ENG 101 & 102: COURSE POLICIES
While individual course policies vary widely in the minute details (how many points off after missing how many class sessions?), generally, policies for ENG 101 & 102 syllabi are fairly consistent. Course policies on syllabi are likely even more similar when we consider that certain policies are covered in class, or even merely assumed by both students and teachers (the variance, then, is what to spell out in writing, and what to leave well enough alone).
Prerequisites for ENG 101: ACT Reading score of 19 or PLCMNTEST-Reading score of 39 or completion of AD 082 with a minimum grade of C AND ACT English score of 21 or PLCMNTREC-Writing 05 or completion of AD 092 with a minimum grade of C or completion of AD 090B with a minimum grade of C.
Prerequisite for ENG 102: Completion of 101 with a minimum grade of C.
THE COLLEGE OF ARTS & SCIENCES GUIDELINES
The College of Arts & Sciences' Academic Policy and Curriculum Committee suggests ten minimum expectations for CAS syllabi:
- Disability support services statement (Recommended wording: "Students needing special academic accommodations and who have documented disabilities with an ID CARD from Disability Support Services should make an appointment to discuss these accommodations by the end of the first week. Students with disabilities are encouraged to visit the SIUE Disability Support Services office located in Rendleman Hall, room 1218.")
- Plagiarism statement
- Grading policy (see the ENG 101 & ENG 102 grading guidelines pages)
- Some discussion of coursework and assignments
- Required textbooks and/or other reading/course materials
- Exams/assignment due dates
- Clear statement of purpose and goals of course (see the ENG 101 & ENG 102 goals & objectives pages)
- Instructor professional contact information (email, phone availability -- if any, office hours and location, etc.)
- Expectations/roles of students in course (attendance and so forth)
- Proper use of the English language.
ENG 101 & 102 syllabi almost universally cover more than the above list. What follows are a few additional suggestions for first-year writing course syllabi (or expansions of the ones above).
(For additional policy ideas, syllabi with supplementary policies/guidelines are labeled as such on the 101 Sample Syllabi and 102 Sample Syllabi pages.)
GENERAL ENG 101 & 102 POLICIES
Attendance & Late Arrivals
The first-year writing courses constitute many students' first college experiences. As a result, ENG 101 & 102 are likely candidates to introduce students to the responsibilities of being independent university students. A few instructors have no attendance policy; while this is perhaps justified, in that the university is a professional environment and instructors trust students who choose not to attend to miss pertinent information and learning experiences (and therefore not succeed in the course), nevertheless some students may take advantage. And many need that extra attendance policy (and the potential penalties that accompany it). It is best to be exceedingly clear about attendance expectations from day one and on the syllabus itself.
Classes generally meet twice a week (three times for the MWF schedule) for fifteen weeks. When students miss three classes, they have already missed approximately ten percent of all class time on the MW or TR schedule. Therefore, allowing three absences -- or even just two -- is reasonable without a point penalty. After that, students have missed a significant portion of the total class time; most teachers take that into consideration when calculating grades. Late arrivals are distracting to teachers and to students and generally disrupt the class, however briefly. As a result, many instructors also have point/grade penalties for tardiness.
Expect to attend every class ON TIME with your reading and writing assignments completed, and be prepared to participate in discussion and/or group work. Much of your work will consist of talking with others in class about your writing and about the texts we read. Thus, this is not a course for which you can “make up” the work you have missed. You are allowed three absences for the semester, no questions asked (but use them wisely, and only if necessary); every class period you miss after the third will result in lowering your course total by an entire letter grade. Make certain that you inform me in advance about religious holidays or athletic competitions for which you must miss class. Tardiness is unacceptable; every three late arrivals is the equivalent of an absence, point-wise. Any student who misses more than three classes before week 10 will be withdrawn from the course and assigned a WR. Missing more than 7 classes throughout the semester will result in an automatic failure of the course -- for not actually taking it -- regardless of point totals. (from Matthew S. S. Johnson’s Fall 2006 ENG 101)
Drafting, Revising, and Peer Response
While specific policies in ENG 101 & 102 courses vary in the ways they deal with drafts (whether they are required, graded, etc.), teaching writing as a process necessitates that students do much work on their papers after the initial draft. As many students are unfamiliar with “formal” drafting (writing as a way to invent, even graded rough drafts) or perhaps initially unwilling to do so, it is suggested that teachers’ expectations for revision be worked into the syllabus itself.
