1-2-06                          Syllabus for English 101

Instructor: Karen Sanders

Calendar of Due Dates

Office: M3062-- Office Hours: Monday and Wednesday

Office Telephone: 301-322-0582 

           E-mail address:     sanderka@pgcc.edu          


 Required texts: 

                     Four in One , third edition,  by Edward Dornan and Robert Dees

                     The Prentice Hall Handbook for Writers by Kramer, Leggett and Mead,   Updated              Edition Taken from 12th Edition              


Also Required:

                      One Mead Composition Book (100 sheets, 200 pages)

                      Five Portfolios, Two Diskettes,  High Lighter


The syllabus is subject to change; check announcements frequently.

Monday and Wednesday’s assignments are due Wednesday at 10 P.M.

Friday’s assignments are due Saturdays at 10 P.M.

The syllabus retains the format of MWF face to face classes; it might help some of you to plan your time. Unless otherwise announced, however, no work will be due except on Wednesday and Saturday. Look on the Discussion Board for a topic each Week.


First Week

                        Mon.    Introduction to English 101 and each other.

                                    Print the syllabus.

                                    Purchase text books today for best value.

                                    Essay I is assigned – Read instructions in syllabus under assignments

                                    Log onto the Discussion Board.


                        Wed     Due: Essay I  Success -Formula  Pre-write                                           

                                    Only five sentences required for today.

                                    Format for the Success-Formula -Pre-write is in the syllabus

                                    Click on assignments to submit the assignment.

                        Read: Four in One, Chapters 1 and 2              


             Fri       Study syllabus and look over textbooks in preparation for

                                    Quiz over Syllabus,  Four in One and Prentice Hall Text Books

                                    Read Four-in-One, Chapter 3.            


Second Week

                           Mon     Groups contact each other.  Click on Group Projects.


                           Wed     ESSAY I Mini-draft due: it should include:

                                    1. Previously submitted & revised Success-Formula-Pre-write.

                                    2. Introductory Paragraph with underlined thesis statement.

                                    3. Topic Sentence for second paragraph.  Submit under assignments.



                                    HW1: Write your definition of a thesis statement on p.100 of Composition                    

                        HW2: Brainstorm on your topic (see Four)

HW3: Free-write for 3 minutes on your topic.              


                        Fri        Read: Four  Chapter 5 and 6.

                                    HW4: Four  Do activity 2A to improve thesis for Essay I.

                                    HW5: Four  Do activity 2B. (These are near the end of Chapter 4)


Third Week

                        Mon     ESSAY I   DRAFT II should be completed.

                                    Click on Essay Revisions for instructions.


                        Read Four: Chapter 7 

                                    HW6: Explain why a careful revision is important to your success.

                                    HW7: What techniques are useful to proof read your paper.


                        Wed     Library: Meet in instruction area of Accokeek  on first floor.   

Bring term paper topic. Take advantage of library instruction; do research. .                  

                                    Read:  Four, “Revising a Rough Draft” Chapter 8.

                                    HW8: List 5 possible topics for your term paper.


                        Fri        Library: as above.

                                    Chapter 6: PHHB Read “Writing Paragraphs” pp. 73-91.

                                   HW 9: Define unity, coherence and development

Fourth Week  

                        Mon     ESSAY I   FINAL DRAFT   III IS DUE 

Underline Thesis.

Include reviewed and revised Success Formula Pre-writes and reviewed

                                     Minidraft and Draft II  

                                    Term Paper Topic Due (submit your term paper idea under Term paper)

                                     Read: Four  Preparing to Submit” pp.126-136.

                                    HW10: Write a brief summary of the essay your group selected.

                                    Interpretation by Group 1.  Check the Discussion Board.


                        Wed    S.F.P. for Essay II Due                                                                                                                                                                                                      2/16    Wed     S.F.P. for Essay II due.                                .

                                     Read Four“Comparison” Chapter 14.

                                    Assignment for Essay II is in the syllabus.  

                                    Outline PHHB Chapter 6 for test.        

                                    Read PHHB pp 511-543 for documenting Essay II.

                                    PHHB: “Writing Paragraphs,” Chapter 6, pp 91-102.

                        HW11:  Write a definition of a transition marker.                                  

                                    HW12:   List transition markers likely to be useful in Essay II.


                        Fri        Test    Chapter 6 on paragraphs. Bring Outline.


                                   Essay II   Mini-Draft Due

                        Reviewed and Revised S.F.P.’s

                        Introductory Paragraph .

                                    Second Paragraph.

                                    Works cited page.

HW 13: What scholarly publications do you plan to use to research your research topic?

                                    Group B announces.

