English 102: Composition II
Objectives, Requirements, and Policies
English Composition II prepares students to become better writers and readers at the college level. The course introduces students to the complex demands of academic literacy and trains students to respond to those demands successfully. Successful academic reading and writing requires the critical observation and production of personal and public knowledge. Students will study and perform such observation and production through (1) inquisitive reading and research, (2) the formulation of hypotheses and research designs and the use of these designs to test hypotheses, (3) the identification of new approaches to inquiry, and (4) the persuasive communication of discoveries. To ensure that students can contribute to this kind of academic discourse, English Composition II teaches students approaches to summary, paraphrase, analysis, interpretation, critical thinking, and documentation. Some class discussion and readings focus on the function and scope of language and communication in a variety of academic contexts.
PLACEMENT IN ENGLISH 102
While reinforcing the composing skills and strategies addressed in English 101, English 102 focuses more specifically on structuring formal arguments and on research strategies. Students enrolled in this course can expect to compose several essays, typically longer and more complex than those written in either English 100 or English 101. As in English 100 and English 101, however, this course will encourage students to capitalize on opportunities for revision based on feedback from both their instructors and their peers. Additional class work will include completion of informal preparatory writing for the major essays, independent research, reading in the course rhetorics, participation in small group activities and peer review, and whole class discussions. To enroll in English 102, students must have earned a “C” or better in English 101. English 102 is the second course in the required Core Curriculum composition sequence.
English Composition II reinforces the rhetorical foundations that students acquired in English
Composition I and uses these foundations to improve students’ academic discourse. After taking English Composition II, students will be able to use an understanding of ethos, audience, subject matter, process, and context to identify and achieve complex rhetorical goals; engage in critical reading by applying various analytical techniques; conduct attentive and inquisitive library and field research; explain and employ the methods of argumentation and analysis valued in academic contexts; and understand and use Edited American English and appropriate forms of documentation.
Crusius. The Aims of Argument (Selected Material). 5th ed. McGraw-Hill, 2005.*
Lunsford. Everything’s an Argument: With Readings. 5th ed. Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2011.
Maimon. A Writer’s Resource: A Handbook for Writing and Research. McGraw-Hill, 2009.
*These readings are from chapters ten through sixteen of The Aims of Argument. Therefore, a copy of the complete Aims of Argument (5th ed.) is an acceptable alternative.
A portable or desktop file case or an accordion folder
A portable USB storage device
A college-level dictionary
White-out for in-class writings
English 102 is divided into four essay projects and an essay final exam. With the completion of each essay, students will produce a significant “formal” composition. While some essays will be shorter in length, such as Essay 1, beginning at three to four double-spaced pages, Essay 4, the Argumentative Research Paper, will require nine to ten pages. Students will submit, usually in a folder, the formal composition for each essay project and the materials used to write that composition in order to document their work during a particular unit. Most essay projects will require students to write both a working draft and a final draft, which students will submit successively in a folder for the instructor to formally grade. For each essay project and the essay final exam, the instructor will distribute detailed assignment guidelines for the major composition associated with it.
Essay Writing Projects
For each of the five essay-writing projects, students will engage in a composition process in which they may implement invention and planning strategies, draft rough material, review their peers' work, and revise and edit their own compositions.
Essay One--Investigative: For a general, academic audience, the student writer will investigate a controversial topic stemming from the class theme and will utilize two to four sources, one of which must come from either Everything’s an Argument or The Aims of Argument, in composing the essay text. The investigative essay encourages a student to both understand the current debate surrounding a given topic and focus on one to two issues the student locates as special areas of interest to himself or herself within this larger debate. In relation to the 102 essay sequence, the Investigative Essay of three to four pages acts as a staging ground, the first of many pieces of writing that will eventually lead to Essay 4, the Extended, Source-based, Argumentative Research Paper.
Essay Two--Annotated Bibliography and Proposal: For Essay 2, students, sticking with the class theme, will continue to search for answers and solutions to problems and controversies they as a class may have identified in Unit 1. Students will compose both parts of Essay 2—the Annotated Bibliography and Proposal Argument —in continued preparation for Essay 4. To a student, writing both parts of the Essay 2 assignment should and probably will feel like the experience of making a sales pitch, a pitch that should both confirm to the student and convince an audience that not only is the student’s topic appropriately narrow and concise but that the student has done enough research to support his or her future argumentative research paper.
For a potential student researcher interested in pursuing a paper on the same subject, the writer will pen Essay 2A, a series of works cited entries and annotations for ten sources. In this Annotated Bibliography, the student will employ MLA or APA format in the work cited entries and briefly summarize and comment on sources via the preparation of annotations.
