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Course : Intermediate Composition and Grammar

Course Number
Section Number
Summer II 2020
Bea Wood Hall, Online
Days & Times
Final Exam Day/Time
Thursday, August 06, 2020 12:00 am

Instructor: Dr. Fields

Office: Bea Wood 230

Land Line: 940-766-6319


Office Hours: MTWR 12:00 – 2:00 PM (by phone or email)—or best time for you.



ENGL 2113-X34

TWO Required Books:

LB Brief. 6th ed. Jane E. Aaron. Pearson.

The Best American Essays 2019. Edited by Rebecca Solnit. Mariner.

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.


Ten Qs (quizzes) on D2L                                                          10 percent (each is 1 point)

Five Essays – the Ws                                                   50 percent (50 points out of 100)

W1      5%   

W2     10%   

W3      12%   

W4      13%   

W5      10%  

FINAL EXAM ProctorU (two parts in same session)

Multiple Choice Grammar Test                                 20 percent (20 points out of 100)

Final Essay (see p. 9 of syllabus)s)                        20 percent (20 points out of 100)

Grading (out of 100):

A 100-90; B 89-80; C 79-70; D 69-60; F 59-0 (no rounding up).

Our Qs: D2L grammar exercises—the Qs—are worth one point each for a total of 10 points (10 percent) of the total semester grade— irrespective of the student score. They are NOT extra credit. If we fail to take a Q, the grade for that Q is a “0.” For instance, say we took all the Qs but one, the final grade would be a 90, which would be 10 percent of the overall grade.

FINAL EXAM PROCTOR U: Wait until I give everyone the all clear. Then schedule to take our FINAL EXAM (three hours) with ProctorU. See a description for FINAL EXAM ProctorU in our table of contents for D2L.

The first part of the FINAL EXAM ProctorU is the GRAMMAR TEST (60 minutes); the second part is the FINAL ESSAY (2 hours). BOTH sections are to be taken in the SAME appointment (do NOT leave after the Grammar Test; stay and write the Final Essay).

As of my NEWS item on DSL, schedule the ProctorU FINAL EXAM.

Remember to allow THREE hours. Therefore, the earliest possible appointment would begin (Central Time Zone) at 12:00 AM Monday August 3; the last possible appointment would be 9:00 PM Thursday AUGUST 6 because the parameters close the exam as of that midnight.

This proctoring requires access to a computer with a camera and payment to ProctorU of their FEE. Read the following on setting up an account with ProctorU and making reservations: ProctorU: How It Works.


Each W essay is a response to a prompt. The prompt is a specific question that the student’s essay is supposed to answer with a position and a “because.” That “because” is also the THESIS.

The beginning of each week (Monday) is the beginning of a THREAD, which requires answer to a grammar question, answer to a prompt, and the first paragraph for that W.

JULY 6 MONDAY     W1 & W2 Enclosed Spaces

Do the Q! Online Pre-Test & Quiz 1 (Q1) open as of 10:00 AM, today and close as of 10:00 AM, Monday, July 13.

Q1’s  relevant chapters in LB Brief:

LB CH 21 Parts of Speech; LB CH 22 The sentence.

Review Quiz 1 in Table of Contents for D2L ; then take Q1.

DISCUSSION W1 Enclosed Spaces

Each student starts his/her own thread in response to the DISCUSSION posted on D2L: Answer the DISCUSSION’s grammar question and respond to prompt question by providing a rough draft of paragraph one. See model for FOUR PARAGRAPH ESSAY (pp. 3-4 of this syllabus).

For W1 Enclosed Spaces, we are writing paragraphs one and two of a four-paragraph essay.


DISCUSSION W1 Enclosed Spaces, cont.

JULY 8 WEDNESDAY – W1 due no later than FRIDAY night at 11:00 PM.

Drop box for W1 Enclosed Spaces opens at 12:00 AM WEDNESDAY. It will close no later than 11:00 PM FRIDAY, JULY 10.

LATE PENALTY: Students need to petition by email to Dr. Fields for Special Access if drop box has closed. The penalty for a late essay is 10 points out of 100.


DISCUSSION: W2 Enclosed Spaces

Start thread for W2 Enclosed Spaces, Part Two, which finishes the essay on Enclosed Places. Answer the grammar question and provide paragraphs three and four (of the four-paragraph essay that began with W1 Enclosed Spaces) in draft form. See model for FOUR PARAGRAPH ESSAY (pp. 3-4 of this syllabus).

For W2 Enclosed Spaces, we are writing paragraphs three and four of the four-paragraph essay we began with W1 Enclosed Spaces.

