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Fall 2023 New York College of Technology CUNY

English 1101 Freshman Composition I

ENG 1101 Section D448

Professor:  Lisa Wu


Course Meeting Times:

  • Monday/Wednesday 12:00 noon to 1:40PM
  • Namm Room 523A
  • Office Hours:  M/W in our classroom 523 A before/after class
    • 9:40 – 10:00
    • 11:40 – 12:00 noon
    • 1:40 – 2:00
    • and by appointment.




Welcome to City Tech and English 1101 Freshman Composition I. In our class, we will prioritize intellectual nourishment and community. 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.

Course Description

Every City Tech (and CUNY) student takes English 1101 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 learn basic research techniques including library use. We will be reading pieces both for their inherent literary and informational value and 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.

In addition to the English 1101 coursework, we will dedicate time to strengthening fundamental reading and writing skills. We will focus on enhancing vocabulary and critical reading skills, writing as a process, improving grammar and punctuation skills, and cultivating positive habits for college success, including note-taking and study skills.


In-Person Class 

Students must commit to scheduled class times.  I am asking students to arrive in the classroom at least 5 minutes early, so we can start on time.  During these classes, students will engage with the instructor and each other with lessons, presentations, group activities, and discussions. We will also have an online component on Open Lab.  Open Lab is an open-access digital community designed for City Tech. Active participation both in class and on the course website is an essential part of the learning process and is required of all enrolled students. A student who, for any reason, engages in non-class related activities during scheduled class times forfeits and loses the benefit of the education being provided.

Course Website on Open Lab

  • This course will take place physically in-person on campus. We will meet on Mondays and Wednesdays 12:00 noon – 1:40PM in Namm Building Room 523A. Our homework, class readings, and announcements will be posted on our Open Lab course website. It is extremely important that you familiarize yourself with our course website. This is where you will find the class syllabus, weekly schedule, class readings, assignments, and this is where you will post your homework as well as the three major unit projects.  I have also posted valuable student resources on our course website.  Please check announcements 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!

Students will post their writings on the Open Lab.  This is an OPEN lab. We will share our writing and learn from each other.  At times, student work will be discussed in class, so that we can all learn from each other.  If you do not want to share something, then do not write it into your work.

Tools & Materials

  • Open Lab Registration and Open Lab Course Website (Course readings are posted here.)
  • Zoom
  • Email (check your City Tech email daily) Get your City Tech Email up and running!
  • Google Drive (for assignment collection)
  • Texts linked on the course schedule (no cost)
  • Dictionary (physical and/or online dictionary)
  • Physical Real Notebook for pen to paper writing, real physical folder for printouts
  • On your computer, make a folder dedicated to this class for your writing work.
  • USB for backing up your computer work.
  • Microsoft Word suggested (Get your free MS Office Suite as a City Tech student.)
  • The New York Times (Create a free NYT digital subscription with your City Tech email.)

It’s important that you read carefully and budget time for reading and re-reading the course texts (posted on Readings Page; you will printout the readings).  Some of these readings will be challenging and you should plan on re-reading and annotating the texts. Annotating means marking up your text with questions, definitions of words you are unfamiliar with, connections between ideas and paragraphs.  Re-reading and annotating texts is a great way to not only prepare for assignments, but to strengthen your critical thinking skills, which is what writing does. I encourage you to develop your vocabulary by looking up words using

Grading Breakdown

Unit 1                                                                                             20%

Unit 2                                                                                             20%

Unit 3                                                                                             20%

Final Reflection & Revisions                                                    10%

Participation                                                                                   30%

(Contributions to discussion, including reading aloud activities, Open Lab HW Posts, Rough Drafts, attendance for the FULL-ENTIRE CLASS period, submitting Open Lab HW assignments on time, being prepared with readings, extra-credit, tutoring attendance, Final Day Reading Celebration)



Regular and prompt attendance is crucial to do well in the class and helps us build community.  Being present means being present for yourself and for each other in mind, body, and spirit for the ENTIRE class period. I ask that you arrive 5 minutes early to the classroom.  Do not expect to come to class late or to leave early.  You will not be marked present for late arrivals.  I start taking attendance 5 minutes before class and I will finalize attendance at the start of each class. I expect you to participate when I call upon you – whether in the middle of class or towards the end of class — as you have committed to be in attendance for the entire class session.

