Final 1121 Syllabus

English 1121: Writing Across Genres and Communities


Professor Lowenstein


Office: Pearl 313

Office Phone: 718-260-5399

Room: Monday and Wednesdays 12:30-1:45

Office Hours: Monday 11:00-12:00 and 5pm-6pm




Welcome to ENG 1121! This course builds on its prerequisite, ENG 1101. Together, we will explore and write within new genres, conduct research, and reflect on our writing practices. The big goal is that after you finish this sequence, you’ll be able to analyze and participate in genres inside and outside of higher ed. We’re aiming to build skills that will be useful in future coursework, the workplace, and in your personal lives. In other words, this course isn’t self-contained—we’re aiming to give you a toolbox of skills that you can apply across situations.




These are the goals that all instructors in ENG 1101 and ENG 1121 want students to gain by the end of the sequence:


  1. 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.


  1. Adapt 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.


  1. 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 proper 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.)


  1. Use reflection and other metacognitive processes to revise prior assumptions about the writing processes and transfer acquired knowledge about effective reading and writing practices into new writing situations. Engage with reading and writing as a process including prewriting, writing, and continuous revision. Students write essays that demonstrate their reflection of their own 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.


  1. 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.


  1. Compose in 21st Century Environments: Learn to choose among the most current and effective delivery methods for different composing situations, including composing 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.




Unit 1: Discourse Community Analysis- Choose a discourse community of interest to you and write a paper that explains its major features, analyzes an interesting sample from the discourse community, and explains how this knowledge will be useful to yourself and others. 

Unit 2: Call to Action Research Paper- Identify an issue within a discourse community that you belong to, conduct research, and write a paper that suggests a course of action related to the issue.

Unit 3: Call to Action Remix- Translate the call to action from a research paper into a genre that your discourse community uses/interacts with. 


Mini-Unit: Revision and Proofreading- Use feedback from me as well as revision and proofreading strategies to make your writing even more excellent. The mini-unit will prepare you to turn in a final portfolio of your writing.







Attendance and participation- 20%- In terms of attendance, you should be in the classroom both physically and mentally. Missing more than 5 classes can result in a 0 in this section, and regular lateness/early departure can be subject to 1/3 of an absence.

In terms of participation, you should be completing all in-class assignments and peer review.

Writing Assignments- 30%

  • Low-stakes writing 10%- This includes writing-based homework, and writing assignments. They will be graded based on completion.
  • Unit projects 20%- This includes your major papers: the discourse community analysis, the call to action, the call to action remix, and the final reflection. They will be graded based on rubrics I will hand out. Please note that this means that each of your major papers, as well as the final reflection, is worth only 5% of your grade. Why? Because I want to see you revise—and the best versions of what you write will be the revised versions that appear in your final portfolio.


Final Portfolio (final drafts and author’s statement)- 50%- This is the key component of the course; it is equivalent to a final exam. You will use feedback from me, and revision strategies that we learn in class to write final drafts of your major unit projects. I expect you to revise significantly—focusing on “higher-order issues” like organization, development, and thesis rather than just on “lower-order issues” like grammar and punctuation. You will also write an author’s statement reflecting on your writing practices, what you’ve created during of the semester, and how you can apply knowledge from this course in future contexts.



I’ll give you frequent feedback- You will get comments from me on your high-stakes writing, and I’ll also be giving you guidance on major projects as you draft. I will also conference individually with everyone in class twice during the semester.

I’ll teach transferrable skills- My goal isn’t just that you write the papers and do the work for this class—I want to introduce skills that you can use when you write and participate in new genres throughout your life.

I want to collaborate with you- I’m interested in co-creating this class with you. Together we’ll talk about what makes a good conversation, create a technology policy, and create rubrics together. I want it to always be clear why we do things in class—if the why isn’t clear, ask me to explain!

I’ll be a resource to you- If you have questions about the class, about City Tech, or about looking for jobs/internships, let me know! I’ll do my best to help you find the resources you need. Office hours are a great time to talk one-on-one!



Late work- Late writing related to your unit projects (not printed and brought in for peer review) will result in a 5% reduction in your final portfolio grade. Late portfolios are subject to a 10% reduction in the portfolio grade for each day that they are missing.


That said, I understand that emergencies happen. Please reach out to me well before (not 10 minutes before!) an assignment is due if a personal emergency will prevent you from turning in an assignment on time, and we can talk about a one-time 24-hour extension.

Missing class- If you miss class, assignments for that day are still due. Check in with a classmate about what you missed in class, and check the course calendar to see what is due on the day that you return to class.


It is important that you are in class for peer review days (3/2, 3/23, 4,27). If you miss these days, I highly recommend going to the Atrium Learning Center to work on your paper with a tutor.

