Kieran Reichert FINAL 1121 Syllabus Front Matter

English ENG 1121 Course Syllabus

Professor:  Kieran Reichert

Office Phone: (718) 260-5392

Office: Office Hours: Email:

Meeting Time:

Classroom Location:  Namm N-1107

Online Location: *Insert OpenLab here*=

Course Description: 

As the second semester course in City Tech’s first-year writing program sequence, we’ll deepen our analytical understanding of writing and rhetoric by considering more rigorously how authors produce texts in response to a variety of situations. Building on what you’ve done in English 1101, the course will practice close reading and will learn how to approach texts from many different genres as well as learn about the idea of discourses and discourse communities. We’ll explore writing as a process, how research can help you build credibility and put texts into a conversation, and build skills that that can be applied across all areas of study.  We will be able to develop our own ideas about writing that we can take with us into future academic and professional experiences. Students will engage in class discussion to strengthen critical thinking and develop the language to respond to a wide variety of texts, ideas, and societal issues. The ultimate goal of ENG 1101 and ENG 1121 is to provide you with the rhetorical awareness and tools to transfer your writing skills to any type of situation that requires a written response. So we’ll explore situations even beyond the scope of this class, and look outward at how you can become a successful writer throughout your career and life beyond the academy.

Prerequisite:  CUNY proficiency in reading and writing



After completing ENG 1121, you should be able to: 

  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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.)
  4. 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 on their own writing process from the beginning and through the semester with the intention to transfer their acquired knowledge about genre and composing practices into new writing situations.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.


  • To be handed out in class and/or posted on the course website. If texts are available on the course website only, I’ll expect you to download, print, and bring them with you on the day we’re due to discuss them in class.
  • Course website:
  • For style, editing, and source citations, I recommend the Purdue OWL

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

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism Statement

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 at New York City College of Technology and is punishable by penalties, including failing grades, suspension, and expulsion.

Sanctions for Academic Integrity Violations

In accordance with the CUNY Policy on Academic Integrity, NYCCT empowers its Academic Integrity Committee and Academic Integrity Officer to process violations of the CUNY Academic Integrity Policy. As stated in the student handbook, all instructors must report all instances of academic dishonesty to the Academic Integrity Officer.

Course Policies

Word Count: All students in first-year composition are required to turn in a minimum of 6,000 finished words in order to successfully pass the class. Students who don’t meet the word count requirement will receive a grade of F. This is the English Department policy.

Final Portfolio / Reflection: At the end of the semester students will turn in a final portfolio which is a collection of their revised essays over the course of the semester. In addition, students will submit a final essay that is both reflective and argumentative in nature. In this essay, students will be asked to explain how the work they have done over the course of the semester has met the learning outcomes for the course. In developing this essay, students will argue that the work they have done in the course has met the learning outcomes and will show how that work meets the outcomes by using examples from their own writings that appear in the final portfolio. The final reflective/argumentative essay should be a minimum of 1100 words. Students who do not meet the 1100 word count for this reflection piece will not pass the class and will receive a grade of F. This is the English Departmental policy. 

Attendance: Students who fail to attend class regularly will fall behind on the daily 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 attend regularly. Students who fall behind will likely have a difficult time catching up.

 Late/Missing Work:  Work is counted as late if it is not provided to me before or during class on the due date (if you email it to me later that day, it is considered late). Late papers will lose one letter grade per day late. Missing class is not an excuse for late work. If outside circumstances make a deadline impossible to meet, it is your responsibility to contact me ahead of time to discuss a possible extension.

NOTE: Please make sure to have at least one student’s email address for missed work. You are responsible for reaching out to them or to me to find out what you missed.

OpenLab Statement:

You will need to register with the City Tech Open Lab and join our course immediately. It will be your responsibility to learn the navigation of the class website during the first week. After the first week, we will be using the Open Lab. Any work that you fail to post after the 3rd class meeting cannot be made up. If you need help with this, see me immediately, and make sure to come to the first and second class meetings.

Course Load Statement:

A full-time course load for a college student is 4 classes. At forty hours per week, that breaks down to 10 hours per class. You will be in class for 2.5 hours a week. Plan to spend 7.5 hours on reading/writing assignments for each week on average. Some weeks will be more. Some less. 

Major Projects and Assignments

Project 1: Rhetoric, Genre, Discourse

Project 2: Research Proposal & Annotated Bibliography

Project 3: Multimodal Remix

Other graded projects:  Blog posts, reflection essays, revisions, peer review letters.

