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Course Placement for English 1020

Students are placed into ENG 1020 via ACT score (ACT English >21), the English Qualifying Examination, or a passing grade in ENG 1010. Neither instructors nor the Department of English will override placement.


General Education Designation

With a grade of C or better, ENG 1020 fulfils the General Education Basic Composition (BC) graduation requirement. Successful completion of Basic Composition (BC) with a grade of C or better is a prerequisite to enrolling in courses that fulfill the General Education IC (Intermediate Composition) requirement for graduation (e.g., ENG 3010, 3050, Literature and Writing courses).


Course Description

Building upon students’ diverse skills, English 1020 prepares students for reading, research, and writing in college classes. The main goals of the course are

(1) to teach students to consider the rhetorical situation for any piece of writing;

(2) to have students integrate reading, research, and writing in the genres of analysis and argument; and

(3) to teach students to develop analyses and arguments using appropriate content, effective organization, and appropriate expression and mechanics, all while using a flexible writing process that incorporates drafting, revising, editing, and documenting sources.


To achieve these goals, the course places considerable emphasis upon the relationship between reading and writing, the evaluation and development of information and ideas through research, the genres of analysis and argumentation, and the use of multiple technologies for research and writing.



Learning Outcomes

Students who pass ENG 1020 will produce writing that demonstrates core abilities in four key areas:



Write effectively for various rhetorical situations (considering elements such as genre, context, discourse community, claims, evidence, organization, style, rhetorical strategies, and persuasive effect), using a flexible writing process and varied technologies.



Use analytical and critical strategies to read complex texts in a variety of media, and to identify and evaluate elements of the rhetorical situation (including those listed above).



Conduct research by finding and evaluating print, electronic, and other sources; generate information and ideas from research; and appropriately integrate material from sources.



Use reflection to make choices and changes in both the composing process and products in this course and to explain how you will use skills you have learned to approach unfamiliar writing tasks.



There are two required textbooks for the course; additional readings will be provided online or via e-mail or Blackboard. We'll begin reading The Wayne Writer during the second week of the course, so you will want to obtain a copy as soon as possible. Both books are available at the university bookstore. 

Required: The Wayne Writer


Required: They Say/I Say    



In addition our major projects (listed below), you will also be evaluated based on your completion of short responses and drafting exercises that will be assigned throughout the semester. Due dates for assignments can be found below (as well as on the Schedule page).


Course Component

Total Possible

Project One Meme Genre Analysis (3-5)

Content                         60

Organization                 15

Language Usage           15

Formatting                    10


Project Two Rhetorical Analysis (4-6)

Content                         90

Organization                 25

Language Usage           25

Formatting                    10


Project Three Genre Critique (5-8)

Content                         120

Organization                 35

Language Usage           35

Formatting                    10


Project Four Proposal/Researched Position Paper (6-8)

Content                          150

Organization                  40

Language Usage            40

Formatting                     20


 Project Five Reflective Portfolio (4-6)

Content                           120

Organization                   35

Language Usage             35

Formatting                      10


Short Responses Approx. 10 (10)

10 points x 10


All Course Components





Although individual projects in this course have specific grading guidelines, the general rubric for grades in our course is as follows:


The "A" Paper


  • The "A" paper has an excellent sense of the rhetorical situation. Its aim is clear and consistent throughout the paper. It attends to the needs of its audience and the topic itself is effectively narrowed and clearly defined.
  • The content is appropriately developed for the assignment and rhetorical situation. The supporting details or evidence are convincingly presented. The reasoning is valid and shows an awareness of the complexities of the subject. If secondary sources are used, they are appropriately selected and cited.
  • The organization demonstrates a clear and effective strategy. The introduction establishes the writer's credibility and the conclusion effectively completes the essay: paragraphs are coherent, developed, and show effective structural principles.
  • The expression is very clear, accessible, concrete. It displays ease with idiom and a broad range of diction. It shows facility with a great variety of sentence options and the punctuation and subordinate structures that these require. It has few errors, none of which seriously undermines the effectiveness of the paper for educated readers.


