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Western Nevada College • Other • Other • Other

English 102: Composition II Online ENG-102

  • Spring 2017
  • Sections 4001. 4002, 4003
  • 3 Credits
  • 01/23/2017 to 05/20/2017
  • Modified 01/24/2017

Meeting Times

Office Hours

  • Monday, Wednesday, 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM, Bristlecone 350M

Office Hours

  • Thursday, 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM, Bentley Hall 109/ Douglas

Office Hours

  • Friday, 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM, Bristlecone 350M

Contact Information

Instructor: Professor Chad McCully

For prompt responses to your questions, use the message tool in Canvas (within the online environment for your enhanced or online course).  With the exceptions of holidays and weekends, I will make every effort to respond within 24 hours.  Phone messages left using the number listed above (my number at the Douglas Campus) will receive a delayed response, since I spend much of the week on the Carson Campus.  If you cannot visit my regular office hours, you may contact me to make an appointment at an alternate time, but again, use the Canvas messaging tool for the quickest response.


Catalog Description

Continues the study of expository writing. Students read and analyze writing and discursive techniques of interpretation, argument, and research.



In this class you will read poetry and fiction; you will then explore your understanding of this literature with your own writing. This is an English class, so you can expect that reading and writing will be the focus of your discussions and your goals. If you don’t enjoy reading and writing, be careful that you don’t unfairly prejudice yourself against the material. Be willing to try something new and learn from the experience.  After all, most professions demand articulate and literate professionals, and in your process of pursuing a college degree you should certainly aspire to become more articulate and literate.

Apply a positive attitude toward your participation in class discussions and assigned readings and you will better prepare yourself for success in the rest of this class. Be sure to be a good listener and an active thinker while attending this class and while completing homework.

If you feel intimidated by all this talk of reading, writing, and literature, take heart. Heed the words of a sympathetic philosopher:

“I get a lot more out of art, now that I am writing about it, than I ever did before. I think what is true of me must be true of everyone, that until one tries to write about it, the work of art remains a sort of aesthetic blur . . . I think in way everyone might benefit from becoming a critic in his or her own right. After seeing the work, write about it. You cannot be satisfied for very long in simply putting down what you felt. You have to go further.” – Arthur C. Danto

I would take Danto's words even further: life experiences, dreams, goals, passions, loves, and challenges can become clearer if you are able to write clearly about them.  Writing can wash away the murky waters of uncertain or confused thinking and reveal a bedrock of stronger ideas and observations.

With this in mind, I hope that each and every one of you will be a more confident writer and reader at the end of the semester, and that you will have a better understanding of how to apply these skills in your analysis of literature and the world around you.



Upon completion of this course the student should be able to:

  • Present substantially error-free prose suitable in style and content to the purpose of the document and the audience. (GenEd 2)
  • Recognize, analyze, and apply the elements of various genres (types) of literature.
  • Understand and use critical thinking and creativity to select and apply terms used to analyze literature suitable for arguments regarding literary texts. (GenEd 6)
  • Discuss, research, and write about literature with critical insight, precision and clarity. (GenEd 4)


How this Course Meets General Education Learning Outcomes

  • WRITTEN COMMUNICATION – Present substantially error-free prose suitable in style and content to the purpose of the document and the audience.
  • INFORMATION LITERACY – Locate, evaluate, and appropriately use information from multiple resources to complete projects, activities, and papers.
  • CRITICAL THINKING – Use critical thinking and appropriate problem solving methods to address significant or enduring problems.


Introduction to Literature (or the custom spiral bound text)

  • Author: Sylvan Barnet, William E. Burto, William E. Cain
  • Publisher: Pearson Custom Library
  • Edition: 16th
  • Availability: Campus Bookstore

See image of cover to check that you have the right text.

The Great Gatsby

  • Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald

Canvas Access

An activated WNC NetId and weekly access to a Canvas class through a personal computer.


Other Hardware and Software Requirements

• Modern computer with a modern operating system

• High speed Internet access


Microsoft Office, LibreOffice, or Open Office (free from or

The Bedford Handbook

  • Author: Diana Hacker
  • Optional

(or a similar handbook)



Resulting grade and related performance levels
Grade Range Notes
A 94-100

Highly exceptional work

A- 90-93

Exceptional work

B+ 87-89

Well above average

B 84-86

Above average

B- 80-83

Above average

C+ 77-79

Slightly above average

C 74-76


C- 70-73

Slightly below average

D 60-69

Below average

F 0-59



Students who fail to submit any of the two essays for a grade or otherwise receive a zero on any of the three essays will receive an "F" in the course.

