Below please find our class syllabus, distributed on February 2, 2016.  Please note that the information recorded below is subject to change; our OpenLab site contains the most accurate, up-to-date information regarding coursework, assignments, etc.

New York City College of Technology, Spring 2016:  English 1121, Section E115

Tuesday, 6:00-8:30 PM – Namm 1004

OpenLab site:

Contact Information

Kara Hughes –

Office hours:  Wednesdays, 2:45-3:45 PM (Namm 529) and by appointment


In ENG1121, we will explore four writing tasks – summary, critical reading/critique, synthesis, and research.  Our semester will be divided into six units of focused study:

  • unit 1: annotation, MLA citation, best practices
  • unit 2: academic essays
  • unit 3: literary fiction
  • unit 4: periodical publications
  • unit 5: research project
  • unit 6: final portfolio

Units 2 through 4 will require preparation of short response papers that reflect an understanding of one or more of our writing tasks.  Unit 5 will culminate in a research paper that links something from the past with something from the present, and unit 6 will result in the creation of a final portfolio containing revisions and evidence of self-reflection.

Textbook and Readings

Behrens, Laurence M., and Leonard J. Rose. Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum, 13th edition. Upper Saddle River: Pearson, 2000. Print.

Please always bring your textbook, readings, and handouts with you to class, as we will refer to them throughout the semester.  You may also choose to bring a dictionary to assist you with any in-class writing exercises.  You must devise a system for filing the paperwork provided and created during our semester; do not discard anything until after you have received your final grade.  Further, back-up all of your own work on a thumbdrive, Dropbox, Google docs, etc.

Requirements and Classroom Rules

All students will be required to join and participate in our OpenLab community.  As our syllabus and related assignments may shift during the course of the semester, OpenLab will reflect the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding homework, coursework, etc.

In addition to adhering to the rules delineated in this syllabus, you are asked to conduct yourself diplomatically and respectfully.  Further, during class hours you are to refrain from using any electronic devices.  If you use your cell phone or other device during class, you will be asked to leave and will be counted absent.


For this section, three late marks equate to one missed class (being late is arriving more than five minutes after the start of class).  Per University policy, missing more than three total classes can be grounds for failure.  Whenever possible, please notify me of your absence before the start of class.  If you must miss a class, the onus is on you to determine what work you missed by checking our OpenLab site.


Ten points (which is the loss of a letter grade) will be deducted if you are more than five minutes late to class on the day an assignment is due.  No late work will be accepted.  If circumstances prevent you from being in class on the day an assignment is due, please contact or speak with me before the assignment is due so that we can strategize together.  Below please find a breakdown of how various components of our coursework will contribute to your final grade:

  • unit 1 homework: 5%
  • response papers: 50%
  • unit 5 research paper: 15%
  • unit 6 portfolio: 10%
  • classroom participation: 10%
  • final exam: 10%

Submission Guidelines

All work is to be typed and printed out before class unless otherwise noted; please use 12-point type, double spacing, 1-inch margins all around, no extra spacing between paragraphs, and Arial, Calibri, or Times New Roman font.  Please title your work; the title should be in 12-point font and centered, with no quotation marks, bolding, italics or underlining.  No cover page is necessary; instead, create a heading in the upper left-hand corner of your first page:  using single-spacing, please list your name, ENG1121, E115, the name of the assignment, and the due date.  Use of page numbers should begin on the second page.  After an initial warning is given in writing, failure to adhere to these guidelines will result in a grade penalty.

MLA Citation and Plagiarism

We will be using MLA (Modern Language Association) style to cite sources.

Visit the Purdue OWL website for additional information about MLA:

According to the University’s Academic Integrity code, “[p]lagiarism is the presenting of someone else’s ideas without proper credit or attribution.”  Plagiarism may be punished not only by failure in English 1121, but by suspension or dismissal from the University as well.  To allow someone else to pass off your written work as their own is another form of the same practice and may receive the same punishment.  Because the charge of plagiarism is so serious, it is important that you learn how to work with the ideas and words of other people responsibly.  If, at any stage, you are unsure about how to properly acknowledge a source, see me.

You can find the full version City Tech’s Academic Integrity policy at:

The below information is subject to change; our OpenLab site will contain the most accurate, up-to-date information regarding coursework, assignments, etc.

Date of Class Homework (due the following class period unless otherwise noted)
Feb 2 ·      Buy our textbook (you’ll need it for our next class)

·      Sign up for OpenLab

·      Read “MLA In-Text Citations” (handout)

·      Read “Quicktips: MLA documentation style” (handout)

·      Review “Proofreader’s Marks” (handout)

·      Complete quote integration exercise (handout)

·      Complete unit 1 homework

No class

Feb 9

(No Tuesday classes; today follows a Friday schedule)
Feb 16 ·      Read pages 3-25 (re: summary)

·      Read “Society is in the Mind” (handout)

·      Complete response paper 1

Feb 23 ·      Read pages 51-77 (re: critical reading)

·      Read “An ‘American’ Publishes a Magazine” (handout), annotating to reflect your critical reading reactions

·      Complete response paper 2

Mar 1 ·      Read pages 96-129 (re: explanatory synthesis)

·      Read “A Chilean Writer’s Fictions Might Include His Own Colorful Past” (handout)

·      Read “Stray Questions for:  Roberto Bolaño?!” (handout)

·      Read “Beach” (handout)

·      Complete response paper 3

Mar 8 ·      Read pages 130-173 (re: argument synthesis)

·      Read “The Other Place” (handout)

·      Read the New Yorker’s interview with Mary Gaitskill about “The Other Place” (handout)

·      Complete response paper 4

Mar 15 ·      Read “On Seeing the 100% Perfect Girl One Beautiful April Morning” (handout)

·      Read “Sleeping Beauty and the Airplane (handout)

·      Complete response paper 5

Date of Class Homework (due the following class period unless otherwise noted)
Mar 22 ·      Read pages 496-498 (“A Psychology of a Rumor”)

·      Read pages 512-516 (“How to Fight a Rumor”)

·      Read pages 499-503 (“’Paul is Dead!’ (Said Fred)”)

·      Complete response paper 6

Note! The Literary Arts Festival will be held on Thursday, March 24

Mar 29 ·      Watch “Do What You Love” speech (see page 461 for details)

·      Read pages 463-465 (“Do What You Love #@&** That!”)

·      Read pages 466-467 (“Dear Grads:  Don’t Do What You Love”)

·      Read pages 468-472 (“In the Name of Love”)

·      Complete response paper 7

Apr 5 ·      Think through your research paper (due May 3)

·      Come to class with a preliminary topic and working bibliography

·      Note!  You may only get started writing after your topic has been approved by me (either during class or via OpenLab)

Apr 12 ·      Continue researching/writing

·      Bring all relevant work with you to class

Apr 19 ·      Complete your research paper
No class 

April 26

(No classes school-wide; spring recess April 22-30)
May 3 ·      Begin working on your final portfolio (due May 17)

·      Bring all relevant work with you to class

May 10 ·      Complete your final portfolio
May 17 ·      Read “Do You Really Remember Where You Were on 9/11?” (handout)

·      Read commentary on George Fisher and Barbara Tversky’s talk, “The Problem with Eyewitness Testimony” (handout)

·      Annotate, summarize, and critique the articles

·      Bring the articles with you to class, and be prepared to synthesize them

·      Note!  You may also bring your textbook, which you are welcome to use as a reference during our in-class final exam

May 24 ·      Congratulations; you’re all finished!


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