Author:
Dianne Traynor
Subject:
English Language Arts
Material Type:
Module
Level:
Community College / Lower Division
Provider:
Middlesex Community College
Tags:
  • Academic Writing
  • English
  • Grammar
  • Mass CC ELA
  • Writing
  • Writing Mechanics
  • mass-cc-ela
    License:
    Creative Commons Attribution
    Language:
    English
    Media Formats:
    Downloadable docs

    Composition I (ALP focus)

    Overview

    This is a Composition I course that can be modified for ALP use.

    All materials have been created by Dianne Traynor and uploaded by Joanna Gray.

    INTRODUCTION TO THE COURSE

    Open Educational Resources and “Found” Source Material

    English Composition 1

    (May be adapted for Developmental Writing and Accelerated Learning Program (Alp)

    Author:  Dianne Traynor

    Middlesex Community College (Bedford and Lowell campuses)

    Authorship date:  July, 2019

    Course Description:

    Overview:  This course (Composition 1) has been structured to develop writing skills for collegiate and professional success.  The thematic question used to provoke critical thinking in this course is, “WHO is America?” Through critical   discussion of articles related to current problems facing America a, students will have the impetus to react to these issues through writing.  The course focuses on essay organization and paragraph development, sentence formation, applied grammar and mechanics, and critical thinking.

    Author:  Dianne Traynor

    Date added: September 24, 2019

    License:  Creative Common Attribution 4.0

    Language:  English

    Media Format:  Downloadable docs

    Standards:

    Please align this resource to your standards

    Tags (5)

    Academic Writing, English, Grammar, Writing, Writing Mechanics

    Overview:

    This course uses current articles and videos which highlight problems America is facing today and gives the students the opportunity to speak out knowledgeably through writing on these issues.  Development of language skills for written communication in collegiate, professional and personal success are the focus of this course through essay organization, paragraph development, sentence formation, applied grammar and mechanics, and critical thinking.  The thematic question for the course is, “WHO is America?”

    Course Introduction:

    This writing in this course is heavily reliant on the student’s knowledge of current issues facing America today; therefore, reading comprehension is an integral skill for success.   Information is disseminated through current articles and videos, which expose, explain, and often add suggestion for solution to the myriad of problems America is facing today.  Discussion follows each reading, and “free writes” are employed prior to discussion so that student can gather their thoughts on the topic.  Currently all articles used in this course can be viewed via internet links provided.  As time passes, some articles may no longer be available; thus, more current and relevant articles may need to be substituted.

    Essay type and structure is presented through various texts that are openly-licensed and attributed to the authors. Attachments have been developed by the author of this course and fall under the CC Attribution license. 4.0

    Product: 

    1.  Students will write “brief” essays throughout the course, which are thesis-driven short essays of at least three paragraphs—intro, body, and conclusion.  Only one piece of cited evidence is expected.  These essays are intended to give students practice writing without fear of heavy criticism.  The essays will be evaluated on correctly positioned thesis statement, use of introduction, body, and conclusion, and inclusion of cited evidence within the body. These “brief” essays are interspaced between the “formal” essays, which hold greater grade weight.

    2.  Students are expected to write 3 formal essays, which must include a well-developed thesis, an introduction, body, and conclusion, at least one cited piece of evidence obtained through the provided articles for each thesis “roadmap,” and a Works Cited page. These essays go through the writing process:  free write, first draft, peer/instructor evaluation and polished draft. 

    Course focus:

    Below are the focus areas to be explored along with suggested materials to be used to provide impetus for writing.  All materials can be customized.  Articles listed are currently available online (July, 2019) but may need to be updated as the discussed issues change or evolve.  Current URLS are provided for all supplemental materials (videos and articles).

    All students are asked to provide a writing sample the first day of class to provide a measure of growth from the beginning of the course to the end. The subject of the writing sample is instructor generated. Thesis question:  Why did you decide to attend college?

    Focus area 1: Syllabus and agenda

    Focus area 1:  Syllabus/agenda presentation and how it references the thematic topic for the course: “WHO is America?”

