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Dr. Mark Jordan ~ ENGL 1302: Composition & Literature (Composition Two)

Course Syllabus

NOTE: This syllabus is subject to change during the semester . Please check the online version of this syllabus on a regular basis for any updates.



English & Foreign Languages

Course Title


Composition II

Section Name


ENGL 1302.WB9

Start Date



End Date








Three credit hours

Instructor Information:

Name, Office : Dr. Mark W. Jordan, Wilkerson Hall #220

OC Email : mjordan@odessa.edu

OC Phone # : 432-335-6549


Course Description:

ENGL 1302 focuses on continuing to develop and apply the essential principles and techniques needed to produce college-level writing. The course emphasizes applying critical thinking in the reading and analysis of selected works from the principle genres of literature (fiction, poetry, and drama) and articulating those responses to literature in clear, organized, and grammatically correct prose. In ENGL 1302, students will use research and documentation skills in their writing. Requirements include analytical papers on literature, a research paper, assigned readings, a final exam, and other assignments as determined by the instructor. (ICOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) Prerequisite: ENGL 1301.

Course Objectives (Learning Outcomes):

Upon successful completion of this course, students will

  • Demonstrate knowledge of individual and collaborative research processes;
  • Read, analyze, and recognize characteristics of fiction, poetry, and drama and identify essential details and facts in those works;
  • Analyze, interpret, and evaluate a variety of texts for the ethical and logical uses of evidence;
  • Demonstrate the ability to read assigned texts closely, develop interpretational analyses of these texts, and clearly articulate the findings of these critical interpretational analyses;
  • Write analytical papers on one or more literary works in a given genre or genres;
  • Summarize the essential elements of each genre and each literary selection in standard literary terminology;
  • Develop ideas and synthesize primary and secondary sources within focused academic arguments, including one or more research-based essays;
  • Apply the conventions of style manuals for specific academic disciplines (e.g., APA, CMS, MLA, etc.) including the proper use of quotations, citations, and a list of works cited;
  • Write in a style that clearly communicates meaning, builds credibility, and inspires belief or action;
  • Demonstrate continuing mastery of Edited American English when articulating ideas in well-organized, lucid prose that exhibits the application of the aforementioned skills.

Expectations for Engagement Ė Online Learning:

To help make the web-based learning experience fulfilling and rewarding, the following Expectations for Engagement provide the parameters for reasonable engagement between students and instructors for the online learning environment. Students and instructors are welcome to exceed these requirements.

Reasonable Expectations of Engagement for Instructors

  1. As an instructor, I understand the importance of clear, timely communication with my students. In order to maintain sufficient communication, I will
    • Provide my contact information at the beginning of the syllabus;
    • Respond to all messages within 24 hours if received Monday through Thursday and within 48 hours if received Friday through Sunday; and,
    • Notify students of any extended times that I will be unavailable and provide them with alternative contact information (for me or for my supervisor) in case of emergencies during the time Iím unavailable.
  2. As an instructor, I understand that my students will work to the best of their abilities to fulfill the course requirements. In order to help them in this area, I will
    • Provide clear information about grading policies and assignment requirements in the course syllabus, and
    • Communicate any changes to assignments and/or to the course calendar to students as quickly as possible.
  3. As an instructor, I understand that I need to provide regular, timely feedback to students about their performance in the course. To keep students informed about their progress, I will
    • Post grades for discussion postings within one week of the discussion thread closing.
    • Provide grades for major assignments within 2 weeks of the due date or at least 3 days before the next major assignment is due, whichever comes first.

Reasonable Expectations of Engagement for Students

  1. As a student, I understand that I am responsible for keeping up with the course. To help with this, I will
    • Line up alternative computer and internet access in case my primary computer crashes or my internet service is unavailable;
    • Recognize that the college provides free wi-fi and computer labs during regular campus hours to help me with accessing my course; and,
    • Understand that my instructor does not have to accept my technical issues as a legitimate reason for late or missing work if my equipment or service is unreliable.
  2. As a student, I understand that it is my responsibility to communicate quickly with the instructor any issue or emergency that will impact my involvement with or performance in the class. This includes, but is not limited to
    • Getting "kicked off" of the system during tests or quizzes;
    • Having trouble submitting assignments; and
    • Dealing with a traumatic personal event.
  3. As a student, I understand that it is my responsibility to understand course material and requirements and to keep up with the course calendar. While my instructor is available for help and clarification, I will
    • Seek out help from my instructor and/or from tutors;
    • Ask questions if I donít understand; and,
      • Access my course several times during the week to keep up with assignments and announcements.

