ENGLISH 101/121


Spring 2006


Instructor:                     Professor Ryna May    

Office hours:                 Largo Campus: Monday &Wednesday: 12-1pm

                                    LCC: Tues 1:30-2:30pm, Wed 5:30-6:30pm, Thur: 9:15-10:15am

Office location:              Marlboro Hall 3095 and Laurel Center 204

Office phone:                301.322.0601

Email address:     

Mailbox location:           Largo Campus: Marlboro Hall 3072 / Laurel Center 205

On the Web:       


Course Description

EGL 101/121 is university-parallel freshman English.  This course will cover the fundamentals of effective prose writing, including required essays and a research paper.  Prerequisite: Placement test, Reading and writing proficiency level, or EGL 100, or a grade of C or higher in EFL 202.


Course Objectives

1) Upon successful completion of the course, students should 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

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

  • Use the library resources to locate and evaluate material relevant to specific topics
  • 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



Required Texts and Materials     (Available at the PGCC and HCC Bookstores)


  • Lunsford, Andrea A. and John J. Ruszkiewicz. The Presence of Others: Voices    

           and Images That Call for Response. 4th Edition. New York: Bedford/St. 

           Martin’s, 2004

  • Hacker, Diana. The Bedford Handbook. 6th Ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2002
  • A good dictionary with a thesaurus
  • A 3-ring binder to hold handouts
  • A dedicated disk and 2 pocket folder for your work in this class


Required Coursework

Five essays (including one research paper), informal writing, a research assignment, homework and in-class contributions determine the extent to which the student has mastered the course objectives.  The final course grade breaks down as follows:


Essay I                         10%       

Essay II                        15%

Essay III                       15%

Essay IV(In-Class)        15%

Research Exer.             10%    

Essay V (Research)      20%    

In-Class Grade              15%

Course Grade                100%



College Level Expectations

In general, college students can anticipate spending at least 2 hours out of class on coursework for every hour spent in class.  So the typical commitment for a 3 credit hour class is 6 hours of your own time outside of the classroom.  In order to perform to college level expectations, you should expect to devote a minimum of 6 hours per week to the work required for this course.


Essays  (formal written work)

This course uses a modified portfolio style grading system which requires multiple drafts before final submission of formal essays.  Essays will be scored according to statewide standards.  A copy of these criteria will be made available to students.  Students submit their typed essay drafts at the beginning of class on the due dates indicated on the syllabus.  Detailed assignment sheets will be distributed and discussed extensively in class, and draft workshops held to help students through the writing process.  Each formal essay will receive comments and a grade indication.  Students are encouraged to revise their work and resubmit new versions of the first 3 essays with the last graded copy attached.  Students must also attach a memo to the teacher describing the revision they have done (see revision policy). Revised essays must be turned in within a week after they are returned.

As a deterrent to plagiarism, I require that students submit a digital copy of the final draft of each essay to  (Directions for how to register will be given in class.)  Students need to print the submission receipt and attach it to the hardcopy of the essay before coming to class.  Essays will not be accepted without the receipt. 


Assignment Format and Documentation Requirements

All essays should be in MLA format unless otherwise specified.  MLA format will be taught in class and can be referenced in The Bedford Handbook.


Assignment Deadlines

Essays are due in class on the assigned dates (see the syllabus).   Papers must be handed in to me in person or given to appropriate staff in the Department office (LCC 205).  A late paper will be accepted for one week after the due date, but it will drop one letter grade.  In-class contribution activities, including essay drafts, are due in class on the dates indicated on the syllabus and cannot be turned in late for any reason.  I do not give extensions for assignments. 


In-class Contributions

The quality of work, both written and verbal, and the degree of preparation you bring to each class session, such as reading responses, comments, and workshop drafts, affects the quality of the classroom experience for all of its members. Because the work you produce is designed to enhance collaborative learning in the classroom, these written materials cannot be "made up" or turned in outside of class: you must be present, on time, and prepared in order to receive credit for your contributions.  Contribution credits are earned by bringing required materials such as drafts, assignments, and journal entries, and by participating significantly in discussions, group work, and workshops. 


