<div align="center">English 1B Section 68</div>

San José State University
Department of English and Comparative Literature

English 1B, Composition 2

Section 68, Spring 2011


Dr. Noelle Brada-Williams



Office Location:

Faculty Office Building (FOB) 110.


(408) (924- 4439)



Office Hours:

Mondays 1:30 PM to 4:30 PM.  Additional times by appointment.

Class Days/Time:

Mondays and Wednesdays 12 to 1:15 PM


Engineering 401


ENGL 1A and English Placement Test

GE Category:

Written Communication A2

"Self discipline and stamina are two of the most important things to consider...When you are really serious about writing, it's like trying to write with your own blood." —Toshio Mori

Course Description

English 1B is the second course in SJSU’s two-semester lower-division composition sequence. Beyond providing repeated practice in planning and executing essays, and broadening and deepening students’ understanding of the genres, audiences, and purposes of college writing, English 1B differs from English 1A in its emphasis on persuasive and critical writing (with less attention paid to the personal essay), its requirement for fewer but longer essays, and its introduction to writing informed by research. Students will develop sophistication in writing analytical, argumentative, and critical essays; a mature writing style appropriate to university discourse; reading abilities that will provide an adequate foundation for upper-division work; proficiency in basic library research skills and in writing papers informed by research; and mastery of the mechanics of writing.

Prerequisites: Passage of Written Communication 1A (C or better) or approved equivalent.

Course Goals and Student Learning Objectives

Building on the college-level proficiencies required in English 1A, students shall achieve the ability to write complete essays that demonstrate advanced proficiency in all of the following:

*       Clear and effective communication of meaning.

*        An identifiable focus (argumentative essays will state their thesis clearly and will show an awareness, implied or stated, of some opposing point of view).

*       An appropriate voice that demonstrates an awareness of audience and purpose.

*        Careful attention to review and revision.

*      Effective and correct use of supporting materials, including independent research (e.g., quoting, paraphrasing, summarizing, and citing sources);

*       Effective analysis, interpretation, evaluation, and synthesis of ideas encountered in multiple readings.

*      Effective organization and development of ideas at paragraph and essay levels.

*        Appropriate and effective sentence structure and diction.

*       Command of conventional mechanics (e.g., punctuation, spelling, reference, agreement).

Student Learning Objectives:

SLO 1: Students shall write complete essays that demonstrate the ability to refine the competencies established in Written Communication 1A.

SLO 2: Students shall write complete essays that demonstrate the ability to use (locate, analyze, and evaluate) supporting materials, including independent library research, and identify key concepts and terms that describe the information needed.

SLO 3: Students shall write complete essays that demonstrate the ability to select efficient and effective approaches for accessing information utilizing an appropriate investigative method or information retrieval system.

SLO 4: Students shall write complete essays that demonstrate the ability to synthesize ideas encountered in multiple readings.

SLO 5: Students shall write complete essays that demonstrate the ability to incorporate principles of design and communication to construct effective arguments.

SLO 6: Students shall write complete essays that demonstrate the ability to identify and discuss issues related to censorship and freedom of speech.

Course Content

Writing: In English 1B, your assignments will emphasize the skills and activities in writing and thinking that produce both the persuasive argument and the critical essay, each of which demands analysis, interpretation, and evaluation. These assignments will give you repeated practice in prewriting, organizing, writing, revising, and editing. Your writing assignments will total a minimum of 8000 words and this word requirement will be met by writing a sequence of six to eight essays. At least one of your essays will require research. This 8000-word minimum does not include the final exam, quizzes, journals, or any brief or informal assignments but may include any major revisions of essays or assignments. A major revision is defined as rethinking or reworking an assignment rather than just correcting grammatical or structural errors. Your instructor has listed in this syllabus how you will meet the 8000 word minimum. You must write all formal essays to pass the course.

Reading: The reading in English 1B includes useful models of writing for academic, general, and specific audiences. Readings will be used consistently with the course goal of enhancing ability in written communication and reading. The majority of the readings are devoted to analytical, critical, and argumentative essays. However, other readings may include poetry, fiction, and drama. Your instructor will help you develop and refine strategies for reading challenging, college-level material.

Research: English 1B includes an introduction to the library and basic research strategies. You will learn to locate materials and use them effectively (i.e. paraphrasing, quoting, summarizing) as well as how to properly cite them. You will be required to write a traditional research paper or a series of short essays in which you use library research to inform your position or thesis. As part of this requirement, a University Librarian will lead one class session of your English 1B course.

Diversity: The assignments (reading and writing) in English 1B will address issues of race, class, and gender and will include the perspectives of women and diverse cultural groups in an inclusive and comprehensive manner whenever possible.

Course Materials: The English department suggests that a dictionary, a rhetoric (or rhetoric/reader), and a handbook are appropriate materials for this course.

