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ENGL 110 Writing and Rhetoric Syllabus | City College of New York | Fall 2022

Zoom link:

Schedule: Tuesdays (synchronous) 2:00-3:15pm

Student Support Hours: Thursdays 2-3:15pm, Zoom room

Instructor: Jesse Rice-Evans (she/they), Graduate Teaching Fellow

Contact me any time with questions or concerns:

Course Descriptions

English 110 is a stand-alone, English composition course. Courses can be theme-based or not, depending on the instructor’s preference. The course learning outcomes emphasize rhetorical knowledge, so instructors are encouraged to use a text book like the Norton Field Guide to Writing  which uses rhetorical knowledge to inform the rest or the textbook. There are multiple online sources for rhetorical knowledge. CCNY’s fully online composition textbook (which you are free to copy, adapt, and use) relies on the Purdue OWL for its definitions of audience, purpose, rhetorical situation, genre, and other terms.

Digital portfolios are required for every section of English 110 and FIQWS Writing.

English 110 and the Freshman Inquiry Writing Seminar Course Learning Outcomes

  • Explore and analyze, in writing and reading, a variety of genres and rhetorical situations.
  • Develop strategies for reading, drafting, collaborating, revising, and editing.
  • Recognize and practice key rhetorical terms and strategies when engaged in writing situations.
  • Engage in the collaborative and social aspects of writing processes.
  • Understand and use print and digital technologies to address a range of audiences.
  • Locate research sources (including academic journal articles, magazine and newspaper articles) in the library’s databases or archives and on the Internet and evaluate them for credibility, accuracy, timeliness, and bias.
  • Compose texts that integrate your stance with appropriate sources using strategies such as summary, critical analysis, interpretation, synthesis, and argumentation.
  • Practice systematic application of citation conventions.

Required Texts:

Other short reading provided on Readings and Resources page//Google Drive folder

online technology and software requirements

You will need to regularly access to:

  1. Blackboard (CCNY’s online teaching support system where you’ll see announcements)
  2. Google Drive (a free online file storage site where we’ll share and collaborate on our writing)
  3. CUNY Academic Commons (where you’ll create a digital portfolio)
  4. Word-processing software of your choice: Microsoft Office, Office365 (available for free to CCNY students), Google Docs, etc. No matter what you use, please save all documents as .doc or docx files and please no links, PDFs, or Pages files.

I strongly recommend you make an effort to organize our course documents and your work. Create a designated “English 110 Fall 2022” folder on your computer and be strategic in how you use subfolders and title documents. You will need to return to assignments, so the more organized the better. Computers, as you know, are susceptible to crashing and freezing. Save your work frequently and back up your files (in multiple places!).

Course Policies and Procedures

Accessibility Statement:  I take seriously the needs of my students. This includes making accommodations for neurodiversity, learning disabilities, mental/emotional health, chronic illness, and other situations not listed here. Please let me know how I can support your learning.

Accessibility and Inclusion: If you have a disability or a personal circumstance that will affect your learning in this course, or if you need a reasonable (or even unreasonable) accommodation, please let me know as soon as possible so that we can discuss the best ways to meet your needs. This goes triply for folks with non-visible disabilities or who pass or mask or compensate. No need to do that here. I am happy to meet with students to discuss ways of expanding access in the classroom that are not only mandated by law, but please feel no obligation to train me.

To arrange accommodations in other classrooms and at City College contact the AccessAbility Center Tutoring Services, NAC 1/218

Basic Needs: Any student who faces challenges securing their food or housing and believes this may affect their performance in the course is urged to contact the Dean of Students for support. Furthermore, please notify me if you are comfortable in doing so. This will enable me to provide any resources that I may possess.

Attendance:  This is a hybrid course so the expectation is that you are participating online and attending any scheduled synchronous course meetings. Per CCNY policy, if you miss five classes you will be dropped from the course.