For paragraph three please quote from ONE of these two essays in THE BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS 2019 book. See model for par. 3 (p. 4 of this syllabus):

Camille T. Dungy, “Is All Writing Environmental Writing?” (p. 70; see esp. p. 71).

Or Elizabeth Kolbert, “How to Write about a Vanishing World” (p. 124: see esp. 124-25).

JULY 11 SATURDAY – W2 due no later than SUNDAY night at 11:00 PM.

Drop box for W2 Enclosed Spaces opens at midnight Friday (Saturday 12 AM); it will close no later than Sunday July 12 at 11:00 PM.

JULY 13 MONDAY- W3 Losing Something

Do the Qs! Qs 2, 3, and 4 are open this week as of 10:00 AM today, Monday, and close of 10:00 AM, Monday, July 20.

Review the quiz in Table of Contents; then take the Q.

Relevant chapters in LB Brief for each Q:

LB CH 23 Phrases & Clauses

LB CH 35 Fragments

Q2: Phrases, clauses, and /fragments

LB CH 36 Commas

LB CH 24 Sentences

Q3: Comma splices and fused sentences.

LB CH 25 Verb forms

LB CH 29 Subject/Verb

Do Q4: Subject/verb agreement.

DISCUSSSION: Start thread for W3 Losing something by answering grammar question and drafting first paragraph of the four-paragraph W3 essay (see our model, pp. 3-4 of this syllabus).

In paragraph three, be sure to quote from J. Drew Lanham, “Forever Gone” (p. 131, see esp. pp. 131-33, 136-42,).  See model for par. 3 in our syllabus.

JULY 14-16

DISCUSSION for thread W3 Losing Something cont.

JULY 17 FRIDAY- W3 Losing Something no later than Sunday 11:00 PM.

The drop box for W3 Losing something opens Thursday night at midnight (12 AM Friday); it closes no later than Sunday July 19 at 11:00 PM.

JULY 20 MONDAY – W4 Fitting In

Do the Qs! Qs 5, 6, and 7 open as of 10:00 AM today, and close as of 10:00 AM, Monday, July 27.

Review quizzes in Table of Contents; then take the Qs.

LB CH 30 Pronoun Case

LB CH 31 Pron. Agreement

LB CH 32 Pronoun reference

Q5 & Q6 Pronoun Agreement.

LB CH 39 The Comma

Q7: The Comma

DISCUSSION: Start thread for W4 Fitting In by answering grammar question and drafting paragraph one of the four-paragraph W4 essay (see our model pp. 3-4 of this syllabus).

Be sure to quote from either Lacy Johnson or Walter Johnson in paragraph 3 (see our model for par. 3 on p. 4 of this syllabus):

Lacy M. Johnson, “On Likability.” Esp. pp. 105-106.

Walter Johnson, “Guns in the Family.” Esp. pp. 113-15, 116-17, 117-18, 120-22.

JULY 21-23

DISCUSSION W4 Fitting in cont.

JULY 24 FRIDAY-W4 Fitting In due no later than Sunday at 11:00 PM.

The drop box for W4 Fitting in opens Thursday at midnight (12 AM Friday); it closes no later than Sunday July 26 at 11:00 PM.

JULY 27 MONDAY- W5 Not Fitting In

Do the Qs! Qs 8, 9, and 10 open as of 10:00 AM today and close as of 10:00 AM, Monday, August 3.

LB CH 40 The Semicolon; CH 41 The Colon.

Q 8: Colons & Semicolons.

LB CH 16 Parallelism.

Q9: Parallelism.

LB CH 42 The Apostrophe

LB CH 43 Quotation Marks

Q 10: Apostrophes.

DISCUSSION: Start thread for W5 Not Fitting by answering grammar question and drafting first paragraph of the four-paragraph W5 essay (see our model, pp. 3-4 of this syllabus.

JULY 28-30

DISCUSSION for thread W5 Not Fitting in cont.

JULY 31-W5 Not Fitting In due not later than Sunday at 11:00 PM

The drop box for W5 Not Fitting in opens Thursday at midnight (12:00 AM Friday); it closes no later than Sunday August 2 at 11:00 PM.


12:00 AM Monday August 3 (earliest);

9:00 PM Thursday August 6 (latest).

FINAL EXAM (3 hrs. in 2 parts): After Part 1, stay for Part 2.

FINAL EXAM (3 hrs. in 2 parts): After Part 1, stay for Part 2.

(Part 1): GRAMMAR TEST. We have 60 minutes to complete 50 multiple-choice questions. Many people will finish the multiple-choice test before the scheduled cut-off. They can then start the four-paragraph essay right away.

