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English 1301: LSC-North Harris Master Syllabus

English 1301:  Composition and Rhetoric I

General Description:

English 1301 involves students in the intensive study and practice of writing processes, from invention and research to drafting, editing, and revising, both individually and collaboratively.  Emphasis is placed on effective rhetorical choices, including audience, purpose, arrangement, and style.  English 1301 focuses on writing the academic essay as a vehicle for learning, communicating, and analysis.


The substantive changes in this revised 1301 syllabus (2013) reflect a greater emphasis on the writing process, with an added prioritization of the editing and revision process.  As such, time and effort should be focused on the invention, organization, and revision of written work, but also the quality of the writing product, with necessary supplementation of instruction related to grammar, sentence construction, and boundary errors, outlining, and paragraph development, as required.  With the change to the core requirements (notably, the removal of the argument component and the insertion of the revision paper as a major assignment), instructors will possess greater latitude to focus on the planning and composing stages of the writing process.  


The Diagnostic Essay:

This essay is encouraged but optional.  It can help the instructor and student jointly identify major writing problems that might affect the student's success in English 1301.  Students with major writing problems should be encouraged to seek assistance from the S.E.A. Center (or equivalent LSC tutoring facility).

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of individual and collaborative writing processes.
  2. Develop ideas with appropriate support and attribution, demonstrating ethical use of sources.
  3. Write in a style appropriate to audience and purpose.
  4. Read, reflect, and respond critically to a variety of texts.
  5. Use edited American English in academic essays, employing proper grammar and sentences.

Course Objectives:

In English 1301, the writing skills that students must master to become productive members of our twenty-first century global society include their ability to:

  • Employ critical analytical strategies in their reading and writing.
  • Understand and use the writing process (including brainstorming, outlining, drafting, revision and editing).
  • Understand the difference between revision of content (re-examining topics and shaping effective ideas) and editing (improving the quality of textual mechanics).
  • Revise and edit their own written material.
  • Revise and edit collaboratively, whether through peer review or other group assessment.
  • Compose multi-paragraph essays in traditional expository modes.
  • Conduct and present research in a clear, organized and appropriate manner.
  • Understand the basic concepts and modalities of English grammar.
  • Use punctuation properly.
  • Write clear and concise English sentences.
  • Compose coherent and developed paragraphs.

Requirements for Successful Completion:

  • Critical Thinking:  Students should read and discuss a variety of essays that encourage students to evaluate critically both the content and rhetorical methods employed by the writer as well as to illustrate the various writing assignments given them.
  • Writing Process:  Students should be taught the writing process, including brainstorming, outlining, drafting, revision and editing.
  • Revision:  Students should compose at least one essay as a major revision, employing proper techniques to understand the effectiveness of their ideas and make appropriate changes to their written material.  Optionally, instructors may require new elements incorporated into this major revision (such as research, or secondary sources, in an attempt to explore different perspectives or voices).  The purpose of this revision is to reinforce the necessity of re-examining the structure, chosen audience, effectiveness and clarity of written work.
  • Collaborative Revision (Peer Review):  Students should perform collaborative peer-to-peer exercises on a minimum of one (1) major paper assignment to understand the effectiveness of other student writing and make appropriate suggestions to their material.  While reinforcing revision skills, collaborative exercises offer an opportunity to introduce critical analysis, interrogate the precision of ideas, set the stage for constructive revision, and provide a practical application for its use.
  • Expository Essays:  Students should compose at least three essays (one of which should be written in class) employing traditional expository modes.  In developing these essays, students should practice all stages of the writing process, from pre-writing, to revision, to editing.  Essays should be thesis-driven and organized in well-developed support paragraphs.
  • Research:  The research process should be taught and reinforced.  Students should understand the necessity of incorporating other voices and perspectives into their writing and responding to those voices in the attempt to discover fresh knowledge.  Furthermore, students should learn to cite sources properly (using MLA, APA or CMS procedures) within a text, as well as incorporate research findings (via direct quotation and paraphrasing) into their own composition.  They should also know how to generate a correct Works Cited page (or equivalent).  Students might be required to search for sources and present that research in an essay or extended annotated bibliography, including in-text citations, quotations and paraphrases.  Alternatively, students might be asked to incorporate sources into several regular class essays or compose a more traditional research paper.
  • Mechanics:
    • English Grammar:  Students should understand and execute mastery over the basics of English grammar, which should be reinforced throughout the semester through their writing, revising, and editing.
    • Punctuation:  Students should understand the reasons for and differences in the standard marks of punctuation, which should be reinforced throughout the semester through their writing, revising, and editing.
    • Sentence Composition:  Students should demonstrate the composition of clear sentences and avoid major errors such as fragments, comma splices, and faulty agreement.
    • Paragraph Composition:  Students should demonstrate the ability to compose unified, coherent and well-developed paragraphs, which should be incorporated into their writing, revising, and editing.
    • Editing:  Students should understand the necessity for editing the mechanics of their written work to improve clarity and correctness.
    • Formatting:  Students should learn how to apply the proper format to their writing (such as MLA, APA, or CMS), as required by chosen topic, audience, or discipline.

Five-Component Major Assignment Breakdown:

  • Two expository essays (completed out of class).
  • One expository essay (mid-term, completed in class) on a "cold" topic.
  • One revision essay, utilizing one of the previously written papers and/or incorporating new assignment elements (such as research), including peer review.
  • Research.  This component may be satisfied by an annotated bibliography, by incorporating research into one or more of the regular class essays, or with a traditional research paper.

Example of Five-Component Major Assignment Breakdown:

  1. Illustration/Example Essay.
  2. Comparison/Contrast Essay, in class mid-term.
  3. Cause/Effect Essay.
  4. Revision of Cause/Effect Essay, introducing research and requiring utilization of citations.
  5. Research Paper or Annotated Bibliography.

Final Essay:

One of these major assignments should come in the form of a final essay requirement.  The student should demonstrate his or her ability to meet the objectives of the class.

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