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Freshman Composition Fall 2017 Syllabus

  English 110 Section R2

Fall 2017

Classroom: Shepard 73

Class Meeting Times: Tu/Th 3:30-4:45
Instructor: Mr. Kyle Hoehne


Office Location: NAC 6/333B

Office Hours: Tuesday 4:45-6



Course Description


First-Year Composition Mission Statement

First-year composition courses at CCNY teach writing as a recursive and frequently collaborative process of invention, drafting, and revising. Writing is both personal and social, and students should learn how to write for different purposes and audiences. Since writing is a process of making meaning and communicating, FYC teachers respond mainly to the content of students’ writing as well as to recurring surface errors. Students should expect frequent written and oral responses on the content of their writing from their teachers and peers. Classes rely heavily on a workshop format. Instruction emphasizes the connection between writing, reading, and critical thinking; students should give thoughtful, reasoned responses to the readings. Both reading and writing are the subjects of class discussions and workshops, and students are expected to be active participants in the classroom community. Learning from each other will be a large part of the classroom experience.


Course Learning Outcomes

  • Explore and analyze, in writing and reading, a variety of genres and rhetorical situations.
  • Develop strategies for reading, drafting, collaborating, revising, and editing.
  • Recognize and practice key rhetorical terms and strategies when engaged in writing situations.
  • Engage in the collaborative and social aspects of writing processes.
  • Understand and use print and digital technologies to address a range of audiences.
  • Locate research sources (including academic journal articles, magazine and newspaper articles) in the library’s databases or archives and on the Internet and evaluate them for credibility, accuracy, timeliness, and bias.
  • Compose texts that integrate your stance with appropriate sources using strategies such as summary, critical analysis, interpretation, synthesis, and argumentation.
  • Practice systematic application of citation conventions.


Required Texts


Bullock, Richard. The Norton Field Guide to Writing. 4th Ed. New York. Norton: 2016.


College Blackboard:

Other reading and writing materials, PowerPoint slideshows and videos will be posted online on BB during the semester.

Please Note: You must use your CCNY email address in Bb (log in to the CCNY Portal, click Blackboard, then Update Email in the Tools menu). If you add a non-CCNY domain email address in this window, you will not receive important course announcements.




Full Assignments


1) Literacy Narrative Assignment (The Norton Field Guide: Chapter 10) and Reflection (15%)


For this assignment, I want you to consider the relationship that literacy has to your identity. How has literacy impacted your everyday life? Keeping that in mind, it’s important to focus this essay on a specific moment, rather than an abstract or general one. Then, while referring to the essay rubric and considering the rhetorical terms we have discussed in class, you are tasked with writing a Reflection on your experience writing a Literacy Narrative essay and discussing the rhetorical choices that you made. (See description of Reflection assignments in the “Other Assignments” section of the syllabus.)

Due: Monday, September 19th on Blackboard before class, under the Assignments tab.

Word Count: Essay- 2 pages, Reflection- 1 page (size 12 font, Times New Roman, standard margins, double-spaced, MLA style heading)

Things to keep in mind as you write your Literacy Narrative:

  • A narrative is a story, often with a situation that needs to be resolved. Is there tension in the story that builds up to a conclusion?
  • A story should also have an interesting title that engages the reader from the outset.
  • A narrative contains vivid detail, including sensory descriptions to allow the reader to insert themselves into the story.
  • A narrative will end with a significant resolution.

Use the following criteria when assessing your and your classmate’s essays. I will be using the same rubric when I grade the final drafts.

  • What is your purpose for choosing this specific moment? Does it relate to a larger theme of your essay? Is there a theme? Have you provided enough background information so that the reader understands the point you are trying to make?
  • Have you built a strong setting that helps the reader to envision your narrative? Have you included vivid details and descriptions that help to make the piece interesting and catch the readers attention. Have you included clear details that present the narrative in a logical way? Is there a clear structure to the narrative?
  • Do you provide a closing action or resolution that reflects on the significance of the event? Does this tie into the theme of your narrative?
  • Did you include an engaging title?
  • Have you proofread and edited your piece for grammatical and punctuation errors?
  • Does your narrative have a proper MLA heading?
  • Have you submitted a 1-page Reflection along with your final draft?



