Great Basin College

Fall Semester 2010

English 101, Sections E01 and E04

Composition I



Instructor: Susanne Bentley

Office Hours: M/W: 12:30 – 2:30 p.m., T: Noon - 1 p.m. and 2:30 – 3:30 p.m., and by appointment. 

Office: McMullen Hall 221

Phone: 753-2358

E-mail: Use WebCampus e-mail for all correspondence

Office e-mail:

Course Description: This course stresses the development of mature skills in critical reading and writing of expository essays.

Objectives: In this course, you will gain extensive experience in developing strategies for planning, drafting, and revising your writing. This course will help you discover your purpose for specific types of writing and develop authority in communicating your ideas and experiences to your intended audience.

Learner Outcomes


Generate ideas for writing

Evidence in prewriting, rough drafts

Choose appropriate point of view, diction

Quality of written essays, rubric evaluation

Organize essay into relevant rhetorical pattern

Quality of written essays, rubric evaluation

Apply principles of coherence, clarity, unity

Quality of connectedness of sentences and paragraphs in essays, rubric evaluation

Apply fundamentals of revision

Comparison of early drafts with final draft

Apply standard writing conventions, basic MLA format and documentation of sources

Final drafts, rubric evaluation, error analysis assignments

Write clear, well-focused thesis statements

Instructor observations in class workshops, evidence in written essays, rubric evaluation 

Develop reading skills to analyze and evaluate both the explicit and implicit messages in texts

Quality of response papers, evidence in class discussions

Develop verbal communications skills

Evidence in class discussions and project presentations

Required Texts and Materials that must be obtained by the end of the first week of class:

  1. WebCampus login
  2. The Longman Writer: Rhetoric, Reader, Research Guide, and Handbook, 7th edition.
  3. The Everyday Writer, 4th edition with access to CompClass. ISBN:9780312607760
  4. A subscription to CompClass.
  5. A college dictionary (or use the one on CompClass)
  6. A notebook/folder for taking notes in class and keeping a portfolio of all of your work.
  7. A storage device for in-class and out-of-class computer work.

Method of Instruction:  This class will take place in a variety of ways including lecture, class discussions, cooperative group activities, student-led discussions and presentations, tutor feedback, instructor feedback, and student question/answer. Assignments are submitted via WebCampus and through the companion Website to our text called CompClass.

In-Class Activities: Writing is a process of discovery, and our in-class activities are an essential part of this discovery. Much of English 101 revolves around student-centered discussion. Therefore, it is essential that you come to class prepared to exchange ideas and opinions about the assigned readings. On most readings, there will also be either a short-answer test or a writing task at the beginning of class on the first day we discuss each work we read. The purpose of this process is to ensure that you have read the material and are prepared to discuss it when you come to class. Quizzes cannot be made up.

As a student in this class, you should be prepared to spend 2 ½ hours a week in class as well as 6 hours a week outside of class reading and preparing assignments. It is essential that you commit yourself to this degree of involvement to be successful in this course. The class transfers to major universities, such as the University of Nevada, so you should be prepared for a workload and a level of intellectual engagement comparable to these systems. The specific assignments and requirements for the class are explained in detail below.

WebCampus : This is  a web-enhanced course. We will meet in class regularly, but your assignments will be due through the WebCampus platform. You received a WebCampus username and password in the mail before class started; this will give you access to the course.


To Check Your Grades: Go to “Assignments” and click on “Graded.” You will see your grade for each assignment that has been graded. On some assignments, I will give you feedback directly on your paper. To see my comments, click on the attachment entitled “your name graded.doc.” Essays and major assignments also have a grading form, which you will be able to access through the graded assignments tab.

Course Policies and Expectations


Assignment due dates:  The GBC English Department enforces a “no late papers” policy.  Please plan ahead for computer problems or server disruptions.


Each assignment has a due date. If you experience an emergency and miss the due date, you may submit your assignment within 24 hours of the due date for a twenty percent reduction in credit. The assignment will be marked as “late.” No more than two late assignments will be accepted during the semester. After the 24 hour period, you cannot submit your assignment. No assignments will be accepted through e-mail.

Missed peer reviews cannot be made up.


Weekends/Holidays:  Usually, I will not be checking the website on weekends or holidays, so please plan accordingly.