Fifth Week                                             

                                    Interpretation by Group 2

                                    PHHB Chapter 8, “Coordination & Subordination,” p. 143-157.

HW14: List two or more things that might improve this 101 class and two that you feel are effective.


                                    In-class writing: Process Analysis

                                    Read Four Chapter 14 in preparation

                                    PHHB Chapter 9, “Parallelism,” pp.160-166.

                        Sign up for Office Conferences.

                                    ESSAY II   DRAFT II   IS DUE      

                                    PHHB: Chap. 10 & 11. “Emphasis” & “Variety” pp. 166-183.            

                                    HW15: Do ex. 10.3 “In Your own Words.”      p.176. 


Sixth Week                  Suggested but not mandatory:

                                    Individual Conferences in my office (M3062).  Bring Essay II in- progress and term paper topic. Call for an appointment.                                               

                                    Journal/Homework Check:                                                                          

 PHHB,Sentence Fragments” p. 188 and “Comma Splices” and “Run on Sentences” p. 195                                                                      

HW16: PHHB Do 13.1, 1-5.

            Wed.    Individual Conferences in my office (M3062) bring Essay II in              progress and Term Paper topic.

                                     Journal/Homework Check    

                                    HW17: Write a definition of a comma splice.

                        Fri        Read about Quotations, Paraphrasing, Ellipsis, Documentation and            Plagiarism

Seventh Week 

                         Mon.   ESSAY II   FINAL DRAFT III DUE.

                                    Underline Thesis.

                                     Include reviewed and revised Success Formula Pre-write        

                                     Mini-Draft 1 previously reviewed by me.

                         Draft II reviewed during Peer Review and Review Sheet.        


                                     Four: “Cause and Effect” pp. 203-221.

                         Essay III is assigned. Assignment for Essay III is in syllabus.

                         PHHB Chapter 14, “Agreement,” pp. 201-212.

                                    HW18: Do ex 14.1, 1-5.                                                        


                        Wed.    S.F.P. for Essay III Due:

                        PHHB: Chapter 15, “Pronoun Reference” pp. 215-221.

                        HW19: Do ex. 15.5.


                        Fri        Interpretation of  _____________ (tba) by Group 3.

                                     Read Essay chosen by Group 3.

                                    PHHB Chapter 16, “Shifts,” pp 221-228.        

                                    HW20: Do 16.2.

                                    Make notes for upcoming test.

Eighth Week

                         Mon    ESSAY III   Revised S.F.P. and Mini-Draft due.

                         Test (Chapters 8-15)

                                    PHHB Chapter 17, “ Misplaced Modifiers” pp. 228-234.

                                    HW21: Do 17.5.

Group 4 announces.


                        Wed     Interpretation by Group 4.   

                                    Read: Four  . . . Writing an Argument  Chapter 17.

                                    HW22: List and define four fallacies in arguments. (See Four ).

                                    We’ll discuss handouts for Essays IV and V (term paper) and checkpoints.


*****                         Fri         RESEARCH PAPER CHECKPOINT 1:


·        Preliminary bibliography (twenty or more possible sources).      

·        Rationale (what generated your interest in your subject).

·        Research-ability (paragraph on where you can get information excluding the Web).

                        PHHB, Chapter 18, “Dangling Modifiers,” pp. 235-240.

                        HW23: Do 18.3

Ninth Week

.                       Mon     Review Term paper particulars.

                                    Review academic research/documentation/plagiarism

            Wed     ESSAY III DRAFT II   IS DUE –Revision or PEER REVIEW.


                                    Four: “Writing Argument” p. 277-295.

                                    HW24: Write the definition of an Abstract from PHHB p.478.


*****              Fri.       RESEARCH PAPER -- CHECKPOINT 2:


·        Thesis statement

·         S.F.P. for your research paper.

·        First paragraph of your research paper


                                    PHHB: Chapter. 19. “Omissions ... Illogical Comparisons” pp. 242-247

            Group 5 announces.

Tenth Week

                        Mon.    Interpretation  by Group 5.

                                    HW25: Write a short abstract of the essay your group selected.

                                    Work to perfect Works Cited page for Essay III.

                                    ESSAY  III   FINAL DRAFT III IS DUE.


******             Wed     Conferences in my office suggested (M3062).


Submit or bring Essay V in progress (include outline, title page,


                                    Reviewed SFP.

                        Revised SFP.

                                     Mini-Draft (First two paragraphs)


                                    Chapter 20, “Mixed or Confused Sentences,” pp.247-255.

                                    HW26.  Do 20.1.

*****             Fri        Conferences in my office (M3062).

                                    RESEARCH PAPER: CHECKPOINT 3:

Bring Essay V in progress (include outline, title page,

                                    bibliography and highlighted  photocopies of material cited).                  