    The Importance of a Thesis Statement

    Focus area 2:  The importance of a thesis statement

    Read Chapter 5:  The Thesis Statement

    • Instructor generated:  How to Write a Thesis Statement   ATTACHMENT 2

    Focus Area #3: Developing the skills of a collegiate writer

    Focus area 3:  Developing the skills of a collegiate writer:

    Read Article: “How to Read Like a Writer”  By Mike Bunn page 71   

    • Instructor generated handout: “What is Annotation” ATTACHMENT 4
    • TEXT:  The Word on College Reading and Writing (PDF) (The Word on College Reading and Writing by Monique Babin, Carol Burnell, Susan Pesznecker, Nicole Rosevear, Jaime Wood is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted. Link: https://open.umn.edu/opentextbooks/textbooks/the-word-on-college-reading-and-writing

    Page 11     Annotate and Take Notes

    Page 74:  Tone, Voice, and Point of View

    • Ethos, Pathos Logos
      • Video from Youtube (there are many that can be used on Ethos, Logos, Pathos)
      • Information and worksheet   ATTACHMENT 5
    • Notetaking:  Use of Cornell notes will be throughout the course.  Students are expected to annotate all readings and transfer notes on annotations to Cornell note pages (they may make their own or find a copy on the internet).
    • Instructor generated: “How to Write a Summary”.  (students must include all of the information from this checklist into a well-written paragraph)   ATTACHMENT 6

    Students are asked to annotate, transfer annotations onto Cornell Notes, and write a well written summary on each of the following supplemental articles used in class:

    • How to cite evidence in an essay

    Integrating Quotes into an Essay

    Focus area 4:  Integrating Quotes into an Essay

    • Read/annotate paraphrasing (integrating quotes) into an essay
      • Practice sheet #1:  paraphrasing and quoting   ATTACHEMENT 7
    •   Practice sheet #2:  paraphrasing and quoting   ATTACHMENT 8

    Read/annotate:  How to cite evidence in an essay:  Using sources pp. 151-155

    Focus Area #5: Writing Formal Essays

     

    Focus area 5:  Writing Formal essays

    Formal essay #1: 

    Definition essay:  What is the American Dream?

    • Text:  Successful College Composition (2016 (PDF))This text is a transformation of Writing for Success, a text adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee. Kathryn Crowther, Lauren Curtright, Nancy Gilbert, Barbara Hall, Tracienne Ravita, and Kirk Swenson adapted this text under a grant from Affordable Learning Georgia to Georgia Perimeter College (GPC) in 2015. Section 1.3 was authored by Rebecca Weaver. This text is a revision of a prior adaptation of Writing for Success led by Rosemary Cox in GPC’s Department of English, titled Successful College Writing for GPC Students (2014, 2015)

    Link:  https://www.affordablelearninggeorgia.org/documents/Successful_College_Composition_2016.pdf

    Read/annotate text chapter on “definition” essay, pages 105-106

    • “Definition” essay assignment:  What is the “American Dream?” ATTACHMENT 9
    • Essay outline   ATTACHMENT 10
    • Instructor/peer review comment sheet   ATTACHMENT 11
    • Supplemental materials (URLs here may no longer be available.  Instructor may find applicable sources)
      • What is the American Dream Today?

    https://www.thebalance.com/what-is-the-american-dream-today-3306027

      • “The American Dream” by Anthony Brandt

    https://www.americanheritage.com/american-dream

      • “The American Dream is Alive and Well” by Samuel Abrams

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/05/opinion/american-dream.html

      • Video Ted Talk “Living the American Dream” by Pooja Mahajan

    https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Living+the+American+Dream+by+Pooja+Mahajan

      • Video: (YouTube) “Unless You’re a Native American, You Came From Somewhere Else”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aiXuEk_CyWs&t=51s

      • Song: (YouTube) “God Bless the USA” by Lee Greenwood

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q65KZIqay4E

     

    Formal Essay #2

     Narrative essay: “Through the Eyes of an Immigrant”

    • Text: Successful College Composition (2016) (PDF):  This text is a transformation of Writing for Success, a text adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee. Kathryn Crowther, Lauren Curtright, Nancy Gilbert, Barbara Hall, Tracienne Ravita, and Kirk Swenson adapted this text under a grant from Affordable Learning Georgia to Georgia Perimeter College (GPC) in 2015. Section 1.3 was authored by Rebecca Weaver. This text is a revision of a prior adaptation of Writing for Success led by Rosemary Cox in GPC’s Department of English, titled Successful College Writing for GPC Students (2014, 2015)

    Link:  https://www.affordablelearninggeorgia.org/documents/Successful_College_Composition_2016.pdf

    Read/annotate text Chapter 3.1:  Narration, pp. 89-91

    • Handout:  Formatting dialogue   ATTACHMENT 12

    Instructor generated: Narrative essay   ATTACHMENT 13

    Outline for “An Immigration Story” ATTACHMENT 14

    • Instructor generated:  instructor/peer evaluation sheet   ATTACHMENT 15

     

    Formal Essay #3:

    Persuasion Essay:  What is the most significant reason for the racial tension that exists in America today?

