English Composition I
English 101, Sections D & H – 3 credits
Spring 2019

Skip to Reading and Writing Assignments

Course Number & Title: ENG 101, English Composition I
Department: English
Term: Spring 2019
Prerequisites: Placement or Completion of ENG 100
Fees & Charges: $25 course fee (Writing Center)
Credits: 3

Instructor Name: Curtis Allen
Section Numbers: D & H
Class Time:
Section D: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9:00 AM – 9:50 AM
Section H: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 8:00 AM – 8:50 AM
Class Location:
Section D: Dauch College of Business & Ec (COBE), Room 106
Section H: Bixler Center for the Humanities, Room 209
Office Hours & Location: Monday, Wednesday, & Friday 1 PM to 3 PM in Bixler 125
On the campus map this is called "Center for the Humanities of Bixler Hall." You will also see it referred to as CFHB.
Instructor Email: callen@ashland.edu.
My ordinary working hours are 8 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday. If you e-mail me outside of those hours (middle of the night or Sunday morning, for example) you probably will not get a response from me until my next working hours. I do not reply to e-mails while I am teaching a class.
Instructor Telephone: 419-289-5643
Please note that I am only near this phone during my office hours.
Instructor's mailbox: in Bixler 217

1. Catalog Description:

This course stresses the development of effective grammatical and rhetorical form through the assignment of expository and argumentative writing projects. Students will learn to reflect on ideas and observations, to use writing as a tool to sharpen those ideas, to reflect on their own writing process, and to use and cite sources accurately. May not be taken for S/U credit. Meets Core credit for composition I.

2. Course Content:

The goal of the Composition Program is to help students develop the ability to use writing as a thinking tool and to take responsibility for their own development as writers. Students generally do not leave the Composition Program as mature writers, but they should have developed a sense of what it means to write effectively and have acquired numerous tools to help them write and continue learning to write.

Composition I assumes that students have basic command of the mechanical aspects of composition and can write a brief essay with relatively few mechanical and grammatical problems.

Based on a combination of ACT/SAT scores, high school GPA, and review of a composition placement essay, students with borderline preparation for 101 will be placed in English 110, the Writing Laboratory, in which students work on papers in collaboration with junior/senior writing assistants.

Composition I focuses on the transition to college-level writing. It asks students to go beyond the five-paragraph essay format, to take ownership of their ideas, and to consider themselves real participants in academic discourse.

The course introduces students to the problems of observing, exploring ideas, and presenting arguments. Students begin learning to read texts closely and to develop and to make meaningful connections with those ideas. Students develop greater understanding of the writing process including learning to edit and revise for grammatical and rhetorical problems.

Students will be asked to observe and read, to explore and understand the observations, and to reflect on the relationships among ideas and on their implications. They will learn to develop their reflections into papers which discuss and support a point of view or an argument. They will acquire the fundamentals of information literacy, learning what constitutes college-level research and how to evaluate sources for value, credibility, and bias.

Students will begin taking responsibility for their own development as writers and will learn to reflect on their writing and editing strategies. They will be expected to have or to develop effective personal strategies for discovering and developing ideas and for organizing and editing papers.

3. Student Learning Outcomes:

  1. Analyze issues and language in a sophisticated expository, argumentative, or narrative text.
  2. Write an argumentative or expository essay that represents an original position or interpretation.
  3. Explore a thesis, theme, or point of view in depth.
  4. Support a position or interpretation with specific examples and original analysis or detail.
  5. Effectively evaluate the context, audience, and purpose to construct writing assignments.
  6. Order ideas in a way that is appropriate to the context, audience, and purpose of the assignment.
  7. Use language appropriate to the intended audience and purpose of the assignment.
  8. Assess sources for credibility, bias, and relevant value.
  9. Select, integrate, and cite appropriate sources.
  10. Accurately apply documentation conventions.
  11. Use language that clearly conveys meaning.

Core Composition Outcomes

  1. Compose and communicate effectively for a variety of rhetorical purposes.
  2. In writing, frame and analyze a problem using relevant information.
  3. Write an appropriate argument, report, application, or other expressions of such inquiry.

4. Student Assessment Criteria:

Papers for this course will be graded holistically. Holistic grading is an attempt to move beyond a "counting errors" approach to writing; it is an attempt to deal with a piece of writing the way real-world readers would respond. Essentially, the question is "Did this piece of writing work?"

Papers will be evaluated using Written Communication VALUE Rubric. The rubric includes comments in five areas, each of which is divided into four levels of achievement:

  1. Context of and Purpose for Writing
  2. Content Development
  3. Genre and Disciplinary Conventions
  4. Sources and Evidence
  5. Control of Syntax and Mechanics

In addition to the marked rubric, students will receive written comments and a letter grade. The eventual letter grade is not an average of the items on the rubric. For example, a paper which is quite good at "Control of Syntax and Mechanics" but very poor at "Content Development" cannot be an "average" paper. It is a poor paper if it does not accomplish its goal of explaining/arguing a point and supporting its thesis.

