Effective Date of this Description/Syllabus: Spring 2019

Prepared by: Dr. Rhonda V. Wilcox

Office: Honors House 104

Phone: (678) 359-5296

email: rhonda_w@gordonstate.edu

Office hours: T 11:00-12:20, 2:00-3:15, 5:00-5:30;

W 11:00-12:20, 4:30-5:30; R 11:-12:20, 2:00-3:15


Course Description/Syllabus

Course Designation (discipline abbreviation & number): ENGL 1102

Course Title: Composition II

Class hours per week: 3

Laboratory hours per week: 0

Credit hours: 3

Division offering course: Humanities


Course description for college bulletin:

A composition course emphasizing interpretation and evaluation that incorporates a variety of advanced research methods.

NOTE: In order to eligible to enroll in English 1102, students must have been exempted from or earned at least a C in English 1101. If you have not received a C in English 1101, you have not met the prerequisite for English 1102. For most institutions, a C or better is required for transfer.


Course objectives: 

English 1102 continues the work of English 1101, with greater emphasis on literature, research, analysis, and logical argument. Upon completion of English 1102, a student should be able to:

            understand and explain college-level reading;

            write clear, coherent, well-constructed expository essays which are logically and specifically developed, which contain few serious errors in grammar, usage, and mechanics, and which unite style with purpose;

            understand quotation, documentation, and proper research techniques;

            demonstrate effective oral presentation of college-level ideas;

            demonstrate the ability to follow oral and written instructions.


The course thus addresses the college's expected outcomes for general education in college-level reading and writing, bibliographic research and resource use, and oral communication. Students will also have experiences related to the general education outcomes in aesthetics.

The Humanities Department’s formally stated objectives for all English 1102 classes are:

1.        Students will be able to conduct independent research in a variety of disciplines and evaluate that research to produce informed, thoughtful contributions to scholarly and professional issues.

2.        Students will be able to craft their writing to suit a variety of audiences and rhetorical purposes in both electronic and traditional formats.

3.        Students will be able to apply critical thinking concepts such as inductive reasoning, deductive reasoning, and moral reasoning to their own texts and to the texts of others.

4.        Students will be able to analyze and evaluate their own texts and the texts of others for tone, style, purpose, audience, and errors of logic.

5.        Students will be able to evaluate and synthesize a variety of primary and secondary resources with their own thinking to create structured, persuasive, and sustained arguments.




* LIBRARY HOURS: Mon-Thu 8:00 am--10pm; Fri 8:00 am--5 pm; Sun 2--10 pm; Saturday 10 am—2 pm. Hours are subject to change, e.g. for holidays.





Course content:

            English 1102 is a rhetoric-based writing course. For this class, the student will write the following papers:

1.Literary analysis (no outside research), 500-600+ words (15%, in-class)

2.Argumentative/persuasive essay (some research), 700-800+ words (15%, out-of-class); one third of this grade is constituted by an associated oral presentation in class

3.Annotated bibliography (outside research), 500+ words (10%, out-of-class)

4. Thoroughly documented literary research paper of at least 1500 words (excluding outline, bibliography, etc., from the word count) with a minimum of 5 secondary sources: i.e., a term paper (25%, out-of-class)

5. Optional revision of essay 1, 2, 3, or 4 (to be averaged with the original grade; out-of-class)

6. Final exam, 500+ words (25%, in-class)

Students will be required to produce out-of-class papers on a computer (available in the Instructional Complex and library; or students may use their own).


Any student who fails to turn in any of the essays (except the optional revision) will fail the course. Any student who fails the in-class final exam will receive no higher than a D in the course.


Class participation, brief writing assignments (e.g. in-class paragraphs), pop quizzes (usually on reading assignments), and exercises will make up the remainder of the student's grade.

            The kinds of instruction may include class preparation for writing, small-group critiques of finished essays or preparatory work, oral presentation and evaluation of papers, lectures, discussions, and other activities. Each student will have a minimum of three conferences (required to pass the course) with the instructor. Either the student or the instructor may schedule additional conferences. Students MAY NOT MISS OTHER CLASSES in order to attend a required English conference. If a student is found to be missing another class in order to attend a conference for this class, the relevant essay will be penalized five points. Any student who has genuine difficulty scheduling a conference should discuss the problem with the instructor outside class.


