English Composition—Eng101 Section 0905 

Spring 2020 

Professor: Yolande Brener 

Course Meeting Day: Saturday 

Time: 9am-12:40pm          

Building and Room: Fiterman 1004 

Professor’s Contact information:,     

Office hours and location: By Appointment 

Course prerequisite: pass the CATR and CATW exams (if applicable) 


English Composition is the standard freshman writing course. The course introduces students to academic writing. By its conclusion, students will be ready for English 201 and for the writing they will be asked to do in advanced courses across the curriculum. Students completing ENG 101 will have mastered the fundamentals of college-level reading and writing, including developing a thesis-driven response to the writing of others and following the basic conventions of citation and documentation. They will have practiced what Mike Rose calls the “habits of mind” necessary for success in college and in the larger world: summarizing, classifying, comparing, contrasting, and analyzing. Students will be introduced to basic research methods and MLA documentation and complete a research project. Students are required to take a departmental final exam that requires the composition of a 500-word thesis-driven essay utilizing two texts and your own thesis and ideas. 

Over the semester, we will write three essays, and have one final exam. We will spend ample time discussing the texts, and how best to compose our responses to them, and to what other thinkers have said about them. We will practice how to compose a compelling and original thesis-driven essay sparked by our responses.  

We all have opinions about food, and I’m excited to share with you this semester’s thought-provoking, food-related texts for the Final Exam. We will be using an excerpt from Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma, and an excerpted version of David Foster Wallace’s Consider the Lobster.  

This class uses interactive learning more than lectures, and your opinion always matters. I include a Student’s Choice section in most classes, so turn up ready to share readings, videos, memes, or ideas that relate to the themes of our class. I look forward to hearing your voices, reading your writing, and to teaching you strategies for bringing your voices into larger conversations. 


•Thesis development (the thesis is a position the student clearly takes and then supports and develops throughout the essay or paper) 

•Being aware of the audience the student is writing for and the purpose of the essay 

•Reporting, analyzing, and responding to ideas from texts 

•Finding and discussing connections between texts and responding to those connections 

•Essay structure to allow controlled development of a thesis 

•MLA in-text citation (both quotation and paraphrase)  

•MLA style for titles and papers 


These books will be available for purchase and/or rent in the College Bookstore on the 2nd floor of the main building. Students who wish to purchase books from another bookseller should be mindful of delivery dates; and that they will be required to use the books in the first weeks of the course.  

“They Say / I Say”: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing, with Readings (Fourth Edition), by Gerald Graff, Cathy Birkenstein, and Russel Durst. W. W. Norton & Company; (June 2018). ISBN: 978-0-393-63168-5 

N.B.: There are many editions of this book (including one for high school students), be careful to buy the most recently published version with readings.  

A dictionary that you bring with you to class every day. Recommended: The New American Webster Handy College Dictionary: Fourth Edition by Philip D. Morehead. London and New York: Penguin, 2006. 

Assignments and Grading 

Assignment  Formal, evaluated writing should total at least 12 typed pages or approximately 3000 words. Thus, students must write 3 formal essays, including one documented (research-based) essay, through the writing process before writing the final, in-class exam essay.  Due Date/Date Held (for in-class assignments)  Value percentage or points 
 Essay 1: Essay Description; Analysis Essay  February 8th proposal (after reading four sample texts and selected readings from TSIS in class)         
  February 15th first draft and peer review        
Final Draft         February 22nd       10%   
 Essay 2: Essay Description Synthesis Essay           
          Proposal March 14th        
       First Draft and Peer Review March 21st        
Final Draft          Final Draft March 28th      20% 
 Essay 3: Essay Description Documented Essay           
            Proposal April 4th        
           First Draft and Peer Review April 18th        
90-min in-class Practice Final Exam as second draft              April 25th      5%  
     Final Draft       Final Draft May 2nd      20% 
Class Participation  Being present is a large part of participation. Being on time, listening to what others say, and sharing your opinions and writing all show that you care about this class and your peers. Participating means that you contribute to class discussions, complete informal assignments, listen to others, and share any questions and comments that come up for you.       15%   
Departmental In-Class Final Exam (90-min exam will take place on the last day your class meets during the regular semester, not during Final Exam Week)   LAST DAY OF CLASS May 9th  30%       

Professor’s policies regarding late papers, extensions, and/or extra credit 

Please submit your papers on time, including proposals and drafts. If you know that you will be late, please let me know by email, or in person. You can ask for an extension of one week on any final paper, not on feeder assignments. Late submissions without an extension will lose 5 percentage points for each day late. Your in-class participation (being present, listening, contributing to the conversation) and informal writing count for 15% of your final grade. 