In the Essay 2B Proposal, the student, in three to four pages, discusses a topic that he or she would like to investigate during the semester. That is, the student will argue for his or her topic’s worthiness, given the large amount of time he or she will be devoting to it. Students are to direct the text to a general, academic audience possibly interested in learning more about subject but whose members need some convincing that its undertaking would be worthwhile. To support claims made, the student will need to include three to four sources, most likely taken from E2A research, in the Proposal. This research will both help the student learn more about her or his topic and offer evidence as to why writing the proposed argument could constitute a creditable and beneficial endeavor.
Essay Three--Bibliographical Analysis: As with Essay 2, students write Essay 3 in further preparation for Essay 4. Students are to direct the text to a general, academic audience interested in learning about the research concerning the student's subject. The Bibliographical Analysis Essay is one in which students make connections between sources or synthesize the material they have gathered. A student's goal in writing this essay of four to six pages is to call upon whatever research she or he has collected to address various angles of her or his chosen controversial topic and use her or his sources' authors to offer multiple solutions or answers to a problem or question she or he has tentatively posed.
Essay Four--Extended, Source-based Argument: To a general, academic audience whose members might be persuaded to change their minds concerning a controversy or possibly even take some specific action to remedy a problem, the student will argue for his/her own position concerning a question(s) he or she has raised on a controversial subject. The student’s topic will in some way be dictated by his interests in E2B: the Proposal Argument and informed by sources for E2A, the Annotated Bibliography. In the Extended, Source-based, Argumentative Research Paper of nine to ten pages, a student will want to define a problem and persuade readers that it indeed exists and warrants attention. Then, he or she will proceed to propose and weigh alternative solutions to this problem before offering one main solution, backed by research. After proposing a solution, a student may opt to predict what may happen in the future in regard to the dilemma invoked.
Essay Five--Metacognitive-Reflective: Students, in order to reflect upon the progression of their reading, thinking, and writing practices after having completed the majority of their English 102 course and having taken Composition I or its equivalent sometime in the past, will compose the Metacognitive-Reflective Essay as a piece of timed writing for the final exam. Essay 5 is geared toward the student himself or herself, the instructor, and classmates. The Metacognitive Essay should address at least three of the student’s major 102 essays. In two to three pages, a student should pinpoint areas of growth in his or her writing style and ability and reflect upon each essay he or she has penned. The student will also address the writing processes upon which he or she has relied and offer his or her thoughts on the course’s content. As such, a metacognitive essay propels the writer to reflect upon what exactly it is she or he has learned over the semester, not only relevant to the theme(s) of the course but also to the acts of planning a text, committing the researching for it, and engaging in the steps of prewriting, drafting, and revising in order to turn in a completed product.
The Essay Writing Process
Format of Essays: The first page of a draft should be labeled with the student's name, the course and section number, the date, and the unit number; subsequent pages should be numbered and labeled with the student's last name. The pages should have one-inch margins. The text should appear in 12-point Times New Roman font. Multiple pages should be connected with a staple or a paper clip. Students must submit all drafts of major essays one through four to the instructor as computer-generated documents. Students should give instructors both an electronic document (in the file format that the instructor requests) and a hard copy. Students who fail to turn in an electronic copy with the hard copy will be issued one warning per draft. If the student fails to turn in an electronic copy after being advised to do so within a given time frame, the instructor may apply the late policy from that day forward, which will result in a lowering of a draft's final grade.
Use of Turnitin: Students are required to submit a copy of each essay's final draft, except for Essay 5, to Turnitin. Instructors should explain this process to students at the beginning of the semester.
Step 1: Engagement in and Submission of Informal, Essay-generating Exercises: During the five essay writing projects, the instructor may assign preliminary informal exercises (idea sheets, plans, drafts, peer comments) for purposes of providing students with some feedback. The instructor will also record in the grade book students' timely and engaged attention to these exercises.
During each essay writing project, students will engage in work that will assist them in preparing, first, a working draft of the essay and, second, a final draft of the essay, each of which they will eventually submit for review. Often, these small, informal assignments will constitute stages in a student's own writing process for a particular major essay, but they might include other documents, such as a peer review of a classmate’s work or a detailed summary of a reading. In determining the grade for a working folder for a particular unit, the instructor will “weight” the working draft as at least 50% of the folder grade and other exercises in accordance with their length and complexity. Although English 102 does not have a specific class participation grade, the informal exercises will indicate a student's level of effort and engagement.
