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ENG 1010: English Composition-Student Version (2018-19 Archive): Stubbs, Lisa

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

Course Overview, Objectives

Course Overview

This class will serve as an introduction to college-level composition. During this course you will practice and perfect strategies for writing expository essays and for engaging with different kinds of texts. You will read actively and think critically about your reading and writing. You will write both in and out of class, with an emphasis on the writing process, especially drafting and revision. Our time in class will be split between writing, work in groups, and discussion of the readings and of your work.

Course Objectives

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  • Read and think critically
  • Express ideas–both orally and in writing–correctly, cogently, persuasively, and in conformity with the conventions of the discipline
  • Understand how language operates
  • Identify, develop, and support theses and arguments
  • Summarize, paraphrase, and synthesize information from a variety of sources
  • Structure cohesive and convincing essays
  • Incorporate and integrate evidence into writing, using MLA documentation
  • Revise and edit writing, using peer and instructor critiques
  • Conduct research

Class Materials/ Notes/ Resources

Major Assignments

English 1010_Professor Stubbs --  Essay #1 Personal Narrative Essay -- DUE Monday, September 17th

For this assignment, you will craft a 700-1000 word essay (approx 3-5 pgs) that describes and discusses the significance of a personal experience, in order to shed light on a particular truth about yourself, someone else, or humanity in general. Although there is room for flexibility in organization, the essay should include the basic parts of vivid narrative description (use storytelling techniques to bring the audience with you into a meaningful experience) and thoughtful reflection (questioning and explanation of the importance of the experience). You may choose to begin with a life story and then discuss a central idea discovered through this experience or you may choose to weave narrative and reflection together to develop a more subtle, implied thesis statement. Consider some of the themes from Americanah as inspiration for an essay that should have both personal and universal appeal.  As with every essay in this class, this one must be typed in 12pt font, double-spaced, using MLA formatting.

Possible themes/topics: Insider v. Outsider; Privilege; The Immigrant Experience; Home; Race in America; Loving Oneself and Loving Another; Borrowed Identities

For examples of personal narratives… visit the class website and go to “Resources” -> “Index of Readings” then look below for the entries available under “Personal Narratives.” I also recommend “The Knife” by Richard Selzer and “On Blindness” by Jorge Luis Borges; both are available on my website for this class.

Course Requirements and Policies

Required Materials

Chimamanda Adichie, Americanah. (You should have received a free copy of this book when you registered; if you do not have this book, go to 3208 Boylan to pick up your free copy.)

Various required essays and articles, available on libguides website:

Course Requirements & Policies

Attendance & Punctuality

You should be present at every class. That said, I understand that extenuating circumstances arise and you may be absent up to 3 times without penalty (provided you have communicated with me in advance or as soon as possible after your absence); the next 2 absences will each lower your final grade. If you are absent more than 5 times, you will not pass the class. I also expect you to come to class on time. Two late arrivals equal one absence, and a pattern of lateness will affect your grade negatively. Arriving more than 20 minutes late counts as an absence.


  • Read the assigned texts and think about them before class.
  • Speak up during class discussions, use in-class writing time to challenge yourself and your ideas, and volunteer during class activities.
  • I may use the papers and assignments you write for this class as examples in our activities.
  • Silence and put away all cell phones and electronics, out of courtesy. Repeated use of phones or other electronics will negatively affect your grade.
  • We will regularly write in class. Bring paper and a black or blue pen to every meeting.

PLEASE NOTE: Cell phones must be silenced and put away during class, for the sake of maintaining focus and quality discussion. If there are emergency circumstances that require you to pay attention to your phone, please let me before the start of class.



  • Class discussion is a critical element of this course, and your participation is essential. You are expected to have closely read and be ready to discuss all readings on the day they are assigned. You must bring the assigned text to every class. There will be unannounced reading quizzes.


  • Essays: You will write four essays for this class, three take-home (personal narrative: 750-1000 words; argumentative essay: 1000-1250 words; compare/contrast essay: 1000-1250 words) and one in class (pre-exam comparison contrast essay). Take-home essays must be typed using a 12 point font and double-spaced. You may not email papers unless there is a very special circumstance and you have my express permission.
  • Assignments: You will also be required to complete in-class writing assignments and short take-home prompts (including two brief summaries of 250-500 words each). These assignments will not all be graded individually, but their timely, thoughtful completion will count towards your final grade.
  • Final Exam: English 1010 students must take a final exam. The exam is based on responses to two pieces of writing: one piece will be a 5-7 page essay, distributed two weeks before the end of the term, and the second will be a 1-2 page piece, distributed along with the question on the day of the exam. The exam will count for 20% of your final grade for the class. We will discuss the test format in class.