2) Exploratory Essay Assignment (The Norton Field Guide: Chapter 12) and Reflection (20%):

For this assignment, I want you to come up with a topic of your choice that interests you, and then, after researching your topic, incorporate at least 3 reliable sources (found through your research) into your essay to help guide your discussion. Remember, this assignment asks you only to report on your claims, so let’s save the deeper analysis for the next essay. You must include a Works Cited page with your essay. Cite all sources in proper MLA format. Once you have finished your essay you are also required to write a Reflection on your experience constructing this assignment and discussing the rhetorical choices that you made.

Word Count: Essay – 2-3 pages | Reflection/Self-Assessment – 1-2 pages (size 12 font, Times New Roman, standard margins, double-spaced)

Due: Tuesday, October 17th

Things to keep in mind as you write your Exploratory Essay:

  • You must find at least three sources that are relevant to your topic. Two of these sources must be scholarly sources, and one can be a popular source.
  • The goal of this essay is to inform your audience of a particular point—you do not need to devise an argument or persuade your audience of anything. Your goal is to gather information on a particular aspect of your topic so that you have a more informed opinion.


Use the following criteria when assessing your and your classmates’ essays. I will be using the same rubric when I grade the final drafts.

  • Do you have a tightly focused topic? Have you kept your opinions out of the essay?
  • Did you cite at least three sources? Did you cite properly according to MLA standards? Did you include a Works Cited page?
  • Is your essay well organized and easy to follow?
  • Did you define any key terms or concepts?
  • What is the structure of your essay?
  • Does your essay have an engaging title?
  • Have you proofread and edited your paper for grammatical and punctuation errors?
  • Have you submitted a 1-page Reflection along with your final draft?




3) Researched Critical Analysis: Expanding the Theme of the Exploratory Essay (The Norton Field Guide: Chapter 13) and Reflection (20%):

For this assignment, I would like for you to expand upon the topic that you introduced in your Exploratory Essay by thinking about it in a larger context and using additional sources to serve as evidence of your claims. Please use at least five sources to substantiate your claims (you may rely on the sources you used in your previous essay). While the purpose of your Exploratory Essay is to introduce, explain, and explore your topic, this assignment requires deeper analysis and a specific thesis statement. This paper is an opportunity for you to formulate your own questions and be critical of your topic, and you are required to state an opinion or take a side on an issue and explain your thoughts. You are required to submit a Reflection along with your final draft, in which you comment on your experience writing this essay and discuss your rhetorical choices.

Word Count: Essay – 3-4 pages | Reflection/Self-Assessment – 1-2 pages (size 12 font, Times New Roman, standard margins, double-spaced)

Due: Tuesday, November 14th

Things to keep in mind as you write your Critical Analysis Essay:

  • In this essay, you will take the information you’ve learned throughout your research and argue a position. You will be expanding upon your Exploratory Essay topic, forming an opinion on a facet of that topic, and then trying to persuade your audience on your position. This is your opportunity to discuss your personal opinion on your topic.
  • You may want to rely on and reuse the research you did for your Exploratory Essay. In addition, please also find at least two more scholarly, peer-reviewed articles from the databases that we went over in class.


Use the following criteria when assessing your and your classmates’ essays. I will be using the same rubric when I grade the final drafts.

  • Do you have a clear and arguable position/stance?
  • Have you included background information to provide a context for your argument?
  • Have you provided evidence in support of your argument?
  • Have you demonstrated, through your inclusion of facts and your tone, that you are a reliable source?
  • Have you considered the positions/stances of your source material, and responded to them reasonably, even if you disagree?
  • Did you cite at least five sources on your subject? Did you cite properly according to MLA standards? Did you include a Works Cited page?
  • Does your essay have an engaging title?
  • Have you proofread and edited your paper for grammatical and punctuation errors?
  • Have you submitted a 1-2 page Reflection along with your final draft?



