Syllabus 105WS

Clark Atlanta University

105WS Composition I




Michelle Kassorla, Ph.D.

Required Texts: Write Now traditional printed text book version with MyCompLab access – ISBN: 0321873181


Write Now three-hole punch version with My Comp Lab access – ISBN: 0321886895 (Students must purchase their own binders for this version.)


Write Now e-text (no printed material) within My Comp Lab – ISBN: 0205891020

Office Location Kresge Hall, Lower Level
Office Telephone 404-880-8227
Skype ID Dryaelkassorla
Second Life Yael Myrtle
Twitter Drkassorla
Class Website
Facebook Michelle Kassorla
Office Hours MWF 12-1, W 2-4

Course Information

Course Number/Sect

Course Title





College Composition I


9 a.m



College Composition I


10 a.m.



College Composition I


11 a.m.




Intro. World Lit. II


1 p.m.




CENG 105, College Composition I, is the first course of English composition required of all undergraduates. This particular version of CENG 105, designated as CENG 105WS, is part of the CAU Writing Improvement for Success and Empowerment (WISE) program, initiated in 2007. CENG 105WS emphasizes the writing process, collaboration, research, and technology-enhanced classes. The course is available in limited technology, standard, and hi-tech versions, the difference being variations in technology and assignments.


All sections of CENG 105WS feature tutorials and writing conferences with the instructor; class-based and online peer collaboration and review; self-assessment; assignment-specific rubrics; Internet and facility-based research; class and small group discussions; portfolios; multi-media tools; e-mail communication; library and technology training; a web-based grading system; blogs; and an electronic writing handbook (e-text) which can also be acquired in print form.

To these methods and materials, the hi-tech section adds selected new media technology, virtual world learning and teaching activities, and corresponding assignments. All methods and materials are based on the philosophy that students write best when they are interested enough in an assignment to master information and strategies that will give them something equally interesting to say in response to the assignment.

These approaches are supported by three basic concepts:

1.     Although WISE uses a writing handbook, each student’s writing is the primary text for that particular student because the writing reveals what that student most needs to learn about writing.

2.     Grammar and mechanics are best understood in the context of developing content and communicating with readers.

3.     The assignments from which students learn the most about writing are assignments that empower them to make their own decisions about how to satisfy specific rhetorical situations and contexts.


The objective of this course is to enhance student abilities in writing and analytical practices at an advanced level which can be used throughout the student’s college career and beyond.


Students who meet the course objective will be able to score at the level of C or above in advanced applications of the following categories:

Demonstrating information literacy: Recognizing the need for information and the kind of information needed; understanding and ethically using different formats, source types, and technologies for acquiring information; knowing how to evaluate information and its suitability for the intended purpose; using and disseminating information in ways that satisfy the rhetorical situation and context; disseminating information in varying formats and media to varying audiences; selecting and effectively using information retrieval systems and methods of investigation suitable for specific disciplines and purposes; engaging in productive self- and peer evaluation of intellectual and creative work; acknowledging the sources of information according to specified citation and documentation styles. (Adapted from Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education, “Standards, Performance Indicators, and Outcomes,” Association of College and Research Libraries

For the purposes of the hi-tech course, “information literacy” also includes the creation and management of Personal Learning Environments (PLE), Personal Learning Networks (PLN), and a multi-modal electronic portfolio (e-portfolio).


Managing rhetorical situations and contexts: Recognizing and using the appropriate voice, tone, style, level of formality, diction, and genre for the situation in which communication takes place, the purpose of the communication, and the audience to whom the communication is directed.

Thinking critically: Determining and making decisions about what kinds of information and actions are needed to learn, solve problems, create artifacts, interpret, communicate, organize, evaluate, analyze, and use original ideas and those found in primary and secondary sources.

Developing original and researched ideas: Producing clear, coherent oral communica­tion or written documents of varying lengths and styles which are governed by a thesis, theme, or controlling idea; developed through logical relationships, examples, and supporting evidence; effectively structured with the use of paragraphs and/or sections; formatted and documented according to a specific style guide; and ethically incorporate primary and secondary sources without plagiarism.

