Click on this link to download the syllabus:  Syllabus Eng 1101-D359 F 13 FYLC (Westengard)

English 1101-D359: English Composition I (Fall 2013)

First Year Learning Community: May I Be of Service?

Tuesday/Thursday 11:30-12:45, Namm 606


Professor Laura Westengard (

Office Hours: Tuesday/Thursday 9:00-10:00 am, and by appointment

Office/Mailbox Location:  Namm 503

Phone Number:  (718) 260-5761

Course Description

May I be of service? We hear these words often, but have you ever wondered what it means to “be of service?” In this learning community, you will be a part of creating a valuable online tool to serve your fellow students at City Tech! Explore the various aspects of service—in your career, at City Tech, and in the community—through field trips, event planning, even a shared meal.


Throughout the semester, we will write a series of essays in a variety of genres. Each essay will be designed to provide information to fellow City Tech students about the City Tech campus and surrounding neighborhood. For each essay, you will study examples of the genre found in the textbook and in the community and analyze them to develop a sense of their style, audience, and basic features. After doing this initial research, you will write your own essays that conform to the genre and that utilize a variety of research strategies. At the end of the semester, you will upload your revised and polished essays to a public OpenLab site that will be used as a guide for City Tech students about our campus, the Brooklyn Waterfront, and surrounding communities. 


This course focuses on effective essay writing and basic research techniques, including use of the library. Demanding readings are assigned for classroom discussion and as a basis for essay writing.

Prerequisites: CUNY certification in reading and writing.

Course Materials

Rise B. Axelrod and Charles R. Cooper. The St. Martin’s Guide to Writing, 9th edition or short 9th edition.

            Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2010.

A dictionary

A folder dedicated to this class (you will be responsible for keeping all of your in-class and homework assignments to be submitted as a prewriting packet at the end of each unit)

A notebook with lined paper dedicated to this class


Note: You should bring all of these materials to each class meeting.


Essays/Projects: 60% (10% each)

Summary and Response: Relating to your Professor

Explaining a Concept: College Skills

Profiling a Place: City Tech Places

Justifying an Evaluation: Local Grub

Experiential Learning Screenplay + Reflective Essay

May I Be of Service? Final OpenLab Project + Reflective Essay

Final Exam: 10%

Two-Part Exam, students must pass the final exam in order to pass the course

Prewriting/Participation: 30% (10% each)

Prewriting Packets (Consisting of in-class writing and homework)

Active Participation/Attendance

Quizzes/OpenLab Assignments


All essay assignments should follow MLA format. This means that all rough and final drafts must be typed, double-spaced, with 1-inch margins all around, in 12 point Times New Roman font. The first page must display student’s name, your teacher’s name (Professor Laura Westengard), the class you are in, and the date the paper is due. Every paper should have an original title.


·       I DO NOT accept late papers. All essays must be submitted by the deadline or you will get no credit for them. Because life can be unpredictable, each student will be allowed ONE “oops” paper during the semester. Your “oops” paper can be submitted up to 24 hours late with no penalty, but use this opportunity carefully because once you have used your “oops” paper all other essays must be submitted on time in order to receive credit.

·       Since writing is a process, you will submit a prewriting packet containing all of the homework and in-class work for each essay on the date the essay is due. The prewriting packet must demonstrate that you have worked through each step of the invention and peer review process assigned in class and as homework.

·       You will be responsible for peer review during class, which means that you will listen to the work of other students and offer meaningful feedback to help them make their essay as effective as possible. Preparedness for and participation in these peer review sessions will account for the bulk of your Active Participation/Attendance grade. If you do not bring a complete draft of your essay to the peer review workshop, you will receive a “0” for the workshop.

·       You are required to revise all of your essays after the peer review workshop and before you submit your final draft. You will also have to complete a conference and additional revision before posting your essay on our May I Be of Service? OpenLab Project Site.

·       All of your writing should be grammatically correct and free of spelling errors, and it should demonstrate increasingly complex critical thinking and analysis as the semester progresses. If this is a challenge for you, I encourage you to visit my office hours and the Learning Center for help throughout the semester.

Final Exam

Students must pass both parts of the final in order to pass the course. Students will be required to: A. Summarize an article given to them on the day of the exam (Part 1) B. Write a 600-word essay in response to this article that both refers to the article and reflects their own experience (Part 2).

