COMP111 English Composition II

Department of Language & Literature: Composition

I. Course Number and Title
COMP111 English Composition II
II. Number of Credits
3 credits
III. Minimum Number of Instructional Minutes Per Semester
2250 minutes
IV. Prerequisites
COMP110 (C or better) or Permission of the Department of Language and Literature
V. Other Pertinent Information
The Department of Language and Literature has determined that all composition courses will require a minimum of 5000 words in formal writing assignments. Although revision is strongly encouraged, when revision of a graded paper is permitted to allow the student to attain a higher grade, such revision, whether merely editing or major rewriting, cannot become the sole basis for the grade received in the course.
VI. Catalog Course Description
In this continuation of English Composition I, students write several analytical essays assigned in conjunction with classroom study of at least three genres of literature, including drama, poetry, and short fiction. After sequenced instruction in research techniques, students write an argumentative and scholarly research paper.
VII. Required Course Content and Direction
  1. Learning Goals:

    1. Reading: Students must

      1. read and evaluate critically selections from at least three genres, including drama, poetry, and short fiction;
      2. identify the literary elements that distinguish each genre.

    2. Writing: In all writing for this course, students must

      1. interpret, analyze, and evaluate written texts;
      2. articulate and develop a unified, restricted, and precise thesis;
      3. produce writing that is unified, coherent, detailed, and grammatically, syntactically, and mechanically correct.

    3. Academic Integrity: Students must

      1. demonstrate their understanding of plagiarism as a major ethical concern;
      2. identify the effects of plagiarism on the person and the community.

    Learning goals are determined by the course's major concerns: the students' continued development and refinement of writing skills, sequenced instruction in bibliographic and composition skills necessary to write a properly-documented academic research essay, and an introduction to literature and literary analysis. These components unify the course in their intent to encourage the growth of students' critical thinking.




    Upon completion of College Writing Level II, students will

    1. develop and apply skills learned in College Writing Level I;
    2. produce well-written and grammatically correct papers in a variety of academic and/or professional formats, applying appropriate organization and including necessary development and support;
    3. use knowledge and skills to become open-minded, curious learners and careful, critical readers who can evaluate information, form connections within a source and between sources, discern implicit warrants within sources, and forge educated opinions based on the compilation and analysis of such information;
    4. develop sensitivity to and respect for cultural norms and opinions other than their own;
    5. become independent researchers and autonomous learners who can recognize the objectives of a task and understand the steps necessary to complete that task;
    6. become knowledgeable about research involving both print and electronic sources;
    7. understand plagiarism and know how to avoid it, including the use of formal documentation.


    Upon completion of College Writing Level II, students will be able to

    1. formulate an argumentative thesis and support it drawing on primary and secondary sources (1, 2, 3, 4);
    2. organize support and development consistent with the requirements of a particular assignment (1, 2, 3);
    3. write compositions that demonstrate unity, coherence, and development; varied and correct sentence structure and appropriate diction; and correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar (1, 2);
    4. analyze a primary source effectively (3, 4);
    5. evaluate the relevance and reliability of secondary sources (3, 4, 5, 6);
    6. distinguish between referential and emotive language and between scholarly and unsupported sources (3, 5);
    7. outline an extended research project (5);
    8. write an extended research paper utilizing print and electronic sources in which they summarize, paraphrase, interpret, and synthesize primary and secondary sources; infer connections between sources; and recognize and avoid plagiarism through the use of a specified documentation format (3, 5, 6, 7).


    The students learn and practice the skills of interpretation, application, analysis, synthesis, evaluation, reasoning, and/or problem solving.


    The students will be able to

    1. understand and express the meaning and significance of a variety of communications (Interpretation).
    2. use methods, concepts and theories in new situations (Application Skills).
    3. identify the explicit and implied features of a communication, especially in arguments that put forth a conclusion. (Analysis skills).
    4. integrate and/or combine knowledge from multiple sources to create new knowledge. (Synthesis).
    5. assess the credibility of a communication and the strength of claims and arguments. (Evaluation Skills).
    6. reason from what they know to form new knowledge, draw conclusions, solve problems, explain, decide, and/or predict. (Inductive and/or Deductive Reasoning Skills).
    7. communicate and justify clearly the results of their reasoning. (Presenting Arguments Skills).


    The students learn and practice the skills of identifying the need for information, and gathering, evaluating, and documenting that information in their program areas.


    The students will be able to

    1. determine the nature and extent of the information needed.
    2. determine the technologies and information formats appropriate for the information identified.
    3. access needed information effectively and efficiently.
    4. evaluate information and its sources critically and incorporate selected information into their knowledge base and value system.
    5. develop an understanding of many of the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information and access and use information legally and ethically.


    The students develop an understanding of the need for each individual to promote the public good, an awareness of environmental issues, or a recognition that their actions carry responsibilities and consequences.


    Students will be able to

    1. demonstrate an understanding of major ethical concerns;
    2. identify the effects of a person's actions on the community.
  2. Planned Sequence of Topics and/or Learning Activities:

    Reading Assignments: Over the course of the semester, students will read a balanced selection from each of the required genres: drama, poetry, short fiction.

    Writing Assignments:

    Literary Analyses: Students will write a minimum of 2500 words in several analytical essays based on class readings. At least one of these essays shall be written in class. In these essays, students will analyze literature and demonstrate knowledge of each particular genre.

    Research Essay: In addition to the required literary analyses, students will write a 2500-word (approximately ten typed pages) research paper that demonstrates library research and the use of proper MLA documentation. The topic should be challenging enough to produce worthwhile investigation and must show evidence of the student's synthesis of source material. Bibliography, Works Cited, note cards, outline and/or early draft(s) must be submitted in an appropriately-paced sequence over the course of the semester for evaluation prior to collecting the final draft of the research paper. The research paper should show the student's ability to evaluate, explain, analyze, and synthesize sources in defense of an argumentative thesis statement.

