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Course : Intermediate Composition and Grammar

Course Number
Section Number
201 & 202
Spring 2020
Bea Wood Hall, 201: BW 117; 202: BW 210
Days & Times
Final Exam Day/Time
Wednesday, May 13, 2020 12:00 am

Course Goals

Write thesis-based essays that provide strong support and specific details.

Engage in a writing process that includes invention, drafting, and revision.

Demonstrate critical and creative thinking about a timely issue or debatable topic.

Demonstrate proficient use of Standard Written English.

10 grammar exercises on D2L                                                 10 percent (each is 1 point)

5 writing grades

W1 5%   W2 10%   W3 12%   W4 13%   W5 10%                    50 percent (50 points out of 100)

Final Grammar Test (multiple choice on computer)              20 percent (20 points out of 100)

Final Essay                                                                               20 percent (20 points out of 100)

Grading Values A = 90-100; B = 80-89; C = 70-79; D = 60-69; F = 0-59.

Students are encouraged to prepare an outline and bring it to class, but we write the actual essay in class.  Do not submit for grade an essay that was written outside of class.

When we write in class, the Tuesday-Thursday course will write on Thursday, and the Monday, Wednesday, Friday course will write on Wednesday and Friday. The weeks designated for W1, W2, and so forth, including the Final Essay, are indicated in the tentative daily schedule.

Plagiarism is when students use someone else’s thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument without appropriate documentation whether that material is used in a quote, paraphrase, or summary.

Academic dishonesty can be either plagiarism or submitting for grade an essay written outside of class. Academic dishonesty means a 0 for the assignment and an F for the semester grade unless the student brings the instructor a withdrawal slip by the last day for a penalty-free W. The student may no longer attend the course.

In our class we should not be on cell phones. We should have our book open and paying attention to the best of our ability. The instructor will warn someone by email of a problem. If the problem persists, the instructor may be forced to remove the student with a WF. The student can avoid that outcome by bringing the instructor a withdrawal slip to sign, but the opportunity for a penalty-free “W” closes after Monday March 30.

When writing in class, students are encouraged to use the first person “I” for personal experiences and “we” for common experiences. Use plural subjects like “people,” “students,” “parents” and “children” rather than “you” or “one.” Start sentences with subjects and get to the verb as soon as possible.

Tentative Daily Schedule


Jan 20 -24 Week 1

Jan 20 Monday no class MLK holiday.

Pre-test & Q1 Subject Verb open 10 AM Tues Jan 21 on D2L; closes 10 AM Mon Feb 3.

LB Brief 22 the sentence.

Begin review of pre-test.

For W1 Read James Baldwin “Notes of a Native Son” 220-38.


Jan 27-31 Week 2

Review of pre-test continued. Review of Q1 Subject verb. Review of Baldwin.


Feb 3-7 Week 3

Q2 fragments & Q3 run-on sentences open on D2L 10 AM Mon Feb 3; close 10 AM Mon Feb 17.

LB Brief 21 parts of speech, 23 subordinate clauses, 35 fragments, 36 run-on sentences. See also 24 for sentence types.

Write in class W1. Prompt (choose one):

What do we learn from our fathers (mothers? Parents?)

Or What lesson do we need to learn in life?

Quote from Baldwin in paragraph 3.

For W2 read N. Scott Momaday “The Way to Rainy Mountain” 313-18.


Feb 10-14 Week 4

Review of Q2 and Q3. Review of Momaday.


Feb 17-21 Week 5

Q4 subject verb agreement & Q5 pronoun agreement open on D2L 10 AM Mon Feb 17; close 10 AM Mon Mar 2. LB Brief 29 subject verb agreement and 30, 31, 32 pronouns

Write in class W2. Prompt: How do we keep the past alive?

Quote from Momaday in paragraph 3.

For W3 read John Updike “The Disposable Rocket” 549-52.


Feb 24-28 Week 6

Review of Q4 and Q5. Review of Updike.


Mar 2-6 Week 7

Q6 pronoun case opens on D2L 10 AM Mon Mar 2; closes 10 AM Mon Mar 16.

Write in class W3. Prompt: How does our culture feel about men’s and women’s bodies?

Quote from Updike in paragraph 3.

For W4 read Gerald Early “Life with Daughters” 532-48.


Mar 9-13 Week 8

Review of Q6. Review of Early.


Spring Break Mar 16-20 No classes.


Mar 23-27 Week 9

Q7 Commas & Q8 semicolons, colons open on D2L 10 AM Mon Mar 23; close 10 AM Mon April 6. LB Brief 39 commas, 40 semicolons, 41 colons.

Write in class W4. Prompt: What is the important thing we need to teach our children?

Quote from Early in paragraph 3.

For W5 read Richard Rodriguez “Aria: A Memoir of a Bilingual childhood” 447-66.


