Friday, April 04, 2008


Yakima Valley Community College-- English Composition 102:

The Valley and The World

Dan Peters, Instructor ( 574.6800.3194)

Spring 2008


yak-cheese vendor spinning his prayer wheel in Lhasa


Course Description:

The second of two college-level courses, English 102, will continue to require clear, unified, coherent, and well-developed essays of increasing complexity. While consideration of audience is an inherent part of the writing required in English 101, students in English 102 will learn to consider more explicitly the role that audience plays when they write. In seeking to gain credibility with their audience and to persuade others to their point of view, students will write extended arguments. Through reading, writing, and discussion, students will continue to examine their own assumptions and opinions and to consider the facts and reasoning of others. In their writing they will bring to bear a variety of texts to support their arguments as they learn basic research techniques and the documentation conventions of the Modern Language Association or comparable style sheets from other disciplines. Extended research, the province of English 203, will not be required.




English 101


Course Outcomes:

Upon completion of the course, the student will be able to


  • Write clear, unified, coherent, and well-developed extended essays that employ primary and secondary sources in writing
  • Demonstrate an understanding of those sources and their relevance to the arguments being advanced
  • Employ documentation conventions, as specified by the Modern Language Association or other style sheets, in support of extended arguments
  • Conduct research using a variety of sources, such as library collections, electronic databases, and/or other sources in support of extended arguments



  1. Students will have the opportunity to practice the following Abilities as they meet course objectives: Analytical Reasoning (AR) and Communication (C).


Required Texts

  • Class Matters, Bill Keller, ed.
  • Nickel and Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich
  • The World is Flat, Friedman
  • A copy of a reputable college dictionary
  • A Writers Reference, Sixth Edition, Hacker
  • Suggested: 3 ring binder, highlighter pens, blue & black ink pens, email address, thumb drive, computer at home with internet connection, Microsoft word.


Required Work

  • Two-Three complete assignment sequences. Sequences will center on Globalization and the Yakima Valley. These sequences will include various prewriting activities, a rough draft and a second draft of all three essays.
  • Preparation for class activities, often by reading outside of class.
  • Participation in class discussions and activities.
  • Attendance.
  • Quizzes over readings.
  • Various homework assignments, as needed.
  • Publish/Present your work.


End of Quarter Grade:

30% Work before Final Draft

60% Final Drafts

10% Revision and/or final reflection.


93= A 90= A- 87= B+ 83= B 80= B- 77= C+ 73=C 70=C- 67=D+ 60=D 59 and below= F

General Requirements for essays

  1. All essays/exercises are due on the date assigned.
    1. No late work accepted. Email, friends, fine.


  1. Essays will vary in length. They should be double-spaced, in a normal sized (10-12 point) font or type comparable to Times New Roman. Essays not meeting the minimum length requirement, and/or the use of a larger than normal font, or large margins, will have a reduced grade, depending on the amount of text missing. Works Cited pages, graphics, charts, etc. do not count toward the minimum page requirement.

  2. All essays must be typed or printed on a computer printer.

  3. Essays must be typed in MLA format.

  4. Keep a HARD COPY of your essay, so that you will have a back-up in case of loss, disk crash, etc.. Anyone working on computer should have a back-up copy of his/her essay on disk.

  5. Do not expect to receive the same grades on these papers that you have received in the past. My criteria for grading are very different and possibly more demanding than those with which you have worked previously. Moreover, while effort tends to improve the quality of the paper,


your grade will be based on the quality of your paper alone,

not the amount of effort you put into it.


There is no final exam.


Be Here, Now

If you miss 5 classes for any reason, you will lose one letter grade.


If you miss 8 classes you will lose two letter grades.


If you miss 10 classes, you will be withdrawn from the course.


An absence will be recorded if you arrive 15 minutes late or leave 15 minutes early.


Please, turn off the electronics, come on time and lean in.




Course Adaptation: If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, if you have emergency medical information to share, or if you need special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please talk with me as soon as possible.


































English 102 Rubric

Presents an identifiable arguable claim and sustains coherent support for that claim

(AR—Supports claims with evidence)

Unacceptable (1) 

Developing (2) 

Acceptable (3) 

Proficient (4) 

The student's essay does not have a clear focus and includes little credible or relevant evidence.




The student's essay has a focus and offers some relevant supporting evidence, but also offers additional claims, evidence from questionable sources, and/or evidence of questionable relevance.

The student's essay has an identifiable claim; the student supports his or her claim with appropriate evidence that is generally relevant to that claim.



The student's essay has a unique, arguable claim; that claim is supported using appropriate, sufficient, and relevant evidence from credible and varied sources.




Integrates relevant outside sources, documents them according to MLA conventions

(AR—Applies discipline-specific conventions)

Unacceptable (1) 

Developing (2) 

Acceptable (3) 

Proficient (4) 

The student produces an essay that does not use MLA documentation appropriately (i.e. lacks in-text documentation or lacks a reference page; paraphrases border on plagiarism, etc.).




In the essay, the student includes sources information, but does not fully integrate them; the student demonstrates some understanding MLA documentation, but struggles to consistently and correctly apply it.



The student produces an essay in which sources consistently and accurately quoted or paraphrased and are cited (in-text and on Works Cited page) according to MLA format.





The student produces an essay that complies with discipline standards: the essay is formatted correctly; sources are integrated effectively and are properly quoted/paraphrased and cited in-text; Works Cited page is complete, accurate, and correctly formatted.



Demonstrates reasonable command of standard written English

(C — Uses contextually appropriate language and conventions; AR – Methods)

Unacceptable (1) 

Developing (2) 

Acceptable (3) 

Proficient (4) 

The student's essay includes many major errors—in grammar, syntax, and diction—that distort meaning and interrupt flow of reading.





The student's research essay includes a number of distracting minor errors or some major errors that distort meaning, though overall meaning is not lost; at times, sentence structure disrupts flow, and word choices lack variety and precision.


The student's research essay contains few distracting errors in syntax, diction, grammar, or mechanics, and the errors do not detract from the meaning;





The student's essay contains few or no noticeable errors in grammar or mechanics and errors do not distract reader; sentences fluency and word choice enhance the readability and "voice."






Addresses and integrates perspectives(s) different from the writer's

(AR —
Identifies perspectives)

Unacceptable (1) 

Developing (2) 

Acceptable (3) 

Proficient (4) 

The student's essay fails to consider other viewpoints or perspectives, often relying heavily on a single source of information.


In the essay, the student acknowledges, but does not explore perspectives outside his or her own.




In the essay, the student recognizes and addresses viewpoints different than his or her own.




In the essay, the student analyzes and evaluates different viewpoints appropriate to the issue, demonstrating an understanding of the issue's multiple dimensions.


If You're Asking Me: The Whole Deal On (Almost) One Page





The Umbrella & The Arrow            

        So What?

        Everything follows    


    Each works

    Have a purpose

    Are in the right place



    Weave the points together.



    Lead us

Best point last            

    Second best point first?






From the texts, from research, from life

    Integrate                     Heavily-burdened yak struggles through deep snow








    Don't just summarize, Synthesize

    Leave an echo








    Pick the right words                            

Put them in the right order

Metaphor, analogy, suggestion
    Paint a picture

Make it sing

"Everything important is ultimately simple."

—Gerry Bowers, Professor of English, Willamette University

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