English 1A is the first course in SJSU’s two-semester
lower-division composition sequence; it provides an introduction to
baccalaureate-level composition, with attention to the "personal voice"
and personal experience, on the one hand, and the more formal attitudes
and demands of writing at the university (expository and argumentative
essays), on the other. Students will develop college-level reading
abilities, rhetorical sophistication, and writing styles that give form
and coherence to complex ideas and feelings.
Prerequisites: Passage of the English Proficiency Test (EPT), or passage of an approved substitute course for the EPT.
Students shall achieve the ability to write complete
essays that demonstrate college-level proficiency in all of the
The above objectives will all be realized through the writing process developed in the following course content.
Required Books & Materials
Maasik. Signs of Life in the USA. 5th
ed. Bedford (ISBN 9780312431334)
Hacker, Diana. A Writer’s Reference. 6th ed. Bedford (ISBN: 9780312450250)
Dictionary (Webster’s or equivalent college-level)
Exam Booklets (for in-class exams & final exam)
Computer disk or flash drive
Email account & Turnitin.com account
10% Writing Exercises & Journal
20% Final Exam
|Class Discussion & Participation|
English 1A is a reading-intensive course. You will have
reading assignments to complete for almost every class period, and each
reading will be accompanied by some form of writing. In addition, all or
most of the assigned essays will be based on the reading. It is
therefore imperative that you complete the readings prior to each
class and come with your book prepared to discuss them in class. In
addition, a typed writing assignment will be due at almost every class
meeting, so prepare your schedules accordingly. Between the assigned
essays, revised drafts and writing exercises, you will write more than
the 8000 words of formal writing required for this course. The readings
will come from Signs of Life and other readings that are supplied
as handouts. Our work begins immediately. Please have the textbooks by
our next class meeting. Bring Signs of Life with you to every class
meeting unless you are told otherwise.
A student’s participation is assessed by his/her contribution throughout the semester. Use the following as guidelines for this portion of your final grade:
|If you miss class, contact a classmate for notes, reading assignments and handouts – or check our Course Website. (Please do not email me to ask "Did I miss anything important?") If you miss an in-class quiz or a writing assignment, you will receive a zero. There will be no opportunities for making up missed work.|
Writing Exercises & Daily Journal
All journal writing (informal, ungraded) should be done
in a spiral bound notebook that will contain only notes, writings and
materials from this course. Bring this journal with you to every
class because we will write in it at every meeting. On occasion, I
will collect these journals to review your progress (which will be
indicated by a check mark in my grade book). If you do not want me to
read the contents on a particular page, fold that page.
Written Exercises are due at the beginning of each class. These exercises need to be typed in 12pt font and double-spaced with one inch margins. While the writing exercises do not receive a letter grade, the quality of your efforts will be recorded and applied toward your final course grade. Each Writing Exercise receives a check minus, check, check plus, U (unsatisfactory) or NC (no credit). If you need a letter grade correlation, think of a check = B, the minimum requirements completed for that exercise. You can gauge your progress by these writing exercise. Unsatisfactory Writing Exercises will be revised and resubmitted for credit. Please note that I do NOT accept assignments via email.
Each essay varies in purpose and will focus on
differing sets of academic writing skills. By the time we reach
the last essay, you will have learned about both the major and
minor elements of writing. Each essay is based on readings from
Signs of Life and a series of progressive writing
exercises (about four per essay) that will help you to create a
first draft. Each essay will receive a letter grade based on the
Grading Policy below. Every essay will be submitted to
Rough drafts of essays should be typed and double-spaced. On due dates for rough drafts, bring one copy to class for group workshop and email a copy to me by 1pm. Final drafts of essays must be carefully revised, typed and double-spaced on 8 2 x 11" white paper in 12 point font with one inch margins. Keep all notes, writing exercises, drafts and final copies of essays. Some of these materials will be turned in with the final draft of each essay. (Be sure to save drafts on the computer as different documents.)
