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Essential Objectives

Course Syllabus

Revision Date: 20-Nov-22

Spring 2023 | ENG-1061-VO18 - 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: 01-24-2023 to 05-08-2023
Last day to drop without a grade: 02-12-2023 - Refund Policy
Last day to withdraw (W grade): 03-26-2023 - Refund Policy
This course has started, please contact the offering academic center about registration


Cindy Swanson
View Faculty Credentials

Hiring Coordinator for this course: Collin Lee

General Education Requirements

This section meets the following VSC General Education Requirement(s) for Catalog Year 21-22 and later:
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 course only uses free Open Educational Resources (OER) and/or library materials. For details, see the Canvas Site for this class.


  • Read and watch weekly course resources
  • Actively participation in the Weekly Discussions
  • Grammar brush-up and quizzes
  • Complete three essays that include a draft and final essay
  • Learn a step-by-step process for the Research Paper writing process that includes developing a research topic, thesis statement, annotated bibliography, research paper outline, library research, in-text citations and works cited page, and a draft and final research paper.

Evaluation Criteria

Grading for the course:

20% - Participation in Weekly Discussions

20% - Journals and Assignments

5% - Grammar Quizzes

5% - Draft Essays and Research Paper Draft

25% - Final Essays

25% - Research Paper

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


Introductions and overview of the Writing Process


What is an Essay?

Defining the Writing Process

Prewriting Techniques


Introduction Discussion Posts

Explore and discuss narrative essays on 'This I Believe'

Grammar Quiz - Comma Use

Journal entry #1 due



The Purpose and Structure of Narrative Writing


Key Takeaways for Narrative Writing

Looking at introduction paragraphs

Introduction to MLA (Modern Language Association) formatting


Discussion forum - Reading Narrative Essays for Story Elements

Narrative Essay - first draft due



Review your current writing process and look for personal connections in the narrative writing of others


Narrative essays


Discussion forum #1 - Finding personal connections in the narrative writing of Brad Manning, Sarah Vowell, and Audre Lorde

Discussion forum #2 - How to say nothing in 500 words

Grammar Quiz - Understanding and locating sentence fragments



Developing and supporting a thesis statement

Polishing your narrative first draft


What is a thesis statement?

Why we revise our first drafts


Discussion Forum - How do writers support their thesis?

Narrative Essay - final draft due



The Evidence Essay - learning to use evidence effectively in your writing


Writing for success

Knowing your audience

Review of thesis statements and introduction paragraphs


Discussion forum - Read and respond to Anna Quindlen's essay, "Homeless".

Journal entry #2 due

Evidence Essay - first draft due



Explore Hartness Library Resources

How to Effectively Summarize


Explore the nature of an academic conversation

Explore Hartness Library through Opposing Viewpoints

How to write an effective summary

Introduction to In-text citations and Works Cited Lists


Discussion forum #1 - Participating in an Academic Conversation

Discussion forum #2 - Evaluating a successful summary

Summarizing Exercise

Grammar Quiz - Using correct pronouns



The purpose and structure of the Compare/ Contrast Essay


Key Takeaways for the Compare/ Contrast Essay

Read examples of Compare/ Contrast Essays


Discussion forum - Looking for meaning in Compare/ Contrast Essays

Evidence Essay - final draft due



How to write a Compare/ Contrast Essay

Practice using quotations in your essay


Comparison sentence templates for writing Compare/ Contrast Essays

Read examples of Compare/ Contrast Essays


Discussion forum - Evaluating Compare/ Contrast Essays and practice using quotations to back up your argument

Compare/ Contrast Essay - first draft due



More Compare/ Contrast practice

Active and Passive Voice in your writing


Readings from Toni Morrison, David Brooks, and Therese Huston


Discussion forum - More compare/ contrast practice

Journal entry #3 due

Grammar Quiz - Active and Passive Voice

Active versus Passive Voice Assignment



Introduction to the Research Paper


Choosing your Research Paper Topic

Review examples of research papers


Discussion forum - Learning about Research Papers and MLA formatting

Submit your Research Paper topic

Grammar Quiz - Run on sentences and comma splices

Compare/ Contrast final essay due



Writing your Research Paper


Guidelines for English Composition Research Paper

Developing your Thesis Statement

Review Hartness Library Resources

Annotating your Research Sources

Prewriting Techniques


Discussion forum - Your Working Thesis Statement and Annotated Research Sources

Thesis Statement Quiz



Creating your Research Paper Outline

Creating your Works Cited Page


Using an Outline to stay organized

Review Outline templates

MLA (Modern Language Association) Works Cited Page example


Assignment - Submit your Outline

Assignment - Submit your Works Cited Page

Journal entry #4



Writing the first draft of your Research Paper


Strategies for drafting

Tone, Voice, and Point of View: First, Second, and Third Person Point of View

Should I Summarize, Quote, or Paraphrase?


Discussion forum - Review Hartness Library 'Research Basics' to share research strategies

Grammar Quiz - Subject-Verb Agreement

Research Paper - first draft due



Strategies for Proofreading your Research Paper

Practice Analyzing an Argument


Proofreading Tips and Strategies

Read Sample Argumentative Essays


Discussion forum - Analyze an Argument

Assignment - Research Paper Reflection



Revising your writing

Recap of the semester and farewells!


Advice for Revising your Research Paper


Discussion forum - Semester Recap and Reflection

Research Paper - final draft due


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

To earn full participation points for the week, you should:

  • Read the assigned material and demonstrate an understanding of those resources in your assignments and posts. Readings and resources should be cited using MLA format.
  • Post an original response to the weekly prompt(s) before Thursday at midnight (11:59 PM) and a minimum of two responses to peers before Sunday at midnight (11:59 PM). You are welcome to post early and/or more frequently, as your schedule allows, but you will not receive full credit if you do not meet these minimum requirements and/or deadlines. No late discussion posts will receive credit.
  • Posts should be substantive and demonstrate college-level writing. A substantive post is well-developed, a minimum 150 words, and references the reading or another appropriate source. A substantive post is NOT one or two sentences of general statements or unsupported opinion.

Missing & Late Work Policy

  • Late assignments can be submitted up to one week past the deadline. You will lose 10% each day that an assignment is late. After a week, it will no longer be accepted for credit.
  • Late work is not accepted in the discussion forum. Interacting with your classmates is an essential part of online discussions and cannot be made up after the due date because there will be no one there to respond to your posts.
  • Extensions will be granted only in extenuating circumstances. If a lengthy medical problem or other personal issue will result in missing weekly discussions and/or assignments, please contact me as soon as possible.
  • Students who know that they will not have access to this course at any time during the semester should make arrangements with me to complete assignments and participation requirements before the anticipated absence.

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.