Professor Belli | Fall 2022 | City Tech


FALL 2022 ENGLISH 1101 – OL16

Professor: Dr. Jill Belli
Location: online (this OpenLab course site:
Course meeting times: asynchronous (no scheduled meetings)
Weekly office hours: Thursdays 11:30am-12:30pm, & by appointment (Zoom details here)



Welcome to City Tech and English 1101. 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.

I’m your professor, but I’m also a human being. I do my best to bring my whole self to the classroom, to my community, and to my writing. I hope you will as well. I believe that’s when the best (most meaningful, most joyful, most authentic) teaching and learning happens. That’s when we do our best work. That’s when we connect and grow most — as writers, as readers, as thinkers, as people.

I look forward to connecting and growing with you this semester. Let the journey begin …


Course Description:

A course in effective essay writing and basic research techniques including use of the library. Demanding readings assigned for classroom discussion and as a basis for essay writing.

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 and informational value and also as models for our own writing projects. Sharing your own ideas and experiences and adding your voice to our discussions will enrich our class community.


CUNY proficiency in reading and writing

Course Meetings / Communication / Workload:

Our class is fully online and designated in CUNYfirst as “asynchronous.” We do not meet in person (or campus); in fact, there are no scheduled class sessions at all. Students are not responsible for signing into a virtual classroom at particular dates and times.
However, there are work due dates: weekly activities and assignments with deadlines that students must meet to get credit. Even though we are not holding synchronous class sessions, this is a discussion-based, community-oriented class that requires active and consistent participation.
Announcement / Homework Schedule
I will post all the work for each week by noon each Monday, and then you will have homework (often engaging with each other’s writing) due later that week (usually by noon each Wednesday and Friday).
Emailing Etiquette

I encourage you to email me as soon as possible with any questions, concerns, or requests for conferences (outside of my regularly scheduled office hours). Please write a proper, respectful email, addressed to me and signed by you, including your name and course/section, and the issue at hand. Provide as much detail as possible, so that I can help you as much as possible. If you’re having tech issues, including screenshots would be helpful.

*Note: I will do my best to respond to emails within 24 hours during the weekdays (if you email over the weekend, expect a response the following week).


Just because we don’t meet in real-time doesn’t mean the workoad for this course is any less. Be prepared to spend the time you would normally spend in synchronous class sessions (4 hours per week) plus the time you would spend outside of those class sessions doing homework (about 8 hours per week).

Time management will be key to your success in this course. You should budget your time well, setting aside enough time just to work on this class, and be prepared to actively engage with the professor, your classmates, and the course material (reading, writing, discussing, collaborating, presenting, etc.).

Course Website: 

This course will take place online, on our OpenLab course site (the OpenLab is City Tech’s digital platform for teaching, learning, and collaborating: Messages from me along with course materials and homework will be on this site, so it is extremely important that you familiarize yourself with our website and find out where everything is. This is where you will find your assignments and post your homework as well as formal assignments.  This is also the primary way we’ll keep in touch, so please check in on the website 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. Please contact me if you are having trouble accessing the OpenLab site or keeping up with the work.

Course Tools and Required Materials:

  • All readings and resources (except your independent research) will be made available to you digitally (and freely) via our OpenLab course site.
  • As mentioned, above, you are responsible for having a working, accessible City Tech e-mail and for checking this account daily (all announcements, notifications, and emails from the college, from me, and from the OpenLab—including those related to our course site—will go to your City Tech email).
  • If you don’t already have one, you must sign up for an OpenLab account. You should also join this ENG 1101 course site and check it regularly, as new content will be added throughout the semester as we progress through the various units.
  • When doing your coursework, come prepared with a writing device of some type, all relevant assigned texts for that week, dictionary (it can be one on your phone, tablet, or laptop), and writing utensils (pens, pencils, and highlighters). I encourage you to keep all course materials (including in-class freewriting, quizzes, handouts, readings, essays, peer review, exams) in a folder (physical and/or digital), to have them easily accessible.
  • All assigned texts should be accessed, read, saved, and annotated (marked up with highlighting, questions, comments, notes, definitions of words you don’t know). I may periodically collect these annotated readings as homework.