DRAFTS AND PEER RESPONSE: Revising is an important part of inquiry and writing in this course. To help you revise, you will receive feedback from your peers and from me. Final draft papers must show significant changes from their earlier drafts. I will not read final draft essays for which I have not already seen a first draft. Submit rough drafts electronically, but also bring a hardcopy of your rough drafts to class with you on the day they are due. (from Matthew S. S. Johnson’s Fall 2006 ENG 101)
SPECIAL NOTE: Because one of the main emphases in this course is on learning how excellent writing emerges out of a serious commitment to the drafting process (which is also a critical thinking process), not showing up on the days when draft workshops and draft conferences are scheduled will result in the lowering of your final paper grades, and in some cases, can result in the professor not accepting an essay at all. If there are legitimate reasons for not being able to attend a draft workshop or for missing a scheduled draft conference, the professor will help you to make other arrangements for making up the work in a timely fashion. (from Eileen Joy’s Fall 2003 ENG 101)
The image of the classroom as a large lecture hall with 200+ students listening to a single professor delivering a monologue is alive and well; of course, in ENG 101 & 102, this is not remotely the case, but that does not mean that students will automatically understand that their participation is extremely important for the overall success of a course. Many teachers include participation guidelines on their syllabi, even assigning point values to “participation” over the course of a semester.
PARTICIPATION: Classroom participation, i.e., responding and listening, is essential and expected. I will help your participation by stimulating in class discussion, but the responsibility of response and asking questions must be your own. In addition, you will be responsible for various small group work activities. Attendance and promptness are also factors here. (from Matthew S. S. Johnson’s Spring 2007 ENG 102)
COLLABORATIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT:
5% [of total grade]
In this course, you will learn that writing is an inherently social act, and the best writing is produced through collaboration with other writers--in this case, your fellow students and the professor. And because one of the emphases in this class is also on the development of critical and analytical thinking and reading skills, you will also learn that one does not think well in a vacuum. Our ideas benefit immeasurably when exchanged with others in a series of critical dialogues. Preparing for and participating in class are vitally important to your success in this class, and therefore, your contribution to in-class discussions and draft workshops, as well as your attendance record, will be factored into your final grade. (from Eileen Joy’s Fall 2003 ENG 101)
Although teachers almost universally include “office hours” on their course syllabi, it is a fact that many first-year students do not know what office hours are for and hesitate to “bother” their professors (this is an assumption or oversight on our parts that can be easily addressed!). In addition, many teachers make it clear from day one that periodically, they may require individual conferences with students for various assignments. But as teachers are few, and students are many, it is suggested that teachers introduce students to the writing center -- where students can get additional, individual help.
WRITING CONFERENCES: Please meet with me during my office hours or make an appointment to discuss your work in progress or any aspect of the course. I also encourage you to visit the Writing Center in Peck Hall 1419 for additional writing assistance (call 618-650-2045 for an appointment). (from Heather G. S. Johnson’s Fall 2007 ENG 101)
CONFERENCES: I will be requiring individual conferences to discuss your work, but I hope you will come to see me at other times, too; I encourage you to visit me in my office, talk to me before or after class, and/or e-mail me with any comments, questions, ideas, drafts, etc., that you wish to discuss. (from Nicola Schmidt’s Fall 2008 ENG 101)
Archiving & Saving Work
Especially as ENG 101 requires that students assemble a portfolio of their work to be handed in at the end of the semester, but certainly for other productive reasons as well, students need to keep copies of all of their work – digital and hardcopies, perhaps (and as for whatever reason, students’ hard drives and flash drives fail with seeming much greater frequency than the general populace’s).
