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ENG 1010: English Composition-Student Version (2018-19 Archive): Blevins, Andrew

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

Course Overview, Objectives

Bulletin Description: Workshop in expository writing: 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. Emphasis 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.)

Discussion: In English 1010, we will learn how to read closely and critically, and how to form clear arguments based on academic texts. We will analyze personal narratives as well as argumentative texts. We will discuss what makes texts of both genres personally affecting, thoughtful, and successful, and we will use those tools to write our own, original work. Students will write both in and out of class, with an emphasis on drafting and revision. Class time will be split between writing, working in groups, discussing readings, and student work.

Our focus will be 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

Course Requirements & Policies

NOTE: The contents of this syllabus are subject to revision.


  1. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  2. Readings found online at
  3. Grammar resources found online at

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.

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 me about these circumstances.

Reading: Class discussion is a critical element of this course, and participation is essential. You will be expected to have closely read and to 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), and 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 in-class writing assignments and reading responses.

NOTE: Essays are due at the beginning of class.  The instructor will not accept essays submitted via email except in exceptional circumstances.

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.

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. I will not accept late work 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%

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.

Possible grades are as follows:




























Below 60




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 bereavement 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.

Office Hours and Writing Help

If you have any questions, concerns, or comments, please visit me during my office hours. My office is located in Boylan 2311. You can email me anytime at

If you have questions about MLA formatting, including how to properly cite sources, the Brooklyn College Library website is an invaluable resource: We will also go over source citation in class.

I also strongly encourage you to visit The Learning Center (, 1300 Boylan Hall). It is easy to schedule a session with a writing tutor; writing tutors will help you with the mechanics of essay-writing.

Here is what The Learning Center website has to say about weekly writing tutoring: “The Learning Center offers the option of scheduling a standing weekly appointment with a writing tutor. Weekly appointments are scheduled at the same time every week. In order to become a weekly student, you must first obtain a referral form and have it filled out and signed by a professor. You must then bring it to the Learning Center and see a Master Tutor who will make an appointment for you and answer any questions you may have.”

It is a good idea to make a weekly appointment with a writing tutor. I will be happy to sign your referral form.

Course Information

Brooklyn College: The City University of New York

English 1010: Professor Andrew Blevins

Fall 2018: 2154 Boylan / 951-5195

T/TH 8:00am - 9:15am

3 hours and conference; 3 credits

Office Hours: T/TH 9:30am - 10:30am, Boylan 2311

Readings and Resources


Course Schedule

(All readings are to be completed before class.)

NOTE: This schedule is subject to revision.

Week 1: Intro, diagnostic essay, and Freshman Common Reading

8/28, Tuesday: Syllabus; student and instructor introductions; diagnostic essay.

8/30, Thursday: Americanah, chapter 1.

Week 2: Common Reading—Close reading, annotating, summary

9/4, Tuesday: Frederick Douglass, “Learning to Read and Write.”

9/6, Thursday: First draft of personal narrative due.

Week 3-5: Summary—Close reading, annotation, short summary

9/11, Tuesday: No class.

9/13, Thursday: Lars Eighner, “On Dumpster Diving.”

9/18, Tuesday: No class.

9/20, Thursday: Bill McKibben, “Curbing Nature’s Paparazzi.”

9/25, Tuesday: In-class summary assignment. Rachel Carson, “The Obligation to Endure.”

9/27, Thursday: Final draft of personal narrative due.

Weeks 6-9: Argument & Analysis—Argument, thesis statements, evidence, structure

10/2, Tuesday: Take-home summary due.

10/4, Thursday: Errol Morris, “Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire.”

10/9, Tuesday: Edwidge Danticat, “Another Country.”

10/11, Thursday: George Orwell, “Politics and the English Language.”

10/16, Tuesday: First draft of argumentative essay due. Continued discussion of George Orwell, “Politics and the English Language.”

10/18, Thursday: Ta-Nehisi Coates, “The Case for Reparations.”

10/23, Tuesday: Continued discussion of Ta-Nehisi Coates, “The Case for Reparations.”

10/25, Thursday: Continued discussion of Ta-Nehisi Coates, “The Case for Reparations.”

Weeks 10-13: Compare and Contrast—Focus on argument, evidence, structure

10/30, Tuesday: Continued discussion of Ta-Nehisi Coates, “The Case for Reparations.”

11/1, Thursday: Cormac Cullinan, “If Nature Had Rights.”

11/6, Tuesday: Martin Luther King Jr., “Letter From a Birmingham Jail.”

11/8, Thursday: Robert Lake (Medicine Grizzlybear), "An Indian Father's Plea."

11/13, Tuesday: In-class compare and contrast essay. Eric Schlosser, "Why McDonald's Fries Taste So Good."

11/15, Thursday: First draft of compare & contrast essay due.

11/20: No class.

11/22-11/25: No class—Thanksgiving Break.

Weeks 14-14.5: Research & Catch-up

11/27, Tuesday: Jonathan Swift, “A Modest Proposal.”

11/29, Thursday: James Baldwin, “Notes of a Native Son.”

12/4, Tuesday: Final draft of compare & contrast essay due.

Week 15.5-16: Exam prep

12/6, Thursday: Essays from old final exams, sample student exams, and first essay from fall 2018 final exam (will hand out).

12/11, Tuesday: Student discussion of long essay for final exam.

12/13: No class—Reading Day.