Course Schedule:

  • Always consult the dynamic Schedule on our OpenLab course site for the most up-to-date version of the schedule, access to readings, and more detail about assignments. This is your home base for all-the-things, so check back here often for details & links.
  • The full Schedule will be rolled out in weekly segments, to help you stay on target with the work.
  • All reading and writing assignments are due on the days listed (usually W and F) by noon.
  • This is a ZERO cost textbook class, so all texts will be provided in-class or on our OpenLab course site (including readings on writing process/strategies to accompany our in-class writing workshops and help you with your assignments). It is your responsibility to access, read, annotate, save (and print, if you choose) these texts and use them for your work in the course.
  • Some weeks are lighter in workload while others require a heavy amount of reading and/or writing, so I encourage you to plan ahead.


Grading Breakdown :

Unit 1                                                                                                 20%

Unit 2                                                                                                 20%

Unit 3                                                                                                 20%

Final Reflection                                                                                10%

Participation & Low-Stakes Writing                                              30%

Formal Assignments

Units 1-3 are more formal assignments, and we will work on each of them together for a number of weeks. I’ll be introducing each of the three Units as we get to that point in the semester.

Low-Stakes Writing

You’ll see that “low-stakes writing” counts for 30% of your grade in this class. What does this mean? What is “low-stakes writing?” How is this calculated? Why is this such a high percentage?

In this class, you’re graded almost as much on your weekly low-stakes assignments as you are on your high-stakes essay assignments. This means you have to actively and consistently participate in our course, and you have to keep up with the day-to-day to get that 30%.

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.

How will low-stakes writing be graded?

More or less, if you do it, you’ll get the credit. Of course, if 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– and to earn 30% of the credit for this course.

What I call OpenLab Composing is a major component of this low-stakes writing. It includes:
  • Blogging (creating your own posts)
  • Reading and commenting on one another’s blog posts
  • Active participation in our digital (OpenLab) Class Discussions through comments

As you know, our OpenLab course site is where you can find everything you need this semester (e.g., announcements, schedule updates, readings, homework, assignments, resources, online discussions). 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 readings/films, 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, which is your writing, will become part of the required reading for the course and 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 week’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 Web), so you should spend time and take pride in composing your posts and comments there.

Participation is also part of this 30%, and includes:
  • Consistent and meaningful participation in the course
  • Timely completion and thoughtful engagement with of all reading (reading blog posts, comments, and materials posted on OpenLab is part of course reading)
  • Reading and annotating all texts
  • Miscellaneous homework assignments
  • Low-stakes writing exercises based on prompts, activities, and readings
  • Presentations
  • Collaborative group work; pre-drafts; peer review
  • Conferences with the instructor outside of class (in my office hours, held via Zoom); tutoring at the Writing Center, as necessary
  • Respectful attitude toward your instructor, peers, and coursework
  • Engagement and improvement throughout the semester

Late Work / Revision / Feedback

Late Assignment Policy

All assignments are due on the dates/times specified. Except in extenuating circumstances (discussed ahead of time, ideally), late assignments will not be accepted. If you are having difficulty keeping up with the work, please reach out to discuss with me as soon as possible.

Revision Policy

I teach (and believe in) writing as a process, and there will be ample space in the assignments for this process and feedback on writing in-progress. Therefore, final drafts for each unit will be treated as that – final drafts (and no further revisions offered, unless otherwise noted). Substantive revision should occur prior to submission, and you should submit your best work at the deadline. Of course, I am always happy to discuss your work at any point in the process; see me in my office hours to get additional substantive feedback on your work.


I strongly encourage you to visit me during my office hours throughout the semester to discuss your work in the course. Please come see me during office hours if you’re confused about my comments or you’d like additional, individualized feedback on your work.


