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Syllabus Eng. 114A Fall 2015

Instructor Information

Instructional Materials

Textbooks-Bring ALL to every class session!

Choices Writers Make
De Rosa,Susan L. and Stephen A. Ferruci


They Say/I Say
Graff, Gerald and Cathy Birkenstein


Vietnamerica: A Family's Journey (V)
Tran, GB


New Voices (NV)

New Voices is a student publication consisting of exemplary essays written by students It is used as a text in English 114A to give incoming students an idea of the sort of writing that is done in that course. The New Voices Ceremony, which is held every Fall, is an important event in which students whose work is included in New Voices are honored and given prizes.

Additional Materials

Never throw anything away that you do for this class. Save everything!


Student Conduct Code

University Policies & Procedures

English dept: Grade Scale (only)

My Classroom Policies

Classwork Grade Distribution

Course Objectives

GE Student Learning Outcomes

Students will analyze and reflect on complex topics and appropriately synthesize their own and others’ ideas in clearly written and well organized edited American English. They will:

  1. Analyze and compare perspective, meaning, and style in different texts, including those that reflect multicultural images and voices;
  2. Construct a theme or thesis and organize and develop a substantial, balanced and convincing defense of it in a voice, tone, language, and format (e.g., essay autobiography, report, editorial, case study, inquiry, and research) appropriate to the purpose of the writing;
  3. Use logical support, including informed opinion and fact, as well as their interpretations, to develop ideas, avoiding fallacies, biased language, and inappropriate tone;
  4. Demonstrate satisfactory competence in the conventions of Edited American English and the elements of presentation (including layout, format, and printing);
  5. Select and incorporate ideas derived from a variety of sources, such as library electronic and print resources, books, journals, the Internet, and interviews, and document them responsibly and correctly;
  6. Apply a variety of strategies for planning, outlining, drafting, revising and editing written work.


Course Information Overview

Course Philosophy

Course Introduction & Description:

This is the first half of a two-semester course designed to help you build upon and develop writing and critical thinking skills in academia and beyond.  In this course we will read and think deeply about a range of texts from across the disciplines.  We will workshop essays and other kinds of writing that employ various academic conventions.  These activities along with student-instructor conferences, peer work, and roundtable discussions will demonstrate the social nature of writing and help you to grasp elements of scholarly discourse. 

Expository prose writing with a focus on both content and form. Specific emphases shall include the exercise of logical thought and clear expression, the development of effective organizational strategies, and the appropriate gathering and utilization of evidence. Includes instruction on diction, syntax, and grammar, as well as the elements of prose style. Students receive credit for only 1 course chosen from AAS, AFRS, CAS, CHS, ENGL, and QS 114A. Individual tutoring is available through  the Learning Resource Center.

The Early Warning System (TEWS): This class is linked with The Early Warning System (TEWS), a student-centered support system. This tool was created with the sole purpose of helping student retention by facilitating early interaction of faculty, students, advisors and other student service areas. I will always talk to you first, but if for any reason I am having trouble reaching you, I can reach out to TEWS for extra support for us. If I activate TEWS, an academic advisor will contact you by email, phone, or mail.

The Learning Resource Writing Center- Visiting the LRC for each of the three major progression essays this semester, affords you extra credit. The LRC is home to CSUN’s Writing Lab (for U100 and 113, 114, & 115 classes) and Writing Center (for all other classes). Student tutors are available to assist you with various steps in the writing process such as brainstorming, revising and editing. You may call for an appointment: (818) 677-2033. You can also attend on a walk-in basis (Oviatt Library 3rd Floor, East Wing). For more information about the writing lab, visit http://www.csun.edu/lrc.


Writing Requirements:

We will emphasize writing as a process. Revision will be an essential part of the work of the class. You’ll write multiple drafts of your papers. Our attention to each others’ writing will center around student-facilitated whole-class workshops. You’ll receive oral and written feedback on your paper drafts from your colleagues and me. Please review the whole-class workshop guidelines/protocol on our course Moodle page.

This class will center on dialogue rather than monologue (or lectures). This course underscores a multidimensional, hybrid approach to learning & all class members are strongly encouraged to arrive prepared and willing to contribute to the discussions.

NO LATE PAPERS ACCEPTED! ONLY WORK ACCEPTED/uploaded in Moodle. Make sure to type/staple any work collected during class. If you miss ANY of the steps in the process of drafting & turning in even ONE out-of-class essay, your portfolio will NOT be accepted and you risk failing the course!


No Whaaaaaaaaahh Clause:

  1. Everyday, people struggle to maintain employment and make their lives work. Everyday students jump seemingly impossible hurdles to succeed in their classes. I have seen students face devastating personal crisis and still be in class with their assignments prepared. You know the course policies and you know what is expected of you. Please do not come to me with excuses why you were absent and didn't get your work in on time. If a personal crisis arises, talk with me and let me know what is going on before you jeopardize your success in the course. Do not, however, ask me to "tell you " what you've missed; it is not my job to take time to update you for classes you have chosen, for whatever reason, to be absent from. It is up to you to get the notes and copies of handouts from peers. You are responsible for all assignments (on the schedule or assigned in class).
  2. I suggest that you make friends with someone before you leave class today and trade phone numbers and email addreses, and take note of our class listserve email address so you can keep apprised of what's going on in your absence. Being absent is not an acceptable excuse for incomplete work.