Complete version: ENG101_SP15

Course Catalog First semester of the General Education Writing Skills Requirement for students required to take both ENG 101 and ENG 201. Practice in developing essays with variable emphases on purpose, subject, audience, and persuasion; in constructing mature sentences and paragraphs; and in revising. Introduces documenting and writing from sources. Twenty pages of graded, revised writing, excluding first drafts, exercises, and quizzes. Students may not receive credit for both ENG 101 and ESL 407.

Course Description As the first course in a two course sequence that comprises First Year Composition ENG 101 is designed as an introduction to college writing and through this it is also an introduction to a number of elements of university culture and its standards. The first emphasis of this class will be based around developing a successful writing process for college and learning to write in a number of different genres. The point of this is to help students understand that there is not one single way to write and that good writing is not just a matter of learning how to write in this singular way. Rather, what this course focuses on is a number of writing genres and how these genres vary in what they require of us as writers. One of our goals this semester will be to learn some of the conventions of these genres. We will discuss reading and writing proposals, reviews, analytical essays as well as the more traditional academic essay. Our goal is to introduce you to broader views of writing than what was available at the high school level and introduce you to an even larger constellation of writing genres and practices across academic, professional, and civic contexts.

Along with this, the second emphasis of this course will be based around developing a more refined writing process that you will be able to use no matter what genre you are writing in. By developing process based skills such as editing, proof reading, peer review, and most importantly high order and low order revision skills, you as students will be working to develop writing skills that will enable you to succeed in your undergraduate careers and beyond.

Goals and Assessment 

In 101, students will

  • learn rhetorical strategies for successful academic writing -> formal and informal writing assignments
  • compose in a variety of academic, professional, and civic contexts, including digital environments -> formal writing assignments, including one digital composition and assignments in more than one genre
  • undertake a productive writing practice, including revising -> formal writing assignments require drafts and revision
  • make and support arguments -> formal and informal writing assignments
  • acquire an introductory understanding of rhetorical analysis -> formal and informal writing assignments
  • practice critical and evaluative reading -> formal and informal writing assignments
  • understand the role of conventions in different genres -> students write in more than one genre

In 201, in addition, students will

  • practice library research methods -> a formal, research-based writing assignment
  • evaluate primary and secondary sources -> a formal, research-based writing assignment
  • compose a researched essay -> a formal, research-based writing assignment

Through 101 and 201, students will

  • be introduced to the humanistic discipline of rhetoric -> formal and informal writing assignments
  • investigate questions of the humanities through rhetorical study -> formal and informal writing assignments

Course Requirement This is a workshop course in writing in which class activities are essential to your development as a writer; in-class activities will include discussions of our course readings, written and oral responses, freewriting, peer review, consultations with me and members of the class, and critiquing and editing of work by your peers. The success of the course, and your successful performance in it, depends upon your participation and contributions, both spoken and written.

Library Skills Workbook As of Fall 2011, students are required to complete the Library Skills Workbook within the first year of their arrival. Students in English 201 will be required to complete the Workbook in conjunction with their units on research writing. The Workbook is accessible through UBLearns, but students would be best advised to visit the Library’s page to look for updates and additional information before beginning ( Many composition sections meet directly with the librarian who is a direct liaison to the Composition Program, Laura Taddeo, but she would like to let it be known that she is happy to address questions and grant assistance at any point during the semester to anyone in our courses. She can be reached at 645-7970,, or room 522 of Lockwood Library.

Grading Policy UB uses a lettered grading policy, A ‑ F, including + and ‑ grades. An incomplete grade may only be given to students who have (1) fulfilled the attendance requirement for the course and (2) completed all but one of the written assignments.

  • Proposal Assignment (Reflection Essay + Proposal Essay): 10%
  • Review Blog Assignment: 10 %
  • Literary Analysis Essay: 10%
  • Argumentative Essay: 10%
  • End of Term Portfolio: 50%
  • Informal Writing: 10%

Participation in Class Participation begins with attendance. Both absences and tardiness will affect a certain portion of the informal writing grade. You are allowed three absences without penalty. A fourth absence will result in the reduction of the portion of the informal writing grade. A fifth absence will result in the reduction of your final grade by a full letter grade. A sixth absence can result in a failing grade for the course. Also, arrival in class more than 15 minutes after it begins will be considered an absence.

You are responsible for contacting a fellow class member or me if you miss a class and you are expected to be fully prepared for the next class session. I know that sickness happens, accidents happen, bad weather happens, computer problems happen, oversleeping happens, family crises happen… that’s what the three excused absences are for. Save them for these kinds of emergencies.

Your engagement grade will also reflect (1) the quality and thoughtfulness of your contributions in class, respect shown to class members, your attitude and role in small group exercises, and evidence given of completion of reading assignments. (2) Preparation for, attitude toward, and involvement in our individual conferences also count.

Please note that many in‑class writing exercises assume (and depend upon) your having read the assigned material. Review your syllabus frequently, and plan your workload accordingly. If students are not keeping up with the reading, I offer additional incentive to complete the readings in the form of pop quizzes.

