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ENG 1010: English Composition-Student Version (2018-19 Archive): Moser, Janet

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

Course Overview, Objectives

Course Description:


English 1010 is a workshop in expository writing. Throughout the semester, we will be reading expository texts and responding to readings, pre-writing, writing, editing and revising essays both in-class and outside. You will become familiar with new ways to incorporate the things you read, see, and experience into the things you write. You will be introduced to methods for searching the library and internet data bases to gather information, ways to evaluate secondary sources, and the use of MLA documentation. In addition, we will reinforce grammar and syntax rules.
Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

·         Read critically and write analytically

·         Formulate a strong thesis with well-organized support

·         Summarize, paraphrase, and synthesize information from a variety of sources

·         Structure a persuasive and cohesive argument

·         Incorporate and integrate evidence into their writing using MLA documentation

·         Edit and revise their own writing using peer and instructor critiques

Use appropriate conventions of language, including correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation

  1. ·         Use the library to find appropriate print and electronic sources

Course Requirements and Policies

Required Texts:
Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi, Americanah (freshman common reading). Random House, 2013.

Readings available from online library site:  


Course requirements:

1.You are allowed 3 absences.  Any additional absences will affect your grade.

Two latenesses = 1 absence. Excessive lateness or absence will result in a failing grade for the course.

2. All readings are due when assigned.  If you are absent, be sure to get the reading assignment for the next class.

3. All essays must be typed in 12 pt. font, Times New Roman, double-spaced, 1.25” margins (left and right), 1” margins (top and bottom).

4. All essays are due when assigned. If you are absent on the day an essay is due, you must email that essay to me by midnight of the due date.

5. You may hand in ONE essay late but no more than ONE WEEK late. No other late work will be accepted.

6. All essays require second drafts.  An essay that has not been revised will not receive a grade.

7. You must take the LOOP Orientation (a library use orientation exercise).

8. There will be an in-class midterm essay, modeled on the final exam.

9. All students must take a departmental final exam worth 20% of your final grade.  (The date for the final exam has not yet been announced but is usually the first day of finals---Dec. 14. Please note this date when making travel plans).

Samples of past final exams can be found at


Note: Cell phones must be silenced and put away.  If you are texting during class, I will mark you absent. See me if there is an urgent reason for you to have your phone out during class.


Below is Brooklyn College’s policy:

"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: If a faculty member suspects a violation of academic integrity and, upon investigation, confirms that violation, or if the student admits the violation, the faculty member MUST report the violation." 

All cases of plagiarism will be reported to the Brooklyn College Committee on Academic Integrity. A student who plagiarizes in this class will receive a grade of F for the assignment and may receive a grade of F for the course.


Students with Disabilities:   In order to receive disability-related academic accommodations students must first be registered with the Center for Student Disability Services. Students who have a documented disability or suspect they may have a disability are invited to set up an appointment with the Director of the Center for Student Disability Services, Ms. Valerie Stewart-Lovell at 718-951-5538. If you have already registered with the Center for Student Disability Services, please provide me with the course accommodation form and discuss your specific accommodation with me.




Passing grades range from A to C- (the lowest possible passing grade for the course). A student who has completed all the work for this course but who still needs more practice in producing competent academic English may receive a grade of NC (no credit). This grade does not penalize the student and does not count in her GPA.  A student who does not complete assignments for the course or who is excessively absent or late will receive a grade of F. Students may take the course up to three times.


Participation:                                                                              10%

Assignments (not essay-length)                                                 10%

4 Essays (3 written at home and revised; 1 in-class midterm):   60% 
Final Exam:                                                                                 20%

Proofreading symbols:
T= tense
WW= wrong word
WF=word form
WO= word order
s-v= subject-verb agreement
pron = pronoun agreement
r/o= run on sentence
dang=dangling modifier
misplaced=misplaced modifier


Course Information

Prof. Moser: English 1010 MW2H Fall 2018 
Office hours: W, 3:30-4:30 and by appointment: Office: Boylan 4232B
Course website:

Readings and Resources

Del Banco, and Berger: Not available in Assets list


Tentative Class Schedule:


Monday, Aug. 27:  Introductions; In-class writing in response to a quote from Americanah

Wednesday, August 29:   Grammar workshop from student writing; Americanah discussion.


