Using the Syllabus

The syllabus is one of the most important documents you will receive in class. This sample syllabus handout walks you through the key components and how to use the syllabus.

Course Name

ENGLISH 1033.15 Exposition and Argumentation
Fall 2019
Tuesday/Thursday 8:00-9:15 a.m.

Instructor: Professor Name, Ph.D.
Office: 210 Lorton Phone: xxx-xxx-xxxx
Office Hours: Available by appointment or M 2-3, W 3-5, F 9-11

The first portion contains course and instructor info, and office hours when you can (and should) go talk with the instructor.


Required Texts and Materials

Madden, Frank. Exploring Literature: Writing and Arguing About Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and the Essay. 5th ed. New York: Pearson/Longman, 2012. Print.
Hacker, Diana. Rules for Writers. 6th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2004. Print.
A portfolio folder.

This portion tells you what textbooks you will need, and any other materials you need to get to succeed.


Course Description and Learning Outcomes

This course is meant to prepare you to read, interpret, and write at a college level. In this course, we will focus on reading and analyzing literature, as well as on writing essays using formal, academic English. Throughout the course, you will practice the entire writing process, which includes free-writing, formulating a thesis, researching, writing, revising, documenting, and editing. We will focus in particular on analyzing materials within given parameters and on MLA documentation and citation. You will participate as both a reader and a writer.


Course Learning Outcomes

At the end of English 1033, students should be able to: Read analytically; Critically interpret texts and their related contexts; Argue logically and persuasively; Organize information effectively; Present results of research concisely, Avoid academic misconduct; Present an oral argument effectively; Demonstrate an understanding of the writing process; Appropriately use, evaluate, and cite research sources; Demonstrate facility with the English language

This part tells you what the course is about, and what you will learn.


Course Requirements

1) Attendance: Attendance is essential for this course. Unexcused absences for 10% of the scheduled class meetings (3 classes) constitute grounds for lowering the final grade by one letter; unexcused absences for 15% of the scheduled class meetings (4 classes) are grounds for lowering the grade by two letters; unexcused absences for 20% of the scheduled class meetings (6 classes) are grounds for failure of the course.
2) Participation: Active participation is required. A large portion of this class will include active discussion, reading in class, and writing for your papers in class. Bring your books to every class. Participation constitutes 10% of your final grade.
3) In-Class Essays: There will be two in-class essays. The average of these grades will constitute 15% of the final grade. If you miss an in-class essay, it must be made up within one week (missed in-class essays must be taken at my office); otherwise, you will receive a zero for that essay.
4) Essays: There will be four assigned essays that will be written out of class. Two of the essays will be 4 pages in length. The other two essays will be 6-7 pages in length and will require research.
5) Oral Presentation: Each student must give an oral presentation in order to complete the course. The presentation will be 3-5 minutes in length and constitutes 5% of the final grade.

Course Requirements or Policies let you know class rules and procedures, as well as things like grading rubrics and major course tasks.


Course Grades

Grade Distribution:
Essay Grade: 85%
Participation: 10%
Oral Presentation: 5%
Grade Scale:
90-100% = A
80-89% = B
70-79% = C
60-69% = D
0-59% = F

Here you find a quick snapshot of the grading scale and how much certain assignments, exams, etc. are worth. Use this to track your grade in the class and figure out points you need to make the grade you want.


Course Schedule

Please note that I reserve the right to modify the course schedule as needed. Any changes will be discussed in class. All reading assignments should be completed prior to the class period in which we will discuss them.
Aug. 21: Review syllabus and course expectations.
Aug. 23: In-class Diagnostic Essay.
Aug. 28: Discussion of Hacker, p. 2-20 and Madden, p. 38-44.
Introduction to College Writing, lecture on Argumentation and in-class writing.
Aug. 30: Discussion of Hacker, p. 20-40 and Madden, p. 57-69. The Writing Process, lecture on Outlining and in-class writing.
Sept. 4: Discussion of Hacker, p. 40-57, p. 346-358. Academic Writing. Sign Plagiarism Forms. Work on drafting a thesis. Lecture on Citation and Exercise.
Sept. 6: Discussion of Hacker, p. 358-371, Discussion of Madden, p. 71-73 (“The Story of an Hour”). Essay #1 Assigned.

The schedule lets you know when things are due, when exams will happen, and gives you the outline of what will occur in the course. Plug these important dates into your planner.