Sunday, September 23, 2007


Yakima Valley Community College—English Composition 101

Glenn-Anthon 121

Dan Peters, Instructor 574.6800.3194

Office Hours: Fall 2007

Course Description:

In the first of two college-level courses, English 101, students will learn to write clear, unified, coherent, and well-developed essays of increasing complexity. These essays may be about literary and nonliterary texts, or they may rely upon such texts as points of departure for the discussion at hand. Through reading, writing, and discussion, students will learn to critically examine their own assumptions and opinions and to consider the facts and reasoning of others. When documenting sources in their essays, students will use the basic citation methods of the Modern Language Association. Students successfully completing English 101 should be adequately prepared to succeed in the second college-level composition course, English 102.


ASSET placement score: 46-54

Students who complete English 75 with a minimum grade of S or ESL 102 with a minimum grade of B+ are also eligible for English 101.

Course Outcomes:

Upon completion of the course, the student will be able to:


Write clear, unified, and coherent essays that show active engagement with a topic


Write essays that show a developed analysis


Critically read texts


Use and articulate an effective writing process


Use MLA conventions accurately when integrating and documenting sources

Course Objectives


Generate content from personal experience, readings, class discussion or other appropriate means


Write essays with a thesis or central idea and develop a narrative, descriptive, or analytical essay according to organizing principles


Use evidence to support assertions


Paraphrase, summarize, and quote accurately


Anticipate and respond to the needs of a reading audience


Practice MLA documentation conventions


Improve writing through revising, editing, and proofreading drafts


Respond to peer's writing and consider feedback from readers


Reflect on one's own writing process, strengths and weaknesses, and progress


Practice critical reading strategies


Students will have the opportunity to practice the following Abilities as they meet course objectives:

Analytical Reasoning (AR) and Communication (C).

Required Texts/Materials

  • A Writer's Reference, Hacker 6e
  • The Grapes of Wrath, Steinbeck
  • The Worst Hard Time, Egan
  • Three Ring Binder
  • Spiral bound notebook
  • A good college-level dictionary

Suggested: highlighter pens, mini-stapler, blue & black ink pens, thumb drive

Labs and Internet:

We will meet Mondays in the lab. Room number:

There is also a blog associated with this class:
This site is unofficial and updated when I can get to it. I'll try to post lesson plans, useful links and reading schedules, but you should not rely on this site for anything beyond supplementing your classroom experience. That being said, it will be a big part of this quarter in particular.

Required Work

  • Three complete assignment sequences. Sequences will center on three related topics—

    Essay 1: Why Talk About the Dust Bowl Now?

    Essay 2: A Creative Response

    Essay 2: Why Talk About the Dust Bowl Here?

  • These sequences will include various prewriting activities, a rough draft and a second draft of all three essays.

Reading and commenting on students' papers. Your comments on papers should help others to revise and improve their work.

  • Readings as assigned.

Participation in class discussions and activities.

Preparation for class activities.

Quizzes on readings

A final revised essay for an improved score

Attendance Policy

If you miss 5 classes for any reason, you will lose one letter grade.

If you miss 10 classes you will lose two letter grades

If you miss 12 classes, you will be withdrawn from the course.

Coming 10 minutes late is absent. Leaving 10 minutes early is absent.

Please, come on time. Turn off the electronics. Lean in.

Requirements for essays and homework

All essays and homework are due on the date assigned.

Late work will not be accepted. Don't push me on this. It works for everybody. You will be given opportunities to make up these lost points through bonus point activities.

  1. Essays are required to be between 3 complete pages and 5 pages long, double-spaced, in a normal sized (12 point) font or type comparable to Times New Roman. Essays not meeting the minimum length requirement, whether through failure to complete 3 pages, use of a larger than normal font, or crayon pictures of a house or a kitty, or large margins, will have a reduced grade. Failing to complete page 3 by a line or two won't affect your grade, but stopping your essay on the middle of page 3 certainly will. Works Cited pages, graphics, charts, etc. do not count toward the minimum page requirement.