Required Texts:

Venus, Wesley, and Mark King. The Gordon State College Writing Handbook. Barnesville: Gordon College, 2015. Ebook. < http://www.gordonstate.edu/successcenter/writing-handbook  >.

100 Years of the Best American Short Stories. Ed. Lorrie Moore and Heidi Pitlor. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015. Print.

Collins, Suzanne. The Hunger Games. Scholastic, 2012. Print.

Required folder: Arrange papers (essays and revisions) in the folder, earliest assignments on the bottom. AT THE END OF THE SEMESTER, TURN IN THE FOLDER (required).

You must purchase hard copies of 100 Years of the Best American Short Stories and The Hunger Games. You will not be allowed to use electronic copies for in-class essays and exams because of some past students’ cheating.


Grading Policy:


            Standards: A=90-100; B=80-89; C=70-79; D=60-69; F=below 60

B+ =88; B =85; B- = 82; C+ =78, etc.

            The following description of grade standards (composed by the faculty of Elon College) further explains the evaluation process:

A:         This indicates clearly superior work. The A theme has significant content and a clear purpose that it successfully accomplishes without major errors of any kind. Its organization and style are appropriate to the subject, which is so restricted that it can be intelligently treated within the limits of the paper. It handles the mechanics of punctuation, sentence  and paragraph construction, and the choice of diction and idiom logically and appropriately.

B:         This indicates writing that is clearly of good quality. Although the B theme will probably lack some of the insight and tight control of superior work, it demonstrates the same ability of handling significant content according to a clear purpose. Its organization and mechanics are free of major errors.

C:         This represents average college work, but it possesses few distinguishing qualities. It may show some breakdown in logic and organization, careless proofreading, and a deficiency in writing mechanics.

D:         This grade indicates a piece of writing that falls below average college work. Although the D theme may show a potential for average achievement, it is flawed by mechanical errors, such a s those of spelling, punctuation, and capitalization. It does manage to convey its ideas to the reader, but its organization is probably weak.

F:         This indicates unacceptable college writing. It is likely to be marred by serious errors of punctuation, spelling, diction, sentence and paragraph construction. The subject is likely to be incoherently presented.

Some examples of serious errors are: sentence fragments; comma splices; fused sentences

Some examples of lesser errors are: capitalization mistakes; inappropriate (vs. inaccurate) diction


          ADA and 504

          If you have a documented disability as described by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504, you may be eligible to receive accommodations to assist in programmatic and/or physical accessibility.  The Counseling and Accessibility Services office located in the Student Center, Room 212 can assist you in formulating a reasonable accommodation plan and in providing support in developing appropriate accommodations to ensure equal access to all GSC programs and facilities.  Course requirements will not be waived, but accommodations may assist you in meeting the requirements.  For documentation requirements and for additional information, contact Counseling and Accessibility Services at 678-359-5585. 

          Title IX

          Gordon State College is committed to providing an environment free of all forms of discrimination and sexual harassment, including sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking.  If you (or someone you know) has experienced or experiences any of these incidents, know that you are not alone. All faculty members at Gordon State College are mandated reporters.  Any student reporting any type of sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence or stalking must be made aware that any report made to a faculty member under the provisions of Title IX will be reported to the Title IX Coordinator or a Title IX Deputy Coordinator.  If you wish to speak with someone confidentially, you must contact the Counseling and Accessibility Services office, Room 212, Student Life Center.  The licensed counselors in the Counseling Office are able to provide confidential support.

          Gordon State College does not discriminate against any student on the basis of pregnancy, parenting or related conditions.  Students seeking accommodations on the basis of pregnancy, parenting or related conditions should contact Counseling and Accessibility Services regarding the process of documenting pregnancy related issues and being approved for accommodations, including pregnancy related absences as defined under Title IX.


Religious Holidays: Gordon State College acknowledges that the academic calendar can sometimes conflict with major holidays from among our diverse religious traditions.  If a student must miss class due to the observance of a religious holiday, that absence may be excused.  To be excused, the student must inform his/her instructors before the absence and make alternate arrangements for any work due at the time of the absence.  An excused absence for the observance of a religious holiday does not excuse a student from responsibility for required course work. If you are going to be absent for a religious holiday, tell me by the end of week 2.



