College of San Mateo - Fall, 1999

English 165: Advanced Composition
Location: Bldg. 19, Rm. 105
Time: MWF, 10:10-11:00 a.m.

Instructor: S. Galloway
Office: 15, 117 - MW 9-10, Th 11-12
Phone: 574-6677 Ext. 9030

Required Texts and Materials

  • Barnet, Sylvan and Bedau, Hugo. Current Issues & Enduring Questions. 5th ed.Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's Press, 1999.
  • Cooper, Sheila and Patton, Rosemary. Writing Logically, Thinking Critically. 2nd ed.Menlo Park: Addison Wesley Longman Inc., 1997.
  • Davis, Wade. Shadows in the Sun. Washington D.C.: Island Press, 1998.
  • A loose leaf notebook, 8 1/2" x 11", for in-class journal entries and group work.


  • A handbook of English grammar and usage. (There are several at the bookstore.)
  • An up-to-date dictionary, such as Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 10th ed.
  • A thesaurus.

Course Description

     Throughout the semester, students will develop and apply critical thinking skills in both reading and writing assignments. Selections will be read carefully and students will learn to identify and differentiate among a text’s facts, inferences, assumptions, and claims. They will apply principles of inductive and deductive reasoning to evaluate the accuracy, quality, and relevance of a work’s ideas, information, and arguments. Critical reading skills will be practiced and demonstrated in homework exercises, journal entries, and group discussions.

     Students will also apply the same critical skills to their own writings, analyzing and revising their exercises, drafts, and essays so that they reflect sound reasoning, and are clear, logical, and effective. In addition, writing assignments will stress the importance of audience and purpose in shaping the organization and content of an essay. Students will learn to recognize and employ various rhetorical strategies, and make appropriate choices regarding tone, form, and diction to support those strategies.

Course Requirements

  • Prerequisite. Students must have completed Engl 100 and earned a grade of C or higher.
  • Attendance.The course moves quickly through the syllabus, and missing more than 2 classes will not only put you in danger of falling behind, but may affect your final grade. Students will not pass the course if they miss more than 6 class meetings during the semester.
  • Come to class prepared. Read the homework selections before class, complete assignments on time, and be ready to actively participate in class discussions and group exercises.
  • Keep a reading journal. Make regular entries in which assigned readings are evaluated and discussed. The journal will be collected periodically throughout the semester for review.
  • Complete all assignments. Without exception, all 5 essay assignments must be completed. Two in-class writing assignments are also required for the midterm and final.


     Students will be graded primarily on their writing assignments. Five out-of-class essays are required, and two of the essays can be revised. There will also be an in-class midterm and final, but these cannot be made up. All of these writing assignments must be completed to pass the course. In addition, students will be asked to keep a reading journal in which they will respond to the readings, analyze a reading’s argument structure, and develop ideas for their essays.

     Class participation is also very important. There will be regular classroom discussions on readings and exercises, as well as numerous smaller group activities. The success of these collaborative efforts depends on student preparation, interest, and active engagement.

Two in-class essays (midterm and final) 10% each20%
Essays 1 & 2 10% each20%
Essays 3 & 4 12.5% each25%
Essay 5 15%
Reading Journal 10%
Participation 10%



     If any student feels that they need additional lab time in order to familiarize themselves with the computer writing center and the word-processing software (tutorials are available), or in order to practice sentence-level exercises assigned by the instructor, you are strongly encouraged to sign-up for Engl 853 (18-188). You may enroll any time during the semester (open entry/open exit), and receive 1/2 unit of credit for every 24 hours.

     For students who wish for more intensive assistance outside of class, you can sign up for Engl 850 (18-191). Also available on an open entry/open exit basis, students are given individual appointments with faculty and receive help with assignments in progress.

General Admonition

     Plagiarism is a serious academic crime that can result in an F on a particular assignment or for an entire course and, in extreme cases, in your expulsion from college. Plagiarism means passing off someone else’s work – their exact words or even their ideas, their speech, writing, research – as your own. When you use the words, ideas, or research of others, you must give them credit by "citing" them using appropriate MLA (Modern Language Association) citation procedures. (We will cover these procedures in class.) Don’t be afraid to give credit to others for their own work, for doing so shows that you are aware of the relevant information gathered by others and that you understand how that information fits in with your own ideas and views. Citing other sources shows that you are scholarly and that you understand the rules of academia.


