availability.


Sue Brennan
View Faculty Credentials
View Faculty Statement
Hiring Coordinator for this course: Cindy Swanson

General Education Requirements

This section meets the following CCV General Education Requirement(s) for the current catalog year:
VSCS Introductory Written Expression
  1. Many degree programs have specific general education recommendations. In order to avoid taking unnecessary classes, please consult with additional resources like your program evaluation, your academic program catalog year page, and your academic advisor.
  2. Courses may only be used to meet one General Education Requirement.

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. Discuss writing by authors from diverse (such as racial, ethnic, socioeconomic and gender) backgrounds to explore how perspectives and experiences may shape voice in composition.
5. 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.
6. Compose written work that demonstrates effective use of sentence structure, paragraphing, grammar, syntax, punctuation, and spelling.
7. 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.

Required Technology

More information on general computer and internet recommendations is available on the CCV IT Support page. https://support.ccv.edu/general/computer-recommendations/

Please see CCV's Digital Equity Statement (pg. 45) to learn more about CCV's commitment to supporting all students access the technology they need to successfully finish their courses.

Required Textbooks and Resources

*** This is a low cost ($50 or less) textbook or resource class.
This class may require purchase of supplies or materials that are not available through the CCV bookstore. ***

ENG-1061-VO02 Link to Textbooks/Resources Information for this course in eCampus.

The last day to use a Financial Aid Advance to purchase textbooks/books is the 3rd Tuesday of the semester. See your financial aid counselor at your academic center if you have any questions.


Writing Assessments (60% of final grade)

  • Narrative Essay (100 points)

  • Mini-Essay #1: Summarizing/Responding (50 points)

  • Mini-Essay #2: Quoting (50 points)

  • The Researched Argument Essay:

    • Outline (50 points)

    • First Draft (50 points)

    • Revised Draft (300 points)

Readings and Discussions (25% of final grade)

  • Chapter readings about various parts of the writing process

  • Essays on contemporary issues that serve as provocative examples of writing and research

  • Informal check-ins on various stages of the research project

Grammar and Research Activities (15% of final grade)

  • Practice relevant writing conventions, and later apply those rules to your own writing.

  • Break down your final essay into manageable sections and organize your research.

Grading Criteria

CCV Letter Grades as outlined in the Evaluation System Policy are assigned according to the following chart:

A Less than 9893
A-Less than 9390
B+Less than 9088
B Less than 8883
B-Less than 8380
C+Less than 8078
C Less than 7873
C-Less than 7370
D+Less than 7068
D Less than 6863
D-Less than 6360
FLess than 60 
NPLess than 600

Weekly Schedule

Week/ModuleTopic  Readings  Assignments


Course Overview and Introductions


They Say/I Say Introduction and Chapters 12/13

  • Discussion: Course Introductions

  • Writing: Canvas/Course Scavenger Hunt and Narrative Elements activities

  • Grammar: Register Your Norton Materials



Focus on Narrative Writing


They Say/I Say Chapters 1 and 2; Essay: "The Other Side is Not Dumb"


  • Discussion: Informal Check-In

  • Writing: Narrative Essay Draft

  • Grammar: How to Use InQuizitive; How to Make the Most of the Little Seagull Handbook



Understanding What "They Say"


They Say/I Say Chapter 3; Essay:“Why America Is Self-Segregating”


  • Discussion: Response to Essay

  • Writing: Mini-Essay #1: Summarizing

  • Grammar: Editing the Errors that Matter



Responding to What "They Say"


They Say/I Say Chapter 4; Essays: "Has Coronavirus Made the Internet Better?" and "How Smartphones Hijack Our Minds"


  • Discussion: Response to Essays

  • Writing: MLA Formatting; Narrative Revision

  • Grammar: Sentence Fragments; Comma Splices; Fused Sentences



Establishing What "I Say"


They Say/I Say Chapter 5; Essays: "We Are the Wildfire': How to Fight the Climate Crisis" and "Choking Oceans with Plastic"


  • Discussion:Response to Essays

  • Writing: Mini-Essay #2: Quoting

  • Grammar: Punctuating Quotations; Incorporating Quotations



Research as Conversation


They Say/I Say Chapter 15; Essays: "Google, Democracy, and the Truth About the Internet Search" and "Are We Really As Awful As We Act Online?"


  • Discussion:Response to Essays

  • Writing: Hartness Library Tutorials

  • Grammar: Finding Sources; Evaluating Sources; Fact-Checking Sources



Establishing a "So What?"


They Say/I Say Chapters 6 and 7


  • Discussion: "Google, Democracy, and the Truth About the Internet Search" and "Are We Really As Awful As We Act Online?"

  • Writing: Topic Development

  • Grammar: Synthesizing Ideas; Integrating Sources; Documentation: MLA Format



Connecting Ideas


They Say/I Say Chapter 8; Essays: "It's Time for 'They'" and "Why We Need Title IX Now More Than Ever"


  • Discussion: Feedback on Topics/Driving Questions

  • Writing: Preliminary Research

  • Grammar: Pronouns in the Wrong Case; Pronouns that Don't Agree with their Antecedents; Pronouns with Unclear Reference



Finding Your Voice


They Say/I Say Chapters 9 and 10


  • Discussion: Response to Essays

  • Writing: Developing Working Thesis Statements

  • Grammar: Mixed Constructions; Subject-Verb Agreement; Verb Tense and Verb Forms



