Example Syllabus

English 1010: Introductory College Writing

Spring 2017, CRN 31230

Instructor: Amy Pittman Email: amypittman@weber.edu
Office: EH 226 MWF 8:30 – 9:20
Elizabeth Hall 219
Office Hours: MWF 10:30 – 12:00 or by appointment  

Students are sometimes reluctant to visit their instructors during office hours. They may feel that they are interrupting the instructor or that they don’t have a clear enough reason for the visit. Please know that office hours are specifically reserved for you, and I encourage you to make use of them. We can discuss any questions you have about the course, an assignment that you are working on, or anything else that will help you achieve your goals for the course. If you are unable to meet with me during my regular office hours, please contact me and we will set up an appointment time that is convenient for both of us. Email or messaging through Canvas are the best means of communicating with me outside of class or office hours. If you choose to email me directly, you must do so from your Weber email account.

Course Description:

English 1010 introduces students to the habits and practices necessary for writing well at the college level by providing them opportunities to write in a variety of styles and genres. Although individual pedagogy may vary from section to section, the course emphasizes invention, organization, cohesion, focus, and grammatical and mechanical correctness. Because the relationship between writing and reading is a reciprocal one, English 1010 also emphasizes students reading texts that are consistent with the kinds of reading assignments they will be asked to do in other university courses.

I typically begin my classes with some sort of in-class writing in response to a short text. These responses are what I call “low-stakes” writing assignments in that they allow you to express your thoughts in writing without concerning yourself with organization or mechanics. If you write a response, you receive full credit. After that, I may conduct a mini-lecture on a writing concept. The mini-lectures are usually followed by some sort of small-group activity where you will have an opportunity to apply the concept. Finally, I typically wrap up the class with some whole-group discussion so that we can all benefit from the insights of the various small groups.

As you can imagine, it is important to come to class prepared by having read the assigned material and by being ready to actively participate.

Required Texts, Resources, & Materials:

They Say/Say: With Readings by Graff and Birkenstein

Weber Writes 2016 (This title is only available through the bookstore.)

Purdue OWL: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/ (Links to an external site.)

Reading/Writing Journal

[Recommended: Writing Matters by Rebecca Moore-Howard]

Course Outcomes:

Introductory College Writing is a course in which you will integrate the tasks of critical reader and writer. To that end, you will be assigned various essays written by published authors from a variety of disciplines as well as essays written by your fellow Weber students to read, summarize, analyze, and synthesize. You will also have the opportunity to conduct research and analyses of essays beyond the assigned readings. The specific course outcomes are as follow:

Reading (CO1) ●      Demonstrate an understanding of an individual text’s meaning and the broader conversation in which that text is taking part

●      Read a variety of textual genres and styles

Rhetoric (CO2) ●      Use technologies and language appropriate to purpose and audience
Working with Sources (CO3) ●      Identify connections between texts and among related ideas

●      Cite sources accurately

●      Summarize, paraphrase, and use quotations appropriately

●      Use sources appropriate to the project

Writing (CO4) ●      Compose writing assignments with a clear thesis or point

●      Compose writing that is structurally and thematically coherent and unified

