Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

ENG 1010: English Composition-Student Version (2018-19 Archive): Arnold, Matthew

2018-2019 Archive Copy of ENG 1010: English Composition-Student Version

Course Overview, Objectives

Description: English 1010 is a workshop in expository writing with a focus on strategies of, and practice in, analytical reading and writing about texts; fundamentals of grammar and syntax; frequent assignments in writing summaries, analyses, comparisons of texts, and such other expository forms as narration, description, and argumentation. Our emphasis is on writing as a process: invention, revision, editing. Satisfies Pathways Required Core English composition requirement. (Not open to students who have completed English 1.7.)


This class will serve as an introduction to college-level composition. Students will practice and perfect strategies for writing expository essays and for engaging with different kinds of texts. Students will read actively and think critically about course reading and assigned writing.

Students will write both in and out of class, with an emphasis on drafting and revision. Class will be split between writing, working in groups, and discussing readings and student work.

Students will focus on the following: reading critically and writing analytically; developing and supporting theses and arguments; summarizing, paraphrasing, and synthesizing information from a variety of sources; structuring persuasive and cohesive essays; incorporating and integrating evidence into their writing using MLA documentation; editing and revising; using appropriate conventions of language, including correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation.


Course Objectives: Students who successfully complete this course will be able to: read and think critically; understand how language operates; express ideas–both orally and in writing–correctly, cogently, persuasively, and in conformity with the conventions of the discipline; conduct research.

Course Requirements and Policies

Course Requirements & Policies: Materials

  1. Freshman Common Reading: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah (required)
  2. Course Packet (required): Online (link TBA)
  3. Grammar Handbook (required): Online (link TBA)

Attendance & Punctuality: If you miss more than four classes, you will receive no credit for participation. Two latenesses count as one absence. Arriving more than 10 minutes late counts as an absence. A pattern of lateness will affect your grade.

Participation: Participation includes completing and commenting on the assigned reading, contributing to class discussion through listening and responding to classmates or the instructor, bringing required materials to class, and engaging in peer review and group activities.

Reading: Class discussion is a critical element of this course, and participation is essential. Students are expected to have closely read and be ready to discuss all readings on the day they are assigned. There will be unannounced reading quizzes. Bring the assigned reading to every class with annotations, and be prepared with quotations you find significant.


Essays & Other Writing: Students will write the following: a personal narrative (750-1000 words), two summaries (250-500 words each), an argumentative essay (1000-1250 words), an at-home compare and contrast essay (1000-1250 words), and an in-class compare and contrast essay. Students will revise each of these essays. These essays must be typed, double-spaced, in 12-point font, and formatted with one-inch margins. In addition, students will have an in-class essay exam. Students will be asked to complete other assignments, such as journal entries, in-class writing, and reading responses.

NOTE: Essays are due at the beginning of class (printed and via email).

Final Exam: English 1010 students must take a final exam. The exam is based on responses to two pieces of writing: one 5-7 page essay, distributed one week before the end of the term, and a second 1-2 page piece, distributed along with the question on the day of the exam. The exam will count for 20% of the final grade for the class. The instructor will discuss the test format in class.

LOOP workshop: All students in English 1010 will complete the required Brooklyn College library orientation, which will introduce them to the services and resources of the library, including access to and ethical use of its print and electronic resources.


Grades for English 1010 are: A+, A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, NC or F. Note that the minimum passing grade is C-.Students who have completed all the course work but are not yet writing at the college level will receive a grade of NC; students who have not completed the course work will receive a grade of F.

Students who do not pass English 1010 must repeat it the following semester. The course may not be taken more than three times; students who receive three grades of F, NC and/or WU may be dismissed from the college.


NOTE: Essays turned in late will be penalized half a letter grade for each class meeting they are late. Late work will not be accepted after one week has passed from the original due date. If students miss a class during which an essay is to be submitted, students are still responsible for submitting (e-mailing) the essay on the same day and bringing a hard copy of it the next time they attend class.

Grading Breakdown:

Essays: 60%

Personal Narrative: 10 % Summaries: 10%

Argumentative Essay: 15% Compare and Contrast: 15%

In-Class Compare and Contrast: 10% Final Exam: 20%

Other Assignments: 10% Attendance & Participation: 10%

Plagiarism: The faculty and administration of Brooklyn College support an environment free from cheating and plagiarism. Each student is responsible for being aware of what constitutes cheating and plagiarism and for avoiding both. The complete text of the CUNY Academic Integrity Policy and the Brooklyn College procedure for implementing that policy can be found at this site:

Non-attendance Because of Religious Beliefs: Brooklyn College’s statement on

non-attendance because of religious belief is located on page 66 of the Brooklyn College Undergraduate Bulletin:

Student Bereavement Policy: Brooklyn College’s statement on non-attendance because of religious belief is located here:

Important Dates

Monday, August 27                 Weekday classes begin Sunday, September 2                           Last day to add a course Wednesday, September 5      Conversion Day;

Classes follow a Monday Schedule;


Last day to file for elective course Pass/Fail Saturday, September 8                           Weekend classes begin

Sunday, September 16           Last day to drop a course without a grade

Tuesday, November 6                        Last day to withdraw from course with a W (non-penalty) grade

NOTE: English 1010 is an Academic Foundations course. Brooklyn College’s policy on withdrawing from English 1010 is as follows:

Students are not permitted at any time to delete, drop, or withdraw from an assigned Academic Foundations course without obtaining permission of the academic department involved and consulting the Center for Academic Advisement and Student Success.

