English Composition I

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English Composition I

Zion Bible College

EN1341-01 – 3 Credits

Spring 2011

Tuesday: 3:45-5:35 and 6:30-7:20, Rm. 204

Rosalie LoPinto, Adjunct Professor

Office: Academy Hall 141

Office Phone: 978-478-3440

Office Hours: Tuesday/Thursday 2:00 – 3:00 PM, or by appointment

Email: rlopinto@zbc.edu rmlopinto@aol.com

The mission of Zion Bible College is to teach and train students for excellent Pentecostal ministry in fulfillment of the Great Commission.
English Composition I focuses on the development of writing skills. Consideration is given to the techniques necessary for developing different styles of composition, including informal, narrative, persuasive, and academic writing. Careful attention is given to paragraph development, grammar, syntax, literary techniques, and developing the writer’s voice. Research methods and a step-by-step approach to writing a research paper are also covered. This includes thesis development, outlining, Turabian formatting, ZBC writing standards, and creating an annotated bibliography.


  1. The student will improve proficiency in grammar, punctuation, spelling, and usage.

  2. The student will learn to organize, develop, and express original ideas through written work.

  3. The student will develop in critical thinking, reading, and rhetorical skills.

  4. The student will glean from the structure and content of model essays.

  5. The student will overcome apprehensions about written and oral communication.

  6. The student will develop self-editing and proofreading skills.

  7. The student will refine research skills and their ability to write persuasively.

  8. The student will become proficient in Zion Bible College research paper standards, including the correct use of Turabian formatting.

The methodology employed will include the examination of different modes of writing, progressing from one mode to another in a logical sequence, encouraging students to incorporate the rhetorical skills acquired with an ever-increasing level of sophistication. Selected literary and poetic readings, as well as multi-media presentations with discussion following, will broaden the students’ horizons and encourage critical and analytical thinking.


  • Cook, Claire Kehrwald. Line by Line. Houghton Mifflin Co., 1985.

  • Arlov, Pamela. Wordsmith: A Guide to College Writing, 4th Edition. Pearson, 2007.

  • Turabian, Kate L. A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 7th Edition. The University of Chicago Press, 2007.

[The Turabian book is required for all ZBC students.]

  • Strunk, William, Jr. and E.B. White. The Elements of Style, 4th Edition. Longman, 1999.

  • Zinsser, William, On Writing Well, 30th Anniversary Edition, 2006.

  • Collegiate level dictionary

  • Thesaurus

This course places a strong emphasis on the writing process as well as the finished product. You will gain the skills needed to create, revise, and refine your writing. You should be prepared to share written assignments with others in the class. Therefore, please give careful consideration to what would be appropriate for that purpose.
TextbookIt is essential that you bring Wordsmith to every class as it is used for a variety of readings and exercises during class sessions. After the second week of class, you will be penalized (through a reduction in your Class Participation grade) for failure to come to class with your textbook (or proof that it was ordered during

Week 1). It is not necessary to bring Line by Line to class, unless requested, but proof

of purchase must be provided for it, as well.
Writing – You will complete multiple essays. These essays are apart from the major Persuasive Research Paper described below.

  • All written work (exclusive of in-class assignments) must be word-processed.

  • It is your responsibility to be sure you have a working computer and a working printer available to complete your work.

  • Lateness of work will not be excused because of equipment malfunction.

  • You must have each essay prepared by the due date as indicated on the attached schedule.

  • Failure to submit essays on time will result in an automatic reduction in grade. The same policy applies if you are absent. It is your responsibility to make sure your draft is delivered to my office that day or to the class that afternoon (at 3:45 PM). Essays not brought to class or submitted by 3:45 PM on the day they are due are considered LATE.

  • Each essay will be graded and returned to you with proofing marks. If you choose to correct the essay and return it for reconsideration of the grade, you may do so within one week of the day it is returned to you.

  • The first draft must be submitted to me with the revised draft for reconsideration of the grade.

  • Please staple them together, in the upper left-hand corner, arranged chronologically with the most recent draft on top. All written assignments should include the course number, your name, the date of submission, the draft # and word count. These should be typed in the upper left corner, on separate lines, single spaced. The body of all papers should be double spaced, with one inch margins. Failure to follow these instructions will result in a reduction in grade.

Reading and Research

  • Regular reading assignments will be given and should be completed before the class for which they are assigned. On the midterm and on the final exam you will be asked to sign a reading verification statement.

  • The book Line by Line is to be read in its entirety and a three page (minimum) summary is to be submitted according to the attached schedule. This is to be not merely an expanded table of contents, but should indicate what you have gleaned from reading the book.

  • You will utilize the College library as well as the public library for research and should familiarize yourself with available data bases. You will also be expected to develop research capabilities using the World Wide Web.