    • Text:  Successful College Composition (2016) (PDF):  This text is a transformation of Writing for Success, a text adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee. Kathryn Crowther, Lauren Curtright, Nancy Gilbert, Barbara Hall, Tracienne Ravita, and Kirk Swenson adapted this text under a grant from Affordable Learning Georgia to Georgia Perimeter College (GPC) in 2015. Section 1.3 was authored by Rebecca Weaver. This text is a revision of a prior adaptation of Writing for Success led by Rosemary Cox in GPC’s Department of English, titled Successful College Writing for GPC Students (2014, 2015)

    Link:  https://www.affordablelearninggeorgia.org/documents/Successful_College_Composition_2016.pdf

    • Read and annotate Persuasion, Chapter 3.8, pp. 122-126
    • Possible questions/ research ideas for the topic
      • Is racism dividing America through racial profiling?

    Supplemental materials

    https://time.com/5388356/our-racist-soul/

          • Videos: “What Would You Do?”   (How is implicit bias or stereotyping affecting the action of the people in each video?)
            • Pharmacy Calls Police on Black Woman
            • Black Customer Racially Profiled
            • White Waitress Wants Blacks to prepay for Meal
      • Is American law enforcement out of control (racial profiling and police brutality; lack Lives Matter)
        • Instructor generated assignment:  Write a news article (including the Who, What, When, Where, Why, How) on the incidents involving: Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice   ATTACHMENT 16
        • Supplemental Materials
    • Read/annotate: “Why U.S. Police are Out of Control”

    https://consortiumnews.com/2015/08/20/why-us-police-are-out-of-control/

    • Read/annotate: “Body Cameras were supposed to Help Improve Policing

    https://www.vox.com/2019/3/27/18282737/body-camera-police-effectiveness-study-george-mason

    • Video: (YouTube) “Understanding Black Lives Matters”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sd-VUOgS3rE

    •  Is the American prison system broken?

    Supplemental materials:

          • Video:  Mass Incarceration Visualized

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u51_pzax4M0

          • Handout:  Criminal Justice Fact Sheet

    https://www.naacp.org/criminal-justice-fact-sheet/

          • Video: (YouTube) The Enduring Myth of Black Criminality

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQo-yYhExw0&t=126s

          • Handout:  The Numbers Don’t Speak for Themselves:  Racial Disparities and the Persistence of Inequality in the Criminal Justice System

    https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0963721418763931

          • Video: Beyond Reform: (YouTube Ted Talk)  Abolishing Prisons by Maya Schenwar

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFTRn_sIGiQ&t=206s

      • Should negative American history be erased?
        • Instructor generated assignment:  Research the Charlottesville, Virginia riots.  Write a one paragraph news article explaining: Who was involved, what happened, when did it happen, where did it happen, why did it happen, how did it happen?  Write a paragraph reflection on what you think about this demonstration.
        • Supplemental materials:
    • Video: (YouTube) “The Real History of the Confederate Flag

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tash7XtDCyM

    https://www.thelcn.com/lcn06/steeped-in-racism-confederate-flag-evokes-the-worst-of-us-20170817

    • Video: (Youtube) “Why America is Wrestling with Confederate Monuments” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNQ8F72Olh0
    • Article: “Whose Memory? Whose Monuments? History, Commemoration, and the Struggle for an Ethical Past”

     https://www.historians.org/publications-and-directories/perspectives-on-history/february-2016/whose-memory-whose-monuments-history-commemoration-and-the-struggle-for-an-ethical-past

    Focus Area #6: The Brief Essay

    Focus area #6:  The brief essay

    The purpose of the brief essay is to allow students to show understanding of current issues confronting Americans today through writing.  Current articles on each subject area are provided (instructors may select their own).  The brief essay is 1-2 pages in length, is thesis driven, has an introduction, body, and conclusion, and contains one cited piece of evidence obtained in assigned reading to support the thesis.  The information used in the brief essays might be helpful when writing the formal essays.

    • Instructor generated “brief essay” outline    ATTACHMENT 17
    • Instructor- chosen issues that are being discussed in America today driven by a thesis question (each instructor could select areas that are of current concern and find applicable and current articles on each subject).
      • Immigration:  What should America do about the immigration problem?

