*Click here to download a PDF of our course syllabus.

English 1101, D368 (20126)
English Composition I
Spring 2014
New York City College of Technology, CUNY

Tuesday 2:30-5:00pm
Classroom: Namm 602-A

Professor Jill Belli
Office: Namm 520 (mailbox: Namm 512)
(718) 260-4974

Office hours: Tuesday 5-6pm, Thursday 11am-12pm, & by appointment

OpenLab Course Site:


Negotiating Networks and Dealing with Data: Composing our Digital Selves in an Online World
This semester we will explore how/why personal identity, relationships, authenticity, privacy, and communication/composing change in “digital” spaces. We will think through our digital selves (how and why we perform certain types of identities in certain environments) as well as how we make connections, live, study, relate, communicate, and work in networked online environments. 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 is devoted primarily to improving writing and working through students’ own research projects.

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 
  • 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
Anderson, M.T. feed. 2002. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick, 2012. [ISBN-10: 0763662623; ISBN-13: 978-0763662622] *available at City Tech bookstore; you must have a hard copy (no e-books) of this text (this edition) for class

*Suggested text: Graff, Gerald and Cathy Birkenstein. “They Say/ I Say”: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing. 2nd ed.  New York, NY: Norton, 2010. [ISBN-13: 978-0-393-93361-1], ~$25

Additional 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). If they are not distributed in class, 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 very minimal 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 writing utensils (pens, pencils, and highlighters). All course materials (including in-class freewriting, quizzes, handouts, readings, essays, peer review) must be kept in a binder, and brought to each class session.

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

Participation: 15%

OpenLab Composing (blogging): 30%
*Please note that our OpenLab course site (and all of your composing/activity on it) is publicly accessible/available

Essays: 25%

  • Essay #1:10%
  • Essay #2: 15%

Research Project: 20%

  • Proposal + Annotated Bibliography: 10%
  • Research Project Presentation + Reflection: 10%

Final Exam: 10%

Participation counts as 15% 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 “OpenLab Composing”)

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 Policy
According to College attendance policy, a student may be absent during the semester without penalty for 10% of the class instructional sessions. Therefore, if you miss more than two classes, you may not pass the course.

In my class, lateness (of any amount … even a few minutes) will negatively affect your grade

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.

Always consult the dynamic schedule on our OpenLab site (see “Schedule”) for the most up-to-date version of the schedule, access to readings, and links to more details about assignments.