English 102
Composition and Literature II
Spring 2003
Sections 019, 029, 046, 064

Chip Rogers, Professor
Phone: (843) 769-4328
Email: chiprogers@comcast.net
Web address: www.cofc.edu/~rogersa
Office: 22A Glebe Street, Room 102
Office phone: (843) 953-4833
Office hours: MW 11:00-12:00, TR 12:15-1:30,
and by appointment

Texts and Materials 

Beaty, Booth, Hunter, and Mays, The Norton Introduction to Literature, 8th edition.

Heffernan, Lincoln, and Atwill, Writing: A College Handbook, 5th edition.

F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, Scribner authorized edition.
Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre, Signet Classic edition.  

A Guide to Freshman English (CofC publication available at the College Bookstore).

"Handouts" from my web site. 

Theme folder with pockets or clasps to secure loose-leaf paper.


The Undergraduate Bulletin describes English 102 as "Continued study of expository and argumentative writing and of the preparation and writing of research papers.  Plays and poetry are used for composition topics." 

My fundamental aim is to help you improve your ability to read, think, and write critically.  This course will 1) develop your skill building effective analytical and argumentative essays, 2) improve the smooth incorporation of secondary materials (i.e. research) into your writing, and 3) improve your competence in independent college-level research.  Along the way, we will also learn much about literature and about ourselves.  Whatever your present abilities, I guarantee this course will improve your reading and writing and equip you with the essentials for advanced college writing.

Core Requirements

5 formal essays
10 informal reading response essays ("critical responses") of at least 100 words

Corrections, including corrected drafts, of all 5 formal essays

Peer response writings for formal essays
Reading quizzes
Participation in discussion and in-class exercises
At least one paper conference 

A final exam (includes 2 formal essays) 


Attendance: Each class is important, so it is crucial that you be in class on time every day.  I record attendance daily, and absences will affect your grade.  I will issue warnings to students who miss three class periods—students who miss four classes will be dropped from the roster or given an automatic F.  You cannot make up missed assignments.  If you become ill, or there is a death in your family, or if there is any other reason you cannot attend class, let me know to excuse your absence and make arrangements for missed assignments before you miss class. Call me at home or send emailDoctor's notes, notes from Undergraduate Studies, police reports, parental phone calls and so forth will not excuse absences after the fact. 

Late work: Late work will be penalized one letter grade for each class day the assignment is late.  Work turned in more than three class days after the due date will receive no higher grade than F.

Bare minimum course requirements: You must complete and turn in all five formal essays and all five sets of corrections and take the exam to pass the course.

Plagiarism: Except for assignments expressly calling for collaborative effort, all written work must be your own.  Any unacknowledged "borrowing" from the writings of others is an infraction of the honor code, and penalties for plagiarism are severe, ranging from an F for the course to expulsion from the College.  For a fuller definition of plagiarism, see p. 7 of the Guide to Freshman English.

Course Description

Class discussion: Most class periods will involve open discussion of the readings, with little or no lecture.  Your participation in discussion is mandatory.  I will call on reticent or "quiet" students frequently, and class participation factors significantly in your final grade.

Formal essays: the guts of the course—formal essays present carefully structured and polished argumentation or analysis of issues arising from the readings and discussion.  Detailed options and instructions for each essay assignment will be posted on the web.  One of the five essays will be written entirely in class. 

Peer responses involve close reading of classmates' papers and written criticism and advice on how to improve them.  I will provide handouts to help focus your criticism for each peer response exercise.

Corrections: After each formal essay is graded, you 1) record all marked errors on corrections worksheets, and 2) hand in corrected drafts with all changes underlined or highlighted.  Since corrections require a corrected and freshly printed draft after the paper has been graded, you should save all papers on disk to avoid having to retype entire drafts.  For specifics, see corrections instructions

Reading quizzes: unannounced quizzes testing your close attention to the readings.

In-class exercises: written assignments no more than paragraph-length, sometimes collaborative, that will vary as need arises.

Critical response essays: informal writings of at least 100 words, submitted through email to the class's listserv, responding to the readings before we discuss them in class.  Note that each critical response assignment is valid for one class period only, and that critical responses are accepted only by the beginning of the period for which they are assigned.  I will post critical response questions on the web and announce them in class the meeting before each reading assignment is due. 

Conferences: At least one conference for review of a completed essay in draft is mandatory, and I strongly recommend additional conferences at any stage of the paper-writing process—exploring topics, drafting, revising, or editing.  My typical aim in conferences is to head off potential problems in your papers and to offer helpful, critical response to your work before you submit it for grading.

Final exam: The exam tests your mastery of the readings and offers a proving ground for proficiency in writing effective essays.  The exam will consist of short answer questions (identifying and explaining the significance of specific passages) and two essays.

Paper "rewrites": You may rewrite and resubmit graded formal papers for re-grading (excluding the one formal essay written in class).  Rewrite grades replace original grades completely.  Note that rewriting involves far more substantial revision than correcting grammatical errors: rewrites should address larger problems in focus, structure, content, and style.  The starting point for revision is my typed comments on your graded papers; rewrites should also address comments and questions written in the margins of your graded papers. 


You will keep all drafts of all five formal essays, including corrections, in one "formal paper folder"—all drafts of all five essays should remain in this folder throughout the semester.  It's a good idea to collect all handouts and in-class exercises as a sort of "evolving textbook" in a second folder or notebook. 


As you will see, I am a firm believer in using the Internet as a teaching tool.  Most handouts and all out-of-class assignments will be posted on my web site rather than being distributed as "hard copy" in class—it will be your responsibility to print these handouts from the web before we discuss them in class.  Most handouts are indicated as linked pages on the syllabus of assignments.  I also encourage you to email me with questions on any course matters large or small. 

Final grade breakdown

 Class participation 10%
 Reading quizzes  10%
 Peer responses 
 Critical responses 10%
 Corrections  10%
 Essay 1  8%
 Essay 2  9%
 Essay 3   6% 
 Essay 4  10%
 Essay 5   11% 
 Final Exam 10%

You should track your grades over the semester by keeping a Scorecard.  See me to check your cumulative grade at any time—I keep grades on computer spreadsheets that are updated weekly, if not daily. 

The Bottom Line: I hope every member of this class gets an A, and I will do everything I can to make this happen.  Don't get me wrong—the standards for "A" work are high, and I make no exceptions in course policies on absences, missed assignments, plagiarism, or late work.  But I guarantee you have one of the most accessible instructors at the College of Charleston: ask for help outside of class, and I'll do my level best to deliver. 

Updated 1/7/2003