(Part 2): FINAL ESSAY. Start the final essay right after the Grammar Test. We will have a choice of three prompt questions. We have two hours.

Paragraph 1 is our usual model: answer-to-prompt/because, supporting idea 1, preview of example 1 with dynamic detail, supporting idea 2, and preview of example 2 with dynamic detail. Then provide the THESIS as last sentence.

Paragraph 2 is our usual model and starts with the topic idea (plural with “we”), which explains and goes deeper with supporting idea 1. Make sure not to use "I" or "my" until the example starts. Please do NOT use YOU in this essay. Start example with context and describe experience in at least three respects with sensory details.

Paragraph 3 is our usual model but with one difference: no use of Best American Essays 2019. However, it does begin with the topic idea, which explains supporting idea 2 and goes deeper. Keep topic idea plural ("people" or "we"). Do not go to the "I" or "my" until the example begins. Start example with context and then describe the experience in at least three respects with sensory details.

Paragraph 4 is our usual model: begins with further development of a descriptive detail from par. 2 or 3. Then it revisits the THESIS but adjusts it somewhat in light of further developing that dynamic, descriptive "sensory" detail. 

Proctor U will literally use the camera on your computer to watch you while you take your test. You should have nothing out except one sheet of scratch paper to scribble thoughts and examples and details. They may ask to see the initially blank sheet of paper. 

The rubric will be adjusted because it will NOT have a category for a required essay from BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS 2019. 

On the scratch paper start with two experiences--two observations--that you know you can describe with dynamic "sensory" details. Then ask yourself: what idea--or lesson--or does each experience imply?

Then how would you answer the "should/should we not" prompt and the "because." The "because" then becomes the THESIS (the last sentence of paragraph one) without the word "because."

Do NOT change the "because"--it can be refined but not qualitatively changed. If that happens, go back and change the “because” at the beginning of paragraph one.

As of writing paragraph one, you now have everything you need to write the rest of our final four-paragraph essay, which does NOT quote from anything else.












[1] Introduction Paragraph 1

Starts with overall idea/thesis position (answer to prompt w. because/why); offers two supporting ideas; previews two examples, each with sensory detail. THESIS is last sentence.

Exceptional in most respects

Dynamic in some respect

Provides answer to prompt & because/why, two supporting ideas; previews two examples, a sensory detail for each. THESIS is last sentence.

Introduction is problematic.

Missing most components.

[2] Topic idea at start of pars. 2 and 3

Each body paragraph begins with an explanation of the relevant supporting idea as topic idea.


In most respects. 

Dynamic in some respect.


Explains the relevant supporting idea as topic idea at the beginning of the paragraph.  

Topic ideas are problematic.

No topic ideas

[3] Example in pars. two & three

Each body paragraph develops an example previewed in the introduction; provides three descriptive attributes. Demonstrates proficient use of Standard Written English.


Exceptional in most respects.


Dynamic in some respect.

Phrasing is mostly effective. Starts example with situation and describes in three respects with sensory details.

Development is problematic.

No examples.


[4] The third paragraph uses something from the required essay after the topic sentence and provides quote just before the 2nd example.

Exceptional in most respects.

Dynamic in some respect


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.

[5] Conclusion revisits answer to prompt and why/because in light of redeployment of a sensory detail from par. 2 or 3.  

Exceptional in most respects.

Dynamic in some respect


Conclusion briefly re-develops descriptive detail from par. two or three and revisits answer to prompt and why/because.

Problematic in some respect.

Conclusion does not follow directions.


My comments are really important because they advise the student on how to improve for the next W assignment and Final Essay, based on shortcomings in the present essay. A rubric will be attached to the D2L grade.























Grading Rubric: Let us say someone did not provide most of the components in paragraph one. That would be a 50 for the first horizontal category. NOTE: Shading indicates the squares I settled on for evaluation.

Let us also suppose the student achieved in the SATISFACTORY column in categories, 2, 4, and 5. For category 3, the student went much higher—reaching the EXCELLENT column. Moving left from the lowest score (the 50 column in this case), each square is worth 2 points. We need to add 12 points (six squares that reach SATISFACTORY) to the starting point of 50; we also need to add 8 points (category three’s four squares to reach EXCELLENT). That would be 70. 

EXCELLENT (unique among our columns) allows for a bonus of four more points (notice the 96-100 at the top of the EXCELLENT column), if excellence for category 3 was truly remarkable.

 The highest possible grade for this assignment would be a 74: 50 + 4 + 4 + 4 + 8 (+ 4 points) = 74.

LATE Policy: Late essays are penalized 10 points out of 100.  

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.

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