Sample Syllabus — Collaborative syllabus for ENG-W131ML

Co-writers: Will Allendorfer (IU, Second Language Studies) and Tara Kelley (IU, Department of Education)

ENGLISH W131ML: Elementary Composition Multilingual

ENG W131-2695 (MWF 12:20-1:10 p.m.) • BH 015 • Fall 2013       


Instructor information


Name Katherine Blake
Office WH 235 (group conferences only); Office hours will be held in the cafeteria of the IMU (in the same area as the Pizza Hut & Salad bar)
Office Hours By appointment only, W 1:30-2:45 and Th 3:00-4:15

Please contact me about official business (grades, feedback, etc.) through the “Message” system on oncourse.


Course description and goals

ENG W131 is designed to introduce you to college-level reading, writing and research as a multivocal (many-voiced) process. In this course, you will investigate an issue critically and rhetorically, which means you will question deeply into an issue that arises from a particular context, articulate a research question from that inquiry, and develop an informed and complex response to that question. By completing your writing projects, you will learn the capacities for strong academic writing, including ways of reading, investigating, reasoning, questioning, and inventing ideas. We will look at how writing changes when used for different purposes, and how genres of academic writing are shaped for different audiences and contexts.

Required materials

  • The World of Writing: A Guide, by Kate Magelsdorf and Evelyn Posey
  • Rules for Writers, Seventh Edition by Diana Hacker
  • Additional handouts or readings in Oncourse (you must print these and bring them to class)
  • Access to the following software: Microsoft Word, Adobe Acrobat Reader, a Web browser, MARCA, and a working Indiana University e-mail account (available on any STC computer across campus)

Evaluation and grading SCALE

Each assignment has specific evaluation criteria, but generally speaking, your projects will be evaluated on the basis of content and argument, development of ideas, use of sources, organization and coherence, language and vocabulary, and grammatical and stylistic conventions. You must complete both drafts of each major paper in order to receive full credit for the assignment. The final grade distribution is as follows:

899-870 points (B+) 799-770 points (C+) 699-600 (D)
1000-930 points (A) 869-830 points (B) 769-730 points (C) 599 and below (F)
929-900 points (A-) 829-800 points (B-) 729-700 points (C-)

Please keep in the mind that at Indiana University, an “A” indicates exemplary work and means you have mastered the concepts of the assignment or made significant improvement as a result of careful revision. A “B” indicates very good work in which you have not only met all of the assignment requirements, but you have also met them at a level above expectations. A “C” indicates that you have sufficiently completed the assignment, have improved, and are moving positively towards mastering the concepts. A “D” indicates that you have struggled to execute some portion of the assignment properly and may need help. An “F” indicates that you either did not understand or did not follow through with the assignment.


Short assignments 40 each 200 pts
Paper 1: Exploring an event 125 pts
Paper 2: Interview an expert 150 pts
Paper 3: Argue a position 200 pts
Reflection journal 25 each 75 pts
Repurposed genre 50 pts
Reading journal 25 each 75 pts
Peer reviews 25 each 75 pts

1000 pts

Short assignments: 6 short essays of 1-3 pages. Descriptions of these assignments can be found on oncourse under “Assignments.” You will submit your essays on oncourse. At the end of the semester, I will drop the lowest grade of these 6 assignments (so 5 will count towards your final grade).

Papers: Three 7 page papers on different topics. In these papers, you will demonstrate the skills you learned in class and in the short assignments. They will increase in complexity and point value throughout the semester.

Reflection journal: Three short essays to be submitted after each paper. In these essays, you’ll describe your writing process for each paper.

Repurposed genre: A presentation at the end of the semester in which you will alter something from one genre to fit another. This will be explained in more detail later in the semester.

Reading journal: A short summary and analysis to accompany each major essay, and assigned as needed to supplement in-class exercises or other material. These will be submitted on Marca, and will receive a grade at the end of the semester based on the overall quality of submissions.

Peer reviews: To be conducted using Marca. The peer review process will be explained clearly when the first draft of paper 1 is due.

Plagiarism and academic integrity

At IUB, plagiarism is considered a violation of academic integrity and can result in automatic failure of the course (please see “Part II: Responsibilities” of the Code of Student Conduct for more information: But plagiarism is easily misunderstood. Plagiarism literally means “the act of kidnapping” and it occurs when you represent someone else’s work as your own work in the following ways:

  • having someone write your paper for you or turning in someone else’s work
  • purchasing someone else’s work and using it as your own
  • selling or providing your own work to someone else (i.e., Course Hero or other online platforms)
  • simply copying and pasting published information into your paper
  • deliberately using sources without attributing them.

