Prince George’s Community College

English 1010: Composition I

Spring 2011


Professor Anthony Fulton


Marlboro Hall 3095

Office Hours

MW 3:30-5:00;

F 1:00-3:00

and by appointment

Office Phone

(301) 322-0585



Course Description

English 1010 focuses on the fundamentals of effective prose writing and research to help students prepare for the demands of academic writing. In this course, students will work to develop their writing and critical thinking skills by writing for a variety of purposes, audiences, and contexts. We will pay particular attention to writing and analyzing arguments and conducting effective research, as many university and college courses across the disciplines place emphasis on argumentation and engaging source materials. In effect, students will compose a variety of argumentative essays that analyze and synthesize credible, academic sources.


The overarching theme for this particular course is Language and American Culture. Essentially, we will explore the diverse ways that language is constructed, shaped, and used by different communities. Accordingly, course readings and discussions will focus on various issues and problems related to language and communication within specific aspects of American culture. Exploring the complexities of language is a fitting theme for engaging in the messy work of writing and research.


Prerequisite: Reading and writing proficiency level, or EGL 100, or a “C” or higher in EFL 202.

Expected Course Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

·         Write informative, analytical, and argumentative essays

·         Formulate restricted, unified and precise thesis statements for essays

·         Organize essay content into introduction, body, and conclusion paragraphs

·         Compose restricted, unified, and precise topic sentences for paragraphs

·         Write unified, coherent, and well-developed paragraphs

·         Apply grammar and usage rules correctly

·         Use appropriate diction

·         Write clear, concise sentences


In addition, students will demonstrate their ability to conduct basic research by:

·         Using the library resources to locate and evaluate material relevant to specific topics

·         Taking notes in sufficient detail and with accurate citations

·         Demonstrating their understanding of the concept of plagiarism by not using a source without proper acknowledgement

·         Synthesizing several different sources into an essay to support its thesis

·         Quoting, summarizing, and paraphrasing responsibly within essays that employ outside sources

·         Utilizing at least five reliable sources in the assigned research paper

·         Documenting sources accurately and correctly in MLA format


Required Texts

Dornan, Edward A., and Robert Dees. Four in One: Rhetoric, Reader, and Research Guide. 2nd Custom

            ed. for PGCC. New York: Longman, 2011.


Hacker, Diana. Rules for Writers. 6th ed. New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2009.


Course Design

This course is divided into five units with a portfolio project at the end to emphasize that writing is both a process and a product. Within each unit, you will compose an essay, developing multiple drafts and receiving feedback from your peers and myself before formally submitting it for a grade. Each essay must be submitted in a folder or large envelope that includes all drafts, peer reviews, and informal exercises completed within the unit. Here, the emphasis is on process, as students work to develop and shape their ideas. The culminating project of this course is the Writing Portfolio, which will contain revised versions of the major essay assignments and an analysis of the student’s writing and development during the semester. The purpose of the portfolio is to produce a polished body of work by the end of the semester.


Major Essays

Unit 1

Summary of a Source Text

Students will summarize the main ideas of an assigned course reading related to the Language and American Culture theme

Unit 2

Summary & Response

Students will summarize and respond to the ideas presented in an assigned course reading related to the Language and American Culture theme

Unit 3

Rhetorical Analysis

Students will analyze the use of specific rhetorical methods within an assigned course reading related to the Language and American Culture theme

Unit 4

Compare/Contrast Analysis

In this major research project, students will analyze the similarities and differences in multiple course readings related to the course theme

Unit 5

Writing Portfolio Project

Students will revise three of the four major essays (the Unit 4 paper must be one of the three) and compose an introduction that analyzes their development as a writer


In-Class Writing/Homework/Class Participation

In addition to the major essays described above, students are expected to contribute to class discussions and participate in daily activities, such as peer reviews and small group work. Students will regularly compose short, preliminary texts in class and outside of class to prepare them for the major writing projects. These short assignments will include responses to readings, practice with invention and style, peer responses, and other forms of writing and research that exercise students’ critical reading and writing abilities. Unless otherwise noted, most of these informal exercises will be graded on a checkmark system: Check=5 points, Check Minus=2.5 points, Minus=0 points, and the ever elusive Check Plus=6 points.