                                    Reviewed SFP.

                        Revised SFP.

                                     Mini-Draft (First two or three paragraphs).


Eleventh Week                        

                        Mon     Work on Title and Title Page.


                        Wed     Work on Signal Phrases and Works Cited Page. 


                       Fri         Interpretation by Group 4.

                                    Work on Research Paper.

                                    PHHB, Chapter 48,  pp.511-528. 

                        HW27: Do ex. 48.1, p. 524.

                                    Skim sample research paper in the PHHB text p. 529.

Bring Research materials Evaluate your progress in English 101.  The last date to withdraw without failure is coming up! Have you:

·        Received passing grades on 3 essays?

·        Participated in a Group Project.

·        Completed your Journal/Homework?

·        Been on time with Check Points?

·        Missed no more than 3 discussions?

                                                Check with me if you have questions.

Spring Break

April 10-April 16                      *(+.'   *(+.'


Twelfth Week

******                 RESEARCH PAPER CHECKPOINT 4: Full Draft of  Essay V.


·        Title Page

·        Formal Outline.

·        Works Cited page.

·        Photocopies of Citations.


PHHB Chapter 24, “Wordy” pp. 297-301.

                                     Memorize Wordiness Corrections in pink boxes pp. 300 and 301.


            Wed                 Submit SFP for Essay IV for use in testing center next week. Instructions for Essay IV in the Syllabus


*****  Fri                    RESEARCH PAPER CHECKPOINT 5.

                                    TERM PAPER, FINAL DRAFT DUE

                        Use checklist in syllabus.

                                    PHHB Chapter 23, “Exactness,” pp. 281-297.

Thirteenth Week

            Mon                 Essay IV: Testing Center   

                                     Bring SFP. Instructions for Essay IV in the Syllabus


                                    Late (penalized but accepted) Term Papers Due

                                   PHHB Chapter 53 “Writing Essay Exams” pp. 665-661.


            Wed                 Make notes for test


            Fri                    Test over homework in Ch. 15-24 & documentation.

                                    Read: Four Chapter 10 in preparation                                                                                     

Fourteenth Week

             Mon    Thesis Debates on the Discussion Board


             Wed    Thesis Debates on the Discussion Board



              Fri      Thesis Debates on the Discussion Board


            Fifteenth Week


            Mon     Thesis Debates on the Discussion Board


            Wed     Thesis Debates on the Discussion Board




             Finals begin:



























Policies--English 101

Karen Sanders

On line students will be required to submit their work punctually.  Monday and Wednesdays assignments are due on Wednesday at 10:00 p.m. and Fridays on Sunday at 10:00 p.m.  If  this doesn’t work with your schedule, you may submit in advance, just let me know so that the assignment will be posted.   You will be required to come to campus for several tests and an Essay IV  in the testing center and to drop off and retrieve your journals..  It is strongly advised that you come to the campus for the Library tutorial and conferences.


 Required textbooks are The Prentice-Hall Handbook for Writers, updated edition taken from the 12th edition by Kramer, Leggett and Mead and Four in One, second  edition,  by Edward A. Doran and Robert Dees.  One or two Mead composition books, five portfolios, and a dictionary are necessary; having access to a thesaurus will be useful.


Discussions                                                                               --10%

Essays  and In-Class Essay                                                       --40%

Essay V (Term Paper)                                                              --15%                      

Journal, Homework, Tests,  Projects,                                         --35%




Essays I, II and III

The rule is that no late pre-writes or essays will be accepted and no essay  will receive a grade without the required pre-writes.  Submit your work by clicking on the “Submit Essays button and then the proper assignment link.  Your attachment file should be submitted under your last name followed by your first name and the assignment title on the link.  For example: “Sanders, Karen  Essay I SFP.”  Student files are apt to get lost if not properly titled. 


Following the assignment directions carefully is necessary to receive a satisfactory grade.



Always keep a hard copy of your assignment and prepare it well in advance. J Twenty percent of all computers crash or misbehave in the days immediately preceding the due date. L  Use a computer to type each  draft.  Keep a copy on your diskette.  This will allow you to revise your drafts quickly You are required to write 3 drafts of 5 essays in this class.  If you do not save your work on a disk, you will be typing 15! 

Essay IV


This will be done in the Testing Center as a final exam.  You must pass this to pass the course.  See directions under assignments.


