ENG 101: College Composition

Section 0772 / Spring I 2018 / LaGuardia Community College, CUNY

Instructor Info:  

Professor Bethany Holmstrom

E-mail: bholmstrom@lagcc.cuny.edu

Slack handle: @bethany

Office hours: Tuesdays & Thursdays 11:45-12:45, Library O — other hours virtually or by appointment

Meeting info:

Section 0772 / T & Th 9:15-11:30 / E-230 (lab Tuesdays), E-141 (Thursdays)

Slack team url: http://eng1010772.slack.com

Course Objectives

  1. Demonstrate understanding of writing as a process by using such strategies as pre-writing, drafting, revising, editing, and proofreading.
  2. Read and listen critically and analytically, including identifying an argument’s major assumptions and assertions and evaluating its supporting evidence.
  3. 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. Essays will vary in length between 600 and 1500 words and will demonstrate an understanding of audience, voice, and purpose.
  4. Demonstrate research skills by using appropriate technology, including gathering, evaluating, and synthesizing primary and secondary sources. Essays will include quotation, summation, paraphrase, and citation and will avoid plagiarism.
  5. Support a thesis with well-reasoned arguments, and communicate persuasively over a variety of contexts, purposes, audiences, and media.
  6. Formulate original ideas and relate them to the ideas of others by employing the conventions of ethical attribution and citation.

In Our Section

Jordan Peele’s recent movie Get Out (2017) was a critical and commercial success; it was a horror movie that also (some argue) functioned as a dark comedy, critiquing race relations in the United States. Using Get Out as a case study, you will read and intervene in an academic conversation, drawing on theory and texts to analyze the movie. For the final project in this class, you will choose a popular culture item (a show, movie, album, song, etc., in any language) that can be “read” in a more nuanced way, and make your case to your colleagues in class. You do not have to purchase any books for this class, but you are expected to bring the relevant required readings to class.


How can I get a question answered?

Direct Message the professor on Slack @bethany, or post to the #general channel if you think others also will need clarity on the topic. You can also email Bethany at bholmstrom@lagcc.cuny.edu (Slack will be quicker though).

Can I use my phone during class? What about other devices?

If you need to send a quick text, whatever: we’re all adults here. If it’s a longer exchange or a call you need to take care of, just step outside the class rather than distracting folks. Please feel free to bring any other devices to class that will help you learn.

How many papers, and what are the deadlines?

According to the English department guidelines, you will be responsible for five papers in this class including two in-class essays, each 600 words or more. You must turn in all five papers to pass this class. All papers will be posted in a Google Drive folder, and handed in as a hard copy. Check the schedule below & Slack for deadlines. For every day a paper is late, 10 points will be deducted from the final grade, after the rubric score. This deduction will still be applied after any revision/resubmissions. You get a one-time, two-day extension to use on any assignment (except for in-class papers), no questions asked.

Here’s a general overview of our papers (you’ll get detailed prompts in class, and the non-exam items are also hyperlinked below):

How will I be graded?

Let’s keep it simple, to start: 75% - Formal Writing (distributed equally among all five papers, all grades determined by rubric) 25% - Informal Writing (free writing, short in-class responses, stages in larger projects, etc.) Lack of attendance will result in deductions from your overall earned score.

What should I do if I missed a class?

Check the syllabus and consult Slack to see if any updates were posted. Then reach out to a couple of colleagues from the class to review what happened. If you still have questions, make an appointment to talk to the professor or come see them during office hours. To be clear: professors cannot “go over” everything you missed (yes, you missed things!), or re-teach the entire class. Your colleagues should be able to fill you in (and you should be able to do the same for them if they are absent).

What should I do if my “life stuff” is interfering with my “college stuff”?

Any student who is having trouble affording the basics, lacks a stable place to live, and/or is experiencing other issues that they think may affect their performance in the course, is urged to contact Student Services for support. Single Stop provides a variety of services for financial support, including legal counseling for immigration among other needs.

What should I do if I need a learning accommodation?

To receive accommodations for testing and instruction, students with disabilities must inform the Office for Students with Disabilities. In her life prior to academia, Professor Holmstrom was a special education teacher — so please also inform her of any accommodations you might require.

What should I avoid?

Don't plagiarize on a paper; if you plagiarize, you will fail the class. Don’t miss more than 15% of class (8 hours, as per the college handbook). For every hour of class you miss beyond the 8 allowed hours, you'll lose 5 points from your final average. Try hard, come to class, write, engage with the material, and be involved in the learning process — and you'll be fine.

Course Schedule

Please note that all assignments/due dates are subject to change.

March 6 (T) 


In class reading: Audre Lorde poems: “Power,” “Who Said It Was Simple”

March 8 (Th)

Reading due: Excerpt from W.E.B. Du Bois’ The Souls of Black Folk, “Of Our Spiritual Strivings;” Excerpt from Frantz Fanon’s Black Skin, White Masks (chapter 5, 89-98)

March 13 (T)

Reading due:  James Baldwin, “My Dungeon Shook: Letter to my Nephew;” Excerpt from Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me (5-12, 68-71) 

March 15 (Th)

Reading due: Audre Lorde, “The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House;” Andrea Smith, “Heteropatriarchy and the Three Pillars of White Supremacy”

March 20 (T)

Reading due: Claudia Rankine, “The Condition of Black Life is One of Mourning;” Carol Anderson, “White Rage”

March 22 (Th)

Reading due: Daniel José Older, “This Far: Notes on Love and Revolution;” Edwidge Danticat, “Message to my Daughters”

March 27 (T)

Paper 1 due

In class screening & discussion: Get Out

March 29 (Th)

In class screening & discussion: Get Out (including the alternate ending, y’all!)


NO CLASSES 3/30-4/8

April 10 (T)

Research Workshop

April 12 (Th)

Paper 2 Workshop

April 17 (T)

Reading due: Selected article for Get Out analysis; Paper 2 Workshop

April 19 (Th)

Paper 2 Workshop

April 24 (T)

Paper 2 due: paper presentations & swaps

April 26 (Th)

Reading due: Colleague’s paper 2; their selected article

Writing in class: Paper 3/Midterm

May 1 (T)

Reading due: Final Project prompt; student examples

Due for class: Choose your pop culture item for final project

May 3 (Th)

Reading due: first article for your project

May 8 (T)

Reading due: second article for your project

May 10 (Th)

Final Project Lab

Rough draft due of Final Project

May 15 (T)

Paper Conferences

May 17 (Th)

Final Project Editing Lab

May 22 (T)

Final Project due

Final Project Uploads & Swaps

May 24 (Th)

Reading due: at least one colleague’s final project

May 29 (T)

Final Exam written in class

May 31 (Th)

Final Exam revision lab (only needed for those who failed the final)

June 5 (T)

Grading Conferences: 10:30-1:30 in Library O

 ENG 101 Syllabus/ Holmstrom / Spring I 2018