Syllabus

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English 1101, D339 (69771)
English Composition I

Fall 2013
New York City College of Technology, CUNY

Tuesday/Thursday 10:00-11:15am
Classroom: Namm 1005

Professor Jill Belli
jbelli@citytech.cuny.edu
Namm 520
(718) 260-4974

Office hours: Tuesday 12-2pm & by appointment

Learning Community with HUS 1101, Professor Justine Pawlukewicz, jpawlukewicz@citytech.cuny.edu

First Year Learning Community Peer Advisor (Mentor): Elaine Green, emgreen237@gmail.com

OpenLab Course Site: https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/belli-f2013-eng1101

The Composition of Happiness: Assessing the Rhetoric & Reality of Well-Being[1]
Ever wonder what happiness really is? In this English and Human Services learning community, you’ll explore–from pop culture, positive psychology, and social services perspectives–what makes individuals and communities flourish or flounder.

In English Composition I (ENG 1101), we will work our way through the complex and contradictory nature of “happiness,” exploring abstract concepts (such as virtue, value, freedom, and progress), zooming in to study individual needs and desires (and the ways in which these are both created by and marketed to by things such as popular culture, advertising, and self-help products), exploring the “science of happiness” as defined by the expanding field of positive psychology, and finally broadening our gaze to engage contemporary measurements of well-being and applications of it in areas such as social media, digital technologies, city planning, economic policies, and educational curricula.

Throughout the course, we will engage “happiness” as a discourse (the rhetoric of happiness) that both circulates in and helps create our world and ourselves, and we will move from merely personal visions and/or cultural stereotypes of happiness to more critical, theoretically grounded perspectives on the subject. We will ask many questions about happiness/well-being, such as:

  • Why does studying/thinking critically about happiness matter?
  • How do we (and others) define happiness?
  • Are visions of happiness the same for everyone?
  • What values do these visions of happiness endorse (perhaps implicitly)?
  • How is happiness represented in various places, such as in the media, popular culture, advertising, schools, the government?
  • What do these representations teach us about what we should desire (and not desire), what we should value (and not value), what type of people we should be (and not be), and what type of actions we should take (and not take)?
  • Who gets to decide what happiness should look like?
  • Is happiness measurable?
  • How do you plan for/create happiness, both at the individual and the social level?
  • Is there equal access to happiness (or even the possibility of happiness)?
  • (Perhaps counter-intuitively) Is happiness (as defined by mainstream rhetoric/politics) even desirable? If not, how we might we imagine alternative visions of/methods for happiness/well-being?

Since this is a composition course, we will never leave writing out of the picture: all class meetings will be devoted in part to writing, revising, and/or discussing ideas and drafts. The last segment of the course centers on a collaborative service learning assignment (with HUS 1101), involving fieldwork and research, that assesses well-being in the City Tech environment and presents recommendations to various stakeholders in our college community.

Course Description
This is a course in effective essay writing and basic research techniques, including use of the library. Demanding readings are assigned for classroom discussion and as a basis for essay writing. 3 hours, 3 credits

Prerequisites: CUNY certification in reading and writing

General Education Student Learning Outcomes

  • Engage in an-depth, focused, and sustained program of study
  • Show curiosity and the desire to learn
  • Discern multiple perspectives
  • Derive meaning from experience, as well as gather information from observation
  • Gather, interpret, evaluate, and apply information discerningly from a variety of sources
  • Resolve difficult issues creatively by employing multiple systems and tools
  • Make meaningful and multiple connections among the liberal arts and between the liberal
arts and the areas of study leaning to a major or profession
  • Discern consequences of decisions and actions
  • Work with teams, including those of diverse composition. Build consensus. Respect and use 
creativity
  • Show ability to contribute actively by applying knowledge to the identification and analysis of 
societal and professional problems to enact solutions

Required Texts and Supplies
All texts will be provided in-class or on our course site (including readings on writing process/strategies to accompany our frequent in-class writing workshops). It is your responsibility to print out these texts and bring them to class with you. You may print up to 25 pages per day in the City Tech computer labs, but if you do not have a printer at home, you may want to invest in one (remember: you have no costs for texts for this class, and a laser printer is a good, long-term investment for your college career).

You should always come to class prepared with a notebook, folder, binder, and something to write with (pen/pencil). All texts must be kept in a binder, and brought to each class session.