  • Strong revision habits are critical to growing as an academic writer. So, all essays in this class (with the exception of the final exam essay) may be revised and resubmitted. The final grade for any essay will represent an average of the initial and revised grades.


C- is the lowest possible passing grade for the course. English Department policy dictates that a student with a final grade below a C- receive an N/C (no credit); the student may take the course up to three times. An F grade will be given in the case of too many absences or failure to complete assignments. A grade of NC may be given if the student’s work is not at a passing level, but the student has good attendance and has completed all assignments. Students receiving an F or an NC grade must retake English 1010; students may take English 1010 up to three times.

Letter Grades and Equivalent Number Grades



























How your final grade for the class is determined:

Essays: 60%                        (Personal Narrative – 10%             Summaries – 10%             Argumentative Essay - 15% Compare and Contrast Essay - 15%  In-Class Compare and Contrast Essay – 10%)

Assignments: 10%           (this includes take-home assignments, in-class writing, and quizzes. )

Attendance and Participation: 10%          (this includes attendance, promptness, participation in class discussions and

group work, etc.)

Final Exam: 20%               (essay exam, comparing and contrasting two assigned essays)

Late work: Essays turned in late will be penalized 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 you miss a class during which an essay is to be submitted, you are still responsible for submitting (e-mailing) the

 essay on the same day AND bringing a hard copy of it the next time you attend class. Otherwise, the assignment will be treated as a late submission. If you do not submit a certain essay, you will receive the grade of F for that essay.

Plagiarism: Plagiarism is not tolerated at Brooklyn College and especially will not be tolerated in this class. If you are caught handing in work that you have plagiarized from any source, you will fail the assignment in question, possibly the entire class, and may be subject to disciplinary action by the college. Here is the College's statement on 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: 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”

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 your professor with the course accommodation form and discuss your specific accommodation with him/her.

Non-attendance Because of Religious Beliefs: Please read the information in the Brooklyn College Bulletin ( regarding nonattendance because of religious beliefs. Please inform me in advance if you plan to be absent due to religious observance.

Student Bereavement Policy: Please read the following for Brooklyn College’s policy in the event that a student loses a loved one:

Office Hours: I encourage you to make use of my office hours so that we can discuss your work and any questions you have. I am also happy to find another time to meet with you if you are unable to come to my office.

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


Course Information

English 1010

M/W: 3:40 - 4:55 – Boylan Hall 4113

Lisa Stubbs (

Office Hours: M/W 2:30-3:30 (Boylan Rm 2311)

Readings and Resources


Class Schedule (subject to change)


Class Discussion Topic

Assignments DUE


Introduction to course

In-Class Diagnostic Writing



Chimamanda Adichie, Americanah, Part 1





Chimamanda Adichie, Americanah, Part 2 Identifying thesis statements

Discussion questions or comments related to Part 2 of Americanah




Chimamanda Adichie, Americanah, Part 3 Organizing an Essay

Discussion questions or comments related to Part 3 of Americanah



Mona El-Ghobashy, “Quandaries of Representation” Amy Tan, “Mother Tongue”

Essay #1 DUE





Roxane Gay, “Peculiar Benefits” Drafting and Revising


Kwame Anthony Appiah, Tue Greenfort and Katie Holten, “The Case for Contamination”

How to summarize


Nicolas Carr “Is Google Making Us Stupid?”

Is technology doing more harm than good?

Summary #1 DUE


Barry Schwartz “The Tyranny of Choice”

Revised Essay #1 DUE




Frederick Douglass “Learning to Read and Write”

Is education really the “silver bullet”?


John Taylor Gatto “Against School”

Summary #2 DUE


Thomas Jefferson “The Declaration of Independence”

What is the role of the citizen?


Martin Luther King, Jr. “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”

Topic for Essay #2 DUE


Peer Review Workshop

First Draft Essay #2

DUE (Bring 4 COPIES)



Jamaica Kincaid, “The Ugly Tourist”


Edwige Danticat, “Another Country”


James Baldwin, “Stranger in the Village”


Teju Cole, “Black Bodies: Rereading James Baldwin’s Stranger in the Village”


George Orwell, “Politics and the English Language”

Revised Essay #2 DUE


George Saunders, “The Braindead Megaphone”


In Class Essay Prep


In Class Essay (Essay #3)

Essay #3 DUE (In Class)



Ta-Nehisi Coates, “The Case for Reparations”


Walter Benn Michaels, “The Trouble with Diversity”


Peer Review Workshop

First Draft Essay #4 DUE

(bring 4 copies)


Final Exam Prep


Final Exam Prep: Small Group Discussion of Final Exam Essays

Notes on Final Exam Essays for Discussion

  12/ 12 NO CLASS - Reading Day  



Revised Essay #4 DUE