ENG 114: Composition II


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Instructor Information


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Course Description and Core Objectives
ENG 114 focuses on essay writing emphasizing argument, analytical reading/writing, critical thinking, and research; attention to English language development. Satisfies the English 102 requirement for non-native English speakers.

This course satisfies builds a foundation [1] for Core Objectives 01 and 03 of the Silver Core Curriculum:

  • C01: Effective Composition & Communication: Students will be able to effectively compose written, oral, and multimedia texts for a variety of scholarly, professional, and creative purposes.
  • C03: Critical Analysis & Use of Information: Students will be critical consumers of information, able to engage in systematic research processes, frame questions, read critically, and apply observational and experimental approaches to obtain information.

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) and Correlation to Core Objectives (COs)

Students successfully completing this course will be able to:

1)Apply and explain the writing process: prewriting, composing, revising, responding, editing, attending to language and style, and writing with audience and purpose in mind (CO1);

2)Engage in critical reading and interpretation of a wide range of texts (CO3);

3)Be able to summarize, analyze, synthesize, evaluate, and apply what they read—both orally and in writing (CO1/CO3);

4)Frame complex research questions or problems (CO1);

5)Be able to produce a coherent, well-supported argument that shows critical thinking about of student’s own and alternative viewpoints (CO1/CO3);

6)Recognize, evaluate, and use a variety of information sources: expert people, publications of information agencies, popular and specialized periodicals, professional journals, books, and electronic resources (CO3);

7)Conduct research that shows evidence of the ability to synthesize, use fairly, and credit the ideas of others using the appropriate citation style (CO1/CO3);

8)Write coherently and observe the standards of academic English (CO1).

Required Materials[2]

  • The Norton Sampler 8th edition – Thomas Cooley
  • Easy Writer – Andrea A. Lunsford
  • Spiral Journal for readings entries.
  • Pocket paper folder for essays.

Course Assignments

1)40% Papers: Narration, Compare/contrast, Identity, Synthesis p Research Essay, and two Film Analysis. Total of 26 – 30 pages typed in MLA format. (CO1; CO3)

2)25% Exams: Mid-term, Final essay is also your Final in the class. (CO3)

3)20% Bits and Pieces (in-class, out of class) Peer Revisions, Read and Writes Quizzes. (CO1; CO3)

4)5% Instructor conference

5)10% Reading Selection Presentation from our text. (CO1; CO3)

Grading Scale for the Course and for Major Essay Assignments

A (93-100%)

A- (90-92%)

B+ (87-89%)

B (83-86%)

B- (80-82%)

C+ (77-79%)

C (73-76%)

C- (70-72%)

D (60-69%)

F (0-59%).


I. Attendance

According to UNR policy, there are no excused absences: Attendance is particularly important in Core Writing courses because so much of the learning in these courses happens during in-class writing exercises, peer review, and discussion. Nevertheless, students are allowed two absences without penalty to their final grade if this course meets two days per week; three days if the course meets three days per week. Every absence thereafter will result in a penalty of a ten percent deduction to your course grade; after four (for a twice-weekly course) or six (for a thrice-weekly course) absences; you will be failed from the course for excessive absences.

There are a very few exceptions to this policy. One is if you are representing the university in an official capacity (sports, debate, band, etc.). In this case you may qualify for a limited number of additional absences. To qualify for this exemption, you must bring me official notification (on university letterhead, complete with contact information) from a university official by the end of the second week in class. Once I have your letter, you and I will decide if you should remain in the course or should find a section whose schedule better fits yours. The other exception may come in case of serious injury/illness. If you wish to petition for an additional limited number of absences, you or a representative must notify me within a week of the incident. Again, there are no excused absences from UNR courses, so exceptions are at my discretion and must be negotiated by the above conditions.

If you miss a class, it is your duty to determine what you have missed. Missed classes for reasons other than those outlined above will result in a zero for any daily assignments that were due in class for that class period.

As for tardiness, you need to be in your seat when class starts and ends. Tardiness in excess of ten minutes past the scheduled start time of the class may result in the student being marked as absent. Please pay myself and your classmates the respect we deserve by showing up to class on time. If I feel that tardiness has become a problem, I reserve the right to give unannounced attendance quizzes. If a student is not in her/his seat at the start of class, s/he will not be permitted to take the attendance quiz.

II. Major Assignments

You must submit all major assignments to be eligible to pass this class. A failure to submit any of the major assignments for the class within two weeks of the due date of the assignment will result in an automatic failure for the course.

All essays must adhere to MLA format (which you can find in your textbook and by searching for the MLA Guide at the Purdue University Online Writing Lab: Meaning:

  • All essays are to be typed in 12 point Times New Roman font;
  • Each essay should be double spaced with one inch margins;
  • Each essay must have a heading in the top left corner of the first page containing the author's name, class section, and an assignment description;
  • Each essay must include a centered, interpretive title (which means that the title must tell the reader about the author’s argument rather than provide a description of the assignment).