Student athletes: absences due to athletic travel will be excused per university policy. Please provide me with a copy of your travel schedule in advance of missing class.

Informal Writing This portion of your grade includes class participation, online discussion, peer review, in-class writings and open-book quizzes. You are expected to make thoughtful contributions in class discussions, participate in in-class writing exercises, show respect for other class members, maintain a positive attitude and participate fully in small group exercises and workshops. Before each individual conference with me, you should prepare a list of questions, concerns, and/or issues that you would like to work on, and you should arrive ready to be actively involved in the conference. It is essential that you keep yourself organized and come to class and conferences prepared and on time. Review your syllabus frequently, and plan your workload accordingly. Repeated tardiness and unauthorized/distracting use of your phone or other devices (e.g. texting in class) will affect this portion of your grade.

Avoiding Plagiarism Plagiarism is using another person’s words and ideas as though they were your own. It is easy to avoid plagiarism: simply put the material you have taken from someone else’s writing in quotation marks and cite the person’s name and publication in your paper. Plagiarism is a serious offense which can result in expulsion from the University. A paper which contains any plagiarized material at all (a paragraph, a sentence, a long phrase) will receive an F; two such plagiarized papers will result in the student receiving an F for the course. (Note: plagiarism is not restricted to the use of published work; the passing of another student’s work as your own is also a case of plagiarism.) Please consult the University’s Academic Integrity Policy for guidance:

Course Policies

  • Accessibility Resources If you require classroom or testing accommodations due to a disability, please contact Accessibility Resources, located at 25 Capen Hall. AR can be reached by phone at (716) 645-2608 or by email at You may also visit the Accessibility Resources website for further information: Please inform me as soon as possible about your needs so that we can coordinate your accommodations.
  • Academic Dishonesty Please familiarize yourself with the University’s Academic Integrity policy, which can be found at In a writing course, we are particularly concerned with plagiarism, which the catalog describes as “Copying or receiving material from any source and submitting that material as one’s own, without acknowledging and citing the particular debts to the source (quotations, paraphrases, basic ideas), or in any other manner representing the work of another as one’s own.” The writing program’s policy states that the first instance of plagiarism will result in an “F” on that assignment. Any additional instances of plagiarism will result in failure of the course.
  • Classroom Etiquette The term “classroom disruption” means behavior that a reasonable person would view as substantially or repeatedly interfering with the conduct of a class. Examples could include talking with other classmates, doing work for another class, exploring the internet, or in extreme cases, resorting to physical threats or personal insults. I will seriously consider the use of electronic devices, such as cell phones, laptops, and iPads, in the classroom. If your electronic device use is irrelevant to and interferes with the class, I will ask you to leave the classroom. If it occurs again, you may be dismissed from the course for the remainder of the semester, subject to Student Conduct Regulations.
  • Late Assignment Policy On occasion, students are unable to meet assigned due dates. If you believe you will be unable to meet a due date, you must email me prior to the day an assignment is due. In your email you should explain your situation and identify when you will complete the assignment. Typically I will grant students a week extension on one assignment during the semester. Assignments turned in late without prior arrangement will be reduced one full letter grade. Assignments later than one week may not be accepted.
  • Course Repeat Policy Please be advised that English 101 and 201 have been designated as ‘limited enrollment’ courses. Self-registration in these courses in the Fall and Spring semesters will be limited to those students who are taking the course for the first time; repeat enrollments during Spring and Fall will not be allowed. Students who plan to repeat one of these courses for any reason should plan to register for the course during one of the summer sessions. Repeat enrollment refers to registration by a student who was previously enrolled in the course at UB, or who transferred an equivalent course to UB, and who received a letter grade of A, B, C, D or F and qualified values thereof (e.g., A-, D+) or a grade of P, S, U, I, J, N or R. The only case in which a student may self-register for a repeated course is when the student has taken an Administrative Withdrawal for an entire previous semester, so that all the grades for that semester were registered as W. Students wishing to repeat a course in the fall or spring have a window of the week before classes begin to self-register; previous to this, permission to register must be granted. All petitions regarding this policy should be directed to the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
  • Tutoring in writing UB’s Center for Excellence in Writing “supports writers across the university as they compose, construct, and share meaning. Since learning to write is a life-long endeavor, all members of the UB community are also students of their own writing processes. Committed to the idea that writing both creates and communicates knowledge, understanding, and individual reflection, the CEW provides attentive, respectful readers, offers workshops on writing and writing instruction, and conducts research to guide the future development of writing practices.” Staffed by graduate students and trained undergraduate writing consultants, the CEW is located along the Baldy Walkway.
  • Student Support Services Students interested in receiving guidance in overcoming obstacles, in addition to other services to ensure your success at UB, should check out UB’s Student Support Services Program (SSS). SSS is located in 215 Norton and at Students in any major are welcome to apply to SSS.

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