St. Charles County Community College 
Developmental Writing I 095
Spring '00
Course Syllabus
Tuesday Evening Schedule

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(Course Calendar)

This course provides comprehensive review and intensive drill in the fundamentals of English sentences and paragraphs. 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 will 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 basic sentence structure and paragraph development, 50% of your grade will be determined by short paragraph projects and in-class exercises taken from the book Writing First: Practice in Context, by Kirszner and Mandell, which may be found in the campus bookstore. This will be broken down as follows:

15% for in-class and online grammar exercises

10% for a diagramming test involving mastery of 17 graduated diagramming patterns that reinforce the meaning of each of the various syntactical structures of the English language

15% for a GLOBAL INTERNET PROJECT whereby you will research a company on the Internet and write a 6-paragraph online essay concerning it.  For an example, click here.

10% for a comprehensive final examination concerning the elements of grammar

Grammar tests taken from Writing First: Practice in Context will count for another 20% of your total course grade.

In addition, you will also be required to read Luther Butlerís Preacher and take a test concerning it, which will count for 15% of your total course grade. The purpose of reading this book is to give you experience in comprehending a short work of fiction that may otherwise have been lacking in your academic development. As this book is not in the college bookstore, you will have to purchase it elsewhere.  If you'd like to read more about the author, click here:  Luther Butler. To see Luther Butler's comments to students concerning their journal entries, click here: COMMENTS.

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

Review 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.

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):

bulletUnderstand that writing involves a process of pre-writing, writing, and rewriting
bulletUnderstand the basics of English syntax, grammar, and punctuation
bulletUnderstand the basic structure of a paragraph
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 provides access to and membership in different discourse communities
bulletUnderstand that skills gained in Composition 020 apply to the workplace as well as to the college
bulletBe able to use college resources (such as the Writing Center) beyond the ENG:020 teacher to assist in developing writing skills
bulletGain greater confidence in writing and the competence to continue writing in other college courses

Expected Performance Outcomes (measurable):

bulletWrite clear, direct sentences
bulletAvoid most fragments, comma splices, and run-on sentences
bulletUse conventional syntax, grammar and punctuation
bulletUse a variety of sentence patterns
bulletUse consistent verb tenses in sentences and paragraphs
bulletSpell correctly
bulletWrite focused topic sentences
bulletSupport topic sentences with appropriate specific details
bulletWrite appropriately in response to selected readings

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

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.

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.

My office hours are scheduled by appointment on Tuesdays. Should you need me for any reason throughout the week, feel free to contact me at home (314) 752-9311 or by email at

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