A common essay final exam, graded holistically,
will count 20% toward the course grade. The final will be held
on Saturday December 1, 8-10am. Because this is a
department-wide final graded by other instructors, if you fail
this exam, you will automatically fail the course. The test
will consist of an in-class essay on a specific topic. Please be
on time and bring two yellowbooks, pens, and a (non-electronic)
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. For final grades, 100-90 is an A, 89-80 is a B, 79-70 is a C, 69-60 is a D, and below 60 is an F. Pluses and minuses are the middle of
each range. In calculating for the final grade, a set number will represent each letter grade; for example, B+ is 87.5, B is 85, and B- is 82.5.
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. Grades issued will represent a full range of student performance (no extra credit offered) and will adhere to the following SJSU academic standards of assessment:
Note: This is an A, B, C, No Credit course, but
individual essays will be graded on an A to F scale.
There are no C- final grades in English 1A. You must earn at
least a C in order to pass. Any student with a final
grade below a C will receive an NC and must repeat the
Late Assignments/Essays Weekends count as one day. Unless you have prior permission
or the assignment specifically requests it, absolutely no
assignment will be accepted via email.
Weekends count as one day. Unless you have prior permission or the assignment specifically requests it, absolutely no assignment will be accepted via email.
Your own commitment to learning, as evidenced by your enrollment at San José State University, and the University’s Academic Integrity Policy requires you to be honest in all your academic course work. Faculty members are required to report all infractions to the Office of Student Conduct and Ethical Development. The Policy on academic integrity can be found at: http://sa.sjsu.edu/student_conduct.
Plagiarism is the unacknowledged use of somebody else’s words or ideas and is considered an instance of academic dishonesty that instructors must report. You commit plagiarism by
In other words, submit only your own work. In addition, please know that submitting work from another course (recycling) is also against the Academic Honesty Policy. To learn how to cite sources accurately and forthrightly, consult your handbook. If you have any questions about when or how to document a source, do not hesitate to ask me for clarification. Turning in plagiarized work may result in immediate failure in the course and could result in dismissal from San José State University. See King Library’s definition, the University policy and a plagiarism tutorial: www.sjlibrary.org/services/literacy/info_comp/plagiarism.htm
Plagiarism checks will be performed by asking students to submit various written exercises or essays to Turnitin.com, a service which scans documents for all references to Web sources and other essays. The instructor reserves the right to revise the requirements and to notify students of such revision in a timely manner.
Respect your fellow students and I: Attend class, arrive on time (excessive tardiness will affect your participation grade) and do not partake in disruptive behavior. If you are late, wait for an appropriate moment to enter so you do not disturb the class. Turn off cell phones or put them on silent mode during the class period.
Email is the best possible way to contact me (9am-5pm) and has the added bonus of recording our conversations. When emailing me, please consider it a formal communication: include the appropriate salutation, your name and your question/comment. Know that long conversations over email are not fruitful merely because of the limitations of technology. If you have an extended question or dilemma, please visit me during office hours. I will amass a class email list and will occasionally send out information regarding our meetings or the readings. Please provide an email address that you check daily.
Website – http://www.sjsu.edu/faculty/harris/
As we move along in the semester, course materials will be posted on the course website. After you have entered, simply click on our class title to print the current schedule or handouts, visit online resources, print copies of lost documents, find the campus computer rooms, check my office hours, find writing help, discover local literary events or double-check the meaning of "plagiarism."
SJSU Writing Center
Visit me during office hours for help with your writing. For further help, go to the Writing Center located in Clark Hall, Suite 126. Hours: Monday-Thursday 9-7 and Friday 9-1; Call for appointments at 924-2308 or go online at www.sjsu.edu/writingcenter. Work with tutors in a one-on-one environment. Make appointments online at the above website.
LARC (Learning Assistance Resource Center)
The Learning Assistance Resource Center is an on-campus facility that provides peer tutoring for San José State University students. LARC offers assistance with writing, and if you feel as if you need intensive help beyond what I can offer during office hours, please request a writing tutor. The Center is located in The Student Services Center in the 10th Street Parking Garage, Room 600. The phone number is (408) 924-2587.
If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, or if you need special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible, or see me during office hours. Presidential Directive 97-03 requires that students with disabilities register with the DRC to establish a record of their disability.
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Dr. Katherine D. Harris
Last updated: 11/13/2007 12:32 PM