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Syllabus FAQ

Syllabus: FAQ Version


What is ENG 1101?

Course Description

This composition course provides all students with effective essay writing skills and basic research techniques, including an introduction to using our college library. Demanding readings assigned for classroom discussion will serve as a basis for essay writing and developing skills for critical and effective reading. Nearly all first year students at City Tech take this core course. Learning how to write well and to think critically during your first semester will help you do well in all of your classes. The “prerequisite” (required competency) for enrolling in ENG 1101 isCUNY proficiency in reading and writing

How can I contact my instructor during or in-between class sessions?

Faculty Contact Information

Name: Professor Sarah Schmerler

Email address: sschmerler@citytech.cuny.edu

What are “office hours”? When are your office hours?

My online office hours: Mondays 9:45AM–10:15AM and Tuesdays 11:00AM–12:30PM on Zoom.

Why You Should Use Office Hours

I honestly think that Office Hour is one of the best parts of teaching and learning. During office hours, you can speak with me outside of class about questions you have for this course, about assignments or expectations, to receive extra feedback on assigned work, and any other course related issues you may have. Maybe you feel overwhelmed? Here is where you can totally get my ear and I really want to help.

In a traditional in-person class, the office hours are conducted in my office — well, I never really had my own office, I shared one. I’d meet students at my desk in the adjunct office, or sometimes in the Cafeteria or the Bookstore. With the pandemic making this no longer an option,  “virtual office hours” are being offered on Zoom. Remember, these will be available to all students in all of the courses I teach, so you may not be the only student present, but that can be cool, too. You learn from each other.

When does our online class “meet”?

Online Class Meeting Information

We will meet on Zoom during regular class time.

This design  is modeled on a typical twice a week, semester-long course and follows the official Academic Calendar found on the college website. To re-iterate:

  • Each Monday and Wednesday at 8 am, we meet in Zoom; if, for any reason, we don’t meet “live” that week, you will get an ANNOUNCEMENT from me and probably an activity or assignment to take the place of class time.

Where will I find course material and information?

Online Learning Platforms

Our course will be facilitated online on OpenLab. It is extremely important that you familiarize yourself with our OpenLab site and find out where course materials are located.

How will I use the class OpenLab site?

On our OpenLab site you will:

  • Find Announcements and Assignments
  • Find all class reading and presentation materials
  • Create posts including your works in progress for participation in peer review activities
  • Submit your work to your STUDENT FOLDER on GoogleDrive (there will be a direct link for you)
  • Comment on your peers’ posts

The OpenLab course site constitutes our primary means of keeping in touch, so please check it regularly.  You must also check your CUNY email! Please contact IT Tech Support or OpenLab support if you are having trouble!

Course Readings and Texts

We will have many readings and course materials, all of which will be made available on this  OpenLab site.  All required course materials are available at no-cost. You will also be given instructions on how to use our College library resources.

How will my grade in ENG 1101 be determined?

Grading Policy and Breakdown

Your grade will be assessed based on two primary components.

  • The Final Portfolio (70%), which will include revisions of the major essays
  • Homework and Participation (30%), which will include all class discussion and weekly low-stakes homework assignments.

What is in the Final Portfolio?

All assignments are found under WEEKLY ASSIGNMENT FOLDERS on the course OpenLab site. The assignments in your Final Portfolio will be worth 60% of your final grade, with the grade breakdown as follows:

Unit One: 20% (Literacy Narrative)

Unit Two: 20% (Annotated Bibliography)

Unit Three: 20% (Exploring a New Genre/Multi-Modal Composing)

Final Reflection: 10% (Reviewing what you have learned in ENG 1101)

All of the above represent  70%  of your overall course grade. Please note that you will have the opportunity to revise units one and two — and if there is time, three — for the final portfolio. When you resubmit revisions, you will be able to improve your grade on those units.

Grading policy for Class Participation

You’ll see that your class participation and homework count for 30% (30 possible points) of your grade in this class. How is this calculated?

Attendance on Zoom: I see if you are attending regularly

Active Participation on Zoom: I take note of whether or not you are contributing meaningfully to our classroom discussion and exercises

Weekly Homework Assignments: You have approximately 12-14 short weekly homework assignments.