●      Describe complex ideas, positions, and perspectives

●      Use appropriate syntax, grammar and spelling

  1. Literacy Narrative: For the literacy narrative, you will write a 2-3 page story about an experience that you had as a reader and/or writer. It should express a theme regarding the development of reading and writing ability, the uses of written language, or another theme related to reading and/or writing. The goal is to explore who you are as a reader and writer before you begin analyzing the works of others. (CO2, CO4)
  2. Summary & Connection Essays: You will write ten summary & connection essays that summarize assigned readings and make connections to other works you have read. Summarizing sources and identifying the connections between them is an important academic skill that will serve you well throughout your academic career. These short essays (1-2 pages) will also form the foundation of your first long essay, Literature Review #1. You will find that if you put time and effort into these short essays, the long essay will be much easier to write. (CO1, CO2, CO3, CO4)
  3. Literature Review #1: You will write a 6-8 page literature review based on the readings that were assigned plus two additional sources related to the main idea of your review. Your summary & connection essays will be particularly useful in composing this review. While your summary & connection essays asked you to summarize and make connections between two sources, the literature reviews will ask you to summarize and make connections among several sources. This skill will benefit you when you are asked to write about complex ideas in your major field of study. (CO1, CO2, CO3, CO4)
  4. Annotated Bibliography : In preparation for Literature Review #2, you will construct an annotated bibliography of ten sources that you have found related to your chosen focus for Literature Review #2. Being able to conduct effective research is important in all fields of study and will help you further develop as a scholar. Just as the summary & connection essays formed the basis of the first review, the annotated bibliography will form the basis of the second. (CO1, CO2, CO3, CO4)
  5. Literature Review #2: Literature Review #2 will be essentially the same as #1; however, you will choose your own topic and focus. You will make use of the sources in your annotated bibliography and any other sources that you feel are needed to write this review. This is a good opportunity to explore an issue related to your major or possible major. (CO1, CO2, CO3, CO4)
  6. Portfolio: You will create a portfolio of your best work from the course that will include a table of contents, a reflection essay, and revised versions of your literacy narrative, two of your summary & connection essays, and one of your literature reviews. This will serve as the final project in the course and will allow you to reflect on your development as a writer over the course of the semester. (CO4)
  7. In-Class Writing: During the course, you will be assigned various in-class writing assignments that will help you improve your overall writing skills. In-class writing assignments cannot be made up if you are absent; however, I will drop the three lowest scores on these assignments and average the rest. Since we will have an in-class writing assignment almost every class, excessive absences can have a negative effect on your overall grade. (CO2)
  8. Online Discussions: On Friday of each week, you will participate in an online discussion that asks you to respond to a given prompt. You will be asked to post your own response to the prompt by midnight on Saturday and respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts by midnight on Sunday. Online discussions will be scored as part of the in-class writing assignments. (CO2)

*Additional details can be found by clicking on the assignment links in the syllabus below or on the assignments page.

Grading Breakdown:
Literacy Narrative 10%
Reading Responses: Summary and Connection Essays (10 total) 20%
Literature Review #1 20%
Annotated Bibliography 10%
Literature Review #2 20%
Portfolio 10%
In-Class Writing (# to be determined) 10%
Total 100%
A               95-100%

A-              90-94%

B+            86-89%

B               83-85%

B-              80-82%

C+            76-79%

C               73-75%

C-              70-72%

D+            66-69%

D               63-65%

D-             60-62%

E               -59%


Attendance, Late Papers, and Missed Assignments:

I realize that there are various reasons why you may need to miss class or submit an assignment late, but I do not feel it is my place to decide whether or not your reason for an absence or late paper is more “justified” than another’s. Frankly, the reason for your absence or late paper may be none of my business. And regardless of the reason, the result is the same; you were not in class as expected or were late submitting the assignment. For these reasons, I apply the following attendance and late work policies to every student. My hope is that the policies strike a balance between holding you accountable for good attendance and deadlines but also allows you some leeway for the obstacles that we all encounter in our lives.

As far as attendance is concerned, you are expected to attend every class and participate in classroom activities and discussions; however, you may miss three days without penalty. After that, you will receive a ½ letter grade deduction for each additional week missed. Keep in mind that no make-up assignments will be assigned for missed in-class exercises and that the lessons for each class are designed to help you achieve success on writing assignments. In short, excessive absences will have a negative effect on your overall grade both directly and indirectly.

Similarly, I will provide you three opportunities to submit assignments one-day late without penalty. In other words, you have three free days that will be applied to late assignments. For example, if you submit your first summary & connection essay a day late, you will have used one of your free days, and I will grade it without applying a late penalty. If you submit that essay two days late, then you will have used two of your three free days and will have one free day left to apply to a later assignment. After the free days are used, late assignments will be reduced by 5% for each day late. After two weeks of being late, an assignment can no longer be submitted for credit.


As specified in PPM 6-22 IV D, cheating and plagiarism violate the Student Code. Plagiarism is “the unacknowledged (uncited) use of any other person’s or group’s ideas or work.” Students found guilty of cheating or plagiarism are subject to failure of a specific assignment, or, in more serious cases, failure of the entire course.

