ENG 131 Syllabus


Winter 2017

Instructor: Chelsea A. Lonsdale

Instructor Email: calonsdale@hfcc.edu (use your HawkMail email accounts ONLY)

Office: N-223 (Campus Safety Bldg)

Office Hours: MW 11a-1pm, TR 12:30-2:30pm, and by appointment

Instructor Website: https://lonsdalecomposition.wordpress.com

Textbook Website: http://everyonesanauthor.tumblr.com

Sections: ENG 131-11 and ENG 131A-11 meet MWF 9:08a-10:00a in K-215

Course Description

English 131 is the first college-level composition course in a two-semester sequence, emphasizing critical reading, critical thinking, and critical writing skills. Through readings, students will explore various topics and various types of writing. Through essays, written in and out of class, students will demonstrate the development of a clear main idea through well-organized supporting material, written in correct, effective English. To meet the above goals, a writing assignment integrating analysis and summary of an article and a persuasive paper synthesizing multiple sources will be included.

Goal Statement

The goal of English 131 is to prepare students to write effectively, observing the conventions of English expected by educated readers of academic and professional communication.

What can I expect from this specific section of ENG 131?

Over the next 15 weeks, we will explore our individual media-composing and consuming histories, focusing specifically on our relationships with “new” media. We will practice summarizing, analyzing, and responding to a variety of texts. We will also consider what it means to be literate in the 21st century through academic, personal, and professional lenses.

In total, you will write 6 essays totaling approximately 3,000-4,000 words (four of these will be written at home and two in class per the Communications Division requirements), and submit a Final Portfolio in lieu of a final exam.

Core Course Learning Objectives

Writing Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to accomplish the following:

  1. Write an essay containing a clearly stated thesis.
  2. Demonstrate adequate skill in introducing and concluding an essay.
  3. Identify appropriate and relevant evidence to be presented using a variety of rhetorical modes, including summary and argumentation
  4. Organize the supporting details in a clear and logical order using transitions to connect sentences and paragraphs.
  5. Employ rhetorical strategies appropriate and transferable to assignments in other disciplines or professional contexts.
  6. Synthesize and explain divergent viewpoints on an issue.
  7. Define a research interest and develop it using multiple sources.
    1. Select relevant information from multiple sources and use that information, along with personal experiences and observations, to support a point.
    2. Introduce direct quotations and paraphrases accurately, and use a formal method of documentation.
  8. Write an in-class essay that earns a passing grade.
  9. Write clear, direct sentences, varied in length and construction, applying basic principles of coordination, subordination, and parallelism.
  10. Minimize errors in grammar and mechanics.
  11. Employ precise and accurate diction as a result of vocabulary acquisition.
  12. Revise work after collaboration with other students and/or suggestions from the instructor.

Reading Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to accomplish the following:

  1. Identify main idea and supporting details in college level essays.
  2. Analyze the general structural pattern of essays.
  3. Distinguish an author’s viewpoint from their own by accurate and critical reading.
  4. Draw inferences from reading that lead to discussion and communication in writing.
  5. Analyze how a writer uses language and literary devices to develop a main idea.
  6. Evaluate when an author effectively or ineffectively fulfills his/her purpose.
  7. Demonstrate strategies for vocabulary acquisition.

Critical Thinking Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to accomplish the following:

  1. Generate and develop a defensible inference based on available information.
  2. Identify, summarize, and synthesize a limited number of sources pertinent to a topic.
    1. Distinguish clearly between their own views and the views expressed in outside sources.
    2. Identify appropriate, credible, and relevant evidence.

Assessment of Academic Achievement

All  students are required to complete the following assignments:

  1. A summary and an analysis of a selected text.
  2. A persuasive/argumentative essay
  3. An essay requiring integration and documentation of multiple sources.

All students may be asked to complete a critical thinking assessment.

Required Texts and Materials

  • Everyone’s An Author, 2E by Lunsford, Brody, Ede, Moss, Papper, and Walters, ISBN: 978-0-393-61745-0
  • The Little Seagull, 3rd edition, ISBN: TBD
  • A report cover with a clear front for the Final Portfolio

Required Electronic Media/Software/Applications

  • Access to the internet using Chrome, Firefox, or Safari.
  • A Google Drive account. Your HawkMail email will give you access to Google Drive; you will need to share a folder titled “Last Name ENG131 W17” with me. This is where you will submit your final drafts for feedback and evaluation.
  • This is a web and mobile application used for short-form communication; I will send group announcements, may attach files or send links, and can answer brief questions using this app. You will need to provide an email address and/or phone number to receive notifications; this information remains private and I do not have access to your contact information.

You will also need a notebook for note-taking, loose-leaf paper for in-class essays and other activities, and writing utensils (pen, pencil, highlighter).

Bring your materials to class with you every day, unless otherwise specified!

