• University of Minnesota Crookston

    Course:  Comp. 1011-Composition I (3 credits)

    Term:  Spring 2022

    Instructor:  Stacy Dahl, Teaching Specialist

    Office Location:  Room 205

    Department of Liberal Arts and Education

    Email:  sdahl@greenbush.k12.mn.us

    Phone:  218-782-2232 ex 216

    Classes meet Mondays-Fridays 8:20-9:50 AM Room 205 Greenbush-Middle River High School


    Course Description for Composition 1011:

    Students will develop a process of clear, concrete, and convincing writing that includes prewriting, drafting, organizing, revising, and editing. They will generate and discover subjects through the writing process.


    Composition 1011-Composition I Learning Outcomes:


    Upon completion of COMP 1011, students will be able to do the following things:



    • Working with Ideas/Planning Phase:


      • Analyze assignments and devise an appropriate approach to meet assignment requirements.
      • Assess and select the prewriting method most suitable for effectively generating ideas for meaningful paper topics.
      • Compose a working thesis statement that clearly states a position and serves to focus the paper.


    • Researching Phase:


      • Identify scholarly articles and journals. Know the difference between journals and magazines, and other non-academic sources.
      • Locate reliable and relevant sources online and within the university library databases.
      • Choose sources that explore a balance of views and provide fair representation of opposing views to accomplish the writer’s plan.



    • Drafting and Editing/Revising Phases:
    • Know and apply the fundamentals of grammar, spelling, and punctuation to meet the normal expectations of readers.
    • Be familiar with and apply appropriate research and writing processes for specific assignments, including an eight page research paper.
    • Support the thesis statement by providing credible evidence and selecting the combination of appropriate methods for paragraph development with an awareness of audience, context, and purpose.
    • Collaborate, using peer review, to give, receive, and evaluate feedback.
    • Use sources ethically by incorporating appropriate paraphrasing, quoting, summarizing, and in-text and reference page citing consistent with a current, recognized style format.
    • Develop a personal writing style that meets the standards of specific assignments.



    UMC Core Competencies:


    The University of Minnesota Crookston core competencies demonstrated in this course includes:  reading, writing, speaking and listening, problem solving, using technology, teamwork, and diversity.



    • Reading: Students demonstrate the ability to extract and construct meaning from written language.
    • Speaking: Students use oral language to increase knowledge, facilitate understanding, and/or promote change in a listener.
    • Writing: Students develop and express ideas with clarity in written form.
    • Listening: Students listen effectively in order to understand, use, and analyze verbal information.
    • Using Technology: Students effectively utilize appropriate software and hardware technology.



    • Teamwork: Students work collaboratively, engage in controversy with civility, and assume shared responsibility while working with others toward a common goal.
    • Diversity: Students understand and appreciate the similarities and differences in ability, behavior and/or beliefs.



    • Problem-Solving: Students design, evaluate, and implement a strategy to answer a question, resolve an issue, or solve a problem.
    • Applied Learning: Students use elements of reasoning to gather and organize information, analyze information, and apply subject matter knowledge for their discipline or field of study.


    Required Texts:  

    • Write for College, Writers Ink

    Course Evaluation:

    Composition I                                                              

    Grammar/Vocabulary Enhancement/Quizzes 15%                

    Drafts/Writing Group/In Class Writing 15%                         

    Papers 40%                                                                   

    Thesis Research Paper 30%     

    Grading Scale

    96-100 A

    93-95 A-

    90-92 B+

    83-85 B-

     80-82 C+

    76-79 C

    73-75 C-

    70-72 D

      Below 70 F


    • An A paper is exceptional work that more than fulfills the requirements of the assignment.  This essay tackles the topic in an innovative way, with a clear sense of audience and purpose, and insightful thesis, and an appropriate and effective organization.  The structure is carefully planned; each section of the paper develops the thesis with logical arguments and specific, conclusive evidence which has been interpreted and clearly related to the writer’s point.  The style is energetic and precise; the sentence structure is varied and the words are carefully chosen.  How the writer says things is as excellent as what the writer says.  There is evidence of careful editing since the paper contains few grammatical and/or mechanical errors, and if necessary, is correctly documented using MLA format.
    • The B is clearly above average and more than meets the requirements of the assignment.  Like the “A” paper, it has a clear thesis and organizational strategy: and each paragraph provides unified, coherent, and developed support for its thesis and subordinate assertions.  If necessary, it properly documents sources.  While the essay takes some “risks,” attempts complex strategies of development and pays attention to the audience, it falls short of the “A” essay in one or more of the following ways:  the thesis may not be as interesting or insightful; there may be weaknesses in organizational strategy or its execution; the support may not be uniformly conclusive and convincing; and the style may not be as energetic or the diction as thoughtful.  The essay shows strong evidence of editing since there are relatively few grammatical and/or mechanical errors.
    • The C paper is adequate work that solidly meets the requirements of the assignment.  The essay has a thesis and an organizational plan which demonstrate thought on the writer’s part, a generally clear style, an awareness of audience, and adequate documentation if required.  Paragraphs contribute unified and coherence support, but the writer may have difficulty with any of the following:  the thesis may be too general; the evidence may be predictable, may not be thoroughly interpreted, or may not be clearly related to the writer’s point; the paragraphs may be uneven in development and transition.  Even in the “C” essay, there should be relatively few grammatical or mechanical errors—not enough to interfere with readability; the student has done some editing, even though it may be superficial.
    • The D paper is below average work that demonstrates a serious attempt to fulfill the assignment and shows some promise but doesn’t not fully meet the requirements of the assignment.  The essay may have one or several of the following weaknesses.  It may have a general or implied thesis; but the idea may be too broad, vague, or obvious.  Awareness of audience may not be evident.  The organizational plan may be inappropriate or inconsistently carried out.  Evidence may be too general, missing, not interpreted, irrelevant to the thesis, or inappropriately repetitive.  Documentation may be incomplete or inaccurate.  The style may be compromised by repetitive or flawed sentence patterns and/or inappropriate diction and confusing syntax.  Grammatical and mechanical errors may interfere with readability and indicate a less-than-adequate attempt at editing or unfamiliarity with some aspects of the Standard Written English.
    • An F paper is substantially below average for the assignment.  It exhibits one or several of the following.  It may be off-topic.  It may be an attempt to meet the requirements of the assignment, but it may have no apparent thesis or a self-contradictory one, or the essay’s point is so general or obvious as to suggest little thinking-through of the topic.  It may display little or no apparent sense of organization; it may lack development; evidence may be inappropriate and/or off-topic or may consist of generalizations, faulty assumptions, or errors of fact; it may display little to no awareness of audience.  This essay may fail to handle borrowed material responsibly and/or to document appropriately.  The style suggests serious difficulties with fluency which may be revealed in short, simple sentences and ineffective diction.  Grammatical/mechanical errors may interfere with reader comprehension or indicate problems with basic literacy or a lack of understanding of Standard English usage.

    Special Needs: If a student has any disability, either permanent or temporary, which might affect her/his ability to perform in class, he/she is encouraged to inform the instructor at the beginning of the quarter.   Methods and materials will be adapted or arrangements for tutoring will be made as required to provide students with equitable class participation. Please note the availability of mental health services if needed.

    Equity, Diversity, Equal Opportunity, and Affirmative Action Policy


    Disability Accommodations


    The University of Minnesota Crookston is committed to providing equitable access to learning opportunities for all students. The Disability Resource Center (DRC) is the campus office that collaborates with students who have disabilities to provide and/or arrange reasonable accommodations.

    If you have, or think you may have, a disability (e.g., mental health, attentional, learning, chronic health, sensory, or physical), please contact the DRC at 218-281-8587 to arrange a confidential discussion regarding equitable access and reasonable accommodations.

    If you are registered with the DRC and have a current letter requesting reasonable accommodations, please contact your instructor as early in the semester as possible to discuss how the accommodations will be applied in the course.

    For more information, please see the DRC website, http://www1.crk.umn.edu/services/disability/

    Mental Health Services


    Course Procedures:

    Teaching Method: This course is primarily based on open class discussion, supplemented with individual and group activities. During a typical class period, you will journal, participate in writing groups, take notes, and then discuss the assigned material at length as well as any topics in relation to discussion.

    Participation: Participation is vital to class.    Students are expected to do all of the assigned readings as well as be prepared to write responses based on their reading.  Students should also be prepared to share thoughts, opinions, interpretations, and writing in class with other students.  This will be the means for evaluation of literature, as well as a process of sharing and discovering meaning.

    Grading and Transcripts Policy


    Final Drafts:

    All final essays must be typed or computer print outs.  Essays will be graded on

    their general clarity of purpose, language, organization, detail, and coherence.  

    Appropriate spelling, punctuation, and grammar is expected on all work turned in.

    Excessive errors will result in a lower grade.  Students are responsible for turning in work

    directly.  The responsibility ends when they get feedback I received it.

    Attendance: Because much of the work we will do in this class depends on class participation, you are expected to be on time for, and actively participate in each class meeting.  However, I understand that sometimes circumstances do not allow for perfect attendance.  There are daily in-class assignments that cannot be made up outside of class without substantial evidence, like a doctor’s excuse. An absence will result in the loss of at least 5 points for each day’s in-class assignment.  If you know you will be gone, it is YOUR responsibility to make arrangements.  If you do miss a class, YOU are responsible for finding out what you missed.

