Course Syllabus
English 110 C: Course Syllabus
English Composition

“Until we can go beyond just doing something, to the point where we can also name it, see ourselves doing it, understand something about where, why, and how it works, and plan to do it again, we are at the mercy of our muse…”                                                                                                     –Shelley Reid


We Meet On:   Tuesdays and Thursdays: 12:00 – 1:50 PM

Instructor: Elisha M. Emerson

Contact information:
Phone: (252) 305-3926
Office: Marcil 27 (and TBA)
Office Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 8:00 – 9:50 AM
Or by Appointment (Please never hesitate to reach out. I am always eager to help in any way I can.)


 Course Description (from the catalog):


This course introduces students to writing as a conscious and developmental activity. Students learn to read, think, and write in response to a variety of texts, to integrate their ideas with those of others, and to treat writing as recursive process. Through this work with texts, students are exposed to a range of reading and writing techniques they can employ in other courses. Students work individually and collaboratively, participate in peer review, and learn to take more responsibility for their writing development. Placement into this course is determined by multiple measures, including high school achievement and SAT scores. 4.000 Credit hours.


Successful completion of English 110 fulfills the writing requirements in CAS Core Curriculum or the CHP Common Curriculum.


Specifics for ENG110 C :

With this class you officially enter a conversation between scholars, writers, and readers. Your individuality and voice qualify you to enter this dialogue. Your ability to notice, to engage a text, to organize and articulate your thoughts, and to interrogate those thoughts will empower that voice.=

Through Peer Review, we will engage, encourage, and challenge one another. Our classroom will serve as a living, real-time microcosm for this greater dialogue. We will read and write in earnest, and as we learn to read actively, the line between reading and writing will blur. We will often engage in group discussion. When we connect—with a text or with each other—we learn.

This class will cover the reading and writing skills necessary for a thriving student experience. We will engage all parts of the academic writing process: active reading, brainstorming, “first” drafts, research, writing, and revision. Students should leave this class confident in their ability to read and notice, to express their own thoughts, and to integrate these thoughts with outside texts. Writing can and should be a conscious and productive process that will serve every student throughout his or her college experience and beyond.


The Multimodal Element

In an effort to keep up with the ever-changing face of composition, this course will spend time navigating and composing multimodal text. Inside of our first two weeks together, we will establish a web page that will showcase weekly blog posts. We will use these posts as an experimental ground for exploring how media and design can empower communication and meaning. We will integrate video, images, links, and sound into our written texts, as we build a skillset that will allow us to complete a final multimodal essay and reflective ePortfolio.


Learning Outcomes:

  • Demonstrate the ability to approach writing as a recursive process that requires substantial revision of drafts for content, organization, and clarity (global revision), as well as editing and proofreading (local revision).
  • Be able to integrate their ideas with those of others using summary, paraphrase, quotation, analysis, and synthesis of relevant sources.
  • Employ techniques of active reading, critical reading, and informal reading response for inquiry, learning, and thinking.
  • Be able to critique their own and others’ work by emphasizing global revision early in the writing process and local revision later in the process.
  • Document their work using appropriate conventions (MLA).
  • Control sentence-level error (grammar, punctuation, spelling).

A Note on Workload:

According to the US DOE, a college credit requires student work that “reasonably approximates not less than one hour of class and two hours of out-of-class student work per week.” As a 4-credit course, ENG 110 will require four in-class hours and not less than 8 out-of-class hours of student work.


Snow Day Homework Policy:

In the event of a snow day–before you grab your snowshoes or sled–please take time to post or email your homework by class time. Again, your homework is due whether or not class is cancelled. Furthermore, I will email you by the end of class time with further instructions and/or expectations. I will never give you busy work, but if we need to move onto a new reading, for example, I will let you know before the end of class time. Snow days can add up, and this policy helps keep our class on track. I’ve found it’s better to maintain a steady pace rather than doubling your workload.


Course Materials:

  • Bullock, Richard, Brody, Michal, and Weinberg, Francine. The Little Seagull Handbook. 2nd ed. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2014. (ISBN: 978-0-393-93580-6)
  • Graff, Gerald, Birkenstein, Cathy. They Say I Say: The Moves that Matters in Academic Writing. 3rd ed. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2014. (ISBN: 978-0-393-93584-4)

(Both of these books should be available in the campus bookstore.)



I will sometimes ask you to bring a laptop into class. If you do not have a laptop, please let me know, and I will provide you with one to use while in the classroom.