Participation: 10% of your grade will be based on the quantity and quality of your participation in class. Reading the assigned texts, completing any homework, and bringing the necessary materials to class are all crucial to effective participation.  

Extra Credit: Extra credit proposals will be considered on a case-by-case basis and are only available given extenuating circumstances.


Unit 1: Rhetoric, Genre, Discourse

This assignment asks students to identify a discourse community and help them become aware of the ways that discourse communities inform rhetorical situations and rhetorical choices. Discourse communities can be defined by the instructor, full class, and/or individual students in many ways: as academic, cultural, ethnic, religious, social, artistic, or other communities. However, one thing that discourse communities share is a common specialized interest and linguistic discourse. By closely analyzing specific discourses that they may have previously ignored or taken for granted and rhetorically analyzing linguistic artifacts, students become more aware, not only of how discourse functions within the particular community out of which the artifact arose, but of the powers and limitations of language as it travels within and through various discourse communities. This assignment offers a means for students to understand and use a variety of types of research, including ethnography, analysis of artifacts, interviews, or other primary sources. The final product may take one of many different forms: an analytic paper, a creative assignment, an Op-Ed/popular article, a report, a letter, or a review, but in all cases, students should emerge with a deeper understanding of the ways in which discourse communities define a rhetorical situation by uniting an audience, establishing a shared language, and promoting a common interest or goal.


Unit 2: Research, Inquiry, Argument

This assignment asks students to continue looking outside their school lives and to tackle an urgent current social problem, such as voter suppression, empowerment of specific communities, or the epidemic of shootings, or something that is particularly important to them and/or a specific discourse community, possibly the one they wrote about in Unit 1. The goal is to create an argumentative essay that 1) begins with focused research questions about a specific problem/issue, 2) asks students to conduct primary and secondary research to identify stakeholders and analyze different perspectives, 3) ends with a draft of a position paper. This might be used in Unit 3 and translated into different media targeting a specific audience affected by the problem.

Unit 3: Repurposed Multimodal Project

This assignment asks students to re-think—or re-envision—one of the assignments they have written previously in the semester, presenting it in a totally new genre, perhaps changing modes: a written essay to an audio podcast, website, graphic, video essay, rap album, or mixed modal. This assignment builds on the generic, rhetorical, and audience awareness that students have worked on all semester long, asking them to consider what discourse community they are trying to reach and, not only what diction, but also what mode of delivery would be best for that message/community. This “translation” is key to transfer, one of the course learning outcomes of this course. If students can take a message and transform it for different audiences and media, then they are well on their way to being able to transfer writing skills across fields, disciplines, and discourse communities.

Final Portfolio Project

The final portfolio assignment asks students to accomplish three tasks: 1) to revise all of their work over the course of the semester; 2) reflections, describe the process and evolution of the project over the course of the semester; 3) students also write a narrative that explains their evolution as a reader and writer over the course of the semester, from their thoughts about writing/reading during the literacy narrative to how they feel about writing and reading now. It is important to recognize that students should not simply state that their writing has changed over the semester, but they should be able to specifically identify and describe with sufficient detail particular moments in their assignments and in the semester where they could substantiate how their own growth was taking place. Last, 4) the assignment should also ask students to consider how the course has prepared them for transfer—that is, for writing in other contexts.

Grading Procedure: While the Portfolio will be graded as a whole at the end of the semester, the drafts that you turn in throughout the course of the semester will be treated as intermediate grades and will count for a percentage. You will be graded based on the strength of the first draft, the success of the revision, and the depth and quality of the reflection. Students who fail to submit process and scaffolding work for the major projects during the semester will likely not perform well on the final portfolio. You will receive feedback on every draft of each major writing assignment, and you will get a grade for each assignment that can be continuously improved and revised for the final portfolio.   

Grade Calculation

Blog Posts                                                        20%

Presentation                                                      10%

Participation                                                     10%

Final Portfolio                                                   60 %

Drafts                20%

Revisions           20%

Reflections         20%







Semester Outline


  • All Readings and Assignments are DUE on the day they are listed.
  • Any changes made to the following schedule will be announced in class or on the class website. It is your responsibility to keep up with all announced changes.


WEEK 1           

M  01/27



Introductions, Syllabus, Open Lab



Open Lab website, readings, intro writing.