Assignment Submission Guidelines:  All work must be typed and be formatted according to MLA guidelines. Your work must be saved as a Microsoft Word document. This means the file extension will say either “.doc” or .docx.”  If you do not have Microsoft Word, you need to save your document as a Rich Text Format document (rtf) in order for me to read it. It is your responsibility to understand this. Microsoft Works is not the same as Microsoft Word.  If I can’t open your document, you will not receive a grade for the assignment. Ask the Help Desk for assistance if you do not understand how to save your work in the correct format.


Submitting Assignments: All assignments you turn in must be turned in to the Assignment Drop Box on WebCampus.  You have until 11:55 p.m. on the due date to submit the assignment. Plan on turning in your assignments at least a day before they are due to avoid unforeseen circumstances, such as your browser not working or a power outage.



After 11:55 p.m., the Assignment Drop Box will allow you to submit a late submission within 24 hours of the due date. This assignment will be marked “LATE.”  Twenty percent of the grade is reduced for a late assignment. No more than two late assignments will be accepted during the semester. Only assignments submitted through the correct assignment drop box will be accepted. Do not send any assignments to me through e-mail.


Computer Crashes/Lost Documents/”The dog ate my disk,” etc.: Always save your work to an external storage device. Computers may crash, and you could lose weeks’ of hard work. If this happens, your assignments will still be counted as late, so be sure to save everything to an external device.


Format for Papers: All essays must be submitted in proper MLA format. Read the chapters in your texts on MLA Documentation carefully to see how to do this, and see The Everyday Writer for an example of a correctly formatted paper. Use 12 pt. standard font, such as Times Roman or Ariel, font on all assignments. Read the link on the homepage under “Lecture Notes” on “Format for English Papers” for more information.


It is expected that you will check your assignments for proper grammar, sentence structure, syntax, and punctuation. Use The Everyday Writer to check these before you submit an assignment. Please present work that is neat, carefully proofread, and correctly formatted using 2009 MLA formatting. Practice proper paragraph structure -- indention, a topic sentence that presents the paragraph’s main idea, sentences in the paragraph body that develop the topic sentence with concrete details, data, facts, and examples, and a concluding sentence.


NOTE:  Failure to follow these format guidelines may result in your paper being returned without an evaluation.


Your assignments are outlined in detail on Web Campus.

Go to the homepage and click on the appropriate learning module for assignments.


Professionalism in Writing: This course is a professional setting, and every message you send in such a setting needs to be clear, concise, and checked for spelling and grammar. An infrequent mistake is understandable, but if your email messages and postings are continually difficult to read, this will affect your final grade. Your writing reflects the quality of your thinking. Every message you send has the potential to elicit a reaction from your reader. Give careful consideration to how you want your readers to perceive you. When readers in a professional setting see documents with improper syntax, poor grammar, and misspellings, this affects how seriously readers will take the writer.

Do not assume that because email and discussion postings can be written quickly that they can be sloppy. Use correct grammar, capitalization, and punctuation for all of your e-mail correspondence. Use the HTML editor on all of your email messages and check them for spelling using the “ABC” icon before you send your message.

Point of View: In academic writing, use the third-person point of view (he, she, it, or they). If you are writing about a personal experience, it is permissible to use first-person point of view (I), but use this sparingly and only when it adds to your paper. Do not use second-person point of view (you) in academic writing. Also, avoid using contractions in academic papers.

Peer Review: Peer review, or peer evaluation, is an important part of your growth as a writer. You will exchange papers with peer reviewers in order to get constructive feedback on your work. On peer review days, you must have a completed draft ready to exchange. You will only receive credit for peer review assignments if you have a complete draft for exchange and you review at least two students’ papers. If you must miss a workshop due to an illness or emergency, you must make an additional appointment with a tutor at the Academic Success Center to have your paper reviewed. Attach a note from the tutor with your final paper.


Comp Class:



and scroll down until you find The Everyday Writer, 4th edition, by Andrea Lunsford. See the page at the end of the syllabus for detailed information about registering for CompClass. There is also a link to Comp Class on the course homepage.

Attendance and Late Work: Class participation is an essential part of English 101, so attendance and keeping current with the assignments is required.

You will be given three free “no questions asked absences.” If you miss more than 3 classes, you may be dropped from the class.

Attending part of a class session is considered an absence.

You must receive a passing grade on every essay assignment and complete all assignments and required tutor reviews in order to pass this course.

Conferences: During the semester, we may have conferences to discuss the development of your essays. Missing a scheduled conference counts as an absence.