Core Beliefs:

According to PPM 6-22 IV, students are to “[d]etermine, before the last day to drop courses without penalty, when course requirements conflict with a student’s core beliefs. If there is such a conflict, the student should consider dropping the class. A student who finds this solution impracticable may request a resolution from the instructor. This policy does not oblige the instructor to grant the request, except in those cases when a denial would be arbitrary and capricious or illegal. This request must be made to the instructor in writing, and the student must deliver a copy of the request to the office of the department head. The student’s request must articulate the burden the requirement would place on the student’s beliefs.”

Disability Accommodation:

PPM 3-34 notes: “When students seek accommodation in a regularly scheduled course, they have the responsibility to make such requests at the Center for Students with Disabilities before the beginning of the quarter [semester] in which the accommodation is being requested. When a student fails to make such arrangements, interim accommodations can be made by the instructor, pending the determination of the request for a permanent accommodation.”

Emergency Closure:

If for any reason the university is forced to close for an extended period of time, we will conduct our class via Canvas. Check your Weber email for information should this occur.

Inclusivity Statement:

Pivotal to Weber State University’s mission is the need to embrace and value the diversity of its members. Acknowledging the uniqueness of each individual, we seek to cultivate an environment that encourages freedom of expression. Because the University is a community where inquiry is nurtured and theories are tested, every individual has the right to feel safe to express ideas that differ from those held by other members of the community. However, all persons who aspire to be part of our campus community must accept the responsibility to demonstrate civility and respect for the dignity of others. Recognizing that the proper balance between freedom of expression and respect for others is not always apparent or easy to achieve, we must continually challenge ourselves and each other in an atmosphere of mutual concern, good will and respect. Therefore, expressions or actions that disparage an individual’s or group’s ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, marital status, age or disability are contrary to the mission of Weber State University.

Davis Learning Center:

Our mission is to promote students’ academic success and life-skills development by providing tutoring, testing, technology, and college-readiness initiatives. Through collaborations on and off campus and implementation of best practices, we deliver effective learning support for all student populations: http://www.weber.edu/DavisASSP/default.html (Links to an external site.)

The Davis Learning Center is also the home of the Writing Center. I encourage you to take your papers to the Writing Center before submitting to receive additional feedback and to ensure that you are submitting your best work.

Week 1 Introductions

January 9

Introductions/syllabus Read: “Preface to the Third Edition,” “Preface: Demystifying Academic Conversation,” and “Introduction: Entering the Conversation.”
  Wednesday 1/11 Grammar and Punctuation workshop

Discuss: “Preface: Demystifying Academic Conversation,” and “Introduction: Entering the Conversation


Read: Part 1. “They Say.”


  Friday 1/13 Discuss reading: Read: Part 1. “They Say.” & “The Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglas”

In class writing


“The Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglas,” “Out of Our Revolutionary Minds” (found in discussion 1), & Malcolm X: The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Chapter 11 “Saved”

Summary and Connection Essay #1 on canvas by midnight

Week 2
  Wednesday 1/18 Discuss: Ch 7, 8 & “The Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglas” (Canvas link)

In Class Writing

Read: Ch 7, 8, &“On Liberal and Vocational Studies”



  Friday 1/20 Discuss : Part 3. “Tying It All Together: 9-10 Part 3: “Tying It All Together: chapters 9-10 & “”The Coddling of the American Mind” & one of the summary/connection essays (links in discussion post)

Summary and Connection Essay #2 on canvas by midnight

Week 3
  Monday 1/23 Discuss: Literacy Narrative and Part 4: “In Specific Academic Contexts Read: Part 4. “In Specific Academic Contexts” Begin Writing Literacy Narrative
  Wednesday 1/25 Bring a list of three questions that you have about the first “big” paper and be prepared to discuss these questions in class. “The only stupid question is the one not asked.”


“Say”—Better than Human: Why Robots Will—and Must—Take our Jobs & Is Google Making Us Stupid?


“MLA Citation Guide” and  “Understanding Writing Assignments” at OWL & literacy narrative examples

  Friday 1/27 Bring Draft of Literacy Narrative to class to be peer reviewed.

Discuss: “MLA Citation Guide” and  “Understanding Writing Assignments” at OWL “Say” –“Hidden Intellectualism


“Bowie State University Commencement Speech” by Michelle Obamain They Say I Say, page 285.

