Sinclair Community College English Department

Course Expectations, Assignments, and Course Outcomes and Competencies

ENG 1201 
11 August 2014
How ENG 1101 differs from ENG 1201:

ENG 1101 INTRODUCES research methods and documentation and requires students to summarize and analyze sources;


ENG 1201 PRACTICES research methods and documentation and requires students to summarize, analyze, and employ sources in arguments. Each assignment in 1201 should require research.

Overall Department Expectations:

·         Focus on writing for the academic and broader community using research as the basis; students connect research to a sustained argument.

·         Sophisticated and broad summarizing, paraphrasing, and quoting from a variety of texts from local and academic sources to persuade a variety of audiences.

·         A focus on students’ academic discipline may be explored in their research.

·         Grammar will be taught ad hoc, in the context of the papers assigned.

·         Assignments will be consistent with or comparable to the choices of assignments listed below. (Research methods should be practiced in each assignment; a researched argument must be assigned.)

·         Formal academic writing will constitute the main content of the course.

·         At least 80% of the course grades will be based on writing; at least 20 pages of formal writing will be assigned and evaluated.

·         Both MLA and APA formats will be used in the course to some degree.

·         Drafts and revisions are required.

·         Peer review will be an activity in the course.

·         Group work will be an activity in the course.

·         Self-assessment will be taught and used in the course.

·         There will be an oral component in the course (informal or formal)

·         Graded essays will be pc-printed or electronically submitted.

·         Formal essays will be 3+ pages long.

·         Instructors will help students use Angel, including saving files to the Toolbox


English Department Guiding Principles on Grading:

·         Writing grades should account for at least 80 percent of a student’s grade in 1101 and 1201.

·         Rubrics are useful tools, but they are not a substitute for formative and substantive comments by an instructor.

·         Grades are not used as punitive incentives; rather, a grade on a particular piece of writing reflects where that piece currently stands on the spectrum of possible grades (A-F). For instance, if a paper is a B paper and could be revised to an A, it should receive a B, not a lower grade to encourage revision.

·         A single criterion should not account for a grade on a given paper. For instance, a poor thesis will likely result in poor supports. Those are two criteria for grading and would result in a lower grade. Missing one support of a thesis is one criterion and wouldn’t necessarily tank a paper, but would be an opportunity for revision of the paper.

·         The law of diminishing returns applies to commenting on student papers – too much commenting can result in overloading the student and wasting your time. Comment on the major issues and address the rest in student conferences.



Grading Standards of the English Department for ENG 1101 and 1201    

Characteristics of an A paper:  Polished, outstanding college-level work.

The A essay shows originality of thought in stating and developing a central idea.

            The ideas are clear, logical, and thought-provoking.

            The essay exhibits the positive qualities of good writing.


Characteristics of a B paper:  Above average college-level work.

The B essay has a clearly stated central idea, logically and adequately developed.

            The essay exhibits some of the positive qualities of good writing.

Although the writing is above average, the B essay lacks the excellence of thought, development, and style which characterizes the A essay.


Characteristics of a C paper: Average college-level work.

The C essay has a reasonably clear central idea with fairly adequate development and support.

The essay exhibits some of the positive qualities of good writing:

The C essay may, in fact, have few correction marks on it, but it lacks the quality of thought development, and expression which would entitle it to an above average rating.


Characteristics of an unacceptable paper: Does not meet more than one requirement of the assignment
and shows little or no revision. Below average college-level work.

The central idea is unclear or incomplete. It may lack adequate development and support. The essay lacks several of the positive qualities of good writing and has errors that impede meaning.


Below are three sets of assignments that would meet our department criteria. Please share your own ideas with others.


Assignments that would meet the Course Objectives and Competencies and the 20-page minimum:

Class participation and attendance


1 formal academic summary (1-2 pages)


1 research flashback essay (4 pages)


1 mid-term self assessment (1 page)


1 formal critique of an argument (3 pages)


1 annotated bibliography (3-4 pages)


1 argument essay based on research (7-10 pages)


1 formal self assessment (1 page)


Class participation and attendance

1 formal academic summary (1-2 pages)

1 cultural ethnography, including field and textual research (4-5 pages)

1 research proposal (1 pages)

1 annotated bibliography (3-5 pages)


1 researched argument (7-10 pages)


1 self-assessment memo (1 page)


3 peer review responses (3 pages)




Class participation and attendance


1 formal academic summary (1-2 pages)


1 argument analysis (4 pages)


1 anthology compilation and intro essay (3-4 pages)


1 research proposal (2 pages)


1 researched argument (7-10 pages)


1 self-assessment memo (1 page)


3 peer review responses (3 pages)


Competency Areas for ENG 1201

Competency Areas English I201

The student should be able to X: 

(Beyond the competencies for I)

Recursive writing and reading process

·         Develop a recursive writing/research process suitable for source-based writing (note taking, avoiding plagiarism, distinguishing their own ideas from source evidence, recognizing gaps for additional research, etc.)

·         Comment substantively on argumentative strategies and issues raised by peer writing and readings

Critical reading in multiple genres

·         Identify style, tone, genre, purpose, slant/bias of articles/writing

·         Recognize distinction between scholarly and popular sources

·         Recognize characteristics of various genres (personal narratives, expository argumentative, and literary genre) 

Audience awareness (thesis, organization, cohesion)


·         Demonstrate appropriate organizational design and development for intended audience

·         Understand intended audience of sources to choose and comment on sources for writing

Argumentation and logic (including analyzing arguments)


·         Understand and identify logical fallacies

·         Analyze written arguments for organization, logic, and purpose

·         Write a coherent, logical, well-supported argument for an intended audience.

Evaluating, summarizing, and synthesizing different kinds of sources


·         Evaluate whether articles and websites are suitable for their intended use (e.g. for academic research)

·         Summarize texts from various genre (articles, literary texts, visual texts)

·         Synthesize information from various sources into a coherent informational and argument essay.

Documentation (MLA, and introduction to APA); Avoiding plagiarism


·         Integrate sources smoothly and ethically while maintaining control of the writer’s own voice/purpose/organization

·         Identify categories of evidence (expert opinion, statistics, facts) 

·         Understand some of the criteria for testing the validity of evidence

·         Recognize key features of MLA and APA and apply correct format for discipline

Reflecting/connecting personal, academic, and public writing

·         Reflect meaningfully on personal and societal effects of readings to summarize, analyze, and evaluate them to use in their own writing.

Research strategies; Information literacy; editing and working in electronic environments

·         Edit and proofread documents for improved sentence style and to avoid error

·         Develop appropriate search strategies using scholarly and other databases, websites.