Controlling the surface features of writing: Correcting or avoiding errors in the visible aspects of writing (as opposed to content). Included in this category are syntax, punctuation, paragraphing, grammar, usage, and spelling.

Using technology in writing: Using basic and advanced technological tools and techniques for creating and delivering multi-media presentations; formatting and publishing written work of varying lengths and complexity; exchanging digital work with classmates and instructors; working collaboratively with peers; and communicating with peers and instructors.


Required Text(s)

This class uses a text by Daniel Anderson called Write Now, which is Internet-linked to the Pearson Education MyCompLab course management system (CMS). The CMS contains the course grade book, the attendance roster, the assignment-submission system, and several other essential instructional and learning resources.

All students must purchase Write Now in electronic form (an e-text) to gain access to these resources. However, those who prefer printed materials can purchase the text in traditional book form or printed in loose-leaf form for use in a three-ring binder. Both printed forms come with access to the electronic version as well at no additional cost. Therefore, purchasing any one of the following options will ensure that you have the right book:

Write Now traditional printed text book version with MyCompLab access – ISBN: 0321873181


Write Now three-hole punch version with My Comp Lab access – ISBN: 0321886895 (Students must purchase their own binders for this version.)


Write Now e-text (no printed material) within My Comp Lab – ISBN: 0205891020

This book is REQUIRED. Students who are waiting for financial aid packages in order to purchase books for the semester can obtain an access code for this book at no cost for 17 days and pay for it after their financial aid packages are awarded. Graded assignments from Write Now and/or MyCompLab will begin the first day of class, so do not put off acquiring one of the above options.

Additional Resources Needed in This Course


  1. Access to networked and individual computers.
  1. A CAU e-mail address.
  2. A personal e-mail address for external web-based services and other course-related purposes.
  3. A web-based data storage service (e.g., Dropbox, Evernote, Google Docs, iCloud, SkyDrive, Wikispaces, Zotero) and/or portable data storage devices (e.g., flash drives or portable hard drives).  Students are required to back up all work in this class.
  4. Access to MS Word. All CAU campus computer labs have MS Word installed on the computers.
  5. Accounts with the following Internet service providers:
    1. MyComp Lab
    2. Google Docs
    3. Second Life
    4. TweetDeck
    5. Twitter
    6. Wikispaces
    7. WordPress
    8. Zotero

Supplemental Instructional Resources

The following web sites are highly recommended because of the quality and extent of their information. The first two sites are excellent for writing in any discipline, and the last three are specifically chosen for history courses.

  1. UNC Writing Center. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Writing Center provides an extensive library on all aspects of writing. Included are excellent and detailed explanations of common college-level writing assignments.
  2. The OWL at Purdue. Perhaps the most widely-consulted of all university-sponsored online writing labs, the OWL offers information on just about every issue and problem a student might encounter in writing. It also offers excellent tutorials on grammar and citation.



Students in all WISE courses create e-portfolios (“e” = electronic) for collecting and evaluating the semester’s work. Each WISE discipline has its own specifications and grading rubrics for the portfolio’s contents. In addition to being used as a record of work done in WISE courses, the portfolio can become a valuable resource for documenting the student’s participation in campus activities, graduate school applications, employment searches, and other professional needs.



Class policies are established to ensure a productive, comfortable learning and working environment for everyone. Since each instructor sets her or his own policies, students should consult syllabi or individual instructors to be sure they are meeting the expectations of each learning environment.



Timeliness of Assignments

College progress depends largely on keeping up with assignments.  Students who plan to make their living in Mass Media Arts must learn what a deadline is, and keep that deadline.  If you have something serious come up, please let Dr. K know.  You can have a MAXIMUM OF TWO EXTENSIONS in this class.  When something is due, it is due—by the day, hour, and minute.  Don’t waste any extensions!  Something serious might, God forbid, come up!

Excuses for failing to submit an assignment on time because of technological circumstances (e.g., computer crashes, lost jump drives, empty printer cartridges, lack of Internet access) will rarely be accepted. Students are expected to start their work early enough to accommodate unforeseen circumstances.