Professors Classroom Etiquette Policies  

Please be on time! Please respect your colleagues by being a part of the conversation, by listening to their comments, adding your own, and responding when you have something to say. Your input is important and will make this class the best it can be. Please limit the use of electronics to class-related content such as an online dictionary or access to class readings. Please do not eat in the classroom. Beverages are fine. 

Attendance and Lateness Policies 

Official BMCC Policy 
Participation in the academic activity of each course is a significant component of the learning process and plays a major role in determining overall student academic achievement. Academic activities may include, but are not limited to, attending class, submitting assignments, engaging in in-class or online activities, taking exams, and/or participating in group work. Each instructor has the right to establish their own class participation policy, and it is each student’s responsibility to be familiar with and follow the participation policies for each course. 

Classes begin promptly at the times indicated in the Schedule of Classes. Arrival in classes after the scheduled start time constitutes lateness. Latecomers may, at the discretion of the instructor, incur an official absence. 

Professor’s Attendance and Lateness Policy Details 

Please be punctual. This class is a group, and every part is important at every stage. Everything we read and discuss in class will help you gain the skills you need to do well in the final exam. Participation and informal work count for 15% of your final grade. Since each of our class sessions is the length of two regular classes, if you miss more than two sessions of class, you will lose one half of one full grade for each extra class you miss. Three instances of lateness equal one absence. Participation is crucial to your success, and you can only participate if you are present. 


Communication is an important part of writing. If there is anything in the class that you would like explained, or if you have any issues, please contact me by email at I will respond within 12 hours, and if I don’t, please remind me. Please let me know how you prefer to be addressed, and if you have a preferred pronoun. 

Plagiarism policy

Plagiarism is the presentation of someone else’s ideas, words, or artistic/scientific/technical work as one’s own creation. A student who copies or paraphrases published or on-line material, or another person’s research, without properly identifying the source(s) is committing plagiarism. 

Plagiarism violates the ethical and academic standards of our college. Students will be held responsible for such violations, even when unintentional. To avoid unintended plagiarism, students should consult with their instructors about when and how to document their sources. The library also has both print and digital guides designed to help students cite sources correctly. 

Plagiarism carries a range of penalties commensurate with severity of the infraction. The instructor may, for example, require the work to be redone, reduce the course grade, fail the student in the course, or refer the case to the Faculty-Student Disciplinary Committee (see Article 15.4 of the Bylaws of the Board of Trustees). Cases referred to that committee could result in suspension or expulsion from the college. 

Professor’s Plagiarism Policy Details 
In this class, we will learn more about how to incorporate others’ ideas and writing into our work in ways that help the existing body of thought. There is no reason to lift other people’s writing without giving them credit. Your ideas are as valuable as anyone else’s. If I see that you have plagiarized work directly, and not written your own work, I will give you a chance to do a rewrite, but you will lose 15% for that essay on top of any lateness penalties. I will check all work for plagiarism, so please don’t do it. 


The Learning Resource Center: To help make your college career a success, the Learning Resource Center (LRC) offers students academic support services to strengthen academic skills and meet their learning needs. The LRC is located in Room S510 and all services are available free of charge to registered BMCC students. The LRC offers academic coaching, tutoring, workshops and events (especially around final exams time), and computer labs. 

Contact:  Tutorial Program: (212) 220-1383 
Computer Labs: (212) 220-1381 or 1382 
E-Tutoring: (212) 220-1380 
Online Tutoring: (212) 220-8359 
General Info Email: 
Tutoring Email: 
Online Tutoring Email: 
Hours (while classes are in session) Monday–Thursday: 8:00 a.m.–10:00 p.m. 
Friday: 8:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m. 
Saturday: 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. 
Sunday: 10:00 a.m –5:00 p.m. 

The BMCC Writing Center at 199 Chambers Street in Room S-510 teaches registered students to think critically, write actively, revise mindfully and proofread carefully. In addition, we provide support for faculty who are incorporating writing pedagogy into their curricula. The Writing Center offers One-to-One Tutoring for Students  A sixty (60) minute, one on one tutorial with a writing professional is at the heart of our service. We teach students to develop, organize, draft, revise, and proofread their work. 

Make an appointment at 

Or you can also come to our office in room S-510 on the Main Campus or call (212) 220-1384 during our business hours to make an appointment. 

