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Essential Objectives

Course Syllabus

Revision Date: 22-May-24

Fall 2024 | ENG-1061-VR02 - English Composition

In Person Class

Standard courses meet in person at CCV centers, typically once each week for the duration of the semester.

Location: Rutland
Credits: 3 (45 hours)
Day/Times: Wednesday, 08:30A - 11:15A
Semester Dates: 09-04-2024 to 12-11-2024
Last day to drop without a grade: 09-16-2024 - Refund Policy
Last day to withdraw (W grade): 11-04-2024 - Refund Policy
Open Seats: 9 (as of 07-19-24 8:05 PM)
To check live space availability, Search for Courses.


Mary Pernal
View Faculty Credentials
View Faculty Statement
Hiring Coordinator for this course: Collin Lee

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

ENG-1061-VR02 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.


Teaching will take place in class, and through comments on assignments. Everyone is encouraged to participate in class discussions. You are welcome to ask questions and seek clarification. You are also welcome to share you ideas. We will discuss various readings from our textbook and other sources. We will also discuss and debate (politely and respectfully) various topics the class generates for our final writing project. Expect this to be an interactive classroom. Your presence and input in each class, even by being a good listener for those of you who are on the quiet side, are welcome. Finally, it is important to keep up with the short reading assignments from our excellent textbook. Coming prepared to class with readings completed at home will to your success and engagement.

Evaluation Criteria

Grading for this course is broken down as follows:

Class Participation 25%

Review essay 10%

Narrative Essay 10%

Response to Environmental Article 5%

Final persuasion/research essay 20%

Midterm/Final Exams 20%

Final Presentation 5%

Short homework assignments 5%

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


Wednesday 1/24

Introduction to Course Introduction to Essay Writing


Textbook: Everyone's a Writer, 4th Edition (Norton Textbooks) Print Version

Bring your textbook and a medium sized spiral notebook to each class. Discussion and practice in organizing an essay. Read (in class) and discuss "Origin Stories", by Annette Gordon-Reed, pages 901-908, and "Young People Found Time to Figure Out Their Identities During the Pandemic" pages 921-924.


Homework: Write one-page "Who are You?" essay for next class.



Wednesday 1/31

Writing a Review, using description, organization, and interviewing skills.


Discuss: "On Meaningful Observation", by John Meada, pages 925-928, "To Siri, with Love", by Judith Newman, pages 943-950, "Rhetorical Situations" pages 30-37, and “Understanding College Expectations” pages 49-60. Take a glance at pages 610-624, which is a sample student paper with correct layout and Works Cited page. (Page 605 shows how to cite an interview.) In class, we will make a plan and outline for writing a review of a local business, art center, public facility, or community center.


Due: One page assignment #1: "Who are You?" essay. Share with class: (sharing optional).

Make a plan to visit the facility and conduct an interview with a director, manager or employee. Discuss intended audience.



Wednesday 2/07

Writing a Review


Discuss “Coco, a Story about Borders and Love” pages 973-977, and "Writing a Review", pages 334-369.

Watch Movie


Homework: (for next week). Write a one-page review of the movie we saw in class. The first paragraph should be information and summary; the second should be description; and the third should be evaluation and recommendation.

Homework: (for two weeks from now). This is a 5- page assignment, plus Works Cited page. Visit the site for your review of a business or community center, conduct an interview, and write a review that includes background information, quote(s) and summary of your interview. Be sure to give an actual review and description based on your opinion, along with recommendations. (Five pages minimum plus Works Cited page.) Turn this in week #5. Extra credit if you send this review to a local Vermont newspaper.



Wednesday 2/14

Share Reviews with class. Narrative: Telling a Story


Share reviews with class. Discuss: "Reporting Information/Just the Facts", pages 287-333, "Writing a Narrative", pages 195-233, "Learning the Grammar of Animacy", by Robin Wall Kimmerer", pages 909-914, and "New Money", by Tressie McMillan Cottom, pages 936-942.


Due: One page assignment #2: Review of movie.



Wednesday 2/21

Narrative: Telling a Story (Continued) We will discuss and practice writing strategies, including consideration of audience, use of description, sequence, setting, character development, plot, and building suspense.


Share reviews with class. We will be writing in class and discussing reading assignments. Discuss: "My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant", by Jose Antonio Vargas, pages 999-108, and "Serving in Florida" by Barbara Ehrenreich, pages 873-886. We will have small group discussions and presentations on the reading.


Due: Review of local establishment: (Five pages minimum plus work cited page with interview entry.)

Homework for next class: one-page draft of your narrative. Also, read the short story handout, to be discussed next class.



Wednesday 2/28


In-class exercises


Discuss: "Managing the Writing Process", pages 107-116, Reflecting on Your Writing", pages 117-132, "The Sanctuary of School", by Lynda Barry, pages 851-856, and "Fun Home", by Alison Bechdel, pages 857-867. (Discuss option to include illustration with your narrative story.)

Also, discuss short story handed out last class.


Due: One page assignment #3, Draft of Narrative.



Wednesday 3/06

Midterm Exam

We will meet in class to take an essay-based midterm exam for the first half of our evening session. The material covered will include a review, responding to an article, and effective quoting and summary. (Note: The final exam will only include the subject matter of the second half of the course but may include some of the same skills and expectations.)