Each essay must meet the minimum page requirements as outlined by the individual assignment sheet. The last page of the essay must be at least half a page in length to count towards the minimum page requirement. Furthermore, graphs, pictures/illustrations, or similar figures do not count toward the minimum page count of an essay.

All major assignments are due in class by the beginning of class on the due date. Major assignments submitted after the start of class on the date due will be penalized ten percent for each day (including weekends and holidays). If you are unable to attend class on an essay's due date, you are responsible for making arrangements to submit the essay to me before it is due.

I will be happy to address any questions or concerns regarding the grading of an individual essay/assignment during my office hours, but due to privacy restrictions I am not permitted to discuss these concerns in front of other students, and these concerns will not be addressed during class.

III. Plagiarism and Academic Dishonesty

Academic honesty is highly valued at UNR. Plagiarism (copying all or part of someone else’s work and passing it off as your own) is a serious form of academic misconduct and will not be tolerated. The following definitions and possible courses of action are taken from the Academic Standards section of the university catalog:

  • Academic dishonesty is defined as: cheating, plagiarism or otherwise obtaining grades under false pretenses. Plagiarism is defined as submitting the language, ideas, thoughts or work of another as one’s own; or assisting in the act of plagiarism by allowing one’s work to be used in this fashion.
  • Disciplinary procedures for incidents of academic dishonesty may involve both academic action and administrative action for behavior against the campus regulations of student conduct….Academic action may include: (1) canceling the student’s enrollment in the class without a grade; (2) filing a final grade of “F”; (3) awarding a failing mark on the test or paper in question; (4) requiring the student to retake the test or resubmit the paper.

Please note that “the work of another” does not just mean whole papers or articles copied from another source. It includes any information, ideas, sentences, or phrases that came from somewhere other than your own head (i.e. books, articles, internet sites, videos, documents, lecture notes or handouts from other courses, and any other sources). Whether you are quoting directly or paraphrasing, sources must be properly acknowledged by providing references and an MLA-formatted Works Cited page. Citations should also be given for little-known facts and statistics. If you have questions as to what constitutes plagiarism, please talk to me, or see the webpage “Academic Standards” at

IV. Miscellaneous

  • Cell phones and pagers must be either silenced or turned off during class. If your cell phone goes off during class, I reserve the right to ask you to leave the classroom. In addition, text messaging is prohibited during class. Violations of this cell phone policy will result in you being asked to leave the classroom, you receiving a zero for the day for any in class assignments, and it will count as an unexcused absence.
  • Use of laptops, Mp3 players, and all other electronics during class is prohibited unless you are given permission from the instructor.
  • Class discussions or activities may often contain frank subject matter. Each student will respect the comments of the other students in the class, the instructor and any visitors that we may have in class.
  • When working on assignments for this course, students will be frequently asked to visit outside sources such as the library. In these instances, students will conduct themselves as they would in class and deal professionally with all University staff and personnel they come in contact with.
  • If a student has a problem with the subject matter of any assignment, he/she is encouraged to meet with me privately during office hours so that I may address his/her concerns and discuss a suitable alternative assignment.
  • During the semester I will be in frequent contact with you via email. It is your responsibility to make sure that I have your correct email address.
  • During email and phone conversations students must maintain a formal and respectful tone.
  • Food and beverages are allowed as long as they do not become a distraction.
  • Chewing gum and tobacco products (including use of e-cigs) are prohibited.
  • Sleeping: Students are expected to remain sitting upright and awake during class. If you have your head down or if you are sleeping during class, you will be asked to leave the classroom, you will receive a zero for the day for any in class assignments, and it will count as an unexcused absence.

It is your responsibility to be prepared for every class period. If I find that you are unprepared for class (incomplete reading or writing assignments, materials unprinted, missing textbook, etc.), then you will be asked to leave the classroom, you will receive a zero for all class activities for that day, and it will count as an unexcused absence.

Finally, any behavior that I find to be disruptive to the classroom environment will result in you being asked to leave the classroom, you receiving a zero for all class activities for that day, and it being counted as an unexcused absence. If you are dismissed from class due to behavioral concerns, you may also be required to meet with an administrator in Core Writing before the next class period to discuss the issue(s). A failure to meet with the administrator in Core Writing will result in every class period after this being marked as an unexcused absence until this meeting has taken place. These unexcused absences will remain as unexcused absences after the meeting has taken place.

Disability Services

The University of Nevada, Reno and the Core Writing Department support providing equal access for students with disabilities. If you require assistance, please tell me and speak with the Disability Resource Center (Thompson Building Suite 101) as soon as possible to arrange appropriate accommodations.