The University Essay Final Exam: Twenty percent of your course grade comes from an essay final exam, graded holistically. This department-wide final consists of reading and responding to two or more college-level passages chosen by the English Department Composition Committee. You must take the final exam in order to pass the course.

Assignments and Grading Policy

Students should note that the first four formal papers must all be submitted to Turnitin.com's online site.  For section 68, the class ID is 3760476 and the enrollment password is "Clarity."  Assignments will be evaluated in terms of a student’s ability to express a focused idea clearly and persuasively.  This will require a clear thesis, careful organization, appropriate diction and sentence structure, substantial support for one's points, polished expression, and an awareness of one’s audience.  Library research will form a key component of several assignments.  Course work includes reading assignments (see schedule below); two 4 to 6-page formal essays; a large research project, which will begin with a 1-page proposal and annotated bibliography, and conclude with a 6 to 8-page formal research paper; three in-class exams; a final exam; a series of one-page or “informal” writing assignments; and in-class informal assignments which may include reading quizzes.  Your attendance and participation in class will also affect your grade as much of the course work cannot be completed if you are not in class.  Late work will be given 10% off and will not be accepted when it is over a week later.  Contact Professor Brada-Williams by email prior to the time an assignment is due if you need an extension because of illness other emergency reasons.


Diagnostic Essay (SLO 1, 4 & 5)

(about 1 hour, 500 words)

Not factored into grade

Paper One (SLO 1, 4 & 5)

4-6 page analysis (1400-2100 words)


Paper Two (SLO 1, 4 & 5)

4-6 page analysis (1400-2100 words)


Paper Three, Proposal (SLO 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5)

1 page (350 words) + annotated bibliography


Paper Four, Research Paper (SLO 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5)

6-8 pages (2100-2800)


Paper Five, Revision (SLO 1, 4 & 5—and possibly 2 & 3)

Significant revision of paper 1, 2, 3 or 4. (500-2800 words)


In Class Exam 1 (SLO 1, 4 & 5)

(about 1 hour, 500 words)


In Class Exam 2  (SLO 1, 4, 5 &6)

(about 1 hour, 500 words)


Final Exam (SLO 1, 4 & 5)



Class participation

Being present and able to respond to the reading and lecture materials 30 times in the semester.  May include reading quizzes


15 Informal Writing Assignments (may vary depending on class needs)

Assignments are usually one page in length and vary from summary to analysis.






The following statement has been adopted by the Department of English for inclusion in all syllabi:


In English Department courses, instructors will comment on and grade the quality of student writing as well as the quality of ideas being conveyed.  All student writing should be distinguished by correct grammar and punctuation, appropriate diction and syntax, and well-organized paragraphs.


The Department of English reaffirms its commitment to the differential grading scale as defined in the SJSU Catalog ("The Grading System").  Grades issued must represent a full range of student performance: A = excellent; B = above average; C = average; D = below average; F = failure. 


In English 1B this scale is based on the following criteria:

A = Excellent: The "A" essay is well organized and well developed.  The paper has good topic sentences and is virtually free of grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors.  Besides a clear and persuasive use of evidence and fluid transitions, an "A" essay contains a fresh insight that teaches the reader something new about the subject matter and maintains the reader's interest.

B = Above average: The "B" essay demonstrates a good understanding of its subject, a clear and persuasive use of evidence, a certain level of ease of expression, and solid organization.  However, it may contain some minor problem with mechanical flaws, organization, sentence variety, or analysis.  It usually lacks the spark of originality and creativity that characterizes the insight found in an "A" essay.

C = Average: The "C" essay makes a good attempt at all the assignment's requirements.  It has a reasonable understanding of its subject matter but its ideas are frequently simplistic or over-generalized.  The writing style is also more bland and repetitive than the style shown by "A" and "B" essays and it often contains a large number of flaws in grammar, punctuation, spelling and/or word choice.

D = Below average: The "D" essay is poorly organized and generally unclear.  It has inappropriate or inadequate examples, is noticeably superficial or simplistic, or contains serious mechanical and grammatical problems.  A "D" essay may also reveal some misunderstanding of the assignment requirements.

F = Failure: An "F" essay has not addressed the requirements of the assignment and is unacceptable work.

Please note that a grade of C- or lower will not allow you to get GE credit for Written Communication II.


Required Texts/Readings


Graff, Birkenstein & Durst.  "They Say / I Say": The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing with Readings.  New York: Norton, 2009.  Print.  (ISBN 978-0-393-93174-7)


Hacker, Diana. Pocket Style Manual with 2009 MLA and 2010 APA Updates. Fifth Ed. Bedfors/St. Martins, 2010. Print. (ISBN: 031-2-664-80X)

Other Readings

Purchase a good college-level print dictionary if you do not already have one.

Additional Xeroxes or printouts, including possible reader to be purchased, depending on student needs.