W   01/29


Syllabus, Discourse communities, Literacy Narratives



“Mother Tongue” by Amy Tan. DC activity. “Concept of a Discourse Community” by John Swales (in-class), use on own DC.



M   02/03


Unit 1: Rhetoric, Genre, Discourse An Analytical Framework


“Backpacks vs. Briefcases” by Laura Carroll. Continued review/practice with DC.

Writing due: Blog Post #1 – Critical Response to Tan, Swales, or Carroll

W 02/05  

Primary Research


“Navigating Genres” by Kerry Dirk. Podcasting/Interviewing. Relate to interview process.


M    02/10




“Shitty First Drafts” by Anne Lamott.

Writing due: Blog Post #2 – List of 10 interview questions


W   02/12



Lincoln’s b-day. College Closed.




M    02/17



Peer Review: Group Review


“Responding—really responding—to Other Students’ Writing” by Richard Straub.

Writing due: Rough Draft, incl. interview (2 copies)


W   02/19



Revision: Lamott + Murray


“Internal Revision: A Process of Discovery” by Donald Murray. Notes on Reflection.



M    02/24



Unit 2: Research as Inquiry



Writing due: Final Draft #1 (for now) + Reflection


W   02/26


Library Visit? Using inquiry to drive Research


“Using Sources Ethically” by Marcia Muth. “Argument as Conversation: The Role of Inquiry in Writing a Researched Argument” by Stuart Greene.






M    03/02






Research Questions to Theses





“On the Other Hand: The Role of Antithetical Writing in FY Composition Courses” by Steve Krause. Writing due: Blog Post #3 – Annotation of 3 sources



W   03/04




A Good Thesis


“Why We Need to Get in Formation: The Rhetoric of Beyoncé” by Kira Pratt (Student Essay). Lay out traditional academic outline.



M    03/09



Genre + Discourse Community


“Don’t Eat Before Reading This” by Anthony Bourdain.

Write: Blog Post – Analysis of DC/Genre



W   03/11



Different Modes of Peer Review


Writing Due: Rough Draft (1 copies)


M    03/16




Consider Your Audience


“Consider the Lobster” by David Foster Wallace.  Writing Due: Blog Post #4 –Peer Review Letter

W   03/16


Audience, cont’d. Excerpt, “My President Was Black” by Ta-Nehisi Coates.


Midterm Grades Due this Week

M    03/23



Unit 3: Multimodal Remix Introduction


“The Art of Trespassing” by Justin Graffa (student project). Writing Due: Final Draft + Reflection

W   03/25 Questions of Genre


“All Writing is Multimodal” by Cheryl Ball and Colin Charlton.

M    03/30



Composing in 21st Century Environments


Presentation Examples + Tutorials.  Mini-Conferences.

W   04/01 Film/Video as a Genre


Excerpt, Where to Invade Next by Michael Moore.



M    04/06






T     04/07 Classes follow a Wednesday Schedule. Presentations. Mini-conferences (cont’d).
W   04/08 Spring Recess No Class.

M    04/13


Spring Recess


No Class.

W   04/15 Spring Recess  

No Class.


M   04/20


Final Portfolio Introductions

In-Class Reflection Review


In Class: One-on-One Peer Review. Writing due: Rough Draft Multimodal Essay Reflection

W   04/22 Argument and Reflection


 “Don’t Let My Classmates’ Deaths Be in Vain” by Christine Yared.

“A Young Activist’s Advice: Vote, Shave Your Head, and Cry Whenever You Need To” by Emma González


M    04/27



Revision Workshop


Micro v Macro, Feedback loops, Revision Plans.

Writing Due: Blog Post #5 – Revision Plan

W   04/29


Discourse Communities, Research, and Argument “The Florida Shuffle” by Colton Wooten.

M    05/04



Syllabus Catch Up Day.


Writing Due: Final Draft #3 (Reflection)

W   05/06 Revisiting Genres. “Leaving Prison at 72” by Rick Rojas. Vice video piece.

M    05/11



Putting it All Together


Reflecting vis-à-vis learning objectives.

W   05/13


Peer Review Group Workshop.

Writing Due: Draft of Final Reflection

F 05/15 Reading Day. No Classes.  


Final Exam Week.
M    5/18  

Final Thoughts.


Workshop day. Bring in Portfolio materials, including reflection drafts.

W    5/20 Final Thoughts. In-class writing activities.


Th 05/28 Final Grades Due




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