Instructorís Course Policies:

1.0     This course is not self-paced.  Although as with any web course, students have the freedom to work the course when their own schedule best allows, the boundaries to this freedom are the due dates for various minor assignments, tests, and essays.

2.0      Work submitted more than one day late for any reason may be penalized ten points. Any exceptions are entirely at my discretion. Normally, no extension will be granted if the request is made after the assignment deadline has already passed, but must be requested no later than the day the assignment is due.

3.0      Major work (excluding the final exam) submitted over one week past the due date will normally receive no higher than an F (or lower, if incomplete). Daily work normally earns a zero after one week past the due date. No work is taken after semesterís end. Any exceptions in any case are at my sole discretion.

4.0      All assignments must be submitted in the required file format (normally Rich Text) via Blackboard. Any exceptions are at my sole discretion.

5.0      Any student missing the final exam normally receives a zero for the final exam grade. Depending on the studentís grade average, this will often result in failure of the entire course.

6.0      Plagiarism in any form is not allowed.  Please see the Plagiarism link, which is from my 1302 website.  The penalty for flagrant, intentional plagiarism is an F for the course.  If I suspect a student of plagiarizing, if necessary I will insist that the student meet with me personally and defend his or her claim of authorship of the paper in question.  In the case of a student taking the course at a significant distance from Odessa College, I will require that student to arrange a telephone meeting, proctored by some authority who can ensure the student is actually the individual enrolled in the course.

Required Readings/Materials :

1.0 You must purchase the following required readings/materials:  Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing (Compact Edition).  7th edition.  Ed. Kennedy & Gioia.  2013.

2.0 You are encouraged to buy the following optional books/materials:  A standard dictionary.

3.0 Every student must have daily extended access to a computer with Internet connection, web browser, email capability, file attaching capability, and word processing capability.

Course Requirements (Lectures, Assignments and Assessments):

1.0       Careful reading of the selected literature, with the understanding that while this receives no direct credit, it is the foundation for all graded assignments;

2.0       Class participation (Discussion Boards) will count 5% of your course grade. This will be judged on several factors chosen to reflect not only quantity of participation but quality as well. Criteria may include such factors as number of days participating, number of messages sent, amount of pertinent questions asked, amount of topics or persuasive points introduced in discussion, and general imaginativeness and focus demonstrated.  Note:  this element  may not apply during summer term classes.

3.0      Various short daily worksheets on the readings and other daily assignments (20 % of the course grade; or 25% in short terms where Discussion Boards are not used).  Most daily grades will be worksheets on the readings.  These, together with the Discussion Boards (a vehicle for class participation), substitute for the crucial element of class discussion of the readings;

4.0      Two tests, one over fiction, one over drama (15 % each). The Fiction Test consists of two sections, a short-answer section covering concepts and terminology and an essay section which asks students to apply the concepts to the particular works covered in the worksheets.  The Drama Test consists of an essay section similar to the first test, with the other section asking for identification of quotations from the dramas read.  Tests are "open book" and may be taken from home; consequently, more elaboration, well proof-read, is expected than on similar tests taken by campus students;

5.0        One interpretive essay (10 %). In this essay the student uses the same concepts and terminology as tested in item 4.0, but in a more formal and thorough way, exploring the meaning of one short fiction work, usually one of those already covered in class;

6.0 A formal research paper utilizing secondary sources (15%). During short terms, this element may be offered as a research project built on the interpretive essay element.  The student will interpret the meaning of a short fiction work from the textbook, but not one having been already covered in the course.  The student's own interpretation is supported by secondary sources found in the research process.  All sources used, including the short story being interpreted, are formally cited according to MLA research citation format, which is taught in this course;

7.0 A comprehensive final exam (20 % of the course grade). The first section of the final (20% of the test grade) tests the selection of poems covered in the worksheets, usually with either several essay questions or a greater number of short answer questions.  (Poetry is not tested separately as are Fiction and Drama.)  The second and main section of the final exam (80% of the test grade ) consists of an interpretive essay spanning works from all three genres, to be 1000 words or more in length.  More specific instructions for this and all other assignments are given within Blackboard.