Types of evaluations and related weights
Type Weight Topic Notes
Peer Review Writing 5%

Credit for participation is earned by submitting drafts of your essays (ready for review) by the deadline and completing assigned reviews of your peers' work.

Weekly Quizzes & Final Exam 15% Reading and other course material

Must be taken through the Canvas course.  This class requires a proctored exam during the final week of the semester.  If you can't make it to a testing center at a WNC campus, you will need to make arrangements with the instructor to have an off-campus site proctor your exam.  See the exam instructions within the class for more information.  The final exam will test you on your knowledge of assigned reading throughout the semester, including your knowledge of the assigned novel.

Writing Assignments & Essay Outlines 26% Group Discussion Work

600-800 words each.  Review the general discussion requirements and minimum expectations at the end of this syllabus.   Also, carefully follow specific instructions for each discussion throughout the semester and submit your writing for each on time (according to the deadline in the calendar).

Essay 1 27% Poetry

4-6 pages (research recommended)

Essay 2 27% Fiction

6-8 pages (requires research)

Course Policies

Attendance & Late Work

Students who do not complete the "syllabus and introductory notes quiz" with a score of 100% (by the deadline specified during the second week of class) will receive an automatic "F" from the instructor and will then be advised to withdraw from the course.

By participating in an online class you undertake an even larger responsibility for your own progress and time management.   Pay attention to deadlines and do not forget them (keep your own calendar of deadlines if it helps).  You are expected to read and understand all assignments.  Assignments are to be completed according to available instructions and notes. 

Do not just glance at an assignment before attempting to complete it (this is likely to result in a poor grade).  Spend considerable time ensuring that you understand instructions, expectations, and then use sufficient time to properly complete the assigment.  If something is unclear to you, give yourself time before deadlines to ask for clarification in the class "help" forum.  Last-second requests for help may not be answered in time, so ask for help well in advance.  All effort will be made to answer questions or calls for help within 24  hours after your initial inquiry.

While e-mails and one-on-one messages will be answered at the beginning of the semester, by the second week requests for help should then be posted in the "help and support" forum.  Unless a student message is private or confidential in nature (concerning a specific grade received, etc.), the request for help should be posted on this class help forum.

  • Plan on accessing the class a minimum of three or four times each week to read course notes, take note of any announcements or updates, upload completed work, and to communicate with your instructor and fellow students.  
  • I recommend checking for course announcements and e-mail regularly throughout the week.

Late Work

  • Late quizzes and exams will not be accepted for credit.  Be sure to take quizzes and exams before their deadlines expire.
  • For peer reviews, essay drafts must be submitted by the deadline for you to have any chance of earning credit for the peer review assignment.  Reviews of fellow students' work must also be submitted by the second deadline in order for you to earn credit for this part of the course.
  • Discussion writing happens on a set schedule.  If you miss the deadline, you will not receive credit for the late work.  Late discussion assignments, as a general rule, will not be accepted.
  • For full credit, essays (receiving a grade from the instructor) must be submitted to the correct Turnitin drop box (or Canvas assignment) before the essay's deadline.  Late essays will be penalized 10% for each week that the paper is late until the paper is submitted or until the paper’s overall score is reduced by 30% (An 80% could end up being a 50% if turned in three weeks late).  Note: papers will not be accepted after the last day of the semester, so the late penalty policy will not apply to papers with deadlines in the last two weeks of the semester.

    If a final draft is not submitted within three weeks of the paper’s due date, that paper will receive zero points.

You will not be given a grade of “W” if you stop attending class.  You will earn a grade for work completed during the semester unless you properly drop the course through the registration office.