Thought, Words, and Power: Making the Connections

August 23: Introduction and Syllabus.
August 25: In-class writing. Read ch. 1, pp. 1-13 in WLTC. Answer questions on p. 5 for journal.
August 27: Class discussion and group work.
August 30:Class discussion on democracy and rhetoric. Read ch. 2, pp. 22-33, and 39-42 in CI/EQ.
Sept. 1: In-class analysis of homework essay. Orwell essay and essay 1 assignment.
Sept. 3: Group work and discussion on Orwell.
Sept. 6:No class - Labor Day holiday.
Sept. 8:In-class journal entry. Peer critique of rough drafts.
Sept. 10:Essay 1 due, (750-1000 words). Class discussion on basic argument structure. Read ch. 3, pp. 36-40 in WLTC. Answer questions 1-10 on pp. 40-42.

Critical Evaluation: Using Logic in a Multimedia World

Sept. 13: Class and group work on sample editorial. Read ch. 3, pp. 43-50 in WLTC. Answer questions A-C on p. 47 for journal.
Sept. 15: Discussion, handouts, and exercises on types of evidence. Read ch. 3, pp. 64-72 in CI/EQ.
Sept. 17:Discussion and exercises on hidden assumptions in an argument. Read ch. 3, pp. 53-7 in WLTC. Do exercises in section 3E, A-C.
Sept. 20: Group work on argument analysis in sample essays using analysis checklists.
Sept. 22: Applying critical thinking principles to multimedia. Types of appeal – ethos, pathos, logos. Read ch. 4, pp. 101-115, and 125-8 in CI/EQ. Analyze essay for journal.
Sept. 24:Essay 2 assignment.
Sept 27:In-class work and one-on-one conferences.
Sept.29:Rough drafts due for peer critiques.
Oct. 1:Essay 2 due, (1000-1250 words). Controversial issues. Read ch. 4, pp. 61-73 in WLTC.

Controversial Issues: Arguing and Defending your Views

Oct. 4: Discussion and group work on sample argument topics. Read ch. 2, pp. 17-30 in WLTC.
Oct. 6: Discuss homework and concession, contrast, and transitional tag words.
Oct. 8: In-class Midterm exam. Choose an issue from pp. 83-4 (WLTC) or from handout essays and do assignments 8 & 9 for journal entry. Bring rough draft for peer critique.
Oct. 11: Discussion and group work. Read ch. 5, pp. 89-98 in WLTC. Answer questions 1-4 on p. 97 for journal.
Oct. 13: Discussion and exercises on inductive and deductive reasoning. Read ch. 7, pp. 124-135 in WLTC. Do exercises 7A & 7B on pp. 133-5 in journal.
Oct. 15:Discussion and exercises. Read ch. 6, pp. 101-115 in WLTC. Do assigned exercises.
Oct. 18: Discussion and group work. Essay 3 assignment.
Oct. 20:In-class writing and essay outline checklist.
Oct. 22:Standard form outline of essay 3 due.
Oct. 25:Rough drafts due for peer critique.
Oct. 27:Essay 3 due, (1000-1500 words). Discussion and handout on revision guidelines. Read "A Modest Proposal," pp. 151-159 in CI/EQ.

Ideals and Values: Using Rhetoric to Persuade and Transform

Oct. 29:Class discussion. Read ch. 5, pp. 160-82 in CI/EQ.
Nov. 1: Discussion and group work. Read ch. 9, pp. 299-307 in CI/EQ. Select a written piece that has been important to you and bring to next class.
Nov. 3: Class discussion. Read "Shooting An Elephant," pp. 701-6 in CI/EQ.
Nov. 5:Discussion and group work. Read "Antigone," pp. 744-774 in CI/EQ.
Nov. 8: Discussion and group work. Read "Letter from a Birmingham Jail," pp. 715-30 in CI/EQ. Make a journal entry in response to reading.
Nov. 10:Logical fallacies. Read ch. 8, pp. 140-156 in WLTC. Identify fallacies 1-20 on pp. 155-6.
Nov. 12:Essay revision due. In-class activities. Essay 4 assignment. Read Appendix I, pp. 199-204 in WLTC.
Nov.15:Discussion and group work.
Nov. 17:Essay outlines due and one-on-one in-class conferencing available.
Nov. 19:Rough draft of essay 4 due for peer critique.
Nov. 22: Essay 4 due, (1250-1500 words). Research sources, discussion and handouts. Begin reading Shadows in the Sun.

Research: Investigate an Issue and Report Your Findings

Nov. 24:Continue discussion of evaluation and documentation of sources.
Nov. 26:No class – Thanksgiving holiday.
Nov. 29:Writing, discussion of Shadows. Read chapter 6 in CI/EQ. Journal questions.
Dec. 1: Shadows. Essay 5 assignment.
Dec. 3:Shadows and group work.
Dec. 6:Topics and outlines of possible essay 5 topics due.
Dec. 8:Essay revisions due. In-class writing and one-on-one conferencing available.
Dec. 10: Open class to review semester.
Dec. 13:Rough draft of essay 5 due for peer critique.
Dec. 15-21:Final Exams. Essay 5 due, (1500-2000).

Back to English Studies