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Winter 2013 English 91 (Including Jumpstart and 91 Plus Support) Instructor

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Winter 2013 English 91

(Including Jumpstart and 91 Plus Support)

Instructor: Monica LeMoine

E-mail (the best way to reach me):

Office location: Bldg. 5, Room 103

Office hours: Monday, 1:30-2:30; and Monday-Thursday, 9:55-10:55, (NOTE: Thursday office hours will be in the computer lab, Building 30, to provide extra targeted assistance to online learners. Email me for the exact room number.)



NOTE: Email is the best way to get in touch with me. Monday through Friday, please allow 24 hours for a response. I cannot guarantee a response to e-mails on Saturdays and Sundays, but will respond to any messages sent over the weekend on the following Monday.


Every day, we play different roles when we send an e-mail.  One minute I might be e-mailing my husband, and the next I might send a reminder to my students.  Of course, the way I write, talk, and act is different depending on whom I am communicating with.  Same for you, right?   You probably wouldn't talk to your grandmother the same way you talk to your best friend.


Likewise, e-mailing an instructor is quite different from e-mailing friends and family.  Understanding this difference, and knowing how to communicate appropriately depending on societal expectations, is one of the many small keys to your success in the academic and professional world.  Now is the time to get into this habit of being a strong professional communicator if you haven't already.  Like most other faculty here at Highline, I expect ALL e-mails from you to be sent in Professional E-mail Format (PEF).  That means:

  1. START WITH A GREETING, like Dear____ or Hello ____.  Know what your instructor likes to be called: Ms./Mr.____, Professor____, or by first name. You can call me Monica or Ms. LeMoine, whichever you're most comfortable with.

  2. BE CLEAR ABOUT YOUR PURPOSE: what are you writing about, and why?

  3. USE YOUR BEST GRAMMAR.  That means: use complete sentences with proper punctuation (periods!), capitalization (remember to capitalize first-person "I"), and spelling.  Don't skimp here!

  4. SIGN WITH YOUR FIRST NAME, LAST NAME, and COURSE NAME.  Always assume that your instructor does not know who you are or what class you are in, even if you're certain they do.  

Messages not in PEF will be returned with a friendly note: "Please resend this message in PEF so that I can help you more effectively!"


To take English 91/98, you must have met one of the following prerequisites:

      COMPASS Writing score: 40-64

      COMPASS ESL score: 260 or higher

      Completion of ENGL 81 with a grade of 2.0 or above

Reading skills are crucial to your success in English 101, where you will be reading and responding to college level essays.  Because of this, a minimum COMPASS Reading score of 71 or 2.0 or above in Reading 081* is a mandatory prerequisite for English 101.  If your COMPASS Reading score is lower than a 71, please plan to take the Reading courses you need to develop your skills appropriately.

*This is in addition to the current prerequisite of a minimum COMPASS English score of 65 OR Asset language skill of 40 OR minimum of 2.0 in Writ 091/ 098.


They Say, I Say WITHOUT Readings, 2nd Edition


Coursework (subject to change) will be comprised of:

  • 3-4 major essays written outside of class (60% of final grade)

  • Peer Review, Daily Writing, Quizzes, and Other In-Class Activities (30%)

  • Friday Online Discussion Forums (10%) (NOTE: This does not apply to 91 Plus Support)

  • Final Portfolio (graded pass/fail - see below)

Welcome to College Preparatory English! The purpose of this course is to practice and build on the writing, reading, active learning, and critical thinking skills you need to write for college. We’ll be working on writing effective paragraphs and essays. Much of the writing that you do will involve reading and responding critically to texts.

This course will involve a lot of active collaboration, participation, and commitment from you.  Critical thinking and taking responsible ownership of your own writing requires active reflection and participation on your part.  Therefore, we will frequently use small groups to discuss readings, complete class activities, and work on drafts.  You will be responsible for sharing your drafts with class members during peer response sessions and for giving detailed, honest responses about each others' writing. We are a diverse class – so positive engagement with people of different cultural and language backgrounds is expected. We will also use our book to work on common grammar errors and proofreading.

Here are some of my key assumptions about what can help us communicate more effectively, fluently, and confidently in writing. These assumptions guide the structure and organization of this course:

  1. Commitment to Active Study: like any skill requiring mastery, writing is an ongoing process that requires active learning and relearning, ongoing reflection and awareness of strengths and weaknesses, frequent revising and fixing of mistakes, independent initiative, question-asking, and answer-seeking on the part of the writer.

  2. Verbal Participation: the more we talk and listen, the better our writing becomes. Speaking and listening provides the chance to verbally solidify new vocabulary and sentence structure, contribute and absorb thoughtful ideas from peers, and produce fluent English sentences in a way that is understandable to others. This can transfer to our writing ability. For this reason, active verbal participation is strongly supported and encouraged in this class, students will be called on randomly to participate, and we will do at least one oral presentation.

  3. Reading: the more we read, the stronger our general knowledge and vocabulary base for use in our writing. For this reason, we will practice reading complex real-world texts and accurately summarizing the views of others.