Essay V (Term Paper)

Don’t be confused by the fact that “Essay V,”   the dreaded “Term Paper” and the “Research Paper” are just different words for the same  paper.  And don’t be stressed about having to write this paper.  This course is designed to make writing the Term Paper a snap! By the time you finish Essay I and Essay II, you will have learned how to organize an essay. By the time you finish Essays III and IV, you will have your term paper well underway and should feel at ease about documenting your sources. The ****Term Paper Checkpoints are designed to help you through the last few steps.  No credit is received for late material on these checkpoints, so prepare them well in advance to avoid losing credit due to an emergency.  Nearly 25 per cent of computers crash when these guys are due!






            You are required to keep a journal in a Mead Composition book writing three entries for every week of class.  The first journal each week should be based on the Assigned Essay and can double as your submission to the Discussion Board.   The rest are of your chosing.

·        Essay Number, date and entitle each entry at top of page and in table of contents. (See under assignments).

·         Homework assignments are also to be numbered and dated.  These assignments are to be written in the second half of your Mead Composition book.  

·        There will be a discussion question posed on the Discussion Board each Monday.  You receive 5 points for your submission and 1 for each thoughtful reply to another student up to 7 points per week.   You should address the student by name so that it is  clear to whom you are replying.






To My Students:

Please inform me if you have a handicap or special needs.  If the work in the class seems beyond your ability, discuss it with me early in the semester.  Perhaps I can accommodate you , or find the special services that you nee.  I invite you to see me during office hours to share your thoughts, suggestions, problems, even your personal tribulations.

I sincerely hope you enjoy this class.  I hope it promotes your ability to reason and think clearly.  My dream is that this writing experience will enhance your adult intellectual  life, inspiring you to lift yourself above the common. place and to “soar with the eagles."  I hope you will get to know your better self by writing in your journal and completing your essays, and thatyou begin to reflect on how you wish to spend your mortal existence.  I will consider my own existence worthwhile if you are so inspired.

Feel free to stop by during office hours, phone me or leave a note in M3072.  Let me know how I can help.


                             Sincerely yours,

                             Karen Sanders





Documentation and Plagiarism



You are required to document any word, thought, or idea that you have read or hear from another.   Exact words or phrases are to be put in quotation marks with the name of the person who wrote or spoke them in parenthesis after his or her name.   You must give the full information on the source on a works cited page at the end of your essay.  Failure to do this will result in failing the assignment or even the course.  At the English Department’s discretion an F with an asterisk may be assigned to you which will follow you permanently through  your academic life and transcripts for your future.  Please use care.


See Quoting and MLA citation in your Prentice Hall Handbook for further information.


























1. Journal and Homework  Assignments


Three (3) journal entries are required for each of the 15 weeks of class. Since English 101 is a composition course, the journal is designed as a tool to improve the writing skills which you have already developed.

1.         Purchase a bound (Mead) composition book, with 100 sheets (200 pages).

2.         Number each side of each page at the top on the outside of the page.  Color code the outside edges with magic marker

3.         Reserve page one for a creative title page.  (“My Journal” is  not  creative!)

4.         Label pages 2-5 as the Table of Contents.

5.         For each entry brainstorm or pre-write for better work (optional).  Begin with page 6 and 7. Pre-write on the left (page 6) and write your finished journal entry on the right(page 7).    Give each entry a title, and number and a date.  

6.        Enter  the date, page and title in your Table of Contents.

7.       The important thing is to practice, practice, practice. Writing about anything --- what                                                                         is  happening in your life, what you are studying in other classes,  things that you                                may  have read or heard. 

8.       If necessary use the attached list.




Starting on page 100 of the same composition book (This is the middle of the notebook) do the HW assignments from syllabus.  Date each assignment.  Write HW 1, HW 2, HW 3 etc. to identify each. Then write book and page number if applicable. For example:


9/8/04 HW 4  Four p.62, activity 2a


Then complete the assignment.  These do not need to go into the table of contents.







(If all else fails .... )