Withdraws:  If you must withdraw from the course for any reason, it is your responsibility to do so by the twelfth week of class. If you fail to withdraw, your instructor will issue an “F” as your final grade.

Revisions: You may revise an essay once to improve a grade, but the revision must be substantial and well thought out. Revisions must be turned in within a week from the time I return your essays to you with the original draft attached. I will not accept revisions that do not include the original version and the original grading sheet as an attachment. The final grade is an average of the two essays. This policy applies to Essays 1 through 3 only.

Writer's Journal:  You will keep an online writing journal with assignments each week in WebCampus.  Depending on the assignment, your notebook will contain pre-reading, prewriting, or post-reading responses to the readings (not summaries of the readings). Refer to pp. 15-18 of your text for more information.


Academic dishonesty is defined as an act of deception in which a student claims credit for the work or effort of another person or uses unauthorized materials or fabricated information in any academic work. Academic dishonesty is a violation of the GBC Student Code of Conduct and will not be tolerated in this class. Any evidence of academic dishonesty/plagiarism in this course will result in a failing grade on the assignment and/or a failing grade for the course. You should be aware that at other schools you will risk failing courses and potential suspension/expulsion for academic dishonesty, which is considered a very serious offense. If you are ever uncertain about your use of another person's work (ideas, language, data, etc.), you must come to see me about it.

Acts of academic dishonesty include, but are not limited to, the following:

CHEATING--unauthorized copying or collaborating on a test or assignment, or the use or attempted use of unauthorized materials;

TAMPERING--altering or interfering with evaluation instruments and documents;

FABRICATION--falsifying experimental data or results, inventing research or laboratory data or results for work not done, or falsely claiming sources not used;

PLAGIARISM--representing someone else's words, ideas, artistry, or data as one's own, including copying another person's work (including published and unpublished material, and material from the Internet) without appropriate referencing, presenting someone else's opinions and theories as one's own, or working jointly on a project, then submitting it as one's own;

ASSISTING--assisting another student in an act of academic dishonesty, such as taking a test or doing an assignment for someone else, changing someone's grades or academic records, or inappropriately distributing exams to other students.

In this era of the Internet, it is always tempting to use others' ideas and words from the vast resources on the available on-line. Do not give in to this temptation unless you are willing to cite your sources completely. Remember, if you found something on the Internet, chances are I can find it too.

Safe Assign:  You will submit some assignments to a plagiarism prevention Website called Safe Assign. You will have the opportunity to revise your paper to correct problems with citations. If any portion of a paper or assignment is found to be plagiarized, it will result in failure of the course. 


Tutor Visits:

You are required to complete a minimum of four visits with a tutor in the GBC Academic Success Center. You will need to make an appointment several days in advance, and your tutor session must be completed by the deadline.


The ASC # is: 753-2149

Room 113 and 114 of the EIT building.



Student Conduct Policy


Students are expected to follow the Student Conduct Policy for students in the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) outlined in the Great Basin College Catalog. Students will specifically be held accountable for behaving in a civil and respectful manner toward other students and the professor in their classroom and online communications such as e-mail messages, discussion postings, and written assignments.


The college catalog states, “Messages, attitudes, or any other form of communication deemed to be outside the bounds of common decency/civility as judged by common standards of classroom behavior (determined, as they would be in a regular classroom, by the instructor) will not be tolerated” (29).


Pay particular attention to those last four words. Any student who behaves rudely to another student or to me will be dropped immediately. During the first week of class, students will be required to sign an acknowledgement that they have read the Academic Integrity Policy and Student Conduct Policy and understand that they will be dropped from the class for violating it.





Confidentiality:  The English Department respects the policy that your grades are your and your instructor’s business only.  However, during the semester, student writing will be shared with peers and/or Writing Center tutors for revision purposes and may be publicly displayed.  This is an integral part of the college writing program.  If you have comments concerning this policy, please make them known to me during the first week of the course.

Grading Policy

The final grade for the course is based on completion of all assignments. If you do not complete all writing requirements, you will not pass the class! No exceptions. No late work will be accepted.

The first two essays may be revised. Your final grade for the paper will be an average of the original and the revised grades.

Your final grade is based on the following:

Assignment                                      Point value

Syllabus Quiz                              25 points

Writing Journal (11)                      15 points each

Essays (3)                                  100 points each

Final Argument Essay                    150 points

Tutor Visits (4)                            30 points each

Error Analysis Assignments (2)       30 points each        

Peer Workshops (4)                     30 points each

Working Bibliography                    25 points

Quizzes and class activities            15 points each

CompClass assignments (12)                   10 percent of the final grade

Pluses and minuses may be figured into the final grade.

