Course Packet for English 95
An excerpt of the syllabus for English 95 is included to show the following:
course overview, policies, goals, and requirements (i.e., writing assignments,
calculations of grades, and assessment of written work).
Course Overview and Policy
The St. Martin's Guide to Writing,
5th Ed. By Axelrod and Cooper. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1997
Who Are We? Readings on Identity, Community, Work, and Career, Axelrod
and Cooper. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1997
A Writer’s Reference, 4th Ed. By Diana Hacker. Boston:
Bedford Books, 1999
blank 3.5 inch floppy disk
öOne notebook with loose leaf
paper for class notes/Response Journal
folder for writing assignments
American Heritage or Webster’s Collegiate dictionary
Course Description and Objectives
Involving intensive course work in writing fundamentals, this class is open
to those students who score above the lowest quartile on the English Placement
Test or those who have completed English 85B with satisfactory progress.
Since this class is designed to prepare you for English 101, we will work on
writing assignments that you will encounter in both English 101 and other
university classes. CSUSB places great emphasis on writing in the six different
colleges: Arts and Letters, Business and Public Administration, Education,
Natural Science, Social and Behavioral Sciences, and Extended Learning. As such,
this course will help you to work toward developing competence as a writer so
that you will be able to have success in whichever of these colleges you wish to
Writing affects the way we think and learn, as well as for our chances of
success, our personal development, and our relations with other people. Since
most academic writing is based on reading, it is important to learn to read
critically, understanding the connections between reading and writing. The
emphasis in this class is on learning by doing, so expect to read and write
often. We will have three short essays, four in-class essays, one oral
presentation for each student, and a response journal. Because you will be
writing up to three multiple drafts for some of these essays, you will be
required to type all your papers on a computer or word processor. Always keep
backup copies on all writing assignments.
As a student of English 095 and upon completion of Composition 101 the
following quarter, you should be able to successfully complete the following
guidelines as outlined by the English Department:
1. analyze the rhetorical situation by making strategic choices as to
content, style, and form depending on the purpose, audience, and the genre in
which you write.
2. use writing as a tool to improve your critical thinking skills.
3. use writing to improve your creative imagination skills.
4. learn how to gather writing knowledge from a community of writers.
5. understand and effectively practice the writing process (prewriting,
writing, self editing, peer editing, and revision).
6. understand that revising involves substantial rethinking and rewriting,
and to learn to make such revisions of one's own writing.
7. learn to edit one's own writing for global organization, style, and
sentence level accuracy.
8. learn to read critically and respond constructively to published and
9. learn how to position one's argument in relation to one's sources.
10. learn how to incorporate and cite external sources in one's writing.
11. learn to write clearly and effectively in impromptu situations.
12. learn to generate rhetorically effective sentences.
Writing Assignments: Each essay has a minimum of five stages and all
stages must be included when the final draft is turned in. Be sure to turn in
all previous work associated with each essay that you work on. A brief
description of the invention, planning and drafting, middle draft peer review,
final draft, and revised final draft stages will be explained.
1. In-class invention writing workshop
2. In-class planning and drafting
3. In-class middle draft peer review
4. Final Draft
5. Revised final draft
The writing assignments for this class will require you to draw upon critical
readings of The St. Martin's Guide to Writing and
Who Are We? Readings on Identity, Community, Work, and Career. You will
be positioning your ideas and arguments in relation to the authors from these
two textbooks. One important part of my evaluating your success or failure in
these writing assignments is seeing if you can choose appropriate rhetorical
strategies and structures that will allow you to respond to the many contexts in
which writing is found.
Assignment #1: Read Langston Hughes, "Theme
for English B", John S. Pitt, "Don’t Call Me Red", and Kesaya
E. Noda, "Growing Up Asian in America". Explain how hair or skin color
is seen as a defining factor in identity by these writers. Then tell about an
important event in your life that helped you to forge your own sense of
identity. Choose an event that will be
engaging to your audience and that will, at the same time, tell them something
about you. Tell your story dramatically and vividly, giving a clear indication
of its autobiographical significance.