Suggested  Journal Topics



 1.        Terrorism cannot . . . .

 2.        What I like about my best friend is:

 3.        Attending PGCC is . . . .

 4.        Next year I want . . . .

 5.        The past week at school has been . . . .

 6.        My favorite vacation was . . . .

 7.        The best things to happen to me . . . .

 8.        The worst things to happen to me . . . .  .

 9.        I want to accomplish . . . .  

10.        A perfect day for me would be . . . .

11.        The thing I do best is . . . ..

12.        An important thing I learned in the last year is . . . .

13.        On Saturdays I like to . . . .  

14.        On Mondays I . . . .  

15.        My favorite food is . . . .

16.        My favorite day of the week is . . . .  

17.        On my last birthday . . . .

18.        I am someone who . . . . 

19.        My belief in God is . . . ..

20.      The worst problem in this country is . . . .  

21.        The worst problem in my family is . . . .   

22.        Enrolling at PGCC was a wise choice because . . . ..

23.        The epitaph that I want on my tombstone is . . . ..

24.        I wish that I hadn’t .. . . .

25.        I wish that I had .. . . . 

26.        If I had only six weeks to live, I would . . . ..         

27.        The adjectives that best describe me are . . . .. 

28.        My most embarrassing moment was . . . .  

29.        A person who influenced my life was . . . .  

30.        A quality I would like to give to ____ is . . . .  

31.        I do/don’t attend church regularly because . . . .  

32.        I think that God is . . . .  

33.        If I taught English 101, I would . . . .   

34.        If I were sentenced to jail, I would . . . .. 

35.        The worst tragedy in recent Months was . . . .

36.        The hardest class I am taking is . . . .  

37.        The worst illness that I ever had was . . . .  .

38.        Money is not important to my because . . . ..

39.        I think that improving my mind is important because . . . .   .

40.        My parents were exceptional people because . . . .  

41.        The most important right that I have is . . . .  

42.        The hardest of the ten commandments for me to follow is . . . .  

43.        The biggest sacrifice that I have made for another was . . . .  

44.        The hardest challenge I ever faced was . . . . 

45.        The best book that I ever read was . . . ..



                     ESSAY I

                                       Character Analysis

          Select a person to write about.  Brainstorm, noting his or her outstanding traits.  Decide what makes the person special and draft a thesis statement which captures the individual’s overall personality or character. Then, drawing from personal experience, provide illustrations to support your thesis.   Group these examples under topics. For example actions which suggest kindness or wisdom or pride or patience would be grouped under a topic about that quality.  Each illustration which you use must clearly support the topic and be related to the thesis.   


Thesis:  I.   Anna Sullivan was a generous woman.

            II a  She put the material needs of her children before her own.

            II b Quickly and unreservedly, she forgave those who wronged her.

            II c All elements of society were welcomed into her home and heart.

            III This woman’s bounty knew no boundaries.

This would be your first paragraph, the introduction, that is your Success Formula Pre-write.

In the body you would develop II a, II b, II c.

Under II a you would write about things Anna did which helped her children at her own expense, Under II b you would discuss instances when she was forgiving.

Under  II c would be a paragraph about the variety of people she embraced.                


Submitting final draft

C     This essay should have a strong, clear, thesis statement underlined.

C         This essay should include a SUCCESS -FORMULA -PRE-WRITE” (See Syllabus.)

C                   The final draft must be typed and double spaced with 12 pt type and one inch margins.

C                   This essay should be about 500 words.


                     No late papers accepted.

                     No papers accepted without required pre-writes reviewed by me.

                     More than five grammar, spelling or proof reading errors will render the paper unacceptable for grading.


Introductory paragraph

Begin with an attention grabber.  Then state your thesis.  Next write at least three topic sentences.  This is your Success- Formula-Pre- write and the supporting ideas that you will use in your essay.    Use transitions between sentences and paragraphs to cohere.


Each paragraph in the body of your essay will begin with a topic sentence, a rewording of one of the examples from your introduction.(IIa, IIb, IIc). Each sentence in a paragraph should clearly relate to the topic sentence. Use transition words or phrases.

Concluding Paragraph

Summarize your essay by reviewing the points that you made.  This paragraph should be at               least 5 sentences.  Do not go into to new territory here.

Essay II



Documented Research is a requirement for this essay.  To begin, select two items which share a common ground.   See your text book for ideas.  Develop a thesis statement which informs your reader of the items you are comparing and of your conclusion.  Then decide on points of similarity and/or differences that you wish to discuss.  See Four in One Chapter 12.  This assignment requires that you begin each body paragraph with a topic sentence which includes both topics you have chosen to compare and one of the specific points that you wish to compare.  If you are comparing two cities, the first topic in the body might state what both places have in common.  Your second topic paragraph could compare/contrast the size of each, and the third could compare/contrast  the climate or the tourist attractions of both.  Be certain that each paragraph is unified by a topic sentence which covers the full range of comparisons or contrasts within that paragraph.


You must do some research for this essay.  Essay II must include a documented idea or quotation to support one of your ideas or perhaps in the introduction as a “hook.” 

 1.  You must put the name of the author and the page number in parenthesis directly after the quotation (in text citation) when you use it. 

2. In addition you must put the author’s name and the title and other relevant information on a separate (work cited ) page at the end of your essay.  This documentation must be done MLA style with a work cited page (see PHHB 512 & 521).  Quotations from Internet sources do not fulfill this requirement.


                                    Writing the essay:

C         This essay should be about 500 words, typed, double spaced.