Monday, Sept. 3:   NO CLASS; LABOR DAY



Monday, Sept. 10:  No Classes.

Wednesday, Sept. 12: Americanah. Write a paragraph that is based on your selected quote.  The paragraph should start with a topic sentence that sums up the meaning of your quote in the context of the book.  The paragraph must include references to 2 or 3 passages in the book that are relevant to your quote.  You must also incorporate the quote into your paragraph. Submit your paragraph as an attachment in word by noon on Wednesday.

Monday, Sept. 17. Americanah. Note a passage that you find intriguing, provocative, confusing Americanah
Read Vuong, “A Letter to my Mother”

Wednesday, Sept. 19:  No classes

Monday, Sept. 24: Read "Real Food", "Rice”, "Lunch"  Discuss with Americanah  


Wednesday, Sept. 26:

Due: Essay #1: 2-3 pages, typed, double spaced writing assignment based on Americanah.  Bring a hard copy to class on Monday.  If you handed in your first draft on Monday, 9/24, you can still make changes before Wednesday.  Just let me know.

This writing assignment can take any form you want. 

You may pick up on any of the themes we have discussed in class so far: the meaning of home, culture,  identity, defining physical characteristics (hair, body type, skin color, accent, etc), food, and relate that theme to something in your own experience, in the experience of someone you know, In the lore of your family history.


Or you can use the theme of communication as we discussed in class.  You can write a series of letters to someone; you can create that person's answers or leave the letters unanswered.  You can have a developing list of memories addressed to someone, with repetition giving emphasis, as Vuong did in his essay.

This is meant to be an opportunity for you to be as creative or as traditional as you want. The themes that we discussed in the Adichie book should serve as a trigger for your essay but you don't have to mention the book at all.

In class discussion for Wednesday, Sept 26:  Food and Americanah.  Come to class with specific passages from Americanah that highlight the role of food.  

Monday, Oct. 1: Read “Dumpster Diving” --- thesis and support

Wednesday, Oct. 3:   Second draft of Essay 1.
                                    Summary and Analysis

Monday, Oct. 8: No class

Wednesday, Oct. 10: Summary vs. analysis

Monday, Oct. 15:

Write a paragraph analyzing the ad from Bazaar 2009, "She brings home the bacon, but can he fry it up?"
Submit the paragraph by email by noon on Monday.

Read Gloria Anzaldua, “How to Tame a Wild Tongue.”  (1)

Wednesday, Oct. 17: Anzaldua continued (2).  Identify the different voices that Anzaldua uses in this piece.  What are they and where, exactly, are they in the text?  Mark those passages that you think best represent Anzaldua's voices. What do these voices represent? Be prepared to discuss this in class on Wednesday.

Monday, Oct. 22:  Anzaluda (3) Read “Leave Your Name at the Border” and “Mother Tongue.”

Wednesday, Oct 24:
Write two paragraphs describing, in two languages for two different audiences, what you did this past weekend. Be prepared to discuss how your audience affects your language.


1. Outline an essay that imitates Anzaldua’s approach.  You will be writing an autobiographical text whose shape and motives can be described in Anzaldua's terms---a "mosaic" or "montage" or "collage." Think about the different positions you could be said to occupy (student, son, daughter, brother, sister, violinist, athlete, second language speaker, babysitter, translator, etc.), the different voices that are part of your background or prezaldsent, the competing ways of thinking that make up your points of view.  If you have a second or third language, use it in this essay. Outline the sections that your essay will have, identifying the particular lens that each section will use.  Remember, in Anzaldua's essay, we said that she speaks as a Chicana, a woman, a lesbian, a poet, a white, a Spaniard.  You don't have to match her number of categories but you should be able to come up with at least 4 voices in which you can speak.