Equally important, STUDENTS ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to back up their work on free cloud-bases services such as dropbox.comGoogle Docs, and can be accessed from any location with Internet access.  Power Point can be backed up on

Attendance and Absences

Attendance and Participation


Students are expected to attend and participate in every class meeting. If you miss more than six classes without a University Excuse, you will be dropped from this course.


Excused Absences

When a student is absent because of his or her own or an immediate family member’s major illness, death in the immediate family, or the effects of a natural disaster, the student will be allowed to make up work as stipulated in the “Official Absence Excuses” policy of the Clark Atlanta University Student Handbook. If the absence will be extended, for example, more than two weeks, and the student will also be unable to participate in online activities during that time, it may be advisable to drop the course.

Class Decorum

The classroom represents a mature learning environment where students come as part of their preparation for the professional world and leadership roles in society. Accordingly, civility, respect for others and for property, and attire suitable for the occasion are the norm for the classroom, not the exception. Sleeping, eating, and drinking are inappropriate for the classroom environment, as is walking in and out of the classroom or lab while class is in session. Questioning, discussion, laughter, agreement, disagreement, and relevant opinions are encouraged. Disrespectful, disruptive, childish, offensive behavior, or talking or socializing while the instructor or another student has the floor are not.


Dress Code


Students are expected to come to class dressed appropriately for the environment. Inappropriate attire includes sexually provocative clothing, pajamas, head gear designed for sleeping, hair rollers, slippers or house shoes, hats, caps, or “doo rags,” and clothing that is manipulated and/or positioned to display underwear in any way. Head covering for religious purposes is allowed.

Personal Electronics

The following policies apply to student conduct during class meetings, whether in a traditional classroom, a lab, or another instructional setting.

  1. During class, students are expected to refrain from using their personal electronic devices for entertainment, communication, or accessing the Internet for purposes that do not correspond to the class objectives and activities.
  1. The placing or receiving of telephone calls or engaging in text messaging (except as provided in item 6 below) is prohibited during class..
  1. Laptop and lab computer use during class is to be confined to productivity software and web sites needed for this class.
  1. No personal electronic devices of any kind may be turned on, used, consulted, or placed on desks or in other visible locations during tests or exams.
  1. Ringers for personal devices are to be silenced during class.
  1. Students who are expecting an interruption during class via cell phone or text regarding emergency situations should inform the instructor prior to class.



All academic work, written or otherwise, submitted by students to their instructors or other academic supervisors is expected to be the result of the student’s own thought, research, and self-expression. In the case of collaborative projects, the same standard pertains to the work each student contributes toward the project, and group members are expected to hold each other accountable in this regard. Additionally, when in doubt about the integrity of any matter relating to their college life, students should consult an instructor or an advisor on the matter before proceeding.



Plagiarism occurs when a student submits work purporting to be his or her own but which uses ideas, organization, wording or anything else from another source—including another student—without appropriate acknowledgment of the fact. This definition includes reproducing someone else’s work, whether a published article, chapter of a book, paper, or electronic file from a friend; an essay cut and pasted from the Internet; or any other kind of intellectual work used by the student but not cited by the student.

Note: Students’ work will be submitted to Turnitin, a Web-based plagiarism-detection service, by the instructor or students as part of the writing process. Students will have opportunity to revise work analyzed by Turnitin as many times as they wish up to the date and specific time the work is due.



Cheating is the act of obtaining or attempting to obtain credit for academic work through dishonest, deceptive, or fraudulent means. Examples include but are not limited to:

  1. copying, in part or in whole, from another’s test or other evaluation instrument;
  2. submitting work previously submitted in another course for a grade;
  3. using or consulting during an examination sources or materials not authorized by the instructor;
  1. altering or interfering with grading or grading instructions;
  2. sitting for an examination by a surrogate or as a surrogate;
  3. any other act committed by a student in the course of his or her academic work which defrauds or misrepresents, including aiding or abetting in any of the actions previously cited.

Penalties for Plagiarism and Cheating

First offense: A grade of zero with no opportunity for rewriting of the paper or retaking of the exam in question.