The Research Paper This paper is a persuasive paper, between five and eight typed pages, using Turabian documentation. A title page is required, along with a thesis, an outline and a Works Cited page. The font for all papers must be 12 point Times New Roman.

The process of writing a research paper will be approached step-by-step, with preliminary thesis sentence, outline, and annotated bibliographic essay submitted in advance of the completed paper’s due date. This does not mean that the following elements are to be excluded from your final Research Paper:

  1. By week five you will present your thesis statement. You will also submit a minimum of three topic sentences for body paragraphs which correlate with thesis statement.

  2. An Annotated Bibliographic Essay is due Weeks 8 and 9 (depending on which group you are in). This will be thoroughly explained in class. Your finished paper will not contain this essay but will contain a Works Cited page (that is, a listing of all sources you have actually cited in your paper, not a Sources Consulted page).

  3. An outline of your research paper is due Weeks 8 and 9 (depending on which group you are in).

  4. Presentations will occur over a two week period (Weeks 8 and 9, depending on which group you are in) – Each student is required to present his or her Research topic in front of the class. The Presentation should be persuasive, seeking to persuade your audience of the position you have taken in your thesis statement. Grading will be based on evidence of having done preliminary research, on the creativity of the presentation, and on the persuasiveness of the speaker. The presentation is five minutes in length, exclusive of a question and answer time.

  5. The presentation often reveals gaps in your research, a lack of persuasiveness in your argument, or an overall limited grasp of your topic. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you do not attempt to complete your paper prior to offering your presentation.

The Group Project – Students will be assigned to a group. Each group will appoint a group leader. The leader will be responsible for leading group meetings and diplomatically settling group disputes. Each group will complete the following writing project:

The Mini-Book

  • The group will choose a prominent biblical or historical figure or event, i.e., David or the events of September 11, 2001, or create a fictional narrative on another subject of the group’s choosing (with the approval of the Instructor).

  • Each member of the group will be responsible for completing one chapter of the book. Each chapter will be a minimum of 1,000 words.

  • The group will decide what each chapter will cover.

  • Though written by individuals, the book should flow together. Though different writers’ voices are to be expected, shifts in viewpoint, tense, etc. should be agreed upon prior to writing chapters.

  • This project will be undertaken during the beginning of the semester and will draw upon discussions of and reading of descriptive/narrative writing. The writing should reflect what has been learned.

  • These will be fictionalized accounts, adding dialogue as appropriate. However, when dealing with biblical topics, please don’t “over fictionalize.” We will discuss this further.

  • The finished product should be placed in a presentation folder with a clear cover. The first page should be like a book cover, utilizing some kind of graphics. There should be a title page and a table of contents. The table of contents should list each chapter title and its author, along with page numbers. The entire document should have page numbers, following standard publishing formats (to be discussed).

  • On the due date, each individual should also submit their own chapter, prepared in standard essay format (including word count).

  • Each individual will be graded on his/her own chapter, and how well it contributed to the overall flow of the “book.”

  • Everyone in the group is responsible to read the book in its entirety and offer critical suggestions and corrections. You will be asked to attest to the fact that you read the entire book. The goal is to submit a finished project that is as close to perfect as possible. It should be neat, attractive, and error free to the best of your ability.

Quizzes, Mid-term Examination, and Final Exam Pop quizzes should be expected; they occur frequently. They will vary in nature, and are generally drawn from that week’s reading assignment, and work covered in class the previous week. Please refer to attached schedule for date of midterm examination. Final exams are given after the last week of classes and dates will be announced toward the end of the semester.

Attendance – Students are expected to attend all class periods. Because this class meets once a week for the full 3 credit hours, only two absences for illness, personal matters, or other emergencies are permitted. Please refer to the Student Handbook for further information. Please note that each assignment must be submitted on the due date regardless of absence to avoid a minimum 5 point reduction for tardiness. Also note that a tardy assignment must be submitted within five days of the due date. Please review the Late Assignment Policy on page 3 of this Syllabus.

Plagiarism – Plagiarism is stealing or “borrowing” someone else’s work or ideas and presenting them as your own. Using a document or part of a document written by another student is plagiarism. Buying an essay from one of the services that sells such documents is plagiarism. Using a document published on the Web is plagiarism. Paraphrasing another document without giving credit to the original source is plagiarism. Having someone write an essay for you is plagiarism. Having someone so drastically edit your work so that it is no longer your work is plagiarism.

The following is an excerpt from the Zion Bible College 2008-2009 Faculty Manual:

As a school intent on training men and women of integrity for the ministry, Zion takes plagiarism seriously. Plagiarism consists of the following categories:

  • Use of another’s ideas without giving credit;

  • Quoting material from published or unpublished works, or oral presentations, without giving proper citation;

  • Paraphrased material, whether published or unpublished, written or oral, without proper citation;

  • Copying another student’s paper, [with or] without that student’s permission.

