EGL 101 – Composition I:  Expository Writing

Spring 2006



Instructor:                 Dr. Paul Madachy, English Dept


Office Hours:             Marlboro Hall 3059

                                    M/W 10:30-12:00       

                                    Tu/Th 10:00-11:00


Phone:                           (301) 322-0836

                                       department phone number:  (301) 322-0561




I will respond to all email within 48 hours.  Please do not expect an immediate response to any email, particularly emails sent late at night or just before class.  


Required Texts (available at the PGCC Bookstore)

Four in One:  Rhetoric, Reader, Research Guide, and Handbook, 3rd ed., by Dornan and Dees

The Bedford Handbook, 6th ed., by Diana Hacker


Course Objectives                                                                      

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, APA, or Chicago Manual of Style format



Attendance is required. 


You are responsible for what goes on in class, whether you are present or not, so, if you are absent, seek out another student for an explanation of what was covered that day.  Moreover, since the class involves group activities throughout the semester, missing class can directly affect your grade.  This course operates in part as a workshop, where writing and peer reviewing activities take place in class.  In addition, there is a heavy emphasis on class participation. 


You may have two unexcused absences without official penalty.  For each unexcused absence after that, your class participation grade will drop ½ a letter grade.  Attendance is considered when deciding borderline grades. 


Arriving late to class is also a problem, as it results in missed information on your part (I often make announcements about homework and syllabus changes in the first five minutes of class) and a distraction to everyone else in the classroom.  Two late arrivals will count as an unexcused absence.  You are considered late if you arrive after I have taken roll (at the beginning of class).  If you arrive late, it is your responsibility to make sure that I mark you on the attendance roll.


If you miss a class, you are responsible for finding out what you missed—talk to a classmate to get any notes or announcements.


If essays are due on a day that the college is closed, the new due date is the next class session.  Check the PGCC website ( for school closing information.  In the event that the instructor has to cancel a class unexpectedly, a notice will be posted on the classroom door with instructions regarding the schedule.



Late papers will be marked down one letter grade for each day they are late.  If you have a valid reason for your lateness (which does not include printing problems, for example—make sure you do not wait until the last minute to print out your paper because something not only can go wrong but often does), please talk to me as soon as possible.  I will not accept papers that are more than one week late without a very good reason.  Papers are due at the beginning of class on the day they are listed on the syllabus.  All essays must be completed in order to pass the course. 


If you are unable to attend class on the day that an assignment is due, you may email me the assignment any time before that class to receive credit for turning it in on time.  You must also bring a hard copy of the assignment to the next class.


Revising:  each student may revise one paper that receives a grade of D or lower (if the paper was not handed in late), not including the final research paper.  If you wish to revise a paper, you must meet with me to discuss your plan of revision, and resubmit it to me one week from the date of that meeting.  Rewrites will be graded and then averaged with the original grade to produce the final grade for that document.


Academic Integrity (Plagiarism)

Don’t do it.  Plagiarism is illegal, unethical, and dishonest.  It is taking someone else’s language or ideas and using them as your own.  Plagiarism puts both of us in an extremely difficult situation.  If you have any questions about your work or how to cite the work of others, feel free to come talk to me.


The college is an institution of higher learning that holds academic integrity as its highest principle.  In the pursuit of knowledge, the college community expects that all students, faculty, and staff will share responsibility for adhering to the values of honesty and unquestionable integrity.  To support a community committed to academic achievement and scholarship, the Code of Academic Integrity advances the principle of honest representation in the work that is produced by students seeking to engage fully in the learning process.  The complete text of the Code of Academic Integrity is in the 2004-2005 Student Handbook (pages 41-43) and posted on the college's website.


Plagiarized papers will receive a zero for that assignment, and may be referred to the Office of the Vice President for Student Services for disciplinary action.


Format for Assignments

All external assignments (excluding homework assignments) must be typed or produced on a word processor.  Word processing is preferable because it makes the mechanics of revision--rearranging, adding and deleting--much easier. 