ARCHIVE: Students must maintain a digital and physical portfolio of all assignments, exercises, activities and their accompanying research. Students are advised to backup all of their digital files and not rely on a single storage device (especially a jump drive). Archives of physical materials (paper, photos, etc.) should be organized and accessible. Please keep a copy of all writing and other projects you do for this course. (from Matthew S. S. Johnson & Erin Vigneau Dimick’s Fall 2008 CIV 115)
KEEPING YOUR WORK: In order to revise them later, and to examine your writing progress throughout the course, please keep all the papers I return to you. I also urge you to keep copies (photocopies and backups) whenever you turn papers in to me. It’s handy to have a flash drive, etc., for saving what you write in class. (from Nicola Schmidt’s Fall 2008 ENG 101)
Most ENG 101 & 102 courses require students to format their papers according to standard MLA conventions. Receiving papers in random formats can be frustrating, and teachers grow weary of constantly repeating required paper formats as this class time could be used more productively (and formatting “discussions” can go on for quite some time, once initiated!). As a result, for quick reference, many teachers integrate simple paper format guidelines into the policies themselves.
Follow these guidelines for submitting final work:
(from Eileen Joy’s Spring 2007 ENG 102)
- use 8-1/2" x 11" white paper printed on one side only
- double-space the text
- use 1"-margins all the way around
- use a 12-point Times or Roman font
- staple paper in the upper, left-hand corner
- number each page of the paper
- include a heading on first page (upper left-hand corner) that includes: your name, date, title of course (ENG102.032), and my name (Prof. E. Joy)
- ALWAYS have a creative title (that is centered on the first page below heading)
FORMAT: All essays must be typed, double-spaced, paginated and stapled, with standard margins and fonts. Make sure your name, mine, the course number, and the due date appear at the top of the first page. Always give your essays interesting titles. Please do not attach cover sheets to drafts. You will receive more detailed, specific format requirements for the Portfolios. (from Nicola Schmidt’s Fall 2008 ENG 101)
ENG 101 & 102 courses deal with potentially sensitive or even controversial topics, challenge students’ long-held beliefs (that is, in part, what college is for), and hopefully engage students in critical and academic thinking. A student can find her- or himself unprepared for such discussions, especially when their content deals with a topic in which a student is personally invested. Some teachers therefore find some mention of classroom civility beneficial. Such inclusion can be especially helpful for courses with strong online components.
CLASSROOM AND ONLINE ETIQUETTE: I hope you will take yourself seriously as a thinker and a writer. I expect, however, that you will treat your classmates with respect. This means following some pretty obvious guidelines. Please make sure that all electronic devices (cell phones, iPods, etc.) are turned off and put away during class time. We are in a computer classroom, and it may be tempting to check e-mail and web sites before and after class. Please do not do so during class. I will also expect all class communication to be conducted with courtesy, open-mindedness, and respect. Whether our discussions are live during class, online or via e-mail, they should always stick to the subject and be civil. (from Nicola Schmidt’s Fall 2008 ENG 101)
Increasingly, ENG 101 & 102 courses integrate some Blackboard components. While most students are familiar with accessing SIUE’s course management system, nevertheless some additional information provided on the syllabus can be beneficial.
Blackboard: Due in part because it is likely convenient, but also because it is environmentally friendly, we are going to make ENG 101 as paperless as we can using Blackboard. To access Blackboard:
(From Matthew S. S. Johnson’s Spring 2007 ENG 102)
- Visit http://bb.siue.edu/
- Logon with your username and password (should match your email username/password)
- Select our course (ENG 102 Spring 2007)
- On the left-hand side:
- “Syllabus” has the latest syllabus (useful if we have made changes, announced in class)
- “Course Content” will have all readings not found in our course textbooks.
- “Assignments” contains or will contain all of your assignment sheets
- “Discussion Board” is for class or other discussion purposes; use it to seek help from your classmates, too.
- “Communication” is where you can send emails to your instructors and classmates.
BLACKBOARD: We will be using Blackboard, for which you will need to know your SIUE e-id and password. I will post the syllabus and course policy there as well as assignments and announcements, and we will also use Discussion Board. (from Nicola Schmidt’s Fall 2008 ENG 101)