New York City College of Technology
English 1101: An Introduction to College Writing, Spring 2015                        Professor Kelsey Fox

Office Hours:   By Appointment      

Course Description
English Composition I is a course in effective essay writing and basic research techniques, including the use of the library. College-level readings are assigned as the basis for in-class and online discussion and for essay writing. CUNY certification in reading and writing is the prerequisite for this course. Students should expect to spend six hours per week on work for this class in addition to class time. Through discussion, reading, writing in drafts, collaborating, revising, and presenting work, students will learn to:

  • Write clear and logical sentences of varied structure, using correct spelling, conventional punctuation, and correct grammar and syntax;
  • Organize sentences into paragraphs and paragraphs into well-developed essays that present persuasive arguments based on specific evidence;
  • Draft, revise, and proofread essays of various modes of writing, including narration, description, comparison, argumentation, analysis and reflection;
  • Use writing as a process of discovery, building habits of critical thinking;
  • Develop a personal writing style.
  • Read actively, carefully, and thoroughly, looking at details and at the piece as a whole;
  • Formulate questions as part of the reading process in anticipation of class or online discussions;
  • Demonstrate the ability to summarize, paraphrase, quote from, and argue with assigned readings
  • Gain familiarity with online tools such as blogs, collaborative documents, online writing centers, and library research tools;
  • Communicate professionally via e-mail and other online media;
  • Demonstrate information fluency—the ability to find, evaluate, use, and create online resources.

Learning Objectives

Rhetorical Knowledge

  • Understand and respond appropriately to different kinds of rhetorical situations
  • Understand how genres and disciplines shape reading and writing practices
  • Write in several genres

Writing and Reading Processes

  • Develop flexible strategies for generating, revising, editing, and proof-reading
  • Understand writing as an open process that permits writers to use later invention and re-thinking to revise their work
  • Be aware that it usually takes multiple drafts to create and complete a successful text
  • Understand the collaborative and social aspects of writing processes
  • Learn to critique their own and others’ works
  • Learn to balance the advantages of relying on others with the responsibility of doing their part

Critical Thinking, Reading, Writing, and Researching

  • Use writing and reading for inquiry, learning, thinking, and communicating
  • Understand a writing assignment as a series of tasks, including finding, evaluating, analyzing, and synthesizing appropriate primary and secondary sources
  • Read, analyze, and interpret essays and texts across a variety of genres, disciplines, and media for the purposes of academic inquiry, rhetorical and textual analysis, and understanding, improving, and critiquing writing processes and reading strategies
  • Understand how to read, interpret, and respond to argument-based readings and consider how the structure and content of these readings may relate to student writing projects and processes
  • Integrate a student’s own ideas with those of others and practice summarizing, paraphrasing, quoting, and documenting this work in various writing projects
  • Locate, evaluate, organize, and use research material collected from digital sources, including scholarly library databases; other official databases (e.g., federal government databases); and informal digital networks and internet sources

Composing in Digital Environments

  • Use digital tools and environments for drafting, reviewing, revising, editing, and sharing texts
  • Understand and exploit the differences in the rhetorical strategies and in the affordances available for both print and digital composing processes and texts

Knowledge of Academic Conventions

  • Learn common formats for different kinds of texts
  • Develop knowledge of genre conventions ranging from structure and paragraphing to tone and mechanics
  • Practice appropriate means of documenting research sources
  • Control such surface features as syntax, grammar, punctuation, and spelling

Course Web Site

It is required for you to join the course site and participate in online assignments

Required Texts

  • The River Reader, 11th ed
    By: Joseph F. Trimmer
    ISBN: 978-1-133-31031-0
  • Rules of Thumb, a Guide for Writers, 9th ed
    By: Silverman, Hughes, Wienbroer
    ISBN: 987-0-07-340596

It is also a good idea to have a college-level English Dictionary.  You can use reliable dictionaries on the web, e.g., Merriam Webster (, Oxford, and/or a dictionary that you already own.

Supplies You Are Required to Bring to Each Class:

One notebook for In-Class Assignments and Notes
One binder or a folder with pockets for Assignments and Course Handouts
Both assigned books


Grading: Your course grade will be calculated based on the following percentages, which reflect the value of the entire project; missing any component will result in a lower grade. Passing ENG 1101 is contingent upon attendance and the successful completion of all assignments and the final exam.

Essays and Summaries: 30%
Research Project: 20%
Oral Presentation: 5%
Course Site writing and participation: 15%
In-class participation and in-class assignments: 10%
Quizzes and Tests: 10%
Final Exam (Argumentative Essay In Response to a Reading): 10%

Although grades will be calculated based on the percentages listed above, this calculation, and your ability to receive a passing grade for the course, are dependent both upon your completion of all essays and assignments, upon course attendance, and upon passing the final exam.

Course Policies                                                               

Participation: Class participation is vital to lively and focused discussions. Everyone must speak at least once each class period, no matter how shy or nervous you might be. Be respectful to your classmates, and please be free of distractions such as cell phones or other non-course material.

Preparedness:  Preparedness means that you will have read the text scheduled for that day, participate in discussion, ask questions about passages you feel are confusing or important, and respect the voices and opinions of your fellow students.

Essays and AssignmentsEssays and assignments are due at the BEGINNING OF CLASS on the date indicated. Late essays will lose one letter grade for each day they are past due. Essays and assignments must be typed.  Please make sure that you retain a copy of all assignments, essays, and handouts.  If you must miss a class, please consult with one of your classmates or our course website regarding any assignments you may have missed.

Students with Disabilities: If you have any type of disability, please come discuss this with me so we can make arrangements to tailor any course policies or assignments to your specific needs.

Academic Integrity: City Tech 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.”

Please familiarize yourself with City Tech’s academic honesty policies:

Plagiarism, the act of presenting another person’s ideas, research, or writing as your own, whether intentionally or unintentionally, is not tolerated at City Tech. Using proper documentation (we will use the MLA style for citations) and thorough textual analysis will help you avoid plagiarism. Any cases of plagiarism or other forms of academic dishonesty will result in a grade of zero and appropriate measures taken. If you are confused or have any questions about what plagiarism is and how you might avoid it, please contact me before your assignment is due.

Cell Phones, Computers, Other Electronic Devices, etc.: Cell Phones, computers, and other electronic devices need to be turned off and stored away during class.  Anyone using a computer or cell phone for purposes unrelated to a class activity will be marked absent for that class.

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