  2. All essays must be typed or printed on a computer printer.

  3. Essays must be typed in MLA format: with your name and page number in the top right-hand corner. Double-spaced. Correct heading

Keep a HARD COPY of your essay, so that you will have a back-up in case of loss, fire, flood, locust, jelly donuts, terrorists, disk crash, etc. Anyone working on computer should have a back-up copy of his/her essay on disk.

Plagiarized work will be scored as a 0 and will not be eligible for revision/rescoring.


Your grade will be broken into two parts:

  1. The first will be for all the work you do prior to a second draft (D2).
    1. This work will account for 40% of your final grade.
    2. These assignments will either be assigned a point value (ex: 7/10) or be graded on a +, \, - basis.

  1. The second part of your grade is your first and second drafts.
    1. This work will account for the 60% of your final grade.
    2. These are essays that I will read, give comments on and score from 0-100.
    3. Rubrics will be distributed at a later date.

  2. The third part of your grade will be bonus points. Because of activities related to the Big Read, there will be a record number of bonus point opportunities this quarter.


A= 93%

A-= 90

B+= 87

B= 83

C+= 77

C= 73

C-= 70

D= 60

Course Adaptation: If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, if you have emergency medical information to share, or if you need special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please talk with me as soon as possible.

English 101 Rubric Essay One

Ideas and Support

(AR—Supports claims with evidence) 40 points





The student's essay does not have a clear focus and includes little credible or relevant evidence.


The student's essay has a focus and offers some relevant supporting evidence, but also offers additional claims, evidence from questionable sources, and/or evidence of questionable relevance.


The student's essay has an identifiable claim; the student supports his or her claim with appropriate evidence that is generally relevant to that claim.


The student's essay has a unique, arguable claim; that claim is supported using appropriate, sufficient, and relevant evidence from credible and varied sources.


MLA Style

(AR—Applies discipline-specific conventions) 20 points





The student produces an essay that does not use MLA documentation appropriately (i.e. lacks in-text documentation or lacks a reference page; paraphrases border on plagiarism, etc.).


In the essay, the student includes sources information, but does not fully integrate them; the student demonstrates some understanding MLA documentation, but struggles to consistently and correctly apply it.


The student produces an essay in which sources consistently and accurately quoted or paraphrased and are cited (in-text and on Works Cited page) according to MLA format.


The student produces an essay that complies with discipline standards: the essay is formatted correctly; sources are integrated effectively and are properly quoted/paraphrased and cited in-text; Works Cited page is complete, accurate, and correctly formatted.


Standard Written English

(C — Uses contextually appropriate language and conventions; AR – Methods) 20 points





The student's essay includes many major errors—in grammar, syntax, and diction—that distort meaning and interrupt flow of reading.


The student's essay includes a number of distracting minor errors or some major errors that distort meaning, though overall meaning is not lost; at times, sentence structure disrupts flow, and word choices lack variety and precision.


The student's essay contains few distracting errors in syntax, diction, grammar, or mechanics, and the errors do not detract from the meaning;


The student's essay contains few or no noticeable errors in grammar or mechanics and errors do not distract reader; sentences fluency and word choice enhance the readability and "voice."



(C) 20 points





The writing lacks a clear sense of direction. Ideas, details or events seem strung together in a loose or random fashion; there is no identifiable internal structure. No real intro or conclusion.

Connections betw. ideas are confusing or missing


Problems make it hard for the reader to get a grip on the main point or story line. The paper has a recognizable intro and conclusion. The introduction may not create a strong sense of anticipation; the conclusion may not tie up all loose ends.


The organization structure is strong enough to move the reader through the text without too much confusion. Intro and conclusion grab reader's attention. Transitions often work well.


The organization enhances and showcases the central idea or theme. The order, structure, or presentation of information is compelling and moves the reader through the text. Organization flows so smoothly the reader hardly thinks about it.


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