C         This essay should have a strong, clear, claim or thesis statement which states what you are comparing and what your overall point is.  Underline thesis.

C         Place a “hook” before your thesis statement at the beginning of paragraph one.

C         Use  topic sentences at the beginning of each paragraph.

                     Write a summary of your main ideas, putting each one in a complete sentence to form the final paragraph..  This paragraph is important and should be at least 5 sentences.

                     Use transition words and phrases within and between paragraphs.

                     Use “spell check.”   Proof read for careless errors – 5 or more will render your essay unacceptable.













Cause and Effect


The topic of this paper should be relevant to the research that you will do for your Term Paper (Essay V). It is a good time to see me or go to the Writing Center to make a good plan for these final essays.


Develop a strong thesis statement stating a cause or effect idea.  For example, “Obesity can cause a variety of health problems” is one idea and “Many factors contribute to obesity” is another.  Pick either cause or effect of some situation; do not do both.   In each paragraph discuss a different cause or effect, depending on what you have chosen.  Back up your supporting causes or effects by using quotations from some authoritative source for each paragraph. This paper will need at least three different scholarly sources for your research.  Document MLA style in the text and at the end.    


Writing the paper.

C         Follow directions for Essay I and Essay II for introduction, conclusion, paragraphing, use of SFP etc.

C         This assignment requires the use of at least three sources within the text.  Books,        magazines, newspapers may be used.  Internet sources do not fulfill this requirement.

C         The material that you cite should substantiate a cause or effect or condition that you are suggesting.

C         After a quotation, use an “in-text citation.” This means putting the author’s name and the page on which the material was found in parenthesis after the statement. 

C                   Add a works cited page on which you include the name of the article, publisher etc.

C                   Use signal phrases to introduce quotations. See Essay IV in syllabus for an example of how to organize a paragraph using a supporting quotation.  Comment on each of your quotations, relating it to your topic.  Do not us quotations back to back.  Use an ellipsis if needed.


How to integrate with term paper thesis.

 Example: If your term paper argument is going to be that the U.S. government should require labeling on all foods as to preservatives used in processing, Essay III  could explore the affect of these chemicals on individuals who are sensitive.  If your term paper thesis is that court records should not be sealed, but that adopted children should be free to  locate their birth parents, then this paper could be about the problems that result when individuals know nothing of their birth- parents’ medical histories.











                                                                        Essay IV


            In-class Essay                       


For this essay exam  you have already chosen your own topic. Now you must decide on your thesis.

One third of the grade for this paper will be based on how much research you appear to have done on your topic.  This paper is to be an argument against some aspect of your term paper.   Perhaps use some of the cause and effect material you researched for Essay III to argue a point.  If you plan to argue that an adoptee should have access to birth records on your term paper, here you could use some material which  shows how harmful it might be to the birth mother in some cases, an idea which argues against your term paper thesis or on a different aspect of your thesis topic.  

The claim you make in your thesis statement must be an arguable one.  Reasonable people should be able to disagree with your statement.  It should be neither too obvious nor indefensible.  Prepare a strong thesis statement that you are prepared to defend with your arguments.  You will need to find some material on your subject, perhaps in the sources you have already researched. Use researched facts from respected authorities  to back up your arguments.

Write your term paper thesis here:



Write an opposing viewpoint here as thesis for Essay IV.  And list your supports. 












This in class essay will judged by the clarity and logic of your argument, the evidence of research resulting in a solid grasp of your subject and, as always, your organization, development of thesis and writing skills in general.



Submit this outline; I will review it and I will provide it for you to use it on the essay exam.







Essay V

Term Paper/Research Paper/Argument


The term paper and its thesis must present a strong, controversial argument.  Employ the skills you have used in previous Essays I-IV to illustrate, to compare, and to  show causes and effects.   An example of a strong thesis would be: “AIDS is a deadly disease which is spreading and out of control.  The U.S. Government should increase research funding, in order to enable scientists to find ways to prevent and cure this deadly illness” or “The Federal Government is wasting money on AIDS research as AIDS is a disease which can best be prevented by behavior modification.   Available research funds would be better spent on searching for cures for cancer, heart disease and diabetes.”   Each statement is arguable and might result in a good paper.  Positions such as: “Some people favor increasing money for aids research, while others feel more should go toward cancer research” are not acceptable for this  essay.  Take a clear position and argue it.

   There must be some rational potential for disagreement on the subject.  “Slavery is wrong” or “Child abuse is wrong.”  are one-sided issues.  You will have  to be able to argue rationally against your thesis, so if there is no valid argument against your thesis, then modify it. Same organization techniques used in previous essays can be modified in this essay.