Classroom Protocol

You are required to be courteous and professional to both classmates and the professor.  Most people take this as a requirement in their daily lives and this statement does not need to be reiterated here.  However, people sometimes forget that the classroom is a professional setting and rules that govern a business meeting apply here.  For example, devices such as cell phones need to be turned off; coming to class late is unacceptable.  While you may use a laptop to take notes in class, you may not waste class time by texting or performing non-course related activities on a phone or computer.  If an emergency arises that requires your absence from class, please contact the professor.  Simply prioritizing your education behind other time commitments does not constitute such an emergency.  Participating in class discussions and listening to and taking notes on class lectures are absolutely necessary for the successful completion of this course. Protocol for written work requires that all quotations must be enclosed in quotation marks or, when more than three lines, put in an indented block. Full citation of the original author and source must also be included.  For all papers, review a writing handbook for help with quote integration, formatting & proper citation (see your Pocket Style Manual for help).  Also see the University policy on “Academic Integrity” at the link below for help defining and avoiding plagiarism of all kinds.

Academic policies

You are responsible for reading the SJSU academic polices available online:

This site will tell you more about university policies related to academic integrity; compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Disability Resource Center; the Learning Assistance Center; the Peer Mentor Center; and the SJSU Writing Center (located in Room 126 in Clark Hall). The Writing Center website is located at http://www.sjsu.edu/writingcenter/about/staff/.

English 1B, Spring 2011, Tentative Course Schedule

This schedule is subject to change according to the needs of the class.  You will be informed at least 24 hours ahead of changes in the class before and/or via the email you have listed with Mysjsu.  From time to time I will also ask you to being in additional reading and research.



Topics, Readings, Assignments, Deadlines


January 26

Introduction to course.


January 31

Diagnostic Essay in class


February 2

Gorski and Maloney (emailed link)


February 7


Last Day to Drop Courses Without an Entry on Record. Read pages 1-47 in They Say/I Say with Readings.


February 9

Read pages 51-97 in They Say/I Say with Readings. Write a one-page summary of an article or chapter written in your field (I.W. #1).


February 14

In-class essay exam #1

Read pages 101-148 in They Say/I Say with Readings.


February 16

Interview with an expert in your field (like a current or future professor).  Summarize the results in two pages (I.W. #2 & 3). Read pages 151-181 in They Say/I Say with Readings.

 (I.W. #4 will be a library assignment now due March 16th).


February 21

Read pages 182-210 in They Say/I Say with Readings. Write a 1-page analytical response to one of the essays in chapter. 13  for I.W. #5.


February 23

Full draft of paper 1 due, peer workshop in class (IW #6, done in class, is your editing/response to student work).


February 28

Paper 1 on food issues due. Read pages 305-221 in They Say/I Say with Readings


March 2

Read pages 322-359 in They Say/I Say with Readings.


March 7

Read pages 360-391 in They Say/I Say with Readings. Write a 1-page analytical response to one of the essays in chapter. 15  (I.W. #7).


March 9

Read pages 392-420 in They Say/I Say with Readings.


March 14

Read pages 421-458 in They Say/I Say with Readings.


March 16

Read pages 459-481 in They Say/I Say with Readings. IW #4 is the information literacy tutorial assigned by the university library.


March 21

Full draft of paper 2 due, peer workshop in class. (IW #8, done in class, is your editing/response to student work).


March 23

Paper 2 on political and economic issues due. Date for library workshop on research.  Location TBA


March 26-April 3

Spring Break


April 4

Reading TBA (Possibly a chapter from Estella Habal’s  San Francisco’s International Hotel—available from our library as an etext and also on reserve in print form.) IW #9 will either be a summary of research or response to the assigned reading.


April 6

Reading TBA—probably a research topic will be assigned for IW #10 due today


April 11

Paper 3, proposal and annotated bibliography due (IW #11, done in class, is your editing/response to student work).


April 13

Final draft of paper 3 due. Read pages 211-240 in They Say/I Say with Readings.


April 18

Read pages 241-269 in They Say/I Say with Readings. Write a 1-page analytical response to one of the essays in chapter. 14  (I.W. #12).


April 20

Read pages 270-304 in They Say/I Say with Readings. Write a 1-page analytical response to one of the essays in chapter. 14  (I.W. #13).


April 25

Complete draft of Paper 4 due. Peer workshop in class.


April 27

Paper 4, research paper due. Reading TBA.


May 2

Reading TBA. Write a 1-page response to an assigned topic (IW #14).


May 4

In-class essay exam #2


May 9

Reading TBA.


May 11

Reading TBA. Draft of paper 5 due. 

Final Exam

Saturday, May 14th

10:00am to Noon, location TBA


May 16

Paper 5, revision, due (with copy of original paper). Write a 1-page response to an assigned topic (IW #15).