Course Policies

These policies may seem like just basic common sense to most (I hope all) of you, but I always include them in the best interests of the whole class.  When you enroll in college courses, you expect that instructors will do their best to ensure a good learning environment, one in which we can concentrate on the material and feel comfortable sharing ideas and asking questions.  Nearly all students do their part to be respectful of others and consider it common sense and courtesy to be on time to class, leave only during designated breaks, etc. But, just in case there’s a problem or conflict, it’s good to have our ground rules in writing.


Attendance and Courtesy

Students are expected to attend all classes and to be on time.  Since in-class contributions are 15% of the final course grade, those students who do not miss more than two classes a semester, who arrive promptly and remain for the entire class session, have the best opportunities to earn the highest grades in participation.  There are no “excused” absences in the course, and any student who for any reason misses more than 5 of the class sessions or who does not turn in all five essays cannot pass the course.  Students who are more than 10 minutes late for a class session will be marked absent.  Students who disrupt class to an unreasonable degree with late arrivals, leaving and returning to the classroom, leaving early, or other non-productive activities like sleeping, or socializing, even after discussions with or reminders from the instructor, will be considered to be “absent” for a session. Also, please be sure to turn off all beepers and cell phones when in class, or, in emergencies, to set alerts to “silent” or “vibrate” mode.  Students are not permitted to eat during class.


Disruptive Behavior

Behavior that is incompatible with a learning environment will not be tolerated.  This includes arriving late for class, disruptive talking, interruptions of class activities, rudeness, eating in class, leaving class early, or other behavior not suitable in a college class setting.  Disruptive behavior can result in a student being removed from the class or dismissed from the college.  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.



The format for this writing class is primarily workshop rather than lecture. Through oral and written responses, and guided by your instructor, you and your classmates will help each other define writing topics, generate ideas and prepare drafts for other academic readers. You will write first drafts to discover what you want to say and second drafts to determine the structure of your arguments; you will receive peer responses on this second draft, and then write a third draft to revise for clarity and grace.  For the semester, this course is designed around the theme of social issues, using film and related readings to generate topics for discussion, writing, and research.


Cancelled Classes.

If essays are due on a day that the college is closed, the new due date is the next class session.  In the event that the instructor has to cancel a class unexpectedly, a notice will be posted on the classroom door and/or an email will be sent to all students with instructions regarding the schedule.



When the college announces a delayed opening, all classes with at least 45 minutes of class time remaining at the time of the opening will be held.  For example, in the event of a 10 a.m. opening, a 9:30-10:45 a.m. class will be held.  This procedure applies to all credit classes.


Student Responsibility

Students are responsible for maintaining copies of all of their written work, on disk and on paper.  All drafts and essays must be saved and compiled in a course folder.  In the event of lost work or missed classes, students are still expected to produce copies of assignments, and/or gain access to notes, announcements and session material. 


Extra Help

PGCC Students who need extra help with any aspect of the writing process (grammar, invention, drafting, etc) are encouraged to visit the Writing Center, which is located on the first floor of Bladen Hall (B107). Please call (301) 322-0748 for a half-hour, one-on-one tutoring session with an English faculty tutor. When you go to your appointment please be on time, have all needed materials (assignment sheets, outlines, etc.), be able to identify exactly what it is you would like to work on, and have a good attitude. HCC students should visit the CLC in ILB 210.  The CLC is a walk-in center; no appointment is required.


Disability Support Services

PGCC 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 their instructors at the beginning of the semester and provide a copy of their Student/Faculty Accommodation Form.


Academic Honesty

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.


A common violation of the academic honest policy is plagiarism.  Plagiarism is the improper use, or failure to attribute, another person's writing or ideas. It can be as subtle as the inadvertent neglect to include quotes or references when citing another source or as blatant as knowingly copying an entire paper verbatim and claiming it as your own work.  