Grading Policy:

In the Odessa College grading system pertaining to overall course grades for this and most courses, the standard range is A ~ B ~ C ~ D ~ F, as shown below.

90-100 = A = 4.0 gradepoints; 80- 89 = B = 3.0 gradepoints; 70- 79 = C = 2.0 gradepoints (the lowest transferable course grade); 60- 69 = D = 1.0 gradepoints (a passing course grade, but not accepted by most colleges and universities to which you might wish to transfer) Below 60 = F = zero gradepoints

In my evaluation of individual assignments, I use a similar range as shown above from "A" to "F," where "A" = 95, "F" = 55, and so forth. Additionally, a grade of A, B, C, or D may be shown with a minus (-) or a plus (+) with the minus equaling a "2" and the plus an "8". For example, a "B+" on an assignment equals 88 points; a "B" equals 85 points; a "B-" equals 82 points. The A, C, and D ranges work the same way. I also on some occasions may give the following grades:

Below 55 = F- (may be given when an assignment is turned in but in such a condition that even the most generous evaluation cannot justify giving even 50 out of 100 possible points; used rarely. The actual point value may range anywhere from 10 to 50 points, at my discretion.)

Zero = No points (when an assignment is not turned in at all).

Summary of Assignments & Activities



Item Name



Time Frame

Unit One


The first part of the course studies the genre of Fiction.  It also includes the study of fundamental concepts and literary devices applicable throughout the course.  The two major assignments for this unit are a unit test and an interpretive essay (see Course Requirements for descriptions of these and all major assignments).


This unit usually lasts about five or six weeks and covers four to five short fiction works in depth.  Starting and ending dates of this and all units depend on various factors such as the degree of classroom discussion and the pace of student learning, which in turn may add to or subtract from the list of works studied.  All specific assignment due dates are announced in class.

Unit Two




Unit Two studies the genre of drama.  Most of the same concepts and terminology from Unit One are also applicable to Drama, with suitable modifications.  The one major assignment for Unit Two is a unit test.

Unit Two usually lasts about four weeks and normally covers one short drama (one act) and one full length drama.


 Unit Three


Unit Three studies the genre of poetry, including interpretive strategy and terminology suitable to the genre.  This genre is not tested separately but rather in one section of the final exam, the rest of which is comprehensive.

Unit Three lasts the remainder of the semester, but is interspersed with Unit Four (see below).  Class days are given over to lecture over poetic interpretation, discussion of particular poems (usually eight to twelve, as time permits), interspersed with class time given over to topics having to do with Unit Four.

 Unit Four

Research Methodology

Unit Four teaches methods of college-level research, including use of print and online specialized indexes, and it also teaches MLA-style citation of research sources.  For this unit the student researches and composes a formal research paper.

Unit Four, as already noted, is interspersed with the study of poetry in Unit Three.  Class time devoted to research methodology is spent teaching research methods and MLA-style citation of sources, supported by supervised time for research in the OC library.

Student Evaluation of Instruction:

The SEI process for face-to-face and online courses is scheduled for the week of April 28th.

Special Needs:

Odessa College complies with Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. If you have any special needs or issues pertaining to your access to and participation in this or any other class at Odessa College, please feel free to contact me to discuss your concerns. You may also call the Office of Disability services at 432-335-6861 to request assistance and accommodations.

Learning Resource Center (Library):

The Library, known as the Learning Resources Center, provides research assistance via the LRC's catalog (print books, videos, e-books) and databases (journal and magazine articles). Research guides covering specific subject areas, tutorials, and the "Ask a Librarian " service provide additional help.

Student E-mail:

Please access your Odessa College Student E-mail by following the link to either set up or update your account: /gmail/. All online assignments or correspondence will be submitted using your Odessa College email.

Technical Support:

For Blackboard username and password help and for help accessing your online course availability and student email account contact the Student Success Center at 432-335-6878 or online at https://www.odessa.edu/dept/ssc/helpdesk_form.htm.

Important School Policies:

Information regarding student support services, academic dishonesty, disciplinary actions, special accommodations, or studentsí and instructors' rights to academic freedom can be found in the Odessa College Student Handbook.

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work: 432.335.6549
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