Feedback and Evaluation of Essay Assignments

  • The poetry essay must be submitted with a typed outline that includes the essay's introductory paragraph, a clear thesis, and an organized, numbered list that represents the topic sentence and supporting points of each paragraph in the body of the essay.  Outlines must receive a passing score in order to have your paper receive any credit or feedback (see outline rubric).
  • If the outline passes, then the paper will be evaluated.  If the paper does not match the outline, the paper will be returned without receiving credit or additional feedback.
  • In order to earn a grade, all essays must be typed (in blue or black, 12 point, non-script font), be double-spaced with one-inch margins with an MLA formatted heading (refer to or to a current MLA guide for MLA guidelines and sample essays ), and submitted to TurnItIn through the assignment's drop box (within our online class environment).  In order for your format to be preserved by Turnitin and to be accessible for peer review credit, be sure to submit the paper in one of the following file formats (uploaded as a file): .doc or .docx (MS Word and Word format).  If you do not own Microsoft Word, you can use, free of charge, Open Office or LibreOffice to save papers in these formats ( or Essays that do not follow these basic guidelines will be returned without a grade and the submission date will reflect when the paper was corrected and properly resubmitted.  Note: these rules are for your essays; see discussion instructions and expectations for guidelines on discussion assignments.
  • I will use a rubric to score each essay submitted for a grade (see the .pdf file below).  In addition to this rubric, students will receive an explanation of this grade and suggestion for improvement.  My rubric will rate several criteria that determine the overall effectiveness of the writing: the paper's focus, development of this focus, effective organization (using paragraphs, transitions, and linking language), attention to audience and the assignment, and finally correctness and style.
  • The poetry essay (not discussion assignments) may be revised for an improved grade after receiving a grade and feedback from your instructor.  The revision must be submitted by the revision deadline that is announced in class or set in the class schedule.  If you want to revise a paper that received less than 70% credit (or a zero for a ineffective outline):
    • you are required to first schedule a "revision meeting" to discuss the paper with me.  If you schedule this meeting with me and do not come prepared with a typed copy of your paper (with my feedback-- if applicable) and a typed copy of your outline (with my feedback), or attend the meeting without having reviewed my feedback, then you will be responsible for rescheduling the meeting at a time and date when you will be properly prepared to discuss your paper.
    • After the revision meeting with me, you must then acquire additional feedback from a tutor (at the Academic Skills Center) and submit proof of a tutor’s help (this can be provided by a form used by the Academic Skills Center or through an e-mail from the tutor to me).
    • Finally, after these two steps have been completed, you may resubmit your revision along with the required outline (see the outline rubric). Your paper will then be reevaluated, starting with the outline.  If you fail the revision, you will not have another chance to improve your grade.
  • In instances of plagiarism or very late submissions, a student will not receive a rubric score or substantive feedback on their papers (and in cases of plagiarism, will fail the assignment and likely fail the entire class).
  • All feedback from your instructor will be delivered electronically and you are expected to review this feedback closely before submitting a revision.  If I check the Turnitin assignment, and it does not indicate you have viewed your feedback, you will not receive credit for your revision.
  • Delivery of feedback on your writing assignments may take up to three weeks to arrive, as every effort will be made to give all students sufficient feedback to improve their work.  Your patience is appreciated.
  • I retain the right to use anonymous copies of any essays submitted to my course as examples for future classes and students.  All identifying information will be removed and the examples will only be accessible to enrolled students.

Plagiarism and Originality

I use for all essay assignments submitted to this class.  This tool helps me easily review any unoriginal content in student work. Any plagiarism on an assignment will result in a failing grade for that assignment.  A student will receive an “F” in the entire course for a single act of blatant plagiarism.

Also, it is not ethical for students to submit written work they have previously completed or have written for another class, as original writing for assignments in this class.  Students who wish to reuse any of their own writing should always seek their instructor's permission first and explain the extent of the work they plan on doing for the assignment in question.  Failure to do so could result in a breech of academic integrity and result in an "F" on the assignment.  I also reserve the right to give an "F" on any assignment that does not demonstrate sufficient attention to the assignment's instructions.

Common Civility

Entering a college classroom demands that you treat other students in a manner that is supportive of academic inquiry, curiosity and shared learning.  Do not be quick to make assumptions about others who have different backgrounds, opinions, and values.  Fellow students are potential reservoirs of knowledge, experience and insight.  By respectfully acknowledging your similarities and differences with other students, you will learn a great deal about yourself.  Furthermore, if you are able to argue and discuss topics in a civil and reasoned manner (even those you feel most passionate about), you will have empowered your own voice and increased the likelihood that you will be heard and taken seriously by an academic or professional audience.

I expect students to demonstrate civility toward fellow students and their instructor within all areas of the online course.


Be sure to save all the work that you submit and that I return to you during the semester.  If there is a discrepancy between what you have completed and the credit you have been awarded, you will want to be able to prove your case.  Also, you will want to store or print copies for yourself in the event that there are computer errors or outages that result in loss of data.  You are responsible for creating backups of your work and managing your time in anticipation of any computer crashes, power outages, or other unforeseen difficulties.  Have a secondary location (public library, campus computer lab, etc.) where you can complete online work in case there is an interruption of service or other problem at your primary location.

You are expected to read and carefully consider all course materials and instructions, including student and instructor feedback on your writing. 

The Academic Skills Center & Other Tutoring

Students are strongly encouraged to seek additional help and feedback on their writing throughout the semester.  The WNC Academic Skills Center employs tutors who will assist you in your efforts.  Visit the Academic Skills Center website at to review tutoring hours and more detailed contact information.  Call 775-445-4260 to reach the Academic Skills Center on the Carson Campus and 775-423-7565 ext. 2278 to reach the AcademicSkills Center on the Fallon Campus.

