Course Information


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Course index



Module 1

1: Orientation  
2: Goals   

Module 2

  3: Euthyphro  
     4: The Library
 5: The Apology   
    6: Citation   
    7: Crito
    8: Phaedo  
    9: Exam Prep   
10: Plato Exam

Module 3

11: Research Project 
12: Research 101   
13: Books   
14: the Librarian   
15: the Web   
16: conferences  
17: Joy of Research 
18: Reasoning 

Module 4

19: Outlines 
20: Review the Plan:
21: Language 
22: Dr E's Grammar
23: Peer Review  
24: Hit Parade 

Module 5

25: About the Exam
26: Mock Final 
27: Exam Prep
28: Graduation 


































































Online they call me Dr. G, or G, or even g because they don't like to type.

The Instructor

English 101, Academic Writing is  written, produced and directed by Gary Homer Gutchess. That's ancient Greek GoŽtes (meaning "sorcerer" or one who raises the dead and cleans up haunted houses), Italian Gucci, Swiss Goetschy, Dutch Goetschius, very bad American misspelling Gutchess.

From days of yore, Dr. G holds a PhD in English from the University of Notre Dame, as well as BA and JD degrees. In addition to teaching college English, he has written and edited articles and books, practiced law, worked in politics, and managed commercial business enterprises in the USA--from the lot of which he is retired if not forgiven. 

General Course Goals

Academic writing is writing for college and university readers. There are teachers writing for teachers (scholarly writing), teachers writing for students (textbooks, etc.), students writing for students (campus literary publications, &c.), and most importantly students writing for teachers. This last type is the focus of our course. We will prepare for college writing assignments by practicing the research paper and the essay exam.

We will write, among other things, several researched essay exams, several short research papers, and one very substantial research paper. All of our writing will be based on academic sources of information--that is, sources generally believed to be reliable, in the judgment of informed college and university profs. Ergo, to be prepared to write academically, we will learn about academic research, academic thinking and the general philosophy of the academy. It doesn't do any good to have the commas in the right place, if the content of the paper is nonsense from an academic point of view.

We will also learn the format of academic writing. Unlike popular writing, academic writing discloses its sources of information with citations. The rules for citation are published by the Modern Language Association of America (MLA) and other academic organizations. We will learn these rules and how to apply them skillfully.

Academic writing is a complex art, and it takes practice to become skillful at it, all of your college papers can be A's, once you know all of these little tricks: 

           1.  how to think positively, set goals and practice self-discipline;
           2.  how to read and think like an academic;
           3.  how to use the library and on-line resources for research;
           4.  how to evaluate source materials to know what's appropriate;
           5.  how to summarize, paraphrase, and quote source materials;
           6.  how to format papers and cite sources using MLA rules;
           7.  how to organize evidence and arguments to prove a thesis;
           8.  how to write clear and error-free standard English;
           9.  how to revise and edit a text.

Please accept these how-to's as your course goals. Goal #1 may seem unrelated to our course, but it is by far the most important item on the list. Positive thinking, goal setting and discipline are the keys to achieving all other goals.

Specific instructions for what to do in each Lesson appear in bold brown text in the "instructions" and "assignment" sections of the Lesson pages.

What Students Need to Succeed

Course prerequisites: English 99, ESL, or developmental courses in English may be required for students who need substantial help with grammar, punctuation, spelling or basic technical aspects of writing.

Other essentials for success:
.  Desire, discipline and determination to succeed.
     These 3-D's are important above all.
2.  Time. Figure a minimum of at least four hours
     per Lesson. Some lessons will require six hours.
     Students with little background in English or
     academic writing will need even more time.
3.  Intellectual curiosity to form and pursue academic
     research questions.

Required course textbooks (available at TC3's Follett Bookstore,)

1. Hacker, Diane. A Pocket Style Manual. 4th ed. Boston: Bedford/StMartin's, 2004. ($19.75 new as of  June 2004; used books may be available at Follett's)  

2. Plato. Five Dialogues. 2nd ed. Trans. G.M.A. Grube. Indianapolis: Hackett, 2002. ($6.95 new as of June 2004)

Our basic reading for the course is this web site. Come to class each day having read the web page materials for that Lesson. (Print out the Lessons if you wish.) Bring Hacker's book each day, also. Bring Plato each class meeting in September.

Computer stuff you need: 
.  Access to a reliable personal computer. Access time should average 
    two to four hours per Lesson, not counting classroom time.
2. A good internet connection and browser software. Microsoft Internet
TM is recommended, though not required.
    Get a free download of Explorer from Microsoft here.
    The computer also should have Adobe Acrobat Reader
TM installed to
    read pdf files. Get a free download of Acrobat Reader
from Adobe here.
3. An installed word processing program. Microsoft Word
TM is
    recommended, though not required. If you don't have Word be sure that
    your word processing program can save documents in rtf (rich text format).
    You need rtf so that we can share documents with proper text formatting.
.  Access to a printer is highly recommended. 
5.  A TC3 student identification number is needed to sign in to some of
     TC3 library's databases.