  4. Frequency: the more frequently we write, the better our writing becomes. Writing quickly and frequently allows us to practice proper grammar and vocabulary, and develop confidence and fluency. With this in mind, we will be doing daily writing practice in journals (time permitting), as well as online writing on Fridays (regular 91 only; not plus support).

 Computer Lab Fee

On some Thursdays, we will be in the computer lab. This course is computer integrated, so you should have paid a computer use fee as part of your tuition.  You should have received a letter explaining your username and password that will you open access to the computer lab.


 By the end of the quarter, students earning a 2.0 or above will be able to do the following.

  1. Essay Writing Goals: Write 2-5 page essays that are focused, organized and supported.  Their essays should:

    • Demonstrate a clearly identifiable topic and main idea.

    • Maintain focus and develop a main idea with adequate support in the form of relevant, specific details and examples.

    • Demonstrate an understanding of the paragraph as unit of thought; each paragraph develops a controlling idea with relevant details.

    • Demonstrate an understanding of the overall organizational structure of an essay.

    • Attempt to establish a connection between ideas/paragraphs in the essay.

  1. Grammar Goals: Edit their writing successfully using the rules of grammar and punctuation of Standard Edited English.  “Successfully” does not mean that the writing must be grammatically perfect, but students should be able to edit for more serious error patterns (run-ons, fragments, awkward syntax, serious word choice and spelling problems, and seriously distracting punctuation problems).  Students may be still working on less serious errors like pronoun agreement, minor article errors, and punctuation issues (like commas and apostrophes).  Grammatically, their writing should:

    • Clearly demonstrate an understanding of sentence boundaries.

    • Attempt a variety of effective sentence structures, using subordination and coordination among other strategies.

    • Demonstrate general understanding of verb usage and tense construction.

    • Demonstrate clear syntax (patterns of word order) and correct use of parts of speech; minor errors should not impede understanding.

    • Demonstrate good spelling, vocabulary choice, and idiom use; minor errors should not significantly interfere with meaning.

  1. Critical Thinking/Reading Goals:

    • Write paragraphs and essays that utilize a variety of thinking/writing skills toward specific purposes such as description, summary, narration, and analysis, among others.

    • Respond critically and constructively to the essays of published writers and fellow students.

    • Summarize a piece of reading and respond to it in writing.

    • Successfully apply ideas and strategies from course readings in their own essays.

    • Work productively with other students in collaborative groups to discuss readings and review each other’s papers.

    • Define and avoid plagiarism by distinguishing their own words from those of sources.

4.  Revision Goals:

    • Successfully revise their rough drafts with an understanding of focus, organization and support.

    • Use the word processor on the computer to effectively revise and edit essays and paragraphs.

5.  Self-Assessment Goals

  • Evaluate their strengths and weaknesses as writers and determine their goals and needs.

  • Identify the key error patterns they have as writers.


The center is located in Building 26, Room 319. Consultants are available Monday through Thursday 8:00 AM–7:30 PM and Friday 8:00 AM--1:00 PM in 26-319i.  Phone number is 878-3710, ext. 4364 (these hours are subject to change; call in advance to check).

Each session lasts 25 minutes, although it is fine to sign up for two sequential sessions to schedule a 50-minute consultation. In order to ensure there is enough time for everyone who needs help, a maximum of two sessions per day and four sessions per week is alloted to each student.

Although walk-ins are always welcome on a first-come-first-served basis, to ensure that a consultant is available to work with you at the time you want, please stop by or call the Writing Center to make an appointment in advance. To get the most out of your session, we recommend that you make an appointment at least two days before the assignment is due. Come to your appointment with your in-progress writing, your assignment sheet, and plenty of questions.



Late Work Policy

  • No in-class activities may be made up for any reason, so please don’t ask. Part of being a college student is accepting responsibility for your grades and your actions. If you miss a discussion forum deadline or a quiz in class, just accept that you got a zero on whatever you missed, and move on. It’s important in an online class that you stay on top of your deadlines, and start your work EARLY so that you have time to e-mail me if you don’t understand the instructions or have trouble navigating the forum.

  • Deadlines on the major out-of-class essays are also firm.  If you know in advance that you absolutely cannot make a deadline due to extraordinary family/life circumstances, you must e-mail me 24 hours before the deadline (in PEF format) so that we can work out a solution.  Essays turned in late without proper advanced notice will automatically lose 10 percentage points per day late.

  • Late portfolios will not be accepted.

Essay format – Essays must be typed in 12-point Times New Roman or Arial font, double-spaced, with one-inch margins with your full name at the top.  I do not accept e-mailed essays unless otherwise noted.

Keeping Copies of Your Work: KEEP ALL ESSAYS SAVED ELECTRONICALLY, BECAUSE YOU WILL NEED THEM FOR YOUR FINAL PORTFOLIO. Also, sometimes things get lost in the shuffle. Please keep all your work in a folder in a safe place until the end of the quarter.

Use of Your Work: I may keep copies of your assignments for use in future classes unless you register your objection in writing.