If you do miss a class, it is YOUR OWN responsibility to get caught up. Some strategies for finding out what you have missed are to: contact a class buddy; reach out on the Class Social Media Chat Group; absolutelyyou should read the Announcements page.

Perfect attendance is the easiest way to boost your Participation Grade.  Poor attendance will significantly hurt your grade. In previous semesters, students who missed six or more classes received very low grades.  Most of these students received D or F grades.


You’ll see that your participation and homework count for 30% of your grade in this class.  What does this mean? How is this calculated? Why is this such a high percentage?

Let’s look at that last question first: in this class, you’re graded almost as much on your weekly low-stakes assignments as you are on your high-stakes essay assignments. 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, the homework.


How will participation/homework be graded?

Basically if you do it, you’ll get the credit.  However, you have to do the work thoroughly and thoughtfully, and you have to do it in a timely manner.  Writing is largely about discipline and routine, so this is a good way to learn that– and to earn 30% of the credit for this course.

Open Lab HW posts and in-class work is required.  By writing, we will create a sense of community.  By participating in class discussions, we will build on that community.

A lot of informal writing is required of you, mostly through the Open Lab Homework (HW) Postings.  These posts are low stakes assignments. You will have roughly 20 HW posts due over the course of the semester and ALL these count toward your Participation Grade. Grading of the homework will be completion-based. These assignments are graded 1-4, with 4 being the highest grade.  If you do the HW assignment on time and complete the HW assignment for a passing grade of 3 or 4, you will receive the full HW credit for that assignment.

We are a community of writers; we will get to know each other, and we will learn from each other.  In addition to writing your own Open Lab HW post, you are REQUIRED to comment on TWO student peers’ HW posts.

Homework must be posted by the due date.  HW submitted after the deadline will NOT receive credit and will NOT receive feedback.  A very important reason to keep up with the HW posts is that these writings will jumpstart you on the Major Unit Assignments.  Also, the feedback you receive can help you refine your ideas and improve your writing as you start the high stakes more formal assignments. 

A good working habit is to work on HW posts first as in MS Word (keeping a master copy on your computer) OR write in your physical notebook and then copy/paste from Word or notebook to the Open Lab. If for any reason, you post your HW incorrectly or in the wrong place or you inadvertently delete it and you have to re-post it, you will always have a copy!

NOTE: If you do not do all the homework posts, or if you hand them in LATE, this is a major problem and will result in a low participation grade.  

Three Major Unit Essays/Projects

There will be three major unit assignments.  Major unit assignments are due before class begins on the due date.  Turning in assignments on time is a major factor in your grade.  The Major Unit Essays/Projects must be turned in on time.

Late Major Unit Essays/Projects that are submitted after the deadline will be marked down one or more letter grade. Major Unit Essays/Projects will NOT be accepted after one week has passed from the deadline except in the cases of unusual circumstances and by special permission of the instructor.  If you are having difficulty completing a major unit assignment, please speak to me before the due date.

Again, a good working habit is to work on the Major Assignments in MS Word, keeping your own master copy on your own computer and flash drive and then copy/paste from Word to the Google Drive and to Blackboard.


  • You cannot make up missed work in the final weeks of the semester. 
  • You cannot turn in Units One and Two and Three as first-time submissions in the final weeks of the semester. Those deadlines will have passed by the end of the term.   
  • You cannot pass the class with excessive absences.

Note:  This is a very difficult course requiring your commitment from day one.  Keeping up should be your mantra!  Students who have fallen behind on the HWs have had extreme difficulty catching up.  Many were not able to finish the course.  It’s like falling into quicksand and not being able to pull yourself out.  Do not let this happen to you.

I repeat here again:  In previous semesters, students who missed six or more classes received very low grades.  Most of these students received D or F grades. 