2. Analyze how either Amy Tan or Gloria Anzaldua define the experience of growing up outside  the mainstream culture. What role does language play in shaping their identities? 

3. Analyze either Tan's or Anuzaldua's purpose in writing.  Who is the intended audience? Discuss and analyze the ways in which the author conveys her message to that audience (for example, you might discuss the kinds of evidence presented, the use of imagery, figurative language, anecdotes, examples, tone).  Are some sections more effective, more powerful than others?  Which are those sections and why do they work particularly well?

For topics 2 and 3, you may add a conclusion that comes from your own experience with language but your essay needs to focus on Tan or Anzaldua.


Monday, Oct. 29: Outline for Essay 2: 
I.  Introduction ending in a thesis statement
2. Supporting evidence (2 or 3 paragraphs);  specific quotes from text that you will use as support
3. Conclusion (Don't summarize what you've already stated; try making suggestions; or hypothesizing (If I were....); or recounting relevant personal experience.
Bring 3 copies to class on Monday.

Wednesday, Oct. 31:First draft of essay 2 due.  Hardcopy in class. Peer review
                                   Grammar workshop; thesis statements; the academic paragraph; MLA citation

Monday, Nov. 5:  Rodriguez, The Achievement of Desire” (1).  Be prepared to discuss these questions in class:

1. Rodriguez has said that the story he tells, although it is very much his story, is also a story of our common experience---growing up, leaving home, becoming educated, entering the world.  When you read this essay, look particularly for sections or passages you might bring forward as evidence that this is, in fact, an essay which can give you a way of looking at your own life, not just his.  And look for sections that defy universal application. To what degree is his story the story of our common experience? Why might he (or his readers) want to insist that his story is everyone's story>

2. At the end of the essay, Rodriguez says:
              It would require many more years of schooling (an inevitable miseducation)......before I turned unafraid to desire the past, and thereby                     achieved what had eluded me for so long----the end of education.

What do you think, as you reread this essay, is the "end of education"?  And what does that end (that goal? stopping point?) have to do with "miseducation," "the silence of reading,"" the habit of extracting from immediate experience," and "desir[ing] the past?"

Wednesday, Nov. 7: Second draft of Essay 2.  Hard copy in class.
Reread the Rodriguez essay; be ready to discuss it in class.

Monday, Nov. 12:
odriguez: a question of style (3) To be submitted in class: Look carefully at the style in the paragraph at the bottom of p. 342 ("But withheld from my mother and father.....I slipped quietly out of the house.") Write a paragraph that mimics Rodriguez's style in this paragraph. Your paragraph can be on any topic you like; you aren't expected to follow Rodriguez's paragraph sentence by sentence. But you need to isolate various stylistic techniques that Rodriguez uses, and imitate them in your own paragraph. Be prepared to explain how your paragraph resembles Rodriguez's. You should use the rhetorical devices that we discussed in class ----parentheses; asides; colons; semi-colons; fragments; one-word sentences; juxtapositions.  You don't need to use ALL these devices---just enough to make your paragraph read like Rodriguez's. Bring 2 copies of your paragraph to class.

Read Walter Benn Michaels
                             Finish discussion of Rodriguez essay (3):
                             In class: write a paragraph analyzing the last words of the essay: "the end of education."

Wednesday, Nov. 14: Paragraph in imitation of Rodriguez (see description from Monday's class)
                                    Be prepared to discuss the Benn MIchaels article.
                                    How to write an argument essay in rebuttal. We will do this together in class.

Monday, Nov. 19:
Compare/contrast: Ben Shahn photo and Grant Wood painting 
Outline points of comparison or contrast between the two works.

Wednesday, Nov. 21: . More compare/contrast.  Look at Ben Shahn's "Rehabilitation Clients"
and Grant Wood's "American Gothic"
Using at least the 4 categories we discussed in class, add details for each of the works: 
I. Background
II. Clothing
III. Facial expressions
IV. Purpose

Monday, Nov. 26
Read del Toro's "Why Vampires Never Die"  and Parker's "Our Zombies, Ourselves"
First draft: compare or contrast these two essays.  Bring 2 copies to class for peer review.