Course Web Sites

Course lessons, readings and assignments are published at Dr G's web site, www.englishare.net. For best results browse with Microsoft Internet Explorer,TM use a screen resolution of 800 x 600 pixels, and print pages with margins set at zero.

To submit assignments and comments to Dr. G, and receive grades and comments from Dr. G, use the interactive course web site at SUNY Learning Network (SLN). Students must register with SLN to gain access.

Course Policies

When enrolled in English 101 with Dr. G, students accept the section rules listed below. If any of these course policies are not clear, ask the instructor for clarification! If any are not acceptable, withdraw from the course!

GRADES. The final grade in this course will be computed on the basis of 100 possible points, as shown in the course schedule. The conversion from total points to a final letter grade for the course will be: A=90, B=80, C=70, D=60, F=every number below 60. Pluses will be attached for three or more points above the letter, and minuses will be attached for three or less points below the letter, except that there's no grade of D-. Examples: 87=A-, 86=B+, 67=C-, 66=D+, 59=F.

The instructor will use a variety of criteria in evaluating student writing assignments: adherence to instructions, punctuality, clarity, persuasiveness, originality, organization, completeness, style, tone, grammar, punctuation, spelling, word usage, comparison to the quality of other students' work, citation, depth and quality of research. Specific grading formula sheets will be distributed with the most important assignments. The instructor's written comments to students should explain the numeric grades very thoroughly in most cases, but a student who does not understand a grade, after reading the comments, should speak to the instructor for clarification. It's essential that students understand as clearly as possible the basis for the evaluation of their work.

A failing grade on the English Department's final exam (see "Final Exam" below) requires a failing grade for the entire course. A student also may fail the course for plagiarism or cheating (see "Plagiarism and Other Forms of Cheating," below).

GRADE OF INCOMPLETE. A student may request an incomplete grade by submitting an Incomplete Request form (available at the Enrollment Services Center, at the extension sites, or the Academic Records Office) or else by emailing the request to the instructor. The incomplete request requires approval by both the instructor and the college registrar. The instructor will grant incompletes to students who are earning passing grades, and are nearly complete in the coursework, but who will be unable to finish by the end of the semester due to a documented medical condition or disability, family death or family hospitalization, or for legal or religious reasons. (See "Excuses" below.) Requests must be received no later than the date of the last scheduled Lesson.

FINAL EXAM. TC3 mandates that all students in English 101 pass a department-wide final exam. A failing grade on this exam requires a failing grade for the entire course, regardless of the student's performance on other assignments. To assure quality control and fairness, the final exam is team-graded by instructors of English 101; it is not graded by the student's particular instructor. This subject is presented thoroughly in the last few weeks of the course. 

LATENESS. Grade penalties will be assessed against homework assignments that are not received by the instructor on or before the scheduled date (as shown in the course schedule): 

assignments received up to 48 hours late = 20% penalty

assignments received more than 48 hours but less than 96 hours late = 40% penalty

assignments received more than 96 hours late = 100% penalty 

classroom quizzes and in-class writing assignments must be written in class as scheduled. No makeups will be offered.

This lateness policy is meant to encourage students to stay current with the pace of the course, to support personal discipline, and to provide fairness to all students in the course. 

With the instructor's permission, this lateness policy may be modified for students whose work is late due to a documented medical condition or disability, for family death or family hospitalization, or for legal or religious reasons. (See "Excuses" below.)

EXCUSES. A student may request an extension of time to complete an assignment because of a documented personal medical condition or disability, family death or family hospitalization, legal or religious reason. Such a request must provide proof of the hardship (such as the written excuse of a health professional), and a new timetable for promptly completing all unfinished work. The instructor will decide whether or not requested excuses and timetables are acceptable. In this policy, the term "family" includes a spouse, sibling, child, step-child, grandchild, parent, step-parent, grandparent or great grandparent. "Disability" means a disability according to TC3's Disability Policy.

ATTENDANCE.  Attendance is required. It impacts grades because graded assignments are written in every class. A graded quiz will be given at the start of most classes, and a graded reflective writing will be written in many class periods also. These in-class assignments account for about 36% of the total course grade. They may not be made up at a later time unless absence from class has been excused. (See "Excuses" above.) 

CANCELLATION OF CLASS: In the event that a scheduled class does not meet for any reason, the course schedule will continue uninterrupted. Students should be prepared for the next class, as if the cancelled class had not been cancelled. Assignments that were due the date of a cancelled class will become due on the date of the next class meeting. 

PREPARATION FOR CLASS. college policy directs that students should spend at least two hours of preparation outside of class time for each hour of class time. Even more time may be necessary for students who are learning the English language or who have no prior writing experience. In English 101, the quality of student preparation is measured by daily quizzes. 