In the case of unexcused absences, late informal exercises will not be accepted for any reason, and students will not be allowed to submit alternative assignments for missed work of this nature. If students know they will not be attending class on the day an informal assignment is due, they should e-mail it to their instructor before the start of class (but such posts do not excuse students from any work completed during the class period). For excused absences of any nature, students will be expected to provide documentation if they want their instructor to allow them to make up an informal assignment. For planned excused absences, students must make arrangements with their instructor for doing the work before the established deadline or for a later deadline. (Students must receive written approval for any extensions of deadlines.) For unplanned excused absences, students will need to provide after-the-fact, official documentation of the reason for their absence before they will be allowed to make up the work that they missed.
Unless students are given other guidelines by their instructor, the informal exercises should be neatly written or computer generated. The first page of the assignment should be labeled with the student's name, the course and section number, the date, the unit number, and a brief assignment title (such as “Peer Review,” “Idea Sheet,” or “Page 10 Questions”). Work that is not labeled appropriately will be returned without a grade. Multiple pages should be connected with a staple or a paper clip.
Step 2: Submission of the Working Draft Folder for Essays 1-4: The working folder for each unit will be a collection of the student's work during that unit (the rough draft and smaller daily assignments). Each working folder that the student compiles should provide evidence of his/her growth as a writer during a specific essay project.
At the end of each of the Essay Units 1-4, the instructor will collect again some or all of the informal, essay-writing exercises as part of a “working folder,” or a record of the student's effort and development during the unit; thus, it will be imperative that the student retains all informal exercises produced in the context of the unit. A student's failure to submit responses to such assignments in timely and thorough fashion relevant to their original due dates will result in a deduction from the grade of that unit's working folder.
The working folder for each unit will also contain a draft of a major essay associated with that unit. In preparing the working draft for each essay under instructor consideration, the student should attempt to generate the best possible piece of work that he/she can, making sure to meet all assignment guidelines, including page length, and to spell check, edit, and proofread the draft. The entire working folder's contents for a given unit, then, will be assigned a grade that ultimately will account for 5% of the student's course grade. In addition, the student's essay will be assigned an “advisory grade,” or an indication of its quality at the time he/she submitted it. The advisory grade for a unit draft will be an integral part of the holistic working folder grade. Indeed, it will be impossible for a student to receive higher than fifty percent of the points available for the working folder grade without having submitted a substantial draft of the unit essay in addition to the informal assignments required by the instructor.
If a student knows he/she will not be able to attend class on the day a working folder is due, he/he should turn it in early or make arrangements in advance with the instructor for a revised deadline and receive written approval of this deadline (which the student must include in the folder). If a student's need to miss class is sudden, he/she should make sure that, at least, he/she has e-mailed his/her rough draft to the instructor in the specified format before the assignment is due. Otherwise, assignments may be turned into an office assistant in the English Department during regular hours. Students should never submit an assignment by leaving it on the instructor’s desk, giving it to the instructor’s officemate, or slipping it under the instructor’s door. The instructor will not be responsible for receiving such submissions.
Late submissions of working folders without prior approval will be accepted, but submissions under these circumstances will result in a deduction to the working folder grade for that essay unit. Any submission after the deadline on the same day will receive a five-percent deduction of possible points to be earned. Submissions on the next day (which starts at midnight) will receive another five-percent deduction. For each day that the assignment is submitted after the second day, the assignment will receive another five-percent deduction.
Step 3: Submission of the Final Draft for Essays 1-4
This course has been designed to increase the student's ability to communicate, particularly in writing, by encouraging him/her to develop and then exercise a rhetorical sensitivity by which he/she identifies the constraints and opportunities of any communicative challenge and responds appropriately. To improve this ability (which a student of English 102 already possesses), this course is structured around a system that encourages essay revision. A large portion of the student's grade is based on essays that he/she will be required to revise, drawing upon the rhetorical sensitivity that he/she develops, the instructor’s comments, peers’ comments, and other resources that the student might employ (for instance, the Writing Center). Before a student submits a final draft of an essay, he/she should polish it to “presentation quality.” A student will present the final draft, along with the graded rough draft and instructor comment sheet, in a two-pocket folder to the instructor. Students should also turn in copies of any sources they cite in their essays that their instructor has not provided to them. Each finished essay will be graded on the quality of the writing, not on effort. (Effort will be rewarded in the context of the working folder.)
If a student knows he/she will not be able to attend class on the day a final draft is due, he/he should turn it in early or make arrangements in advance with the instructor for a revised deadline and receive written approval of this deadline (which the student must include with the final draft). If a student's need to miss class is sudden, he/she should make sure that, at least, he/she has e-mailed his/her draft to the instructor in the specified format before the assignment is due. Otherwise, assignments may be turned into an office assistant in the English Department during regular hours. Students should never submit an assignment by leaving it on the instructor’s desk, giving it to the instructor’s officemate, or slipping it under the instructor’s door. The instructor will not be responsible for receiving such submissions.