Free online tutoring is also available through Brainfuse for WNC students.  Access this service by using the link provided on the library's web page:

Institutional Policies

Students with Disabilities

Any student who feels that he or she may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact me privately to discuss your specific needs. You will also need to contact the Disability Support Services Office at 775-445-3266 in room 103 of the Bristlecone Building located on the Carson campus.

Transfer Information

This course is designed to apply toward a WNC degree and/or transfer to other schools within the Nevada System of Higher Education, depending on the degree chosen and other courses completed. It may transfer to colleges and universities outside Nevada. For information about how this course can transfer and apply to your program of study, please contact a counselor.

Additional Items

Discussion Rubric

This score card explains exactly how you will earn points for discussion assignments.  I will score your discussion writing with this rubric (you will receive one score card for each discussion), and this score will indicate what you need to improve in order to increase your score on the next discussion and the upcoming essay.  If you have further questions or need more feedback on discussion writing, send me a specific question about your score and your writing and I'll give you further help.

General Instructions and Expectations for Discussion Assignments

See the individual assignment for additional instructions and specific prompts.  For each assignment, you will be expected to follow these assignment specific instructions carefully.


Even though these assignments are called “discussions,” your writing is expected to be college level composition that is carefully edited and formally submitted for credit in this course.


Academic Standards for Discussion Writing Posted for Credit in this Class:


Writing will be submitted as a single post (not in an attachment) to the proper discussion or forum. 


A minimum of five paragraphs consisting of six-hundred to eight-hundred words for group discussion posts will be required for each discussion assignment.


You are expected to reply each week to the posts of at least two other students within a discussion.  For each reply, a single thoughtful paragraph of at least 100 words will suffice.


In addition to this, each student's discussion writing should demonstrate the qualities listed below.


Attentiveness and Professionalism:


• Writing will demonstrate attention to the assignment (you will understand and carefully follow the instructions for the assignment).


• Writing will be in complete sentences, in organized paragraphs, will correctly quote language from source material (see my note on plagiarism at the bottom of these instructions), and be free of errors.


• Writing will demonstrate respectful consideration of fellow students’ work (particularly in replies to that work).

Critical Thinking:


• Writing will demonstrate understanding of important concepts covered in course notes, the textbook, and other class materials.
• Writing will demonstrate an effort to move beyond a superficial response and supply a thoughtful, well considered answer to a discussion question.
•Writing will develop a central idea or thesis (a single overall answer to the discussion question).
• Writing will include at least four or five quotes from your reading and/or outside research to support your discussion.
• Writing will be detailed and specific.  A very generalized response does not demonstrate that you have attentively completed the assigned reading.
Writing will be effectively organized into focused paragraphs and will move logically from one idea to the next using clear transitions.

Other Basic Requirements and Advice for Discussion Assignments:


  1. Clearly label all of your responses with a title or “subject” that indicates the subject you are writing about (include, for instance the title of the poem, story, or article to which you are responding).  You can also make a strong first impression in your title by making it unique to your overall post.
  2. Properly introduce us to your subject at the beginning of your post.
  3. Do not attach your discussion as a file.  Instead, use the Rich Text Editor in Moodle to format your post (complete the writing on your own computer first, save a backup, then copy and paste your post into the text editor.  Fix the formatting after you paste your writing into the input form, check your formatting again after submitting, and correct as necessary-- you have a thirty-minute editing window to edit your work after posting, so do most of your substantial editing work inside your word processor-- save the last thirty minutes to address any formatting errors).
  4. Write focused, concise and meaningful discussion posts (since these are short writing assignments, do not waste words).
  5. Be sure to respond meaningfully to your peers.  If another student's post needs work, you can add supportive comments or suggest some things the student might consider in order to expand or otherwise improve his or her writing.

  6. Remember that tone-of-voice is easily misinterpreted in written language, so go out of your way to sound supportive and helpful in your responses to other students, even if you need to tell a student that he or she has fallen short of the requirements for the assignment.

  7. If you are posting your discussion assignment early, you may need to return nearer to the discussion deadline (or the day after) in order to find student work and post your replies.

  8. Responses to discussions will be due the day after the discussion is due.

  9. Be careful to correctly cite any quoted language from source material.  Your discussion assignments must be your original answer to the discussion question, and therefore they must be constructed with your own thesis, thoughts and sentences.  Blatant plagiarism on a discussion assignment will result in failure of the entire course.