English 101 Basic Composition/online course
Instructor: Martha Nichols
Office: B1-28B
Office Phone: 215-751-8825
email: mlnichols@ccp.edu
conferences: online and face-to-face during semester (dates to be announced)

First of a two-part sequence in English composition, this course requires the writing of academic essays of about 500 words which develop significant ideas in a sequence of well-organized paragraphs with a minimum of errors. Students are expected to use a variety of rhetorical patterns and respond in writing to assigned readings.

At the end of the semester the student will be able to:

*Develop a coherent, well developed 500 word essay with a thesis and logical supporting paragraphs

*Recognize and write in a variety of rhetorical modes

*Write with a minimum of grammatical and expression errors using the conventions of Standard English

*Be able to appreciate responses from peers and instructors and incorporate those suggestions into the writing

*Be able to revise an essay

*Write a 1000 and 1500 word essay with control of a main idea and supporting paragraphs

*Write with awareness of audience, purpose and tone

*Recognize the importance of academic integrity. Begin to understand documentation

*Understand how to paraphrase, summarize and quote material from an outside source

The Bedford Guide for College Writers with Reader, Research Manual, and Handbook. 8th Edition. Editors Kennedy, X. J, Dorothy M. Kennedy, and Sylvia A. Holladay. Bedford/St Martins Publishers

(All additional materials will be provided on the WebStudy online program.)

The grades assigned for this course are letter grades (A,B,C,D,F) and MP. The MP grade (making progress) will be assigned for students who do not meet the requirements to pass the course with a D but who have made, nevertheless, significant progress in the course. A letter grade will be assigned to all essays. Informal writing assignments will be assigned a pass/fail grade with a certain number of points assigned.

The online program provides for points to be assigned for each letter grade or pass/fail grade. Those points will be added together and averaged at the end of the semester for a total number of points which will be assigned a letter grade. Please see the expanded syllabus online and each assignment for a specific weight assigned, or number of points assigned, for each assignment in each class session. The final exam, which must be taken by all students, will also be considered as an indicator of whether the student has acquired the skills to pass English composition 101.

Grades for the formal essays will be assigned using the following chart:

A 92-100

A- 90-92

B+ 87-89

B 83-86

B- 80-82

C+ 77-79

C 73-76

C- 70-72

D 60-69 (MP may be assigned)

F below 60 (MP may be assigned)

Informal writing such as journals, answers to reading questions, and textual commentaries will be assigned a pass/fail grade and a certain number of points.

Weight for the various assignments is as follows (Also seen on extended syllabus under WebStudy):

Narrative essay 10%
Descriptive essay 10%
Example/advertising essay 10%
Comparison/contrast essay 20%
Definition essay 10%
Argument essay 10%
Final Exam pass/fail
Informal writing 20%
Participation 10%

The final exam is also required to pass the course. A (P) Pass or (F) Fail grade will be assigned to the final exam.

(The instructor will respond promptly and in no less than one week to each assignment.)

Students are permitted by college policy to miss 6 class hours. There are three class hours in each online session. Students who miss more than 6 class hours will be withdrawn from the class.

Plagiarism: Students will be expected to understand and avoid plagiarism. Students will sign a plagiarism agreement at the beginning of the semester that is posted to the instructor.

Late work: Deadlines are crucial in this online course. They not only tell the instructor that you have completed the work and therefore have attended the session, but also keep the student focused and able to proceed to the next lesson. Therefore, late assignments are not acceptable. A student who consistently hands in late assignments may be withdrawn from the course as this represents lack of attendance. Please inform the instructor immediately of any emergency or unusual circumstances which require late work.

Journals: Students will be expected, as a form of informal writing, to submit periodically a journal entry assignment to show the instructor their involvement with the course. Journals will be a way for students to brainstorm, express strongly felt ideas, address frustrations and achievements and communicate with the instructor.

Textual Commentaries: As a way to stay close to the writing process and to inform the instructor of a student's use of process and techniques, a textual commentary will be required for all formal essays.



writing sample 500 words
narrative 500 words
descriptive essay 500 words
example/advertising essay 500 words
argument essay 500 words
definition essay 500 words

comparison/contrast essay 1000 words


Forums completed (part of participation grade)
Informal writing completed (responses to readings, journals and textual commentaries)
Course evaluation

SCHEDULE OF ASSIGNMENTS (See the expanded syllabus online. This is a brief syllabus)

WEEK ONE: Introduction to course/writing sample

WEEK TWO: Begin narrative essay (500 words)

WEEK THREE: Submit completed narrative essay

WEEK FOUR: Begin essay #2 (descriptive essay) (500 words)

WEEK FIVE: Submit completed descriptive essay

WEEK SIX: Begin example/advertising essay (500 words)

WEEK SEVEN: Submit completed example/advertising essay

WEEK EIGHT: Begin comparison/contrast essay (1000 words)

WEEK NINE: Submit first draft of comparison/contrast essay

WEEK TEN: Submit final draft of comparison/contrast essay with textual commentary

WEEK ELEVEN: Begin Definition essay (500 words)

WEEK TWELVE: Submit final draft of Definition essay

WEEK THIRTEEN: Begin argument essay (500 words)

WEEK FOURTEEN: Submit final argument essay

WEEK FIFTEEN: Final exam pass/fail
Evaluations submitted/conferences as requested

....................................end of semester...................

Upon completion of this course students will be able to:

  • Use appropriate rhetorical development (such as analysis, comparison/contrast, interpretation and argument) to respond to the central ideas of an assigned text
  • Paraphrase sentences and short passages from reading texts
  • Analyze a written assignment
  • Develop essays of varying length and complexity that incorporate ideas from texts
  • Use a variety of sentence patterns, indicating a generally mature style
  • Evaluate effectiveness of their own writing via feedback from professor, peers and self to produce a rigorous revision
  • Use vocabulary that conveys meaning accurately and appropriately for a college student