Composition I

FALL 1999

Section 37

MWF 1:00 - 1:50

AB 300 (South Campus)



(Unofficial Internet version)

Instructor: Dr. John M. Green



The main focus of the course is on the skills and techniques necessary to write English on a college level -- the "writing process."  This process includes:

In writing courses you have taken in the past, you probably wrote a series of essays, finishing each one and handing it in to the teacher before beginning the next one.  In this course, we will be doing things very differently.  You will turn in three drafts of each assigned essay, and you will sometimes start work on one essay before you have written the final draft of the previous one.  Different kinds of drafts will be evaluated in different ways.  On your rough drafts, what will count  will be whether you have found a lot of interesting things to say about your topic.  On your revised drafts, what will count will be the overall organization of your essay.  Correctness in grammar, spelling, and so forth will count on the final drafts of each essay that you write, but not on the earlier drafts (unless your errors on those drafts make it hard for a reader to understand your ideas).

You will be doing a variety of different kinds of writing in this class.  Your first essay will be based on one of your own personal experiences in the past.  In the next two essays, you will be writing about topics suggested by your reactions to books we will read: a novel (Election) and a nonfiction book (Having Our Say).  In your fourth essay, you will write about a community service learning experience that you will have this semester.  (See below for more information.)  You will also be doing informal writing of various kinds.


Two 8 1/2 x 11 inch spiral notebooks (50-60 pages long or longer), one for freewriting and one for double-entry response journals (see Course Requirements, below).


  • Attendance and class participation, including group work in class.
  • Reading.  A schedule of reading assignments will be distributed separately from this syllabus.
  • Writing:

    Grades will be based on completion of the course requirements described above:

    To get a good grade in the course, it is important to hand in work on time.  Late work will usually be accepted (with some exceptions), but it will receive a lower grade than work handed in on time.

    There will be no final exam in the course.


    Attendance policies:

    Attendance is required, and excessive absenses and/or tardies can result in a low grade or even a failing grade in the course.

    Each student is responsible for completing all course requirements and for keeping up with everything that goes on in the course (whether or not the student is present).
    If you are absent, you should:

    Plagiarism:  Plagiarism is using the words or ideas of someone else and submitting them as if you had written them yourself.  It is both dishonest and against the law.  Penalties for plagiarism can include an automatic grade of F for the course, as well as being reported to the Vice President, Academic Affairs, which can lead to suspension or expulsion from the college. See the 1998-2000 catalog, page 266, for the full description of the college policy on academic dishonesty.

    Equal access policy (students with disabilities): "Salem State College is committed to providing equal access to the educational experience for all students in compliance with Section 504 of The Rehabilitation Act and The Americans with Disabilities Act and to providing all reasonable academic accommodations aids and adjustments.  Any student who has a documented disability requiring an accommodation, aid or adjustment should speak with the instructor immediately.  Students with Disabilities who have not previously done so should provide documentation to and schedule an appointment with the Office for Students with Disabilities and obtain appropriate services." (Salem State College 1998-2000 catalog, p. 267.)

    Copyright 1999 by John M. Green

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