4) Portfolio and Self-Assessment (30%), Fall 2017

The portfolio and self-assessment are in many ways the most important documents that you’ll create for this class. Assembling the portfolio will help you to see your progress as a writer over the course of the semester; the self-assessment will give you the chance to evaluate that work based on your own criteria as well as the course learning outcomes.


The Self-Assessment will provide you with an opportunity to demonstrate that you’ve understood the rhetorical terms that we’ve been working with all semester—rhetorical situation, purpose, audience, genre, stance, media/design, and exigence—and an introduction to your portfolio. The portfolio should include, at a minimum, the Literacy Narrative, the Exploratory Essay, and the Researched Critical Analysis. Feel free to add additional documents to the portfolio, depending on what you need to demonstrate that you’ve understood the rhetorical terms and met the course learning outcomes. You might want to include drafts of essays, examples of your discussion board posts, your peer reviews, or something else not listed here. The Self-Assessment allows you to evaluate your work based not only on your own criteria but also on your learning outcomes.


To demonstrate that you have developed “reading, drafting, collaborating, revising, and editing,” you would want to include, perhaps, annotations from your bibliography or copies of the notes you took while reading to demonstrate that you have developed flexible strategies for reading. To demonstrate that your drafting process has changed, you might want to include (and refer to in your Self-Assessment) a draft from an early and a late assignment that demonstrate changes in your drafting process. To demonstrate that you have engaged in the collaborative and social aspects of writing, you might include in your portfolio a peer review that you wrote and one that you received. You would then describe these reviews, and their significance, in your Self-Assessment. Use this same approach for all of the Course Learning Outcomes. The Self-Assessment is a kind of research paper. Your development as a writer is the subject and the writing itself is your evidence. As you write your Self-Assessment, you’ll be referring to the works you’ve included in your portfolio.


Your discussion of the rhetorical terms will be up to you. You might want to devote a section of your self-assessment to this subject alone, or you might want to weave individual concepts—audience, for example—into a discussion of one of your essays that strongly demonstrates the concept.


The portfolio will be housed on a WordPress site. Be sure to make your portfolio private, accessible only by password. If you are concerned about privacy, consider creating an email account that you can use exclusively for course work. It will be read by me, some members of the class, and other CCNY faculty and administrators. You are, of course, free to share your portfolio with anyone else, but do not make it freely available. If you would like to opt out of creating a WordPress site, please let me know and we will arrange for you to make a portfolio in Blackboard. While the arrangement of the portfolio is up to you, it should be easy to navigate. As with any Web site, you want to be able to find what you’re looking for without any interference. This might mean scanning handwritten notes, taking screenshots of annotated Web sites, and turning your essays into .PDFs or Web texts. We will discuss creation of the WordPress site early on in the semester.




Assessment Rubric

While you won’t be asked to assess your own Self-Assessment, you should be aware of the criteria that I’ll use when I assess it.

  • Have you addressed all of the course learning outcomes, even those that you feel you did not spend enough time working on?
  • Have you provided evidence, in the form of your own writing, that you have developed as a writer? Are you able to identify areas in which you           have not progressed, either because you didn’t spend enough time with             them or you feel that you had a strong start in those areas?
  • Have you edited the Self-Assessment for typographical and grammatical errors?
  • In your portfolio design, have you maintained consistency from one page to the next?
  • Is your portfolio design simple and easy to navigate?
  • Have you used color and contrast to make things simple for your reader?
  • Have you considered font and page layout to create a neat, easy to read text?




