Syllabus, ENG 111, Summer 2008

Computer-Mediated College Composition I

Rick Dollieslager, Asst. Professor of English

Office: Templin Hall 874 Phone: 825-3543


Office Hours



*Note: We will use Microsoft Word 2003 as our word processing system, and we will use other components of the Microsoft Office Suite as needed. You need not purchase these since they will be available on campus.

Catalog Description

Introduces students to critical thinking and the fundamentals of academic writing. Through the writing process, students refine topics; develop and support ideas; investigate, evaluate, and incorporate appropriate resources; edit for effective style and usage; and determine appropriate approaches for a variety of contexts, audiences, and purposes. Writing activities will include exposition and argumentation with at least one researched essay.

Prerequisites: Satisfactory scores on the placement exam or satisfactory completion of prerequisite writing course.


This course will not be like any English class you have ever taken. We will build upon the foundation of the traditional composition course and apply modern communication technology for our academic researching and self-publication purposes. This is the composition course of the future. This semester you will create an electronic portfolio (web site) including all of the major work you will have done for the course.

Upon successful completion of the course, you should have a better understanding of your own writing process and should be able to apply the strategies of exposition and persuasion/argumentation appropriately in writing situations. You should be familiar with the basic form of the academic essay and other forms of written electronic and print communication, you should have an increased awareness of tailoring writing to the needs of the audience, you should have an understanding of how to use various print and electronic resources both for research and for publication of your own work, you should be able to analyze academic and professional readings to determine the main points and methods of development, and you should be able to edit your own writing to satisfactorily conform to the accepted practices of standard (American) English prose.

Instructional Methods

The course will be conducted in workshop fashion, requiring individual work at the computers, small group discussion and exercises, peer evaluation, and group or student/instructor conferences. There will be a few sessions which are predominantly lecture and discussion, but there will be a good deal of in-class writing and a number of Internet-based projects, so you should expect to, and be prepared to, work in class at every scheduled meeting.

For each college course that you enroll in, you should expect to spend two to three hours outside of class for every hour of seat time, in order to study and to complete your assignments. English 111 is no different. We will meet for approximately six hours per week, which means that you should plan to devote twelve to eighteen hours per week outside of class to complete the work, do the experiential research, and otherwise study the handbook sources and the assigned on-line readings. This class will require you to do on-line research of sample essays and reviews, and of resources for ascertaining entertainment events and venues in this area of Virginia. Additionally, you will be required to do experiential research, that is, you will participate in and observe, and then review or comment upon various entertainment events or attactrions in this area of Virginia in the essays that you write. This course will not require a published reader or textbook. If you want a course which you think will take less study/homework time (you won't find one), or which takes a more traditional textbook/essay anthology approach, then drop this course immediately and try to find one more to your liking. If you stick with this course, you now know what is required.

Grading and Assignments

First, keep disk and/or paper copy of all handouts and assignments that you receive or do this semester. That way, if there is any question of policy or of accuracy in recording a grade, you have copies of everything of importance. In order to receive full credit, all work will be submitted on time (by the posted or stated deadline). The grade for any late work, if accepted at all, will be substantially reduced.

We will use the Internet for some of our readings and research/analysis projects. All of the graded assignments will be worked on the computer and the papers will be submitted first as hard copy, then revised and edited to include in your web folio. You will publish your class papers on the Internet by developing a layered electronic portfolio as one of the major projects for the semester. Knowledge of HTML programming language could be useful to you but is not necessary. You will be taught how to develop your web site using a commercial web service and easy-to-learn web page building software program. Likewise, off-campus access to the Internet will be convenient but not mandatory, as you will have access through the Academic Computing Lab, room 255 in Wythe Hall.

Attendance & Deportment

Unless other arrangements have been made prior to the start of the semester, attendance and participation at all meetings of the class are mandatory. TNCC policy stipulates that I may drop any student who has missed 20% of the scheduled classes, regardless of the reason for the absences. Therefore, if you miss more than four classes, you may be dropped. This policy is not simply of a motivational nature. This class will be a workshop. You will work in class at every meeting, and you will conference with me and with your classmates throughout the production of every written assignment. For these reasons, absences will adversely affect your grade. Schedule no appointments, vacations, spats with loved ones, hangovers, etc. which will conflict with our class times. If you have an absence, please don't tell me why. I'm not a truant officer, and my students are adults: adults take responsibility for their own decisions. If there is an occasional circumstance which precludes attendance, you will be responsible for getting yourself caught up, but bear in mind that you will have missed out on class discussion and that accepting late work is my prerogative not my duty.

If there is any validity in our placement criteria, which makes you eligible to take ENG 111, then you should have the ability to pass the class if you complete all the assignments as prescribed. My wish is for students to be successful in composition class; however, I can't help you to achieve your goals if you aren't in class to work toward them. In short, if you miss classes, you will not be successful. While I'll take pleasure in your success, I'll take no credit for it. Likewise, you'll find me to be conscientious, diligent, and willing to help; therefore, I'll take no responsibility for anyone's failure to succeed. My experience has shown me that anyone can succeed who really tries.

You will be expected to participate during class discussions and to work quietly during workshops and collaborative in-class projects, respecting your colleagues' and instructor's right to a classroom environment that is conducive to the production of good work. This is a classroom, not a bar room, so socializing will take place outside of class.

Cell Phones: Somehow mankind has existed for thousands of centuries without the need for a cell phone. You will not need one in English 111 either. If a cell phone rings during class, the offending owner will apologize to the class for disrupting their education and will further beg forgiveness of his or her colleagues by providing either doughnuts or a pizza (the instructor's choice) on a day designated by the instructor. No exceptions. No excuses.

Plagiarism: In accordance with provisions published in the TNCC Student Handbook, disciplinary action will result if plagiarized work is turned in. The TNCC Student Handbook describes plagiarism thus: "To steal and pass off as one's own the ideas or words of another; to use without crediting the source; to present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source; to commit literary theft." Whether intentional or inadvertant, plagiarism is a serious academic offense, and the consequences for intentional plagiarism are severe, as stipulated in the TNCC Student Handbook: "Plagiarism at Thomas Nelson Community College will constitute a dismissable offense..."

Repeat Policy: Enrollment in a course is limited to two times. If a student needs to enroll for a third and final time, he or she must submit a written petition to the Vice President of Academic Affairs (or her designee) for approval.

ADA Compliance: If you have any diagnosed physical or learning disabilities please see Professor Nancy Bailey in the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities (Hastings Hall, room 323) to register for support services or accomodations covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).


Return to English 111 main menu

Retrun to R. Dollieslager's main menu