In order to receive full credit, an assignment must:

1.    be turned in on time and follow proper format

2.    be complete and well thought out

3.    reflect academic, college-level work/writing

4.    incorporate critical thinking

5.    be typed, double-spaced, with standard 12-point font (such as Palatino or Times Roman) and 1-in margins

See “Grading Criteria for English 101 Papers” on the course Website for more detailed information.


Assignments (see detailed calendar for due dates):

1.    Four formal written essays:

You will be required to write four formal critical essays for this class. Each essay has a minimum word requirement and must follow 2009 MLA guidelines for format and documentation. Essays need to be double-spaced, with 12-point type and 1-inch margins all around. We will work together in active and interactive class exercises to generate topics and theses for your papers. We will also be sharing parts of these papers with our peers for critique and assistance.

2.    Prewriting, proofreading, and critiquing exercises:

For each of the three essays, you will be asked to perform two or three prewriting and post-writing exercises, such as the development of thesis statements, introductory paragraphs, body paragraphs, and first drafts as well as proofreading and critiquing exercises. You must participate in all peer workshops by bringing a completed paper and critiquing two students’ papers.

Writer's Journal:  You will keep an online journal with writing assignments each week in WebCampus. Depending on the assignment, your notebook will contain pre-reading, prewriting, or post-reading responses to the readings (not summaries of the readings). Refer to pp. 15-18 of your text for more information.

3.    In-class activities and quizzes:

I will ask you several times in the course of the term to do a writing exercise, group activity, or answer specific questions in response to the reading for the day. You will be asked to identify and comment on certain aspects of the material. These activities and quizzes are unannounced, so all reading is subject to examination. None of these activities can be made up if you miss a class.

4.    Attendance and Participation:

You are expected to attend every class, and you will be held responsible for participating in all class discussions.

Discussion of the readings is a major part of our class, and in order to discuss thoughtfully, you will absolutely need to have done the reading. Additionally, because we will be doing frequent, in-class writing assignments and reviewing our writing together in class, you must be present to participate.

Accommodations:  GBC supports providing equal access for students with disabilities.  An advisor is available to discuss appropriate accommodations with students.  Please contact the Student Services Office in Elko at 753-2271 at your earliest convenience to request timely and appropriate accommodations.


This is your class.  If you have any concerns, academic problems, or need special assistance, please discuss all matters with me as soon as you can. If you have further concerns, see the current GBC Catalog.

How to Succeed in this Class:




Accessing Your CompClass Course

for  The Everyday Writer, Fourth Edition

Bedford/St. Martin’s



You can access CompClass in one of two ways:


OPTION 1. In an access code card that you get packaged with The Everyday Writer purchased from the GBC Bookstore.

OPTION 2. If you have a used book, you will need to purchase an access code directly from Bedford/St. Martin's.



In either case, you'll either register your code or purchase access by going to the

following URL:




OPTION 1. Register a code printed on an access card purchased with your textbook.


Make sure to save and keep the card. It's part of a package, so don't throw it out by mistake. The card will have directions you need to register the code contained in it. When you go to the URL above, choose "Students Register Your Code," scroll down until you find CompClass for The Everyday Writer 4e, click “Register Your Code,” and follow the simple directions.


OPTION 2: Purchase your access directly from Bedford/St. Martin's.


1.   Visit and click on “STUDENTS PURCHASE ACCESS TODAY”.

2.   Scroll down until you find CompClass for The Everyday Writer 4e. Then click “Purchase Access”.

3.    Select the state or province where your institution is located from the drop-down menu. Then, select your institution and then your course (from the drop down menus)**. 

4.    Complete the registration form, including your first and last name, and email address.  Create a username and password for yourself that you easily remember for use throughout the term.

5.    Enter your payment information including name as it appears on the credit card, card number, expiration date, and billing address.  Click  continue and confirm all account information.

6.    Once you have confirmed payment and placed your order, you will see a screen that says “Thank You,”  and confirms your name, email address, username, and password.  You will also receive an email confirming your account. To log in to CompClass, return to You will also find a link to the login on our Web Campus homepage.





Need help? Contact technical support at 1-800-936-6899 or email



If you are still having trouble registering, follow this link to view a video about registration for CompClass: