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North Idaho College • Coeur d'Alene • English & Humanities • English

English Composition ENGL-102

  • Fall 2012
  • Section 48
  • 3.0 Credits
  • 08/27/2012 to 12/20/2012
  • Modified 08/31/2012

Contact Information

Jack M. Downs, Ph.D.

Office: LKH 204A

Phone: (208) 769-3408

Email: [email protected]

Meeting Times

F 900 - 1200


English 102 provides instruction in the research process, which includes the gathering, the critical evaluation, and the presentation of evidence. Critical thinking is emphasized as vital to drawing conclusions from evidence. This class helps provide techniques for conducting research in all areas of study. It is required for all transfer degree programs. Lecture: 3 hours per week


They Say / I Say: Moves that Matter in Academic Writing

  • Author: Gerald Graff, Cathy Birkenstein, Russel Durst
  • Publisher: WW Norton
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-993174-7

A Pocket Style Manual

  • Author: Diana Hacker
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's
  • Edition: 5th
  • ISBN: 978-0-312-45275-9

A Note on Textbook Use

We will often work from our textbooks in class.  This means you should bring your textbooks to every class session.  Failure to bring your texts will almost certainly have a negative impact on your Daily Grade.

Paper and Writing Instrument

We will write almost every day in class, and I will often collect what you write.  If you don't have paper and something to write with, every day, your grade will be negatively impacted.


After completing English 102, students should be able to:

  • use research and writing process to gather and evaluate information from a variety of sources
  • distinguish among summary, paraphrase, and plagiarism
  • cite sources accurately according to MLA or APA documentation standards
  • write an argumentative research essay
  • compose fair, logical, well-supported arguments
  • distinguish among fact, opinion and belief
  • use appropriate persuasive techniques in writing

Composition Program

NIC’s English department bases its composition program on the work of the Writing Program Administration (WPA).  The WPA’s “Framework for Success in Postsecondary Writing” articulates the philosophy that college success depends upon specific “Habits of Mind,”  which are “ways of approaching learning that are both intellectual and practical and that will support students’ success in a variety of fields and disciplines”

  • Curiosity – the desire to know more about the world.
  • Openness – the willingness to consider new ways of being and thinking in the world.
  • Engagement – a sense of investment and involvement in learning.
  • Creativity – the ability to use novel approaches for generating, investigating, and representing ideas.
  • Persistence – the ability to sustain interest in and attention to short- and long-term projects.
  • Responsibility – the ability to take ownership of one’s actions and understand the consequences of those actions for oneself and others.
  • Flexibility      – the ability to adapt to situations, expectations, or demands.
  • Metacognition – the ability to reflect on one’s own thinking as well as on the individual and cultural processes used to structure knowledge.

Composition Program and Course Outcomes (from the Writing Program Administration):

By the end of the semester, a student should develop

  • Rhetorical knowledge – the ability to analyze and act on understandings of audiences, purposes, and contexts in creating and comprehending texts;
  • Critical thinking – the ability to analyze a situation or text and make thoughtful decisions based on that analysis, through writing, reading, and research;
  • Writing processes – multiple strategies to approach and undertake writing and research;
  • Knowledge of conventions – the formal and informal guidelines that define what is considered to be correct and appropriate, or incorrect and inappropriate, in a piece of writing.

Relevant NIC General Education Abilities: Among NIC’s nine General Education Abilities, composition courses focus on three:

  1. Critical/Creative Thinking and Problem Solving: The student will demonstrate the ability to analyze and evaluate information and arguments, and construct a well-supported argument. The student will select or design appropriate frameworks and strategies to solve problems in multiple contexts individually and collaboratively.
  2. Communication: The student will recognize, send, and respond to communications for varied audiences and purposes by the use of reading, writing, speaking, and listening.
  3. Information Literacy: The student will develop the ability to access information for a given need, develop an integrated set of skills (research strategy and evaluation), and have knowledge of information tools and resources.




This course is divided into three units with each unit culminating in a corresponding paper.  The course calendar is included* at the end of the syllabus; however, the course calendar may change at my discretion, with appropriate notice given in class and/or via Blackboard or email. Readings and written assignments are to be completed in their entirety by the date on the course calendar.  This course will involve a great deal of in-class participation as we discuss what we have read and what we've written. Failure to complete reading and/or writing assignments will make it difficult to fully participate in class, which in turn will have a detrimental effect on your grade. 

The writing portion of the course relies on peer responses, workshops, and conferences.  This means that your papers are all going to be seen by some (or all) of the class at some point during the writing process.  My hope is that by reading other students’ papers with a critical eye, you will learn to read your own papers more closely, fine tuning your writing as you examine the writing of your peers.  It is always valuable to receive feedback on your writing from more than one source and the workshops in this class will allow you to interact with a wide range of viewpoints about your writing.