The full academic calendar, including many other important dates, and the undergraduate final exam “grid” are available on the Office of the Registrar’s website.

Course Information

Brooklyn College

The City University of New York

English 1010                                                  

Professor Matthew Arnold

Fall 2018                                                        

Office: 2311 Boylan

3 hours and conference; 3 credits                 

Office Hours: T 12:20-1:20 p.m. T/Th 11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.                                            

Email: Ingersoll Hall Extension 234

Readings and Resources


Course Schedule

NOTE: Readings should be started on the dates next to which they are listed and completed by the following class meeting.

Week 1: Intro & Diagnostic Essay & Freshman Common Reading T, 8/28 In class: Intro and syllabus

Reading: Adichie, Americanah (pages TBA)

Th, 8/30           In class: In-class diagnostic essay

Reading: Adichie, Americanah (pages TBA)

Week 2: Freshman Common Reading Assignment: Summary #1 (due in class Th, 9/6)

T, 9/4               In class: Americanah; re: diagnostic essay Reading: Adichie, Americanah (pages TBA) At-home writing: Summary #1 due next class

Th, 9/6             In class: Personal narrative workshop Reading: Adichie, Americanah (pages TBA)

Weeks 3-4: Summary T, 9/11                        No class

Th, 9/13           In class: Summary & description

Reading: Kincaid, “The Ugly Tourist” Assignment: Personal Narrative 1st draft (due in class Th, 9/20)

T, 9/18             No class

Reading: Jefferson, “The Declaration of Independence”

At-home writing: Personal narrative 1st draft due next class

Th, 9/20           In class: Argument; Expository essay structure Reading: Solnit, “Men Explain Things to Me”;

Meltzer, “Does Wanting to Be Thin Make You a Slave to the Man?”

Weeks 5-8: Argument & Analysis

Assignment: Summary #2 (due in class Th, 9/27) T, 9/25                        In class: Evidence

Reading: Carr, “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” At-home writing: Summary #2 due next class

Th, 9/27           In class: Analysis

Reading: Sandel, “The Case Against Perfection” Assignment: Personal Narrative revision (due via email Th, 10/4)

T, 10/2             In class: Re-vision

Reading: Coates, “The Case for Reparations”

Th, 10/4           In class: Argumentative essay workshop Reading: Coates, “The Case for Reparations”

Assignment: Argumentative Essay 1st draft (due in class Th, 10/11) T, 10/9                        In class: Quoting effectively

At-home writing: Argumentative Essay 1st draft due next class

Th, 10/11         In class: Peer review

Reading: Danticat, “Another Country”

T, 10/16           In class: In-class essay writing strategies


Reading: Furgurson, “The End of History?”

Th, 10/18         In class: Effective critique

Reading: Staples, “Confederate Memorials as Instruments of Racial Terror”

Weeks 9-12: Compare and Contrast

Assignment: Argumentative Essay revision (due Th, 10/25) T, 10/23                        In class: Grammar day

Reading: Schwartz, “The Tyranny of Choice”

Th, 10/25         In class: Word usage quiz

Reading: Anyon, “Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work” Assignment: Compare and Contrast Essay 1st draft (due in class Th, 11/1)

T, 10/30           In class: Compare and contrast strategies

At-home writing: Compare and Contrast Essay due next class

Th, 11/1           In class: Compare and Contrast Essay workshop

Reading: Carson, “The Obligation to Endure” from Silent Spring;

T, 11/6             In class: Scientific and historical writing

Reading: Chua, “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior”; Gatto, “Against School”

Th, 11/8           In class: Satire

Reading: Adichie, “Real Food”;

Assignment: Compare and Contrast Essay revision (due via email Th, 11/15) T, 11/13                        In class: Pronouns and privilege

Reading: Slater, “The Trouble With Self-Esteem”

Th, 11/15         In class: Politics of grammar continued Reading: Gay, “Peculiar Benefits”

Week 13: Library Research

T, 11/20           In class: LOOP workshop Th, 11/22                        No class (Thanksgiving)


Reading: Research (TBA)

Weeks 14-16: Exam prep & catch-up

T, 11/27           In class: Preparing for the final exam Reading: student essays

Th, 11/29         In class: Reading and annotating under pressure Reading: student essays

T, 12/4             In-Class Compare and Contrast essay Homework: TBA

Th, 12/6           Reflections

At-home writing: finish reflections

T, 12/11           In class: In-Class Compare and Contrast essay workshop

Th, 12/13         Reading Day

12/15 - 12/21 Final Exams

NOTE: This Google Doc is and will always be the most up-to-date version of the syllabus for this course.