Withdrawing from/dropping the course- I want to have you in class all semester, but if you feel that you need to withdraw, please come speak to me and your advisor. Keep in mind that you have to drop/withdraw officially through CUNYFirst and that there are dates on the academic calendar that indicate the periods in which you can drop and withdraw.


Email- Please reach out via your City Tech email with any course-related concerns, and I’ll get back to you within 1 business day.


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, please contact the Center for Student Accessibility at 300 Jay Street room L-237, 718 260 5143 or



College Policy on Academic Integrity:  “Students who work with information, ideas, and texts 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 CUNY 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.”


What does that mean? Turn in your own work and ideas! When you use someone else’s ideas, cite them properly. Don’t turn in plagiarized work, as it can have serious consequences.


We will talk about proper citation in class, and if you have any doubts related to academic integrity, please reach out to me.


Atrium Learning Center- Access free writing guides online, and visit a tutor in-person to work on your writing.

Phone: 718-260-5874

Location: 300 Jay St LG-18




Readings- The Literary Experience

Bruce Beiderwell, Jeffrey M. Wheeler, .2nd ed. 

Boston: Cenage, 2016. Print.


Supplies- Please bring a dedicated notebook for journaling and in-class writing.



Unit 1:Portrait of a Discourse Community           


2/3          Class introduction and review of syllabus. Read Anne Lamott “Sh**ty First Drafts.” Writing Response #1:Read the first half of Tim O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried.” Write a 150-word response to the reading addressing any emotions or insights you had while reading the story.


2/5          Discussion on Discourse Communities and “The Things They Carried.” Writing Response #2: Read the rest of “The Things They Carried.” After discussing discourse communities in class, do you see how that concept relates to the story? Are the soldiers a part of a discourse community? Why? Why not? Write 200 words. Read the first part of “Navigating Genres” handout.


2/10        Discussion on “The Things They Carried” and “Navigating Genres.” Review Essay #1:  Assignment hand out. Writing Response #3: Finish reading “Navigating Genres.” Answer one discussion question following the reading. You can choose which one to answer! Response must be at least 150 words.


2/24        Presenting Outlines! Read NYT Op-Ed in class. Discuss Genre and Discourse Communities. Writing  Response #4: Read Richard Straub, “Responding to Work” Write a 150 word response.


2/26        Discussion on “Responding to Work.” Work on first draft of Essay #1.


3/2          First Draft Workshop


3/4          Hand in Paper #1! Discussion on Research and New Unit. Brainstorming a Research Question!


Unit 2: Call To Action



3/9          In-class reading and discussion on “Backpacks v. Briefcases” and identifying problems within a community. Start doing your research!


3/11        Library Visit!


3/16        Bring in Research Memo for Peer Review


3/18        In-Class reading and discussion of Mike Rose “Writer’s Block.” Write your papers!


3/23        First Draft Workshop


3/25        Hand in Paper! In-class discussion on Donald Murray “Internal Revision,” Writing Response #5: Read “The Yellow Wallpaper” and write 200 words on your thoughts on the ending.


3/30        Discussion on “The Yellow Wallpaper.” Writing Response #6: Read Nelson Graf, “Teaching Rhetorical Analysis to Promote Transfer of Learning.” Write 200 words reacting to the reading.  While addressing the reading, highlight a portion that stood out to you and write one question you have about that reading.

Unit III: Call to Action Remix

4/1          Discussion on “Writing for Transfer.” Discussion on Mentor Articles


4/6          Proposal for Final Project. Continued discussion on “Writing for Transfer.” Writing Response # 6: Bring in a mentor article, video clip, etc for your genre and write a 150 words explaining why you chose it. Be prepared to present this mentor article to the class. Write



4/8          Present mentor articles. Writing Response #7: Read Joyce Carol Oates “Where Are You   Going, Where Have You Been?” Write 150 word response to the reading addressing any emotions or insights you had while reading the story



4/20        Discussion on “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” and genres.



4/22        Discussion on genres, “Where Are You Going, Where You Have You Been.”  Discussion on assembling a Writing Portfolio.



4/27        In-Class Research and finalization of project


4/29       First Draft workshop



5/4          Paper #3: Call to Action Remix due today! In-class presentation day for remix projects more details to come on how we will present.


5/6          In-class presentation day for remix projects Write 1000 word author statement (guidelines will be handed out in class). Due 5/11.


**During these final two weeks, I will hold mini-conferences during class to discuss papers and grades**


5/11         In-class revision workshop: Bring in your discourse analysis paper with my comments to class call to action paper with my comments to class.

5/13         In-class proofreading workshop: Bring your most updated version of the call to action paper to class

5/18         Submit your completed portfolio today


5/20        Final Class Reflection.




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