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Essential Objectives

Course Syllabus

Revision Date: 22-Dec-23

Spring 2024 | ENG-1061-VT01 - English Composition

In Person Class

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

Location: Brattleboro
Credits: 3 (45 hours)
Day/Times: Thursday, 06:00P - 08:45P
Semester Dates: 01-25-2024 to 05-02-2024
Last day to drop without a grade: 02-11-2024 - Refund Policy
Last day to withdraw (W grade): 03-24-2024 - Refund Policy
This course has started, please contact the offering academic center about registration


Sierra Dickey
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

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.


This class revolves around learning together as a classroom collective. I will frequently direct students to build off what their classmates offer to the discussion, writing, and skills practice spaces. Evaluation will happen weekly on a low-stakes scale, with students submitting short written responses and reflections to the course texts and major themes. These short written assignments will be graded for completion, and their quality and demonstration of growth will inform a portion of the participation & engagement grade.

Evaluation Criteria

There are two major written assignments for this course, the critical linguistic autobiography, and the research paper. Both of these assignments will be scaffolded over the course of a few weeks to give students lots of support in building towards the final product. Peer revision and feedback will be a part of both processes. The two large assignments will also include detailed rubrics.

Critical Linguistic Autobiography (20%)

The critical linguistic autobiography is a multi-drafted narrative essay inviting you to examine

your own linguistic histories, practices, and/or identities as they relate to some aspect of your

writing or speech. In doing so, you’ll trace how you make use of language

and how it shapes your communicative habits and worldview.

Research Paper (30%)

The research paper is a multi-drafted expository essay revised with input from peers and

instructor. In class we will learn about how to perform research, analyze the

credibility of sources, write in conversation with sources, source citation according to MLA and

develop a thesis.

Group project (10%)

You will work on at least one group presentation during this course. These will be structured with a rubric and will provide you an opportunity to reflect on yourself and your peers teamwork efforts.

Short reflections (20%)

You will write short (100-200 word) responses and reflections to weekly readings. These will include different prompts weekly, and sometimes students will be invited to make their own prompts.

Participation & Engagement (20%)

I will consider you as a speaker, listener, leader, and supporter in the classroom space. I will take extra care to observe and evaluate how you take steps to build upon the learning happening in the room.

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


Module 1: Situating ourselves in the academic writing classroom

Week 1

Thursday, January 25th, 2024

No readings or assignments due by first class meeting time







Week 2

Thursday, February 1st, 2024

Reading due: Melissa Febos, “The Heart-Work: Writing about trauma as a subversive act,” or Gloria Anzaldua, “How to Tame a Wild Tongue

Assignment due: Introductory letter


see topic


see topic



Week 3

Thursday, February 8th, 2024

Reading due: Elaine Castillo, “There is no single voice of America” or Vuong, “A letter to my mother that she will never read

Assignment due: Language memory paragraph



Week 4

Thursday, February 15th, 2024

Reading due: selections TBA from Writing Their Bodies by Sarah Klotz or Mapping Racial Literacies by Sophie Bell

Assignment due: Critical linguistic autobiography



Module 2: Rhetoric and harm

Week 5

Thursday, February 22nd, 2024

Reading due: Threshold Concepts of Writing and “Writing is a Rhetorical and Social Activity

Assignment due: peer revisions of autobiography and peer revision reflection



Week 6

Thursday, February 29th, 2024

Reading due: What’s rhetoric all about? [video]

Assignment due: Revised autobiography



Week 7

Thursday, March 7th, 2024

Reading due: rhetoric of PIC and selections from Prison Journalism Project, exact selections TBA

Assignment due: euphemism “explosive” definitions



Module 3: Freedom and Unfreedom

Week 8

Thursday, March 14th, 2024

Reading: Ruth Wilson Gilmore, “The Bus” and RWG podcast: On Being with Krista Tippet

Assignment: Big questions and response



Week 9

Thursday, March 21st, 2024

Reading: Jackie Wang, “‘Packing Guns Instead of Lunches’: Biopower and Juvenile Delinquency

Assignment due: “Political knot” reflection and 3 facts about juvenile incarceration policy in a U.S. state of your choice



Week 10

Thursday, March 28th, 2024

Reading due: Stuart Greene, “Argument as conversation,” and selection TBA on the myth of “superpredators”

Assignment due: Dangerous rhetoric group presentations



Module 4: Writing alternative worlds

Week 11

Thursday, April 4th, 2024

Reading due: Selections TBA from Decolonizing Academic Research

Assignment due: Research question formulation worksheet and 3 research questions



Week 12

Thursday, April 11th, 2024

Reading due: Selections of successful research papers, example annotated bibliography

Assignment due: Research paper proposal or an annotated bibliography with 4 sources



Week 13

Thursday, April 18th, 2024

Reading: your research sources

Assignment due: Research paper draft 1



Week 14

Thursday, April 25th, 2024

Reading: your research sources

Assignment due: Research paper revisions



Week 15

Thursday, May 2nd, 2024

Assignment: Revised research paper with cover letter


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

I expect students to participate weekly in class discussions and activities, and to demonstrate considerable growth in their ability to discuss, question, and reflect over the course of the semester. Students who have questions or concerns about their participation should be in frequent touch with me for feedback and support.

Missing & Late Work Policy

Students may request an extension of one week at any time for any assignment, large or small. Extensions work best when students request them in advance of the deadline. Missing work that is never completed by the end of course will be marked at 50%. There are no required resources for this course.

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.