1020 Syllabus

ENG 1020     Introduction to College Writing

Section Number:  902 Meeting Days/Times: TuTh 6:00-7:20 pm
Fall 2014 Room: 319 Oakland Center
Instructor: Brad Stabler Office: Oakland Center Faculty Offices
email: bstabler@wayne.edu Office Hours:TuTh 4-5:30 pm or by appt


Course Placement for ENG 1020

Students are placed into ENG 1020 via ACT score (ACT English >21), the English Qualifying Examination, or a passing grade in ENG 1010. Neither instructors nor the Department of English will override placement.

General Education Designation for BC

With a grade of C or better, ENG 1020 fulfills the General Education Basic Composition (BC) graduation requirement. Successful completion of Basic Composition (BC) with a grade of C or better is a prerequisite to enrolling in courses that fulfill the General Education IC (Intermediate Composition) requirement for graduation (e.g., ENG 3010, 3050, Literature & Writing courses).

English Department Course Description

Building upon students’ diverse skills, English 1020 prepares students for reading, research, and writing in college classes.  The main goals of the course are

  1. to teach students to consider the rhetorical situation for any piece of writing;
  2. to have students integrate reading, research, and writing in the academic genres of analysis and argument; and
  3. to teach students to develop analyses and arguments using research-based content, effective organization, and appropriate expression and mechanics, all while using a flexible writing process that incorporates drafting, revising, editing, and documenting sources.

 Learning Outcomes

Students who pass ENG 1020 will produce writing that demonstrates abilities in four key areas:

  • Writing

Write effectively for various rhetorical situations (considering elements such as genre, context, discourse community, claims, evidence, organization, style, rhetorical strategies, and persuasive effect), using a flexible writing process and varied technologies.

  • Reading

Use analytical and critical strategies to read complex texts in a variety of media, and to identify and evaluate elements of the rhetorical situation (including those listed above).

  • Researching

Conduct research by finding and evaluating print, electronic, and other sources; generate information and ideas from research; and appropriately integrate material from sources.

  • Reflecting

Use reflection to make choices and changes in the composing process and products in this course and to explain how you will use skills you have learned to approach unfamiliar writing tasks.

 Required Text

Devitt, et al. The Wayne Writer. Custom ed. New York: Pearson, 2013. Print, eText available. ISBN: 1269416456.


Students are required to write a minimum of 32 pages (8000 words) in ENG 1020 (including drafts and informal writing). In addition our major projects (listed below), you will also be evaluated based on your completion of short responses, drafting exercises, and quizzes that will be assigned on a just-in-time basis throughout the semester. Due dates for assignments can be found below (as well as on the Schedule page of the class BlackBoard).

To pass this course, students must complete a final portfolio and reflective argument assignment required by the WSU Composition Program. This assignment is designed to prepare students to transfer knowledge and skills from ENG 1020 to subsequent courses and other writing contexts. It is based in research in psychology and writing studies. This research shows that metacognition, or analysis of one’s own thinking processes, is key to helping people transfer knowledge and skills from the context where they were initially learned to future contexts. To help students prepare to draft the Reflective Argument, this course includes reflective assignments designed to promote metacognition.

Credit breakdown for assignments is as follows:

  • Project One (Community Analysis, 2-4 pages): 100 pts  (due by 11:59 pm Sunday, September 14)
  • Project Two  (Rhetorical Analysis, 3-5 pages): 150 pts (due by 11:59 Sunday, September 28)
  • Project Three  (I-Search, 6-8 pages): 200 pts (due by 11:59 Sunday, October 26)
  • Project Four  (Proposal Argument, 8-10 pages): 250 pts (due by 11:59 Sunday, November 16)
  • Project Five  (Reflective Argument, 6-8 pages): 200 pts (due by 11:59 Sunday, December 7)
  • Responses / Activities 10 pts each.

Project Formats and Submission

  • Typed, double-spaced, 11- or 12-point type, Times New Roman or Arial, with one-inch margins.
  • Submitted electronically through Blackboard, using SafeAssign, unless indicated otherwise.
  • Please use MLA format for citations.
  • Revised material, including material from a previous assignment used in a subsequent assignment, should be highlighted. Use MS-Word’s Track Changes features to indicate changed material to receive credit.

Due Dates

Students must contact the instructor in at least 24 hours in advance if work cannot be submitted by the due date. Late work will be accepted and graded only if a new deadline is arranged with the instructor in advance. No comments will be provided for late work.  The instructor will determine specific grade reductions based on timely prior notification, whether revised deadlines are met, and similar factors.