Important Dates To Keep in Mind:

Entry Prompt Due: January 30

Readings: “Is Art a Waste of Time?” by Rhys Southan and your choice TED talk:
1) “Can art amend history?” by Titus Kaphar
2) “How painting can transform communities” by Haas and Hahn
3) “The Transformative Power of Classical Music” by Benjamin Zander
Paper 1 Due (“Free Draft”): February 13th
Paper 1 Due (Formal Draft): February 27th

Readings: “Necessary Edges: Arts, Empathy, and Education” by Yo-Yo Ma, “Miss Brill” by Katherine Mansfield and “The sea was never blue” by Maria Michela Sassi
Paper 2 Due (Free Draft): March 8th
Paper 2 Due (Formal Draft): March 27th

Readings: Chapter from Art as Therapy by Alain de Botton and John Armstrong
Paper 3 Due (Free Draft): April 12th
Paper 3 Due (Formal Draft): April 23rd

ePortfolio Due: May 3rd


Grading and Policies:

Grade Breakdown:

Formal Writing: 55%
Paper 1: 15%
Paper 2: 15%
Paper 3: 25%
Peer Review: 15%
Informal Homework/Attendance: 15%
Portfolios: 15%
Grade Updates and Check-ins:

As you can see, your final grade is an emergent property of several ongoing components. This makes it difficult for me to give you a realistic weekly snapshot of your grade. That said, if you feel concerned about your performance, please reach out, and I am more than happy to show you and discuss your current standing.



Attendance is mandatory. More than two absences will begin to negatively affect your grade. Students who miss more than the equivalent of two weeks of class (four absences) should not expect to pass the course.

A special note on attendance: Do not miss a peer review day. When you miss peer review, your absence counts twice: once toward your peer review grade and again toward your absences. If you must miss a peer review, please reach out to me immediately.


Late work:

Please don’t be late—to class or with your homework.

Late Homework: Class discussion and exercise often build on homework assignments. I will grade Reading Questions and other informal homework on a point system. Each assignment is worth three points. I will deduct one point from an assignment for every day the assignment is late.

That said, I get that sometimes life happens, and I’m willing to discard the two lowest homework grades. (Note: Homework grades, not Formal Paper grades.)

Late Papers: I will sadly deduct one-half letter grade for every day a formal paper is late. So, please, don’t be late. If you run into a problem, please reach out. I am willing to work with you, so long as you take the initiative!


Cell Phones:

Let’s agree to leave our cell phones alone while we are in class together. I understand this class meeting is long, and you’ll receive a five-minute break, a “half-time” of sorts, to check your phone, visit the restroom, refill your water bottle, etc.




The Good Effort Bonus:

The Good Effort Bonus comprises five extra points toward an essay. We will write three major papers throughout this term—roughly one per month—and you will receive an opportunity to earn the Good Effort Bonus for each paper.

In order to earn the Good Effort Bonus, you must:

  1. Attend every class in that paper’s section
  2. Complete every homework assignment on time, during that paper’s section
  3. Earn at least four class participation points during that paper’s section*
  4. STAY OFF YOUR CELL PHONE IN CLASS—If I catch you on your cell phone more than once during a paper’s section, you will be immediately disqualified from earning the Good Effort Bonus for that paper.

* Earning class participation points is easy! All you have to do is speak up.

Note: A paper’s section begins with its first reading assignment and ends with its final due date.


Technical Assistance:

If you need technical assistance at any time during the course you can contact the ITS Help Desk.


  • Phone Toll-free 1-877-518-4673, ext. 220 from Biddeford Campus phones, or ext. 4400 from Portland Campus phones.
  • In Person Stop into the offices in Decary 414 (Biddeford) or Ginn 212 (Portland).


Computer Labs

Biddeford Campus

  • Decary 51 – Open with Building Hours
  • Decary 336 – Open with Building Hours
  • Jack S. Ketchum Library Lab – Open with Building Hours



Decary 151

DigiSpace is a digital makerspace where students can drop in and work on digital projects. You are required to visit this space at least once during the first half of our semester. (Worth: 3 homework points.) For more information, visit the website: The hours of operation should be announced any day now.


College of Arts and Sciences Grading Schema:

A   = 93-100%
A- = 90-92.9%
B+ = 87-89.9%
B   = 83-86.9%
B- = 80-82.9%
C+ = 77-79.9%
C   = 73-76.9%
C-   = 70-72.9%
D   = 60-69.9%
F   = <60%
I     = Nearly all work completed, regular attendance
W = Withdrawal during first two-thirds of the term
WP = Withdrawal while passing during final third of the term
WF = Withdrawal while failing during final third of the term