Late submissions of final drafts without prior approval will be accepted, but submissions under these circumstances will result in a deduction to the final draft grade for that essay unit. Any submission after the deadline on the same day will receive a five-percent deduction of possible points to be earned. Submissions on the next day (which starts at midnight) will receive another five-percent deduction. For each day that the assignment is submitted after the second day, the assignment will receive another five-percent deduction.
In addition, students not present on the days working folders are turned back are still responsible for meeting the regular deadlines for turning in corresponding final drafts, except in the case of an unforeseen, excused absence. Those with excused or unexcused absences should make arrangements with their instructors to pick up their working folders as soon as possible in order to access and integrate feedback.
The final draft for Essay 4 is the day of the final exam (or the late policy applies).
The Essay 5 Final Exam
All students will take a two-hour final examination as required by the University. The instructor will announce the topic prior to the test, which will require students to employ the critical reading and writing strategies that they have developed in the course, to chart their growth as writers, and to evidence an understanding of the conventions of academic writing in essay form.
5% Essay 1 Working Folder (including rough draft)
Plagiarism is both the intentional and unintentional use of another author’s material and/or words in your own text without acknowledging that author’s contribution or without documenting it correctly. In academic environments, plagiarism is a serious ethical violation that carries serious consequences. Please read the sections on plagiarism in the Allyn and Bacon Guide and in A Writer’s Resource.
In addition to the standards regarding plagiarism addressed in those two books, your instructor will hold you to some other standards:
Course Attendance Policy
Students should keep a record of their absences and tardies and should communicate with their instructor if a question as to the number of absences acquired arises. Students should also attend class even if they have neglected to complete an assignment, so that they will not be further penalized by being counted absent.
Excessive unexcused absences will prevent students from passing this course. Students who miss more than a total of three weeks of class (9 class periods of a MWF schedule; 6 class periods of a T/TR schedule) as a result of unexcused absences will be assigned an “F” automatically for the course. In addition, students who miss more than 3 periods of a MWF schedule or more than 2 periods for a T/TR schedule as a result of unexcused absences will be penalized based on a graduated scale:
M/W/F: 4 absences = -1% of semester grade, 5 absences = -2% semester grade, 6 = -5%, 7 = -7%, 8 = -10%, 9 = -20%, 10 = failure of the course.
T/TR: 3 absences = -1.5%, 4 absences = -5%, 5 = -8.5%, 6 = -20%, 7 = failure of the course.
While an accumulation of unexcused absences will contribute to a lowered grade or even failure of the course itself, the negative effect of generating numerous unexcused absences will also be substantial in that:
Students who miss over three weeks of class as a result of excused absences (e.g., those resulting from extended illness) must obtain official documentation (e.g., a letter from a medical doctor) that establishes 1) the cause of the excessive absences and 2) the necessity for having to miss so many class periods. In the interest of organizing and expediting the documentation process, students who are absent for an extended period of time as a result of illness or other personal crises should seek the assistance of SIUC’s Transitional Services Office (453-7041).
Please note that neither early departures for holidays nor missing classes due to a work schedule will count as excused absences. Excused absences for weddings, funerals, court dates, and other such obviously compelling matters must be approved as such ahead of time by your instructor, and procedures for making up missed work must be formally arranged with the instructor. All absences that you wish to be designated as “excused” as a result of illness or an emergency must be officially documented. Therefore, if you are not feeling well enough to come to class and wish the absence to be excused, you will need to provide evidence of a visit with a health care professional. All documentation must be provided to the instructor no later than two weeks after the absence in order for the absence to be marked as “excused.”
Unless excused by the instructor, an instance of tardiness or an early departure from class exceeding ten minutes will count as an unexcused absence. Unless approved by the instructor in the case of valid excuses, students will not be allowed to complete in-class assignments missed partially or in full as a result of being tardy or departing early from class. Chronic tardiness may be regarded as disruptive behavior (see below).
Policy Regarding Cell Phone Use
The increased prevalence of cell phone use in our society has necessitated articulation of a policy for using phones responsibly in classroom settings. Any student who brings a cell phone—or other mobile communication device—to class is responsible for turning it off before the beginning of the official start time. If you are in the midst of some family crisis that requires you to keep your cell phone turned on, you must keep the ringer set to “manner mode” and must alert your instructor before class about the situation. Doing so will minimize potential disruption as you prepare the instructor up front that you might need to take a call. If you need to take an emergency call, quietly leave the classroom and find a place where your conversation will not disturb others. Lack of compliance with this policy will be regarded as disruptive behavior, and violators will be subject to the consequences for disruptive behavior outlined in the following section.