Students who are caught plagiarizing will be subject to disciplinary measures according to the college policy.  When you are caught, you will receive a failing grade of zero for the assignment and the incident will be reported to the Office of the President for Student Services.  Subsequent incidents may result in your dismissal from the college. 

Here are some general guidelines as to what constitutes plagiarism:

  • Copying a source word for word without using quotation marks and without identifying the source
  • Extensive borrowing of words and phrases from a source without using quotation marks and without identifying the sources
  • Too close paraphrasing
  • 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
  • Submitting the work of someone else as your own

Important Dates

Spring 2006


Please note dates specific to your school!


All Laurel College Center Students:


January 28

Spring 06 classes begin at LCC

February 20

President's Day, LCC OPEN

February 15

Last day to apply for May Graduation for PGCC students

March 15

Last day to apply for May Graduation for HCC students

April 07

Last day to withdraw from 15 week classes  for HCC students

April 22

Last Day to withdraw from 15 week classes for PGCC students

April 10- 16

Spring Break, LCC CLOSED

May 08 - 15

Final Exam Week at LCC


Prince George’s Community College Important Dates and Deadlines:


Last day to apply for spring graduation                                  Wednesday, February 15

Presidents’ Day – College closed - No classes                      Monday, February 20

Last day to change from "audit" to                                        Friday, March 3

            "credit" or "credit" to "audit"                              

Spring Break – College closed - No classes                          Mon.-Sun., April 10-16

Last day to withdraw from full-semester classes                   Friday, April 21

Final exam period/last week of classes                                  Tues.-Mon., May 9-15

Commencement, 7 p.m.


Howard Community College Important Dates and Deadlines:


Change to Audit

February 17

Withdraw from Class

February 18 - April 7

Final Exams

May 13 - May 19

Last Day to Petition to Graduate
for May degree

 March 15



100% tuition and fees

February 3

75% (no course fees)

February 4 - February 10

50% (no course fees)

February 11 - February 17


May 19




NOTE:  The instructor reserves the right to adjust the order and times indicated on this syllabus to suit the needs of the class; however, notification of such adjustments will be made in advance of the appropriate date.

Calendar of Assignments for English 101/121

You are expected to read and respond to the assignments before the class they are listed below so that you are prepared to question, discuss, and write in class. Some limited assignment and reading changes may be made in response to class progress and interest. The abbreviations "Bedford" and "PO" refer to the two required texts, The Bedford Handbook and The Presence of Others, respectively. Students are expected to bring both books to every class session.



Readings and Assignments

Week One


Tues. Jan. 31

Introduction to the course and each other

Diagnostic Essay

Thur. Feb. 2

MLA Basics/Exercise registration

Introduction to Bedford online/Exercises 32-1 and 33-1

Read PO pp. 1-14

Read Bedford pp. 382-400

Week Two


Tues. Feb. 7

Definition Essays

Purpose and Audience

Read PO pp. 697-701, “Cyclops”

Journal   (must be typed)

Read PO pp. 15-22

Online Homework: Writing Exercises/Purpose and Audience, Exercise 1-1 (Review pp. 10-13 of Bedford)

Thur. Feb. 9

Finding Your Voice: Diction in Academic Essays

Process of Writing – Freewriting

Begin Viewing SuperSize Me (Part I)

Discussion of Schlosser’s Essay

Read PO pp. 787-791, “Behind the Counter”

Answer questions 1, 6, 7 pp. 791-792 (must be typed)

Week Three


Tues. Feb. 14

Elements of a Good Essay:

Thesis Statements

Introductions and Conclusions

Topic Sentences

Building Paragraphs

Distribute and Discuss Essay 1 prompt

View SuperSize Me (Part II)

Online Homework: Writing Exercises/Introductions, Exercise 2-2

Online Homework: Thesis, Exercise 2-1

(Review pp. 32-36 of Bedford)

Thur. Feb. 16

Introduction to Peer Workshops


View SuperSize Me (Part III)