Second offense: If plagiarism or cheating in this course occurs twice during the semester, the student will automatically fail the course.

Note: The documentation of plagiarism or cheating will be kept in a confidential file in the English department Chair’s office. No distinction will be made between unintentional and intentional plagiarism or cheating. It is the student’s responsibility to follow the rules for avoiding plagiarism or cheating. Students who have questions about these issues are responsible for asking the instructor for clarification before proceeding.


A grade of “C” or better is required to pass College Composition courses.

Each assignment will be graded according to a rubric, either one made for the specific assignment or one made for all assignments of a particular kind. Students are strongly encouraged to consult grading rubrics before beginning an assignment and while working on the assignment. It is also advisable to check the finished work against the rubric before submitting the work.

Regardless of rubric, writing submissions will be graded, at a minimum, on the following criteria:

  • Clear controlling idea establishes a limited and focused discussion appropriate to the assignment.
  • Audience, purpose, and situation are clear and conventions are generally appropriate for the particular genre.
  • Evidence is well-chosen and supports claims.
  • Research information is appropriate and correctly cited according to the Modern Language Association documentation system.
  • Reasoning is generally clear and logical.
  • Structure, organization, tone, and diction are appropriate to the rhetorical situation.
  • Sentences are of varying types and written with coherent syntax.
  • Writing is well-edited, although sentences may have some minor grammatical, spelling, or punctuation errors.

Grades will be determined by the following percentages:

Grading Categories




WordPress e-Portfolio




Investigative Piece




Syllabus Day by Day



In Class

Homework for Next Class

Week 1 Wednesday



Focus: Intro

  8/22 Introduction to the Course: Syllabus, Focus, Technology, Project-based learning.Introduction of first project: Video/Pictorial Journal of the First Week at CAU. For program assessment purposes, please complete the following MyCompLabdiagnostics:1.     Comprehensive Grammar Diagnostic 1 (50 items)

  1. Usage and Style Diagnostic 1 (28 items)
  2. Punctuation and Mechanics Diagnostic 1 (32 items)).
Friday 8/24 Meet in WISE computer lab in Kresge Hall.  Introduce WISE technology.  Create WordPress blog.  Make Twitter ID for class. Read Chapter 1 (Understanding Rhetorical Situations and Mediums), Video 1 (Understanding Cultural Networks), 2 (Rhetorical Situations.
Week 2Monday 8/27 Discuss rhetorical situations, audiences, and genres.In-Class exercise.How does this relate to your first project? Read Chapter 19(Organization), 20 (Narration).
Wednesday 8/29 Discuss creation of Annotated Playlist.  What does it mean?  How is it done?Group Discussion on project. Chapter E5:  Annotated Playlists including Video 32 (Playlists—Audio Materials to Include), 33 (Playlists—Composing a Playlist), 34 (Playlists—Adding Visuals), 35 (Playlists—Embedding Web Materials)
Friday 8/31 Meet in WISE computer lab.  Work on annotated playlist. Finish annotated playlist.  Turn in annotated playlist via MyComplab.  Deadline: Tuesday, 9/4 by 11:59 p.m.Read Chapter 13 (Photo Essays). Create first project using music from annotated playlist and pictures/video of first week. Upload project to Slideshare or Youtube.
Week 3 Monday 9/3

Labor Day


Wednesday 9/5 Discussion of Peer Response, Editorial Role, Responsibility. Finish peer response of annotated playlist. Deadline: Thursday  9/6 by 11:59 p.m.
Friday 9/7 Talk about how to embed video/slideshare into blog.  Share some projects with the class. Revise annotated playlist.  FinalDraft Deadline: Sunday 9/9 by 11:59 p.m.Embed first project into blog. Deadline:  Monday 9/10 by 11:59.
Week 4 Monday


9/10 Assign first article: Feature Story. What is a feature story?  How is it different than “hard news?” Have at least two good ideas to pitch to editorial committee. Deadline:  Tuesday, 9/11, 11:59 p.m.
Wednesday 9/12 Editorial meeting on topics. Begin working on story.
Friday 9/14 How to interview. Rough draft of feature story due to MyCompLab.  Deadline:  Sunday, 9/16 11:59 p.m
Week 5 Monday