Statement on Diversity: I recognize and respect diversity of ethnicity and race, gender, sexual identity, class, age, and disability. Differences provide us with opportunities to learn new things, compare experiences, test our assertions, understand ourselves better, and find common ground. Differences also sometimes engender conflict. In the midst of that conflict, I ask everyone to maintain a language and an attitude of respect.

Student Responsibilities for Classroom Behavior:  Student rights and responsibilities are outlined in the “Student Rights and Responsibilities Cod WAC 1321-120,” a booklet available in Student Services and elsewhere on campus.  The document prohibits disorderly or bothersome conduct which interferes with the rights of others or which obstructs or disrupts teaching (p. 4).  Further, the instructor is responsible for classroom conduct and is authorized to take such steps as are necessary when a student’s behavior interrupts normal classroom procedures (p.8).

Ethics: The worst academic offenses in the U.S. are cheating and plagiarism. For this class, that means 1) Don’t turn in an assignment someone else wrote; 2) Don’t let someone else (your best friend, your mom, etc.) do a lot of rewriting or proofreading for you, although it’s certainly acceptable to get general feedback; and 3) Don’t copy phrases or sentences from books, articles or the Internet into your papers. If I discover you have copied phrases or sentences from another source, the paper could earn a 0, with no possibilities for revision. We’ll talk about how to use sources ethically; if you find yourself wanting to use a source before we cover it in class, come talk to me.

Withdrawals. Students who have not officially withdrawn from the class by the final withdraw deadline will receive a grade based on the work they have completed to that date, even if they have stopped attending class. Be aware that, if you stop coming to class and do not withdraw, you are likely to earn a 0.0 in the class, which will remain permanently on your transcript. It is very hard for your grade point average to recover from such a grade. I cannot withdraw you after that date.

Incompletes. An “incomplete” is a grade on your transcript that is converted to a decimal grade when you finish all of your work for the course. It is intended for students who are successfully passing the course until the very end, when they encounter a major emergency, such as a car accident or hospital stay. It is not intended for students who have failed to turn in most of the work over the course of the quarter. Students requesting an incomplete must have finished at least 80 percent of the course work and have an approved and documented reason for not completing the course. Incompletes must be completed in a certain time frame; if the work is not completed within that time, the incomplete converts to the grade the student earns without having done that work.

Students with Disabilities: If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability; if you have emergency medical information to share with me; or if you need special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please provide me with the Letter of Accommodations you have received from the Office of Access Services. Access Services is located in Building 6 in the Student Development Center.


Your final portfolio, due at the end of the quarter, should demonstrate that you are ready to move on to English 101.  This portfolio will be submitted electronically via Angel, and evaluated on a pass/fail basis.  For you to earn a passing grade in this class, your portfolio must pass (see information below). 


The 91/98 Final Portfolio:

We will talk more specifically about portfolio requirements later in the quarter.  Here is some basic information:

In order to demonstrate readiness for English 101, all English 91/98 students are required to submit a writing portfolio at the end of the quarter. Your portfolio should include the following:

  1. A personal reflective essay that critically analyzes your own writing processes and products.

  2. Your two strongest essays from this class (based on your choosing).

  3. Your final written exam.

In order to earn a 2.0 or better in English 91/98, you must pass the portfolio assessment. If your portfolio earns a pass, your grade will be based on your completion of the instructor’s grading requirements.

Note: you are not guaranteed a 2.0 or higher if your portfolio passes—you must meet the course requirements at or above a 2.0 as defined by your instructor.

If your portfolio does not pass, you can earn up to a 1.9 in the course, and you will need to take (or retake) English 98 and pass it with a 2.0 or better before moving on to English 101. The assignment of a grade between 0.0 and 1.9 will be based on your completion of your instructor’s grading requirements.



 Grading Scale


4.0 scale

% of points possible

Letter grade

4.0 scale

% of points possible

Letter grade





















































































































Discussion Forum Grading Criteria (Applicable Only if your class has Friday online forum)
Main posts and responses will be evaluated by the instructor based on the following criteria:

  • are made on-time for others to read and respond

  • meet the specified minimum word count

  • follow all parts of the forum instructions precisely

  • show excellent grammar, mechanics, and spelling

  • deliver meaningful information that shows critical thought, insight, and analysis

  • contains rich, detailed, fully developed ideas that connect to the readings, real life, and/or others' ideas

  • show strong comprehension of the text and engagement with others

  • further and expand the conversation with meaningful questions and commentary


  1. Take responsibility for your own success in this class.  “I didn’t know” or "my computer wasn't working" is not a valid excuse for anything regarding this class.  I highly recommend that you identify a back-up Internet source in case your own computer breaks down; nearly all public libraries have free computers with Internet these days.  Just email me or come by my office if you are confused!

  2. This syllabus and schedule are subject to change at any time at my discretion.  You will be notified of any changes.

  3. This course can be as wonderful or as terrible as you make it for yourself.  Each assignment and discussion can be useful for writers of all abilities.  Your level of satisfaction with this course is directly related to your attitude toward the reading, writing, and class discussions all quarter long.  In other words, if you give the class a chance, you will enjoy it and learn from it!

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