Any student found guilty of plagiarism will be subject to, but not necessarily limited to, the following discipline:

  1. Faculty discipline on first offense:

    1. Reduction of grade

    2. Failure of assignment

    3. Letter of reprimand

  2. Academic Affairs Committee discipline on successive offense(s). Student will be subject to, but not necessarily limited to, the following discipline:

    1. Receiving an “F” for the course

    2. Second offense - removal of any extracurricular activities

    3. Three or more offenses – Dismissal for one year

Cheating – A student who engages in dishonest behavior, such as: using unauthorized notes or material when taking an examination, copying answers to examination questions, or engaging in securing unauthorized copies of examination questions, is subject to the action or penalty indicated above. Copying another person’s class work and/or homework and submitting it as one’s own, or having another person perform an assignment and submitting it as the originator, is guilty of plagiarism (which is cheating). Such students will be subject to the same discipline as for plagiarism.

Grading and Evaluation:

Essays 10%

Quizzes 10%

Midterm 10%

Book Summary 10%

Annotated Bibliography 5%

Research Presentation 10%

Research Paper 15%

Group Project 10%

Final Exam 10%

Reading 5%

Class Participation 5% (includes group activities, in-class assignments, homework & attentiveness

Recommended for Writers

Bagnull, Marlene. Write His Answer, 2nd ed. Phoenix, AZ: Write Now Publications, 1999.

Burack, Sylvia K., ed. The Writer’s Handbook. Boston, MA: The Writer, Inc., 1995.

Clark, Thomas et al. The Writer’s Digest Guide to Good Writing. Cincinnati, OH: Writer’s

Digest Books, 1994.

Herr, Ethel. An Introduction to Christian Writing, 2nd revised ed. Phoenix, AZ: Write Now

Publications, 1999.

Hudson, Robert, gen. ed. The Christian Writer’s Manual of Style, Updated and Expanded Edition. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2004.

Minot, Stephen. Three Genres: The Writing of Fiction/Literary Nonfiction, Poerty, and Drama,

8th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2007.
Zinsser, William. On Writing Well, 7th ed. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2006.


Subject to modification at instructor’s discretion

Material in Wordsmith Chptrs. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,9,10,11,26, and 27 in 3rd Ed. [Chptrs. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7, 9,10,11,28, and 29 in 4th Ed.] will be covered in class, as well as selected readings from the text.


Reading & Assignments Due

Week 1 – 1/25/2011

  • In class writing assignment

  • Group Project workshop

Week 2 – 2/1/2011

  • Read Wordsmith Chapter 8 prior to doing 1st draft of chapter for Group Project

  • Prepare an outline for book chapter to be discussed within your group and handed in. Your chapter is to be a descriptive narrative.

  • Read Wordsmith* Chptrs. 13-17 [3rd Ed.] Chptrs. 13,14,16,17,18 [4th Ed.]

Week 3 – 2/8/2011

  • Read Wordsmith Chapters 18-21 [3rd Ed.] Chapters 19-22 [4th Ed.]

  • Draft 1 of Chapter for Group Project (bring 2 copies to class, 1 to hand in)

Week 4 – 2/15/2011

  • Read Wordsmith Chapters 22-28 [3rd Ed.] Chapters 24-30 [4th Ed.]

  • Draft 2 of Chapter for Group Project (bring 2 copies to class, 1 to hand in)

Week 5 – 2/22/2011

  • Group Project Due in Presentation Folder

  • Individual chapters to be handed in

  • Research Topic, Thesis Sentence, Outline due

Week 6 – 3/1/2011

  • MIDTERM – all material covered in weeks 1–5

  • Begin reading Line By Line pp. vii – 138 (3 page summary due 3/22)

Spring Break – 3/8/2011

Have fun!

Week 7 – 3/15/2011

  • Read Wordsmith, Chapter 10, 11, 12 [3rd Ed.] Same in 4th Ed.

  • Persuasive Essay Due

  • Read Appendix B (pp. 161-205) of Line by Line & Vocabulary handout..

  • Quiz on Appendix B and Vocabulary handout will be given in class.

Week 8 – 3/22/2011

  • Summary of Line by Line pp. vii-138 due.

  • Turabian Quiz (Bring Turabian handout to class.)

  • Academic Voice essay due

Week 9 – 4/5/2011

  • Annotated Bibliography due

  • Research Presentations (Group A)

Week 10 – 4/12/2011

  • Research Presentations (Group B)

Week 11 – 4/19/2011

  • Research Paper Due

Week 12 – 4/26/2011

  • Senior Banquet – This class will be rescheduled.

Week 13 – 5/3/2011

  • English Comp Final Part I (Essays)

May 4–10 2011

  • FINALS – English Comp Part II (Short Answers)

* When reading Wordsmith chapters, it is not required that you write down the answers to the exercises; however, you should review and understand them. If you would like to submit answers for intructor’s review, they will be corrected and returned to you.


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