Grading and Assessment


This I Believe IN CLASS: 25 pts

Literacy Narrative: 50 pts

Remix Response IN CLASS: 50 pts

Song Analysis: 50 pts

Ad Analysis: 50 pts

Annotated Bibliography: 50 pts

Final Portfolio: 50 pts

Participation (incl. Peer Review, Self-Assessment, Conferences, and Attendance/Presence): 100 pts

Total: 425 pts

90-100=A, 85-89=B+, 80-84=B, 75-79=C+, 70-74=C, 60-69=D, 59 and below = E.

You can keep track of your grades independently by recording your scores here; if you have questions or want to check in, please do so during office hours. I will not discuss grades electronically.

Minimum Submission Requirements

Assignments must meet minimum requirements in order to be accepted for grading and feedback. These requirements include:

  • Assignment is a Google Doc shared with permission to edit.
  • Assignment is in MLA Format with a heading, title, and page number in the appropriate locations. Assignment must be double spaced in 12 pt standard font.
  • Assignment must meet minimum word count/page length.
  • Assignment must be proofread for capitalization (especially personal “I”), spelling errors/wrong word, and sentence fragments. While these are not “fatal” errors, they do have a significant impact on your credibility as a writer and are grounds for rejection of a submitted manuscript.

Assignments that do not meet this criteria will be returned with a “Revise and Resubmit” notification. You have until the following class meeting to revise and resubmit your work with a 20% grade deduction.

All final drafts of assignments will be submitted via your shared folder in Google Drive as Google Docs, NOT uploaded Word files. Rough drafts for peer review must be hard copy.

Computer access for working and printing on campus is available in the library as well as the Learning Lab. Likewise, the technology we are using is accessible on desktop, laptop, and mobile devices. If you have concerns about technology, please ask me for help. While there may be a learning curve for some students, digital literacy is a necessity.

Late Work

Late assignments will be due the following class meeting and will be penalized by 20%. Late assignments are not eligible for revise and resubmit, nor can they be revised for a higher grade later in the semester. Late work will not be accepted after the following class meeting and the assignment will receive a 0.

In-class essays will be treated as an exam and arrangements must be made to complete the essay within one week if you are absent.

Late Final Portfolios will not be accepted.

Revision Policy

All at-home essays submitted on time will be eligible for revisions. In order to revise, you must complete a Revision Plan and meet with me to confer and get my approval. Revisions can be made throughout the semester. You may revise up to 2 of your 4 take home essays. Revised essays will be submitted via Google Drive with the Revision Plan turned in as a hard copy. Revised essays will be re-graded, and the new grade will replace the original.

Student Responsibilities and Classroom Behavior


An attendance record will be maintained, and your attendance AND presence in class will be factored into your participation grade. Missed classes will affect your overall performance as you will not be here for discussion and activities that support the assignments you need to complete. If you know you will be absent ahead of time, contact me via Remind or email, and make arrangements to discuss what you missed. Tardies past 10 minutes will count as an absence for the day. Absences do not excuse you from turning work in on time unless arrangements are made with me ahead of time. In other words, late work is still late!

Official HFC Communications Division Attendance Policy

Never Attended Designation

Henry Ford Community College requires students to actively participate in their learning with regular and sustained interaction. Since student success depends on active engagement, students who have NOT attended an entire class session and actively participated in academically-related activities by the College’s Never Attended deadline will not be permitted into the class even if they are already enrolled in the class. Additionally, a student having financial aid may have their award decreased or completely reversed.

The Never Attended deadline for Winter 2017 is January 23, 2017.

Computers and Email

Google Drive

Given the increasingly important role of technology in our lives, it is crucial that you are proficient with computers, word processing systems, file storage, and printing. Computer or printer failure is not an excuse for late work. We will be using Google Drive, as it saves your work automatically, allows you to access revision history, is accessible on any device, and provides an efficient and interactive way for me to give feedback on your writing.

HawkMail and Remind

You are responsible for checking your HawkMail email every day. Any required information, including class cancellations and other important long-form announcements, will be sent via email. I will also use Remind for short-form communication. I will respond to all email inquiries within 24-48 hours (often much sooner!). Keep in mind that you are communicating with a professional; when emailing, use rhetorically appropriate grammar and mechanics, and be specific about who you are, what class you are in, and what you need.

Use of Electronic Devices In Class

In regard to computer, tablet, or phone use in class: these devices can be useful tools for class activities and discussion, but they can also be a significant distraction to both your peers and your teacher. While YOU may not feel that your device use is disruptive, please be aware that the sound, vibration, light, and/or movement of your device can interfere with the learning experience of your neighbor. Please restrict your use of these devices to designated times; otherwise, screens should be put away (i.e.: not in your lap).

