Syllabus (Policies, Grading Breakdown, Important Info)

Online English 1101: Composition I

New York City College of Technology, CUNY

Fall 2020  

Professor Berit Edelson


Course Site:

Weekly Office Hours:  To be determined based on class availability

Course Meeting Times:  This class is asynchronous  “which means that we do not have scheduled meeting times. Our lectures and discussions will take place on our OPENLAB site. Know that I am available to help support your work in this course, through weekly office hours, phone or Zoom appointments, and email (see details on our site).


Welcome to City Tech and English 1101Co. We are living through a very difficult time in our city, country, and world, and trying to adapt. In our class, we will prioritize intellectual nourishment, community, and humanity. If you have any concerns about the course or college, or if there is any situation preventing you from participating, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. Know that I am here to work with you. 

Course Description

Every City Tech (and CUNY) student takes Composition I, which features reading and writing assignments that will help prepare you for college and beyond.  Together we will work on communicating effectively, building an argument, adapting your writing for different needs and situations, interpreting and responding to a text, incorporating and citing secondary source material. We will be reading pieces both for their inherent literary value and also as models of for our own writing projects. Sharing your own ideas and experiences and adding your voice to our discussions will enrich our class community.

Our Course Tools

  • OpenLab  course site
  • Zoom office hours (recorded and shared)
  • Email (check your City Tech email daily)
  • Google Docs (for assignment collection)

Grading Breakdown

Unit 1                                                                                                                                              10%

Unit 2                                                                                                                                              20%

Unit 3                                                                                                                                               20%

Final Portfolio (course reflection, plus revisions to Units 1 and 2)            10%

Participation (OpenLab posts and weekly writing drills)                                 40%

Note: We will be making reading VISIBLE. All reading assignments require work that we will go over together: annotating (marking up) the text, and sharing these notes on OpenLab. 

Required Materials

  • Syllabus texts and First-Year Companion, linked in Course Resources  and Readings and on the course schedule; consider bookmarking the class texts so they’re easily accessible
  • Dictionary
  • Computer folder dedicated to this class. The folder will house your assignment drafts and portfolio (collected writing)
  • The New York Times (create a free Academic Pass account with your City Tech email)

Policies and Procedures

Participation      Though we are not in a physical classroom, we are still a community. Respect for everyone in our course (not just the professor) is crucial. Please make sure all feedback to other students is positive, thoughtful, and constructive.  I will email you occasional writing drills to be returned to me.  These assignments shouldn’t take more that 20 minutes and will count toward your class participation grade.  Please email them back to me!

Late Work        Assignments  should be handed in on time.  If you are anticipating trouble meeting  a deadline or are struggling with an assignment, please reach out to me at 

Accessibility Statement 

Accessibility Statement


City Tech is committed to supporting the educational goals of enrolled students with disabilities in the areas of enrollment, academic advisement, tutoring, assistive technologies and testing accommodations. If you have or think you may have a disability, you may be eligible for reasonable accommodations or academic adjustments as provided under applicable federal, state and city laws. You may also request services for temporary conditions or medical issues under certain circumstances. If you have questions about your eligibility or would like to seek accommodation services or academic adjustments, please contact the Center for Student Accessibility at 300 Jay Street room L-237, 718 260 5143 or


New York City College of Technology Policy on Academic Integrity

Students and all others who work with information, ideas, texts, images, music, inventions, and other intellectual property owe their audience and sources accuracy and honesty in using, crediting, and citing sources. As a community of intellectual and professional workers, the College recognizes its responsibility for providing instruction in information literacy and academic integrity, offering models of good practice, and responding vigilantly and appropriately to infractions of academic integrity. Accordingly, academic dishonesty is prohibited in The City University of New York and at New York City College of Technology and is punishable by penalties, including failing grades, suspension, and expulsion. The complete text of the College policy on Academic Integrity may be found in the catalog.


There are several really important resources to support you beyond the “walls” of our online classroom.

Reading and Writing Support

We are fortunate to have a wonderful tutor, Margo Goldstein, assigned to our class. To review an assignment with her or schedule a phone or online conference, email

In addition, the college Writing Center offers tutoring support for every class (not only English) through video, online chat, or GoogleDocs. If you would like a tutor to review an assignment with you, email the assignment to Tutoring will begin the week of _____________.  Whether you see Margo or a tutor at the Writing Center, 3 tutoring sessions are required. This is the minimum; plan to take advantage of this positive resource early and often, throughout the semester! 

Peer Mentors

We will have a peer mentor assigned to our class who will share City Tech wisdom as well as useful college announcements and workshop opportunities. More info will be forthcoming!


The transition to college is challenging for everyone. It is helpful to periodically reflect on how you are doing in your classes, and how your anticipated area of study (major) is progressing, as well as to plan next steps. Academic advisors are able to help you navigate these paths. If you are in SEEK or ASAP or have declared your major, you have an assigned advisor with whom to schedule appointments. Others should seek out appointments with Dr. Julian Williams, Director of Liberal Arts & Sciences,


English 1101 Learning Outcomes


It is expected that at a minimum, students in ENG 1101 will:

Read and listen critically and analytically in a variety of genres and rhetorical situations: Identify and evaluate exigencies, purposes, claims, supporting evidence, and underlying assumptions in a variety of texts, genres, and media.

Adapt to and compose in a variety of genres: Adapt writing conventions in ways that are suitable to different exigencies and purposes in a variety of contexts, including academic, workplace, and civic audiences. When appropriate, repurpose prior work to new genres, audiences, and media by adjusting delivery, design, tone, organization, and language.

Use research as a process of inquiry and engagement with multiple perspectives: Learn to focus on a topic and develop research questions that lead to propositions and claims that can be supported with well-reasoned arguments. Persuasively communicate and repurpose research projects across a variety of contexts, purposes, audiences, and media. Demonstrate research skills through attribution and citation gathering, evaluating, and synthesizing both primary and secondary sources. Learn how to use appropriate citation styles depending on disciplinary and situational requirements (MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.).

Use reflection and other metacognitive processes to revise prior assumptions about reading and writing and transfer acquired knowledge into new writing situations. Students write reflections of their own reading and writing process from the beginning and throughout the semester with the intention to transfer their acquired knowledge about genre and composing practices into new writing situations.

Demonstrate the social and ethical responsibilities and consequences of writing: Recognize that first-year writing includes academic, workplace, and civic contexts, all of which require careful deliberation concerning the ethical and social ramifications concerning fairness, inclusivity, and respect for diversity. Write and revise for academic and broader, public audiences accordingly.

Compose in 21st– Century Environments: Learn to choose among the most current and effective delivery methods for different composing situations. Students learn to compose in new media environments, including alphabetic texts, still and moving images, sonic, and mixed media compositions. Use digital media platforms appropriate to audience and purpose.

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