Share excerpt from narrative essay with class (optional).


Take Midterm Exam


Due: Narrative Essay, (5-6 pages). Bring print version of your narrative essay to class. Share excerpts with class, (optional).

Homework: Read article handout. Then select a quote. Give context of the quote and reflect on it (1 page).



Wednesday 3/13

Quoting, Paraphrasing and Summarizing


Discuss: "Quoting, Paraphrasing, Summarizing" pages 548-561, “Writing Analytically” pages 268-277, and "The Native American Dream" by Tate Walker, pages 1009-1015.


Due: One page assignment #4, Quote and reflection from selected article (one page).

Assignment for next class: Write a 3-page (minimum) response to an article you find in a current journal, magazine, or newspaper, on a significant environmental issue affecting our lives today. Print out the article to turn in along with your assignment. Be sure to summarize the article, and select at least one quote from it to discuss, giving context. Use your paraphrasing skills to keep the quote relatively short and succinct. Then give your own thoughts on the issue, including the ramifications for current and future generations, and possible solutions. Some recommended sources include Science News, Scientific American, or the science section of a major newspaper.



Wednesday 3/20

Discuss articles from your homework.

Opinion Writing


Discuss: "The Centrality of Argument" pages 405-410, “Origin Stories” by Annette Gordon-Reed, pages 901-908, and “It’s 2018, and Gay Men Still Can’t Give Blood in America” by Josh Trujillo and Levi Hastings, pages 978-994.


Due: 3-page (minimum) essay on an environmentalissue. Be sure to include a Works Cited page.



Wednesday 3/27

Effective Thesis and Introduction

Doing Research


Discuss thesis and introduction

Discuss: "Starting Your Research” pages 477-487, and "Finding Sources", pages 488-504, and "Giving Credit and Avoiding Plagiarism", pages 562-569, and “The Talk: After Ferguson, a Shaded Conversation about Race” by Dana Canedy pages 868-872. (Discuss the option of including a personal story in your final essay.


Homework: Come up with a possible topic for your final research essay. Present a thesis and introductory paragraph. Then, briefly list three or four aspects of this topic your will discuss in your essay. (One page)



Wednesday 4/03

Research/Persuasive Essay


Discuss: "Evaluating Sources" pages 520-527, "Distinguishing Facts from Misinformation" pages 92-101, and "Analyzing and Constructing Arguments" pages 411-452.

Class discussions of various topics for debate.

If there is time, we will go to the computer lab to research our topics.


Due: One page assignment #5, possible thesis, introduction and outline of final essay.



Wednesday 4/10

Research-based Persuasive Essay: Organization, logic, and building an effective argument.


In class we will review how to choose reliable sources.

We will review effective quoting, paraphrasing and summarizing.

We will discuss how to use logic to build an effective and well-organized argument.

Discuss: "Polishing and Editing Your Writing", pages 723-766, 'Sample Research Essay", pages 607-623, and “Making a Presentation” pages 819-824.

We will discuss our topics in small groups in class, including outlines and drafts.

We will spend time in the computer lab today doing research for our essay.


Continue working on final essay.



Wednesday 4/17

Research-based Persuasive Essay Presentations


Presentations: a short slide show, (and possibly also a creative project) due today. Short slide shows - with creative projects - are limited to 5 minutes. Longer slide shows (without a creative project) are limited to 10 minutes. Even if you are not done with your essay, you should be ready to present today.


Continue working on your final essay.



Wednesday 4/24

Researched-based Persuasion Essay Presentations


Presentations: a slide show, or a short slide show and creative project shared today.


Due: Final 6-8 page (minimum) essay, plus works cited page in MLA format, due today.

Please, no late submissions! I need time to grade your essays and return them to you by the last class.



Wednesday 5/1

Final Exam Finish presentations (if needed)


That's all folks! I wish you the best and hope to see you in a future course.


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

All students are expected to attend class as required. Please contact me if there is an extenuating circumstance, and we can discuss a make-up assignment. Class participation is 20% of your grade. Class participation includes attendance and engagement in class discussions and activities. Each missed class lowers your class participation grade by 15 points! (I will offer the opportunity to make up one absence with a make-up assignment, but beyond that absences will steadily wear away at your class participation grade. If you miss more than three days, you will not be able to complete the covered material adequately and will not be able to receive a passing grade. In other words, more than three days out of the 15 that we meet means that you will not have enough class participation to fulfill the required contact hours to pass the class. On the positive side, showing up for class is great way to boost your grade, and perfect (or near perfect) attendance will have a significantly positive effect on your grade.

Missing & Late Work Policy

All assignments must be completed in order to pass the class. Late assignments will lose a half grade per class, unless a pre-approved extension period has been granted due to illness or extreme circumstance. ALL assignments must be in by the second to last day of class. No exceptions.

Experiential Learning Expectations

Hours: 1-5

During week three of the course, students will be writing a review of a local business or community establishment. They will need to go on their own and experience what the establishment has to offer, and they will also need to interview someone who works there. Students will receive extra credit if they try to publish their reviews in a local newspaper or publication.

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.