Assignment #2: Read Anastasia Toufexis, "Love: The Right Chemistry",
Janice Castro, "Contingent Workers", Peter Passell, "Path
Dependence: Why the Best Doesn’t Always Win", and Schizophrenia: What it
Looks Like, How It Feels". In a similar fashion to these writers, write a
mini-research paper using MLA style documentation that explains one aspect of a
concept about which you would like to learn. Consider carefully what your
readers already know about it and how your essay might add to what they know.
Your main goal in this writing assignment is to convey helpful and interesting
Assignment #3: Richard Astride, "Sticks and Stones and Sports Team
Names", Barbara Ehrenreich, "In Defense of Talk Shows", Guy
Molyneux, "The Declining Art of Political Debate", Jessica Statsky,
"Children Need to Play, Not Compete", all present examples of
argumentative writing. As you read these essays, consider how the titles are
appropriate for the essays. Closely evaluate how each writer presents the issue,
takes a position, and then develops a convincing, well reasoned argument.
In a similar fashion to these writers, write a mini-research paper
using MLA style documentation that argues a position on a controversial
Be sure to examine the issue critically. In fact, instead of framing an
argument to support an already-formed opinion, I encourage you to analyze
the pros and cons of the issue before reaching your own conclusions.
Remember that it is important to think through the issue and base your
position on solid reasoning and evidence.
Though you do not want to waffle on the issue that you argue, you
will need to anticipate readers’ opposing arguments;
in response to this you may have to modify your own position by
acknowledging good points, or you will have to defend your position by
refuting arguments with which the audience disagrees.
I will gladly accept papers that are double-spaced, typed and 3-4 pages in
length. Please put your name on the back of the last page of your essay.
The number letter grading scale is set as follows:
NC 69& below
Your final grade will be broken down as follows:
Class participation 10%
Oral Presentation 10%
Assignment #1 10%
Assignment #2 10%
Assignment #3 10%
Midterm In-Class essay 10%
Final In-class essay 10%
Impromptu essays (2) 10%
Writing Center: five visits 10%
To receive a passing grade, you must hand in all three of the out
of class writing assignments.
Assessment of Written Work
I will use the Scoring Guide for the English Placement Test when I
evaluate your papers for a grade. A copy of that guide is
attached. Use the following scale to find the letter grade equivalent
to the holistic numbers on your papers:
6=A 5=B 4=C 3=D 2=D 1=C
Course Packet for English 101
For English 101, I give the
students a handout
of scored essays before the scheduled peer review for each writing assignment.
On the day of the peer review, we have
a thirty minute discussion of sample essays that I have
collected from some of my former English 101 students. We discuss
the strengths and weaknesses of each paper, particularly focusing
on how the higher scored essays respond more effectively
to the writing tasks than that of the lower papers. Then
the students use the middle draft peer review checklist to critique
each other’s work.
Writing Assignment #2
Write an essay
that explains a concept. Choose a concept that interests
you and that you want to study further. Consider carefully
what your readers already know about it and how your essay
might add to what they know.
Middle Draft Peer Review Checklist
I. Read for a first impression
A. Is the concept well focused and explained?
B. Did you find the essay informative and essay to read?
C. What in the draft do you think would especially interest the intended
II. Read to analyze
A. Is the concept appropriately focused?
B. Is the point well made?
C. Is the content Appropriate for its intended readers?
D. Is the organization effective?
E. Are definitions clear?
F. Are writing strategies appropriately used?
G. Are sources carefully used?
H. What final thoughts do you have?
Course Packet for English 306
Sample in-class essay examinations
This represents a sample of the types of writing assignments I have the
students do in
1. Describe a person you knew well when you were a child. Your object is to
use enough detail that your readers can
picture the person clearly from the child's perspective and at the
same time understand from the tone of your description and from the particular
details you choose how you felt about
the person you describe.
2. The best swordsman in the world doesn’t fear the second swordsman in
the world; no, the person for him
to be afraid of is some ignorant antagonist who has never had a sword in his hand before; he doesn’t do this thing
he ought to do, and so the expert isn’t prepared
for him; he does the thing he ought not to do; and often it catches the expert
out and ends him on the spot.
Write an essay that explains what Clemens means by his description of the
"best swordsman" and the
"ignorant antagonist". Relate Clemen’s concept to an area about which you well informed.
