UPDATED Course Policy for ENG 1121‚ÄĒEnglish Composition 2-APRIL 2, 2020


Course Title: Composition 2: You, NYC,  and Literature

Section: D398

Time: ONLINE, BUT WE “MEET” ON MONDAYS AND WEDNESDAYS FROM 9 – 9:45. Students are expected to attend one session per week. Extra credit points will be awarded for attending both sessions. This new class idea is subject to revision and change. Students who cannot attend either session need to contact me as soon as possible.¬†

Place: ONLINE  (previously Namm 517)

Instructor: Sean Scanlan, PhD

Email: sscanlan@citytech.cuny.edu

Course Website: https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/profscanlan-english1121-d398-spring2020/

Office Hours: I’m changing my ideas on office hours. In March, I wanted to hold optional office hours on Zoom. Now, I want to hold two set class meetings per week. If students would like one-on-one writing help, then we can use email, phone, text, and possibly Zoom. Please contact if you have questions.

Office: Namm 511, (718) 260-5123


In English 1121, we will continue the work we began in English 1101. We will work on developing critical reading and writing skills as we write about works of literature. We will discuss three literary genres: non-fiction essays, poetry, and fiction. Assignments will require students to write in different styles such as summary, citation, exposition, analysis, comparison, and research. In addition, we will utilize a new digital platform called OpenLab, which will help us to engage with each other’s writing and world outside of the classroom.

Prerequisite: ENG1101

Performance Objectives: By the end of this course you will be able to:

  1. Write clearer and more logical sentences using conventional spelling, conventional punctuation, and standard grammar and syntax;
  2. Paraphrase, summarize, and quote effectively;
  3. Develop active reading skills and to understand audience;
  4. Critically read one’s own writing and that of peers and professionals;
  5. Competently engage in various modes of writing and analyzing including: narration and description, comparison and contrast, definition, cause and effect, division and classification, argument and persuasion;
  6. Write a research paper that presents a thesis, develops an argument, properly incorporates and cites secondary source material, and uses Modern Language Association (MLA) citation, formatting, and style.
  7. Appreciate writing as a source of power and satisfaction as well as the means for success in academia and career advancement.

Performance Objectives: By the end of this course you will not be able to:

  1. Answer every question (nor will all your questions be answered);
  2. Understand everything;
  3. Write in every academic style that you will need in the future;
  4. Claim that you are done building your professional identity and professional network;
  5. Know how to write like a professional writer;
  6. Say that you are done with reading;
  7. Say that you are done with writing.


  1. Frequent reading and writing assignments, class discussions, and group workshops
  2. Use of journals for freewriting, reading responses, at-home reflection, and gathering material for formal and informal writing assignments
  3. Review of grammar and punctuation rules as necessary
  4. Interacting with online tools via OpenLab


  1. Brief in-class and take-home assignments: freewriting, quizzes, journal entries, summaries, and other informal assignments (Blog entries and comments on the OpenLab)
  2. Three formal essays: many of your in-class and take-home assignments will be preparatory work for these essays.
  3. Examinations: the final exam is in-class exam.
  4. Class participation: this course is a performance, discussion, and skills course; it is not a lecture¬†course. Your work‚ÄĒwriting, discussing, listening, critiquing‚ÄĒwill be at the center of our activities. This work requires you¬†to be here in body and mind. You should come to each class prepared to¬†speak about the assigned material.¬†Such preparation may require you to reflect on class questions,¬†concepts, and your classmates‚Äô ideas. A good¬†goal is to try to add to class discussion with at least¬†one substantial comment or question during each class.¬†Be proactive.¬†If you are absent, it is your¬†responsibility to get notes, assignment sheets, etc. from a classmate.¬†When you are absent, you¬†should email me and perhaps to set up an office visit.

Required Texts:

Juanita But, Mark Noonan, and Sean Scanlan, eds. The Place Where We Dwell: Reading and Writing About New York City. Kendall Hunt, 2014. Note: this textbook is only available in print version.

(ISBN: 978-1-4652-2831-4). Cost is about $62.00 (new). This text is available used and for rent.

This textbooks and other supplies are available at the City Tech bookstore (General  Bldg. 259 Adams St.). It may also be available on sites like Amazon.com, but make sure to get the correct version (2014).

What! No grammar textbook? While students are not required to purchase a grammar book for this course, we will discuss grammar frequently. In order to help us improve and understand college-level grammar, we will use a free, online grammar guide called Purdue OWL, published by Purdue University. http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/

 Other Materials: 

Bring to class one sturdy notebook with paper for notes and at least one folder with pockets for handouts/assignments. Both spiral-bound or 3-ring are acceptable. You must devise a system to record, store, and organize the course materials. It is very important that you save all of your work for this class. Devise a filing system that allows you to maintain prior drafts and final copies of all major assignments, as well as your research notes, outlines, and written evaluations. In addition to keeping a copy of your work on the hard drive of your computer, save all drafts of assignments on a stable format such as a flash drive or on a remote hard drive/server such as iCloud, Dropbox, or Google Docs. Never throw away or delete drafts or notes until after you have received your final grade. Computer/Printer malfunctions are not viable excuses for late or lost work.

 Assignments and Grading: 

Completing all the required elements in good order and form constitutes the average, or a C. To raise your grade above this average, you will need to invest your time, talents, and energies to add insightful commentary, sound argumentative reasoning, and show initiative in your approach to scholarship. It should be understood that revision and refinement are necessary, though not the sole, qualifications for success. Each major assignment will be returned to you with specific comments and suggestions on how to improve your work. I recommend that you make an appointment to see me if you receive a grade of C- or lower.

