English 1010 (25408) Fall 2013 Syllabus
Composition I, or Welcome to Freshmen English

Instructor: J. Caroccio
Office Hours:  Room 2311Boylan (Adjunct Room), Thursdays 11-12

Days: Tuesdays & Thursdays
Time: 9:30 - 10:45 am
Room:  4428N (Ingersoll Hall)

Course Objective:
The Brooklyn College Bulletin describes English 1010 as, “A workshop in expository writing: strategies of, and practice in analytical reading and writing about texts. Fundamentals of grammar and syntax. Frequent assignments in writing summaries, comparisons, analyses, of texts and such other expository forms as narration, description, and argumentation. Emphasis on writing as a process: invention, revision, editing.” All of which will culminate in an exit exam that demonstrates the students mastery of English Composition.

For our purposes, this will mean a semester spent reading. A semester spent thinking. A semester spent writing. We will accomplish this by reading essays, fiction, memoirs, written speeches, interviews and other types of texts with a focal point on expository writing. One cannot become a good writer without becoming a good reader. The readings assigned are meant to give you examples of thoughtful, coherent, and persuasive work. They are also meant to evoke strong reactions, feelings, or thoughts in the reader. These works are written from varying perspectives on a range of different social topics. Understanding the material will require you to think critically and use personal experience, knowledge and observations.

Writing for this course will help you better understand what you read in this class (and outside of it), how to think critically about what you read and, in the end, how to write about topics that are meaningful to you for academic purposes. Through comparison and contrast you can gauge the different sides of an argument and synthesize your own conclusion on the topic. Academic writing is not an inherent skill, it is a laborious task that requires practice to develop, which class will help you to do.

Class Expectations:  Composition is a component of the Brooklyn College curriculum. Some of you are in this class with no aspiration of taking another English class while others will go on to major in writing-related fields. Either way your time in this class is your responsibility and you are the only one who is accountable for your education.
Ø  Attendance - It is expected that you come to class on time, prepared with any assignments due that day, and the reading in hand and read. You are allowed up to three unexcused absences, after that your grade will be negatively impacted. If, for some reason there is an emergency that restricts you from coming to class for more than three times please contact me right away. More than 5 unexcused absences will result in a failure for this class, as per Brooklyn College policy.

Ø  Assignments - You will be assigned 6 formal essays, informal blog entries, and an exit exam at the end of the semester. Late Work will be accepted at the instructor's discretion and if accepted will be lowered by one grade interval (B will become a B-). You are allowed to hand in one assignment late without penalty so long as you inform the instructor 48 hours prior to the due date.
Blog - This course will have an outside of the classroom component that will provide a space for initial responses to the texts that we will tackle in class. Responses should be a question, comment, or critique you have with the text and not be a mere summary. They are for your benefit because they can be used as a safe way to experiment with style or technique and practice your writing. You are expected to compose six blog posts throughout the semester. Two each month, so manage your work and time wisely. These informal writings will not be graded but will be checked over the course of the semester; on the first of Oct, Nov & Dec.

Formal Writing – You will be assigned 3 short papers to compose at home, as well as revise, and write 3 in-class essays. They should all be 2-3 pages in length. Essays written in class should be written in blue or black ink. Short Papers should be typed, 12 point font, an appropriate font type (i.e. Arial or Times New Roman), double spaced, one inch margins throughout and include your last name and page number on the top corner of every page.

These essays will ask you write instructive, analytical, persuasive, and comparative types of writing. Some will be based on the texts we read in class, while others will draw on your own personal experience. They should all conform to standard formal English, have a coherent flow and express your own ideas.

Exit Exam - This is an in-class essay given at the end of the semester that involves writing a concise essay on two texts by comparing and contrasting the ideas and arguments in each work; one short piece will be given to you on the day of the exam and the longer piece will be given to you two weeks before the exam. This essay should demonstrate a reasonable mastery of the mechanics and style of English composition as well as an understanding of the two texts.

Ø  Participation and Conduct - Active participation is expected in order to make this class and peer review sessions successful. When you do participate, you will be courteous and respectful to the instructor and to your fellow classmates. That means refraining from offensive or harassing comments and disabling of electronic devices. This class will be discussing topics that can be sensitive or controversial, in the hopes that there can be an exchange of ideas and perspectives. You are free to express yourself and with that freedom you will be expected to defend your argument in an intelligent and professional manner.