Statement for Academic Success Services

Your student fees cover usage of the Tutoring Center (784-6801 or and University Writing Center (784-6030 or The mission of the University

Writing Center is to assist students in any stage of the writing process through peer-to-peer consultation and small group instruction. The staff offers free writing consultations to all undergraduate, graduate, and faculty members. Writing consultations range from 30 minutes to one hour.

Audio and Video Recording

Surreptitious or covert video-taping of class or unauthorized audio recording of class is prohibited by law and by Board of Regents policy. This class may be videotaped or audio recorded only with the written permission of the instructor. In order to accommodate students with disabilities, some students may have been given permission to record class lectures and discussions. Therefore, students should understand that their comments during class may be recorded.

Statement on Online Course Evaluations

Your chance to evaluate this English course will appear two weeks before the last day of classes in the form of a new course on your WebCampus home page. This new course contains only the evaluation survey. These online course evaluations are extremely important to your instructor and to the Department of English, so please take a few minutes to complete your course evaluation when it becomes available. The evaluation is completely anonymous and your comments can never be connected with your name. Instructors cannot see the evaluation course on WebCampus and will not have access to the contents of these evaluations until after final grades have been posted.

Daily Schedule

Class Schedule*

All readings and assignments must be completed PRIOR to the class meeting for which they are assigned.

*(Schedule subject to change due to pace of class, direction of class discussions, and/or if changes would more directly address learning outcomes.)

Week 1 8/25 First Day – Introduction, Course outline and Syllabus. Gather books and material.

8/27 Read Norton Sampler Writing Process 24 – 42 and take notes in spiral notebook. Read “Storm Country” (79). Do reading log in spiral notebook, due on 9/3 for group response1. See Reading Log format at the end of Syllabus.

8/29 Discussion and In-Class Write.


9/3 Group response: “Storm Country”. Bring Norton to class.

9/5 Panel Discussions and Handout. Bring Norton Sampler. Sign up for Reading Presentations.

Week 3 9/8 Assign essay 1 (Personal Essay) in class exercise on description and pre-writing techniques. Give handout for assignment. Bring two copies to class 9/10 for peer revision.

9/10 Peer Revision Essay 1 – bring two copies of your completed essay to class. Journals check on reading log.

9/12 Group Response 2: “The Sanctuary of School” (177). You will have done a reading log before coming to class and bring Norton Sampler with you.

Week 4 9/15 Group Response 3 “Laugh Kookaburra’ (227).

9/17 Essay 1 (Personal Essay) is due. Video in class.

9/19 Finish Video. Video Response handout. Video essay due: 9/22.

Week 5 9/22 Video Discussion. Bring your video response essay.

9/24 Assign Essay 2 (Compare/Contrast essay. Give handout.

9/26 Outside Assignment – handout.

Week 6 9/29 Peer Revise E-2 - bring two copies to class.

10/1 E – 2 (C/C essay) due! Read to Write in – class writing exercise.

10/3 Reading presentation 1.

Week 7 10/6 Panel 2 Reading presentations. E-2 due!

10/8 Individual response “Football versus Asian Studies” (364). Quiz.

10/10 Mid-term study guide handout. Panel 3 Readings Presentation.

Week 8 10/13 Mid-term Part one. Give reading for Part two.

10/15 Easy Writer exercises in class – bring it to class.

10/17 Mid-term Reading part two due! Panel 4 Readings Presentation.

Week 9 10/20 Panel 5 Reading presentation.

10/22 Assign Essay. E – 3 Identity Essay in class.


Week 10 10/27 Peer Revise E- # Identity Essay. Student Conference Sign Up Sheet!

10/29 Paragraphs Assignment.

10/31 Paragraphs due! In class write.

Week 11 11/3 Student conferences – Bring E – 3.

11/5 Student conferences – Bring E – 3.

11/7 Panel 6 Reading Presentations.

Week 12 11/10 Assignment E- 4 (Synthesis essay) Environment issue. Bring Easy Writer to class.

11/12 Bring articles to class for check off. Write Works Cited.

11/14 Panel 7 Reading Presentations.

Week 13 11/17 Peer Revise E- 4. Bring two copies to class.

11/19 In class write quiz. Check Journals final grade!

11/21 EASY WRITER quiz.

Week 14 11/24 OUTSIDE ASSIGNMENT! Write observation of public event.

11/26 Observation of public event continues.


Week 15 12/1 Panel 8 Reading Presentations. E -4 (Synthesis) due!

12/3 Short video – note taking and essay response due 12/6.

12/6 Short video Response essay due.

Week 16 12/8 LAST DAY! Bring one rewrite essay.

[1] Competency for CO1 and CO3 will be developed further in the General Education requirements. Majors will be expected to further develop discipline-specific competency of these objectives, and they will also be integrated into the Core Capstone course.

[2] Required materials vary based on instructor and theme.