The "B" Paper

  • The "B" paper has a good sense of the rhetorical situation. It shows awareness of purpose and focuses on a clearly defined topic.
  • The content is well developed and the reasoning usually valid and convincing. Evidence and supporting details are adequate.
  • The organization is clear and easy to follow: the introduction and conclusion are effective, and transitions within and between paragraphs are finessed reasonably well.
  • The paper has few errors, especially serious sentence errors. Sentences show some variety in length, structure, and complexity. Punctuation, grammar, and spelling conform to the conventions of edited Standard American English.


The "C" Paper

  • The "C" paper has an adequate sense of the rhetorical situation. Its purpose is clear and it is focused on an appropriate central idea. The topic may be unoriginal, but the assignment has been followed, if not fulfilled.
  • The content is adequately developed. The major points are supported, and paragraphs are appropriately divided, with enough specific details to make the ideas clear. The reasoning is valid.
  • The organization is clear and fairly easy to follow. The introduction and conclusion are adequate; transitions are mechanical but appropriate.
  • The expression is generally correct, although it shows little competence with sentence variety (in length and structure) and emphasis. The paper is generally free of major sentence and grammar errors and indicates mastery of most conventions of edited Standard American English.


The "D" Paper

  • The "D" paper has a limited sense of the rhetorical situation. Its purpose may not be clear, its topic may not be interesting to or appropriate for its audience.
  • The content is inadequately developed. The evidence is insufficient, and supporting details or examples are absent or irrelevant.
  • Organization is deficient. Introductions or conclusions are not clearly marked or functional. Paragraphs are not coherently developed or linked to each other. The arrangement of material within paragraphs may be confusing.
  • Expression demonstrates an awareness of a very limited range of stylistic options. It is marred by numerous errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation that detract from a reader’s comprehension of the text.


The "F" Paper

  • There is no sense of the rhetorical situation or of the objectives of the assignment as described in the syllabus.
  • The content is insufficiently developed and does not go beyond the obvious. The reasoning is deeply flawed.
  • The organization is very difficult to follow. Sentences may not be appropriately grouped into paragraphs, or paragraphs may not be arranged logically. Transitions are not present or are inappropriate.
  • The number and seriousness of errors—in grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc.—significantly obstruct comprehension.


WSU Grading Scale: 

A         94-100%

A-        90-93%

B+       87-89%

B         84-86%

B-        80-83%

C+       77-79%

C         74-76%                        A grade of C or better fulfills the

C-        70-73%                        General Education IC requirement

D+       67-69%                        and the prerequisite for General

D         64-66%                        Education WI courses.

D-        60-63%

F          59% or less


Rough Draft Workshops

For each of our major projects, we will have an online peer review workshop between the rough draft and final draft deadlines. Failure to participate in the rough draft workshop for a project will result in a 5% deduction in the grade of final draft of that project.


Class Size/English Department Attendance Policy/Adding ENG 1020

Enrollment in ENG 1020 is capped at 26 students. Students must attend one of the first two class days to stay enrolled in the course. Students who do not attend of the first two class meetings may be asked to drop to avoid a failing grade.


Academic Dishonesty

Plagiarism is the act of copying work from books, articles, and websites without citing and documenting the source. Plagiarism includes copying language, texts, and visuals without citation (e.g., cutting and pasting from websites). Plagiarism also includes submitting papers (or sections of papers) that were written by another person, including another student, or downloaded from the Internet. Plagiarism is a serious academic offense. It may result in an F for the assignment or an F for the course. Instructors are required to report all cases of plagiarism to the English Department. Information on plagiarism procedures is available in the Department.


Incomplete Policy

As detailed in the WSU Undergraduate Bulletin, the mark of “I” (Incomplete) is given to a student when he/she has not completed all of the course work as planned for the term and when there is, in the judgment of the instructor, a reasonable probability that the student can complete the course successfully without again attending regular class sessions. The student should be passing at the time the grade of ‘I’ is given. A written contract specifying the work to be completed should be signed by the student and instructor. Responsibility for completing all course work rests with the student.


Other Course Policies

To add the course, attend one of the first two class meetings and add by September 10. Students will not be permitted to add the course otherwise. The last day to drop a course without having it appear on a student’s academic record is September 24. Students may withdraw from a course with instructor approval between September 25 and November 9. The university does not permit withdrawals after this date.