**NOTE**:  I strongly recommend that you make a back-up copy of every paper you write.  Computer and disk problems occur all the time, so don’t run the risk of losing all of your hard work.


Double-space your text and use a plain font, between 10 and 12 point.  Leave one inch margins top, bottom, left and right on each page of text; "justify"--that is, line up--your text on the left margin only.  


All typed paper assignments must have a title page that contains (along with the title itself) the following information:


Your Name

Course and Section #


My Name


Your title page must also provide an audience analysis that answers these three questions:

1)       Who you are writing to?

2)       Why you are writing to that audience?

3)       What interests/values does this audience have with respect to your chosen topic?


Start your text on the following page (repeat the title on the first page of text).  Be sure to include page numbers on all pages of text after the first.


Since this course focuses on writing as a process, I would like to see all of the work that leads to the final paper.  So when you turn in your final draft, place it in a folder with pockets, and include all efforts that led to the final (prewriting, peer response evaluation, rough drafts).  That way we can keep track of your progress on the specific writing features you need to work on. 



In-class Writing.  You may be asked to follow some of the exercises described in your textbook and to write a variety of short memos, responses to readings, answers to questions, the questions themselves, quizzes, paper plans, and critiques of other students' writing.  You will also be responsible for a formal, graded in-class essay.


External Assignments.  Your main work in the course consists of four papers written outside of class.  Think of them as representing the best thinking and writing you can produce.  Since these external assignments have been designed to build on each other, they must be done in the order specified and turned in on time.   


You will also be expected to complete various homework assignments throughout the course of the semester. 


Draft Workshops.  In order to provide greater opportunities for feedback on papers, we will hold peer response sessions, where students exchange rough drafts for discussion.  These peer response sessions are extremely important for this class.  They are a chance for you to obtain constructive comments on your papers before you have to turn them in for a grade.   On days when we will be working on these essays in class, you must bring a clean, typed copy of your rough draft. 



The percentages of contribution to your final grade are as follows:


                Encomium                                                                              100

                In-Class Essay                                                                      100

                Definition Paper                                                                   100

                Cause/Effect Paper                                                              100

                Final Position Paper                                                             200

                Peer Reviews                                                                        100

                Conference Worksheet                                                       50

                Class Participation                                                               150                                                                                                                                                                          Total                       900


Class participation includes homework and taking an active role in the class.  Since an appropriate level of active and intelligent participation is taken as a given, failure to participate at a basic level, including by virtue of excessive absences, can reduce your grade.


Disability Support Services (DSS)

Students requesting academic accommodations are required to contact the Disability Support Services Office (M-1042) or call (301) 322-0838 (voice) or (301) 322-0122 (TTY) to establish eligibility for services and accommodations.  Students with documented disabilities should discuss the matter privately with me at the beginning of the semester and provide a copy of their Student/Faculty Accommodation Form.


Code of Conduct

The Prince George's Community College Code of Conduct defines the rights and responsibilities of students and establishes a system of procedures for dealing with students charged with violations of the code and other rules and regulations of the college. A student enrolling in the college assumes an obligation to conduct himself/herself in a manner compatible with the college's function as an educational institution. Refer to the 2004-2005 Student Handbook, beginning on page 39, for a complete explanation of the code of conduct, including the Code of Academic Integrity and the procedure for dealing with disruptive student behavior.


Food/Drink Policy

Students may bring in snack foods only (i.e. chips/candy from a vending machine) and drinks as long as they maintain a clean classroom—no meals, please.  Upon the first spill or trash left behind, food will be prohibited.


No food is permitted in any computer labs on campus.


Additional Resources

When you feel the need for more guidance with your writing, you can see me during my office hours, schedule an appointment with me, or use PGCC’s available resources:


·         Student Assessment Services Center (Testing Center)

                                Bladen Hall, Room 100; 301-322-0090

                                <>                                     (Check the web site for hours and policies and procedures.)

·         Tutoring and Writing Centers     <>

                                Bladen Hall, Room 107

                            (Stop by or call 301-322-0748 to make an appointment.)