Your total Zoom activity can earn you 16 points, total. The short homework assignments must be completed on time and are worth between 1and 3  points each.

How will you assess my grade in class participation on Zoom?

I pay close attention to who makes our Zoom class time more meaningful with their discussion and their efforts. If you demonstrate that you are truly engaged during Zoom time – with your camera ON and talking and responding and the like, then I reward you. Look at this from the teacher’s perspective: How else will I know that students are even THERE?

How will you assess my grade in class participation for Weekly Homework?

Weekly homework assignments are moderate to light work — taking no more than two or three hours per assignment. They are “low-stakes” assignments (generally worth 1.0 to 3.0 points each), and are graded rather liberally, that is to say, with less attention to grammar and punctuation and structure than your major assignments.

A Note on Attendance

I love an awake, active, fun class, and you should, too. I watch on Zoom to see who is helping the time along, and who is not. I respect the fact that this class is early (!) and always try to give breaks. I often call attendance more than once a class period, so if you think you can keep your camera off, ghost attend, or just not come back after a break: forget it!

How can I keep track of my assignments and work that needs to be done?

  • An overall SCHEDULE is provided on the course site with major due dates under “Course Info”
  • You must also check the WEEKLY ASSIGNMENT FOLDERS and the ANNOUNCEMENTS using the menu at the top of the OpenLab Site

What criteria did the instructor use to design this course and the assignments?

ENG 1101 Departmental Learning Outcomes

These materials and the course structure were designed to meet  learning outcomes (course goals)  developed by the English Department 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, etc.).

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.

University Policies

Where can students find out about the extra learning accommodations at the College? How do I sign up?

Accessibility Statement

 Your success in this class is important to me. We all need different accommodations because we all learn differently. If there are aspects of this course that prevent you from learning or exclude you, please let me know as soon as possible. Together we’ll develop strategies to meet both your needs and the requirements of the course. I encourage you to visit or contact The Center for Student Accessibility to determine how you could improve your learning as well. If you need official accommodations, you have a right to have these met. 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. The Center for Student Accessibility is located at 300 Jay Street room L-237, or can be reached at (718)260-5143 or http://www.citytech.cuny.edu/accessibility/.

What constitutes as plagiarism and how can I avoid it?

Never ever plagiarize in my course. What is plagiarism? Read this for starters.  I will give you a failing grade for the assignment in which you copied and if you do it two more times I will fail you from the whole course. I run all your work through an Online plagiarism checker, in case you were wondering. I also look to see that you are not copying from your fellow students on OpenLab.

The Student Handbook describes the terrible consequences of plagiarism — for instance, the fact that I am required to report you to higher authorities and that this report goes on your academic record and, if you abuse plagiarism, it could ultimately get you expelled from school.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism Statement

 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 at New York City College of Technology and is punishable by penalties, including failing grades, suspension, and expulsion.

How can I get extra writing help on my assignments?

Writing Center

For one-on-one help with your writing assignments, send an email to  CityTechWritingCenter@gmail.com requesting an appointment. You will receive an automatic reply with information about available tutoring sessions.

What if my health or other conditions surrounding the COVID-19 Pandemic unexpectedly deteriorate over the course of this fall semester? Will I have to drop the course?

Self-Care Statement

There isn’t a handbook for the situation we are in right now as a state and a nation, and the resultant uncertainty can be stressful. We need to recognize the toll this situation might be taking on us and be compassionate with ourselves and with others. This semester, our priority will be to foster intellectual nourishment, social connection, and personal accommodation. We will remain flexible, and if we have to, we will adjust to the situation. I urge you to work with an advisor, and to check in with me as early as possible during your hardship.  (adapted from Prof. Brandon Bayne’s syllabus, UNC).

Where can I get free software for my computer?

Microsoft Office Programs

The City University of New York provides Microsoft Office 365 for Education to students at participating colleges, including City Tech via the Microsoft Office in Education program. You sign in using your Blackboard credentials (this is different than your regular CityTech email) and have online access to MS Word, Powerpoint, Excel and other programs in the MS Office Suite. You may also be eligible to download the Suite to your computer.  For more information, see this onerous link: https://www.cuny.edu/about/administration/offices/cis/technology-services/microsoft-office-365-for-education/#1559833338750-e9daad15-c010