Effort is impossible to grade. Some people do an excellent job of writing with little effort, while others struggle for every word. I cannot judge that. I can only comment on the result.

Major Assignments

Essay #1 50 points
Essay #2 75 points
Essay #3 100 points
Essay #4 100 points
Essay #5 150 points
Five short writings @ 25 125 points
Quiz Average 50 points
Attendance/Participation 50 points
Total 700 points

Course Grading Scale (%)
A = 94-100C = 73-75.9
A– = 90-93.9C– = 70-72.9
B+ = 86-89.9D+ = 66-69.9
B = 83-85.9D = 63-65.9
B– = 80-82.9D– = 60-62.9
C+ = 76-79.9F = below 59.9

Paper Length

Each assignment has a minimum length specified by word count. The word count does not include your header, title of the paper, or Works Cited items. Papers which are less than 80% of the assigned length will have their final grade multiplied by the proportion of the length submitted (for example, if the assignment was 1300 words and the submitted paper was 650, the final grade will be multiplied by 50%).


You may rewrite two of your first four graded papers and submit them for an improved grade. Here are the rules:

  1. Papers that received a C+ (76%) or better will not be regraded.
  2. You will submit the original paper with its grade sheet along with the revised paper and a memo discussing the changes you made and the reasons for the changes.

Note that simply typing in corrections suggested by the instructor (punctuation, spelling, etc.) will not generally result in an improved grade.

Late Work Policy

Each assignment has a due date printed on the assignment sheet. The assignment is due at the beginning of class on the due date.

Plagiarism Policy

Attendance Policy

Your primary job is “student,” and you are expected to take that job seriously. You are expected to show up at the beginning of class, participate, and stay until the end of class. You get three (3) “personal day” absences during the semester which do not count against you.

You will lose attendance credit for:

Excused absences: You must ask me personally (not by e-mail) for an excused absence. The distinction between excused and unexcused absences is at the discretion of the instructor, but you would be wise to document requests for excused absences (note from your doctor, for example).

Athletes: When your participation in scheduled University events conflicts with class, you receive an excused absence. Here are the rules:

Additional Information:

The University Writing Center

The Ashland University Writing Center (CFHB 104) assists students with take-home writing projects in all disciplines. Students receive one-on-one attention from trained Undergraduate Writing Assistants and can use the writing center space for writing and group workshops. Appointments are available Monday-Thursday from 9am-9pm and Friday from 9am-5pm. Drop in hours are the last two hours of every day (7-9 pm M-Th and 3-5 pm F). For information on how to schedule an appointment, visit: https://www.ashland.edu/administration/center-academic-support/university-writing-center

Disability Accommodations

It is Ashland University's goal that learning experiences be as accessible as possible. If you anticipate or experience physical or academic barriers based on a disability, please contact the Student Accessibility Center at 419-289-5904, or send an email to dservices@ashland.edu. The Student Accessibility Center and the course instructor will work together to establish accommodations and to meet your learning needs.

This link https://www.ashland.edu/administration/campus-life/student-accessibility-center will take you to the Student Accessibility Center web page.

Required text and materials

Recommended course materials

Submitting Papers

To facilitate English Department evaluations, we are asking you to upload your essays as electronic copies to the Blackboard drop box. If the only copy available for grading is blank or otherwise unreadable, you will get a zero for the assignment. If you submit a copy that cannot be read, you will be notified and given a chance to load a readable copy, but there is no way a grade can be assigned to a blank page or a page of gibberish.


The Incomplete is a temporary grade given to a student who has completed most of the course and has a passing grade but is unable to complete the course for major reasons beyond his/her control (such as a serious medical problem). The Incomplete is not intended for students who simply did not get around to doing all the work during the semester. The University academic calendar lists the final deadline for making up Incompletes each semester.

Grade Appeals

If you believe your academic rights have been violated, you should, if possible, discuss the matter with your instructor. If you wish to appeal the case, you must appeal to the Director of Composition, before going to the department chairperson, or to the Dean and Academic Council, who may confer with the Provost.

English 101-D & 101-H Reading and Writing Assignments

In the following calendar:

Week 1: First Things

Week 2: First Things

Week 3: Explanation

Week 4: Explanation

Week 5: Explanation

Week 6: Evaluation

Week 7: Evaluation

Week 8: Evaluation

Spring Break

Week 9: Argument

Week 10: Argument

Week 11: Argument

Week 12: Synthesis

Week 13: Synthesis

Week 14: Synthesis

Week 15: Synthesis

Exam Week

Our course will not have a final exam. We will not meet as a group during Exam Week.

Class schedules during Exam Week are not the same as the schedules during the regular term. Make sure you check with each teacher to learn when your final exams are.