3. In the beginning of the quarter, I asked you to comment on your
experiences with English and the
composing process. Since that time, you have written several different writing
assignments, some of which were multiple drafts. Based on these composition experiences, please read and comment on the
following quote by a writer, Anne Dilliard:
You are always going back and forth between the outline and the writing,
bringing them closer together, or just
throwing out the outline and making a new one.
To what extent is Anne Dilliard’s statement true in your own writing.
TABLE OF CONTENTS for my
English 306 Workbook
The purpose of this workbook is to...
1. Provide students with sample essays of the writing assignments for this
samples model both effective and ineffective writing.
2. Give students a critical checklist so that they effectively assess their
and that of their peers’.
3. Help the students see what I expect in each and every assignment in this
4. Help students become accustomed to the demands of writing an in-class
examination under imposed time constraints.
5. Help students accomplish the following exit criteria objectives:
Develop awareness of audience, control of tone, and appropriate use of
individual style in various modes of discourse.
Define their intention in a given rhetorical situation and organize and
express ideas according to purpose.
Use sources properly to support ideas, I.e., synthesize source material,
incorporate into their writing, and document sources.
Demonstrate competence in recognizing and using conventions of edited
Express and develop ideas in coherent, logical fashion.
Revise as well as edit their work, through regular rewriting of
Course Packet for English 311
To show the range of my teaching experience concerning linguistics, I have
included the following: the
syllabus, a table of contents to my workbook for this class, handouts from Phonetics, Phonology, Morphology, Syntax,
Semantics, Psycholinguistics, and Sociolinguistics.
An excerpt of my English 311 Syllabus:
Course Overview and Policy
(7th Edition). S. Jannedy, R. Poletto, and T. Weldon,
eds. Columbus: Ohio State University
The English Language compiled and written by Michael Buckhoff
This course is designed to introduce you to the study of linguistics and the
English Language. Since the field of
linguistics focuses on descriptive rather than prescriptive uses
of the language, we will not look at how to speak or write, according to someone’s
ideas of what is good or bad. Instead, we will
objectively describe what speakers know about
a language and how they use the language . We will examine the different variations
of language and try to account for them by making descriptive generalizations. The areas that we will examine in this course are
the following: Phonetics and Phonology, Morphology,
Syntax, Semantics, Pragmatics, and Psycho- and Sociolinguistics. We will be
looking at each area so that we can view language as a system through which we interact, communicate, and transmit our culture.
After this course, you will have a basic understanding of the
what language is
what the field of linguistics covers
how English and other language systems work--their sounds,
how children and adults acquire language
how society and culture influence language
how attitudes about standard and non-standard dialects affect
and influence us in education and daily life
why a knowledge of linguistics will help you become a more
effective student and/or teacher
No make up quizzes or tests will be allowed. If you fail to take
a quiz, your overall grade for this class
will be deducted by 5%. If you miss a test, your overall grade will be lowered
by 20%. I will only allow you to make up missed work if you have a written documented excuse from someone stating the
urgency of the situation (e.g. Doctor’s note, CHP
accident report, etc.).
Your attendance is required at all class meetings. Only
written documented excuses for an absence
may result in your making up a quiz or test. Attendance is important because I will be clarifying what you have read in the
files, adding new information, and answering questions
you will raise. We will also be working on the different parts of the workbook during class. Hopefully, this will help you keep
up with the pace of this class. One absence will
result in an overall reduction of one full letter grade and two absences will
result in a failing grade for this class.
Please note the following calculations: O
absences = 15% of attendance grade
Extra credit on final grade calculations
1 absence = 5% of attendance grade
2 absences = 0% of attendance grade; failure in class
Unfortunately, some students may occasionally arrive late for
this class. If you are late, please enter
quietly and take a seat closest to the door. Please try not to distract the
Quizzes and Tests
We will have three quizzes, two midterm tests, and one final
exam. The quizzes and tests will cover current material; the final exam will be
The number letter grading scale is set as follows:
Your final grade will be broken down as follows:
Attendance and participation 15%
Quizzes: 15% (5% each)
Tests: 40% (20% each)
Final Exam 30%
Because of limited space on this Web Site, I have not put the
remainder of this portfolio on this page (i.e. a table of contents
to my workbook, handouts from Phonetics, Phonology, Morphology, Syntax,
Semantics, Psycholinguistics, and Sociolinguistics).