Course Information

Course Number: 1101

Course Title: English

Course Description: This is a course in effective essay writing and basic research techniques including use of the library.  Readings are assigned for classroom discussion and as a basis for essay writing. Simultaneously, we will  focus on language enhancement. This co-requisite focuses on reading comprehension; critical thinking; the structured writing process; rhetorical awareness, writing in diverse genres, grammar, mechanics and cross-cultural rhetoric and communication; listening and spoken communicative competence.

Credits / Hours: 8:30-11:00am Mondays and Wednesdays

Section Number: D105

Pre/Co-requisites: College Composition 1, 4 credits    Co-req section 2 credits paid by the college 

Class Meetings

Mondays and Wednesdays, N-521 Namm Building

Faculty Information

Professor(s) Name:

  • Professor Joshua Belknap

Online Student Hours/Information:

  • Mondays 12-1pm

Contact Information

  • Email:
  • Phone: 718-260-5399

Learning Outcomes

  •  active learning; 
  •  scaffolded approaches to writing assignments;
  •  strategies for building sophisticated college level vocabulary;
  •  rhetorical awareness and critical reading skills of multiple genres; 
  •  appropriate language use in context (including communicative competence in syntax and
  •  grammar) 
  • positive habits for academic success including note taking, presentation skills, oral communication and strong study skills

Teaching/Learning Methods

  • This course will meet two times a week on Mondays and Wednesdays for 2 hours and thirty minutes. Please attend all meetings.  You should also expect to need another two hours for homework and study. So for a six credit class, you will need to spend 8-12 hours per week in total. 

Time management: family and work responsibilities and being a student during COVID

Many of you have part-time jobs, or family responsibilities. You may care for younger siblings or for sick family members. It is important that you tell me about your other responsibilities so that I can help you manage your time better.

I want every student to be successful. Sometime, I will give you extra time, or redesign the tasks or assignments to that everyone can succeed. That is why you will often receive personal emails from me just saying hello and asking how you are doing.

Course Tools and Materials

  • Syllabus and course schedule – On Open Lab 
  • Texts and other course materials will all be posted on Open Lab
  • English-English Dictionary
  • Quizlet -a link will be shared with you to join. This is a free membership. 
  • Computer folder dedicated to this class. The folder will house your assignment drafts (collected writing)
  • The New York Times (create a free Academic Pass account with your City Tech email)
  • A gmail account and Google Drive


 Important dates to keep in mind: There is no class February 21 or April 15-22 (Spring Break)

                   Reading                Writing
Week 1
2/2 & 2/4
Introduction I Introduction to the course, textbook, syllabus, portfolio expectation, and reading software; discussion of relationship between reading & writing; reading/writing diagnostics
Week 2
2/9 & 2/11
Vocabulary Development: Context clues, morphological clues, use of dictionary Annotation, Use of vocabulary: sentence-writing, parts of speech, sentence structure
Week 3
2/16 & 2/18
Identifying main ideas vs. supporting details; Paraphrasing; Vocabulary developmentAnnotation; Summary; Discussion of rhetorical modes (narration, comparison/contrast, persuasion); Grammar Instruction
Week 4
2/23 & 2/25 
Comprehension: Main ideas vs. supporting details; Making logical inferences; Paraphrasing  Rhetorical modes continued; Understanding components of an essay (intro, body, conclusion); Formatting Pre-writing strategies; Organizing ideas I Intro to Narrative Essay Writing
Week 5
3/2 & 3/4
Essay 1 (Narration) Drafting WorkshopEssay 1 (Narration) Drafting Workshop
Week 6
3/9 & 3/11
Writing as a structured process: proofreading, revising, and editingEssay 1 workshop (revision practices and peer review). Grammatical instruction
Week 7
3/16 & 3/18  
Analytical Strategies: Identifying patterns of organization; Analyzing relationships between ideas; Recognizing rhetorical modesTransitions/ Grammar instruction Discussion of Essay 2 (Comparison/Contrast)
Week 8
3/23 & 3/25
Analytical Strategies:  Critical Reading:  evaluate argument and specific claims in a text and examine their reasoning/ supporting evidenceUse of transitions in Argumentation: thesis statements; topic sentences; claims 
Week 9
4/1 & 4/6
Critical reading: Analyze multiple texts addressing similar themes or topics; evaluate/ compare the authors’ points of view and approaches.Development: Body paragraphs; use of evidence to support ideas; sourceintegration, including quotation 
Week 10
4/8 & 4/13 
Identify quotations that demonstrate similar/different viewpoints/approaches;Essay 2 Drafting WorkshopDevelopment: Body paragraphs; use of evidence to support ideas; sourceintegration, including quotations; Essay 2 Drafting Workshop
Week 11
4/15 & 4/20 
Essay 2 workshop (revision practices and peer review). Grammatical instruction
Week 12
4/22 & 4/27  
Identify author’s tone, style, purpose, and point of view in texts from various content areas. Discussion of Essay 3. Elements of research: source location and evaluation; Documentation.Grammatical instruction
Week 13 4/29 & 5/4 Elements of research: appropriate citation. Essay 3 Drafting Workshop. 
Week 14 5/6 & 5/11Essay 3 workshop (revision practices and peer review) Final Exam 
Week 15 5/13 and 5/20 Reflections on final research project. Course conclusion.