Our course will teach you how to critically integrate the ideas of other writers and how to document the sources of those ideas. However, good source integration begins at the very moment you locate a source, and is reflected in how carefully you read and how well you take notes. So, please ask me if you think your source integration may be mistaken for plagiarism.


This course is intensive and we have a lot of material to cover in a short period of time. Tardiness is disruptive. You will be counted tardy if you are more than one minute late to class. Three instances of tardiness will count as one absence. The standard attendance policy for ENG W131 allows you 3 absences over the whole semester. More than 3 absences will result in your final grade being dropped by 1/3 of a letter grade for each additional absence (for example, from B to B-).



While most of us are multilingual in this class, the medium of instruction is in English, for several reasons. First, you have few opportunities outside of this class to engage in focused listening, writing, and speaking in English; thus, we encourage you to make good use of your time in this class. Second, because we are studying writing as a multivocal and discursive act, it becomes very important that all of us can participate in every discussion; thus, as a class we must work hard to develop a common language and our discussions will occur in that common language.


Minor policies

  • You need to have acquired both texts before the second week of class. You will be counted absent for each day you do not have your book after the beginning of the second week.
  • Late assignments will not be accepted.
  • We will spend our class sessions discussing, revising writing, or workshopping various stages of the research process. You will often work in groups, read each other’s drafts, and be expected to speak in class. To prepare for our reading discussions, you should make sure you look up phrases or words you do not understand and be prepared to give your own opinion of the reading when asked.
  • You are granted one extension on any final paper draft or one rewrite on paper 1 or paper 2. The extension must be requested at least 24 hours before the due date. A rewritten paper may be submitted up to three weeks after receiving your initial grade.
  • Make sure that if you want to ask me a question about your grades or any personal class business, that you use the “Message” system in oncourse. I will also use this system to relay any official & personal information.

Oncourse & Marca

In order to turn in assignments, you will need access to Oncourse and MARCA. Access oncourse at and MARCA at On oncourse, you can view the syllabus, your individual paper grades & overall grade (in “Gradebook”), and any essays not included in your textbooks. Additionally, I’ll post any powerpoints from lecture. You can find the powerpoints and essays under “Resources.” Also, you will submit only short assignments through oncourse. MARCA is a third-party website that makes it possible your peers and I to edit your work over the web. It will enable you to complete peer review remotely, and it will allow you to keep your peers’ comments and mine all in the same place. On MARCA you will submit reading and reflection journals, first, second, and final drafts, complete peer review, and view my comments on your graded essays. Visit “Annoucements” on oncourse to view detailed instructions for signing up for Marca.

Office hours

Meeting with me is an important part of success in this course. I prefer to meet with everyone at least twice per semester, and I will certainly meet with many of you at least once per unit. Please email me at least 24 hours before my office hours are scheduled to begin to request an appointment. I give priority to students who are visiting my office hours for the first time.



You may carry your cell phone in class. I ask that you keep your phone on silent and that you do not answer phone calls, send/receive text messages, check Facebook, or otherwise use social networking programs when you are participating in class. If you are expecting an emergency phone call, please notify me prior to class. Cell phones may be used to quickly translate words used in the class, look up course readings, look up information for group projects, and other course related uses. Laptops should be used only for drafting, peer reviewing, revising, and editing. You will be asked to bring your laptop (if you have one) to many course meetings.


Writing tutorial services

In addition to meeting with me in your one-on-one conferences, I highly recommend that you visit Writing Tutorial Services (WTS, pronounced “wits”), which is located in the Information Commons on the first floor of the Wells Library. WTS is open Monday-Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. You can make an appointment by calling 855-6738 or by walking in; however, it is best to call in advance because the tutorial schedule fills up quickly. Talking with others is helpful at any stage of your writing, whether you are planning the project or editing the final draft. You should not expect WTS tutors to edit or proofread your papers for you, but you can expect them to give you excellent feedback about language in use, and you may ask them to help you notice idiomatic expressions that are noticeable for native speakers of English.

Support services

Disability Services and The Adaptive Technologies divisions of the Office of Student Affairs can arrange for assistance, auxiliary aids, or related services if you think a temporary or permanent disability will prevent you from being a full participant in the class. Contact them at or 855-7578 with any individual concerns. Students with special needs must be registered with Disability Services before classroom accommodations can be provided.



Class schedule

This schedule may change during the semester. please check oncourse for updates.