Ø  One-on-One Conference – Every student is required to meet with the instructor at least once throughout the semester. These conferences will be scheduled ahead of time and will count toward your participation grade.

Ø  Plagiarism - When you present someone else's ideas, writing, or work as your own or if you insufficiently cite your sources you are plagiarizing. In no way is plagiarism acceptable or tolerated. If one of your assignments has been found to be plagiarized you will fail that assignment, and can possibly fail the class and face academic disciplinary action. You can find the full CUNY Academic Integrity Policy here: If you are unsure of whether or not you might be plagiarizing please check this site or consult me before submitting your work.

Ø  Required Texts
o   A Writer's Reference By Diana Hacker
o   The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz
o   All other required texts will be found on the class website.
Ø  Suggested Texts
o   The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. & E.B. White
o   Woe is I  by Patricia T. O'Connor

Ø  Grading - Grades for English 1010 range from an A+ to a C- & F. There is no grade of D given. A grade of NC (No Credit) does not affect a student's GPA but is still non passing. It can be given if a student has done the work for the class but isn't yet writing on a level to pass the class.
Participation and Attendance - 10%
Blog Posts - 10%
Essays/Short Papers - 60%
Each In-class essay is worth 10% each
First draft and final draft of short paper are worth 5% each.
Exit Exam -20%
Grading Scale


Ø  The Learning Center, 1300 Boylan
Ø  The ESL Lab, 1408 Ingersoll
Ø  SEEK Tutoring, 1428 Ingersoll
Ø  Pudue OWl (Online Writing lab),

Religious Holidays: If you must miss class because of religious observance that is your right. If this is the case then please contact the instructor beforehand so you can set up an alternative arrangement as you will still be held accountable for any work due in class.

Americans with Disabilities Act:  If you have a disability, or suspect that you may have a disability, and need accommodations you must register with the Center for Student Disability Services at 138 Roosevelt Hall (718.951.5538.) You can contact the Director, Valerie Stewart-Lovell, Once registered please speak to me so we can set up accommodations for you

Tentative Schedule - Dates, readings and texts are subject to change.
Assignments Due
Thu 8/28
In Class: Syllabus
In Class: Diagnostic Mini Essay
Tue 9/3
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao p. 1 - 75

Thu 9/5

Tue 9/10
Oscar Wao p. 76-201

Thu 9/12
Oscar Wao p. 202 – 261

Tue 9/17
Oscar Wao p. 262 - End
Draft of 1st Short Paper
Thu 9/19
Neil Gaiman - Coraline  (text and graphic novel)

Tue 9/24
No Reading
In-Class Essay 1
Thu 9/26
Gene Luen Yang -  American Born Chinese

Tue 10/1
Marjane Satapi - Persepolis: Story of Childhood

Thu 10/3
Alison Bechdel - Fun Home
Revision of 1st Short Paper
Tue 10/8
Matt Dembicki (Ed) - Trickster

Thu 10/10
Iilan Stavans - Latino USA: A Cartoon History

Tue 10/15
NO CLASS – Monday Schedule

Thu 10/17
Kathy Russell, et al - The Color Complex
Draft of 2nd Short Paper
Tue 10/22
Gloria Anzaldúa - Borderlands/La Frontera

Thu 10/24
No Reading
In-Class Essay 2
Tue 10/29
Susan Muaddi Darraj – “It's Not an Oxymoron: The Search for an Arab Feminism”

Thu 10/31
Toni Morrison - Playing in the Dark

Tue 11/5
Jamaica Kincaid – A Small Place

Thu 11/7
bell hooks – Remembered Raptured

Revision of 2nd Short Paper
Tue 11/12
Taigi Smith – “What Happens When Your Hood is the Last Stop on the White Flight Express?” Erica González Martínez – “Dutiful Hijas: Dependency, Power, and Guilt”

Thu 11/14
Tue 11/19
Maxine Hong Kingston - The Women Warrior
Draft of 3rd Short Paper
Thu 11/21
No Reading
In-Class Essay 3
Tue 11/26
Thu 11/28

Tue 12/3
Past Exit Exam Student Essays
Revision of Third Short Paper
Thu 12/5
Past Exit Exam Student Essays

Tue 12/10
Past Exit Exam Student Essays

Thu 12/12
Exit Exam Prep

Tue 12/17
Final Exam 10:30 am-12:30 pm
Room TBD