Grade Breakdown

Unit 1: Summary of a Source Text                                          10%

Unit 2: Summary & Response                                                 10%

Unit 3: Rhetorical Analysis                                                      10%

Unit 4: Comparison/Contrast Analysis                                     10%

Unit 5: Writing Portfolio Project                                                          40%

In-Class Writing/Homework/Participation                                20%



Please note: students must pass EGL 1010 with a grade of a “C” or better to register for EGL 1020, 1100, 1320, or 1340.


Plagiarism Statement

Plagiarism is using someone else's work (for instance, information from a book, a magazine, a newspaper, or another student's essay) without giving credit to the original source. Credit to the source must be given in either the text of your paper or in a footnote or endnote. There are five basic forms of plagiarism:


1.      Copying a source word for word without using quotation marks and without identifying the source

2.      Extensive borrowing of words and phrases from a source without using quotation marks and without identifying the sources.

3.      Too close paraphrasing.

4.      Using others’ ideas or information (including graphics, statistics, observations, or research data and findings) without giving credit to the source in the text of your paper in a footnote or endnote.

5.      Submitting the work of someone else as your own.

Be advised, these forms of plagiarism can be carried out both intentionally and unintentionally. In this class, plagiarism issues will be handled on a case-by-case basis. However, plagiarism in any form is dishonest and carries severe academic penalties, which can include receiving an “F” for an assignment, failing the course, having the incident reported to the Office of the Vice President for Student Services for disciplinary action, and being suspended from the college.


Class Attendance, Tardiness, and Late Work

Because this is an activity-based writing course, it is important that students come to class on time, ready to participate. Please note that students who are late 10 minutes or more to class will be marked absent and will not receive credit for that day’s work. In terms of attendance, unexcused absences totaling 25% of the semester (10 days for a MWF class and 7 days for a MW class) will result in an automatic failure for the course. Students who do accumulate this many absences should consider dropping the course. If you are forced to miss a class, please contact me in advance to arrange submission of any work prior to your absence. In the event of a family or personal emergency, please contact me as soon as possible. I will require official written documentation, which will vary on a case-by-case basis, to excuse you from class. Once documentation is submitted and approved, we will meet to talk about making up any missed work as a result of any excused absences.


Missed homework, quizzes, and in-class writing due to unexcused absences cannot be made up. For the major essays, five points (roughly a half-letter grade) will be deducted for every class day that a project is late. Essays submitted after the class period in which they are due will be considered late.


“Q” Grades

A “Q” grade is assigned to students who never attended the course or ceased attending during the first part of the semester. Faculty are required to report the date of last attendance for each student receiving Q or F grade(s) in order for the college to report this date to a variety of federal agencies as mandated. The date of last attendance is considered the date of the student’s termination from the course, regardless of the date of grade submission. Early termination from a course may result in reduction in student loans and financial aid and may require the student to reimburse funds to the funding agency.


Classroom Conduct

A classroom environment conducive to learning is important to everyone’s success. Therefore, behavior that disrupts the educational environment and interferes with others’ learning opportunities will not be tolerated. Disruptive behavior includes but is not limited to: disrespectful treatment of your instructor or peers, repeated tardiness, and comments and actions that cause others to feel threatened. Disruptive students will be asked to leave class and, in certain cases, could even face disciplinary action, which includes suspension from the college. Students barred from class for disruptive behavior will receive a zero for all missed work, and each missed class day will count as an unexcused absence.  While I encourage lively and healthy classroom discussions, my expectation is that every member of this class will show courtesy and respect for one another.


Please turn off and put away all cell phones, pagers, iPods, and other electronic devices prior to the beginning of class. You may not answer calls or text during class or leave the room during class to take calls or respond to texts. Failure to adhere to this policy will result in receiving a zero for the day’s work and being asked to leave class for that day. For repeat offenses, you will receive a zero for the entire week. If you are experiencing a family or personal emergency that requires you to leave your phone turned on, please alert me before class, and we will discuss the issue.


Finally, while beverages are permitted in classrooms (with the exception of computer classrooms), please refrain from eating in class at all times.


Disability Support Services

Students requesting academic accommodations should contact the Disability Support Services Office (B-124) or call (301) 322-0122 to establish eligibility for services and accommodations. Students with a documented physical or learning disability should discuss the matter privately with me at the beginning of the semester to discuss arrangements.