    Research Activities

    In the research paper, students must do the following:

    1. Conduct library research and demonstrate proficiency in the use of research technology, including the on-line catalog, CD Rom, world-wide web, and other appropriate electronic resources;
    2. Demonstrate proficiency in using standardized indices, reference works, books, periodicals, various electronic source material, and other appropriate resources;
    3. Illustrate the utilization of the appurtenances of research: précis or proposal, bibliography cards, note cards, outlines, drafts, and the Works Cited page;
    4. Demonstrate skill in using the MLA style of documentation along with an awareness of other documentation styles;
    5. Demonstrate an understanding of plagiarism as a major ethical concern;
    6. Identify the consequences of plagiarizing, pursuant to the BCCC College Catalog Plagiarism Policy, and the effects of this action on the student and the community.

    Research papers cannot be

    1. personal responses to a topic without outside sources;
    2. reports on a topic, with summaries and sources, but without an argumentative thesis and evaluation;
    3. primary research in social sciences based on interviews and questionnaires;
    4. primary (including laboratory) research and results in the natural sciences;
    5. papers previously submitted in their entirety for any other class.

  3. Assessment Methods for Core Learning Goals:

    Students will be assessed on the following:

    1. A minimum of 2500 words of literary analysis in several multi-paragraph essays, at least one of which shall be written in class. (See attached "Grading Standards for COMP111")

    2. A scholarly research paper of approximately 2500 words, with an argumentative thesis and proper documentation. The research paper must constitute between 45-50% of the final grade. (See attached "Grading Standards for COMP111"). (College Level Writing II; Critical Thinking and Problem Solving; Information Literacy)

    3. Other evaluative tools: quizzes, examinations, class participation, and other projects as specified in individual instructor\\\\\\\'s class format. These evaluative tools shall contribute a total of no more than 10% of the final grade for the course.

    4. Their understanding of plagiarism as a major ethical concern and their ability to identify plagiarism and its effects on the student and the community through specific readings, writing assignments, and/or quizzes. (Responsible Citizenship)
  4. Reference, Resource, or Learning Materials to be used by Students:

    Required: A literature anthology and a handbook that includes MLA research paper instruction. See individual Course Formats. Students should be advised of the availability of the Tutoring Center.
VIII. Teaching Methods Employed
Teaching methods may include but are not limited to: lecture, discussion, group work, individual/group conferences, and class work with instructor in the library that is keyed to research projects.

Faculty will evaluate all required writing with commentary, written and/or discussed in conference; faculty will return each paper before the next paper is submitted, with reasonable flexibility in evening and summer classes.

Department of Language and Literature
Grading Standards for COMP111: English Composition II

  1. Criteria for Grading Compositions

    1. Content
      1. Support for generalization
      2. Factual accuracy
      3. Originality of thought
      4. Depth and quality of thought

    2. Unity and Organization
      1. Formulation and limitation of topic or thesis (A deductive structure with the thesis at the beginning is typical)
      2. Unity of idea, relevancy of material
      3. Development of topic or thesis
      4. Clear, self evident overall structure
      5. Coherent paragraphing

    3. Expression and Usage
      1. Appropriate, precise diction
      2. Logical and mature development of sentences

    4. Grammar and Mechanics
      1. Accepted standards of correctness in grammar
      2. Correct spelling, punctuation, capitalization, hyphenation, and use of abbreviations, numbers, underlining, and italics
      3. Adherence to the individual instructor's specifications such as use of pen or computer, margins, spacing between lines, and cover page

    None of these four areas will be given point values. To receive a passing grade, the paper must be judged adequate by the instructor in all four of these areas at the same time; in other words, good content does not compensate for poor grammar and mechanics, nor do good grammar and mechanics compensate for poor content. The paper receives a grade based on effective, competent and mature communication. In addition, the individual instructor may evolve more detailed criteria for any given area listed above.

  2. The grades used to describe the level of achievement of all four criteria are listed below:

    1. Outstanding
    2. Definitely above average
    3. Average
    4. Below Average
    5. Unsatisfactory

  3. Application of grading criteria and devices

    The following guideline, approved by the Department of Language and Literature, might well serve as a guide for the student in the writing of themes:

    1. For a theme that stands out because the writer has with intelligence and some degree of originality thought through what he or she wants to say. It develops a point logically and in clear, well-constructed paragraphs that follow one another with an ease of transition. Its generalizations are supported by effective use of specific details and examples. It is characterized by an apt and incisive use of words. It is almost entirely free of mechanical and grammatical errors.

    2. For a theme that develops an interesting point with good organization and expression. It has most of the virtues of an A theme but is marked more by competence than by originality.

    3. For a theme with a central idea, though its development tends to be vague and generalized. The C theme is often not seriously marred by errors in expression; in fact, it may be quite correctly expressed but trite. It may, on the other hand, be organized and fairly interesting but clumsily expressed.

    4. For a theme with a flimsy thesis and poor organization. Its paragraphs may be sketchy parts of a list or else be long and inchoate. It will most likely have some serious errors in expression.

    5. For a theme with no discernable thesis. It is garbled in thought and expression. It makes several serious errors in grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Sometimes an F theme is extremely deficient in only one respect; it is unusually trite, for example, or weak in grammar or in diction or in substance. A theme may also receive an F if it fails to follow the assignment.

This guide is only suggestive; a student's theme will frequently have to receive a grade based on the weighing of its virtues and defects.

Originally prepared by the English Department at Temple University and adapted by the faculty of the Department of Language and Literature.

Review/Approval Date - 4/98; Core Goals/Objectives added 9/05