Online Homework: Writing Exercises/Topic Sentences, Exercise 4-1 (Review pp. 72-77 of Bedford)

Week Four


Tues. Feb. 21

Peer Workshop


Parenthetical Citations

Bring Typed Draft of Essay 1.1

Bring Disk Copy of Essay 1.1

Online Homework: Writing Exercises/Transitions, Exercise 4-2 (Review pp. 95-98 of Bedford)

Thur. Feb. 23

Peer Workshop

Bring Typed Draft of Essay 1.2

Bring Disk Copy of Essay 1.2

Week Five


Tues. Feb. 28

Compare and Contrast Essays

Begin viewing Bowling for Columbine (Part I)

Essay 1.3 due with receipt

Thur. March 2

Discuss  Atwood’s Essay

Distribute and Discuss Essay 2 prompt

Continue viewing Bowling for Columbine (Part II)

Read PO pp. 565-567 “A Letter to America

Answer questions 2, 3, and 6 pp. 568-569 (must be typed)

Week Six


Tues. March 7

Peer Workshop

MLA Works Cited Workshop

Introduction to the Library Database

Bring Typed Draft of Essay 2.1

Bring Disk Copy of Essay 2.1

Thur. March 9

Finding Appropriate Sources

Library Assignment – in class

Peer Workshop

Bring Typed Draft of Essay 2.2

Bring Disk Copy of Essay 2.2

Week Seven


Tues. March 14

Persuasive Essays

Begin viewing The Laramie Project (Part I)

Essay 2.3 due with receipt

Thur. March 16

View in class The Laramie Project (Part II)

Distribute and Discuss Essay 3 prompt

Discuss Sullivan Essay

Read PO pp. 380-389 “What Are Homosexuals For?”

Answer questions 1 and 2 p. 389 (must be typed)

Week Eight


Tues. March 21

Debate Prep and Database Search

Peer Workshop

Bring Typed Draft of Essay 3.1

Bring Disk Copy of Essay 3.1

Thur. March 23

Bring Preliminary Debate Prep

Debate Prep and Database Search

Week Nine


Tues. March 28

In-Class Debate

Debate Prep (Typed)

Thur. March 30

Begin Viewing Finding Forrester (Part I)

Peer Workshop

Bring Typed Draft of Essay 3.2

Bring Disk Copy of Essay 3.2

Week Ten


Tues. April 4

View Finding Forrester (Part II)

Discuss Hurston’s Essay

Read PO pp. 414-417, “How It Feels to Be Colored Me”

Answer Question 3 p. 418 (must be typed)

Thur. April 6

View Finding Forrester (Part III)

Distribute and discuss in-class essay prompt

Essay 3.3 Due with receipt

Week Eleven


Tues. April 11

College Closed: Spring Break (No Classes)

Thur. April 13

College Closed: Spring Break (No Classes)

Week Twelve


Tues. April 18

Essay 4: In-Class Essay (Must be completed from 10:15-11:45)

Thur. April 20

Constructing a formal Argument in MLA Style

Distribute and discuss research essay prompt

How to construct an Annotated Bibliography

Give out Bibliography Assignment Sheet

Exercise: Citations

Begin Viewing Crash (Part I)

Week Thirteen


Tues. April 25

Research Workshop

View Crash (Part II)

Read PO pp. 467-498 “The Monochrome Society”

Answer questions 1 and 3 pp. 498-499 (must be typed)

Thur. April 27

View Crash (Part III)

Annotated Bibliography Peer Workshop

Bibliography Draft Due

Week Fourteen


Tues. May 2

Peer Workshop

Research Workshop

Bring Typed Draft of Essay 5.1

Bring Disk Copy of Essay 5.1

Thur. May 4

Peer Workshop

Annotated Bibliography Due

Bring Typed Draft of Essay 5.2

Bring Disk Copy of Essay 5.2

Week Fifteen


Tues. May 9

No Class: Exam Week

Thur. May 11

No Class: Exam Week

Research Essay 5.3 due with receipt to Room 205 by noon