Student Evaluation of Instruction: Near the end of this course, you will be asked to evaluate the instruction of the course. Your honest responses will help make this a better course. Also, please feel free to make suggestions during the course. Remember, I want to hear from you.


Plagiarism, Cheating:

                The English faculty of Gordon College views any form of cheating as a serious violation of commonly accepted standards of honesty. All student work must be solely that of the person submitting the work. Any giving or receiving of unauthorized help from others or from notes or other materials during the course of taking a quiz, test, or exam or in writing a paper will result in an F on the work; any use of forbidden materials such as rough drafts during the course of in-class writing will also result in an F for the assignment. Note that an F on the work involved in cheating is the minimum punishment; a zero on the work is another possible consequence; if justified by aggravating circumstances, the matter may be referred to the Academic Dean or (according to a rule approved by the Faculty Senate in Fall 2009) the Dean of Students. See the Academic Dishonesty Policy in the Academic Catalog (87-88).

                Moreover, when source materials are used in the writing of papers, the student must document such use of sources both by clearly indicating material being used as quotation and by giving proper recognition when ideas or information has been paraphrased or summarized; the following principles enunciated in the section on avoiding plagiarism in James D. Lester's Writing Research Papers: A Complete Guide, 8th edition, should be scrupulously observed:

1. Acknowledge borrowed material by introducing the quotation or paraphrase with the name of the authority. This practice serves to indicate where borrowed materials begin.

2. Enclose within quotation marks all quoted materials.

3. Make certain that paraphrased material has been rewritten into your own style and language. The simple rearrangement of sentence patterns is unacceptable. [To illustrate: It is unacceptable to simply rearrange sentence patterns.]

4. Provide specific in-text documentation for each borrowed item. For example, MLA [Modern Language Association] style requires name and page for all in-text references. Requirements differ for other fields . . . .

5. Provide a bibliographic entry on the Works Cited page for every source cited in the paper.

6. Omit [from the bibliography] sources consulted but not cited in the text. This point is important.You do not want your instructor leafing back through the paper trying to find your use of a source that, in truth, was not cited. (140-41)

Furthermore, you must avoid collusion. Here is a definition from the Humanities Chair:

Collusion is defined as receiving excessive help to the point that a work can no longer be considered the product of a single author and therefore cannot be accurately assessed an individual grade. If I suspect a submitted work to be the result of collusion, I reserve the right to refuse credit for that work if the claimed author is unable to demonstrate sole authorship. A good way to avoid this problem is to get help from the Student Success Center rather than from family or friends.

I may decide to have you submit some of your work to Turnitin.com. Terms and Conditions of Use may be found at http://www.turnitin.com/static/usage.html.


In general, if you have a question, feel free to ask it. My goal is for you to learn and to enjoy learning.


Business procedures

            Cell phones and other electronic devices: Be mindful; be fully present. Silence your cell phones and any other electronic devices before class begins. Exception: Emergency personnel may leave theirs on and slip out of class to take phone calls in the hall when necessary. If you have a job as an EMT (or similar work), notify me during the first week of classes and be sure to sit near the door. All students should remember that they will receive a class participation grade, and cell phone interruptions disturb discussion. If you are texting during class, it suggests that you do not find that the course needs your full attention. What kind of impression do you think that makes on the teacher? On the other hand, I may make occasional exceptions if we as a group decide to look something up.

            Attendance: You may receive a WF if you fail to attend regularly. If you receive a WF, you will be ineligible for VA and other financial assistance.

            As a matter of courtesy, you should explain your absences to me. However, you should realize that even "excused" absences count against you--not as a moral judgment, but simply as a matter of getting business done. As a college student, you are responsible for all class and assigned work whether you are present or not. Whenever possible, you should notify me ahead of time (in person, by phone, by email, or by a note slipped under my office door) if you must miss a class, so that we can try to make appropriate arrangements. Leave a message by phone or email as soon as possible. Because of the volume of email I receive, I cannot provide lengthy explanations or commentary by email. Do feel free to use your email to contact me if you have a problem, but follow up later by phone or in person. If you must miss a class and cannot contact anyone, then prepare the next assignment listed on the schedule (see last page of syllabus).

