Meramec 030
Spring '00
Course Syllabus

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Course Requirements: ENG:020 with grade of "C" or better, or recommendation of Dept.

Course Calendar--Spring 2000

This course is designed primarily to help prepare students for successful work in College Composition I, though it may benefit anyone desiring to improve basic grammar and writing skills. The course focuses on fundamental writing problems through extensive work in the construction of sentences, paragraphs, and short essays. Previous or concurrent enrollment in a developmental reading course is encouraged. Near the end of the semester, students will be counseled concerning their progress and what additional work they may need to accomplish their particular writing goals.

This course is designed to facilitate your transition into the academic writing process. In the past, you may have been taught composition techniques designed to enable you to communicate effectively in the work force and to set the stage for your college career. It is upon this foundation that the present course lies. We will move from there to preparing you for the more advanced writing courses and beyond.

In essence, college writing is different from high school writing, so you should consider this class an important part of your desire to graduate. During your upper level coursework, every instructor will require a paper, some short, others longóbut all will expect you to have mastered the basic and advanced composition skills required to write them. Failure at this level, therefore, will foretell of failure at the next levels.

Your degree of proficiency to advance to the next level will be assessed through the following categories:

As the focus of this course lies in teaching both basic sentence structure and paragraph development within the essay, 30% of your grade will be determined by 3 short essay projects, each of 8 paragraphs in length, and individually worth 10% of your grade.

During class, we'll have the opportunity to discuss and select specific focal points for the following themes:

First Online Essay--St. Louis Sports
Second Online Essay--U.S. Technology
Third Online Essay--Global Pollution

The students in the fall 99 class developed their local interest project around St. Louis 2004, for instance, and their global interest project consisted of how to make the world a better place in the next millennium.  Click here for those examples.

10% of your grade will be based on the mastery of seventeen diagramming patterns designed to help facilitate your learning of the syntactic structure of the English language.  For the online diagramming tutorial, click here.

Three grammar tests drawn from Real Writing with Readings, by Susan Anker, will count for another 15% of your total course grade.  For the online grammar tutorial, click here.

In addition, you will also be required to read Luther Butlerís Preacher and write a short 3-4 page academic book report concerning it, which will count for 15% of your total course grade and be due on May 5th. The purpose of reading this book is to give you experience in comprehending and analyzing a short work of fiction that may otherwise have been lacking in your academic development.  If you'd like to read more about the author, click here:  Luther Butler.  To see his comments to students concerning their journal entries, click here: COMMENTS.

To fulfill the collaborative and analytical aspects of this course, 15% of your grade will be determined by regular journal entries submitted on a weekly basis, drawn from Real Writing with Readings, which will then be discussed in small groups.

Finally, 15% of your total course grade will be based on your in-class participation.  

As this is a foundational course, attendance is required. Excessive absence will result in a lower course grade or removal from the course.

Learning Objectives (Goals):

bulletReview the basic principles of grammar and punctuation, including the appropriate use of the comma, which accounts for 30% of all grammatical errors.

There are also several other websites, like the Guide to Grammar and Writing and A Web of Online Grammars (this one has them all!), that will help facilitate your learning of modern standard College English.

bulletGain confidence in oneís writing skills and the competence to continue writing in other college courses.
bulletBe able to use college resources (such as the Writing Center or English Computer Center) to aid in the study of writing.
bulletLearn to use online resources to facilitate your writing process
bulletUnderstand the applicability of skills learned in Introduction to College Writing to the workplace as well as the college
bulletUnderstand and demonstrate planning, writing, and revision of paragraphs
bulletConstruct a unified essay with beginning, middle, and end
bulletDevelop a link between reading and writing
bulletUnderstand that there are many dialects of English, each appropriately used in different cultural, professional and academic contexts
bulletUnderstand that the use of different dialects enables access to and membership in different discourse communities

Expected Performance Outcomes (measurable):

bulletWrite focused topic sentences
bulletSupport topic sentences with specific details
bulletUse transition words to achieve coherence within paragraphs
bulletWrite sentences in a variety of sentence patterns
bulletWrite a clear thesis sentence
bulletWrite the introduction, body and conclusion of an essay
bulletBe able to write 300 words on a topic
bulletUse at least one transition between parts of an essay
bulletAvoid most fragments, comma splices, and run-on sentences
bulletWrite with a few errors in mechanics or edited American English
bulletRespond to reading of expository prose

An inability to meet these goals and outcomes will result in your repeating the course until you have mastered them.

My office hours are scheduled by appointment for MWF 7:00-7:50. Should you need me for any reason outside of this time, feel free to contact me at home (314) 752-9311 or by email at

Plagiarism Policy:

Plagiarism means repeating the words or ideas of another without acknowledgment of the author, thereby representing his/her work as your own. There are three types of plagiarism: 1) the deliberate word-for-word copying of someone elseís work as your own; 2) the rewording or rearranging of anotherís work, which could either be a deliberate attempt to cheat, or an unintentional display of inexperience in research; 3) the use of an aid or tutor who, though well-intentioned, does so much of the studentís work that the student can no longer call the work her/his own. English Department policy dictates that a student guilty of plagiarism will receive an F in the course and may face disciplinary action that becomes a part of his/her permanent record.

College Services:

ACCESS Services, Clark Hall 120, 984-7673

St. Louis Community College-Meramec has a free service to guide, counsel and assist students with disabilities called the ACCESS office. If students receive services through the ACCESS office and need special arrangements, such as seating closer to the front of the class, a note-taker, or any other approved accommodation, feel free to make an appointment during the first week of classes to speak to me about them. All information shared with me will be held in strict confidence.

College Writing Center, CN 122, 984-7570
College Reading and Study Skills Center, CN 124, 984-7390

The College Writing Center is a free service to help students at any point in the writing process from brainstorming through revising. The CRSSC is a free service that offers help with reading and study skills, including note-taking and test-taking strategies. Appointments are not necessary.

Student Academic Rights:

bulletAccess to scheduled class meetings and appropriate instructional and support service.
bulletRight to a syllabus describing course objectives; units of subject matter to be provided; evaluation procedures; major course requirements such as term papers, book analyses, library field trips and weekly journals; and rules of attendance, grading and conduct.
bulletRight to have instruction that begins promptly; is presented in a clear and concise manner; and provides relevant, structured activities consistent with the contact hour requirements for the course.
bulletRight to have classroom instruction, assignments and evaluation that are consistent with the general course description and the specifications of the syllabus.
bulletRight to be treated in a humane, ethical and professional manner, both in the classroom and in all communication and contact with the instructor.

Student Academic Responsibilities:

bulletResponsible for being punctual and attending classes
bulletResponsible for being attentive and for appropriately participating in class activities
bulletResponsible for completing all class assignments as directed by the instructor
bulletResponsible for consulting with the instructor as soon as possible if problems arise
bulletResponsible for complying with official announcements
bulletResponsible for seeking appropriate support services to improve his/her level of academic achievement
bulletResponsible for behaving in a humane and ethical manner both in the classroom and in all communication and contact with the instructor, other staff members, and other students.

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