Revision Policy

In this course, you can—and will—revise all major unit writing projects for your final portfolio (see Final Writing Portfolio). Your new grade entirely replaces your old grade. You can also revise your units sooner (in fact this is recommended) so that you can better remember and consider feedback you got.

You should NOT work on revisions inside the Google Drive.  Keep your Final Draft as it is in the Google Drive.  This is important to my grading system.  I must be able to see the changes when you revise and re-submit in the Final Writing Portfolio.  The best way to revise is to download your graded Google Drive Assignment with my teacher comments into a Word document and revise in Word keeping your own Master Copy on your computer and flash drive.  When you are ready to submit your revised works in the Final Writing Portfolio, you will upload the new and revised versions to the Google Drive in the proper Portfolio folder.

Tutoring Requirement

You are required to work with the Writing Center Tutors at least TWO times during the semester.  Students who do not fulfill the tutoring 2 visits will receive lower final course grades.  The Writing Center is a wonderful free resource and the tutors are Writing Professors who are all teaching this same exact course.  Therefore, they are familiar with the assignments and Major Unit Essays/Projects.  The best way to do well in this class is to be a regular in the Writing Center.

The Writing Center:


Students in need of computer:  If you need to borrow a CUNY computer for use at home:


Ground Rules and Best Practices

  1. 3L’s: Language, Listening, Letting others know you care. We are a community. Respect for everyone in our class (not just the professor) is crucial.
  1. Email Etiquette. Please compose your school emails as if you were writing a professional letter: include formal salutation, body, sign off.  In the subject line, write your full name and course number.  Please address me as Dear Professor Wu.  In the first sentence introduce yourself by your full name.  Then in the following sentences make your request.  Always sign off with Best wishes, or Sincerely, Your Name.   See First-Year Companion, page 100.  Here is an example:

Subject:  Jessica Castro ENG 1101 D220

Dear Professor Wu,

I am Jessica Castro from Eng 1101 D220.  I am writing to inform you that _______ OR I am writing to request permission to _____.


Jessica Castro

  1. City Tech email.  Get City Tech Email up and running and use this college email for all college correspondence and academic activity.  Get in the habit of checking it regularly, at least once a day.  You’ll be surprised what resources you’ll find there!
  2. Open Lab HW Posts. These HW posts count toward your participation grade.  Some HWs will be graded (1-4, with 4 being the maximum number of points).  Late HWs receive no credit and no teacher comments.  You are also required to comment on your peer classmates HW posts to help each other and to help us build community.  I point out that what you write in your HW post is visible to everyone in the class.
  3. Attendance. Arrive to class early (5 minutes before the start of class) ready to go at the top of the hour.  Attendance and promptness are major components of participation grade.
  4. Supplies. You’ll need a notebook (for pen on paper writing) and folder for print outs and a USB drive for your writing work.  I strongly encourage you to compose your HW posts as hand-written in your physical notebook or off-line in MS Word and then copy/paste from Word to the Open Lab HW Postings. 
  5. Printouts:  I expect you to printout the assigned readings and bring to class.  Use the computer labs where you have free printing!


English 1101 Course Specific 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).

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.


Support Resources


College Computer Centers are located:

  • Atrium Ground Level (aka Library Building Ground Level)
  • General Building 600
  • Vorhees Building 217
  • inside the Library
  • For SEEK students: SEEK Center Namm 3rd Floor, tutoring also available

College Writing Center

Online writing tutoring is available through the Writing Center at City Tech! You are REQUIRED 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!

Note: As stated above, TWO tutoring sessions are REQUIRED during the semester.  Ask your tutor to email me to verify that you attended.  Extra–credit will be given for more than the two required visits in the semester.



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. Academic advisors are able to help you navigate these paths. If you are in SEEK or ASAP or have declared your major, you have an assigned advisor with whom to schedule appointments. Others should seek out appointments with Dr. Julian Williams, Director of Liberal Arts & Sciences,


Pathways Required Common Core: English Composition

A course in this area must meet 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.

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:, or visit the Center’s website at for more information.

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.

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.