NYCCT — New York City College of Technology

(“City Tech”) CUNY


SEMESTER: Fall 2017

COURSE: ENG 1101 English Composition I

Section LC32

Rooms: Voorhees 323 (Lecture) and Voorhees 326 (Lab).

Times: Tues 10:00AM–11:15AM (Lect); Thurs 10:00AM–11:15AM (Lect) and 11:30AM–12:20PM (Lab)

Professor: Sarah Schmerler

E-mail Contact for Professor:

Office Hours: Thurs 1–2PM Campus Bookstore.

This semester’s OpenLab course site for assignments and information:

Course Description:

English Composition I is a course in effective essay writing and basic research techniques, including the use of the library. A broad array of readings from diverse sources (periodicals, books, newspapers) are assigned as the basis for in-class discussion and for essay writing. CUNY certification in reading and writing is the prerequisite for this course. Through discussion, reading, writing in drafts, collaborating, revising, and presenting work, students will learn to:

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.

Draft, revise, and proofread essays of various modes of writing, including narration, description, comparison, argumentation, analysis, and reflection.

Use writing as a process of discovery and build habits of critical thinking.

Foster and develop a personal writing style.

Read actively, carefully, and thoroughly, looking at details and at the piece as a whole.

Formulate questions as part of the reading process in anticipation of class discussions.

Demonstrate the ability to summarize, paraphrase, quote from, and argue with assigned readings.

Formulate original ideas and relate them to the ideas of others by employing the conventions of ethical attribution and citation.

Course Objectives:

Students will be expected to:

Participate at least one hour a week in a Real Time Writers’ Hour (known as “RTWH” or “Lab”) during which students will learn how to both professionally and ethically present and respond to writing in a group setting. RTWH Rules must be followed (given below). Our Lab time is a safe space for peer review; it is important that we become helpful listeners and mindful critics as well as a confident writers.

Draft and revise a range of formal and informal writing assignments and writing projects both inside the classroom and outside of class in a variety of genres and modes to meet appropriate rhetorical purposes related to academic inquiry, totaling, at minimum, 2500 words. Two or more of these assignments or projects must include the use of thesis statements and incorporate the ideas and words of other writers as exhibited through the use of textual evidence, summarizing, paraphrasing, and quoting.

Draft and revise a researched writing assignment or project that includes the incorporation of material from library resources and databases and includes the use of methods of citation and attribution appropriate to specific discipline.

Read, analyze, and interpret essays and texts across a variety of genres, disciplines, and media for the purposes of academic inquiry, rhetorical and textual analysis, and understanding, improving, and critiquing writing processes and reading strategies.

Submit drafts of work for instructor and peer review so students can be introduced to the various stages of writing and revising as a process, as well as be assessed on their ability to develop and revise formal writing assignments.

Understand how to apply and use the basic structure and conventions of Standard Written English (SWE) and exhibit basic competency in SWE.

Pass a departmental final exam.

Lab – Heretofore known as “The Conversation” or “RTWH” or “Reading Hour” – Rules:

Our writing lab is a safe space. We do not discuss the personal information we learn here about our fellow writers outside of class. When responding to a fellow writers’ work, we always say something positive, first, before offering criticism. When offering criticism, we strive to be constructive and to the point at hand (in Latin, “ad rem”) not personal or petty or generically critical (“ad hominem” — to the person). Whenever possible, we make eye contact with, and directly address, the writer, taking personal responsibility for our comments and opinions.

Course Requirements and Supplies:

Access to computer, Internet, and printer

One Lined Notebook in which to do your Class Participation Assignments

One portable journal for doing take-home writing assignments

Pen, Pencils (bring to class every day)

A binder with folders for handouts, in which you can collate your Class Participation Assignments, Homework, and related Handouts – this will be shown to Professor at points during the semester to check your Class Participation progress. This will constitute your “journal.”

Folder in which to keep your class readings and other handouts – for yourself

Highlighting pens in four colors: Yellow, Blue, Green, Pink

Additional readings will be handed out in hard copy in class, and may also be available via Online links as well as through our Openlab Course Site (

Access to the Circulating Collection, the Reserves, and the Databases at the Ursula C. Schwerin Library for supplemental and research materials. You must validate your CUNY Library ID.

Access to an Online writing guide, such as the Online Writing Lab:

A college-level dictionary, such as the American Heritage Dictionary—an online dictionary such as can suffice—please be ready to use either or both during class time.

Other Apps for we suggest downloading: We will be using an Online Etymological Dictionary on our phones. Suggestions for apps that function the same as the Online version can be downloaded (see MATERIALS on our course site). Also, please download the Shazam app (see MATERIALS) and be prepared to use in class.

Subscription to The New York Times (this is free to CUNY students and the details of how to sign up are on our website).

Attendance: Attendance is mandatory in this discussion-based course. Arriving late, leaving during class, or leaving early, depending on the circumstance, can count as an absence. City Tech’s policy states that four or more absences will result in a failing grade. Absence is not an excuse for missing or late work; you must get class notes from a classmate and keep up with your reading and written work.  If you know that you will be unable to attend a class due to an emergency or illness, please be sure to alert me.

