CSULA Department of English | Composition Resources

Sample Syllabus for English 102

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<Instructor Name>

Office: <instructor’s office>
English Department Mail Room: E & T 637
Office Hours: <instructor’s office
hours—80 minutes per week for each 4-unit class>

Campus Phone: <instructor’s telephone

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English 102: Composition II

Catalog Description

Composition II:  Analytic and Persuasive Writing

Prerequisite:  ENGL 101 or equivalent. Continuing to practice the
rhetorical skills introduced in ENGL 101, students will analyze, interpret, and
synthesize diverse texts in order to construct a well-supported, researched,
academic argument. Graded A,B,C/NC.

Course Description

English 102 focuses on the conventions of academic writing, and the purpose
of this course is to help students write convincing, well developed, and well
organized essays that synthesize, document, and respond to various sources on a
given topic.

Class Theme: Our theme for this quarter is Myth America. Within this
unifying theme, we will be exploring identity formation, examining in particular
the role played by myth and fairy tales. We will look at some of the ways in
which myths and fairy tales, both traditional ones and their modern
counter-parts in popular culture, shape, reflect, and sustain our ideas about
who we are, and we will also consider how our obedience to various kinds of
authority helps us construct a sense of self. In addition to the readings in our
text, we will analyze depictions in film, advertising, and various other media
to see how myth and fairy tales can be used to reveal social and psychological
phenomena, and we will also explore how and why we are often obedient to these
media images.

Learning Objectives

Students will

develop an ability to write about problems from historical,
philosophical, rhetorical and/or cross-cultural and interdisciplinary

engage in group discussions and activities to develop critical
perspectives, a clear sense of audience, and a fluent and effective style;

plan, write, and revise three to four formal essays approximately 4-6
pages in length, at least one of which will involve research and the
integration of multiple sources. Essays will include analytic, interpretive,
and persuasive strategies to present and support a considered position;

continue to develop critical attitudes toward culture and media;

evaluate the relevance, validity and authority of information, and use
and cite this information ethically.


The English Department attendance policy states that any student who
misses more than 20% of class meetings or does not complete 80% of classwork
will not be permitted to take the final exam or submit a portfolio
. Since so
much of the content of this class is dependent on our work in the class, regular
attendance is vitally important to your success in the course and to your
development as a writer. There is no way to "make up" what is missed
if you are not here. Arriving more than 20 minutes late (or leaving 20 minutes
early) is counted as an absence. If you must miss class for any reason, please
call to let me know. Note: You must attend the first two class
meetings if you wish to retain your place in the class.

Individual conferences are an important element of a writing class, so I
require that you come to see me during office hours at least once during the
quarter to go over your papers and discuss any questions you might have about
your own writing. Conferences are especially crucial if you are not doing as
well in the class as you would like. If you can’t come during office hours,
let me know and we can arrange to meet at another time. Failure to meet this
requirement is treated as an absence.

Required Work

There are five assigned essays in this class: 2 essays completed out of class
(approx. 5 pages each), 1 research paper, and 2 in-class essays (midterm and
final). Students will also complete homework assignments and give 2 brief

Your final grade for the quarter will be based on all of the following
criteria, listed roughly in order of importance: the quality of your work (the
thoughtfulness, depth, and seriousness of your approach to a topic, as well as a
minimum of grammatical errors); the completeness and promptness of your work;
class participation; regular and prompt attendance; and your own growth and
development as a writer.

I will excuse one late paper, no questions asked; however, this late
paper must be turned in within one week of the original deadline, and
late papers will be graded and returned to you late. Other late work, regardless
of the reason, will be penalized; this includes work that is late due to absence
from class. Missing assignments or late papers (beyond the one allowed) will
lower your final grade.

Texts, Supplies and Other Helpful Advice

Required Text:

Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum, 10th
edition (2008), edited by Laurence Behrens and Leonard J. Rosen.

Note: Please bring the text with you to each class meeting.

Recommended Text:

The writing handbook recommended by the English Department is Diana
Hacker’s A Pocket Style Manual, 4th ed. (Bedford/St. Martin’s).

Supplies: Some regular, lined notebook (8.5 x 11) paper, some dark-ink
pens (blue or black), and at least two standard-sized (8.5 x 11) bluebooks
(exam books) to use for your reading journals. (These supplies should be
available in the campus bookstore.)