M Jan 13 Introduction to course
W Jan 15 Reading journal Sign up for MARCA & enroll in our course

Rebekah Nathan “My Freshman Year: Worldliness and Worldview” WOW pg 216-220

RFW p. 226-232 “Adjectives and Adverbs”

WOW p. 20-28 “Rhetorical Situations”

F Jan 17 Nathan cont’d

WOW p. 16-18 “Accented Writing” and “What Affects your Writing Development”

WOW p. 38-46 and 48-54 (skim for main ideas)

M Jan 20 No class – MLK day Barbara Ehrenreich “Cultural Baggage” ONCOURSE
W Jan 22 Reading journal

Flash grammar

Ehrenreich, cont’d

RFW p. 196-207 “Subject-verb agreement”

WOW p. 167-68; p. 185-188 “The Avatar Age”

F Jan 24 Round-table on Ehrenreich Short assignment 1: Explain the concept of worldview
M Jan 27 Reading journal

Evaluating an experience

Franz Kafka “A Report to the Academy” ONCOURSE
W Jan 29 Mapping to discover an experience

Flash grammar

Kafka cont’d

RFW p. 252-267 “Verbs”

WOW p. 128-130 “Living Hip-Hop in Morocco”; 140-142 “Analyzing the Rhetorical Situation”

F Jan 31 Round-table on Kafka Short assignment 2: Evaluating a Personal Experience Regarding Worldview
M Feb 3 Reading journal Min-Zhan Lu “Silence to Words” ONCOURSE
W Feb 5 Flash grammar Lu cont’d

RFW p. 267-277 “Articles”

F Feb 7 Round-table on Lu Short assignment 2: Observe worldview
M Feb 10 Locating sources WOW p. 526-540 “Using Sources Introduction” – “Online periodicals and newspapers”
W Feb 12 Flash grammar RFW p. 464-469 “Citing sources: Avoiding Plagiarism”; p. 527-532 “Sample MLA paper”

WOW p. 104-108 Read the boxes with “Questions for Exploring an Event”

F Feb 14 Peer review #1 Rough draft 1 of paper 1
M Feb 17 Group conferences
W Feb 19 Group conferences
F Feb 21 Peer review #2 Rough draft 2 of paper 1
M Feb 24 Reading journal

Flash grammar

Ivo Andric Short Story ONCOURSE

RFW p. 35-40 “Make global revisions; then revise sentences” – “Manage your files”

W Feb 26 Round-table on Andric Final draft of paper 1
F Feb 28 Intro to issue explanation FIAW “Identifying Issue Based Questions p. 84-99 ONCOURSE
M Mar 3 Issue explanation Meet in the computer lab
W Mar 5 Reading journal

Flash grammar

Issue invention worksheet

Vasa D. Mihailovich “The Basic World View in the Stories of Ivo Andric” ONCOURSE

RFW p. 277-286 “Sentence structure”

F Mar 7 Round-table on Albright Short assignment 4 due: Issue proposal
M Mar 10 Reading journal Amy Tan “Mother Tongue” ONCOURSE
W Mar 12 Flash grammar Tan cont’d

RFW p. 326-333 “Quotation marks”

F Mar 14 Round-table on Pennington-Gray and Kerstetter Short assignment 5: Summary and response to a scholarly article

Mar 16-23 No class – Spring break

M Mar 24 FIAW Thesis statements, p. 100-110 ONCOURSE
W Mar 26 Flash grammar RFW p. 286-291 “Prepositions and idioms”
F Mar 28 Peer review #1 Rough draft 1 of paper 2
M Mar 31 Group conferences
W Apr 2 Group conferences
F Apr 4 Peer review #2 Rough draft 2 of paper 2
M Apr 7 Reading journal Paul Farmer “Health is a Human Right” WOW p. 314-316

RFW p. 102-110 “Evaluating arguments”

W Apr 9 Finding sources

Round-table Farmer

Final draft of paper 2
F Apr 11 Locating sources Homework: Gathering sources
M Apr 14 Pre-writing for paper 3

Locating sources

Meet in computer lab
W Apr 16 Repurposed genre RFW p. 412-413 “Use established conventions for business letters”

WOW p. 456-463 “Principles of Good Visual Design”

F Apr 18 Peer review #1 Rough draft 1 of paper 3
M Apr 21 Group conferences
W Apr 23 Group conferences
F Apr 25 Peer review #2 Rough draft 2 of paper 3
M Apr 28 WOW p. 478-481 “Business Letter”

Repurposed genre

W Apr 30 Repurposed genre
F May 2 Repurposed genre

Final of paper 3

Monday, May 5: Business letter reflection