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  • Writer's pictureRobert Peach

Welcome to ENGL 100 - Course Syllabus

Updated: May 7, 2018

ENGL 100 / CRN 31554

Writing the Essay / Freshman Composition


Instructor: Robert Peach /

ENGL 100 / CRN 31554: Monday, Wednesday 11:10 am – 1:15 pm, BIOSC 204

Office Hours: Tuesday, Thursday 12 pm – 4 pm, LIT & LN 226


COURSE DESCRIPTION: Writing the Essay / Freshman Composition is designed to assist writers in understanding the basic mechanics of essay writing and in applying this knowledge to the composition of their own work. The course is divided into four units, according to the following writing methods: description, narration, exposition, and persuasion.

LEARNING OUTCOMES: Students will articulate clear, logical and adequately supported ideas in an essay that is effectively organized and satisfactorily edited.


  • Adios, Strunk and White, 6th ed. (Hoffman and Hoffman, 2017)

  • The Little Seagull Handbook (3rd Edition)

  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

  • Personal Journal (Moleskine recommended)

CLASS DYNAMIC & PARTICIPATION: This course is meant to be a space of creativity. Each class will begin with 20 minutes of personal journal writing (which only you will see), followed by conversation and writing around techniques and topics from the required texts and assigned essays.

Adios and Seagull provide an engaging set of writing techniques that you will be prompted to apply in your own writing and to look for in your reading of the assigned essays, all of which are posted online under "Course Schedule."

In preparation for class discussion, you are encouraged to use your journals to annotate the assigned readings by defining key terms, paraphrasing the main idea of a text, offering your own commentary on the text, highlighting techniques discussed in Seagull and Adios and asking one or two follow-up questions in response to the text. YOUR NOTES WILL NOT BE COLLECTED. However, it is expected that you will be diligent in showing up prepared for class conversation.

In terms of class discussion, please be forthcoming with your opinions on the assigned readings, as well as diplomatic and tolerant in responding to the opinions of your classmates. You are invited to speak and listen with the intention of learning from each other in a spirit of humility. All forms of prejudicial language and behavior will not be tolerated.

Please be on time and come prepared to class; your attendance will be tracked accordingly. As a matter of courtesy, please turn off all electronic devices upon entering the room, unless permitted to use them, and wait to be excused for the restroom until the end of class or during a break.

COURSEWORK: You will be responsible for maintaining an individual portfolio in which you will gather smaller, in-class writing assignments (15 points each) to be collected periodically. These must be typed and follow formatting guidelines discussed in class.

In addition to maintaining an individual portfolio, you will be responsible for four (4) major writing assignments (see "Course Schedule" and "Major Assignments" pages for posted due dates) that will require you to deploy the writing techniques discussed in Adios and Seagull and the rhetorical styles of description, narration, exposition, and persuasion, respectively. We will review prompts and formatting guidelines for the four major writing assignments, which include:

  1. a descriptive essay (15 points)

  2. personal narrative essay (20 points),

  3. an annotated bibliography (15 points) and

  4. a persuasive essay (40 points) based on and extending the research conducted for your Annotated Bibliography.

The course schedule will be updated regularly, so be sure to check the website every day.

SUBMISSIONS: Once an essay is submitted for final evaluation there is an opportunity to revise and resubmit for re-evaluation; however, plan to receive feedback before the final draft of any given assignment is due. Late assignments will be deducted one letter grade. If you cannot attend a class when an assignment is due, please e-mail it to me at my school address:

FORMATTING: We will use the Modern Language Association (MLA) guidelines for documenting and formatting all typed compositions. Please use double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font, one inch margins, and proper citations. As a helpful resource, you can refer to Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab (OWL), as well as the page on this website titled, "Resources." Seagull meanwhile includes an entire chapter dedicated to documenting essays according to MLA Style.

All typed submissions should include the following heading, double-spaced, in the top left hand corner of your first page.

Your Name

Professor Name

ENGL 100 / CRN

Date Due

ATTENDANCE: Regular attendance is expected. Three consecutive absences or four total absences by the 12th week will result in your being dropped. If you must miss class, check the webpage, contact another student, and/or e-mail me to find out what you missed. Be on time to class; tardiness results in a half an absence. Chronic tardiness results in your being dropped.

GRADING: You will be graded primarily on completion of the four major assignments. You will be deducted points from your final grade for failing to submit portfolio assignments. Of 100% your four major assignments constitute 80% and the portfolio submissions 20%. Your class participation grade depends largely on your attendance record. Points will be deducted from your final grade depending on the number of absences accrued.

ACADEMIC (DIS)HONESTY / PLAGIARISM: Presenting someone else’s work or ideas as your own is plagiarism and a matter of academic dishonesty. So as to uphold a standard of integrity in this space, please be honest in the work that you do. Failure to act accordingly misses the point of this course, which is all about learning to write in your own, unique voice. Less about failing the course, which is one consequence of plagiarism, academic dishonesty is a matter of failing yourself and your partners in conversation. Please make an honest effort to “show up” as YOU.

TECHNOLOGY: Again, out of courtesy and unless permitted, please put away all laptops and other electronic devices during class. If, for some reason, a recording is required, it cannot be disseminated without permission (this includes posting on social media, transferring files via e-mail, or any other medium).

RESOURCES: Please know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE in the writing process. OCC's Writing Center is open every day and offers workshops on writing, as well as tutoring sessions for reading and writing if you need help. It is located in C & L 101. For more info, visit the webpage here. I also maintain office hours every Tuesday and Thursday (as noted above). See me if you’d like to engage in one-on-one tutoring during office hours.

Students who believe that they may need accommodations in this class are encouraged to contact the Disabled Student Programs and Services (DSPS) department as soon as possible to ensure that such accommodations are implemented in a timely and effective fashion. Authorization, based on verification of disability, is required before any modifications can be made. The phone number for DSPS office is (714) 432-5807. It is located in the Special Services building.

In addition, if you are struggling to manage the many obligations in your life, there are various other campus resources offering student outreach (in addition to seeing me for office hours).

These resources include:

Student Equity -;

Counseling Services:;

Student Services:

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