English Comp 2 Assignments

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ests and exams will be presented online through this web site. Students will take three tests during the course. Additionally, students will take one comprehensive final exam at the end of the course. (See the course calendar.) Tests and the exam are not timed and are open book, open notes.

ur tests and exams are based on the reading we do, on our labs, and on the HyperTextBook materials. The primary objective of the exams is to ensure that you read the text closely and that you master the concepts we will cover in this class.

his term we will discuss several concepts necessary to reading and writing academic argumentation, such as

  1. the nature of claims,
  2. the use of definition,
  3. the kinds of evidence and appeals,
  4. the nature and use of underlying assumptions,
  5. the nature of logical fallacy in argumentation,
  6. the nature and use of manipulative language,
  7. the use of underlying assumptions as a source of information about the writer,
  8. the nature of hidden arguments in an essay,
  9. the nature of inherent contradictions in an essay,
  10. the use of audience analysis, and
  11. the difference between necessary and sufficient information when analyzing an argument.

he examinations may consist of true/false, multiple-choice, matching, fill-in-the-blank, short answer, essay, and other questions designed to test your mastery of the concepts listed above and your knowledge of the material we will read for this course.

f a student needs special assistance or provisions for testing or in-class writing, please let me know well in advance of our exams or writing assignments posted on the course calendar.

English Composition II

Fall 2005

ENGL102-13MWF 11.00-11.50 am FH-202

ENGL102-14MWF 2.00-2.50 pm H-330


Mr. Walsh                                                                    

Office: H-117                                                                Extension: 1818

Email: mwalsh@massasoit.mass.edu                               MWF: 9.00-10.00 am

 “Because as an Elitist, I believe that each of you has the spark of nobility and change in you.  I believe that it is the remarkable men and women in every age who alter the condition for all of us, who move us away from the pit towards the stars.”

-          Harlan Ellison


Course Description

English Composition II is a course designed to strengthen students’ skills as writers and to focus on analysis and argument.  Assignments include critical examination of literature and an essay using research and documentation utilizing the MLA style sheet.  Emphasis is on writing as part of the process of thinking and learning.

Prerequisite: English Composition I


McMahan, Elizabeth, et al.  Literature and the Writing Process, 7th edition.

Hacker, Diana.  Rules for Writers. (Website: dianahacker.com/rules)

 Additional Supplies

A good dictionary

A folder to keep your work in

[NOTE: Keep all coursework until you have received you final grade!]


  1. Read intellectually challenging texts with increased comprehension and enriched aesthetic response.
  2. Incorporate the vocabulary of literary analysis into class discussion and writing in order to facilitate thinking about texts from various literary genres.
  3. Express in discussion and in writing an awareness of the diverse voices found in literature.
  4. Build a context for understanding literature by linking class readings to other academic disciplines and to universal human experiences.
  5. Write essays that go beyond summary to the analysis and interpretation of texts.
  6. Apply the grammatical and rhetorical skills of Composition I to a variety of complex writing tasks in preparation for writing across the curriculum.
  7. Conduct research and assess information from a variety of sources in order to understand the research topic.
  8. Compose essays that incorporate research and documentation in preparation for the assignments of other college courses.
  9. Strengthen Core Competencies in order to increase success in this and other courses and in the workplace.


Your grade for the course is derived from the following assignments:

  • 1 in-class essay
  • Student-generated discussion questions
  • 2 short analytical papers
  • 3 research projects (with documented sources)
  • Quizzes
  • Grammar code (equivalent to one paper grade)
  • Deportment (equivalent to one paper grade)

 Class Methodology

Instructional methods include: reading, writing, revision, lecture, discussion, small group work, exercises, quizzes, peer-assessments, self-assessment and conference.

 Student-Generated Discussion Questions

You will come to each class with a set of questions that we will use to generate discussion of the readings.  Develop one question for each work to be covered on a given day.  Each question should attempt to get at the meaning of the given work.  Here are a few examples of what your questions should look like: 

  1. What does the dark street symbolize in “Araby”?
  2. How many characters in Othello suffer from jealousy?
  3. What’s the significance of the statue’s missing body in “Ozymandius”?

 And here are a few examples of what your questions should not look like: 

  1. I didn’t get that story about the kid with the crush on the girl.
  2. What’s Othello about?
  3. I didn’t like ‘Ozymandius’.

I will collect the questions at the end of each class, evaluate them with a check system [√+, √, √-] and record the grades.  You will be evaluated on the care and thought put into each question.  An average of the questions will be equivalent to one paper grade.

In-class Essays

The in-class essay, not graded but required, will serve as a preliminary sample of your ability as a writer. 

 Response Papers

You will write two (2) response papers this semester.  The topics will be taken from the literature listed on the course schedule.  You are to select one work that you find interesting and offer your opinion on what the story, scene or poem is trying to say.  Your paper should offer analysis of the work and include a quote that supports your interpretation.  Papers should be 300-500 words.  Your topics must come from works listed on the course schedule; anything else will not be accepted.  Check the course schedule for due dates. 