Apart from the three longer writing projects, there will be a variety of other assignments that will make up your grade.  In-class assignments cannot be made up and there will be some writing assignments given in almost every class.  Your grade will be determined as follows:

10% - Daily Grade (Including Research Experience Essay)             

10% - Research and Writing Checkpoints / Peer Responses and Workshops                                           

10% - Reading Responses

25% - Unit 1 Portfolio: Personal Research Essay                    

25% - Unit 2 Portfolio: Formal Research Paper  

20% - Unit 3 Project: Rhetorical Revision and Presentation                         

Your final grade will be based on the following scale:

A          94-100             A-         90-93

B+        87-89               B          84-86               B-         80-83

C+       77-79               C          74-76               C-         77-79

D+       67-69               D          64-66               D-         60-63

F          below 60

*Please note: The course schedule is not complete as of Friday, August 31.  When the course schedule is complete and available, I will notify you via Blackboard.

Course Policies



As stated below in the NIC Composition Program Policy section, missing more than two weeks of class may result in automatic failure of the course.  Your attendance is exceptionally important: a large portion of your final grade depends on daily in-class activities and assignments which cannot be made up if missed.

Assignment Submission:

All assignments completed outside of class should be typed, double-spaced, and should use a standard font, such as Times New Roman, Calibri, or Arial.  You should fix the odd automatic formatting on MS Word, and remove spaces after paragraphs -- I'll explain this in class.  Assignments should be checked for spelling and grammar: this class does not focus on teaching grammar, spelling, punctuation, or other sentence-level conventions and it is your responsibility to manage this part of the writing process.  Any paper submitted with a spelling error that would be caught by a simple word processor spell check will receive no better than a D, regardless of the quality of the thought or writing. Multi-page assignments will be stapled (or at least paper-clipped) or they will not be accepted – folding and tearing the corner of the pages will not count.  Finally, all assignments should include a heading with your name, the name of the class, the due date of the assignment, the day and time of the class, and the name of the assignment on the upper left portion of the first page.  The heading should be single spaced.  Assignments submitted without the proper heading will not be accepted.


I am happy to meet with you during my posted office hours or by appointment.  The most effective method for contacting me is email.  I will check and respond to your email between 9 am and 10 am and between 9 pm and 10 pm, M-F.  I will typically not respond to email sent over the weekend.  I will respond to questions submitted via email; if you email me to say you'll miss class, or to tell me why you'll be late, or inform me about the various reasons your paper isn't long enough, I most likely will not respond.  I will answer questions, though.  You may also call my office extension, though leaving a voicemail is not a substitute for actually speaking with me or participating in an exchange of emails. Finally, all email, to the best of your ability, should follow the rules of standard written English.  Email that smacks of texting or demonstrates a lack of common courtesy in the use of the written word will receive no response.  

Late Submission:

It is my policy to not accept late work for any reason.  You are expected to bring your assignments to class, on time, no exceptions.  This means, very specifically, that you should not expect to leave class to print anything.  If you don't print it in time for class, I will not accept the assignment.  Athletes and other participants in college-mandated activities are expected to turn in all assignments before their absences unless other arrangements have been made.  If an assignment is due in class, you may not leave to print it, nor can you email it to me unless I have approved such arrangements.  Late assignments will receive a zero and cannot be made up.


Blackboard will be used to post the course syllabus, announcements, and (perhaps) grades.  Please check Blackboard regularly.  It is your responsibility to know how to use Blackboard; failure to find course components posted on Blackboard is not an excuse for skipping an assignment.  If you are having trouble with Blackboard, email me or check with a classmate.


Mobile phones – whether used for text or voice – will not be used during class.  Ringers and text alerts will be turned off.  If your phone rings, beeps, whistles, plays "Call Me Maybe," or otherwise disrupts class, you will be asked to leave class for the day and any assignments you miss will not be made up.  Laptops and netbooks and other note-taking devices will be used for classroom specific purposes only.  If I discover that you are updating your facebook status (“Jim says his English class is soooo boring!), checking email, playing Fruit Ninja on your iPad, watching an SNL digital short on Hulu, or otherwise distracting yourself and others from the business of the class session, you will be asked to leave class for that day and any assignments you miss will not be made up. 

Classroom Environment:

I work hard to foster a classroom environment that is inviting, collegial, and challenging.  You should feel at your ease in this class: ask any question you like, speak your mind, tell us what you think.  However, this does not give you free reign to say anything you like.  You should be thoughtful as you interact with the other members of the class, and you should go out of your way to be respectful of opinions, feelings, and points-of-view that differ from your own.  

I am convinced that writing courses are most effective when the entire class is invested in the day-to-day success of the course.  You will read each other's work; you will thoughtfully evaluate and respond to your classmates' writing; you will gracefully accept criticism.  

I want us to build a writing community, and in order for thay to happen, I need everyone in the class to contribute to the success of the community.  So: speak up, offer opinions, ask questions, wrestle with ideas, and bleed (metaphorically, at least) over your writing.  It will be well worth the effort.


The schedule will be updated in the very near future. 

Additional Items

Division Policies

NIC English/Modern Languages Division


The English/Modern Languages Division has agreed upon a recommendation that students not miss more than the equivalent of two weeks in a single course, which means six absences in a three-day-per-week class, four absences in two-day-per-week class, two absences in a one-evening-per-week class, or two weeks of online participation.

