Allen’s personal comments

What I assume about a beginning 102 student


We all differ in our physical abilities; however, some of us face more challenges than others do. If you have problems with such things as vision, hearing, dyslexia, or ADD, you need to contact the Student Accessibility Center to see about any accommodations that may be possible. By law, any such accommodations are a private matter between you and the instructor.

I assume you will take the initiative to deal with your issues.

In many cases, simply finding a seat near the front of the room will help with vision or hearing problems; the instructor will not move you if he suspects you have trouble seeing things, so it is your responsibility to find a better seat.

Academic achievement

I assume you have passed English 101 (or the equivalent). By the end of 101, students were expected to be able to:

  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

This means that English 102 will not be spending time on basic grammar issues (which should have been in place before you got into 101) or on essay structure (which you should have gotten in English 101). If you are not up to speed on basic grammar and writing strategies, the course textbook and the University Writing Center are your resources for improvement.

Note concerning “Fourth-grade grammar issues

Many basic grammar issues should have been covered eight years ago (or more) in your schooling. I’m referring to such things as capitalizing the first letter of proper nouns (English, Cleveland, Robert) capitalizing the first letter of a sentence, and so forth. These are things you should have picked up before you got into middle school. You are now in the second semester of college, so “I’m just not good with English” isn’t a valid excuse—besides, if you run the grammar checker on your word processor, it will pick up many of these errors.
Capitalizing the first letter of “English” is not specialist knowledge, and the computer will alert you about many of these errors; you are not in middle school any more—you are a university student; therefore, “fourth-grade errors” will count very strongly against the grade of your paper.


This course meets three times weekly for 50 minutes per session. If that schedule is too rigorous for you—if you feel you must show up late, duck out in the middle, or leave early—your grade will suffer.

The business of this course is English composition. If you feel you must spend the hour doing your homework for another class or wasting your time texting your friends, your grade will suffer. You may be asked to leave the room.

Most educators agree that an undergraduate college student should expect to spend two hours on homework outside of class for every hour in class. This means that your weekly homework load for English 102 should be about six hours.


I assume you are familiar with the Ashland University Academic Integrity Policy. Essentially this policy says that:

Respect for one another

This statement, which was found in a recent copy of the AU Graduate Catalog, is a good summary of what we are aiming at here:

The University promotes liberal arts and professional programs for undergraduate and graduate students. Rooted in Christian faith and an unwavering commitment toward accent on the individual, the University provides students an environment that promotes Ashland University’s values and respect toward each person.

What this means for our course: Whether in writing or in conversation, you will not demean, humiliate, or dishonor others on account of their religion, race, sexual orientation or physical disabilities.

Classroom behavior

The other members of the class are young adults who have come here—and paid a substantial fee—to gain an education. You do not have a right to deprive them of this education by disruptive behavior. In this context, “disruptive behavior” can include chattering with your friends, playing the class clown, or loud political rants. The instructor reserves the right to ask disruptive students to leave the room or be removed from the course.

The views and opinions expressed in this page are strictly those of the page author.

The contents of this page have not been reviewed or approved by Ashland University.

Revised 12/24/21 • Page author: Curtis Allen • e-mail: