English 098 Syllabus



Fall 2009

Mrs. Mary Shannon

Accurate thinking is the beginning and fountain of writing.  —Horace

My Office:Sierra Tower 812


Office Hours: Monday and Wednesday 11:00pm – 12:00pm   or by appointment

Required Texts

> New Voices current edition

> A Pocketful of Essays: Rhetorically Arranged, Vol. 1, Madden 

> The Soloist, Steve Lopez

> A Writer’s Reference, Hacker 

o OR SIMILAR HANDBOOK (see me for approval)

      You will also need: 

> Reading Journal (spiral-bound cheap one is fine)

> Folder in which to keep all English 098 work

> Three bluebooks (available at the campus bookstore)

Important Notification

First-time freshmen are required to complete all developmental writing and math within the first year of enrollment.  The University’s “Basic Subjects” policy further requires that as soon as any needed development courses are completed, students must enroll in the General Education Basic Subjects (Subject A) classes in writing, critical reasoning, oral communication, and math.  Enrollment must be continuous until Section A is completed.

Admission Requirements

Students who have received a score of 142-150 on the CSU English Placement Test, or who have been given credit for English 097, are eligible for English 098.

Course Overview

English 098 presents an opportunity for intense work in writing skills, emphasizing the kind of writing you will do in college. The course is also designed to improve your abilities to think about and organize ideas and information, and to write and revise papers. In addition, the course should help you produce writing that demonstrates appropriate grammar, sentence structure, and usage which reflects the mature thinking of adult college students and which fosters an understanding of the power of language in a multi-cultural society.  As this is a writing class, please come prepared to write every day.

Requirements and Policies

An important goal of English 098 is the development of responsible study habits and the ability to meet deadlines. Therefore, late drafts and essays will not be accepted.  Please come and talk to me if you find you are falling behind. Take time now to solve technical, logistical, or any other problems that may cause you trouble later.  Remember:


Workshops and Drafts

Drafts and peer response workshops are not optional—they are required, and are vitally important to your success in this course.  Therefore, you are expected to attend all workshops fully prepared: drafts ready with enough copies for your group mates, ready to respond as a reader to the essays of other group members.  Keep your drafts in a special folder so you can find them at portfolio time.  Throw nothing away until the semester is over!

Learning Resource Center Visits

You are required to visit the Learning Resource Center at least twice during the semester, once before Week 8, and the second time before Week 13.  Include the Learning Resource Center pink receipt in your essay folder to receive credit for your paper.

Participation and Behavior

Common courtesy is expected at all times. Please listen when others are speaking, give your attention to class business, do not waste my time or the time of other students, and remember to turn off your cell phones and do not text during class. No laptops unless you have valid reason and have spoken to me about it before class.  You should come to class prepared and ready to participate in discussions and class work, as this is your responsibility as a college student.



I cannot accept a portfolio at the end of the semester if you have not participated in the class. 

Always plan on class starting at the scheduled time and always arrive prepared.  Excuses are accepted with sympathy, but every absence is counted.  If you are late to class three times, I will consider that one absence.  After your third absence, your chance of passing this class diminishes considerably.

Minimum requirements for passing this course include saving all drafts and final papers, reading all assignments, turning in all written work on time, and participation in the discussions.  If you are not sure of when a paper is due or what reading is required, please check the schedule or website, email a friend, or email me.    


According to CSUN catalogue, plagiarism is the act of “intentionally or knowingly representing the words, ideas, or works of another as one’s own in any academic exercise,” and will result in a failing grade for the assignment.  In addition, it may result in a failing grade for the course and disciplinary action on the part of the university.  We will discuss a ways to avoid plagiarism.

Grading Policy

English 098 is a credit/no credit course.  Your essays and writings will be marked:


      4 = high pass   3 = pass   2 = low pass   1 = fail

If you receive a 2.3 or below on any assignment, it is very important for you to either see me during my office hours, or to go to the Writing Lab, Bayramian Hall, 4th floor, to revise your work as soon as possible.

To receive a grade of “Credit” in this course, you must meet the following criteria:

1.  Three essays (four pages in length) consisting of a minimum of two drafts

      and a final version which have received a passing grade. 

2.  A reading journal, which has been kept up to date.

3.  All assigned readings and homework assignments completed on time and an overall passing grade on any written work, including in-class essays. 

4.  A completed portfolio, which receives a grade of “Credit.”

5.  Full participation in class discussions and group work. 

Reading Journal

You will be required to keep a reading journal throughout the course.  Please bring your reading journal to every class meeting.  The reading and response assignments must be completed by the day they are listed in the schedule so we may discuss them in class.

The most important entries in your journal will be ? page or more responses to EACH assigned reading.  You may also include questions, vocabulary words, and notes, but I will only check reading responses.  Each chapter in The Soloist requires a separate, ? page entry.

Although your journal will not be graded, it will be considered in my final evaluation of your work and commitment to this course. 

In-class Timed Essays

Three in-class timed writings will be given during the semester.  If you miss an in-class writing, you may not make it up.  In-class essays must be in a bluebook.

Formal Essays

You will be assigned three formal, drafted essays during the semester.  Our readings and writings will generate ideas for these essays.  Each essay must be four pages in length.  You MUST save all drafts of each essay, as drafts are an essential part of the writing process and hence a requirement for your portfolio. All essays, including drafts, must be typed and in MLA style.


At the end of the semester, you will turn in a portfolio consisting of the three completed essays (and their drafts), one in-class timed essay, and a cover letter describing the writing process for each essay and an overall writing reflection.  We will discuss the portfolio requirements later in the semester.

If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, if you have emergency medical information to share with me, or if you need special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please let me know as soon as possible.

If you have any questions, concerns, or need clarification on any point, please check this syllabus again, check the website, contact a classmate, or email me.  Always put “English 098” in the subject line of your email so I don’t delete it. Please do not email me to find out what you missed during an absence.