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Composition II Syllabus
English 102 section A – 3 credits
Fall 2019

Course Number & Title: ENG 102, Composition II
Department: English
Term: Fall 2019
Prerequisites: Placement or Completion of ENG 101
Fees & Charges: $25 course fee (Writing Center)
Credits: 3

Instructor Name: Curtis Allen
Section Number: A
Class Time: Monday, Wednesday, & Friday, 8 to 8:50 AM
Class Location: Center for Humanities Bixler, Room 309
Office Hours & Location: Monday, Wednesday, & Friday 1 PM to 3 PM in Center for Humanities Bixler, Room 125
Instructor Email:
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

Catalog Description

English 102 is the second course in Ashland University’s two-semester writing sequence and involves continued emphasis on the writing process, critical thinking, close reading, the rhetorical nature of language, and research skills. Meets Core credit for composition II.

Course Content:

Composition II introduces students to the idea of participation in an intellectual community. Although many instructors in Composition II will use literary texts to challenge students to read critically and explore the nuance of language, the focus in Composition II is not on thematic instruction in the mode of the traditional “interpretation of literature” course but on the process by which thematic meaning is conceived, articulated, and debated. Composition II texts will in general be longer or more closely grouped around a subject or idea than texts in Composition I in order to give students a greater depth of material in which to conceive and develop their arguments.

Student learning outcomes:

  1. Read and Think Attentively and Critically
    • actively engage in close reading, developing an ability to read for nuance, rhetorical strategies, and thematic or ideological tensions and ambiguity in texts which include metaphor, irony, and other types of figurative language
    • assemble evidence for a developed and organized exposition or argument
  2. Develop a writing project through multiple drafts
    • learn to assemble evidence, outline informally, draft, edit, and proofread
    • generate and refine arguments and ideas
    • demonstrate active revision that moves well beyond sentence-level correction
  3. Develop Thesis and Support
    • develop a paper of at least 2000 words that supports a thesis with specific evidence
    • analyze multiple texts and contexts for their different purposes, audiences, subjects, and genres
    • draw connections among several texts in a developed and organized exposition or argument
  4. Apply the Basic Elements of Research and Documentation
    • narrow and refine a researchable topic
    • assess contextual sources for credibility and bias
    • distinguish the relative value of contextual sources and apply them to an overall premise or argument
    • differentiate between quotation, paraphrase, and summary
    • manage quotations, in-text citations, and bibliographies
    • properly cite work to avoid plagiarism
  5. Edit and Revise Effectively
    • write standard, edited English

Student assessment criteria:

Major essays will be graded according to this rubric, derived from a rubric published by the National Council of Teachers of English, which evaluates five different areas (Focus, Content/Development, Organization, Style/Audience, and Conventions). Scores for each area range from 0 (Unsatisfactory) to 4 (Superior). In addition, the synthesis/research essay will receive evaluations for MLA citations.

In addition to the marked rubric, students will receive written comments and a letter grade. The eventual letter grade is not necessarily an average of the items on the rubric. For example, a paper which is quite good Conventions ("Very few errors in grammar, mechanics, usage, or spelling.") but quite poor at Focus ("The paper is an assortment of unrelated ideas") 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.

Short writing assignments will receive a holistic grade.

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.

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

Plagiarism Policy

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. In-person appointments are available on main campus 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). Online appointments (synchronous and asynchronous) are also available. For information on how to schedule an appointment, visit:

Accessibility Resources and 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 Student Accessibility Center at 419-289-5904, or send an email to . The Student Accessibility Center office and the course instructor will work together in order to establish accommodations and to meet your learning needs.

Required text and materials:

Required textbooks

Required course materials

Recommended course materials

Major Assignments

Essay #1 (4 pages) 100 points
Essay #2 (4 pages) 100 points
Essay #3 (4 pages) 100 points
Essay #4 (6 pages + MLA) 175 points
6 short pieces @ 25 pts. each 150 points
Quizzes and In-Class 50 points
Attendance/Participation 50 points
Total possible 725 points

Students need to turn in all major assignments to pass the course.

Grading Policies

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 three 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.

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.

*There is a commercial program called “Dropbox.” This comment does not refer to that program. You must find and open the Ashland University Blackboard area for our course and upload the paper there.

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).

Locked door policy: The classroom door will be locked 10 minutes after the start of the class session. If you show up later, you must knock, identify yourself, and sign in.

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

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.

Additional Information:


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 102-A Reading and Writing Assignments

In the following calendar:

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

Week 7

Week 8

Week 9

Week 10

Week 11

Week 12

Week 13

Week 14

Week 15

Exam Week

Class schedules during Exam Week are not the same as the schedule during the semester! Check your exam schedule!