  • Students will be asked to share writing and make photocopies for others in class.
  • Students should ensure that all pagers, cell phones, watches, etc., won’t sound during class time. Students should not take or make calls, text message, or otherwise use electronic devices during class, except to access course-related materials.
  • Students must contact the instructor in advance if work cannot be submitted by the due date. No comments will be provided for late work. The instructor will determine specific grade reductions based on timely prior notification, whether revised deadlines are met, and similar factors. Late work will be accepted and graded only if a new deadline is arranged with the instructor in advance.
  • If a student misses the first two class sessions, s/he will be asked to drop the course to avoid a failing grade. Students may add the course during the first week of classes but not after that. Students' final grades will be lowered by 1/2 grade for every absence beyond five.
  • With a grade of C or better, this course satisfies the general education requirement for intermediate composition (IC). To meet university criteria for fulfilling this requirement, the course includes writing assignments totaling at least 32 pages (8000 or more words). There is no final exam.
  • A grade of Incomplete will be issued only if the student has attended nearly all of the class sessions, submitted an Incomplete Contract (using the English Department’s recommended form) sign, and obtained the instructor’s signature on it.
  • Students who may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the instructor privately to discuss specific needs. Additionally, the Student Disabilities Services Office coordinates reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities. The office is located in 1600 David Adamany Undergraduate Library, phone:  313-577-1851/577-3335 (TTD).  http://studentdisability.wayne.edu
  • Additional resources include the Academic Success Center http://www.success.wayne.edu and Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) http://www.caps.wayne.edu 


Use of the Course Wiki and University Blackboard

I will use our course Wiki and Blackboard extensively to provide you with resources, assignment instructions, and important announcements.  You are expected to keep up with any Wiki/Blackboard activities that we do as a class, and are responsible for any announcements that I make on both of these sites.


Use of University Email

As a college student, professional expectations dictate that you check email daily to keep up with your courses. You are responsible for any reminders, announcements, or other communications that I send out via email. If you have been having issues with university email thus far, contact IT for help ASAP.  According to WSU policies ALL email communication must be done through WSU email. This means that you must use your WSU email when emailing me and that I may only respond using my WSU email. I will not respond to any email that is sent from any other email addresses. Additionally, any and all questions regarding individual grades must be asked in person. I will not communicate any information regarding grades through email.  


Project Formats and Submission

  •  MLA Format
  • A Title (make sure you give your paper a title)
  • Double Spaced
  • Times New Roman 12pt.
  • 1-inch Margins
  • In-text Citations (if quoting other texts)
  • Works Cited Page (for research papers or if you cite a source within your paper)
  • Work is to be submitted through Blackboard using SafeAssign


The Warrior WRT Zone

The WRT Zone (2nd floor, UGL) provides tutoring consultations free of charge for students at Wayne State University. Undergraduate students in General Education courses, including composition courses, receive priority for tutoring appointments. The WRT Zone serves as a resource for writers, providing tutoring sessions on the range of activities in the writing process – considering the audience, analyzing the assignment or genre, brainstorming, researching, writing drafts, revising, editing, and preparing documentation. The WRT Zone is not an editing or proofreading service; rather students are guided as they engage collaboratively in the process of academic writing, from developing an idea to correctly citing sources. To make an appointment, consult the WRT ZONE website. To submit material for online tutoring, consult the Writing Center HOOT (Hypertext One-on-One Tutoring) website.


Student Disability Services

If you have a documented disability that requires accommodations, you will need to register with Student Disability Services (SDS) for coordination of your academic accommodations. The Student Disability Services (SDS) office is located at 1600 David Adamany Undergraduate Library in the Student Academic Success Services department. SDS telephone number is 313-577-1851 or 313-577-3365 (TDD only). Once you have your accommodations in place, I will be glad to meet with you privately during my office hours to discuss your special needs. Student Disability Services’ mission is to assist the university in creating an accessible community where students with disabilities have an equal opportunity to fully participate in their educational experience at Wayne State University.


Please be aware that a delay in getting SDS accommodation letters for the current semester may hinder the availability or facilitation of those accommodations in a timely manner. Therefore, it is in your best interest to get your accommodation letters as early in the semester as possible.



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