Research Projects

These assignments will introduce the student to finding, reading and assessing critical material based on the literature we read in class. You will want to consult Chapter 17: Drama for Writing: The Research Paper (692-774) for ideas and tips on generating ideas, as well as organizing and formatting your term paper.  The goals of this assignment are:

  1. To introduce you to the process of gathering research
  2. To read and think about literary criticism
  3. To learn how to incorporate and document secondary sources with your writing
  4. To structure and write a longer, academic paper

The topics of these projects will be explained in further detail during the semester.  Again, your topics must come from works listed on the course schedule; anything else will not be accepted.

 Essays and Assignments

Please submit assignments written outside class on the date indicated on the syllabus.  As a general rule, late assignments are not acceptable.  However, in the rare case when I do accept a paper, it will be discounted one-third of a letter grade for each late day.  In no case may work be submitted for evaluation more than one week after the due date. 

Standards for Writing

Essays written outside class should be double-spaced and typed with one-inch margins on all sides.  Using a computer will facilitate the process of revision.  On the occasion when you do not have access to computer, please write legibly with blue or black ink on white theme paper.  Write on one side of the paper only.

 Note: It is your responsibility to hold all papers, quizzes, et cetera, until you receive a final grade.


We will hold writing workshops throughout the semester.  You will find these workshops helpful and productive.  I will be looking for students to volunteer their papers for workshops.  Although having the class critique your writing may seem daunting at first, I guarantee the experience will improve your writing considerably

Revising Assignments

Every writer wants to be understood.  This means revising your paper so the information is clearly presented and ideas flow sensibly from one to the next.  When revising assignments, focus of substance or content and organization issues.  I do not want to see a final draft where the only corrections are spelling and grammar errors.  These are surface issues and the last problems to deal with.  When you resubmit your essay, your revisions should be highlighted to note the changes you have made.


I reserve the right to introduce unannounced pop quizzes to test whether or not students are keeping up with the reading assignment.  Points earned here will be added on to your raw score.  In other words, if you keep up with the reading assignments, it may improve your final grade.

 Grammar Log

You are expected to have an understanding of the rules of English grammar.  Any grammar errors I find in your drafts will be flagged with the appropriate number, indicating the error.  It is your responsibility to consult the Hacker handbook and correct the error.  You will do this for each written assignment, handing in the complete grammar log at the end of the semester.  Your grammar log grade is equivalent to one paper grade.


College policy allows 5 hours of absence per class per semester.  Beyond this limit, absence will result in a lower grade and/or failure.  You are responsible for what happens in this class, whether you are here or not.  Please try to avoid missing any class time.


 “Chance favors the prepared mind

-          Louis Pasteur

 This category was once called ‘participation’.  However, in-class performance extends beyond contributing to class discussions.  Deportment, then, takes into consideration every aspect of time spent in class, paying close attention to the following questions:

  • Do you follow along with class discussion or do you stare out the window?
  • Do you listen when the professor is speaking?
  • Do you listen when your fellow classmates are speaking?
  • Do you come to class having done the reading assignments?
  • Do you hand in all assignments?
  • Do you accept responsibility for your actions or do you get bogged down in excuses?
  • Do you talk while you should be listening?
  • Do you show respect to your instructor and classmates?
  • Do you take an active part in all aspects of the class?

 How you carry yourself in class is as important as the work you hand in.  Get involved with what we are doing and stay involved.  Do not hesitate to engage the instructor and the other students in a dialogue.  Your deportment grade is equivalent to one paper grade.

 Pagers and Cell Phones

Turn off your pager and/or cell phone before entering class.  Pagers and cell phones are a scourge and an imposition and will not be tolerated.

 Email Guidelines

To safeguard against email abuse, students are required to follow the guidelines listed below.


  • Emails will be answered in a professional and courteous manner; therefore, they should be written in a professional and courteous manner.
  • I DO NOT accept papers via email.
  • Emails sent after 3:00 P.M. will not be answered until the next day.
  • Questions concerning course policy already stated in the syllabus will not be answered.
  • Emails stating the student will not be attending class due to illness may not be answered but will be noted.
  • Do not send me an email asking me to find a topic for you.  I can help you narrow your topic, I can help you sharpen your thesis; but before I can do this, you must come up with a topic on your own.
  • DO NOT send me junk email (this includes jokes and chain letters).

 Grading Formula

Here is the formula I use to compute your final grade

S.G.Q.     S.P.       Q      R.P.        G.C.          D

  85           78        86       77 x 2       85            83

              + 84                  82 x 2   

                                     +85 x 2

  85   +    162   +  86   +     488  +  85     +    83  =  989

 Raw Score: 989

Excessive Absences: 5 (5 x 0.03 = 0.15); 0.15 x 989 = 148.3; 904 – 148.3 = 755.7

Adjusted Raw Score: 755.7

755.7 ÷ 12 = 62.975 –or- 63

63 = D


Here is a breakdown of what each letter grade means.

 A = a thoroughly engaging paper.  The essay presents original ideas in a unique way.  The writing is fresh, clear and imaginative.  There are no errors in spelling or grammar.  Effective transitions are employed throughout the essay.  Source material is seamlessly integrated with the student’s writing.  The MLA documentation is correct.