Learning Outcomes


Read and listen critically and analytically, including identifying an argument’s major assumptions and assertions and evaluating its supporting evidence (Rhetorical Knowledge)

Shared reading, summary and response exercises, class participation, peer review workshops, OpenLab assignments

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 (Writing and Reading Processes, Knowledge of Conventions)

In-class and at-home writing assignments, reflective essays, Explaining a Concept essay,

Profiling a Place essay, Justifying an Evaluation essay, Experiential Learning Screenplay, Final Exam, peer review workshops, OpenLab assignments

Demonstrate research skills using appropriate technology, including gathering, evaluating, and synthesizing primary and secondary sources (Critical Thinking, Reading, Writing, and Researching)

Field research and interview assignments, internet research assignments, library research assignments, Explaining a Concept essay, Profiling a Place essay, Justifying an Evaluation essay

Support a thesis with well-reasoned arguments, and communicate persuasively across a variety of contexts, purposes, audiences, and media (Rhetorical Knowledge, Composing in Digital Environments, Critical Thinking, Reading, Writing, and Researching)

Explaining a Concept essay, Profiling a Place essay, Justifying an Evaluation essay, Experiential Learning Screenplay, Final Exam, OpenLab assignments, May I Be of Service? OpenLab Final Project

Formulate original ideas and relate them to the ideas of others by employing the conventions of ethical attribution and citation (Critical Thinking, Reading, Writing, and Researching, Knowledge of Conventions)

Explaining a Concept essay, Profiling a Place essay, Justifying an Evaluation essay, Experiential Learning Screenplay, Final Exam, shared reading, class discussion


This course will use OpenLab. You will be asked to post assignments and contribute to other course related activities on the English 1101-5359 OpenLab site. You must sign up for an OpenLab account, participate in activities, and check the site daily because important instructions for completing assignments, class materials, and announcements, will appear there.


In order to set up your OpenLab account, you must activate your City Tech email. I will only send or reply to email from your City Tech email address, so make sure you set it up early and check it regularly.

Active Participation

Much of the work in this class will be collaborative; therefore, your active participation is extremely important. Also, in-class writing cannot be made up, so be sure to attend class regularly. When you miss class it is your responsibility to keep up with the reading/homework and to contact your classmates to find out what you missed. In order to demonstrate that you are fully present during class, I expect you to arrive prepared, to ask and answer questions, and to participate in a positive classroom environment (including turning all electronic devices to silent and treating your fellow students and myself with a positive and respectful attitude).

Attendance Policy (see page 30 of the college catalog)

A student may be absent without penalty for 10% of the number of scheduled class meetings during the semester. Because this class meets 2 times a week, you may miss 3 classes without penalty. 2 late arrivals = 1 absence. Any arrival later than 20 minutes past the scheduled start time = 1 absence. If you have more than 3 unexcused absences, your grade will be significantly lowered. After you have missed 3 classes, each absence without a documented excuse will lower your final grade by one step and may, ultimately, result in a “WU” grade.

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.


Tentative Course Schedule

(subject to change as dictated by the needs of the class)



Assignments Due

In-Class Activities

Week 1



Thursday, 8/29

Bring all textbooks/materials to class

Introductions, Review Syllabus

Week 2



Tuesday, 9/3

Read essays (handout/OpenLab):

“6 Things You Should Say to Your Professor” (

 “5 Things You Should Never Say to Your Professor”


Write a one-paragraph summary of each, bring to class (typed)

Summary and Response: Relating to your Professor


Thursday, 9/5

No Class

Create OpenLab Account

No Class


Week 3



Tuesday, 9/10

OpenLab Intro Post

Writing Workshop

Essay Prompt (Explaining a Concept, College Skills)

Thursday, 9/12

Summary and Response Final Draft Due

Read “Components in a Comprehensive Definition of College Readiness” (posted on OpenLab)


Discuss academic integrity, group activity

Basic Features

Prewriting: Choosing a Concept (162-163)

Read “Cannibalism: It Still Exists”(132-135)

Week 4



Tuesday, 9/17

Read “Love: The Right Chemistry” (136-140)

Complete Analyzing Writing Strategies (140-142)


