| attendance | assignments
| participation | grading
| late work | technology
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
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
>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
>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
>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
15% - Completion of Reading Questions/Writing Questions and Midterm
10% - Quizzes and Class Participation
Completion of the Final Exam
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
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 Turnitin.com’s plagiarism prevention system
on a pilot basis. Please visit the turnitin.com
website for information about this system.