If I notice that device use is becoming an issue, I will speak to you individually outside of class and will probably ask you some questions to learn more about your particular situation. Whether there is a family/work emergency, or just an addiction to Pokémon Go or checking your Instagram feed, together we will make a plan based on your specific circumstances.


Participation is essential. This includes coming to class prepared with necessary materials, taking part in class discussions, and completing individual and small group in-class activities. It’s my belief that working actively with classmates to dig deeper into a concept, or being able to try out a hands-on technique during class time, or simply taking time to free write can sometimes be more useful than sitting through a lecture. For students who are more used to more “traditional,” directive, mostly quiet classrooms, it can take a little bit of time to adjust to this kind of approach. It might feel uncomfortable at first to be asked to frequently interact with classmates or asked to take on responsibility for your own learning, but please know that when I ask you to do these things, it’s because I believe they will ultimately benefit you.


It is very important to me that our classroom remain a place of mutual respect throughout the term. Respect comes in a lot of different forms. Showing up to class on time is a sign of respect, but so is being open to hearing your classmates’ perspectives and about their experiences, even if – especially if -they are vastly different than your own. It can also mean choosing to “step up or step back” – speaking up in a situation when it is called for, and/or giving others an opportunity to also have their voices heard. I think a college classroom tends to feel more comfortable when it doesn’t come with a long list of all the “bad” behaviors a student could choose to engage in and exactly how many points in the gradebook each of them will “cost.” I prefer just having us simply agree to treat each other with a certain amount of maturity, common courtesy, and good intentions. Everything you do should make a positive contribution to our shared learning experience.

Complete Student Policies, Rights, and Responsibilities (including HFC’s policy on Academic Integrity) are listed on HFC’s website, at https://www.hfcc.edu/current-students/student-policies

Communications Division Policy on Plagiarism/Academic Integrity

Among other things, academic dishonesty includes plagiarism. Although not the sole form of misconduct of which a student may be guilty, this is probably the most common academic offense that can occur in any course. Essentially, plagiarism is the act of using another author or person’s words or ideas without properly crediting him/her. Plagiarism can include, but is not limited to, the following fraudulent acts:

  • Failing to supply quotation marks for words – sometimes even a single word – copied exactly as seen in the original from published materials or internet sources, including blogs
  • Using the structure and/or substance of another’s text without providing credit
  • Employing passages directly from sources without citation while only rearranging word order, altering grammar or revising a few words ←this is called patchwriting
  • Omitting the sources or parenthetical documentation for words or ideas or including a Works Cited page without appropriate parenthetical documentation
  • Falsifying citations, such as inventing or misrepresenting sources
  • Submitting a paper written or revised by another person

Students who plagiarize may fail the course and be reported to the Registrar’s Office so that the college can take disciplinary action.  Students can view HFCC’s complete and unabridged policy on Academic Integrity by visiting the Student Policies, Rights, and Responsibilities web address listed above.

In this class, plagiarism will automatically result in a failing grade for the assignment, and may result in a failing grade for the course at my discretion.

Dropping Classes

Changes to your class schedule may be made in the Office of Admissions, Registration and Records after you have officially enrolled in any course. Should you decide to stop attending a course, know that membership in a class does not cease until you have officially dropped the class. Students are responsible for dropping courses that they decide not to attend. If you stop attending but do not formally drop a class, you will be charged the full tuition amount for the class. You may officially drop a class without penalty until 60% of the class is completed, and a W will be recorded on your transcript. After the drop deadline, a grade of E will be recorded unless there are extenuating circumstances and a meeting has been set up with me to discuss the issue. A student cannot drop a class if failing for reasons of academic dishonesty.


These are some of the resources that your tuition is paying for:

  • Free tutoring and computer access in the Learning Lab (learnlab.hfcc.edu).
  • Free computer access also available the school library (library.hfcc.edu)
  • Counseling Office: LRC-117 (313-845-9611)
  • Assisted Learning Services (hfcc.edu/assisted-learning)
  • English Language Institute (eli.hfcc.edu)

Office hours are also set aside for you to meet with your instructors individually. I highly encourage you to take advantage of these times. My office hours are listed at the beginning of this document.

Important Dates

  • January 9th: Classes begin
  • January 15th: Last day to register for or drop classes w/100% refund (no record on transcript)
  • January 23rd: NA Deadline (15 week classes)
  • March 24th: Last day to WITHDRAW (no refund – W grade appears on transcript)
  • May 1: Last day of classes
  • May 2: Final Exams begin
  • May 8: Grades available on WebAdvisor

College Closings

If the college is closed due to inclement weather (e.g., snow) or a power outage causes the college to close, this information will appear on the college’s home page and will be sent through the college’s emergency response system. If there is no message indicating a closing, you may assume HFC is still open. Please sign up for the emergency alert system by clicking on the links on the home page.

%d bloggers like this: