E110 Syllabus

English 110—Critical Reading and Writing

Section ***

TR 9:30-10:45a

Room: McDowell 203

Instructor: Janel Atlas                            Office Hours: Monday 12:00-2p and by appointment

E-mail: atlasj@udel.edu

Office: 213 Memorial Hall

Course Description
E110 is a composition course required for all University of Delaware students. E110 will help you to read and write critically, respond to the work and ideas of others (peers and published writers), consider audience and context when writing, and research at the university level. Over the course of this semester you will write in a variety of genres for several different audiences; the central project is a researched argument paper totaling 2000-2500 words in length.

Learning Outcomes
By the end of English 110, you should achieve the following goals:

Critical Reading
Read source texts critically, revealing awareness of purpose, audience, tone, argumentative techniques, and rhetorical devices,
Demonstrate understanding of a text’s rhetorical contexts,
Analyze and synthesize varied texts as a means to further your own writing skills.

Writing Process
Demonstrate the ability to write in a variety of genres such as summary, response, report, argument, and critical analysis,
Find and assess sources, synthesizing research with your own ideas,
Engage in writing as a recursive process that includes idea discovery, structural and developmental revision, and editing “final” copy.

Rhetorical Knowledge
Write with a strong understanding of and focus on purpose,
Write in ways that respond to the needs of different audiences,
Adopt voice, tone, and level of formality appropriate to situation and purpose,
Understand how genres shape reading and writing.

My Goals

I have based this course on three very important assumptions:

1) All of us are writers.
We are all, already, people who write and who have interesting ideas, insights, and experiences that are worth putting down in words. Perhaps you have been told by someone—maybe even an English teacher—that you are not a good writer. Maybe you doubt your own writing abilities or fear that you don’t have anything worth saying. I walk in to this class every day fully believing that each person here is a writer.

Creating a supportive learning community depends on each of us fulfilling our individual responsibilities, offering mutual respect, and being receptive readers of one another’s writing. Writing isn’t easy, but with a group of people who are committed to learning how to write better together, it can be highly rewarding.

Because of these three underlying assumptions, I have structured this course’s four major assignments to each provide ample opportunities to conference, workshop, peer-review, and work through multiple drafts.

Required Materials
The 2014—2015 Arak Anthology (21st edition).
Harris, Joseph. Rewriting: How to Do Things with Texts. Logan: Utah State UP, 2006.

You should also budget about $20 for copies and printing.

Some course materials can be found on the Sakai site: sakai.udel.edu. Be sure to check the Sakai site regularly for important announcements.

and Lateness
Writing is an activity that requires practice in order for you to become better at it. In this class, you will have many opportunities to write and talk about writing. To benefit from those opportunities, you must show up. Attendance is crucial to your success as a writer and as a student in this class. Each of our 25 class periods is worth 4 points, totaling 100 points (10% of your semester grade).

I do understand that severe illness and family emergencies can prevent you from coming to class. If serious illnesses, family emergencies, or other crises occur during the term, one of the key things you must do is to contact the Assistant Dean of your College as soon as possible. This office can assist you in notifying faculty and in validating for your instructors what has happened. If a true emergency arises and causes you to miss class, please discuss this with me as soon as possible; we will work together to accommodate your situation.

Lateness is distracting to me and to the other students. Therefore, three lates equals 1 absence (meaning 4 points off the semester attendance total). I define late as 5 or more minutes after official class start time.

I encourage you to develop connections with several of your classmates who you can reach out to about missed work, lectures, etc. if you are absent. This class is also recorded using UD Course Capture, so you can always listen to the audio if you are absent or missed something in class. Please contact me with questions only after you’ve sought information through these other avenues. 

Writing Center
The Writing Center in 016 Memorial (831-1168) is a great resource. The tutors there provide free one-on-one instruction to students who have writing assignments in this or any course. You can make appointments online: https://udel.mywconline.net, or you can call or stop by the Writing Center to make an appointment. Appointments are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Academic Integrity
Any work that you submit at any stage of the writing processdraft, thesis and outline, bibliography, etc., through final draftmust be your own; in addition, any words, ideas, or data that you borrow from other people and include in your work must be properly documented. Failure to do either of these things is plagiarism. The University of Delaware protects the rights of all students by insisting that individual students act with integrity. Accordingly, the University severely penalizes plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty.

Accessibility Statement
Any student who thinks he/she may need an accommodation based on a disability should contact the Office of Disability Support Services (ODSS) office as soon as possible. The ODSS is located at 240 Academy Street, Alison Hall Suite 130, Phone: 302-831-4643, fax: 302-831-3261, website: http://www.udel.edu/DSS. You may contact ODSS at dssoffice@udel.edu.

Participation and In-Class Work
You are expected to come to class with books or printouts for the day and writing materials, and to interact with both your peers and me in a collegial and professional manner. Come prepared every class to write about and discuss the readings and assignments. You are also expected, of course, to have prepared in advance the assigned work for that day. In class conversation and in your writing please be respectful of your fellow students. I also expect a reasonable amount of effort. I will often collect class work and return it the next class period.

Classroom Etiquette
Class sessions rely on everyone’s participation, and part of what makes for a positive learning environment is abiding by general standards of etiquette. Please be respectful of other students and the instructor by being good listeners, turning off or silencing cell phones and other devices, and otherwise being good educational citizens. I will respond to disruptions by asking you to leave, and you will receive no credit for attendance, participation, or in-class work for that day.

Missed Work
The short daily assignments in this class are not busy work. They are incremental, crucial pieces of the writing you’ll do over the course of the semester. Therefore, it is important that you complete all assignments. Non-draft assignments make up 10% of your grade for this course.

Late Work
I do not accept late daily work (homework, in class writing). Assignments are due through Sakai or in person by the start of class on the day they are due. I will, however, accept late drafts. Because turning in a draft late means you will not receive a timely or full response from the professor in time to incorporate suggestions into a subsequent draft, I strongly recommend that you submit drafts on time. Failure to turn in a draft by the deadline will result in the deduction of 5% of the total points possible for the assignment for each day (not class meeting) it is late, including weekends. Therefore, if a paper is due on a Friday and you submit it to me on Monday, you will lose 10% of the total points, meaning a whole letter grade drop.

If you have extenuating circumstances (serious illness, death in the family, etc.) please contact me as soon as possible and I will work with you to determine an extension. I do not grant extensions at the last minute except in extreme cases.

If you miss a peer-editing class period (see schedule below), you will lose 10% of the total points possible for that section of the assignment. If you know that you will be absent, please contact me beforehand to make the necessary arrangements.

5% deduction per day means that you should turn in your draft when it is due, even if you are unsatisfied with it or it is incomplete. But it is still better to turn an essay draft in late than not at all.

No work will be accepted after Reading Day (May 19).

Technology Statement
While I sympathize with students suffering computer problems, I do not accept computer malfunctions as excuses for accepting late work. Be sure to back up your work on an external storage system like a flash drive or online/network drive (I use Dropbox) frequently to avoid losing important documents. Also, after submitting an assignment through Sakai, doublecheck to ensure that you get confirmed submission (if you do not get an email from Sakai, upload it again). Having a problem uploading an assignment to Sakai does not excuse lateness.

I permit the use of laptops and tablets in class only for work related to our class. Please do not abuse this privilege by visiting non-course websites or doing work for other classes. I reserve the right to change this policy at any time and will inform the class if I deem it necessary to ban laptops from class.

Please turn your cell phones off when you enter the classroom. Your phone should not make noise for any reason. This includes vibrating.

Reaching Me
E-mail is the best way to reach me outside of classroom hours. While I try to make myself accessible by e-mail, I cannot be available 24 hours a day. I check e-mail frequently between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays. I do occasionally respond to work e-mail over the weekend, but there are no guarantees; if you have a question about an assignment, it’s best to e-mail right away rather than wait until the last minute.

Student Evaluations
A final expectation of the course is for you to complete the online student evaluation. This survey will be available for you to complete during the last two weeks of the semester. Apart from being an expectation of our course, your evaluation provides valuable information to me and to the Department.



Due Date

Points Possible

Points Earned

Literacy Narrative (1st Draft)



Literacy Narrative (Final Draft + Reflection)



Coming to Terms Paper (1st Draft)



Coming to Terms Paper (Final Draft + Reflection)



Topic Proposal



Research Source Form



Researched Argument (1st Draft)



Researched Argument (2nd Draft + Reflection)



Researched Argument (Final Draft + Reflection)



Multimodal Video Project (Video + Critical Reflection)





Peer Review Participation and Letters





It is not possible to pass this class without submitting final versions of each of the four major assignments listed below.

Major Assignments

Essay 1: Literacy Narrative (800-1,000 words) (2 drafts)

Essay 2: Coming to Terms (1,000 words(2 drafts)

Essay 3: Researched Argument (2,000-2,500 words(topic proposal, source sheet, and 3 drafts)

Essay 4: Multimodal Video Project (Research Remix) (60-90 second video, accompanied by a 650-800 word reflective essay(video and essay)

Reflection Papers (each 250 words minimum)

With each of the second and final drafts you submit, you will include a reflection paper that will function as a cover letter to me as well as a chance for you to share your writing and revision process. In the letter, you will tell me what changes you made since the last draft, including specific techniques or skills you employed to improve your argument, strengthen your rhetorical devices, and/or polish your writing style. These letters should show careful thought about how this draft is different from the previous drafts, as well as illustrate your growth as a reader, thinker, and writer. While your reflection paper need not be formal but they should show serious thinking about your writing process and product. I will not accept second or final drafts without a reflection paper and both should be submitted at the same time.

Peer Review Letters (each 250 words minimum)
Giving feedback to your peers on their work helps you learn about effective writing as much as it helps your peers. For different stages in the drafting process, you will write letters to your peers in response to their papers. Your letters should be about half a page long, single spaced. Please find and note at least one strength you find in the paper and at least two things they can improve upon. This is not a proofreading assignment. As we will discuss in class, it is most helpful for peer reviewers to comment on global revision issues, not on grammar, punctuation, etc.

To receive full credit for your response letters, you must do three things:

1. Respond to all the drafts for which you are responsible,
2. Comment exclusively on global revision issues, and
3. Mention specific passages as examples in your peers’ essays when you make a point.

Peer review work is worth 10% of your total class grade, so please take them seriously. Peer review letters will NOT be accepted late.

Formatting and Submitting Papers
All work prepared outside of class should be typed and double-spaced. Please use a simple 12-point font. In the upper-left-hand corner of the first page, type your name, the class and section number, the name of the assignment (e.g. Rhetorical Analysis 1), and the date. Do not include a title page. Be sure to include page numbers and your last name in the upper right hand of each page.

Finally, please save your work as a Microsoft Word document or in Rich Text Format, rather than Pages, WordPerfect, Microsoft Works, or OpenOffice. Submit papers through Sakai unless otherwise noted in the agenda below. Save documents with titles formatted as follows: LastnameFirstinitialDraftnameDraftnumber. So if I’m turning in the second draft of my researched argument, I’d save the document as AtlasJReArg2. For second and third drafts, there is a separate assignment upload for reflection papers, which you should name in the same format: AtlasJReArg2Reflection.

Discussing Graded Assignments
Do not contact me to discuss a grade within 24 hours of receiving a returned graded assignment. Use this time to thoughtfully consider comments upon your graded work. After that, I am willing to meet with you to explain why you got a certain grade and to suggest strategies for improvement on your next assignment. Please know that discussing a grade is not a negotiation for a higher grade, but rather an opportunity to improve on subsequent work. 

Course Grade Breakdown

























University of Delaware requires that all students earn a C- or higher in E110 to satisfy the writing requirement. Your major or program of study might require a higher grade.

I reserve the right to change this syllabus’s policies at any point. All syllabus changes will be announced in class.

Class Schedule (subject to change):

LN: Literacy Narrative          CTT: Coming to Terms            Harris: Rewriting
MMV: Multimodal Video      Arak: Arak Anthology             ReArg: Researched Argument




Unit 1: Literacy Narrative

T 2/10

Introductions. Your Story. Considering Genre and Audience

R 2/12

Literacy, discourse, and rhetoric.

Introduce literacy narrative assignment.

Read: Donald Murray “All Writing is Autobiography” (PDF on Sakai)

Write: Take note of something you write in the real world (it can be anything). Write a 200 word description and reflection on the choices you make composing it. Submit through Sakai.

Bring: Bring a print or digital copy of Murray’s essay to class.

T 2/17

Persuasion/Rhetorical Appeals

Angle of Vision


Read: Allyn and Bacon Logos/Ethos/Pathos section; Johnson (both in PDF on Sakai)

Write: Choose a different writing situation from the one you chose for 2/12 homework. Describe the situation and analyze the rhetorical appeals the writer made (to logos, ethos, or pathos). What were the writer’s purpose, genre, and audience? Submit through Sakai.

R 2/19

Peer Review Workshop.

Assign peer review groups.

Read: Allyn and Bacon pages 42-50 (PDF on Sakai).

Due: Submit LN Draft 1 through Sakai on Saturday, 2/21, by 5pm. At the same time, email LN Draft 1 to your peer review group.

T 2/24

Peer Review Day: Literacy Narrative Draft

Revision strategies

Read: Your peers’ LN Draft 1s

Bring: 3 printed copies of your LN Draft 1 and 2 printed copies of each Peer Review Letter (1 for your peer review partners and the other for me to collect).

