Introduction To Composition Syllabus

This is an example of a syllabus handed out to California State University students enrolled in Professor Mary Mackey’s Introduction To Composition course English 1A. English 1A or the equivalent is a mandatory requirement for all students at California State University, Sacramento. In some universities this mandatory composition course is known as “Freshman Composition,” since students are usually required to take it their first year.

ENGLISH 1A: INTRODUCTION TO COMPOSITION
SAMPLE SYLLABUS

Instructor: Professor Mary Mackey

PLEASE NOTE: Keep all copies of your essays (graded and ungraded) until at least November APRIL 3. YOU WILL NEED THEM TO DO THE FOURTH WRITING ASSIGNMENT.
CELL PHONES AND PAGERS must not ring during the class period. Please silence them.

           REQUIRED TEXTS:
                   THE NORTON SAMPLER, COOLEY
                   THE PRACTICAL ENGLISH WORKBOOK, WATKINS
                   Plus: The Four Rules, Professor Mackey (and many generations of
             writers down through the ages)

           RECOMMENDED TEXT: THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE, STRUNK & WHITE
                            
           REQUIREMENTS:  Regular Attendance
                          Participation
                          Reading
                          Memorization of The Four Rules
                          Quizzes on The Four Rules
                          In-class writing assignments
                          Essays and other assignments
                          A final conference on MAY 15 or 17

           NOTE: Keep all copies of your essays (graded and ungraded).
                 You will need them to do the 4th Assignment and will
                 also need to bring them to your final conference.

           FORMAT:   Everything must be typed and double spaced.
                     Work must be submitted in multiple copies
                     which you should bring to class with
                     you on the day the assignment is due. You
                     will need to make approximately 25 copies.
                     
                     PLEASE NOTE: Required Font: Courier New Size 12
                     Do not submit work with justified right
                     margins, work with margins that
                     are unusually large or small, or work written
                     on a printer that prints in a way too faint
                     to be read easily. You may make limited
                     corrections in pen before you run off your
                     multiple copies.  Please place your name
                     in the upper left hand corner of each page.
                     You do not need to attach a title page to
                     your essays.  Please do not put your work in
                     a plastic folder. Simply staple the pages
                     together at the upper left-hand corner. You
                     may double side your copies.

                     LATE WORK: A late paper will be penalized
                     one letter grade.  If it is not submitted
                     within a reasonable length of time, it will
                     count as an F.

          ATTENDANCE: Attendance is mandatory.  Persistent
                     absence will lower your final grade
                     significantly.  (In other words, if you
                     don’t come to class, you fail the course.)
                     Please note that arriving late or leaving
                     early may be counted as an absence.                                

          CONFERENCES:  You must attend one of the required  
          conferences at the end of the semester to get your final
          grade. Conferences are held in my office. Please bring all graded copies of your essays.

     PLEASE BE AWARE:  You will be asked to write a persuasive
     paper this term. The sooner you decide on a topic, the           
     more pleasant your life will be in April and May. You
     may write a paper for another course that you are presently
     taking provided you: (1) consult with Prof. Mackey and
     (2) obtain the written permission of your instructor.
     
        
TU JAN 30   INTRODUCTION TO AND OVERVIEW OF THE COURSE.

            DISCUSSION OF PRE-WRITING, OUTLINING, BRAINSTORMING

           CITING AND INTRODUCING SOURCES
           AVOIDING PLAGIARISM, PENALTIES FOR PLAGIARISM (NASTY)
           WHAT CONSTITUTES EVIDENCE? WHAT IS A RELIABLE SOURCE?
           ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF ON-LINE RESEARCH
        
TH FEB 1   IN-CLASS WRITING
           
           ***PLEASE BRING THE NORTON SAMPLER WITH YOU NEXT
              TIME AND AT ALL TIMES IN THE FUTURE   
                                  
TU FEB 6   THE TOPIC SENTENCE

            ASSIGNMENT: MEMORIZE The Four Rules by our next class
            meeting.
         
TH FEB 8   IN-CLASS WRITING

           ***1ST WRITING ASSIGNMENT:  Descriptive essay. Two pages.  
            Due FEB. 13 in multiple copies.

TU FEB 13  DESCRIPTIVE ESSAYS DUE

           DISCUSSION OF DESCRIPTIVE ESSAYS

TH FEB 15  DISCUSSION OF DESCRIPTIVE ESSAYS

TU FEB 20  DISCUSSION OF DESCRIPTIVE ESSAYS

           *****NEXT TIME BRING PLEASE BRING YOUR WORKBOOKS

TH FEB 22  GRAMMAR REVIEW:  COMMON SENTENCE ERRORS, Pages 57-75
             (fragments and run-on sentences); 91 (passive voice);
             165 (parallelism) in the PRACTICAL ENGLISH WORKBOOK.  