Read:  “Keeping Close to Home: Class and Education” by bell hook

Final Draft of Literacy Narrative Due on Canvas by Midnight

Week 4
  Monday 1/30 Discuss: Literature Review #1 Begin literature review #1

”Is College Still Worth It?” by Jaden Larson in Weber Writes &Should Everyone Go to College?” by Owen and Sawhill

  Wednesday 2/1 Discuss: “Necessary Edges: Arts, Empathy, and Education” by Yo-Yo Ma. & If Skills are the New Canon, Are Colleges Teaching Them
  Friday 2/3 Discuss:  Read: “Internet Use and Academic Success in University Students” & one of the summary/connection essays (links in discussion post)

Reading Response 3 due on Canvas by midnight

Week 5
  Monday 2/6 Discuss: Read: “Why Stem?” by Charles R. Mitts &  “How Important is Achieving Equity in Undergraduate STEM   Education to You?” by Amy B. Mulnix (
  Wednesday 2/8 Discuss: Blue-Collar Brilliance” by Mike Rose in They Say I Say, page     272.

Read:  “Why America’s Business Majors Are in Desperate Need of   Liberal-Arts Education” by Yoni Appelbaum.

  Friday 2/10 Discuss: Read: “Should Colleges Really Eliminate the College Lecture?” by Christine Gross & one of the summary/connection essays (links in discussion post)

Reading Response 4 due on Canvas by midnight

Week 6
  Monday 2/13 Discuss: peer review “Losing the Orangutan” by Alta Martin in Weber Writes & Criminal ‘Justice’: A Broken System” by Martin Totland in Weber   Writes


  Wednesday 2/15 Discuss: peer review The Freedman’s Bureau” by Shari Kaeding in Weber Writes


  Friday 2/17 Discuss: Maxfield and foer

First lit review due

Week 7
  Monday 2/20 President’s day – holiday
  Wednesday 2/22 Zincenko and balko
  Friday 2/24 Nestle and freedman &one of the summary/connection essays (links in discussion post)

Reading Response 5 due on Canvas by midnight

Week 8
  Monday 2/27 Sandberg
  Wednesday 3/1
  Friday 3/3 dorment & one of the summary/connection essays (links in discussion post)

Reading Response 6 due on Canvas by midnight

Week 10
  Monday 3/13 Mays baron  and ullman
  Wednesday 3/15 Ullman and Kaplan and Eckert
  Friday 3/17 one of the summary/connection essays (links in discussion post)

Reading Response 7 due on Canvas by midnight

Week 11
  Monday 3/20 “Say” – Better than Human: Why Robots Will—and Must—Take our Jobs (299)
  Wednesday 3/22 Read “Say”— Is Google Making Us Stupid? (313) & The Influencing Machines (330)
  Friday 3/24 Read: “Say” – Smarter than You Think: How Technology Is Changing Our Minds for the Better (340) & one of the summary/connection essays (links in discussion post)

Reading Response 8 due on Canvas by midnight

Week 12
  Monday 3/27 Read: “Say” –Does Texting Affect Writing? (361)
Wednesday 3/29 Read: “Say” – No Need to Call (373) &
  Friday 3/31 Read: “Say” –I Had a Nice Time with You Tonight. On the App. (393) & one of the summary/connection essays (links in discussion post)

Reading Response 9 due on Canvas by midnight

Week 13
  Monday 4/3 Discuss Literature Review 2 & annotated bibliography

research methods

Read: “Say” – Small Change: Why the Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted (399)
  Wednesday 4/5
  Friday 4/7 Computer room research Due: Annotated Bibliography

one of the summary/connection essays (links in discussion post)

Reading Response 10 due on Canvas by midnight

Week 14
  Monday 4/10 Computer room Research
  Wednesday 4/12 1st peer review
  Friday 4/14 2nd peer review Final Draft of lit review 2
Week 15
  Monday 4/17 Workshopping port
  Wednesday 4/19 Workshopping Portfolios
  Friday 4/21 Workshopping portfolios
Week 16
  Monday 4/24 Last day of class!
  Wednesday 4/26 Final portfolio due


Amy Pittman