 WSU Grading Scale:

A         94-100%

A-        90-93%

B+       87-89%

B         84-86%

B-        80-83%

C+       77-79%

C         74-76%            A grade of C or better fulfills the

C-        70-73%            General Education IC requirement

D+       67-69%            and the prerequisite for General

D         64-66%            Education WI courses.

D-        60-63%

F          59% or less


I will make every attempt to grade all essays in a timely manner. Although individual projects in this course have specific grading guidelines, the general rubric for grades in our course is as follows:

The “A” Paper

  • The “A” paper has an excellent sense of the rhetorical situation. Its aim is clear and consistent throughout the paper. It attends to the needs of its audience and the topic itself is effectively narrowed and clearly defined.
  • The content is appropriately developed for the assignment and rhetorical situation. The supporting details or evidence are convincingly presented. The reasoning is valid and shows an awareness of the complexities of the subject. If secondary sources are used, they are appropriately selected and cited.
  • The organization demonstrates a clear and effective strategy. The introduction establishes the writer’s credibility and the conclusion effectively completes the essay: paragraphs are coherent, developed, and show effective structural principles.
  • The expression is very clear, accessible, concrete. It displays ease with idiom and a broad range of diction. It shows facility with a great variety of sentence options and the punctuation and subordinate structures that these require. It has few errors, none of which seriously undermines the effectiveness of the paper for educated readers.

The “B” Paper

  • The “B” paper has a good sense of the rhetorical situation. It shows awareness of purpose and focuses on a clearly defined topic.
  • The content is well developed and the reasoning usually valid and convincing. Evidence and supporting details are adequate.
  • The organization is clear and easy to follow: the introduction and conclusion are effective, and transitions within and between paragraphs are finessed reasonably well.
  • The paper has few errors, especially serious sentence errors. Sentences show some variety in length, structure, and complexity. Punctuation, grammar, and spelling conform to the conventions of edited Standard American English.

The “C” Paper

  • The “C” paper has an adequate sense of the rhetorical situation. Its purpose is clear and it is focused on an appropriate central idea. The topic may be unoriginal, but the assignment has been followed, if not fulfilled.
  • The content is adequately developed. The major points are supported, and paragraphs are appropriately divided, with enough specific details to make the ideas clear. The reasoning is valid.
  • The organization is clear and fairly easy to follow. The introduction and conclusion are adequate; transitions are mechanical but appropriate.
  • The expression is generally correct, although it shows little competence with sentence variety (in length and structure) and emphasis. The paper is generally free of major sentence and grammar errors and indicates mastery of most conventions of edited Standard American English.

The “D” Paper

  • The “D” paper has a limited sense of the rhetorical situation. Its purpose may not be clear, its topic may not be interesting to or appropriate for its audience.
  • The content is inadequately developed. The evidence is insufficient, and supporting details or examples are absent or irrelevant.
  • Organization is deficient. Introductions or conclusions are not clearly marked or functional. Paragraphs are not coherently developed or linked to each other. The arrangement of material within paragraphs may be confusing.
  • Expression demonstrates an awareness of a very limited range of stylistic options. It is marred by numerous errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation that detract from a reader’s comprehension of the text.

The “F” Paper

  • There is no sense of the rhetorical situation or of the objectives of the assignment as described in the syllabus.
  • The content is insufficiently developed and does not go beyond the obvious. The reasoning is deeply flawed.
  • The organization is very difficult to follow. Sentences may not be appropriately grouped into paragraphs, or paragraphs may not be arranged logically. Transitions are not present or are inappropriate.
  • The number and seriousness of errors—in grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc.—significantly obstruct comprehension.


As this is a discussion and workshop-driven class, attendance of all participants is particularly important. In accordance with English department attendance policies, enrolled students in this class must attend one of the first two class sessions August 28 and/or September 2, 2014; otherwise, they may be required to drop the class. You are allowed two unexcused absences over the course of the semester; subsequent absences will result in a reduction of your final grade by 5% for each unexcused absence. If you have five or more unexcused absences you will not receive a grade higher than a C-. While you are encouraged to make use of office hours to discuss missed lessons this does not make up for your absence. If you know that you will miss a class, please notify me via email at least 24 hours in advance to have the absence excused.

