Standard Syllabus Format

English 126 is a general education course offered in multiple sections taught by many instructors. Instructors need to include the following items on their syllabi to ensure consistency. At the end of these guidelines instructors will find a useful sample syllabus.

Course Description

Please reproduce the course description exactly as written in the Bulletin:

English 126: Composition II: Writing About Literature3 hr + 1 hr conference, 3 cr. A composition course which takes literature as its subject matter, ENG 126 builds on the competencies developed in ENG 125, in close reading, argumentation, and writing from sources, and applies them in a new context. Students will read a variety of short literary works including poetry, fiction, and/or drama, and will practice responding to them in class, and writing about them both informally and formally. Students are also asked to produce a research paper related to themes or questions evoked by the literature.  Prerequisite: ENG 125.

Course Section

Designate a specific section such as MN3, PQ2.

Time and Place of Course Meetings

Provide room numbers, days, and times courses meet.

Contact Information

Provide office location, phone number, email address, and office hours.

Required Texts

List book titles, and indicate where students can purchase, borrow, copy, and/or download. To emphasize the importance of modeling proper citation, please adhere to MLA format when listing required texts on your syllabus.

Pike, David L and Ana M. Acosta. Literature: A World of Writing. 2nd ed. Boston: Pearson, 2011. (ISBN 978-0-205-88623-4)

OR

Gardner, Janet E., Beverly Lawn, Jack Ridl and Peter Schakel. Literature: A Portable Anthology. 3rd ed. Boston: Bedford/St.Martin’s, 2013. (ISBN 978-1-4576-0650-2)

AND

Hacker, Diana.  Bedford Handbook.  8th edition. Boston: Bedford/St.Martin’s, 2010. (ISBN 978-0-312-48013-4)

Basis of Final Grade

Provide the breakdown of specific assignments by percentages.  That is: Paper #1:  15%.

Remember that according to the Assignment Recommendations, this course requires  at least three (3) formal essays that are the result of drafting and revision.

These formal papers must be worth at least sixty percent (60%) of the final grade.

The final examination should be 10% of the final grade.

Requirements and Regulations

Include attendance, lateness, and conduct policies.

The Department of English has adopted a common attendance policy for multiple section courses (English 125, English 126, and Writing 300).  Your syllabus should include the following statement:

Success in this class depends on regular and punctual attendance. The English Department's policy for multiple section courses such as this one is:

Then include the applicable policy based on the number of days per week your class meets:

For classes that meet twice a week use this wording:

  • Students in classes that meet twice a week may miss no more than five (5) sessions.
  • Six (6) absences are grounds for failure.
  • Missing 15 minutes of class—arriving late, departing early, or leaving during class-- counts as half an absence.
For classes that meet once a week use this wording:
  • Students in classes that meet once a week may miss no more than two (2) sessions.
  • Three (3) absences are grounds for failure.
  • Missing 15 minutes of class—arriving late, departing early, or leaving during class-- counts as half an absence.

Plagiarism Statement

Provide definition of and policy regarding plagiarism: i.e. Deliberately submitting someone else's work as your own is a serious offense that will result in an F for the course. For more information about plagiarism, see The York College Bulletin, “Definitions and Examples of Academic Dishonesty” and Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab resource,“Avoiding Plagiarism.”

Learning Objectives (please list ALL of the objectives as they appear below)

Learning Objectives:

Students will be able to:

  • Read and listen critically and analytically, including identifying an argument’s major assumptions and assertions and evaluating its supporting evidence.
  • Write clearly and coherently in varied, academic formats (such as formal essays, research papers, and reports) using standard English and appropriate technology to critique and improve one’s own and others’ texts.
  • Demonstrate research skills using appropriate technology, including gathering, evaluating, and synthesizing primary and secondary sources.
  • Support a thesis with well-reasoned arguments, and communicate persuasively across a variety of contexts, purposes, audiences, and media.
  • Formulate original ideas and relate them to the ideas of others by employing the conventions of ethical attribution and citation.

This course meets the Pathways criteria for Composition in the Common Core (above). It also satisfies the following Introduction to Writing About Literature criteria for students who wish to transfer to another CUNY College and major in English. A student will:

  • Be able to respond proficiently in writing (i.e. per the outcomes for “A”) to literary works.
  • Display familiarity with literary works by a variety of authors in a variety of genres.
  • Be able to offer an extended discussion in writing of two or more texts and authors in relation to each other.
  • Demonstrate the ability to analyze and interpret based on careful attention both to the detail and overall design of a literary work.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the role of context in determining meaning.

Course Outline of Assignments and Activities

Provide a detailed week-by-week outline of assignments and activities.

__________________________________________________________________________

Printable Version

Sample Syllabus

Department of English                     Professor’s Name

York College/CUNY                       Office:

Semester                                          E-mail:

Section #:                                         Office Hours:

Room #                                             Phone:

COURSE OUTLINE

English 126 Composition II: Writing About Literature

Course Description:

A composition course which takes literature as its subject matter, ENG 126 builds on the competencies developed in ENG 125, in close reading, argumentation, and writing from sources, and applies them in a new context. Students will read a variety of short literary works including poetry, fiction, and/or drama, and will practice responding to them in class, and writing about them both informally and formally. Students are also asked to produce a research paper related to themes or questions evoked by the literature.  Prerequisite: ENG 125.

