English 11: Composition & Prose Literature                               Fall Semester—2003

 Instructor: Dr. Elizabeth Petrino
Office: DMH 109                                                                              Office Hours:  MR 1:00-2:00, W 11:00-12:00
Office Phone: -3014                                                                            and by appointment
E-mail: epetrino@mail.fairfield.edu                                                   Website: http://faculty.fairfield.edu/epetrino

Required Texts

    The Prentice Hall Reader, 7th edition, ed. Miller
     The Little, Brown Compact Handbook, 5th edition, ed. Aaron
     Strunk and White, The Elements of Style

Description and Goals

          English 11 is the first course in a two-quarter sequence of freshman writing classes.  We will focus both on the process of writing and developing the individual writing abilities of each student.  You will be graded on paper assignments as well as on the diligence, self-criticism, and improvement you show in completing each assignment.  We will discuss strategies for improving your writing and awareness of what is expected in college essays.  We will also learn from each other by criticizing constructively papers in writing workshops, which will take place before every assignment is due.  In order to develop ideas for class discussions and writing assignments, we will read essays in The Prentice Hall Reader and occasional pieces of journalism.  Occasional reading quizzes designed to check comprehension and increase vocabulary will also be given.  In addition, I will be available to counsel each student individually in conference.  I will act as mentor, guide, and coach, facilitating your discussions and providing direction throughout the quarter.


        You will be expected to write one in-class essay and five final drafts of essays for this course.  Please do not discard your essays after you have written them; all graded essays, drafts, writing exercises, revisions and preliminary notes should be submitted in a folder or portfolio at the semester’s end.  All papers will be typed, double-spaced, titled, paginated, and list the course, section number, date, and assignment number in the upper-right-hand corner.  Papers should be joined with a paper clip; do not turn in a sheaf of loose papers, and do not staple them together.  Please do not turn in papers with binders, plastic covers, or cover sheets—they will be turned back. The grading for each assignment will be as follows:

                 Essay  #1                 (narrative/descriptive essay)                 15%
                              #2                 (comparison/contrast essay)                 15%
                              #3                 (division/classification essay)                15%
                              #4                 (cause/effect essay)                               15%
                              #5                 (argumentative essay)                           15%
                              #6                 (in-class response essay)                       15%

                                                     Attendance, participation, workshop  10%
                                                     preparation, and short writing assignments


        Any paper can be revised for a new grade.  The final grade for a revised essay will be an average of the original grade and the new paper grade. If you choose to revise, please select your essay carefully after consulting with me.  Be sure to revise papers in substance rather than making small editorial changes.  Essays without substantive, structural and conceptual changes are unlikely to receive a higher grade.

Attendance and Make-ups

        Attendance is mandatory and will dramatically affect a student’s overall course grade.  If you miss class for any reason, you are responsible for finding out what you missed, by contacting me or another student in the course.  In accordance with University policy, however, students participating in University-sponsored events (i.e. Glee Club, orchestra, & theater performances, varsity & club sports) are excused without penalty.  For student athletes or performers, a schedule of such events should be submitted at the beginning of the semester.  Three classes may be missed without penalty.  Each missed class thereafter without a medical or university excuse will mean a deduction from the course grade.  Students are advised that missing more than six classes will result in failing the course.


    Using someone else’s words as your own is a serious act.  Words and ideas are intellectual property, and taking another’s ideas or sentences without attributing them is a form of thievery.  A plagiarized paper will receive a grade of F.  Beyond this, further action may be taken at the University level and may put the student’s academic career in jeopardy.

Assignments (Subject to revision)                                                      Course 10045

MR 11:00-11:50, W 10:00-10:50                                                      CNS 303

Sep 3         Introduction to class; introduction to the writing process; assign Diagnostic Essay

        4         Strategies for reading the text, developing ideas, and writing papers; read PHR 1-
                   6, 16-38-60; Diagnostic Essay due

        8         Exemplification: discussion of readings; read PHR, Greene, “Cut,” 57-64; write precis

        10        Narrative/Descriptive Writing: read McNally, “Waiting,” 87-100; Description, 135-144; Grice,
                    “Caught in the Widow’s Web,” 544-549; Paper #1 Assignment given

        11         Narrative/ Descriptive Writing: continue Grice, “Caught in the Widow’s Web,” 544-549; Descriptive

        15         Peer Review Workshop (bring in four copies of draft)

        17         Comparison/Contrast Writing; read PHR, 253-267; Zinsser, “The Transaction:
                    Two Writing Processes,” 275-278

        18         Discussion of comparison/contrast approaches; read Daum, “Virtual Love,”
                    296-307; Paper #1 Due; Paper #2 Assignment given

        22         Introduction to computer lab; draft outline in class; pre-writing exercise

        24         Library Session (meet in the library foyer)

        25         Peer Review Workshop

        29         Division and Classification, 191-203; read Ehrenreich, “In Defense of Talk
                    Shows,” 209-213; Paper #3 Assigned

  Oct 1         Division and Classification (xerox); Paper #2 due

          2         Division and Classification continues; Paragraph Development and Editing

          6         Peer Review Workshop

          8         Sentence Development and Editing I: Coordination/Subordination

          9         Sentence Development and Editing II: Balance and Parallelism; Paper #3 Due

FALL BREAK – NO CLASS (Oct. 11-13)

        15         Cause and Effect Writing; Paper #4 Assignment given; read PHR, 367-380

        16         Continue discussion of cause/effect writing; read Forster, “My Wood,” 381-386

        20         Continue discussion of cause/effect writing; read Butterfield, “Why They Excel,”

        22         Peer Review Workshop

         23        Discussion of style and clarity

        27         Revising Prose: read PHR, 533-543; Ephron, “Revision and Life: Take It From
                    the Top—Again,” 327-332; Paper #4 due

         29         Revising Prose Workshop: bring in paper to revise; read Grice, “Journal Entries:
                      The Black Widow,” 550-554, 555-556

         30         Workshop on grading

Nov     3         Peer Review Workshop of revision

            5         Argumentative/Persuasive Writing: read PHR, 482-485, Owen, “Dulce et
                       Decorum Est,”486-489; Paper #4 due

            6         Argumentative/Persuasive Writing: read King, “I Have a Dream,” 490-496; Paper
                        #5 Assignment given

            9          Continue discussion of argumentative/persuasive writing (xerox)

            12         Continue discussion of argumentative/persuasive writing; discuss logical
                        fallacies; read PHR, 478-479

            13         Researching a topic and using sources; read “Finding, Using, and Documenting
                        Sources,” 557-584

            17         Individual Conferences; Evaluating Sources: workshop

            19         Class presentations (meet with me outside of class)

             20         Class presentations

             24         Class presentations


Dec         1         Peer Review Workshop

                3         Discussion of in-class essay; Paper #6 assigned

                4         In-class writing (final paper)

                8         Last day of class (conclusion and evaluations); FINAL ARGUMENTATIVE
                           ESSAY DUE (Essay #5)