English 101  Dr. Anne Mills King

This is a generic syllabus, without dates, to show you what to expect in this course.

English 101 is a college composition course that points to definite objectives, included in the department handout, which I recommend to your particular attention. We will be writing a variety of essays: some informal, in class; others structured, like a research paper; all required to pass the course. In addition, discussions of current issues and analyses of readings will add liveliness to the class and give you material for your papers and your research.

TEXTBOOKS (available in bookstore or online):

Diana Hacker, Rules for Writers 5th edition (Rules). This book will be used for reference, for individual assignments on individual problems (the doctor will prescribe...). We'll use this a lot for writing about research.

To get the most out of this book: read "How to Use This Book" xii-xix. Keep this book throughout your college career--and afterward!


The 9/11 Commission Report.  Authorized Edition.  NY: Norton (2004).

This exciting commission report will be the basis for research, short papers, discussions.  It is available in book form ($10) and also online.  Http://www.gpoaccess.gov/911/


King, The Engaging Reader 3rd edition (Reader).  The reading selections are in this book, along with the writing assignments and many helps for writers.

To get the most out of this book: read more of the stories and articles than are required.  They will help you find topics for papers--and may lead you into interesting lives.


WHAT TO EXPECT: Short written papers, Journal writing, exercises, or daily quizzes on the readings in class, four longer (500 words) writing assignments, and one research paper. All final versions of papers must be typed and also on disk. Reading assignments must be completed on the day due. When readings are assigned, there will be a short quiz at the beginning of the class on the readings, so come to class on time and prepared.  Attendance sheets must be signed in the first ten minutes of class.. These quizzes will be part of your participation grade. Deadlines are firm; you must have the paper ready on the day assigned. We will work on the drafts in class with peer groups; the finished paper will be due on the date in the syllabus (no later). Several times during the semester, especially when longer papers are assigned, both class and conference time will be scheduled for individual meetings with me. If you have email, some of these conferences can be by this method. Conferences are required and you will be counted absent if you miss your appointment. Keep all of your papers, quizzes, and exercises in a folder so we can discuss them in conferences. We will probably spend at least one--maybe two-- class periods in the library, learning how to do research and working on the research project. The library has a tutorial on using library resources online.  Check the college’s web page under “Library.”

Check TURNITIN on my site.  Since you will know ahead of time that I will be checking your papers for originality, if I find plagiarism on your part, you will receive a zero for that paper without any chance of re-writing it.  This will lower your grade for the course considerably. This is a serious offense in this college and elsewhere;  if it is repeated you are in danger of being expelled from the college.

IMPORTANT! A successful research project is required to pass the course. You cannot pass the course without it, even if your other work in the course is satisfactory. A visit to the Writing Center will show you how you can get help in writing for all of your courses. Films, discussions, debates, in-class and out-of class writing will complete what I hope will be a good semester!

GRADING: This semester I'm continuing a successful method of assessment of your work. Your papers will go through a different process to be graded. First, you will work with your writing group on each others' papers: giving advice, analyzing, suggesting ideas. The papers will be handed in on the date in the syllabus, in final form. I will return them to you with comments and grades. You may rewrite the paper within the next week. If you're still not satisfied, you may rewrite it again. I will keep a record of the completed papers you have handed in, with upgrades if applicable. You will receive copies of this narrative as the semester progresses. These four papers will each count 10% of your final grade. The research project will count 40%; participation (5%), quizzes (5%), and faithful attendance (10%) will count towards your final grade for the course.            If you are absent more than two sessions (two weeks) you will not receive credit for attendance.

Here's how I figure grades: A= 3.6-4.; B= 2.6-3.5; C= 1.6-2.5; D= .8-1.5; F= 0.

You will be graded on the following items:

$          Four assigned papers.. Each one counts 10% of your final grade. ALL PAPERS MUST BE TYPED and on a disk on WORD. They must be handed in on the dates due; always have something in ood form to work on with your peer group or with me. In addition, you may make an appointment at the Writing Center for help on one or more papers. Paper topics will come from questions on handouts or in the book.

$          The Research paper is required to pass the course and you must follow all the steps in order for it to be accepted for a grade. It will be based on questions from the 9/11 Commission Report or the reader, and the topic must be approved by me in advance.    It will count 40% of your grade. If you do not submit a satisfactory research project, you will not pass the course even if the rest of your work is satisfactory.

Class attendance in college: what I expect from you:

$         You are expected to attend every class; there is no cut policy as such. If you are absent I will assume there is a good reason. Nevertheless, if you are excessively absent you will lose credit. 

$          Attendance sheets must be signed at the beginning of class, so come on time.

$          I assume mature, responsible behavior in class--arriving on time, respect for others. The College has a policy on disruption in class (which I do not need to tell you about, I am sure).



$          I expect you to arrive on time and stay until the end of the class.  If you need to leave the classroom during class time, do not return and disrupt the class a second time.

$         Turn off all cell phones and pagers.


What to expect from me:                                                                                                     

$          Call or send me an email if you have a problem.  I’ll collect email addresses the first day of class.

$          Papers will be returned with comments within one week

$          In class, expect to have a relaxed atmosphere with much student participation.

$          You will be amazed at how the issues we write and talk about mesh with what you learn in other courses. 

How to get in touch with me:

My Office: M 3056. Office hours on the door

TELEPHONE: 301-322-0594; E-Mail: aking@pgcc.edu

 FAX 301-322-0549

This syllabus and other information is on my web page: http://academic.pgcc.edu/~aking

First day of class. Buy the books, meet the classmates.  Assign topics.


Rules: read “How to Use This Book” lab: prepare a disk.  Read Preface to 9/11



Read: 9/11 Ch. 1 “We Have Some Planes” Pick out a topic for Paper 1



Rules: The Writing Process to p. 25



Paper 1 due: Description

Visit to Library to learn about online research.


format in Rules p. 68; also Rules 370-387 (methods for research in libraries)



Ch. 3, 9/11



Rules 25-59; prepare for Paper #2



Paper 2 due: Comparison/Contrast:    meet in LIBRARY



Ch. 4, 9/11



Ch. 5,  9/11: prepare for Paper 3



Paper 3   cause/effect



Ch. 6, 9/11



read Rules p. 343-369 on preparing argument



Ch 7. 9/11



Research guides



Ch. 8, 9/11



Paper 4 due–documented argument



Election day–but we are open: read Ch. 9 (9.4) in 9/11.

Topic approval for research project.




Rules–analysis p. 315

Nov. 9

Ch. 10, 9/11; sources due for research.  Read Rules 400-456 as you organize your research and prepare to write.




read Ch. 11: Notes, outline due




read Ch. 12: rough drafts due: I will look at these and tell you how to improve them.


College Closed–Thanksgiving!


Ch. 13


Paper due–in a folder, with disk, all drafts, sources, notes.


Writing in class (some extra credit)


Final revisions; conferences

            Final exam day: pick up research project in my office, M3056.




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:

·               Use the library resources to locate and evaluate material relevant to specific topic

·               Take notes in sufficient detail and with accurate citation

·               Demonstrate their understanding of the concept of plagiarism by not using a source without proper acknowledgment

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

·               Quote, summarize, and paraphrase responsibly within that paper

·               Document sources according to the MLA format