Mar 30-April 3 Week 10

Note: Monday Mar 30 is last day for penalty-free “W.”

Review of Q7 & Q8. Review of Rodriguez.


April 6-10 Week 11

Note: NO classes Thursday and Friday

Q9 Parallelism & Q10 Apostrophes open on D2L 10 AM Mon April 6; close Monday April 20.

LB Brief 16 parallelism, 42 apostrophes, 43 quotation marks, and 44 other marks.

For W5 read Maya Angelou “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” 342-60.


April 13-15 Week 12

Review of Q9 and Q10. Review of Angelou.


April 20-24 Week 13

Write in class W5: Choose one of these two prompts.

For Rodriguez: What do parents sacrifice for their children?

Or For Angelou: How does embarrassment shape who we are as adults?


April 27-May 1 Week 14

NOTE: The MWF class will be in a different room Friday, May 1, and Monday, May 4. Dr. Fields will alert you to the temporary room.


Grammar review for Grammar Final.


May 4-8 Week 15

The Final Essay is the prompt that was rejected for W5.


May 11-14 Finals Week

We take the Grammar Final in Bea Wood 117 computer classroom.

WEDNESDAY 10:30 AM MAY 13 ENGL 2113 201 MWF takes the Grammar Final

THURSDAY 10:30 AM MAY 14 ENGL 2113 202 TR takes the Grammar Final

ENGL 2113 Grading Rubric













Introduction (first paragraph)

Thesis position (answer to the prompt & because or why); two supporting point ideas; after each supporting point idea, a preview of the example’s situation and one of the descriptive details.

Remarkable, exceptional in all important respects.

Dynamic in some important respect.

Has offered all components required in the introductory paragraph.

Introduction is problematic.

Missing components.

Topic sentence at beginning of

paragraphs two & three

Each body paragraph begins with a rephrasing of the supporting idea first offered in the introduction.  

Remarkable, exceptional in all important respects.

Dynamic in some important respect.

Has provided a rephrasing of supporting point idea from the introduction at the start of a body paragraph.

Supporting point ideas are problematic at start of body paragraphs.

No supporting point idea at start of body paragraphs.

Example in pars. two & three

Each body paragraph develops an example previewed in the introduction; provides specific details for both the situation and three respects or characteristics.   

Remarkable, exceptional in all important respects.

Dynamic in one or more respects.

Has developed examples in body paragraphs with specific details for both the situation and three respects: e.g., beg, middle, end or three characteristics. 

Development of examples is problematic.

No development of examples with specific details.

The third paragraph uses something from the required essay just before the example and follows directions.

Remarkable, exceptional in all important respects.

Dynamic in one or more respects.

Indicates author and essay title from our book, provides author’s idea in student’s words, and concludes with relevant quote. Provides page in parentheses.

Use of required essay is problematic.

No use of required essay.

Demonstrates proficient use of Standard Written English. Follows directions.

Conclusion revisits answer to prompt in light of specific visual, physical, or tactile detail from par. 2 or 3—a detail further developed here.

Remarkable, exceptional in all important respects. Conclusion is remarkable as well.  

Dynamic in some important respect.

Phrasing and format are mostly effective and mostly follow directions including the conclusion.

Phrasing or format is problematic; conclusion may be problematic.

Unreadable in places and/or format does not follow directions. Conclusion does not follow directions.








Attendance and documenting absences

Four undocumented absences means 10 percent off the semester grade. If students miss attendance, they should touch base with me before they leave class and make sure I mark them present. The instructor will accept documentation for absence in the form of cellphone pictures (sent by email attachment) of clinic sign-in sheets, court dates, prescription labels, repair receipts, and work schedules; he will accept emails from family members, lawyers, and work supervisors. Many times students are helping family members or friends in crisis, which is valid if documented. The key is communicating with Dr. Fields by email and coming to an agreement with him on how to document the absence.

If students know ahead of time they are going to miss certain days, they need to communicate with the instructor and make a plan before disappearing. They may need to document. If students are sick or unexpectedly miss an opportunity to write in class, they must arrange with the instructor for a make-up. Essays cannot be written outside of class for a grade. Documentation for the absence removes the penalty for a late essay, which is 10 points off (10 percent).

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception.

Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters.

We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student.

We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed.

Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, (940) 397-4140.

The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MSUTexas e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed the 6 hours of Communication Core and 2) earned 60 hours. Students may meet this requirement in one of three ways: by passing the Writing Proficiency Exam, passing two Writing Intensive Courses (only one can be in the core), or passing English 2113. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.

Senate Bill 11 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature allows licensed handgun holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, effective August 1, 2016. Areas excluded from concealed carry are appropriately marked, in accordance with state law. For more information regarding campus carry, please refer to the University’s webpage at

If you have questions or concerns, please contact MSU Chief of Police at