English 380

English 380:
Advanced English Fundamentals

Instructor: Melissa Gunby Class: English 380 CRN 81454
Phone: 530-508-6501 Wednesday: 6:05-8:50

e-mail: msgunby@gmail.com Room: 707
Website: mgunby.wikispaces.com

Course Description:

English 380 is a “skills” course which will focus on the development of various analytical, critical, mechanical and grammatical skills and techniques. Throughout this course you will read and write a variety of paragraphs and essays and other materials to develop these skills in preparation for English 1. By the end of the semester you should be able to read critically and synthesize information from a text, as well as write to expose your ideas and information.

This class will heavily focus on the writing process, including drafting and revision and we will have mandatory in class workshops.

This is a Pass/No Pass course.

There are two requirements to pass this course:
  1. A passing score on the CME (see below)
  2. Completion of a minimum of 70% of the course work

Required Texts and Materials:
Goshgarian, Gary. What Matters in America: Reading and Writing about Contemporary Culture. 3rd ed. New Jersey: Pearson, 2012. Print.
ISBN: 978-0-205-23074

Hacker, Diana. A Writer’s Reference: with exercises. 6th ed. Boston, New York: Bedford/St. Martins, 2009. Print
ISBN: 978-0-312-66477-0 (you may use any edition)

Other materials will be provided or made available at my website.

Internet access is required for this class. If this is a problem, please see me at the end of the first class.

loose-leaf binder paper

pens, pencils, highlighters

Recommended texts/materials:

Collegiate dictionary and thesaurus (Longman, Oxford, Merriam Webster, etc)

Floppy disk, flash drive, or some other external source to save your documents

Course Requirements

Composition Mastery Exam (CME)
In order to enroll in English 1 (transferable English credit), you must get a minimum score of an 8 on the CME at the end of the term. The CME is given campus wide at the end of each semester and is graded by the English faculty. A student who does not achieve a combined score of 8 or better will not pass English 370 and will have to repeat the course.

Completion of a minimum of 70% of course work
We will be writing an average of an essay every other week, along with reading and other homework. In order to pass this class, you need to do the work equivalent to a “C” in a graded course. If you do not, you will not pass, even if you pass the CME with an 8 or better.

Course Goals:

Over the course of this class you will
  • Develop and apply critical reading and critical thinking skills to writing
  • Demonstrate understanding that writing is a process
  • Show mastery of writing paragraphs with controlling ideas
  • Write essays with clear and supported theses
  • Use critical reading skills to synthesize ideas using personal experience
  • Develop and apply self- and peer-editing skills, revising, and evaluation methods
  • Demonstrate knowledge of MLA style and documentation, and, have resources to find other modes of documentation (APA and Chicago)
  • Use a variety of sentence structures and patterns and show an understanding of the conventions of standard academic English
  • Write short essays as specified above in a 2-hour timed exam setting, to a level consistent with a minimum score of 8 on the CME rubric (midterms).

Course Overview:

This is a course in English Fundamentals, and as such, reading and writing will be at the center of the course. We will write a number of paragraphs and essays, some in response to readings, some on different topics. There will be in class writing assignments, as well as regular homework which will include both a reading journal and a vocabulary journal.

You will be required to write an original paper for each assignment. Recycling essays from other classes is considered plagiarism and will not be tolerated.


This is a Pass/No Pass class. As such, if you complete 70% or more of the course work and pass the CME with a score of 8 or better, you will pass. If you do not complete a minimum of 70%, there is a high likely-hood that you will not pass.

Because this is a pass/no pass class, letter grades will not be assigned on essays.

Classroom Policies:

Respect: The main policy is to respect each other. All the writing in this class will be shared with your peers. You are welcome to your opinion, as are your classmates, and while we may disagree, it is important to separate your argument over ideas from the individual you disagree with. Attack the argument, not the person.

Food: Please try not to bring food into class. If you must, please try to limit your snacks to things that are not noisy or disruptive by being strong smelling.

Cell Phones, etc.: Please turn off all pagers, cell phones, wireless devices, iPods, etc. when entering the classroom. You and your classmates are paying (or being supported by loans, grants, and scholarships) for your education; please respect that use of money and my time in class and do not text during class time. If I catch you texting, I will call you out on it in front of your classmates. If I have to mention it several times, I may ask you to step out and not give you any participation credit for the day.

Absent/Late Policy: Attendance is mandatory. I grade on participation – if you are not present, you cannot participate. You get TWO absences, no questions asked. After your second absence, you face the possibility of being dropped from the class, or receiving a failing grade.