Other Assignments


Reflection/Self-Assessment Assignments (grade weight varies across assignments):


A Reflection/Self-Assessment is assigned alongside every essay assignment, preparing you to write a Self-Reflection essay at the end of the semester. One goal of the course is for you to reflect on your writing in order to heighten your awareness of what you know about writing and to give you a vocabulary for discussing it. In these reflections, you should make use of the rhetorical terms we discuss throughout the semester to describe your own work. For each reflective assignment, you should describe your own essays in terms of its genre (what are its characteristic features), exigence (what need motivated the writer), purpose (what did the writer hope to accomplish), audience (who is the potential audience for the essay), context (what is the writer’s rhetorical situation? what is the relationship between the writer, the audience, and the medium?). You should also describe how each assignment has helped you to achieve the Course Learning Outcomes. These short reflections will prepare you to write the final Self-Reflection. Grade weights for essay Reflections/Self-Assessments factor into your overall grade for that assignment.



Blackboard Discussion Posts/Responses: (150-200 words) (10%)


There will be a number of Blackboard discussion posts in which you must respond to a prompt, usually based off of a reading during the week, and additionally respond to a classmate’s post, creating a dialogue. These posts will not be graded for grammar and structure, rather I want to see that you are engaging with the material and your classmates and making informed arguments based on our readings. I will announce in class and on Blackboard when the posts will be due.

You will need to check Blackboard frequently for Discussion Posts.


Journal/ Participation: (5%)


In order to improve as writers we must write often. Once each week we will begin each class session with a brief writing session during which you will write in your journals in response to the prompt for that day. Your journal entries can be as formal or informal as you like. The goal is to get comfortable with writing and to write freely. You must bring your journals to every class session.


Course Policies


Academic Integrity

The City College Policy on academic integrity (plagiarism and cheating) is enforced in this course. The full policy is available on the City College website. Please review if unsure of what constitutes plagiarism. It is your duty to familiarize yourself with City College’s policy.

If you use other people’s work you must cite it. A good source for correct citation is available at:




CCNY’s Statement on Community Standards


Students are expected to attend every class session of this course and to be on time. If you miss five classes, your final grade will be dropped by one-half of one letter (a 90 to an 85, for example). If you miss six classes, your final grade will be dropped one full letter. If you miss seven classes, you will not be able to pass the course. Consistent late arrivals and early departures will have a negative impact on your grade. I will notify you by email if course absences (for full or partial classes) are having an impact on your grade. If you have special circumstances, please see me. I’m happy to work with you to help you complete this course.


Late Policy on Major Assignments: I will still accept your paper and only 5% will be deducted from your grade as long as you submit it within 24 hours after the due date. I will deduct an additional 5% from your paper’s grade for each day that the paper is late. This policy applies regardless of you being absent or not, so you should still attend class even if you have not completed an assignment! And, again, if there are extenuating circumstances, please contact me immediately.



Student Support Services


Gateway Advising Center, NAC 1/220


Students without a declared major can receive academic advising, especially if you have questions about your course of study, core requirements, etc.


AccessAbility Center Tutoring Services, NAC 1/218


Provides one-on-one tutoring and workshops to all registered students with learning or physical disabilities.


SEEK Peer Academic Learning Center, NAC 4/224

Phone: 212-650-5786; email: seekpals@ccny.cuny.edu

Offers counseling and peer tutoring for students in need of academic and financial support who have registered for the SEEK Program.


Additional Policies


Food and Drink

There is no eating allowed in the classroom. Your food could be a distraction for other students. Drinks are fine. Please be sure to clean up after yourself when class is over.


Phones, Devices, and Other Electronics

Please refrain from using devices during class in any way that can prove distracting to you or your classmates. It is important that you are fully present during the class period. Laptops and tablets may be used for taking notes if you prefer that to pen and paper, but I reserve the right to revoke this privilege if laptops and tablets are used for purposes outside the realm of this course.






Weekly Schedule



Date Due/Before Class In Class
Week 1
Tuesday, 8/29 ·       Introductions

·       Syllabus Review

Thursday, 8/31 ·       Purchase Norton Textbook and Journals and bring to class


·       Assign and discuss Essay #1: Literacy Narrative

·       Discuss Blackboard Posts

·       Journal

Week 2
Tuesday, 9/5 ·       Read- Norton Chapter 10 (73-90) ·       Discuss readings and peer review.