Disruptive Behavior Policy
Behavior that disrupts the educational environment in English 101 and that, therefore, interferes with others’ learning opportunities will not be tolerated. Disruptive behavior in the context of the English 101 classroom includes (but may not be limited to)
A student determined by his or her instructor to be “disruptive” will be referred—along with a report describing the offending behavior—to the Assistant Director of Writing Studies or her Administrative Assistants. A student who has been referred will not be allowed to return to class until the offending behavior has been specifically identified and the consequences of repeating the behavior clarified in the context of a meeting between the student, the Assistant Director of Writing Studies, and, in certain cases, the instructor reporting the behavior. Following this meeting, repeated acts of disruptive behavior as identified by the instructor will result in referral to the Chair of the English Department, the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities and/or the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts. Consequences for repeating the same disruptive behavior that the Writing Studies Office has previously documented and warned the student against may include being penalized by a 5% deduction of the total grade for English 101 for each instance (with a maximum of one offense of the same nature being counted per day). Students who continue with patterns of disruptive behavior will also be sent back to the Writing Studies Office to readdress the disruptive behavior. In addition to the deduction of points from a student's final grade, other and more severe means of reprimand may include suspension or expulsion from the course.
Furthermore, in the case that an instructor asks a student to leave class to go to the Writing Studies Office for a disciplinary meeting, the student will be held responsible for the day's in-class assignments and will miss any opportunity to complete said assignments or earn any points that may have been assigned during the student's leave. A student dismissed for disruptive behavior during class and sent to meet with a representative of the Writing Studies Office will also be counted absent for that day.
An “Incomplete” is a special, end-of-course designation granted only to those students who have regularly attended class and who are in good standing relevant to course work completed but who, for catastrophic, officially documented reasons outside their control, are unable to finish a large portion of the required course work. “Incompletes” will be granted by the instructor of record in consultation with the Assistant Director of Writing Studies, and subsequent completion of the course will be governed by a contract signed by the instructor and student to be approved by the Assistant Director of Writing Studies.
SIUC is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for study and work. Because some health and safety circumstances are beyond our control, we ask that you become familiar with the SIUC Emergency Response Plan and Building Emergency Response Team (BERT) Program. Emergency response information is available on posters in every building on campus and in the Emergency Response Guideline pamphlet. It is also available on BERT’s website at www.bert.siu.edu and on the Department of Safety’s website www.dps.siu.edu.
Instructors will provide guidance and direction to students in the classroom in the event of an emergency affecting your location. It is important that you follow these instructions and stay with your instructor during an evacuation or sheltering emergency. The Building Emergency Response Team will provide assistance to your instructor in evacuating the building or sheltering you within the facility.
Students who require accommodations for physical or learning disabilities should contact the Disability Support Services office (453-5738). The Disability Support Services office will provide Accommodations Agreements that students with differing needs may submit to their instructors.
Proficiency exams for English 102 are available at the start of each semester for eligible students
who believe they have already mastered the learning objectives associated with the course. To be eligible to take the exam:
To pass the English 102 exam (3 hours), students must convincingly demonstrate that they can apply the practical and productive knowledge of ethos, audience, subject matter, process, and context for a complex purpose; that they can read and analyze texts carefully; that they know how to integrate written research into a well-argued, analytical essay; that they have mastered the appropriate use of standard written English; and that they know how to document their sources.
During either exam, students may use a dictionary and A Writer’s Resource: A Handbook for Writing and Research (the University-Approved Writing Handbook) by Elaine P. Maimon. No pre-prepared notes may be used during the exam. Further directions and criteria are provided when the exam is given.
Examination Dates and Times
Students who wish to take the 102 exam, with the potential to drop the section in which they are currently enrolled, MUST have their letter and supporting documentation turned in to the Writing Studies office by NOON on Wednesday the first week of class. Students who do not meet the due date/time should drop ENGL 102 and schedule the exam for later in the semester, because they cannot attend class past the first week and still take the proficiency exam. If they do not pass the exam then, they may enroll in 102 the following semester.
The 102 exam is given at a time that is convenient for the Writing Studies Secretary (who serves as the proctor) and the student. All students should arrive fifteen minutes prior to the start of the exam to complete necessary paperwork. Students who arrive more than ten minutes after the exam's scheduled start time will not be permitted to take it.