I will take attendance at the beginning of each class session. If you arrive late, please see me after class so I can mark you as being in class. Please make your best effort to arrive on time. If you must enter late, please come in as quietly as possible. Three tardies are equivalent to one absence.

Participation: I understand that some people are reluctant to participate in class discussions. The participation element of this course includes class discussion, but also in class writing and turning in homework. Participation also means being awake and attentive during class.

The workshop accounts for a different portion of the grade for this class. Please be prepared with drafts on your workshop days. If you are absent on a workshop day, your final grade will be lowered accordingly.

Academic Honesty: Plagiarism is the use of distinctive ideas or works belonging to another person without providing adequate acknowledgement of that person's contribution. Plagiarism is a serious offense. Essays containing plagiarism will result in lowered grades. All cases of plagiarism will be referred to the Judicial Officer of Student Affairs. For more information on Academic Honesty, please refer to page 35 of the Class Schedule available online at: http://www.solano.edu/catalog/catalog_200911/section2.pdf or the back of the syllabus for a hard copy.

Late Papers: All assignments are due at the beginning of class on the assigned date. A paper turned in late will lose ¼ credit for each day over-due (a 10 point assignment becomes a 7.5 point assignment). If you are going to miss class, I expect you to make arrangements to see that your paper is turned in by a classmate, or left in my box before class starts.

Please note: I will not accept homework via email.

Technology failures are not an excuse for a late or missing paper. Back up your files to a floppy or flash drive, or keep alternate copies on your hard drive.

Course at a Glance

What follows is a preliminary schedule of the semester, including holidays and midterm dates.

I reserve the right to make changes to any of these dates that are not school holidays.

Class Overview:

Unit 1/Essay 1: Is the Internet Changing our Social Lives? (chapter 1)

Unit 2/Essay 2: What does Freedom of Speech Really Mean? (chapter 5)

Unit 3: How does Advertising Influence Us? Do the Media Promote a Culture of Fear and Violence? (chapters 3 and 4)
Essay 3: Reflections on the American Psyche: Advertising and Popular Culture

For all reading assignments, unless otherwise noted, complete any questions at the end of the reading except for the “Writing About the Issues” questions, and be prepared to discuss the readings and your responses in class.

There may be additional homework assigned from the handbook (Hacker) as needed. These will largely be writing exercises as well as review of basic skills such as grammar, spelling, mechanics, citations, etc.

Notes/Major Assignments Due
Reading Homework Due Next Class
week 1
Diagnostic Writing Activity (in class)
"MySpace, Facebook, and Other Social Networking Sites: hot Today, Gone Tomorrow?" pg 24-29. "You Gotta Have (150) Friends" pg 44-47.
week 2

"Networking Through the Ages" pgs 39-40. "I Tweet, Therefore I Am" pg 40-43.
week 3

"As Bullies Go Digital, Parents Play Catch Up," pg 30-36.
week 4
Peer Review

week 5
Midterm 1: Practice CME

week 6

week 7
Essay 1 due
"Free Inquiry? Not on Campus" pg 190-197. "Why Stop with Mark Twain's 'Huckleberry Finn'?" pg 214-215
week 8
No Class: Instructor Obligation
"Hate Cannot be Tolerated" pg 198-200. "Academic Bill of Rights" pg 201-205.
week 9

"Sixth Circuit Orders Federal District Court to Rule on Student Blogger's Free Speech and Due Process Claims" pg 210-211. "Is Harry Potter Evil?" pg 211-214.
week 10
Peer Review
"A Brand by Any Other Name" pg 102-107. "Black Friday…Gray Thursday" pg 107-111.
week 11
Essay 2 due. Midterm 2: Practice CME
"On Sale at Old Navy: Cool Clothes for Identical Zombies!" pg 111-116 "Consumerism is 'Eating the Future'" pg 116-121.
week 12

"In Search of Notorious Ph.D.s" pg 173-178. "Hate Violence? Turn it Off!" pg 167-170
week 13

"The Language of Advertising" pg 127-134. "Violent Media is Good for Kids." pg 181-185
week 14
In Class Writing Assignment: Reflective Writing
"Extreme Reality: How Media Coverage Exaggerates Risks and Dangers" pg 150-153. "Branding in Pop Culture" pg 143-145. "Violent Media Numbs Viewers to Pain of Others" pg 165-167.
week 15
No Class: Thanksgiving Week
"With These Words, I Can Sell You Anything" pg 121-127. "The Female Fear Factor" pg 154-159. "Growing Up in a Culture of Fear: From Columbine to Banning of MySpace" pg 162-165
week 16
Peer Review, Final prep for CME, Review

week 17
CME in class. Final Essay Due.

week 18
Last class meeting: CMEs and Grades returned