 Some work, such as in-class essays, can be made up only under special extenuating circumstances (work not made up gets a zero unless it is excused). Students who miss more than nine MWF, six MW or TR, or three once-a-week evening classes normally fail the course. Three tardies equal one absence. In general, it is a good idea to save your cuts because (1) you may get deathly ill towards the end of the quarter and find you have to miss an unexpected number of times, and (2) things actually do happen in class.

            Late papers: Late papers, including revisions, are penalized five points per calendar day. I am very strict about this policy. On the other hand, I am very reasonable about giving extensions (without grade penalty) for good cause IF you arrange the matter beforehand. If you do not get an extension beforehand, then the penalty will stand unless you can produce evidence of serious, unavoidable problems intervening in the composition process.

            My office (see full contact information on page one): Feel free to visit me to talk about the course (whether you have a problem or just an interest). You may also leave messages on or under my door. You may call me at my office at 678-359-5296. My email address is rhonda_w@gordonstate.edu. If you find yourself involved in an English Emergency, you may also call me at home (404-373-5328). (I have kept my landline for my students’ convenience.) Note that I normally screen calls and Caller ID doesn’t always work, so leave a voicemail stating your name and phone number if I don’t answer right away. Otherwise, how will I know to call you back?


In general,



P.S. re Harry’s House:

The mission of Harry’s House is to distribute food and toiletries to students to alleviate stress associated with short term food insecurity and other financial constraints in order to effectively reduce hunger and support educational success.









Additional readings may be assigned. HG=The Hunger Games. Short stories (with titles in quotation marks) are in 100 Years of the Best American Short Stories. Read the material before the class period in which it is listed below; it will be discussed during the class period in which it is listed. If you miss class, keep up with the reading listed below.


Week 1 (1/9) Introductory material; writing sample


Week 2 (1/14) “At the Round Earth’s Imagined Corners,” 707; (1/16) “Brownies,” 562


Week 3 (1/21) Martin Luther King, Jr., Holiday; (1/23) “The Enormous Radio,” 160


Week 4 (1/28) Quotation review, Writing Handbook Ch. 2.7—2.7.4;   (1/30) Literary Analysis Essay (15%, in-class)


Week 5 (2/4) Required conferences: some class members will have conferences during the period; others will meet outside of class on various days; (2/6) “I Stand Here Ironing,” 173


Week 6 (2/11) “Babylon Revisited,” 62; (2/13) Argumentation/persuasion, Writing Handbook Ch. 3—3.2.7


Week 7 (2/18) Research technique, Writing Handbook Ch. 8—; (2/20) paraphrase review


Week 8 (2/25) Research, continued; bibliography; Writing Handbook Ch. 9; (2/27) preparation for oral presentation


Week 9 (3/4) Oral presentation (in-class) (3/6) Argumentative Essay (out-of-class) due (15% in combination with oral)

[Monday March 4: last day to drop classes without WF]


Week 10 (3/11-15)  SPRING BREAK


Week 11 (3/18) Required conferences; (3/20) The Hunger Games Ch. 1-6


Week 12 (3/25) HG Ch. 7-12; (3/27) Ch. 13-16


Week 13 (4/1) HG Ch. 17-27 (end); (4/3) critical essays on HG


Week 14 (4/8) Term paper subject due, critical essays continued; (4/10) Annotated Bibliography due (10% out-of-class);


Week 15 (4/15) Term Paper planning conferences; (4/17) research, discussion continued


Week 16 (4/22) Term Paper rough draft due for in-class workshop; (4/24) Term Paper due (25%)


Week 17 (4/29) Exam preparation, readings from 100 Years; Term Paper feedback; (5/1) Exam preparation; Optional Revision due



FINAL EXAM for MW 12:30 class: Friday May 3, 12:30-2:30 pm

FINAL EXAM for MW 2:00 class: Wednesday May 8, 12:30-2:30 pm


Any changes made to the syllabus are at the instructor’s discretion.