    Make up work for Legitimate Reasons


    Late Work:  Late work is NOT accepted.  It is due that school day from the hour of 7:30 am-3:30 pm.  If it is not turned in during that time, it will NOT be accepted.  Make arrangements to get it turned in ON TIME.  

    Teacher Conference:  If a student chooses NOT to teacher conference, he/she will automatically drop a letter grade on the final draft.

    Academic Integrity:  Academic integrity is essential to a positive teaching and learning environment. All students enrolled in University courses are expected to complete coursework responsibilities with fairness and honesty. Failure to do so by seeking unfair advantage over others or misrepresenting someone else's work as your own, can result in disciplinary action. The University Student Conduct Code defines scholastic dishonesty as follows:

    SCHOLASTIC DISHONESTY: submission of false records of academic achievement; cheating on assignments or examinations; plagiarizing; altering, forging, or misusing a University academic record; taking, acquiring, or using test materials without faculty permission; acting alone or in cooperation with another to falsify records or to obtain dishonestly grades, honors, awards, or professional endorsement.

    http://www1.umn.edu/regents/policies/academic/Student_Conduct_Code.html) http://policy.umn.edu/Policies/Education/Education/INSTRUCTORRESP.html

    Within this course, a student responsible for scholastic dishonesty can be assigned a penalty up to an including an "F" or "N" for the course. If you have any questions regarding the expectations for a specific assignment or exam, ask.  Composition I will also follow the rules of the Greenbush Middle River Academic Honesty Policy.

    Student Conduct: Instructors are responsible for maintaining order and a positive learning environment in the classroom. Students whose behavior is disruptive either to the instructor or to other students will be asked to leave.

    Appropriate Student Use of Class Notes and Course Materials


    Student Conduct Code


    Use of Personal Electronic Devices in the Classroom


    Sexual Harassment: Please note that sexual harassment by any member of the University community, student, faculty, staff, administration, is prohibited.  To review the complete policy on this issue, view the following webpage - http://regents.umn.edu/sites/default/files/policies/SexHarassment.pdf

    Note:  This is a college course; the rigor, content, and expectations are set at that level.  During the course of the semester, we will be reading and discussing material that contains adult themes; if you are uncomfortable with this, you may wish to drop the course.  If you have questions, concerns, or complaints about the course policies, please conference with the instructor by the end of the first week.  By remaining in the course, you are agreeing to the terms and conditions of the course policies.

    Please note that this is a living document and subject to change as necessary throughout the semester.


    Week 1:  Introduction to the course.  Great American Think Off prompt.  In class writing.  Place paper—introduction.  Introduction to prewriting:  One Writer’s Process 4-16, A Guide to Prewriting 17-24, Writing with Style 46-67 This I Believe prewriting

    Week 2:  Writing groups every Mon. and Thurs. addressing creative writing Vocab test #1.  Introduction to Drafting:  A Guide to Drafting 25-28.  A Guide to Revising 30-34, Personal Writing 145-156, 273 In class writing.  Mastering the College Essay 110-127. This I Believe prewriting---

    Week 3:  Place paper due.  Writing groups.  Vocab test #2   Introduction to Editing and Revising:  A Guide to Editing and Proofreading 37-40. In class writing.

    Week 4:  Person paper first draft.  In class writing.  Writing groups:  Writing piece due.  Vocab test #3.  Making Sentences Work 68-95.  

    Week 5:  Person paper—second  draft.  Writing groups.  Vocab test #4.  Developing Strong Paragraphs 96-107.

    Week 6:    Person paper teacher conference.  Summarizing and paraphrasing activities.  Writing groups.  Vocab test #5.  

    Week 7:  Summarizing and paraphrasing activities.  Writing groups:  Writing piece due.  Vocab test #6.  

    Week 8 Memory snapshot essay first draft.  Writing groups.  Vocab test #7.

    Week 9:  Memory snapshot second draft/teacher conference.   In class writing.  Writing groups.  Vocab test #8.

    Week 10:  Memory snapshot due.  Writing groups:  Writing piece due.  Vocab test #9.  

    Week 11:  Introduction to persuasive research paper.  Writing groups.  Vocab test #10.  

    Week 12:   Thesis—notecards/bib cards.  Research.  Writing groups.  Vocab test #11.  Using LA 300-371.

    Week 13:  Research.  Writing groups:  Writing piece due.  Vocab test #12.

    Week 14:  Research.  Writing groups.  Vocab test #13.

    Week 15:  Research.  Writing groups.  Vocab test #14.  

    Week 16:   Writing groups:  Writing piece due.   Thesis drafting/peer editing/teacher conferencing.  Vocab test #15.

    Week 17:  Thesis teacher conference.  Thesis due.

    Week 18:  Freedom Writers  Succeeding in College 543-547.