Tutorial assistance is available at
the University Writing Center, located in 2097 Library South (phone: 3-5350).
The Writing Center tutors can help you at any stage of the writing process, from
getting started to helping you learn to edit and proofread your papers, or to
answer specific questions or problems with grammar and usage. You may drop in or
call to make an appointment with a tutor. Don’t feel you have to have a
serious problem to make use of their services; all writers can benefit from some
assistance and feedback.

ADA Accommodations

Reasonable accommodation will be provided to any student who is
registered with the Office of Students with Disabilities and requests needed

Classroom Behavior

All students are expected to treat everyone in class with respect and in
general to behave in a reasonable, responsible, and courteous manner at all
times. This means observing the customary rules that govern polite, civilized
behavior. I expect everyone to do the following:

Arrive promptly and stay in the classroom for the duration of the class
meeting, unless you are ill or have an emergency; this holds true for all
classroom activities. If your schedule prevents you from arriving on time,
you may want to enroll in a section that better suits your schedule. If you
must leave class early for some reason, please let me know in advance.

Do the reading and writing assignments before class time so that
you come to class prepared to contribute to and participate in discussions.

Do not talk, read, sleep, or do other work during classtime. When someone
is talking, you should listen attentively, and when you are talking, you
should address yourself to your group or to the class. If you are sitting
next to someone with whom you may be tempted to chat during class, please
move to another seat so that you will not succumb to temptation.

Make sure you turn off and put away your cell phone during class.


Grading System

English 102 is graded ABC/NC (with pluses and minuses). A grade of C or
better is necessary to pass the course; a C- is not a passing grade and
will be recorded as a No Credit (NC). You should always be clear about how you
are doing in the class from the points you receive, but if you have questions
about your grade, please come see me.

Once papers are turned in and evaluated, the grades you receive are final (no
more revisions can be submitted at that point), but remember you are always
welcome to visit me during my office hours and/or meet with a Writing Center
tutor with your drafts before the essay is due (this is the best way to
improve your grades on essays).

Point system:


First essay (fairy tales)

100 pts. (10 pts. for draft workshop)

Second essay (obedience)

100 (10 pts. for draft workshop)

Researched paper


Midterm essay (in class)


Final essay



20 (5 pts. subtracted for each absence)



Homework (summaries, etc.)





550 pts.

Late papers (beyond the one allowed): 10 pts. will be subtracted for each
class meeting late.

Letter grades for individual essays correspond to the points as follows:

100 pts.








































Final grades for the quarter correspond to the points as follows:























under 345



Late papers (beyond the one allowed): First and second essays: 10 points
subtracted for each class meeting late; researched paper: 25 points subtracted
for each class meeting late.

Note: Although you need a C or better to pass as a final grade for the class,
these letter grades reflect the work on the individual essays.

Recommended Journal Writing

You may want to keep a reflective journal for the class to record your
responses to the readings and to our discussions (your questions, ideas,
insights, or areas of confusion). Having some of your ideas and questions
already on paper can be extremely helpful as you begin to collect your thoughts
to write your essays and formulate a thesis. There are no set "rules"
to follow, but here are some suggestions to make your journal-writing more

Keep a notebook just for your journal entries, separate from your other
class notes.

Try to write your journal entries as soon as possible after class
discussions or after you’ve done the reading. It doesn’t have to be much
-- maybe half a page or a page of your responses -- and it shouldn’t take
you more than 15 or 20 minutes.

If you don’t know what to write, ask yourself such things as "What
did I learn that surprised me or answered a question I had?" or
"What was confusing about the reading or discussion?"

Don’t worry about spelling or grammar; just write to get your ideas out
there without making judgments or paying attention to
"correctness." The less you censor yourself, the more productive
your journal-writing will be. This kind of writing is "thinking on
paper" rather than a performance for an audience. (If you’re writing
on a computer, try working with the screen off, so you’re not tempted to
edit or make corrections as you write.)

If you miss a day or two of writing in your class journal, don’t worry
about it. Just pick it up again when you can. Keeping a journal should be
helpful and even pleasant, not a burdensome chore.

Academic Dishonesty/Cheating

Collaborating with others is encouraged when you are planning your papers,
reviewing each other’s work, preparing for presentations or for exams. Study
or reading groups can be effective ways to study and learn. However, when you
write your papers, the text needs to be your own.

