Course Policies

¬†Course Policy for ENG 1101‚ÄĒEnglish Composition 1

Course Title: Reading and Writing about Education, Photography, and Place

Section: D345/C345, Spring 2015

Time: Lab: 10:00¬†‚Äď 10:50 (Mon); Place:¬†Midway 205

Class: 11:00¬†‚Äď 12:45 (Mon/Wed); Place:¬†Midway 206

Instructor: Professor Sean Scanlan


Course Website:

Office Hours: Mon 4:00 ‚Äď 5:00, Tues 3:00 ‚Äď 4:00, and by appointment

Office: Namm 520, (718) 260-5123


This is a course in effective essay writing and basic research techniques, including the use of the library. College-level readings are assigned for classroom discussion and essay writing. In addition, we will utilize a new digital platform called OpenLab, which will help us to engage with our writing, ideas, and images and with the world outside of the classroom.

About the Lab. Beginning this fall, City Tech has inaugurated a one-hour writing lab that will help our college match other the four-hour compositions courses at other senior CUNY colleges. This writing lab portion of our class is for practice, reinforcement, and detailed help with the skills necessary to advance one’s critical reading and writing skills. In our lab, we will improve our editing, revision, and proofreading skills; and we will also learn and practice different forms of advanced sentence and paragraph structures.

Prerequisite: CUNY certification in reading and writing

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

  1. Write clearer and more logical sentences using correct spelling, conventional punctuation, and standard grammar and syntax;
  1. Paraphrase, summarize, and quote effectively;
  2. Develop active reading skills and to understand audience;
  3. Critically read one’s own writing and that of peers and professionals;
  4. 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;
  1. Write a research paper that presents a thesis, develops an argument, and properly incorporates and cites secondary source material;
  1. 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 assignment, class discussion, and group workshops
  2. Use of journals for freewriting, reading responses, at-home reflection, and gathering material for formal and informal writing assignments
  1. Review of grammar and punctuation rules as necessary



  1. Brief in-class and take-home assignments: freewriting, journal entries, summaries, and other informal assignments (Blog entries and comments on the OpenLab)
  1. Three formal essays: many of your in-class and take-home assignments will be preparatory work for these essays.
  1. Examinations: the mid-term and final are both in-class exams.
  2. 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. Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt, 2014. Print.¬†ISBN: 9781465228314 ¬†(Revised Third Edition) Note: Make sure to buy the Revised Third Edition as it is different from prior editions. Look for the vivid cover painting by Jos√© Parl√° titled ‚ÄúOur History,‚ÄĚ and check the publication date on the publisher‚Äôs information page.

This textbook and other supplies are available at the City Tech bookstore (259 Adams St.)

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.

 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, and they must use standard college-level grammar, spelling, and punctuation. 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.


Final grades are determined by the following:

  • Three Essays: (60%)
  1. Education and Intellectual Home Essay      15%      (argument)
  2. Describing/Comparing Photographs            15%      (photography essay)
  3. Research Essay (2 parts)                                 30%     (argument/research; NYC-centered)


  • Journals (7) and Quizzes (3) ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬†12%
  • Participation 10%
  • Mid-term Exam ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† 8% ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†(in class)
  • Final Exam ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†10% ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†(in class)





  1. Attendance: Attendance is mandatory in this discussion-based course. Arriving late or leaving early will count as a partial absence. City Tech’s policy states that five of more absences will result in a WU grade for a course that meets three times each week. I will not grant excused absences since four absences are permitted without penalty. Being absent is not an excuse for missing or late work: you must get notes from a classmate and keep up with the assignments.
  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. If you do not have access to Microsoft Word, you can use Google Docs for free( or Open Office for free (
  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.
  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.


  1. Portfolio: Each student must keep all of his/her writing for the course. I will collect a portfolio of your work near the end of the semester.
  1. 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 at: (pp. 89-92).

 New York City College of Technology 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. The complete text of the College policy on Academic Integrity may be found in the catalog.

  1. Be on time:tardiness disrupts the entire class.¬†Come prepared:¬†turn off/silence all gadgets, please (see page 74 of the student handbook: ‚ÄúThe use of cell phones is prohibited in classrooms, labs, the library, all theatres, and any other areas where instruction or an organized function is taking place.‚ÄĚ) 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 5 points (participation is worth 10%).
  1. 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 G-18, Director: Judith Rockway, Phone: 718-260-5874.



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