English ENG 1101 -OL31  Course Syllabus Spring 2021

Professor: Sarah Schmerler

Office Phone: (718) 260-5392

Office: Namm 519; Office Hours: TBA on Zoom

Email: sschmerler@citytech.cuny.edu

Meeting Time: TUES and THURS 10:00AM-11:40AM on Zoom (links located here)

Office Hours: TBA on Zoom

COURSE WEBSITE is on OpenLab — NOT on Blackboard!: https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/schmerlereng1101secol31spring2021/

Welcome to City Tech and English 1101. We are living through a very difficult time in our city, country, and world, and trying to adapt. In our class, we will prioritize intellectual nourishment, community, and humanity. 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: 

A course in effective essay writing and basic research techniques including use of the library. Demanding readings assigned for classroom discussion and as a basis for writing and completing assignments.

Every City Tech (and CUNY) student takes 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 be reading pieces both for their inherent literary value and also 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.


CUNY proficiency in reading and writing 

Course Meetings:

This course will meet twice a week Online on Zoom. These class meetings are REQUIRED. The Zoom links will be provided on our OpenLab site under “ZOOM LINKS.” You will be expected to have your video on, and be ready to do work in real time. If you do not have a computer or your work space poses a challenge, you should reach out to me.  I very much understand that this is a challenging time. However: Do not wait until mid-semester to identify your participation issues.
You will have homework due each week. I will post all the homework for each week by noon on Tuesdays. This work is also required! As the semester progresses, we may begin to work asynchronously on individual projects and assignments. OpenLab will time and date stamp your posts, so I will know if you are contributing your work in a timely fashion. All of the above counts towards your Class Participation grade.


Course Website: 

This course will take place online (see our opening announcements for how to join our work and get on OpenLab). It is extremely important that you familiarize yourself with our website and find out where everything is. This is where you will find your assignments and post your homework as well as finished units.  This is how we’ll keep in touch, so please check in frequently! You are responsible for being up-to-date and knowing what is on our course site.  Please contact me if you are having trouble!

Readings / Text: 

This is a Zero-Cost class.  All course readings can be found on the course website under COURSE RESOURCES=>READINGS.


Your grade will be split into two major components: 1.The Final Portfolio, which will include revisions of all your major essays, and 2.Class Participation/Homework, which will include all Zoom attendance, class discussions, homework assignments and basically everything else you post online.  

Final Portfolio: 60%

The Final Portfolio will comprise 60% of your grade for this course. There is no final exam in this course. You MUST complete a Final Portfolio before Exam Week to adequately pass this class. Your Final Portfolio will be worth 60% of your final grade, with the grade breakdown as follows:

  • Unit One: 10%*
  • Unit Two: 20%*
  • Unit Three: 20%
  • Reflection: 10%
  • Total: 60%

*Please note that you will be expected to revise Units 1 and 2 for the Final Portfolio. When you resubmit these, you will be able to improve any grade you received for them earlier in the semester

Participation/ Homework: 40%

In-class attendance and participation and asynchronous weekly homework count for 40% of your grade in this class.  

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 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, namely: homework.

How will weekly homework be graded?

More or less, if you do the homework thoughtfully and thoroughly and on time, you’ll get full credit. Weekly homework assignments are low-stakes assignments and are there is no expectation for revision.


Even in an online class, you have to show up. I take attendance on Zoom, and I note the date and time you post your asynchronous homework on OpenLab. In addition to attending live classes, it is your responsibility to check in at least three times a week on OpenLab to keep up with discussions, announcements, and other pertinent info.

Tutoring/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.


The Campus Counseling Services Center is available to City Tech students remotely via ZOOM conferencing, telephone or email. Contact them as soon as you feel you need support.

e-mail: Counseling@citytech.cuny.edu
phone: 718-260-5030

Course Tools and Required Materials:

Access to a computer with videocam and microphone fully functional

A Google Account that will give you easy access to GoogleDrive and the ability to create and share documents there in your STUDENT FOLDER — the folder that will house all of the assignments you write and submit for this class.

Fluency in the use of GoogleDrive and GoogleDocument sharing

Access to OpenLab, the ability to join our OpenLab course site, and access to our READINGS page on our course site (you should consider bookmarking important pages on our site like READINGS, ZOOM LINKS, and ANNOUNCEMENTS for easy access!)

The ability to access and fully use the Ursula C. Schwerein Library at CityTech Online

A fully functioning CityTech e-mail account that you check regularly

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, 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.

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. And we will remain flexible, and if we have to, we will adjust to the situation. (Adapted from Prof. Brandon Bayne’s syllabus, UNC)



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. //

The College’s Statement on Accessibility: 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 Accessibility@citytech.cuny.edu or visit the Center’s website at  http://www.citytech.cuny.edu/accessibility/ for more information.

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.

Microsoft Office: 

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 LINK .