Schedule
All reading and writing assignments are due on the days listed.

Additional short readings will be added throughout the semester to supplement the texts listed here.

You will notice that some days are devoted entirely to discussing reading,  some days are devoted entirely to discussing writing, and some days we will discuss both reading and writing. Some classes require a heavy amount of reading and/or writing, so I encourage you to plan ahead.

*Always consult the dynamic schedule on our OpenLab site (under Course Info., Schedule) for the most up-to-date version of the schedule, access to readings, and more detail about assignments.

Grading
Your final course grade is calculated according to the following breakdown:

Participation: 10%

OpenLab compositions/Happiness Archive: 25%

Essays: 30%

  • Essay #1:5% (Personal Essay)
  • Essay #2: 5% (In-Class Summary)
  • Essay #3: 10% (Response, Argument Essay)
  • Essay #4: 10% (Comparative Analysis)

Collaborative Research Project: 20% (proposal, annotated bibliography, essay)

Collaborative Research Presentation: 5%

Final Exam: 10%

Participation counts as 10% of your final course grade and includes (but is not limited to):

  • consistent and punctual attendance
  • timely completion and thoughtful engagement with of all reading and writing (composing on the OpenLab course site has its own grading category)
  • having the assigned text(s) in class with you (on the dates they are to be discussed); presentations
  • active participation in-class and in our digital (OpenLab) discussions (via commenting)
  • miscellaneous homework assignments
  • (often unannounced) in-class quizzes and writing exercises based on prompts, activities, and readings
  • group work
  • pre-drafts
  • peer review
  • conferences with the instructor
  • additional work (and tutoring) at the Learning Center
  • respectful attitude toward your instructor, peers, and coursework
  • improvement throughout the semester.

Course Policies
You are responsible for having working accounts for City Tech e-mail, OpenLab, and Dropbox, and for checking these accounts daily.

If you don’t already have one, you must sign up for an OpenLab account and join our course site, where you can find everything you need this semester (all announcements, updates to the schedule, posted readings, reading responses, and online discussions will take place here). However, this is not just a place where you will come to find information and read what I have already written. Instead, you are expected to consistently and actively participate in creating content on our course site such as posting responses to the reading, discussing ideas with me and your classmates, reading and commenting on what others have posted, and linking to interesting/relevant material you have found through everyday experience as well as outside research. This material (your writing) will become part of our class meetings: we will discuss excerpts from student posts (both to facilitate writing workshops and to use as a jumping-off point for the day’s reading/discussion). In addition, everyone in the course will be reading your writing (and our course blog and all of its content is become public to the larger college community and anyone on the Internet), so you should spend as much effort as possible composing your writing there. Please see our course site for detailed blogging guidelines (under Course Info., Assignments, Blogging)

Consistent absence/lateness will lower your participation grade significantly. If you must miss a class, it is your responsibility to contact a classmate and to find out/complete missed assignments; however, in-class work (including quizzes, freewriting, discussions, peer review, and in-class essays and exams) cannot be made-up.

All assignments are due on the dates specified. Late assignments will not be accepted.

Disagreement and (constructive) criticism are allowed and encouraged in our class and on our course blog. However, you must be respectful of the work/opinions of others.

A consistent display of organizational, logical, syntactical, and grammatical errors in your work disrupts your writing and will lower your grade. Students are encouraged (and may be required) to take advantage of online resources (linked through our course blog) and available services at City Tech.

I encourage you to visit me during my office hours throughout the semester to discuss your work in the course.

Attendance and Lateness PolicyAccording to College attendance policy, a student may be absent during the semester without penalty for 10% of the class instructional sessions.

In my class, two latenesses (of any amount) equals one absence. So if you miss more than three classes or are late more than 6 times (or any combination of the two), you may not pass the course.

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.


[1] This course is part of a learning community with Human Services Professor Justine Pawlukewicz’s HUS 1101, D634 (80981), which meets on Wednesdays from 11:30am-2:00pm in Namm 419B.

Introduction to Human Services, HUS 1101, focuses on the assessment of individuals, families, groups and communities in terms of level of functioning. These include elements of resilience, self-sufficiency, developmental milestones and systems theory within the current social and political climate. How they impact the state of well-being is paramount for the professional intervention of prevention, clinical treatment, rehabilitation, delivery of human services and the design of public health initiatives.

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