Participation: To meet course goals, you must participate in each class. Come prepared, bring any required books or materials, and contribute to the day’s activity. Your physical presence is not enough! If you do not contribute to the discussion, workshop, or small group activity, I will assume you are unprepared.  Please be respectful of other viewpoints or opinions in class and online. Distractions such as any non-ENG 1101 materials or cell phones are not permitted, since they will negatively affect your participation, and in turn, your success in this course.

Writing: You will be writing constantly in this class, both inside and outside of the classroom (and particularly during your CONVERSATION/RTWH (“Lab”)). There will be due dates for drafts and for finished copies of assignments, but you will be responsible for pacing your work and completing drafts. Formal assignments should be submitted in a reasonable 12-point font with one-inch margins on all sides—further details will be provided on the assignment description—unless otherwise noted. If you believe you have a legitimate reason for requesting an extension for an assignment, do so at least 24 hours before the due date. Assignments submitted late but without an extension will automatically receive a lower grade.  In-class writing will contribute to your essay assignments, and will affect your essay grade, your in-class writing grade, and your participation grade. These pieces of informal writing must be kept in a writing folder and or journal, since we will return to texts, themes, and ideas throughout the semester.

Revisions: Revisions are essential to good writing, and we will be practicing revision throughout the semester. If you would like help with this process outside of the assignments and exercises given during class time, you would best visit me during my Office Hour so that I may give you my full attention. If you would like to revise your assignment after I have graded it, you must get approval from me prior to that revision, and we will proceed, as above.

Reading: The best way to learn how to write is to read — actively, and voraciously — using both an open and a critical mind. Throughout this course, we will be reading a variety of texts together. You will also be doing more reading, independently, for your research essays. It is crucial that you keep up with the reading to be able to fully participate in class activities and discussions. Get into the habit of annotating (taking notes) in the margins of, and separately from, all your reading. We will discussing the best and most effective ways to annotate throughout the semester.

Homework: Assignments, whether for reading or writing, are due at the start of class. Please be attentive to additional assignments that will be given at the end of each class or communicated via email.

Course site: In addition to our class meetings, this class maintains a website, and students are expected to check it regularly. Here is our present site for Spring 2017:  At times, we may discuss topics as well as respond to questions on the course site. You will need your City Tech email account to create an account on the OpenLab. You must check this site to keep up with your homework assignments, and announcements, including announcements about required readings.

Grading: Your course grade will be calculated based on the following Grading Rubric; missing any component will result in a lower grade. Passing ENG 1101 is contingent upon attendance, satisfactory class participation, the successful completion of assignments, and the final exam.

Grading Rubric:

Class Participation (includes all journal entries; weekly The Conversation/Real Time Writers’ Hour (“Lab”) assignments; short take-home assignments; weekly assigned readings from textbook and photocopies; meaningful contribution to in-class discussions): 20%

A UNIT of THREE SHORT ESSAYS, worth a total of 30%, broken down as follows*:

500-word short essay draft #1: 10%

500-word short essay draft #2: 10%

500-word short essay draft #3: 10%

Midterm Exam (completed in class in essay form; open dictionary allowed): 15%

Final Research Project (app. 2,000 words): 20% — Note: a First Draft of this paper must be submitted prior for grade.

Final Exam: 15%

*(The above 3-ESSAY UNIT is designed to help you to successfully complete your Final Research Paper Project; themes and motivations found in these papers will be developed over time, hence you will want to keep them on hand to refer back to them during the semester.)

Support: Please do not hesitate to speak with me during my office hours or by appointment—this is one of the most direct and effective ways to improve your work, seek advice, and alert me to any issues, concerns, or questions. There are many other avenues of support at City Tech, including your Learning Community peer advisor, the College Learning Center, the Academic Advisement Center, and the Counseling Service Center. Students with disabilities should consult with the Student Support Services Program for documentation and support, and should speak with me privately to coordinate appropriate accommodations.

The Conversation/RTWH — “Real Time Writers’ Hour”/”Reading Hour” (also known as “Lab”): An additional 50 minutes of writing time has been built into this course, and we will be making the most of it, reading and responding to our peers’ work in real time. After the appointed class break time (depending on the day), student chairs will be reconfigured into a semi-circle, such that all sight-lines to our fellow students are clear. The Instructor, who is the facilitator of the RTWH, has veto power and helms the RTWH. RTWH is the your time; use it for improving your skills, facing down any writing issues you may harbor, and developing your voice. Remember that during this lab time we also acquire the means to become respectful readers, listeners, and responders.

Academic Integrity:

Policy on 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.” Plagiarism, the act of presenting another person’s ideas, research, or writing as your own, whether intentionally or unintentionally, is not tolerated at City Tech. Using proper documentation (and thorough textual analysis will help you avoid plagiarism. Any cases of plagiarism or other forms of academic dishonesty will result in a grade of zero and appropriate measures taken. Please familiarize yourself with City Tech’s academic honesty policies: If you are confused or have any questions about what plagiarism is and how you might avoid it, please contact me before your assignment is due.