PLAGIARISM, CHEATING AND DISRESPECTFUL BEHAVIORS. Acts that are inconsistent with academic behavior will not be tolerated. Students who are found to have committed any of these acts will, IMMEDIATELY AND WITHOUT FURTHER WARNING, be suspended from the course and asked to apologize to the class as a prior condition for readmission. A student who fails to apologize in a manner that is acceptable to the instructor will receive a failing grade in the course, and the matter will be referred to the college administration for any further discipline that it deems appropriate. A suspended or readmitted student who commits any further act inconsistent with academic behavior will receive a failing grade in the course, and the matter again will be referred to the college administration for further action.

Acts inconsistent with academic behavior, and subject to this disciplinary policy, include all of the following:

Disrespectful behaviors, including assault, battery, destruction of property, theft of property, vandalism, use of slanderous, harassing or threatening speech, and all criminal acts committed during class or in connection with the the course.

Cheating on exams. A violation of any published instruction restricting student conduct on any exam is considered cheating. Exams produced by means of cheating will receive zero grade credit and may NOT be rewritten for credit. An English 101 Final Exam produced by means of cheating will require a final course grade of "F."

Plagiarism means the use of another person's words or ideas without proper acknowledgement of the source of those words or ideas. It is fully defined in the course textbook, Hacker's A Pocket Style Manual (4th ed.), in section 29 (including 29, 29a, 29b and 29c, pages 115-118). All students are responsible to know the textbook definition, and to abide by it at all times. All student writing submitted for credit in the course will be checked electronically and otherwise for plagiarism. Assignments that are produced by plagiarism will receive zero grade credit and must be rewritten.  Revised assignments also will will earn zero grade credit.

Cheating by misrepresenting any other person's writing, revision or editing as one's own work. It is considered cheating to fail to disclose that another person's help was received in producing a first draft, or in revising or editing any draft of a writing assignment. A student who receives help from another student, a family member, a tutor (including a Baker Center tutor), or anybody else (except the instructor) must acknowledge in a footnote the name of the helper or helpers and the nature of the help that was received. Misrepresented assignments will receive zero grade credit  and must be rewritten.  Revised assignments also will will earn zero grade credit.

Cheating by reproducing the same writing in more than one course. Writing submitted for credit in this course should be produced specifically for this course and for this course alone. It should not have been produced for any other course at TC3 or any other school. Moreover, writing produced for this course should not be reproduced for credit in any other course. An assignment that has been reproduced, in whole or in part, will receive zero grade credit  and must be rewritten.  Revised assignments also will will earn zero grade credit..

When any act inconsistent with academic behavior is discovered at any time after the course has been completed, the previously recorded grade for the course will become an "F," or failing grade, and the college may take any further measures that it believes to be appropriate.

TC3's Policy and Procedure on Disability

Course material is available in alternative formats upon request.

It is the College's policy to provide, on an individual basis, reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities, which may affect their ability to fully participate in program or course activities or to meet course requirements.

What is the procedure for receiving accommodations?

Your instructor is not permitted or qualified to collect and/or maintain any disability documentation, or to make a determination as to the existence of a disability or the reasonableness of a request for accommodation, without consultation. Students with disabilities should contact Khaki Wunderlich, Coordinator of Learning Assistance Services, at (607) 844-8211 x4375 to discuss their particular needs for accommodation.

The student must provide appropriate documentation from a qualified professional identifying the disability and the limitations relating to learning. An accommodation plan is then developed between the student and Baker Center for Learning (BCL) staff. Classroom and testing accommodations are identified on a written Memorandum of Academic Accommodations, which the student delivers to each faculty member from whom he or she is requesting accommodations. Instructors are entitled to reasonable notice of any requested accommodation.

What if the requested accommodation conflicts with the course structure or policies?

The instructor will consult with BCL staff as to alternatives available to provide accommodation, while also maintaining insofar as possible the fundamental structure and objectives of the course.

For further information: 
Lana S. "Lani" Barron
Coordinator, Access and Equity Services
Baker Center for Learning
(607) 844-8222 x 4283
"There is no failure while we are learning"


Instructor contact: 
 enrolled students should use their private folders at  SUNY Learning Network  to communicate privately with the instructor.

Dr. G welcomes your comments and suggestions about this web site or other aspects of the course. Scads of student input have contributed to the design and features of this course.



























  Left: a detail from Raphael Sanzi's Vatican mural, The School of Athens (c. 1509), the figure of the ancient Greek mathematician Euclid, whose textbook on geometry remained in general use in many languages for 2000 years!









The course assumes your basic familiarity with use of the internet, email and word processing software. If you have difficulties with any of these contact the instructor.













Left:  Dr G is serious about this.





































































gutchess@englishare.net                    Academic writing home page                    Gary Gutchess © 2003