 B = a strong effort.  The B essay may demonstrate some original thought and solid writing, but it also lapses into trite thinking or clichés.  The paper has some grammatical errors.  Source material is not successfully integrated.  Paper has gaffs in MLA documentation.

 C = average work.  Paper takes care of the basics, although it did not fully entice the reader.  The writing in the C essay is functional, but not engaging.  Source material is occasionally presented without citation and not fully integrated with the student’s own writing. 

D = a paper in trouble.  This essay demonstrates no effort on the student’s part.  The D paper exhibits poor writing, little thought and numerous errors in grammar and spelling.  The paper feels as if it was dashed off in under an hour.  This essay fails to persuade and does not correctly utilize source material.  Often times the D paper does not include a works cited page.

 F = a substandard essay.  The F paper fails to meet the standards of College-level work. 


 “When a man’s talk is commonplace and his writings uncommon, it means that

his talent lies in the place from which he borrows it, and not in himself.”

-          Montaigne

 Plagiarism means using another person’s words or ideas without giving that person credit.  It is a form of cheating and theft, but it can be easily avoided by using the documentation we will practice this semester.  Plagiarism means and F (entered into my gradebook as a 0) for the paper and may mean and F for the course.


Students with disabilities who believe that they may need accommodations in the classroom are encouraged to contact the Learning Disabilities Coordinator, Andrea Henry, at x1805 or the Disability Counselor, Stan Oliver, at x1425 as soon as possible in order to ensure that such accommodations are implemented in a timely fashion.

 Course Schedule

All events subject to change

(Page numbers are in parenthesis and indicate the page the piece begins.)


Sept. 7: Introduction; go over syllabus and course schedule.

 Sept. 9: Chapter 4 - How Do I Read Short Fiction? Chopin, “The Story of an Hour,” (188).

Due: Sample essay (written in class).


Sept. 12: Chapter 9 - Writing About Theme; O’Connor, “Good Country People,” (134).

Sept. 14: Joyce, “Araby,” (216).

 Sept. 16: Faulkner, “A Rose for Emily,” (245).


Sept. 19: Chapter 7 - Writing About Point of View; Walker, “Everyday Use,” (106).

 Sept. 21: Updike, “A&P,” (333).

Due: First Response Paper

Sept. 23: Bambara, “The Lesson,” (345).


Sept. 26: Chapter 6 - Writing About Imagery and Symbolism; Jackson, “The Lottery,” (83).

Sept. 28: Poe, “The Cask of Amontillado,” (179).

 Sept. 30: Le Guin, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas,” (318).


Oct. 3: Casebook - Joyce Carol Oates’s “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” (152).

 Oct. 5: Sample Student Paper: Final Draft (49).

 Oct. 7: Peer review.


Oct. 10: Columbus Day - No Class.

 Oct. 12: Writing Workshop.

 Oct. 14: Writer at Work: a documentary on Stephen King -or- Ray Bradbury.

Due: First Critical Essay


Oct. 17: Chapter 14 - How Do I Read a Play? (585).

 Oct. 19: Williams, The Glass Menagerie, (640-660).

 Oct. 21: Williams, The Glass Menagerie, (661-840).


Oct. 24: View Orson Welles’s film version of Othello

Oct. 26: Finish viewing Othello.

Due: Second Response Paper.

 Oct. 28: Othello, (Acts I & II).


Oct. 31: Othello, (Acts III & IV).

 Nov. 2: Othello, (Act V). 

Nov. 4: Sample Documented Student Paper on Drama (753-763).


Nov. 7: Peer review.

 Nov. 9: Writing workshop.

 Nov. 11: Veteran’s Day - No Class.


Nov. 14: TBA.

Due: Second Critical Essay.

 Nov. 16: Chapter 11 - Writing About Persona and Tone; Roethke, “My Papa’s Waltz,” (401).

 Nov. 18: Piercy, “Barbie Doll,” (544). 


Nov. 21: Lennon & McCartney, “Eleanor Rigby,” (546).

 Nov. 23: Poets at work - a documentary on the poet Joseph Brodsky.

 Nov. 25: Thanksgiving Holiday - No Class.


Nov. 28: Heaney, “Digging,” (545).

 Nov. 30: Chapter 12 - Writing About Poetic Language; Hall, “My Son My Executioner,” (421).

 Dec. 2: Wright, “Autumn Begins in Martins Ferry Ohio,” (535).

Due: Third Response Paper.


Dec. 5: Hayden, “Those Winter Sundays,” (523). 

Dec. 7: Shelley, “Ozymandius,” (487).

 Dec. 9: Keats, “Ode on a Grecian Urn,” (488).


Dec. 12: Sample Student Paper: Poetry (412-415). 

Dec. 14: Peer review.

Due: Grammar Code

Dec. 16: Writing Workshop.


Dec. 19: Tie up loose ends; student evaluations.

Due: Third Critical Essay.

         Last day to hand in the Extra Credit assignments.



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