Plagiarism Policy
NIC’s English Department believes strongly in the ability of its students to:
1. write works in which they use their own ideas and words
2. correctly borrow the words and ideas of others

The department’s definition of plagiarism comes from the Council of Writing Programs Administrators’: In an instructional setting, plagiarism occurs when a writer deliberately uses someone else’s language, ideas, or other original (no common-knowledge) material without acknowledging its source.

Behaviors considered plagiarism would include:
1. Using someone else’s exact words without using direct quotes.
2. Paraphrasing or summarizing someone’s words or ideas without giving credit to the source’s author.
3. Submitting another’s work as the student’s own. This includes a purchased paper, a borrowed paper, or portions of another person’s work. NIC now subscribes to a plagiarism-prevention service, called, which is integrated with our Angel course software. When you turn in your assignments to this site, whether during the drafting process or on a final due date, the software compares your work to many resources on the world wide web, coming up with an "authenticity" report. You will receive more information on this process in class. To avoid plagiarism, cite sources carefully.
Behavior not considered plagiarism but of concern is sloppy documentation of words and ideas borrowed from another source and/or submitting an old paper as new work without the instructor's permission.

In addition to helping students with their current individual writing needs, the Writing Center upholds a student-centered environment that stresses the relationship between strong written and oral communication skills and success both in and beyond college. This environment not only helps students become more critical readers and more competent writers, but also promotes their success across the curriculum and encourages life-long learning.
Click on the link below for additional information.

The Writing Center: The Writing Center is located in Lee Hall Annex (behind Lee/Kildow Hall). It is open to all students across campus for help with their writing. They are open from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Fridays. 

Institutional Policies

Student Code of Conduct

The Student Code of Conduct applies to any student enrolled at North Idaho College.  This includes, but is not limited to, face-to-face classes and Internet classes.

Student Responsibilities

As students undertake to fulfill the obligations and duties outlined in this document, the college community of which they are a part undertakes to respect the basic freedoms of students. In recognition of students’ rights and dignity as members of the college, North Idaho College is committed to the principles found in the NIC Student Handbook.

Center for Educational Access/Disability Support Services

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504/508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, North Idaho College provides accommodations to eligible students who experience barriers in the educational setting due to learning, emotional / mental, physical, visual, or hearing disabilities.  Instructors will provide accommodations to students only after having received a Letter of Accommodation from the Center for Educational Access. 

If a student would like to request accommodations, he or she must contact the Center for Educational Access so that a Letter of Accommodation may be sent to the instructor.  Students requesting accommodations must contact the Center for Educational Access at the beginning of each semester.


By registering at North Idaho College, you agree to provide payment by the due dates. You also understand that collection costs and legal fees will be added if the services of a collection agency are utilized.

If you are registered for a class and do not attend, you will still be liable for the tuition unless you drop the class.


Last day for students to withdraw from semester-length classes:

Instructor-Initiated Withdrawal: Instructors have the right to withdraw students for academic reasons up until the same date; in doing so, instructors must notify students through NIC e-mail within 48 hours of submitting documentation to the Registrar's office, and students have the right to appeal the instructor's decision. For more information, see the NIC Procedure:

Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress Policy: All withdrawals, whether for individual classes, total withdrawal from school, or instructor-initiated are not considered to be satisfactory progress for financial aid.  See the Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress Policy:

Additional withdrawal information:


An incomplete is assigned only if the student has been in attendance and has done satisfactory work to within three weeks of the end of the semester (or proportional length of time for a course of less than a semester in length).  Incompletes are issued only in cases of extenuating circumstances, such as severe illness or injury.  Incompletes are not issued in cases in which the student is simply unable to complete his/her work within the specified semester or session.  If a final grade of "I" is recorded, the instructor will indicate in writing to the Registrar what the student must do to make up the deficiency.  The instructor will indicate in the written statement what permanent grade should be entered if the Incomplete is not removed by the deadline.

All incomplete grades must be removed within six weeks after the first class day of the following term, excluding the summer session.  If the Incomplete is not removed by that date, the grade reverts to the grade indicated by the instructor's written statement authorizing the incomplete.

Discrimination and Harassment

North Idaho College has a zero tolerance policy for any acts of discrimination or harassment of any kind.  For more information, please see the NIC Student Handbook, Code of Conduct Article III and Article VIII. Compliance efforts with respect to these laws and regulations are the responsibility of each member of the campus community and are under the direction of the Dean of Students Office for Student Issues (2nd floor, Edminster Student Union Building, (208) 676-7156) and the Human Resources Office (Sherman Administration Building, (208) 769-3304) for employee issues.

Institutional Statement

DROP FOR NON-PAYMENT:  By registering at North Idaho College, you agree to provide payment by the due dates. You will be dropped from classes if payment is not received by  5 p.m. Pacific Time on the third day of the semester. Students on the waitlist will be given the option to register for classes after students are dropped for non-payment.

REMOVAL FROM CLASS FOR NON-ATTENDANCE:  Attendance is based on your participation in this class. Failure to attend may result in your being removed from this class and may result in your financial aid award being reduced. You are responsible for confirming the accuracy of your attendance record.