    Supplemental material:

    • Video: (YouTube) “America an Immigration Nation, 2017

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18pL2VmoMCQ

    • Article: “Let’s Have an Immigration Debate”

    realclearpolitics.com/articles/2019/01/14/lets_have_a_real_immigration_debate_139165.html

    • Immigration:  Should birthright citizenship be upheld?

    Supplemental material:

    • Video (YouTube) “The Fight for Birthright Citizenship in America

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=788If50vyYU

    • Video (YouTube) “What is Birthright Citizenship?”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5Ai9mFnZNo

    • Video (YouTube) “How the 14th Amendment Undermines Citizenship

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qISar8CP9v0

    • Article: “The Birthright Citizenship Debate

    https://www.mass.gov/orgs/highway-division

    • Article: “Immigration is About Us”

    https://townhall.com/columnists/joelgoodman/2017/02/10/immigration-is-about-us--not-them-n2283828

    • Article: “4 Ways Trump can Fix America’s Immigration

    https://www.heritage.org/immigration/commentary/4-ways-trump-can-fix-americas-immigration-problem

    • Immigration:  Should the term “illegal alien” be banned?

    Supplemental material:

      • Video: (YouTube) AP drops the term “illegal immigrant”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h3oAMTfd1c

      • Video: (YouTube) “Should the term ‘Illegal Alien’ be banned?”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AezhO_QXAMM

      • Article: “Should the Term Illegal Alien be Used?”

    https://immigration.procon.org/view.answers.php?questionID=000757

    • Politics:  Are you a Republican or a democrat and WHY?

    Supplemental materials:

      • Article: Democrats vs Republicans

    https://www.diffen.com/difference/Democrat_vs_Republican

      • Video: (YouTube) “Political Crash Course”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEmOUHxessE

      • Video: (YouTube) “The Political Systems

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FHqowXS4j4

      • Video: (YouTube) “What are the Differences Between Republican and Democratic Parties

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SyLy-0Qgnw&t=15s

    • Politics:  Should everyone living in America be allowed to vote?

    Supplemental materials:

      • Video: (YouTube) “The Fight for the Right to Vote in the United States

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9VdyPbbzlI

      • Article: “Should Convicted Felons Lose the Right to Vote?”

    https://psmag.com/social-justice/should-felons-lose-their-right-tov

      • Article: “Why Non-citizens Should be Allowed to Vote

    https://jacobinmag.com/2018/11/noncitizen-voting-undocumented-immigrants-midterm-elections

      • Article: “The Surprising Consequence of Lowering the Voting Age

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2018/02/28/the-surprising-consequence-of-lowering-the-voting-age/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.7dbf0ff83c7a

     

    • Gun Control: How (or why) should the use of guns be controlled in America?

    Supplemental materials:

    • Article: “What is the 2nd Amendment? 

    www.ducksters.com/history/us_government/second_amendment.php. Accessed 12 June 2019.

    • Video: (YouTube) “The Second Amendment:  Firearms in the U.S.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0TGcU0lmINk

    • Article: “The Right to Bear Arms: What Does it Really Mean?

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/oct/05/second-amendment-right-to-bear-arms-meaning-history

    • Article:  Pro/Con “Should More Gun Laws Be Enacted?”

    https://gun-control.procon.org/

    • Family evolution:  What is “family?”

    Supplemental materials:

    • Video: (YouTube) “The Changing American Family”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFXbt5WSprI

    • Article: “The Evolution of the American Family

    https://online.csp.edu/blog/family-science/the-evolution-of-american-family-structure

    • Article:  Benefits of Gay Marriage

    https://www.liveabout.com/the-benefits-of-gay-marriage-1411846?print

    • Video: “Effects of Growing Up With a Single Parent”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnPF2K1Dz7E

    • Abortion:  Should the right to abortion be upheld

    Supplemental materials:

    • Article: “Roe vs Wade:  The Constitutional Right to Access Safe, Legal Abortion”

    https://www.plannedparenthoodaction.org/issues/abortion/roe-v-wade

    • Video: (YouTube) “What a New Supreme Court Means for Abortion

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UI4g_amOTSg

    • Article: “Lawmakers Vote to Effectively Ban Abortion in Alabama”

      https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/14/us/abortion-law-alabama.html

    • Video: (YouTube) “Pro and Anti-Abortion Rights Activists on Future of Alabama Abortion Bill”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ssJD4mfYBU