Learning Objectives:

Students will be able to:

  • Read and listen critically and analytically, including identifying an argument’s major assumptions and assertions and evaluating its supporting evidence.
  • Write clearly and coherently in varied, academic formats (such as formal essays, research papers, and reports) using standard English and appropriate technology to critique and improve one’s own and others’ texts.
  • Demonstrate research skills using appropriate technology, including gathering, evaluating, and synthesizing primary and secondary sources.
  • Support a thesis with well-reasoned arguments, and communicate persuasively across a variety of contexts, purposes, audiences, and media.
  • Formulate original ideas and relate them to the ideas of others by employing the conventions of ethical attribution and citation.

This course meets the Pathways criteria for Composition in the Common Core (above). It also satisfies the following Introduction to Writing About Literature criteria for students who wish to transfer to another CUNY College and major in English. A student will:

  • Be able to respond proficiently in writing (i.e. per the outcomes for “A”) to literary works.
  • Display familiarity with literary works by a variety of authors in a variety of genres.
  • Be able to offer an extended discussion in writing of two or more texts and authors in relation to each other.
  • Demonstrate the ability to analyze and interpret based on careful attention both to the detail and overall design of a literary work.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the role of context in determining meaning

Required texts (available in the College Bookstore):

Pike, David L and Ana M. Acosta. Literature: A World of Writing. 2nd ed. Boston: Pearson, 2011.

Hacker, Diana. The Bedford Handbook. 8th edition. Boston: Bedford/St.Martin’s, 2010.

A collegiate-level paperback dictionary.

Grading: The three formal papers will make up the bulk of your grade, as outlined below:Assignment Percentage of final grade:

  1. Paper #1 (3-4 pages) 15%
  2. Paper #2 (3-4 pages) 20%
  3. Research Paper (6-8 pages) 30%
  4. Final Exam 10%
  5. In-Class and Homework Assignments 10%
  6. Class Participation 10%
  7. Peer-review critiques 5%

A note on grading practices: When grading assignments, I place equal weight on both what you write and how you write it.  As we work on each assignment, I will review the criteria for that assignment with you.

As a general rule of thumb, this is how I assign grades:

A papers contain original thought and fluent writing.  They make the assignment their own.

B papers show a strong grasp of the assignment and are clearly written, with only a few minor errors.

C papers have a handle on the major requirements of the assignment, but may be shaky on the finer points; they may also display more frequent errors than a B paper would.

D papers struggle to meet these requirements and/or display grammatical problems.

F papers fail to meet the main requirements of the assignment or are plagiarized.

Plagiarism: In our work this semester we will be paying special attention to the ways in which writers draw upon the work of others, making effective and appropriate use of sources.  A major concern will be avoiding plagiarism—defined as using the ideas and words of another person without acknowledging that debt.  It is important to understand that in academic life, plagiarism is completely unacceptable.  Deliberate plagiarism on any assignment, major or minor, will result in a grade of F for the course.

Preparation of written work: All formal papers must be submitted at the beginning of class. Each should be type-written using a computer’s word processing program, printed out and stapled.  All work must be prepared and proofread by you personally. While you are permitted to show your work to others and receive editorial suggestions, you may not have someone else proofread your paper for you.  In other words, while you may work with a tutor, classmates, or others, to help you identify problems, you must be responsible for fixing those problems yourself.

Attendance: Your success in this class depends on regular and punctual attendance. The English Department's policy for multiple section courses such as this one is:

  • Students in classes that meet twice a week may miss no more than five (5) sessions. Six (6) absences are grounds for failure.
  • Missing 15 minutes of class—arriving late, departing early, or leaving during class–counts as half an absence.
  • Late Work: The workload in this course is heavy, and it is important to keep up with the assignments. All writing assignments are due at the beginning of the class, whether they are rough or final drafts, or informal homework assignments.

    Please remember that it is crucial to the process to complete assignments on time; for example, if you do not bring your rough draft to class on the day it is due, you will not be able to participate productively in the peer-review process.  Late work will be penalized.

    Classroom Etiquette: Please respect your classmates and govern yourself in the classroom as you would in a professional setting.

    Turn off all cell phones; do not answer phone calls or text during class.

    Do not bring food into the classroom.

    Writing Center (1C18): Tutors in the center are available to assist you with developing your writing and your writing skills.  You are encouraged to visit the Writing Center early in the semester.  Don’t wait until a paper is due!  The Writing Center offers scheduled tutoring, which allows you to meet with the same tutor each week.  Course textbooks and handbooks are also available for use in the Center. For more information, stop by or call the Center (ext. 2494).

    Email addresses:

    One of the best ways to get in touch with me outside of class is via the e-mail address on the first page of the syllabus.  Please do not e-mail homework or other assignments to me UNLESS you will be absent from the class in which the assignment is due. I will accept assignments via email before class; those sent after the class in which they were due will be considered not to have been submitted.

    You should use your York College email address for all college correspondence. If, in an emergency, you need to use another address, make sure to clearly identify yourself in the message.  Remember that when writing to me you should write formally—text message dialect is appropriate when you write to friends, but not so appropriate when you are writing to a professor.

    I aim to respond to e-mail messages within 24 hours.  As I am human, this may occasionally stretch to 48 hours.  If however, you have not heard back from me within 48 hours, you should assume your e-mail has gone astray and re-send it to me.

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