Grading Policy

Unit 1                                                                                      20%

Unit 2                                                                                      20%

Unit 3                                                                                      20%

Final Reflection 10%

Participation (OpenLab posts)           30%

Class Etiquette & Netiquette

Participation and Homework

You will see that your participation and homework count for 30% of your grade in this class.  What does this mean? How is this calculated? Why is this such a high percentage?Let’s look at that last question first: in this class, you’re graded almost as much on your weekly smaller assignments as you are on your larger, more involved essay assignments. This is because in this class, you’re not learning how to write one particular paper, or how to do one particular thing, you are learning about the process of writing (and reading—and researching) and all of those things are the behind-the-scenes work, the homework

How will homework be graded

If you complete the work, you will get credit for it. If you do not, you will not.  You have to do it thoroughly and thoughtfully, and you have to do it in a timely manner. (If you’re having trouble with getting things done on time, please let me know.) Writing is largely about discipline and routine, so this is a good way to learn that. Major essays are due before class begins on the due date.  If you are having difficulty completing a major assignment please talk to me before it is due.

You will have homework due each week.  I will post all the work for each week on Open Lab. Also, during class time, some of your work will be on Open Lab. You will be asked to write original responses or responses to each other’s writing. At other times, I will ask you to send other assignments directly to me via gmail or through Google classroom.  We will work on developing community during our class time, in our online written community and outside of class in your groups. This work is also required. 

This course will take place online. Our homework will be on Open Lab, and messages to the class will appear on Open Lab as well. Twice weekly, our class will meet first on Google classroom.  It is extremely important that you familiarize yourself with the Open Lab site and find out where everything is. If I send you individual emails, they will be sent to your Citytech email.  Openlab is where you will find your assignments. Please check Open Lab daily! You are responsible for being up-to-date and knowing what is on our course site. You are also responsible for checking your CityTech email daily and checking any Google Docs I share with you. Please contact me if you are having any trouble. 


Class begins at 8:30am.   Please be in class by 8:25am so that you are ready to work on time. Tardiness is disruptive and unfair to your classmates. It will shorten our class time together.  If you are late, please listen carefully and catch up quickly.  


In face-to-face classes, we take attendance for your sake as much as for our own. If someone does not come to class, we worry they won’t succeed in a writing class– and that is because writing is more about work and learning your own process than it is about talent and a finished product. Remember to attend every day so you can stay on top of the work and won’t need to catch up.


Each night, before our class meets, a general lesson plan for the course will be sent to you. It will include the materials we will need for that class, the platforms we will use that day and the homework. Before class begins, you will need to have read the lesson plan to make sure you understand what is required and that you are prepared for class.

Note taking

Note taking is a basic and necessary skill for college students.  The quality of the notes you take will have an impact on your overall work and grades.  You are responsible for all material written on the shared screen, in the text box, on Open Lab and discussed in class. There are terms and concepts for which you will be responsible. You must understand and be able to use them in essays, on exams/quizzes and in class discussions

Essay Assignments and Writing Guidelines

Please try to keep this information straight. If your files are not sent to the right place, I might misplace them. 

  1. Please make sure that your name, the date, the course name, the title of the paper and the draft    number appear at the top of every paper you hand in.
  2. Please double-space throughout, even between paragraphs.
  3. Please indent paragraphs.
  4. Write a memorable first sentence.
  5. Try to be concise and synthesize.

Evaluation of Online Participation and Discussion Board Feedback

Online participation and posting on Discussion Board is a key ‘class’ activity for this course. You will be expected to weave into the discussion post many different elements that can clearly show that you watched every video clip and that you read every reading assignment.

Online participation includes the following: posting on the discussion board, responding to peers’ posts, responding to instructor’s posts, and initiating new discussion topics.

  Grading Rubric for Online Discussion Board


Academic Integrity Policy

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 citation of 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 is punishable by penalties, including failing grades, suspension and expulsion. More information about the College’s policy on Academic Integrity may be found in the College Catalog

Course Resources

Your textbook and other reading  

We will be using materials on Open Lab or from the New York Times and other publications.  We will also be recycling your essays.  Please keep all of your essay assignments and other assignments from this class in your Google Drive on your computer so that you can find your work easily.  We will also be going back to readings depending on plans for drafting etc.  Please remember to date all of your work.

We will have a special tutoring program just for students in the ML Coreq.  

Tutoring hours will be posted soon: 

Each session is 30 minutes and I can help you sign up. If tutoring is recommended, it is important that you attend. 

Advisors: The transition to college is challenging for everyone. It is helpful to reflect on how you are doing in your classes, and how you are meeting the requirements of your anticipated area of study (major). It is important that you continue to plan your next steps in advance.  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 and Sciences

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