EXTRA CREDIT:   ONLY for those whose two previous essays average in the B range, or for those who have been excessively absent.  Write a compare/contrast essay based on your analysis of Shahn's "Rehabilitation Clients" and Woods' "American Gothic"  ONE DRAFT; DUE MONDAY, Dec. 3.  If you hand this in, it will be graded and will count, in borderline cases, towards your final grade.  You can't, later, elect to omit this essay from your grades.

Wednesday, Nov. 28  More compare/contrast.  Grammar and style workshop; MLA citation
Monday, Dec. 3: If you've written an outline for essay 3, bring that to class (2 copies).  
                            Do quotation exercises 1-6. Grammar and MLA workshop.

Wednesday, Dec. 5:  Essay 3, second draft due. Grammar and style workshop; MLA citation
Monday, Dec. 10: Practice for final.  In-class essay: Carr and Turkle.  Download and print out these two articles from the "Resources" tab. Bring them to class with you. You may annotate the articles and keep them out while you're writing your essay. 

Wednesday, Dec. 12:  Last day of class.  Small group discussion of final essay.








Wednesday, Nov. 28: Berger, "Ways of Seeing"  (1)---read the essay twice (take notes on a separate piece of paper as you read and reflect).

Looking ahead: Due Monday, Dec. 3: Museum assignment: Essay #4, part 1
Go to the Met or MOMA. (If you go to the Met, remember that there is a SUGGESTED admission; you can pay as little as you want---don't hesitate to hand the cashier a dollar, or even change; as a CUNY student, you get into MOMA free)
Select a painting that seems silent and still, yet invites conversation. Your job is to figure out what sorts of questions to ask, to interrogate the painting, to get it to speak, to engage with the past in some form of dialogue. Write an essay in which you record this process and what you have learned from it. Somewhere in your paper, perhaps at the end, turn back to Berger's essay and speak to it about how this process has or hasn't confirmed what you take to be Berger's expectations. Be sure to include either a link to the painting or a picture of the painting with your essay.

Possible paintings at the Met:
Renoir, Madame Charpentier and her family
Vermeer, Maid Asleep
Sargent, Madame X
Raphael, Colonna Altarpiece
Hopper, The Lighthouse at Two Lights

If you fall in love with a painting, then you can choose that one.

Monday, Nov.26: ways of seeing film:
Look at the opening scenes from each of the following films (copy and paste the youtube sites). Write the narrative that corresponds to each film's opening scene. Then analyze how the director tells the story, how he guides you to create a narrative (for example, what specific devices does he use? how do light and dark work? camera angles? distance?). For each film, write a paragraph in response to the prompts above; then write a thesis statement that governs the paragraph. Print out and bring the paragraphs to class.

Rear Window (Hitchcock) rear window

Pickup on South Street (Fuller)


Writing an academic paragraph---in class exercise

Wednesday, Nov. 28: ways of seeing, photographs. Read “Liar, Liar”


Monday, Dec. 3: Compare/contrast---thesis; support; citing


Wednesday, Dec. 5: grammar workshop


Monday, Dec. 10: Museum assignment Part 2 DUE: (Essay #4, part 2)
1. Locate and read two secondary scholarly sources that discuss the painting you chose and one source that offers biographical information about its artist. These must be academic, scholarly sources. Check the Met and MOMA websites for sources, Google Scholar, JSTOR, or consult one of the reference librarians. 
2. Write a 1-2 page paper summarizing the information gained from the three outside sources. Use quotes to support your claims; paraphrase when you can. Be sure to document any information that is not in your own words or not common knowledge.
3. Using the knowledge gained from these 3 sources, revisit your chosen painting (this time, you can do a virtual visit) and revisit the main arguments in Berger's essay. Does the additional knowledge enhance or diminish your appreciation of the painting (or possibly both enhance and diminish)? In what ways? (be specific). How does your new reaction to the painting coincide with or differ from Berger's claims?



 FINAL EXAM:   Friday, Dec 14, 10:30-12:30