Electronics and Communication: One of the goals of this course is to understand how to use electronics respectfully. You will be expected to utilize electronics during class time and it is up to you to stay present–I will not repeat myself if you are not paying attention. We will also use in class time to work on assignments involving computers–use the time wisely. We will only be in contact via your City College email address. All announcements will go through your CCNY email–not checking it is not an excuse.

Regarding engagement, please note: Much of the learning in this course happens through your engagement with me and your peers via class discussion and group interaction. Your course projects will be sequential and all activities will build toward larger assignments. Class time and online discussions will be highly interactive, requiring frequent participation, discussion, composing in and outside of class, and responding to your classmates’ work. For this reason, I expect you to check the course website frequently, all class meetings and post by the due dates on the days we work outside of class. I will post all assignments on the “Schedule” page of our course site, but it is up to you to keep up with your work for the class. Just because we only meet synchronously occasionally does not mean that we don’t have responsibilities throughout the week—only that you will have work due instead of coming to a face-to-face class meeting.

If you must miss a synchronous class session, let me know ahead of time if possible to make sure you stay caught up. If you miss unexpectedly, check the schedule on our course website and reach out to your writing group or another colleague to see what you missed so you can stay up with your work. If you miss class, please do not email me asking what we did in class, or, worse, if we did anything in class you should know about. If an assignment is due on a day that you miss because of an unexcused absence, you are responsible for keeping up with the daily schedule and contacting someone in the class to see what you missed and for turning in your work at the same time it was due for those who were in class.

Electronics and Communication: One of the goals of this course is to understand how to use electronics respectfully.  You will be expected to use electronics during class time and it is up to you to stay present. All announcements will go through your CCNY email.

Student Support Services:

AccessAbility Center Tutoring Services, NAC 1/218

Provides one-on-one tutoring and workshops to all registered students with learning or physical disabilities.

The Writing Center: Should you find yourself in need of additional writing assistance, the Writing Center is available to you.  I am also happy to provide a list of additional support services if requested.

To set up an appointment or semester-long sessions, contact them in person at the Writing Center, which is located in the NAC, 3rd floor plaza or call (212) 650-8104.


Formal Requirements: All assignments will be submitted digitally. We will be using Google Drive, the CUNY Academic Commons, and Blackboard.  All major assignments need to be submitted into your Google Drive folder.  All attendance and drafts belong in your Google Drive folder as well. We will also be using Google Drive/Docs and Blackboard for peer review and discussion board interactions. You may choose the layout of your essays (within reason) and you will be asked to explain your choices in your theory of writing portion of each assignment. I reserve the right to accept late work on a case by case basis; late work with no prior accommodation will receive a zero.

Drafts & Peer Review: You will be asked to complete a first and final draft for each assignment. The first drafts will receive feedback from both myself and your peers.  You will complete peer edits based on a form provided to you. Drafting with peers allows you to collaborate with other classmates while also accessing your internal editor.  Often times editing someone else’s work with suggestions will inform your own draft.

Participation: Or What I Expect From You and What You Can Expect From Me What I Expect From You: I expect that you will attend each class and complete the assignments due—which includes posting your online assignments by each Wednesday evening. Not only will your weekly writing grade suffer if you do not, but you will not get as much out of this class as you otherwise could. Learning is a collaborative activity, and I expect that you will be attentive to, engaged with, and respectful of everyone in the class, both in face-to-face and online settings. I also want to remind you not to abuse our classroom space or our online space.

The web will be a great resource for our class, but make sure when you’re online that what you’re doing relates directly to what we’re doing in class. I expect that in online discussions you will be respectful of the other members of the class and treat them as you want to be treated. I ask that we all be respectful of one another and the wonderfully diverse opinions, racial identities, disability statuses, gender expressions and sexual orientations, social classes, religious beliefs, and ethnicities among us.

In the same spirit, written work in this course should employ inclusive language, which shows that the writer honors the diversity of the human race by not using language that would universalize one element of humanity to the exclusion of others. For example, use people instead of the generic man; use they instead of the generic he.

