FALL 2023 ENGLISH 1101


Professor: Dr. Leigh D Gold

Email: lgold@citytech.cuny.edu

Course Location: Namm 601A

Course meeting times: Tuesdays, Thursdays 215-355

Weekly office hours: Thursdays 1230-130, Namm 520


Welcome to City Tech and English 1101.  After living through difficult years of the pandemic, it is exciting that we are here together to learn and share our experiences.  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 and we are all here to learn from one another.

Course Description:

A course in effective essay writing and basic research techniques including use of the library. Demanding readings assigned for classroom discussion and as a basis for essay writing.

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.


CUNY proficiency in reading and writing

Course Meetings:

This course will meet twice a week for an hour and forty minutes in room Namm 616.  It is crucial that we attend class as all of the work that we do is cumulative.  If you are going to miss class, please be sure to let me know, and please make sure that you get notes from a classmate.  We should all have at least one other classmate’s contact information.  Also, if you are unclear about assignments or anything that comes up in class, please come to my office hours to review any assignments, readings, or anything else.  You can also email me with questions.

It is also important that we come to class prepared.  Many times, I will ask you to respond to each other’s writing or review work together.  We will work on developing community both in class, and in our online written community– by writing. This work is also required!

Skills Site

In conjunction with the Writing Center, we have developed a skills site for all writing students, where you will find a lot of help. The site includes clear information on the grammar, the writing process, study skills and getting around City Tech. Check it out!

Course Website:

Our homework and messages from me will be on Open Lab.  It is extremely important that you familiarize yourself with our website and find out where everything is.  This is where you will find your assignments and post your homework as well as finished units.  This is how we’ll keep in touch, so please check in on the website daily!  You are responsible for being up-to-date and knowing what is on our course site.  You are also responsible for checking your CityTech email daily.  Please contact me if you are having trouble!

Inclusive Language:  

Every student has the right to be addressed by their chosen name/preferred pronouns. These are to be respected at all times.

  • If you are comfortable doing so, let me know what your pronouns are.
  • If you do not feel comfortable sharing pronouns, we will address you/refer to you in class by your chosen name.
  • Update your chosen name in City Tech’s systems: Go to the Important Forms page and complete the Preferred Name Form.

Course Tools and Required Materials:

Almost all texts for this class will be found on OpenLab.  I will be emailing all of the information about how to sign up for OpenLab—by now, you have probably read the email (and maybe even have signed up).

All readings for our course are Open Educational Resources/Zero Textbook Costs (OER/ZTC), which means instead of buying a textbook, students will use materials that are freely or openly available–at no cost to students–not only throughout the semester but after the end of the semester. These materials are linked from our OpenLab course site in the schedule and the weekly assignments.

Several of the texts we’ll read in this course are part of Core Books at CUNY, a CUNY-wide initiative funded by a Teagle Foundation grant. Reading these texts will help us engage with broad humanistic questions that we will use to inspire our writing

The New York Times (create a free Academic Pass account with your City Tech email)

Grading Breakdown:

Unit 1                                                                                                 20%

Unit 2                                                                                                 20%

Unit 3                                                                                                 20%

Final Reflection                                                                                  10%

Low-stakes Writing (Homework and In-class Exercises)                    30%

All Major Assignments (Units 1,2,3, and Final Portfolio with Reflection) must be turned in in order to pass this class!!

You’ll see that “low-stakes writing” counts for 30% of your grade in this class. What does this mean?  What is “low-stakes writing?” How is this calculated?  Why is this such a high percentage?

In this class, you’re graded almost as much on your weekly low-stakes assignments as you are on your high-stakes essay assignments.  A lot of this is the stuff we do in class as well as the less formal stuff you do at home.  This means you have to be in class to get credit for it, and you have to keep up with the day-to-day to get that 30%.

This is because in this class, you’re not learning how to write one particular paper, 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.  This is also what we will think about when we discuss the word cumulative as mentioned earlier in the syllabus.

How will low-stakes writing be graded?

More or less, if you do it, you’ll get the credit.  This means doing an assignment thoroughly and thoughtfully, and you have to do it in a timely manner. (If you’re having trouble with getting things done on time, please let me know.) Writing is largely about discipline and routine, so this is a good way to learn that– and to earn 25% of the credit for this course.

Late Paper Policy:

Major essays are due before class begins on the due date.  If you are having difficulty completing a major assignment please talk to me before it is due.


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 and in person 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.   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.

Student Success Center:

The Student Success Center is here to help all City Tech students tackle the challenges of college and keep moving forward to their degree. According to the team at the SSC, “We do this by listening to your needs, and working with you to create strategies and plans that move you closer to your goals. Come to us with any questions and we will help you get your answers.”

Additional Resources:

The Student Skills Site has a list of resources for First Year Students and the Student Success Center has a list of emergency resource services, including help with food, housing and mental health services. 

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.

Semester timeline of assignments and topics:

Week 1: Course Overview and Annotating Texts

Week 2: Understanding the Term “Education Narrative”

Week 3: Reading Plato and Working with Writing Strategies

Week 4: Drafting the Unit 1Assignment

Week 5: Drafting Continued and Peer Review

Week 6: Ending Unit 1 and Starting Unit 2/Unit 1 due (October 12th)

Week 7: Research and Working with our Research Questions

Week 8: Drafting

Week 9: Unit 2 due (Nov 2nd): Ending Unit 2 and Starting Unit 3

Week 10: Thinking about Genres

Week 11: Drafting Unit 3

Week 12: Drafting Unit 3 Continued and Peer Review

Week 13: Unit 3 due (Nov 30th): Portfolios, Revisions, Reflections

Week 14: Revisions, Reflections, Portfolio

Week 15: Conclusion

Print this page