There will be times when your expectations and my evaluation do not match. I am always willing to explain my comments on your assignments, and to discuss ways in which your work might benefit from additional effort. Lower grades most often result from misunderstanding the assignment goals, and from insufficiently realized or poor executions of these goals. I do not grade beliefs or values. If you are unhappy with a grade, or unsure as to why you received such a response to your work, please make an appointment to see me.

All Three Essays must be typed, use standard college-level grammar, spelling, and punctuation, and use Modern Language Association citation, formatting, and style. Computer spell and grammar checkers help to spot some errors (but not all). In general, use carefully divided and constructed paragraphs and full sentences. The content should logically progress from one idea to the next in such a way that the entire essay has a clear beginning, middle, and end.




  1. Your NYC                                                 15%      (Argument, Comparison)
  2. Poetry Explication                              20%      (Analysis, Comparison, Interview)
  3. Literary Research                               25%      (Literary Research and Analysis)
  • Journals (6) and Quizzes (4)¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†15%¬† ¬† ¬† (I’ve decreased this from 20%)
  • Participation, Homework, Coffeehouse¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†15%¬† ¬† ¬† Participation beginning March 23rd will counted through Coffeehouse posts and comments. (I’ve increased this from 10%)
  • Final Exam¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† 10% ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†This exam will be an “at home” exam. Details are forthcoming.


Revision Policy: students may revise the first two major essays. Such revisions must be submitted, at the latest, two weeks before the end of the semester (May 20). The overall grade for the essay will be the average of the original essay grade and the revised essay grade. UPDATES:¬† It is likely that the final date to turn in work will be extended past our last day of class–which is May 20th. So, I will probably extend the revision policy. Stay tuned for more on this topic.


  1. Attendance: Attendance and class participation are essential, and excessive absences may affect the final grade. Being absent is not an excuse for missing or late work: students must get notes from a classmate and keep up with the assignments. Students who miss a class should email me to get back on track. UPDATE: I’m not sure how this will work after March 23rd, but I want to give credit to those students who attend my Monday and Wednesday class sessions on Zoom.
  1. Drafts and Typing: The three essays will require organization, honesty, and clarity. In order to practice the process of writing, the essays will require drafts. If you have word processing questions, please ask me. City Tech students have free access to Microsoft Word. In addition, you can use Google Docs for free (https://docs.google.com/) or Open Office for free (www.openoffice.org/). UPDATE: If students have difficulty with using these formats because of internet connection issues, I will accept work that is typed in the body of an email. Please contact me if you have questions or problems with submitting work.
  1. Late Papers and homework: Two full letter grades (20 points) will be deducted for each day that an assignment is late. After three days, the assignment will be recorded as a ‚Äú0.‚ÄĚ UPDATE: Beginning March 23, I will provide a “soft” turn in date. This means that I want and hope each student can turn in the work by these due dates. But, if a student cannot meet these due dates, then they need to contact me so that we can work out an arrangement that will not become a penalty.¬† My goal is to help all students finish the semester on a positive note. So, I will accept late work. City Tech official policy on this is due to change in the coming weeks. I will relay the new rules.
  1. Homework Requirement:According to Federal eligibility requirements for a college or university in the US, 3 hours of in-class contact time require approximately 6 hours of homework, study, and/or preparation per week. This is a CUNY standard. And this requirement is also referred to as a Carnegie Unit.

[See: https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ous/international/usnei/us/credits.doc]

5. College Policy on Academic Integrity:¬† ‚ÄúStudents 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.‚ÄĚ

Plagiarism: Is the unauthorized use of another person’s ideas, language, or research as your own, whether intentionally or unintentionally. City Tech does not tolerate plagiarism. Using proper documentation and textual analysis will help you avoid plagiarism. If you have any questions about plagiarism, please ask me. Any cases of plagiarism or other forms of academic dishonesty will result in a failing grade and appropriate administrative measures. Please familiarize yourself with City Tech’s policies on academic honesty in the college catalog: http://www.citytech.cuny.edu/catalog/docs/catalog13_14_sp14ver.pdf

Plagiarism is the act of presenting another person‚Äôs ideas, research or writings as your own. The following are some examples of plagiarism, but by no means is it an exhaustive list: ‚ÄĘ Copying another person‚Äôs actual words without the use of quotation marks and footnotes attributing the words to their source. ‚ÄĘ Presenting another person‚Äôs ideas or theories in your own words without acknowledging the source. ‚ÄĘ Using information that is not common knowledge without acknowledging the source. ‚ÄĘ Failing to acknowledge collaborators on homework and laboratory assignments.

6. Be on time: tardiness disrupts the entire class. Come prepared: turn off/silence all gadgets. Texting is not allowed my class. There may be times when we discuss the role of digital technologies as a tool for learning and instructions, but, as a general rule, if you are on your phone/tablet/device without permission and without regard for the classroom activity, you will be asked to put your device away. Each time a student is asked to put away a device, he or she will have their overall participation grade lowered by 10 points (participation is worth 10%). If you are a primary care giver, please contact me about cell phone use.

7. The Atrium Learning Center: I encourage all students to take advantage of the writing tutors at the Learning Center. This is an excellent recourse for writers of all abilities. ATRIUM LEARNING CENTER: Atrium Building LG-18: https://www.citytech.cuny.edu/alc/writing.aspx


UPDATE: The English Department is running a new Writing Center. It is open for distance learning help concerning writing and literature. Students needing writing help should email CityTechWritingCenter@gmail.com, and they will receive a fast response.


8. 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 http://www.citytech.cuny.edu/accessibility/.