The Writing Center Offers Many Types of Assistance, including: 

Understanding Assignments Understanding the Syllabus Understanding/Analyzing Texts Brainstorming Introductions Conclusions Transitions Thesis Statements Topic Sentences Research Transfer Essays Scholarship Essays   Responding to Feedback Formatting Paragraphing Grammar Considering Audience Critical Thinking Evidence and Support Ethical Use of Sources Documentation and Proper Citation Style  Cover Letters Resumes     

The English as a Second Language (ESL) Lab at BMCC is located in Room S-510J at 199 Chambers St. in the Learning Resource Center (Room S-510). The ESL Lab is here to help students improve their English skills (grammar, reading, listening/speaking/pronunciation, and vocabulary). 

The ESL Lab offers: 

tutoring for all ESL courses at all levels (ESL 49/54, ESL 94, ESL 95) walk-in tutoring and conversation groups English writing and grammar software a lending library of books in English audio books and CDs/DVDs to assist students in improving their English speaking and listening skills ESL students may use the computers in the lab to do research for their writing projects, and print out their essays.  ESL Lab Hours 
Monday – Thursday: 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. 
Friday: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. 
Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. 
ESL Tutoring Hours 
Monday – Thursday: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm 
Friday: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. 
Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Staff 
Joshua P Belknap, ESL Lab Coordinator 
Altagracia Soldevilla, ESL Lab Evening Supervisor 
Saundra Miyashiro, ESL Lab Weekend Supervisor Contact 
Room S-510J, 199 Chambers St. 
(212) 220-1422 
Text Box


The College Computing Center provides technical support as well as access to computers and printing throughout BMCC. Visit 

The Counseling Center is a GREAT resource for students who need help navigating the demands of college life. Please take advantage of this service before you get too overwhelmed. 

(S-343; 212-220-8140) Visit 

Co-curricular Transcript – this is a place for you to record your college activities other than classes. This transcript will help you when you transfer as well as when you apply for jobs. Go here for further information: 

5) Single Stop is an office full of services to help you get through tough times during college, including emergency housing, tax, and legal services. (212) 220-8195 or visit S235 

Student learning outcomes 

Outcome  Measurement 
 Departmental Outcomes   
Organize, develop, and revise at least three thesis-driven essays (approximately 3000 words) that include substantial support and use a variety of rhetorical strategies  Three out-of-class essays including drafts and revisions. 
Summarize, paraphrase, and quote from readings  Graded essays, homework assignments, departmental final exam 
Critically analyze numerous readings  Graded essays, in-class group exercises, final exam 
Demonstrate a command of edited American English, using vocabulary and syntax appropriate to college-level work  Graded essays, departmental final exam 
Demonstrate a knowledge of the MLA conventions of citation and documentation  Graded essays, departmental final exam 
 General Education Outcomes   
Communication Skills: Students will write, read, listen, and speak critically and effectively.  Class discussion, graded essays, departmental final exam 
Information & Technology Literacy- Students will be able to collect, evaluate and interpret information and effectively use information technologies  Essay #3, the Documented Essay 
Values: Students will make informed choices based on an understanding of personal values, human diversity, multicultural awareness, and social responsibility.  Graded essays in response to course themes including moral decisions, and social and political themes  
 Pathways Outcomes   
Read and listen critically and analytically, including identifying an argument’s major assumptions and assertions and evaluating its supporting evidence  Summarizing/analyzing/responding to readings in essays and in-class discussions; graded thesis-driven essays; departmental final exam 
Write clearly and coherently in varied, academic formats (such as formal essays, research papers, and reports) using standard English and appropriate technology to critique and improve one’s own and others’ texts.  Three thesis driven essays- drafts and revisions on assigned readings and film; self and peer review assignments providing written feedback on own and others’ drafts; departmental final exam 
Demonstrate research skills using appropriate technology, including gathering, evaluating, and synthesizing primary and secondary sources.  Essay #3, the Documented Essay 
Support a thesis with well-reasoned arguments, and communicate persuasively across a variety of contexts, purposes, audiences, and media  Revised graded essays; departmental final exam 
Formulate original ideas and relate them to the ideas of others by employing the conventions of ethical attribution and citation.  Revised graded essays; departmental final exam 
 Additional Outcomes   
Use good organizational skills to read and assimilate contents of assignments and complete work efficiently and on time.  Submit three essays on time, use correct formats listed on Blackboard. Complete steps of composing essays in sequence and on time. Prepare for Final Exam by reading and making notes throughout semester.      
Display respect for other people’s opinions, show understanding of opinions other than one’s own. Show the ability to listen to and learn from others even when one doesn’t agree.      Participate in classroom discussions and peer review. Acknowledge and respond to colleague’s opinions.      
     Acknowledge different writing styles and use of language. Define specific aspects of written language and the effect they have on the way a message is received.  Peer review