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Cal State L.A.


English 101h Syllabus

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Prof. Jim Garrett
Office: E & T A608
Office Hours: Mon 4:30-6pm, Tue 10-11am, Noon-1pm, Thu 10-11am and by appt
Phone:  (323) 343-4163
Course web site:

Catalog Description: Prerequisite:  English Placement Test or completion of ENGL 096. Reading and writing to develop and communicate ideas.  Instruction in basic strategies for planning, composing, and revising college writing.  Use of authorities, examples, arguments and facts.  Graded A,B,C/NC. GE A1

Description:We search the past for origins and justifications, and use the past to invent stories that culminate in us. We preserve these stories not only in our literature, but virtually everywhere, from the museums we build to the boxes we check on college applications. These stories of our shared past and its power to define and explain us will provide the basis of our investigations. Through classical and contemporary texts, we will study the complex dynamics that determine what is remembered, who gets to remember and who is destined to be forgotten. We will conclude with an examination of the modern museum and the story it tells about our history, our desires, and our fears.

Overall Objective: The purpose of this course is relatively straight-forward: To work on improving your ability to think critically about texts (in whatever form you encounter them) and communicate clearly your ideas. No magic solutions will be offered nor will you be taught a one-size-fits-all college essay format. We will build on ideas of audience, purpose, and the use of rhetorical strategies and organizations which you will have studied in English 101, and extend these ideas to larger projects requiring research and dealing with specialized audiences. Furthermore, because the broad theme of this course is technology, ethics and the human body, my goal is that you will become more aware, not only of your own writing, but also about how we might imagine our future and how we live in the present.

Learning Objectives

        Learn fundamental rhetorical strategies used to produce university-level expository prose, especially

o        modify content and form according to purpose and audience

o        appropriately use authorities, examples, facts, etc. to support an argument or position

o        vary stylistic options to achieve different effects

        Develop effective reading and writing skills

        Use reading and writing critically as a means of generating and exploring ideas

        Articulate an individual perspective through organizing and developing their ideas into a coherent essay

        Practice strategies for meaningful revision

        Develop an effective individual writing process

        Incorporate textual evidence through quotation and paraphrase into their essays and appropriately cite their sources

        Critique their own work and that of peers using the conceptual and stylistic conventions of academic discourse

        Edit final drafts to minimize mechanical/grammatical errors and to improve clarity of style

Course Requirements:  There is much reading and writing in this class.  You will need to be diligent about planning ahead and completing your tasks on time.  Please note that all assignments are required.  Listed below are the required assignments for this course:


Points Per Assignment

Total Points

Two short essays (3+ pages) and two longer essays (5+ pages) (first draft 5 points each; revised draft up to 25 points each—up to 120 points total)



Final portfolio (revised versions of two longer essays plus a short reflective essay on writing)



Four Revision Workshops



Two group presentations on assigned topics.



Persuasive journals (five summaries and responses)



Individual final presentation



Attendance and participation.




In order to pass this class all assignments (papers and exams) must be legitimately attempted.  Plagiarism (see description below) does not constitute a legitimate attempt of the assignment.


ADA Accommodation: Reasonable accommodation will be provided to any student who is registered with the Office of Students with Disabilities and requests needed accommodation.

Grading Policy: The distribution of points for the individual assignments in this course is listed in “Requirements” above. For the quarter, 250 points are possible. Plus and minus grades are used in the class.

Please note that in order to receive credit for this course, you must earn a grade of C or better (73% or higher).  A grade of C- or below (72% and below) is a No Credit grade.  If you receive a NC grade, you will have to take English 102 again.

Cell Phones and Pagers: Please turn off all cell phones, pagers, portable radios, iPods, televisions, computers, MP3/CD/DVD players, and any other electronic communication and/or entertainment devices before coming to class.

Contacting the Instructor: Email is the most effective way of communicating with me outside of class and my office hours. However, be reasonable. If you email me at 2:00 AM the morning before a paper is due, don’t expect a response.  At least, not a civil one.

Attendance: Regular and prompt attendance is essential. Arriving late to class is rude and disruptive and will not be tolerated. If you cannot arrive to class on time you should consider taking classes at times more suited to your schedule. Regardless of the reason, failure to attend class or arriving to class late will affect your final quarter grade.  Per English Department policy, students who are absent more than 20% of the time (more than three class meetings) will not be allowed to take the final exam.  I also expect you to come awake, prepared and ready to engage in whatever work lies before you. 

Note: English Department policy states that composition students must attend the first two class meetings of the quarter to retain their place in the class. Any student who is absent either the first or second class meeting will be dropped and the space given to another student who is trying to add.

Written Assignments: Please note the following carefully when preparing your written assignments for this class:

Academic Dishonesty/Cheating: Collaborating with others is encouraged when you are planning your papers, reviewing each other’s work, preparing for presentations or for exams. Study or reading groups can be effective ways to study and learn. However, when you write your papers, the text needs to be your own.

You must carefully observe the standard rules for acknowledging the sources of words and ideas. If you make use of a phrase or a quote or if you paraphrase another writer’s words or ideas, you must acknowledge the source of these words or ideas telling us the source of these materials. APA and MLA style differ on the exact format of this attribution, but the simple version is the name of the author and the page number (if appropriate) in parentheses at the end of the sentence containing the use of the source material. If you fail to acknowledge properly the source of your text, you will receive a zero on the assignment and be reported to the Student Disciplinary Officer.

If you plagiarize or otherwise misrepresent the source of your work, you will receive a zero on the assignment and be reported to the Student Disciplinary Officer.

If you panic and are tempted to plagiarize or cheat, DO NOT.  Contact me and we can negotiate a solution.  Once you cheat, it is too late for you to negotiate anything.

Textbook: I have ordered the following texts for this class:


Anton Chekhov, The Cherry Orchard  

Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon

Other required readings will be distributed in class or made available online.

Recommended: Andrea Lunsford, The Everyday Writer (Fourth Edition with APA and MLA Updates)

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Last Update: 01/12/2016