Rosh Hashanna

9/17 Meet in the lab at McPheeter’s-Dennis 337 to learn WORDPRESS! Finish Peer response comments on MyCompLab. Deadline: Tuesday 9/18, 11:59 p.m.Read Chapter 21 (Description).
Wednesday 9/19 Guest Speaker!  Dr. Harris, MMA Chair. Revise first story and submit final draft to MyCompLab.  Deadline: Thursday 9/20, 11:59.
Friday 9/21 Meet in Lab.  Editorial Meeting: Layout and publication. Publish first newsletter and post to blog (embed or link).  Post link to Class WIKI.  Deadline:  Sunday, 9/23, 11:59.
Week 6 Monday 9/24 Discussion of the Editorial.  What is it, why is it important? Read Chapter 4:  Reading and Understanding Arguments.
Wednesday Yom Kippur 9/26 Watch Michael Wesch’s Video “Using Technology Successfully in the Classroom.”  Take notes. Map out your Editorial about “Using Technology in the Classroom” using one of these free mind-maps.  Please save and/or do a screen shot of mind-map to share with your editorial group on Friday.  Blog about this and include screenshot/embed of mind-map.
Friday 9/28 Class Exercise.  Discussion of what is important in opinion pieces. Editorial Meeting:  Deciding upon topics for Editorial Articles. Write rough draft of Editorial about “Using Technology in the Classroom” and submit to MyCompLab. Deadline:  Sunday, 9/30 at 11:59 p.m.
Week 7 Monday



10/1 Meet in WISE lab and create Second Life avatar.  Record avatar name on class WIKI. Visit Museum of African American Experience and WISE Island.  Make screen-shot of avatar! Blog about Second Life experience. Include screen shot of your avatar. Deadline Monday, 10/1 by 11:59 p.m.Complete peer response of Editorial.  Deadline:  Tuesday, 10/2 by 11:59 p.m.
Wednesday 10/3 Editorial meeting:  How will you publish this newsletter?  Decide. How will it be arranged?  What will you call the publication? Finish on-line form. Work on publication of editorial newsletter.Read Chapter 14 (Understanding Research).
Friday 10/5 Discuss research and it’s role in journalism. What is an investigative piece?  How is it done? Publish Newsletter #2 and post to blog (embed or link).  Post link to Class WIKI.  Deadline:  Sunday, 10/7, 11:59.
Week 8 Monday


