English 1121 Spring 2024

Professor:  Rebekah Coleman

Course Meeting Times: Mondays and Wednesdays from 830am to 945am

Course Location: Namm 519

Office Hours:  Wednesdays 945-1045

Email: RColeman@citytech.cuny.edu 


Welcome to City Tech and English 1121. 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:  

An advanced course in expository essay writing that requires a library paper. Further development of research and documentation skills. Assigned literary and expository readings.

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.


English 1101 or equivalent

Course Meetings / Class Format:

This course will meet twice a week in-person for an hour and fifteen minutes on Mondays and Wednesdays from 830to 9:45 in Namm 519. Students must commit to scheduled class times. If you are unable to attend class, please email me ahead of time and be prepared to  make up the work.

You will have homework due by the start of class each Monday and Wednesday. Many times, I will ask you to respond to each other’s writing.  We will work on developing community both in our classroom and in our online written community– by writing. This work is also required!

For each class, your assignments will usually be handed out in class and posted on the OpenLab site. In class there will be written and in-person work each day that is a crucial component of the class. 


Course Expectations, Requirements and Policies

To become strong and proficient writers we must write and write and write. Each week you will be asked to write different pieces for different purposes. The writing will vary in length and genre and will cover a range of topics. There will also be readings each week that will serve as mentor texts to inspire and enhance our writing. 

OpenLab: Our Course Website

You will need to access OpenLab and join our course immediately. I will post many of the required readings and handouts you need for this class on OpenLab.It is extremely important that you familiarize yourself with our website and find out where everything is. You are responsible for being up-to-date and knowing what is on our course site.  Please contact me if you are having trouble!

Login to your OpenLab account and follow these instructions to join this course.

If you’re new to the OpenLab, follow these instructions to create an account and then join the course.

To learn how to post a discussion or reply to a post on OpenLab, please visit this link.If you need help with OpenLab, please visit the OpenLab Help tab on our Website. 

Readings/ Required Materials/ What to Bring to Class Meetings

These are materials you will need both for our in-person class meetings and for your work at home. Please try to bring/ have access to these materials during each class session. 

  • You are not required to buy any texts for this class. The texts used will be easily accessible online and will be posted on the OpenLab site. Consider bookmarking the class texts so they’re easily accessible. 
  • Join The New York Times (create a free Academic Pass account with your City Tech email).  Access to The New York Times will be very helpful over the course of the semester, especially for Units 2 and 3. 
  • A writing implement (pen/ pencil) and a notebook for the class. We will be engaging in lots of short writing assignments during class and jotting notes on key ideas/ topics. 
  • Dictionary and online MLA formatting guide such as Perdue Owl
  • Computer folder dedicated to this class. The folder will house your assignment drafts and portfolio (collected writing). The folder can be a Google Drive Folder. 

Office Hours

You are always welcome to meet with me! In fact, I highly recommend that you visit me during virtual office hours at least once over the course of the semester. This visit will count toward your final grade! Our office visits will be much more effective if we can look at past assignments together to find patterns in your writing, so please be prepared to discuss one of your writing assignments during our meeting. We will use the time to discuss your progress in the course and address any particular writing challenges or goals you may have. Of course, please feel free to talk with me as many times during the semester as you like!


Your grade will be split into two parts: The Final Portfolio, which will include revisions of all your major projects, and Weekly Assignments, which will include all a combination of homework and class participation (class discussions, homework assignments and basically everything else you post online).  The Final Portfolio will comprise 60% of your final grade and Weekly Assignments will comprise 40% of your final grade.

Final Portfolio

This course is a portfolio-based writing course, meaning that where you end up is more important than where you start, at least in terms of grading. At the end of the semester students will turn in a final portfolio. Your final portfolio will be a showcase of the work you have completed in class so far. You will be encouraged to revise Projects 1 and 2 and resubmit them for a higher grade. It must have at least 6,000 words. It will include the following items: 

Project 1: Portrait of a Word  Assignment 15%

Project 2: Feature Article 15%

Project 3: Multimodal Project 15%

Unit 1, 2 and Final Reflections 15%

Weekly Assignments

You’ll see that your Weekly Assignment counts for 40% 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 low-stakes assignments as you are on your high-stakes Project assignments. This is because in this class, you’re not learning how to write one particular assignment, 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.

The good news is this: I almost never grade you on grammar in your homework. Your homework is a place for you to get your thoughts and ideas down in words. Here, we will work on reading, research, brainstorming and organization.

The Weekly Assignments are a combination of low-stakes writing assignments, in-class discussions, reading and reading responses and other activities. 

Late Work

Work is counted as late if it is not provided to me before or during the class time on the due date. If outside circumstances make a deadline impossible to meet, it is your responsibility to contact me ahead of time to discuss a possible extension.

**This is a discussion-based class and assignments are cumulative. It is crucial that you keep up with the work and participate on a regular basis. Students who regularly fail to keep up with the readings, writing, and discussions will fall behind on the daily reading and writing assignments. The daily assignments build upon previous work and lead towards success in the major projects. In order to succeed in the class, students will need to stay on task and keep up with the work. Students who fall behind will likely have a difficult time catching up.   **

Revision Policy:

In this course , you can—and will!– revise all major units for your final portfolio (see Unit 4: Final Portfolio). Your new grade entirely replaces your old grade. You can also revise your units sooner than that if you feel you’d like more feedback. Please come see me during office hours if you’re confused about my comments or you’d like additional feedback.

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:  Accessibility@citytech.cuny.edu, or visit the Center’s website at  http://www.citytech.cuny.edu/accessibility/ 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.