Thursday, 9/7* ·       Post copies of 1st draft to BB for peer review before class ·       Peer review

·       Journal

Week 3
Tuesday, 9/12 ·       Read- Norton Chapters 5-9 (55-70) ·       Discuss rhetorical terms from Norton and Reflection/Self-Assessment
Thursday, 9/14 ·       Read- Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado” (Bb)

·       Read- Cheever’s “The Swimmer”

·       Discuss readings and their relationships to the Literacy Narrative

·       Journal

Week 4
Tuesday, 9/19** ·       Due- Final draft of Essay #1 Literacy Narrative.

·       Due- Self Assesment/Reflection

·       Assign and discuss Essay #2 Exploratory Essay

·       Brainstorm topics

Thursday, 9/21 *No Class*
Week 5
Tuesday, 9/26 ·       Come to class with topic ideas for Essay #2

·       Read- Norton Chapter 12 (145-149)

·       Discuss essay topics

·       Discuss thesis writing

Thursday, 9/28 ·       Bring to class list of sources for Essay #2 ·       Peer discussion of sources and brainstorming for essay

·       Journal

Week 6
Tuesday, 10/3 ·       Read- Norton Chapters 46 & 47 (445-472) ·       Discuss research and citation practices
Thursday, 10/5 ·       Read example Exploratory Essays on Bb ·       Journal
Week 7
Tuesday, 10/10* ·       Post copies of 1st draft to BB for peer review before class ·       Peer review
Thursday, 10/12 ·       Read selections from TSIS on Bb ·       Hands on instruction of WordPress and Portfolios
Week 8
Tuesday, 10/17** ·       Due- Final draft of Essay #2 Exploratory Essay

·       Due- Self Assessment/Reflection


·       Assign and discuss Essay #3 Critical Analysis


Thursday, 10/19 ·       Read- Examples of Critical Analysis on Bb


·       Discuss Examples

·       Journal

Week 9
Tuesday, 10/24 ·       Read- Norton Chapters 13,17, and 36 (169-182, 206-215, 355-372) ·       Discuss Norton readings


Thursday, 10/26 ·       Read- Selections from TSIS on Bb ·       Discuss TSIS readings

·       Journal

Week 10
Tuesday, 10/31 ·       Read- Selection from Jennifer Egan’s “Great Rock and Roll Pauses” on Bb ·       Discuss WordPress and use of Media in Literature
Thursday, 11/2* ·       Post copies of 1st draft to BB for peer review before class ·       Peer review

·       Journal

·       Set up conferences.

Week 11
Tuesday, 11/7 *Conferences-Bring copies of peer reviewed draft to conference.
Thursday, 11/9 *Conferences-Bring copies of peer reviewed draft to conference.
Week 12
Tuesday, 11/14**
  • Due- Final draft of Essay #3 Critical Analysis

·       Due- Self Assessment/ Reflection


·       Discuss Self-Assessment and Portfolio

·       Workshop Day

Thursday, 11/16 ·       Read Norton Chapters 21 & 32 (245-251, 318-327) ·       Discuss Norton readings

·       Journal

Week 13
Tuesday, 11/21 *No Class* *Friday Schedule
Thursday, 11/23 *No Class* *Thanksgiving Break
Week 14
Tuesday, 11/28* ·       Post copies of 1st draft of Self-Assessment to BB for peer review ·       Peer review

·       Journal

Thursday, 11/30 ·       Read- Norton Chapter 29 (301-305)


·       Discuss Norton reading
Week 15
Tuesday, 12/5 ·       In class workshop for portfolios
Thursday, 12/7 ·       Read- Selection from Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird ·       Discuss Lamott reading

·       Final review/workshop on WordPress, Portfolio, Self-Assessment

Week 16
Tuesday, 12/12 ***

Last Day of Class

·       Due- Portfolio and Self Assessment


NOTE: This syllabus is subject to change throughout the semester.  Any changes made to assignments, due dates, etc. will be communicated through Blackboard.


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