Instructor – Michael J. Cripps

Meeting Days

  • Monday, Wednesday, Friday 8-8:50AM (Marcil 121)
  • Special Events: 2/25, 3/5, 4/23 (Class meets 12/1 – See Schedule)
  • Individual Conferences (TBA)

Office Hours (105 Marcil Hall)

  • Monday/Friday 9-10AM
  • By Appointment (please ask!)

Course Description (from the catalog)

This course is for those who have demonstrated an adequate degree of competence in the Placement Test or those who have satisfied the requirements of LAC 010. It introduces students to writing as a conscious and developmental activity, in which students are encouraged to think, read, and write across a variety of genres, while maintaining and refining their own voices. Collaborative work, peer criticism, and multiple drafts may be incorporated in any given class, as students are urged to take more responsibility for their writing. The final aim of this course is to refine students’ skills further, help bring forth their voices, and instill in them the readiness to use writing in other classes. 4.000 Credit hours

Specifics for ENG110 C

Our class is an introduction to active and critical reading, and to academic, source-based writing. We will work to analyze and to synthesize ideas in our readings, and to develop our own positions on these ideas. Along the way, we’ll explore a variety of approaches to the writing process so that we can locate those practices that work for us. We will write for each class meeting. While some of that writing will be collected and graded, much of it will be preparation for class or for our formal paper assignments.

We write in the 21st century, so we will also be using some 21st century tools in our work. Each student will spend the semester blogging about a topic of interest and considering what it means to write for an audience of blog readers. I will assign our core readings and formal paper topics, but you get free rein to choose your blog topic! Some great ideas from students in previous terms: Strange Fads, Post-apocalyptic Fiction, Life as a Freshman, Travel Blogging, Poetry, Horror Film Reviews, Working at McDonald’s, UNE Sports.

We’ll also put on our directors’ hats and make some animated movies using Xtranormal, a simple, web-based, text-to-speech animation tool. I’ve been impressed by the ways my students have really brought some creativity and interesting engagement with our readings to Xtranormal animations. Plus, it’s fun (and funny) to watch serious ideas explored by cartoon characters.

Class meetings will be discussion-based, and will regularly involve both collaborative small group work and brief, informal presentations. For each formal paper in the course, we will complete a first and final draft. We will participate actively and constructively in peer review for our drafts. Peer review is an important element of taking responsibility for our writing. It helps us become more capable readers of others’ work, while also helping us see our own writing from new perspectives.

We will maintain our formal work in a writing portfolio, a folder that contains all of our formal paper drafts. At the conclusion of the term, and periodically throughout the term, we will reflect on that work in writing. Those reflections provide an opportunity for us to think about how we’re developing as readers, writers, and thinkers.

Since we’ll also be blogging in the course, I encourage each of us to maintain an electronic portfolio (e-portfolio) of our work as well. We’re all writing with electronic technologies (word processing, saved files, etc.). Building the e-portfolio is a simple matter of organizing, packaging, and framing that writing in a blog-based web space. And privacy settings offer each of us the level of publicity with which we’re most comfortable. (We can discuss this project as the term unfolds.)

Learning Objectives

Students who complete English 110 should

  • Demonstrate the ability to approach writing as a recursive process that requires substantial revision of drafts for content, organization, and clarity (global revision), as well as editing and proofreading (local revision).
  • Be able to integrate their ideas with those of others using summary, paraphrase, quotation, analysis, and synthesis of relevant sources.
  • Employ techniques of active reading, critical reading, and informal reading response for inquiry, learning, and thinking.
  • Be able to critique their own and others’ work by emphasizing global revision early in the writing process and local revision later in the process.
  • Be able to find, evaluate, and use material located through the library’s online catalog, through subscription databases, and through internet search.
  • Document their work using appropriate conventions (MLA).
  • Control sentence-level error (grammar, punctuation, spelling).

Please visit the English and Language Studies Department’s English 110 website for an explanation of the learning objectives.


English Composition is a writing class and so your grade will be very closely connected to your writing development over the term. Most of your grade will be based on formal writing (papers and blog), though informal writing and discussion will also be significant factors in determining your final grade. You will find this informal writing and class participation to be closely connected to your work on the formal writing.

  • 55% of your final grade will be based on your performance on three formal, revised papers and an annotated bibliography, with later papers weighted more heavily than early papers.
  • 15% of your final grade will be based on your semester-long blog project. (See Blog Project Criteria)
  • 5% of your final grade will be based on a summary of a researched source.
  • 10% of your final grade will be based on three animation videos. (See the Introductory Video for some details)
  • 15% of your grade will be based on homework and informal writing, on class participation, and on peer review.

Required Texts

Buying used can often save us a good deal of money and so I’m all for used books! But please don’t buy the wrong book or you’ll have some trouble. There are dozens of Hacker books out there and only one is correct for us. Use the ISBN to help you out, especially if you try to buy a book outside of the bookstore!

  • Hacker, Diana. A Writer’s Reference. 7th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2009. (ISBN: ISBN: 0312601433)

With Hacker, you’re buying a reference that will belong on your bookshelf throughout college. It is an investment. We won’t read Hacker cover to cover. In fact, there is a lot of it that we won’t work with. But it’s a reference for you. 

Our other readings will be available through the use of online search tools and through the UNE library.

Marking Your Texts

You need to mark your texts in this class. Engaged, academic readers and writers mark their texts.  If you’re afraid to write in your book because of what you learned about “school property” in high school, you need to confront that fear and get over it.

Real readers write on their texts!

Academic Integrity (including Plagiarism)

English Composition is an important introduction to college-level reading and writing. As an emerging college-level writer, you will develop your ability to read responsibly and critically, to work with texts appropriately, and to write in ways that are valued and respected within the community. We will conduct ourselves with integrity by doing our own work, by acting as responsible peers in (and out of) class, and by working with sources in ways appropriate to the academic community of which we are a part. It is understood that we are learning to work within the norms of our community, and so we will work on these matters.

Outright failure to acknowledge the sources of your ideas or words will be treated as a violation of academic integrity. As such, you should expect to fail a paper (and, quite possibly, the course) if you use work by someone else (from a student, from the web, or in print) without attribution.

This is true for both our papers and our blogs.

Assorted Rules & Regulations

  • I enjoy talking with my students, really. Please arrange to meet with me if you want to talk, or if you are having any trouble with the class. Reach out early!
  • Attendance is mandatory, period. Miss more than three classes and expect a reduction in your final grade. (Three absences will certainly cover an illness, emergency, etc.) Miss more than six classes and expect not to pass the course. (Show up more than 10 minutes late and it’s a half absence; show up more than 20 minutes late and you’re absent for the day.)
  • Papers should be typed and double-spaced, with 1″ margins. A cover or title page is not required, though each paper should have your name, the date, and a working title.
  • Papers are due on the due date. A late final draft will be docked one full letter grade for each day it is late; a late first draft will be docked one half letter grade for each day. First and final drafts that do not meet assigned page minimums will incur a similar penalty.
  • Homework (reading questions and other smaller assignments) is due on the due date. Since this work actually advances our class discussions, late homework will not be accepted. You can miss two homework assignments with no penalty. (Since much of this work happens online, you can hand homework in on time even when you’re absent.)
  • Place is important. When in class, be in class! I text, browse the web, and multitask as well (or as poorly) as the next person. But I won’t text or do other work during our class; I expect the same from my students.
  • We have a “working” schedule. This means that assignments and due dates are subject to change as the class unfolds. I will inform you of any changes as they come up and will update the course schedule online so that we can stay on the same (web)page.