A consistent display of organizational, logical, syntactical, and grammatical errors in your work disrupts your writing and will lower your grade. Students are encouraged to take advantage of the many online resources (provided on our OpenLab course site) as well as services offered by the City Tech Writing Center.


Any plagiarized work will automatically fail for that assignment (and may result in a failing course grade). See the College Policy on Academic Integrity below.

Attendance / Missed Work

As required by the college, your attendance is recorded and reported to City Tech. Your attendance is verified by your consistent and active participation in course activities, and completing all assignments on time. Inconsistency and/or missed work will significantly impact your participation grade (and indirectly will likely affect the quality of your other assignments, and overall course grade). If you find yourself falling behind, it is courteous to let me know ahead of time (if possible) and to see me during my office hours if you need further guidance.

*Note: it will not be possible to make-up time-sensitive work (including freewriting, discussions, group work, and peer review). Engaging in class regularly and being an active participant is critical to your success in this course. If you stop attending class and don’t return for the rest of the semester, you will receive a grade of WU.


Classroom Community & Care

  • Our class is a community, and all of your contributions to it should reflect that ethos.
  • Disagreement and (constructive) criticism are encouraged in our class and on our OpenLab course site. However, you must always be respectful of the work/opinions of others, and conduct yourselves in mature, respectful, and generous ways.
  • You are not allowed to record (in any manner: audio, video, image, screenshot) class sessions, office hours, or conversations, without the explicit knowledge of me (and your classmates, where relevant). Please be respectful of everyone’s privacy and safety.

University Policies:

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, you can leave a voicemail at 718-260-5143, send an email to:, or visit the Center’s website at for more information.

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.[9]

Diversity Policies:

City Tech Diversity and Inclusive Education Syllabus Statement:

This course welcomes students from all backgrounds, experiences and perspectives. In accordance with the City Tech and CUNY missions, this course intends to provide an atmosphere of inclusion, respect, and the mutual appreciation of differences so that together we can create an environment in which all students can flourish. It is the instructor’s goal to provide materials and activities that are welcoming and accommodating of diversity in all of its forms, including race, gender identity and presentation, ethnicity, national origin, religion, cultural identity, socioeconomic background, sexuality and sexual orientation, ability, neurodivergence, age, and etc. Your instructor is committed to equity and actively seeks ways to challenge institutional racism, sexism, ableism and other forms of prejudice. Your input is encouraged and appreciated. If a dynamic that you observe or experience in the course concerns you, you may respectfully inform your instructor without fear of how your concerns will affect your grade.  Let your instructor know how to improve the effectiveness of the course for you personally, or for other students or student groups. We acknowledge that NYCCT is located on the traditional homelands of the Canarsie and Lenape peoples.


Support Resources:

College Writing Center:

Online writing tutoring is available through the Writing Center at City Tech! I encourage you to utilize their services. Keep in mind you’ll need to make an appointment ahead of time. It’s unlikely they’ll be able to squeeze you in at the last minute, especially during busy times, so plan ahead!


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.Once advisement begins, you will be assigned a faculty advisor. During this period, if you have not been emailed and/or you do not see your advisor/appointment on CUNYFirst, go to your major’s homepage; there, you will find advisement details that will include contact information, as well as dates and times.


English 1101 Learning Outcomes:

Departmental 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.

CUNY Pathways Learning Outcomes:

A course in this area must meet all of the following learning outcomes. A student will:

  • Read and listen critically and analytically, including identifying an argument’s major assumptions and assertions and evaluating its supporting evidence.
  • Write clearly and coherently in varied, academic formats (such as formal essays, research papers, and reports) using standard English and appropriate technology to critique and improve one’s own and others’ texts.
  • Demonstrate research skills using appropriate technology, including gathering, evaluating, and synthesizing primary and secondary sources.
  • Support a thesis with well-reasoned arguments, and communicate persuasively across a variety of contexts, purposes, audiences, and media.
  • Formulate original ideas and relate them to the ideas of others by employing the conventions of ethical attribution and citation.

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