Focusing the Concept (165)

Formulating a Tentative Thesis Statement (167-168)

Considering Explanatory Strategies (166-167)

Thursday, 9/19

Ways In:  Doing General Internet Research (164) (bring these general research notes to class)

Library Orientation Day


Week 5



Tuesday, 9/24

Concept Essay Rough Draft Due

Peer Review Workshop

Thursday, 9/26

Concept Essay Final Draft Due

Prewriting Packet Due


Read Introduction to Chapter 3, Profiling a Place (64-69)

Essay Prompt (Profiling a Place, City Tech Places)

Read “The Last Stop” in groups, discuss basic features (70-73)

Week 6



Tuesday, 10/1

Read “I’m Not Leaving Until I Eat this Thing” and Analyzing Writing Strategies (74-80)

Bring observation notes to class (use pages 106-107)

Group Work: developing interview questions

Thursday, 10/3

Brooklyn Bridge Park

Read “The Long Goodbye” (90-94)

Complete Analyzing Writing Strategies (95-97)

Brooklyn Bridge Park

Turning observation notes into descriptive paragraphs

Week 7



Tuesday, 10/8

Ways In: Developing a Perspective (108)

Bring interview questions + answers to class (10 minimum)

Prewriting: Considering your Thesis (108)

Thursday, 10/10

Profile Essay Rough Draft Due

Peer Review Workshop

Week 8



Tuesday, 10/15

Monday Schedule, No Class


Monday Schedule, No Class

Thursday, 10/17

Profile Essay Final Draft Due

Prewriting Packet Due

Essay Prompt (Justifying an Evaluation, Local Grub)

Read introduction to Chapter 8 (385-389)

Basic Features

Prewriting: Choosing a Subject (421-423)

Week 9



Tuesday, 10/22

Read/analyze sample reviews (posted on OpenLab)


Group Work: Analyzing articles for style, audience, and basic features

Thursday, 10/24

Read “Grading Professors” (389-394)

Determine the publication in which for which you are going to write your essay, bring a sample article


Discuss “Grading Professors” and Rate my Professor reviews

Group Work: Analyzing sample articles

Week 10



Tuesday, 10/29

Dining Room Lunch

Bring in detailed notes about your subject

Bringing the Subject and Your Audience into Focus (423)

Making a Tentative Judgment/Testing your Choice (425)

Dining Room Lunch

Thursday, 10/31

Read “Juno and the Culture Wars” (395-398)

Complete Analyzing Writing Strategies (398-400)

Formulating a Tentative Thesis Statement (428)

Developing your Argument (426)

Group Work: Counterarguing Readers’ Likely Objections (426)

Week 11



Tuesday, 11/5

Evaluation Essay Rough Draft Due

Peer Review Workshop

Thursday, 11/7

Evaluation Essay Final Draft Due

Prewriting Packet Due

Essay Prompt (Tourism Attraction Screenplay)

Week 12



Tuesday, 11/12

Screenplay Reading Assignment

Screenplay Writing Group Work

Thursday, 11/14

Screenplay Reading Assignment

Screenplay Writing Group Work

Week 13



Tuesday, 11/19

Screenplay Reading Assignment

Screenplay Writing Group Work

Thursday, 11/21

Tourism Attraction Screenplay Rough Draft Due

Peer Review Workshop

Week 14



Tuesday, 11/26

Tourism Attraction Screenplay Final Draft Due

Prewriting Packet Due

Video Group Work

Thursday, 11/28

No Class


No Class


Week 15



Tuesday, 12/3

Video Group Work

Reflective Essay (in-class)

Video Group Work

OpenLab Project Tasks

Thursday, 12/5

Read final exam materials (posted on OpenLab)

OpenLab Project Tasks

Essay Prompt: OpenLab Project Reflective Essay

Review for Final Exam

Week 16



Tuesday, 12/10

Read final exam materials (posted on OpenLab)

OpenLab Project Tasks

Review for Final Exam

OpenLab Project Tasks

Thursday, 12/12

Website Release

Website Release




Tuesday, 12/17

Final Exam Part 1

OpenLab Project Reflective Essay Due

Final Exam Part 1

Thursday, 12/19

Final Exam Part 2

Final Exam Part 2


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