Suggestions for body paragraphs.

Make your point at the beginning of each paragraph.  Next, make an argument supporting that point.  Then use an idea or quotation from an authoritative source to back up your argument.  Comment upon your source and finally relate it to your paragraph topic and to your thesis.


For example:

Thesis- “The FDA should not be allowed. to require manufacturers to label food as to fat content.”

Sample supporting paragraph in body. 

(Topic Sentence: ) The food industry should be allowed to regulate itself for the simple reason that if consumers are concerned about the fat content of foods, their purchase power will provide the incentive for manufacturers to freely comply.

( Supporting idea:) People already drive the market to provide what they want by their purchases. .

(Authority back up:) Safeway store manager, Atchur Service states: “We are constantly dropping some products and adding others to our inventory.  Obviously our goal is to make available what the customer wants, for that is what sells” (Service 9).

 (Comment ) According to Mr. Service it is the customer who controls the products we stock.

(Relating to topic) In the same way, if customers want their food labeled, they will vote with their purchases.  Industry will become aware of their wishes and conform in order to sell the product.

( Relating argument to topic and thesis:) It makes more sense for the food industry to regulate itself in conformity with the consumer’s purchasing habits than for the government to step in between the consumer and industry and arbitrarily regulate things.

Use a variety of scholarly sources to argue your thesis, but be certain that you control your argument, not your research material.  Do not put two quotes back to back.  Use an ellipsis when necessary .   Comment on and integrate each piece of evidence you supply before proceeding.  LENGTH:

The paper should be six-seven typewritten pages, double spaced, with one inch margins at the top, bottom and sides.


Use 6-8  current “ recognized” sources. (It is alright to quote the local mechanic or doctor, but most of the research should come from a variety of magazines, books and newspapers.  At least 3 of your sources must be current (2004 or later).  Internet sources do not qualify, but you may use Proquest to  locate scholarly journals and publications.  Document research MLA style (Prentice Hall Handbook for Writers pp. 511-566), including in-text citations and a Works Cited Page.  Photocopies of cited material must be included.








There are five checkpoints on your syllabus.  In each case the assignment must be submitted before or on the syllabus date to obtain grade credit.  (Arrangements can be made to have the material reviewed if you need feedback).  All of the CHECKPOINT material must be in your portfolio when you submit your final term paper.


Use Prentice Hall Handbook for Writers for the format.  The Term Paper by Lisa Laver  (beginning p. 547) demonstrates the format for the title page, outline, thesis, numbering, in-text citations, works cited page.  Proper MLA format is almost 50% of the grade on this paper.   


Adapt the Success Formula Pre-write organization and other techniques  used in Essays I-IV.


See Checklist below before submitting.






















Checkpoints and Checklist for Term Paper 101:




***** Checkpoint 1:    Must be typed.  Bring an explanation of what you plan to write about on your term paper and why.

                                    Explain in what library you can research it.

                                    Bring a preliminary bibliography of 20 or more possible sources.


***** Checkpoint 2:    A copy of your proposed thesis statement and a brief outline which includes your major arguments is due.


                                    ***** Checkpoint 3:    Must be typed.  Mini draft of the Research Paper (Essay V) is due.

            Bring photocopies of cited material

                                    Include in-text citations

Include title page outline works cited page.


***** Checkpoint 4:    Complete (6-7 page) typed Draft of Research Paper (Essay V) is due.  Include title page etc. above.


***** Checkpoint 5:    Research Paper Due.  Final draft of Essay V.



Checklist for Term Paper (Essay V) (Research Paper)


1. Does your paper have an introduction and summary?

2. Is your first paragraph give your thesis and your major arguments?

3. Does it include the previous drafts and photocopies of the material you have cited?

4. Do you have a title page?

5. Do you have a formal outline? (S.F. P. won’t do for this).

6. Does your thesis head the outline page? Is your thesis also in the first paragraph of your text and underlined?

7. Is your last name and are proper numbers at the top of each page?

8. Are your quotes properly documented?

9. Have you included a Works Cited page?

10.  Have you used spell check and grammar check and proof read your paper to

      avoid careless errors?





Success-Formula Pre-write


The following is a simple tool to use to organize your ideas; with certain modifications it can be used for all of  your essays.


1.  Write your thesis (or controlling idea).

2.  Write 3 or more sentences that support or argue this thesis.

3.  Reword your thesis.

The thesis and its supporting ideas make up the Introductory Paragraph.

The supporting ideas are reworded and make up topic sentences for your Body.

The Introductory Paragraph is reworded to become your Conclusion.


Make your own pre-write for each essay.