You must carefully observe the standard rules for acknowledging the
sources of words and ideas. If you make use of a phrase or a quote or if you
paraphrase another writer’s words or ideas, you must acknowledge the
source of these words or ideas telling us the source of these materials. APA
and MLA style differ on the exact format of this attribution, but the simple
version is the name of the author and the page number (if appropriate) in
parentheses at the end of the sentence containing the use of the source
material. (We will work on properly acknowledging sources this quarter.)

If you plagiarize or otherwise misrepresent the source of your work, you
will receive a zero on the assignment and be reported to the Student
Disciplinary Officer.

If you panic and are tempted to plagiarize or cheat, DO NOT. Contact me
and we can negotiate a solution. Once you cheat, it is too late for you to
negotiate anything.

Weekly Assignment Schedule

Note: I reserve the right to make changes in assignments or due dates;
you will always be advised well in advance of any changes.

All readings listed below are in Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum,
and all assignments are due at the beginning of the class meeting for which they
are assigned.

Wk 1-1 Syllabus and introduction to course.
In-Class diagnostic essay.

Homework: Read: Summarizing (Chapter 1).

Wk 1-2 In class: discuss rhetoric, summarizing, and critical

Homework: Read Intro to Chapter 12, "The Universality of the
Folktale" by Stith Thompson, and all nine Cinderellas
(584-621). Do worksheet "The Characteristics of Cinderella in
Perrault and Grimm.

Wk 2-1 Discuss characteristics of Cinderella; introduction to fairy
tales; handout topics for Essay 1. First draft due: Week 3-2.

Homework: Read Jones and Kolbenschlag (handouts). Read Bettelheim
(627) and Panttaja (644). Summarize Jones for Tuesday. Your summary should
be one-half to one page long and it must be typed and double-spaced.

Wk 2-2 Summary of Jones due. In class: Begin discussion of fairy

Wk 3-1 Handout library assignment: Motifs in Fairy Tales: due
Week 4-2.

Finish discussion of fairy tales. Prepare for draft workshop on Week

Wk 3-2 Draft workshop with Essay #1: bring two copies. Final
revision of Essay 1 due Week 4-2.

Homework: Read "Avoiding Logical Fallacies," (p.57-61)
and "Argument Synthesis" (146-153).

Wk 4-1 Discuss research paper topics; formal requirements for
essays; thesis formation and synthesis; paragraphing; quoting and citing

Wk 4-2 Essay 1 Due: turn in all drafts and peer responses.
Library report presentations due; hear presentations.

Homework: For Week 5-1: Complete preliminary research topic

For Week 5-2: read Intro to Chapter Nine (349-351); Asch (351-
357); Milgram (358-370); Zimbardo (389-400) and Fromm (402-406) and other
readings TBA.

Summarize Milgram and Asch. Summaries should be one-half to one page
long, and they must be typed and double-spaced.

Wk 5-1 Library day: Room TBA (bring research topics)

Wk 5-2 Turn in summaries of Asch and Milgram. In class, begin
discussion of Chapter 9. Handout writing topics for Essay #2: first
draft due Wk 6-2.

Wk 6-1 Discuss research paper proposals; paper proposals due Wk
Finish discussion of Chapter 9 (Obedience to Authority).

Homework: Read for Wk 6-2 199-208. (Analysis)

Wk 6-2 Draft Workshop for Essay 2; bring two copies of your draft
to class. Final revision of Essay 2 due Wk 7-2; turn in all drafts
and peer response sheets. Turn in researched paper proposal.

Wk 7-1 Begin class work on researched paper. Researched paper is
due Wk 9-1.

Wk 7-2 Write in-class essay. Essay 2 due; turn in all drafts
and peer responses.

Wk 8-1 Discuss MLA and APA documentation.

Wk 8-2 Draft workshop: bring 4 copies of your researched essay.
Note: if you do not have four copies of your draft, do not come to class.

Wk 9-1 Researched papers due at beginning of class. Hear reports on
researched papers (2-3 minutes each).

Wk 9-2 Extra Day (Can be added anywhere in schedule when 20 class

Wk 10-1 Prepare for final in-class essay.

Wk 10-2 Final in-class essay.