Thesis Statements and Research


Essays: "Hillbilly Elegy" and "What Hillbilly Elegy Reveals About Race in Twenty-First Century America"


  • Discussion: Feedback on Working Thesis Statements

  • Writing: Additional Research

  • Grammar: Omitted Commas; Unnecessary Commas; Apostrophe Errors



Writing the Outline


They Say/I Say Chapter 11


  • Discussion:Response to Essays

  • Writing: Essay Outline

  • Grammar: Misplaced/Dangling Modifiers; Words Often Confused



Writing the First Draft


Readings: None (focus on essay draft)


  • Discussion: Informal Check-In

  • Writing: Working on Essay Draft

  • Grammar: Review Quiz



Completing the First Draft


Essays: "An End to Sexism in Gaming Communities" and "The Coronavirus is a Disaster for Feminism"


  • Discussion:Informal Check-In

  • Writing: Working on Essay Draft

  • Grammar: Problem Areas Review



Revising the Essay


Readings: None (focus on Revision)

  • Discussion:Response to Essays

  • Writing: Submit Essay to Tutor.Com and process feedback

  • Grammar: Essay Proofreading Plan



Wrapping Up


Readings: none


  • Discussion: Final Reflections

  • Writing: Final Draft of Essay submitted; Course Evaluation submitted

  • Grammar: MLA/Proofreading Checklist submitted with essay


Attendance Policy

Regular attendance and participation in classes are essential for success in and are completion requirements for courses at CCV. A student's failure to meet attendance requirements as specified in course descriptions will normally result in a non-satisfactory grade.

  • In general, missing more than 20% of a course due to absences, lateness or early departures may jeopardize a student's ability to earn a satisfactory final grade.
  • Attending an on-ground or synchronous course means a student appeared in the live classroom for at least a meaningful portion of a given class meeting. Attending an online course means a student posted a discussion forum response, completed a quiz or attempted some other academically required activity. Simply viewing a course item or module does not count as attendance.
  • Meeting the minimum attendance requirement for a course does not mean a student has satisfied the academic requirements for participation, which require students to go above and beyond simply attending a portion of the class. Faculty members will individually determine what constitutes participation in each course they teach and explain in their course descriptions how participation factors into a student's final grade.

Participation Expectations

Attendance Expectations

It is expected that you "attend" class on a regular and timely basis. Attendance is tracked via your participation in weekly discussions and must be completed on time. If there are extenuating circumstances preventing your timely participation, please be in touch with me ASAP.

Artificial Intelligence and ChatGPT

We all heard the news last year: Artificial Intelligence (AI) has thrown its hat in the writing ring! We can go to a source like ChatGPT and ask it to create a piece of writing, and within seconds it will produce writing that may adequately answer a prompt. So why do we need to keep working on our writing?

  • There is a clear link between writing and thinking. We use writing as a tool to process our thinking, and conversely, we use deep, messy thinking as a building block for meaningful writing. Using AI to cut out the thinking stunts our growth as writers, which defeats the purpose of taking this class. I’m sure there are more apt analogies, but think of it as taking steroids instead of putting the time in in the weight room.

  • There is a lot of potential in AI to assist us in our thinking process, and to be honest, I’m still figuring out where the balance lies. We’ll definitely devote some time to exploring that this semester. However, there can also be a temptation to use AI in place of doing our own work and thinking. Just like it is plagiarism to borrow from published or previously written sources (for a start), using uncredited writing produced by a source such as ChatGPT is an act of academic dishonesty and will be treated according to CCV policy, which can range from loss of credit for assignment to expulsion from CCV.

In short, it is always an expectation that your written work is a product of your own thinking, planning, and drafting. Any time you use another source to assist you, you need to credit that source appropriately or you risk losing credit for your assignment. And don’t worry--all the tools you need to do that will be provided in this course!

Missing & Late Work Policy

Weekly Assignments (10 point assignments)

These assignments (discussions, readings, grammar, and research) make up the bulk of the work you will do to prepare for the essays. This is work you complete as a learner, and as such it is not weighted heavily. In essence, you are being graded on task completion and general effort. In order to receive full credit for this work, it must be fully completed and submitted on time.

Online discussions posts are a weekly expectation and MUST be completed on time to be effective. I have built in as much flexibility as possible to allow for differences in personal schedules, but I cannot consider you to have participated in a discussion if your posts are significantly late.

Work that is partially completed will receive partial credit, and work that is late will receive a 1-point deduction (10%) each weekday that it is late. One week after the due date, the assignment will be locked, and you will no longer be able to submit the assignment for credit.

Essays (points vary by assessment)

Because we use a multi-draft writing process for essays, you will have an opportunity to receive feedback before you need to turn in a final draft. For assignments worth more than 10 points, you will have the ability to consult with me on your progress prior to submitting.

If you turn work in after the due date, you will receive a 5% deduction per day late. One week after the due date, the assignment will be locked, and you will no longer be able to submit it for credit. Because these assignments are worth more points than your practice work, failure to submit can result in a significant negative impact on your course grade.

Accessibility Services for Students with Disabilities:

CCV strives to mitigate barriers to course access for students with documented disabilities. To request accommodations, please
  1. Provide disability documentation to the Accessibility Coordinator at your academic center. https://ccv.edu/discover-resources/students-with-disabilities/
  2. Request an appointment to meet with accessibility coordinator to discuss your request and create an accommodation plan.
  3. Once created, students will share the accommodation plan with faculty. Please note, faculty cannot make disability accommodations outside of this process.

Academic Integrity

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.