If you have the feeling that something is missing from your studies, the Tutoring Center can help you put the pieces of the puzzle together with free one-on-one or group tutoring.


The Writing Center offers one-on-one tutoring for all students who are working on any writing assignment in any course. 


·         Student Development Services: 301-322-0886


Student Development Services has various programs that provide students with mentoring, advising and individual counseling.  Call or check the website for more information.


·         Library (Accokeek Hall); <>                                                                


                         General information: 301-322-0105

                                Circulation services: 301-322-0475

                                Reference services:   301-322-0476

      The Learning Resources Division provides a range of library and media services.

      Refer to the web site for hours and more information about the services.


·         Campus Bookstore <> 

                                Largo Student Center, Room 116; 301-322-0912


All cell phones and pagers must be turned off before class begins.


By remaining in this class, you agree to adhere to the policies outlined above.

(This schedule subject to change upon notification)

  • All assignments, such as readings and writing assignments, are due on the date listed.  These should be completed before coming to class.

·         Both texts should be brought to class even if no reading is specified.

  • BED = The Bedford Handbook; FOUR = Four-in-One


Jan.        23            M            Introductions, Course Policies


                25            W            Introduce Encomium Assignment, Diagnostic


                30            M            Invention Techniques

                                                Thesis Statements 

                                Due:        BED 16-36

                                                FOUR 67-72


Feb.         1              W            Audience, Exigence

                                Due:        FOUR 38-40, 72, 286

                                                BED 10-14


                6              M            Draft Workshop:  Encomium

                                Due:        Complete typed draft of Encomium assignment

                                                FOUR 103-106


                8              W            Drafting

                                                Introduce linked assignments

                                Due:        BED 41-62, 569-573

                                                FOUR 108-117, skim 117-138


                13            M            Introduce in-class essay assignment (Process Analysis)

                                                Strategies for timed writing

                                Due:        Encomium assignment

                                                FOUR 445-452, 236-245      


                15            W            Research Techniques

                                Due:        FOUR 322-323, skim 305-317, skim ch. 21


                20            M            Definitions and Argument

                                                Introduce Definition Assignment

                                Due:        BED 86-87

                                                FOUR 262-274


                22            W            Argumentation:  Rhetorical Appeals

                                Due:        BED 492-500

                                                FOUR 278-279, 284-293


                27            M            In-Class Essay assignment


Mar.       1              W            Quoting, Paraphrasing, Summarizing

                                                Documentation (bring grammar handbook to class)

                                Due:        BED 575-590

                                                FOUR 318-322


                6              M            Argument:  Responding to Arguments                           

                                Due:        BED 506-517

                                                FOUR 530-532 (Levin:  “The Case for Torture”)


8                     W            Draft Workshop:  Definition assignment                                        

                                Due:        Complete typed draft of Definition assignment            


                13            M            Library Day—meet in PGCC Library


15                  W            Introduce Cause/Effect assignment

                                Due:        Definition assignment


                20            M            Conferences:  No Class

                                Due:        Linked Assignments Conference Worksheet


22                  W            Conferences:  No Class

                                Due:        Linked Assignments Conference Worksheet


                27            M            Introductions and Conclusions/Paragraphing

                                Due:        BED 72-78, 91-100

                                                FOUR 78-82, 95-98


                29            W            Draft Workshop:  Cause/Effect assignment

                                Due:        Completed typed draft of Cause/Effect assignment


Apr.        3              M            TBA


                5              W            Grammar Workshop

                                Due:        Cause/Effect assignment


10-16                                  No Class—Spring Break


                17            M            Diction, Figures of Speech, Tone

                                Due:        BED 227-237


                19            W            Diction/Tone continued

                                Due:        Read poems handout


April 21st is the last day to withdraw from 15-week classes


                24            M            Draft Workshop:  Final Position Paper

                                Due:        Two (2) Complete typed drafts of Final Position Paper


                26            W            TBA


May        1              M            Beyond the Classroom:  Ad Analysis

                                Due:        Final Position Paper


                3              W            Beyond the Classroom:  Music Analysis


                8              M            Course Review