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ENG 1010: English Composition-Student Version (2018-19 Archive): Best, Melanie

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

Course Overview, Objectives

Course description and objectives:

This class will serve as an introduction to college-level composition. During this course students will practice writing expository essays and refine strategies for engaged reading and critical analysis of different kinds of texts. Students will write both in and out of class, and practice “writing as process”, moving from reflective writing in first drafts to second drafts which are organized around the student's specific purpose or argument. Along with the formal essay assignments, students can expect a range of smaller assignments, from reflections, to writing summaries, analyses, and comparisons of texts.

Students will practice identifying different expository modes in their reading, deepen their understanding of the different effects produced by those modes, and practice using narration, description, and argumentation in their own writing.

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 Requirements and Policies

Freshman Common Reading: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah (required)

  1. Course Readings and syllabus available at:

  2. Grammar Handbook (required): A Writer's Reference, Diana Hacker & Nancy Sommers, 8th Edition.

  3. 3 ring binder for class notes, class writing assignments, summaries, and properly cited bibliography of works read during the duration of the class.

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 group activities.

NOTE: Cellphones must be silenced and put away during class. The use of cellphones and other electronics is not permitted in the classroom, except under exceptional circumstances. Students should inform the instructor about these circumstances.

Reading: Class discussion is a critical element of this course, and participation is essential. Students are expected to have closely read, annotated, 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.



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), a compare and contrast essay (1000-1250 words). 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. The instructor will not accept essays submitted 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: The Brooklyn College Bulletin states the following:


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.

Research textual references: Two or three times during the semester, each student will research assigned textual references from the weekly readings and present their findings to the class. These presentations will be short, 3-5 minutes.



Grading: The Brooklyn College policy on grading for English 1010 is as follows:


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.


Possible grades are as follows:



































Grading Breakdown: Essays: 60%

Personal Narrative: 10 % Summaries: 10%

Argumentative Essay: 20% Compare and Contrast: 20%

Final Exam: 20%

Other Assignments: 10%

This includes take-home assignments, in-class writing, and quizzes.

Attendance & Participation: 10%


This includes attendance, promptness, participation in class discussions and group work, etc.


Plagiarism: Brooklyn College's statement on plagiarism is as follows:


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 16Last 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 Melanie Best

Fall 2018: Tu, Th 6:30-7:45 Boylan 3113

3 hours and conference; 3 credits

Office Hours: Th, 5:30-6:30, 2311 Boylan                            


Readings and Resources


List of Readings and Major Assignments

Tue 8/28/18     First class, introductions


Thu 8/30/18     Reading: Adichie, chapter 1

Writing:    Summary of chapter 1


Tue 9/4/18       Reading: Adichie, chapter 2

Writing:    Summary of chapter 2

Student presentations of textual references


Thu 9/6/18       Reading: Adichie, chapters 1 & 2

Writing:    Description of neighborhood

Description vs. Exposition; peer review of descriptions Tue 9/11/18     NO CLASS

Thu 9/13/18     Reading: Leave Your Name at the Border, Manuel Muñoz

Writing: 1st draft of personal narratives; re-write of Adichie ch. 2 summary, focusing on author's main ideas, purposes and techniques; or compare chapters 1 & 2 in relation to a particular theme or idea


Tue 9/18/18      NO CLASS


Thu 9/20/18     Reading: The Colossus of New York, Colson Whitehead Writing:     Answer questions on Whitehead handout

Descriptive language as implicit argument


Tue 9/25/18     Reading: Peculiar Benefits, Roxanne Gay Writing:    Summary of Gay


Thu 9/27/18     Reading: We are not all Created Equal, Steven Marche Writing:    2nd draft of personal narratives


Tue 10/2/18     Reading: Regarding the Pain of Others, Susan Sontag Writing:    Summary of Sontag


Thu 10/4/18     Reading: Liar, Liar Pants on Fire, Errol Morris Writing:    Reworked, formal summary, any reading


Tue 10/9/18     Reading: The Trouble with Diversity, Walter Benn Michaels Writing:    Summary of Michaels


Thu 10/11/18 Reading: The Trouble with Diversity, Walter Benn Michaels Writing:    1st draft of Argumentative Essay


Tue 10/16/18   Reading: Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work, Jean Anyon Writing:    Summary of Anyon


Thu 10/18/18 Reading: Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work, Jean Anyon Writing:    2nd reworked, formal summary


Tue 10/23/18   Review:    Argumentative Essays

Thesis statements, revision, organizing paragraphs to build arguments Thu 10/25/18 In class Compare and Contrast Essay

Tue 10/30/18   Reading: Is Google Making us Stupid? Nicholas Carr


Thu 11/1/18     Reading: Is Google Making us Stupid? Nicholas Carr Writing:    2nd draft of Argumentative Essay


Tue 11/6/18:    Reading: The Case for Reparations, Ta-Nehisi Coates Writing:     Map or diagram of Coates' argument


Thu 11/8/18:    Reading: The Case for Reparations, Ta-Nehisi Coates Tue 11/13/18          Reading: If Nature had Rights, Cormac Cullinen

Thu 11/15/18 Reading: In Florida, Officials Ban Term Climate Change, Tristan Korten Writing:    1st draft Compare/Contrast Essay


Tue 11/20/18   Reading: Mirror Mirror on the Web, Lakshmi chaudhry Thu 11/22/18 NO CLASS

Tue 11/27/18   Reading: Politics and the English Language, George Orwell


Thu 11/29/18 Reading: Thugs. Students. Rioters. Fans: Media's Subtle Racism in Unrest Coverage, Akiba Solomon

Writing:    2nd draft Compare/Contrast Essay


Tue 12/4/18     Review; bring A Writer's Reference for citation workshop Thu 12/6/18     Test Preparation

Tue 12/11/18   LAST CLASS – test prep


Tue 12/18/18   FINAL EXAM 6:00 – 8:00 pm


Please bring notebooks, with graded papers, summaries, class notes, in class writing assignments and Bibliography of works read using MLA citation format to class for grading during final.

Note: There may be additional small assignments during the course of the semester. If you miss class, you are responsible for making up in class writing exercises, and any homework assigned. Check your email for updates, and contact me if you have any questions. Syllabus subject to revision.