What You Can Expect From Me

I will treat you with respect and spend a good deal of time this semester giving you feedback on your writing for your major projects, commensurate to the amount of time you spend on your writing. I will read your weekly online posts, and while I may not respond to each one of them, I will assign each of them a participation/completion grade and will give you feedback on your posts at midterm and at the end of the semester.

Academic Integrity

Plagiarism and cheating will not be tolerated. Plagiarism is defined as word-for-word copying, paraphrasing, or summarizing, without explaining that the language or ideas have come from another writer. No passage of writing, no matter how short, can be copied, paraphrased, or summarized without acknowledge its original source. City College regards acts of academic dishonesty (e.g., plagiarism, cheating on examinations, obtaining unfair advantage, and falsification of records and official documents) as serious offenses against the values of intellectual honesty. The college is committed to enforcing the CUNY Policy on Academic Integrity and will pursue cases of academic dishonesty. If you ever have any questions or concerns about plagiarism, please ask me.

We will also discuss how remix and other strategies in digital writing complicate what we might traditionally think of as plagiarism, but also, ways to implement these strategies appropriately and preserve authorly integrity.

Academic integrity is an essential part of the pursuit of truth, and of your education.  If you plagiarize by using someone else’s work or ideas, you defeat the purpose of your education.  In addition, academic dishonesty is prohibited in the City University of New York.  Plagiarism, which is the act of presenting another person’s writing or ideas as your own, will result in automatic failure of this course.

Digital & F2F Participation:  The expectation for this hybrid course is that you participate in the various ways that we connect for class, whether that be in person, through Commons posts, with videos, etc. The most successful learning experience comes when students are engaged in the process.

Drafts & Peer Review: You will be asked to complete a first and final draft for each assignment. The first drafts will receive feedback from both myself and your peers. Drafting with peers allows you to collaborate with other classmates while also accessing your internal editor.  Often times editing someone else’s work with suggestions will inform your own draft.

Final Portfolio and Theory of Writing

The portfolio and theory of writing are in many ways the most important documents that you’ll create for this class.  Assembling the portfolio will help you to see your progress as a writer over the course of the semester; the self-assessment will give you the chance to evaluate that work based on your own criteria as well as the course learning outcomes.

The Self-Assessment will provide you with an opportunity to demonstrate that you’ve understood the rhetorical terms that we’ve been working with this semester and an introduction to your portfolio.  The portfolio should include, at a minimum, all major assignments submitted over the course of the semester. You should also include content from your digital receipts as evidence of your labor and growth as a writer.

The portfolio will be housed on a WordPress site. If you are concerned about privacy, contact me directly. If you would like to opt out of creating a WordPress site, please let me know and we will arrange for you to make a portfolio elsewhere.  We will have one class time dedicated to creating your WordPress sites.


This course will focus on qualitative not quantitative assessment, something we’ll discuss during the class, both with reference to your own work and the works we’re studying. While you will get a final grade at the end of the term, I will not be grading individual assignments, but rather asking questions and making comments that engage your work rather than simply evaluate it. You will also be reflecting carefully on your own work and the work of your peers.

The intention here is to help you focus on working in a more organic way, as opposed to working as you think you’re expected to. If this process causes more anxiety than it alleviates, see me at any point to confer about your progress in the course to date. If you are worried about your grade, your best strategy should be to join the discussions, do the reading, and complete the assignments. You should consider this course a “busy-work-free zone.” If an assignment does not feel productive, we can find ways to modify, remix, or repurpose the instructions.

Here are a few readings about this policy:

“Why I Don’t Grade” by Jesse Stommel

“How to Ungrade” by Jesse Stommel

“(Un)Grading: It Can Be Done in College” by Laura Gibbs

“My Grading System FAQ” by Traci Gardner

“Labor Log” by Traci Gardner

“All Teachers Should Be Trained to Overcome Their Hidden Biases” by SORAYA CHEMALY



Digital Receipts10%
Drafts and Peer Review15%
Technical Report15%
Technical Description15%
Final Project-
- Proposal15%
- Presentation5%
Digital Portfolio-
- Theory of Writing10%
- Portfolio Site15%
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