R 2/26

Library Day: Locating good sources

Meet in Morris Library, Room 116A

Write: Continue revising and working on your LN Draft.

Read: Read Harris p. 1-12 (Introduction).

Unit 2: Coming to Terms

T 3/3

Coming to Terms: Rewriting

Introduce Coming to Terms Paper

Due: LN Final Draft and Reflection Cover Letter through Sakai by classtime.

Read: Harris Ch. 1 and Allyn and Bacon p. 92-112 (PDF).

R 3/5

Rewriting Moves

Joining a scholarly conversation

Read: Harris, Ch. 2.

Bring: Arak anthology to class.

T 3/10

Working a Thesis and Addressing Counterarguments

Read: Harris, Ch. 3.

R 3/12

Peer Review Day: CTT Draft

Due: CTT Draft 1 due through Sakai.

Bring: 3 printed copies of your CTT Draft 1

for peer review day

T 3/17

Avoiding Plagiarism

MLA citation

Write: Continue working on CTT draft.

Bring: CTT draft

R 3/19

No class.

Due: CTT Final Draft and Reflection Letter due through Sakai by 3/22 at 5pm.

UNIT 3: The Researched Argument

T 3/24

Moving from Topic to Argument

Introduce Researched Argument

Read: Paul Roberts, “How to Say Nothing in 500 Words” (PDF on Sakai)

Write: Respond to the Research Paper Questionnaire on Sakai, submit on Sakai and print a copy to bring to class.

R 3/26

Prewriting Workshop: Researched Argument Proposal, or, “In this paper, I will argue that…”

Write: Make a list of at least 2 and no more than 4 topic possibilities that interest you. For each topic, do some prewriting (see questions posted on Sakai under “Researched Argument Topic Selection”).

Bring: 2 copies of the above work to class, 1 to workshop and 1 to submit.



Read: Using the library database (which you can access off campus with UD login), search for books and articles that you may read and cite for your researched argument. Keep good notes on what you find. And be creative with your search terms and reach out to a research librarian or to me if you are coming up empty-handed.

Due: 4/5 ReArg Topic Proposal (through Sakai by 5pm). You will hear back from me with approval or feedback for a revise+resubmit by Monday night, 4/6.

T 4/7

The logic of argument: Claims Reasons

Using and incorporating sources.

Read: Allyn and Bacon pages 202-216 (PDF on Sakai).

Write: Fill out Source Form (posted on Sakai). This is similar to an annotated bibliography but only requires you to work with three sources. All must be peer-reviewed articles/essays.

Bring: The 3 sources (either printed out or in digital form on a laptop) you wrote about on the source form.

R 4/9

Workshop Strategies for Getting Started:


Meet in Memorial 028

Bring: Bring your research paper sources, and your prewriting/notes.

T 4/14

Topic Sentences


Meet in Memorial 028

Bring: your notes/outline/in-process ReArg draft.

Due: ReArg Draft 1 (at least 1500 words) through Sakai by 10pm.

R 4/16

Introductions, Transitions, and Titles

Write: Continue working on your ReArg paper.

Bring: your in-process ReArg draft.

T 4/21

Peer Review

Due: ReArg Draft 2 due through Sakai by classtime. Bring 3 printed copies of your ReArg Draft 2.

R 4/23

Revising (Reverse Outlining)


Read: “Graffiti” essay (on Sakai) before class and write a 150-200 word summary of the essay. Also bring your current ReArg draft in progress.

UNIT 4: Multimodal Video Project

T 4/28

Introduce Multimodal Video Project (MMV)

Meet in Student Multimedia Design Center (in library basement)

Due: ReArg Final Draft and Reflection Letter by classtime.

R 4/30

No Class: work on your video

Work on collecting footage for your multimodal film.

T 5/5

Video Workshop Day

Meet in Student Multimedia Design Center

Bring: computer, footage, external hard drive to continue work on your video

R 5/7

Peer Review

Write and bring: draft of Multimodal Video reflection paper (at least 500 words)


Taking it with you: Writing in college and beyond


Mini Film Fest and final class day.

Due: MMV and Reflection paper (625-800 words)

*Assignments: For all items listed under “Assignments” in the course schedule, you should complete that work before attending class on that date. So for 2/12, you should arrive for class having already read Donald Murray “All Writing is Autobiography” and written a 200 word description of something you recently wrote in the real world. You should also bring a copy of the Murray essay.