             PLEASE BRING YOUR WORKBOOK TO CLASS.

           ***2ND WRITING ASSIGNMENT:  Narrative essay. Two pages,
           due MARCH 1 in multiple copies).

TU FEB 27  METHODS OF ORGANIZATION
                
TH MAR 1   NARRATIVE ESSAYS DUE

           DISCUSS NARRATIVE ESSAYS  

TU MAR 6   DISCUSS NARRATIVE ESSAYS

TH MAR 8   DISCUSS NARRATIVE ESSAYS

           *****PLEASE BRING YOUR NORTON SAMPLER TO THE NEXT
                CLASS

TU MAR 13 ANALYSIS OF PROCESS ESSAYS IN NORTON
           (THESE ESSAYS ARE ALSO CALLED “HOW TO ESSAYS”.)
          
           ****3RD WRITING ASSIGNMENT:  HOW TO ESSAY.
            Three pages, due MARCH 20 in multiple copies. Try to
            select something unusual so your essay will
            entertain as well as inform

          ****REMEMBER YOUR WORKBOOKS FOR NEXT TIME

TH MAR 15  Grammar Review:  Comma, semi-colon, colon, dash,
           parenthesis, and brackets (Workbook, pages 180-223).  
           PLEASE BRING WORKBOOK TODAY.

TU MAR 20   HOW TO ESSAYS DUE

            DISCUSS HOW TO ESSAYS.

TH MAR 22   DISCUSS HOW TO ESSAYS

TU MAR 27   DISCUSS HOW TO ESSAYS

            PLEASE BRING YOUR NORTON SAMPLER TO THE NEXT CLASS

TH MAR 29   MODEL ESSAYS: Discussion of the difference between
             modeling and plagiarism. Analysis of some of the essays
             in Norton. Advantages of using models.

            BRING NORTON SAMPLER TO CLASS

          ****4TH WRITING ASSIGNMENT:  Revision. Select one of the
          essays you have written this semester and do a major
          revision. Do not simply correct the spelling
          and grammar. Restructure the essay if necessary. Put in
          more concrete examples. Work to make your prose flow
          smoothly. Review The Four Rules and see how well you
          have followed them. Due APRIL 3 in multiple copies.
       
TU APR 3  REVISED ESSAYS DUE

          DISCUSS REVISED ESSAYS

TH APR 5  DISCUSS REVISED ESSAYS

(APRIL 9-13 SPRING VACATION, NO CLASS)

TU APR 17  DISCUSS REVISED ESSAYS
 
TH APR 19  PERSUASION (LECTURE)           

           ***5TH WRITING ASSIGNMENT:  Pick some controversial topic
           that is important to you and attempt to persuade us that
           your point of view is the correct one.  This should be a
           topic that requires serious research. Due MAY 1; four
           pages, multiple copies.
 
     NOTE: you may write a paper connected to a course
     you are presently taking provided you: (1) consult
     with Prof. Mackey and (2) obtain the written permission
     of your instructor.

           Be prepared to present a five minute oral report
           on your research in class on APRIL 26.  This is not a
           formal speech.  You do not have to write it out.

TU APR 24 AN ANALYSIS OF VARIOUS EXAMPLES OF PERSUASION TAKEN
           FROM YOUR NORTON SAMPLER (AND PERHAPS ELSEWHERE)

           BRING YOUR NORTON SAMPLER TO CLASS
           
TH APR 26  RESEARCH REPORTS DUE ON PERSUASION PAPERS
           (PLEASE NOTE:  THESE ARE ORAL REPORTS OF 5 MINUTES EACH)

TU MAY 1  PERSUASION PAPERS DUE

          DISCUSS PERSUASION PAPERS
           
TH MAY 3  DISCUSS PERSUASION PAPERS
           
TU MAY 8  DISCUSS PERSUASION PAPERS
 
TH MAY 10 DISCUSS PERSUASION PAPERS

TU MAY 15 FINAL CONFERENCES WITH PROFESSOR MACKEY  (REQUIRED)
            Please bring all graded copies of your essays.

TH MAY 17  FINAL CONFERENCES WITH PROFESSOR MACKEY  (REQUIRED)
             Please bring all graded copies of your essays.

Please note: There is no final exam in this course

[Click on the following course titles to view sample syllabi for Advanced Composition, Women’s Visionary Fiction, Women’s Visionary Film, and Women’s Visionary Poetry.]