Midterm Week

Shmini Atzaret

10/8 Meet in WISE Lab to learn how to use Twitter as a professional research tool.  Using hashtags, lists, and contacts to build knowledge and networks. Read Chapter 15 (Conducting Research).  Make a list of three possible investigative stories you might want to pursue.  Turn them in to MyCompLab. Deadline, Tuesday, 10/9 at 11:59 p.m. Bring copy of class ideas to class on Wednesday.
Wednesday 10/10 Class Discussion: what is important in investigative pieces. Editorial Meeting:  Decide upon topics for Investigative stories. Sign up for Zotero and Evernote (they are free!).  Watch Evernote video.  Make sure you have your account names and your passwords for next class.
Friday 10/12 Meet in Library Lab for Zotero workshop. Begin research on investigative story.  Add at least five sources to Zotero Group Library.  Deadline: Sunday 10/14 at 11:59 p.m.
Week 9 Monday 10/15 Assign Prospectus for Investigative story.   What is a prospectus, and how does it help you? Prepare rough draft of prospectus for investigative story.  Submit to MyCompLab.  Deadline: Tuesday 10/16 at 11:59 p.m.Bring copy of prospectus to class for Editorial Meeting on Wednesday.
Wednesday 10/17 Share prospectus with editorial group. Talk about how your focus might have changed after researching topic. Get ideas for tightening it up more. Complete peer review on rough-draft of prospectus.  Deadline: Thursday, 10/18 at 11:59 p.m.
Friday 10/19 Talk about how to do annotated bibliography.  Format, plagiarism issues, etc. Prepare final draft of prospectus and rough draft of annotated bibliography for investigative story (at least five sources).  Submit to MyCompLab.  Dual Deadline: Sunday 10/21 at 11:59 p.m.
Week 10 Monday 10/22 Discuss organization of investigative piece.  How do you do it? Complete peer review of annotated bibliography.  Deadline:  Tuesday, 10/23 at 11:59 p.m.
Wednesday 10/24 Making complicated information understandable.   What are Infographics?  How do you make one?   Using metaphors and infographics to make sense of information. Make final draft of Annotated Bibliography with 10 sources. Deadline:  Thursday, 10/25 at 11:59 p.m.
Friday 10/26 Discussion of individual investigative pieces.  How is everyone doing?  What do they need help with? Finish Rough Draft of Investigative piece.  Include at least one infographic and at least one picture.  Deadline:  Sunday, 10/28 at 11:59 p.m.
Week 11 Monday 10/29 Meet in WISE Lab for WordPress e-Portfolio workshop.  Overview of Portfolio requirements. Do Peer Response of Investigative article on MyCompLab.  Deadline: Thursday, 11/1 at 11:59 p.m.
Wednesday 10/31 Discuss hard news.  What is it, and what makes it “hard news.” Discuss how to find breaking news, how to report on it. Identify some events that will be taking place for election day/night.  Pitch idea for event/angle of story.
Friday 11/2 Editorial meeting:  hard news pitch.  Identify election issue you want to report. Complete final draft of Investigative article.  Deadline for final draft:  Sunday, 11/4 at 11:59 p.m.
Week 12 Monday 11/5 Discuss Election—polls, parties, and politics.  Prepare for stories. Prepare for story.  Do some background research. Make arrangements to cover your story. WRITE STORY ON TUESDAY!!! Deadline for Final Draft: Wednesday, 11/7 by 6 a.m.
Wednesday 11/7 Discuss how story went.  Editorial meeting:  publication of election stories. How will you publish these stories?  Decide.  How will it be arranged?  What will you call the publication? Finish on-line form. Publish Newsletter #3 and post to blog (embed or link).  Post link to Class WIKI..  Deadline: Thursday 11/8 at 11:59 p.m.
Friday 11/9 Editorial meeting:  publication of investigative stories. How will you publish these stories?  Decide. How will it be arranged?  What will you call the publication? Finish on-line form. Publish Newsletter #4 and post to blog (embed or link).  Post link to Class WIKI. Deadline: Sunday, 11/11 at 11:59 p.m.
Week 13 Monday 11/12 Discussion of Final Project and e-Portfolio. Gather your class items to place into portfolio project. Begin rewriting
Wednesday 11/14 Discussion of how professional media people showcase their work. Find some examples of Media portfolios.  Share link on class WIKI.
Friday 11/16 Share Media Portfolios with class. Discuss Reflection paper.  Assign Paper. Write rough draft of Reflection paper.  Deadline:  Sunday, 11/18 at 11:59.
Week 14 Monday 11/19 Meet in WISE Lab for workshop. Complete Peer Response of Reflection paper.  Deadline: Tuesday, 11/20 at 11:59 p.m.
Wednesday 11/21 Open Class. Finish Final Draft of Reflection Paper.  Deadline:  Sunday,11/25 at 11:59 p.m.
Friday Thanksgiving 11/23

Thanksgiving Holiday

Week 15 Monday 11/26 Workshop:  Finish final project!! Final Project Deadline: Tuesday, 11/27 at 11:59 p.m.
Wednesday Last Day of Classes 11/28

Last class!  Presentations of final Projects.  ALL PAPERS MUST BE IN AND BLOG MUST BE FINISHED BY SUNDAY, 12/2 at 11:59 p.m.

Friday Reading Period 11/30

No Class!

Week 16 Monday


Final Exam Week

Wednesday 12/5
Friday 12/7

Last Day of Semester


In addition to the assignments listed for each week, the instructor may adjust the schedule as needed.


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