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texts | attendance | assignments | participation | grading | late work | technology | plagiarism

English 125 is a challenging course that demands a significant investment of time. You will be required to produce written work in advance of each class meeting. 125 is an important preparatory course for the sorts of reading, thinking, and writing you’ll be expected to engage in at York College. We will improve our ability to summarize, paraphrase, and critically engage with complex readings. We will spend time on appropriate conventions of documentation and citation so that we learn to acknowledge sources appropriately and avoid inadvertent plagiarism.

This section of 125 is technology enabled. All course materials are available at the course website!

Required Texts (you must bring all texts with you to class)
>Comley, Nancy R., et al., eds. Fields of Reading. 7th ed. Boston:Bedford, 2004.
>Hacker, Diana. The Bedford Handbook. 6th ed. Boston: Bedford, 2002.
>A good “collegiate” dictionary.
>A folder/binder to store written work, class notes, etc.

Class meetings in English 125 are focused around peer-review of draft writing, discussions of the readings, and important writing skills, techniques, and conventions.

>Expect a reduction in your final course grade if you miss more than four (4) classes. Four class absences should be sufficient to account for the occasional emergency (child care difficulties, illness, transportation disruption, etc.).
>Expect to fail if you miss more than nine (9) class meetings.
>Excessive lateness (more than 15 minutes) will count as a one-half (1/2) absence. Any student more than 40 minutes late for class is counted as absent for that day. Do not expect me to deviate from this policy.

Written Assignments
English 125 is a writing class. You will be expected to produce written work in advance of, and during, each class meeting.

>Reading and Connecting Questions. Stay on top of these since most prepare you for both the formal papers and the many quizzes we'll have over the term. We'll complete most of these online on the class bulletin board. You must complete 90% of them, or risk a full letter grade reduction in your course grade.
>Quizzes. The quizzes serve to confirm that we're prepared for class. They help you develop the ability to write in a timed situation. Individually they count very little, and they are graded as pass/fail. You must pass more than half of the quizzes, or risk a full letter grade reduction in your course grade.
>Midterm Exam. The midterm exam helps introduce you to the pressures of both the course final and the CUNY Proficiency Exam (CPE). While you don't want to panic, you do want to do your best on the midterm. Our midterm assignment prepares you for Formal Paper #3.
>Formal Papers. The most important writing assignments are the formal papers for English 125. These are “high stakes” writing assignments. You will write four (4) formal papers in this class. Each paper will go through a drafting and peer-review process before being submitted for a grade. All assignments are tailored to help you with your formal papers.
>Final Exam. English 125 has a final examination. The exam assesses your grasp of the fundamental skills in English 125. It also provides you with a sense of the Analytic Reading and Writing portion of the CPE, a test that all CUNY students must pass before graduation.

English 125 depends on class participation to function effectively. I cannot “lecture” on techniques for critical reading, thinking, and writing. You will be well positioned to participate if you complete the writing assignments before coming to class, volunteer your ideas in class, and generally come to class ready to talk. I will also assign individual class “presentations” over the course of the term. You must complete these presentations to receive full participation credit.

Calculation of Grade
75% - Performance on four (4) Formal Papers of 1000-1500 words (4-6 pages) each.
15% - Completion of Reading Questions/Writing Questions and Midterm Exam
10% - Quizzes and Class Participation
Completion of the Final Exam

Late Work
Obviously, none of us plans to hand in late work. To ensure that our intentions are linked to incentives in the class, late work is significantly penalized. Low stakes and middle stakes writing assignments are considered “uncompleted” if not handed in on time. (This means that you are not permitted to hand them in late.) On the other hand, all drafts of the formal papers must be submitted. Late first and second drafts are penalized by a one-half (1/2) grade reduction on the final draft grade for each class day that a draft is late. Late final drafts are penalized one full letter grade for each class day they are late. What does it mean to be “late” with an assignment? An assignment is late if it is not submitted by the end of class on the date it is due. I do accept email submissions of assignments, and won’t count a paper as late if you are absent on the due date and I have received the paper by email. But my “failure to receive” an emailed paper does not excuse your failure to submit a hard copy on the due date.

This class has plenty of opportunities for you to develop competency in software and internet technologies. While I do not require you to make use of most of these opportunities, I strongly encourage you to do so. Technological competency is highly valued by employers, and employees are increasingly expected to come to the workplace with these skills. All formal paper assignments (including drafts) must be typed and double-spaced using a word processing program of your choosing. (York College has a new lab available to students for just this purpose.) I regularly check email, encourage you to send me your formal paper drafts as attachments, maintain a bulletin board for students to post and share low-stakes and middle-stakes writing assignments, and am open to other possibilities as well. In the first three weeks, the class will visit a computer classroom for an introduction to some of these technology-enabled features of the course.

In our work this term we will pay special attention to the ways writers draw on the work of others, and to using sources effectively and appropriately. A related concern is plagiarism – using words or ideas of another person without acknowledging your debt. While the sharing and exchange of ideas are central to an intellectual and professional community, plagiarism is the theft of another person’s ideas. For this reason, plagiarism is severely penalized. Deliberate plagiarism on any assignment will result in a grade of F for the course. This F can become a permanent mark on your transcript. Please see the York College Bulletin for the College’s policy and penalties regarding plagiarism, including a statement of your rights should you be accused of plagiarism (page 29 in the 2002-2003 Edition).

This course uses’s plagiarism prevention system on a pilot basis. Please visit the website for information about this system.

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