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
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.
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
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
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
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