To add the course, attend one of the first two class meetings and add by September 10. Students will not be permitted to add the course otherwise. The last day to drop the course and receive a refund of tuition is September 10. The last day to drop a course without having it appear on your academic record is September 24. Students may withdraw from a course with instructor approval September 25 to November 9.  The university does not permit withdrawals after this date.

Rough Draft Workshops

For each of our major projects, we will have a peer review workshop prior to the final draft deadlines. Failure to participate in the rough draft workshop for a project (by absence or by failing to complete your rough draft and/or participate in the peer critique of others’ drafts) will result in a 5% deduction in the grade of final draft of that project. If you are unable to attend class on a scheduled Rough Draft Workshop day, email your rough draft to me, with an explanation of your absence 24 hours in advance to avoid this penalty.

Withdrawals [W]

Per WSU policy, the grade of WN is given to a student who did not attend any classes and/or did not complete any assignments by the withdrawal date.  If a student withdraws after having received a grade for any component of a course, then W grades must be either WP (withdrawal with a passing grade earned to date) or WF (withdrawal with a failing grade earned to date).

Incomplete Policy

As detailed in the WSU Undergraduate Bulletin, the mark of “I” (Incomplete) is given to a student when he/she has not completed all of the course work as planned for the term and when there is, in the judgment of the instructor, a reasonable probability that the student can complete the course successfully without again attending regular class sessions. The student should be passing at the time the grade of ‘I’ is given. A written contract specifying the work to be completed should be signed by the student and instructor. Responsibility for completing all course work rests with the student.

Media Policy

I encourage you to use your laptops and Internet connections to search out information relevant to class during class. However, browsing unrelated to the class (as well as other media use – texting, IMing, etc.) will be grounds for expulsion from the course.

Academic Dishonesty

Plagiarism is the act of copying work from books, articles, and websites without citing and documenting the source. Plagiarism includes copying language, texts, and visuals without citation (e.g., cutting and pasting from websites). Plagiarism also includes submitting papers (or sections of papers) that were written by another person, including another student, or downloaded from the Internet. Plagiarism is a serious academic offense. It may result in an F for the assignment or an F for the course. Instructors are required to report all instances of plagiarism to the Department of English. According to the WSU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences policy on plagiarism, instructors may give a failing grade on the assignment or for the course.

The above is plagiarized from the Wayne State Policy on Academic Dishonesty; for more about the definition of plagiarism, consult your local library.

The Writing Center

The WRT Zone (2nd floor, UGL) provides individual tutoring consultations, research assistance from librarians, and technology consultants, all free of charge for graduate and undergraduate students at WSU. The WRT Zone serves as a resource for writers, researchers, and students’ technology projects. Tutoring sessions focus on a range of activities in the writing process – considering the audience, analyzing the assignment or genre, brainstorming, researching, writing drafts, revising, editing, and preparing documentation. The WRT Zone is not an editing or proofreading service; rather, tutors work collaboratively with students to support them in developing relevant skills and knowledge, from developing an idea to editing for grammar and mechanics. Research and technology support is offered on a first-come-first served basis and covers research strategies, assessment of sources, general technology support, and help with Adobe Dreamweaver, Encore, Flash, Illustrator, Photoshop, and more. To make a face-to-face or online appointment, consult the Writing Center website: http://www.clas.wayne.edu/writing/

For more information about the Writing Center, please contact the Director, Jule Wallis (phone: 313-577-2544; email: au1145@wayne.edu).

The Office of Educational Accessibility Services

If you feel that you may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability, please feel free to contact me privately to discuss your specific needs. Additionally, the Student Disabilities Services Office coordinates reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities.  The office is located in 1600 David Adamany Undergraduate Library, phone:  313-577-1851/577-3335 (TTD).  http://studentdisability.wayne.edu. Additional resources include the Academic Success Center http://www.success.wayne.edu and Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) http://www.caps.wayne.edu.

 Tentative Schedule of Major projects

8/28 First day of class

9/11 Project One Rough Draft Review

9/14 Project One due to SafeAssign

9/25 Project Two Rough Draft Review

9/28 Project Two due to SafeAssign

10/23 Project Three Rough Draft Review

10/26 Project Three due to SafeAssign

11/13 Project Four Rough Draft Review

11/16 Project Four due to SafeAssign

11/27 Happy Thanksgiving! No Class.

12/4 Project Five Rough Draft Review—Last day of class

12/7 Project Five due to SafeAssign

There will be no midterm or final exams.


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