            1. Thesis


            2a. Support Sentence


            2b. Support Sentence


            2c. Support Sentence


            2d. Support Sentence


            3.  Reword Thesis


Easy isn’t it?  You have essentially written your introductory paragraph and have determined your topics for the paragraphs in the body of your essay and your conclusion.

A simple example of a thesis with supporting arguments:

1. Thesis:   Prince George’s Community College provides a congenial atmosphere for its students.


2a. Support Sentence:  The size of the school is small and therefore not intimidating.


2b Support Sentence:  The campus is attractive and amenities abound.


2c Support Sentence:  Teachers take a personal interest in the progress of each student.


2d  Support Sentence: The student body is diverse,  helpful and friendly.


3.      PGCC is a remarkably fine little college with an atmosphere conducive to learning.



Group Interpretations


These group projects should provide insight into or understanding of an essay in the back of the Four in One text.  Skim the articles suggested for your group and select one to work on. After reading the text, decide on an original approach to communicate your ideas

It is important to select a leader on the first day.  A reliable contact person should be selected to make calls and help the leader.   One person might be in charge of special effects, if you care to go that route.


You are not limited to the examples in the essay, instead you may simply use the essay to spin off on related issues.   Contact me if you need help getting started.  The following ideas should be helpful:


1.  Model your presentation  on an interview show or a newscast, a documentary or an in depth expose.  “The  (McNeil)/Lehr Report,”   “60 Minutes,”   Dan Rather’s News,  Channel 4 News,   The.Oprah Winfrey Show, “” The Arsenio Hall Show,”     “The Donahue Show,” “David Letterman,” “People’s Court” “This is your Life,” “The Dating Game” “Judge Judy” “Jerry Springer” are all possibilities.  Undoubtedly there are current trends that you might prefer to use.


2.  Reenact a specific scene or problem which illustrates a problem addressed in the essay you are interpreting. 


3.  Try a “Meet the Press” grilling sessions, a family counseling session (dysfunctional or abused members), a professional analysis or criminal investigation scene. 


4. Be creative.  Brainstorm!   This is a chance to use your imaginations.

















Essays for Group Interpretations




Select from one of the two essays assigned to your group.  These are found in your Four in One third edition textbook:


Group 1          

“Becoming Desensitized to Hate Words” by Ellen Goodman p. 501 or

 “Black Men and Public Space” by Brent Staples p. 570.


Group 2

 “In Defense of Talk Shows” by Barbara Ehreneich p. 475 or

“Why Men Marry” by George Gilder p. 497.


Group 3

“Crack in the Box” by Pete Hamill p. 509 or

 “TV Addiction” by Marie Winn p. 583.


Group 4

“Animal Rights, Human Wrongs” by Tom Regan, p. 555 or

 “Proud to be a Speciesist” by Steven Rose p. 560.


Group 5

“The Case for Torture” by Michael Levin p. 530 or

“The Damned Human Race” by Mark Twain, p. 586.


Other possibilities:

 “Good as a Gun: When Cameras Define a War” by John Kifner p. 514.

A Modest Proposal” by Jonathan Swift p. 591

“The War Room at Belvue” by George Simpson p. 564.

“Double Speak” by William Lutz p. 598.          

“On Natural Death” by Lewis Thomas p. 579. 

Consult me if you are going to substitute on of the above.


Evaluate your group.  Fill in names and give a grade to each person.  Excellent, Good, or Poor.

Group ___________________________                                          


Contact person_____________________

Other ____________________________


How quickly did your group get together?  Was everyone cooperative?  Were there some problems?  Discuss them in a paragraph below.  





                                                Taking Notes (Only for Excellent Students)


It has been my experience that good note takers are good students. If it isn’t written down,   it is easy to forget material read for homework, teachers instructions, dates , times, and syllabus changes. A Mead Composition Notebook should be used for note taking in this English 101.  In addition learning to determine what to write -- material that is most important or that you are unlikely to remember   will make you a good note taker and most likely, a good student.   If you write down too much it will be difficult for you to use your notes for review.   I will check your notes during conferences.  This is not a requirement.


Divide your notebook into four sections:


1.  Class Notes: pp 1-50

2. Four-In-One Notes: pp 50-100

3. Prentice Hall Handbook:  pp 100-150

4. Miscellaneous: pp 150-200


Brief Tips:

                     Date and label and organize entries carefully.

                     Take special care to write down what is written on the board in your class notes.

                     In your text books look for clues from the authors as to what is important.

                     Uppercase, bold, highlighted or italicized headings are emphasized for you because they are important.

                     Under Miscellaneous write down things pertaining to your group interpretations or your personal notes regarding your essay ideas etc.  Ideas that accumulate concerning your term paper should be noted here.