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Sunday, 21 August 2011 08:39

English 101 syllabus

Written by Kathleen Dorantes
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Welcome to English 101 online

Reading and Composition

Fall 2011

Orientation:  CRN 10363: Monday, August 22 at 11:50 a.m.

                         CRN 10364: Monday, Aug. 22 at 1:30 p.m.

                        CRN 10364: Wednesday, Aug. 24 at 1:30 p.m.

Students who do not attend the orientation, unless they have sought permission from me, will be dropped. Their spaces will be filled with crashers.


Midterm for all sections: October 19, time and room to be announced 

Final for all sections: December 7, time and room to be announced

Kathleen Dorantes

Room 2797 (southwest corner of new building)

(760) 355-6328

Office hours:

Monday 5-6 p.m. (online office hour)

Tuesday 12-1 p.m.

Wednesday 5-6 p.m.

Thursday 9-10 a.m.

Lab hour:

Thursday 3-4 p.m. (Students may find me in the IVC Writing Lab. I am available for help with reading, writing, and assignments.)

Hello, I am Kathleen Dorantes, your instructor.  Congratulations on enrolling in this online course. I hope you will find this course intellectually challenging, informative, interactive, and fun.

If you are adding the course, you must use the add authorization number I gave you and add immediately in order to have access to EtudesNG. It should take no more than 24 hours for you to be able to log on. You cannot afford to get behind in this class on the modules, so the sooner the better.

Please print out this page and all other documents in the Syllabus tool for future reference.

Required Texts

  • Founding Brothers, by Joseph Ellis
  • MyWritingLab (Six months access for $15)


(You need to be registered for the class for this to work.)

New User log-in:

User name is the first two letters of your first name, and first two letters of your last name, and the last five numbers of your G#

For instance, if your name is Manuel Smith, G00123456, your log-in would be masm23456.

The default password is the month and date of your birth put into a four-digit format. For instance, if you were born February 3, your password would be 0203.

If you have used Etudes before, your User Name is the same, but you have probably re-set your password. If you have forgotten your password, have the program email your current password.

If you are a crasher into this class, you can log in the day after you register.



This class is titled "Reading and Composition."  It is a transfer-level class designed to teach reading and writing English at the college level.  When you leave this class, you should have all the skills necessary to succeed on most college writing assignments.  To this end, we will read and discuss many different types (or patterns) of essays (including comparison and contrast, description, narration, definition, and argument), explore the basics of paragraph and essay development, compose a variety of organized and developed essays, learn the basics of research and documentation, and review the basics of grammar, mechanics, and punctuation.

Class Rules

The majority of class work will be assigned and submitted online.  That includes all essays, discussions, and writing assignments.  The only materials that will not be online will be the midterm and the final; you will be required to attend class for both of these activities.

All essays and attached documents submitted to me must be formatted as either Microsoft Word or Rich Text Format documents.  If you turn in an attachment and I cannot open it, I will be unable to grade it or give you credit for it.

Each assignment will be completed before the designated date on which it is due.  For essays and the research paper, you will be given a few days grace period to turn in work under LATE submission. Work submitted late will lose five points. After the late deadline expires, no papers will be accepted. You may wish to consider dropping the class.

Once a Discussion Board is locked, there is no submitting any more work. You may submit up until the time the board is locked.

You are responsible for keeping track of your class grade average and the drop deadline.

Students are expected to log in frequently. Please plan on spending 8-10 hours per week to complete the reading, writing, viewing, and other work associated with this class.


Deadlines will be posted on the Homepage. Check the Homepage frequently.


Students are expected to purchase the assigned texts. Not having a book or lab access code is not an adequate excuse for not finishing an assignment.


Essays written in this class will be based on a series of pre-writing activities and drafts. Please save all work on your hard drive and print out a copy in case your hard drive crashes.


Please email, private message, or use chat to ask me any questions about the course content. I will check these frequently. Expect an answer within 24 hours. I will check periodically on the weekend. 

Reading Tutorials

Success in this class requires that students read and understand several chapters in Founding Brothers. Both the midterm and the final will be based on that reading. I also understand that this reading will be difficult for some students who struggle with reading skills, such as vocabulary and comprehension. Therefore, I will offer my writing lab hour, Thursday, 3-4 p.m., as a Reading Tutorial for my English 101 sections. Any student who wants help in reading and comprehending Founding Brothers should show up at the IVC Writing Lab at 3 p.m. and seek me out in the lab. We will read together, stopping to understand vocabulary and meaning. Of course, we will not be able to cover all the reading in this time period, but it will help in gaining reading skills so that students can read better on their own.



Please check the homepage every day. On this page, you will find if there are any new announcements (although I usually notify students of an announcement via email as well), upcoming deadlines, and any new posted chats. Chats often contain valuable discussion and questions about assignments, the program, or the class.


Homepage is the most important Tool in Mrs. Dorantes's English 101 class.  



Our midterm will Oct. 19 in a room and time to be announced.


Our final will be Wednesday, Dec. 7 in a room and time to be announced.


Type your research paper and class papers in Times New Roman 12, double-spaced, with one-inch margins. Submit your papers through

Proper format: In the top left corner of page 1, please use the following heading style:


                Essay Name (Descriptive Narrative, etc.)/Draft #

                English 101—Instructor Kathleen Dorantes


For the research paper, please follow MLA style for research papers. If you don't know what that is, don't worry. This is the class in which you learn it.

There is a 10 point deduction for not including a heading!



Every week, a module in the Module Tool will open up for you to work with. Please work through each module. Some modules may be informational, and others will require you to complete a task or assignment. You may work through the modules, assignments, and tasks at your own pace, but they need to be completed by the deadline as noted. If the deadlines seem to be too much, please ask for an extension. Often, something can be worked out. 

Please submit papers through Go to Look for the new users icon at the top right hand corner of the page and open a new account. If you already have an account, you may use that email and password. The class code is  4083889 and the password is historic.


My Writing Lab

My Writing Lab is a separate software program that you will need to purchase. Access is for six months at the cost of $15. There is more instruction on how to open up an account on the modules.

There are 13 My Writing Lab Assignments, each worth 10 points. The assignments and deadlines are listed on Homepage. These assignments are "all or nothing." A student needs to complete all of the work in that assignment with 80 percent or better to receive the full 10 points for the assignment. If only half of the work of an assignment is completed, the student will receive zero points. If 95 percent of the work of an assignment is completed, the student will receive zero points.

Much of the writing and grammar instruction for this course comes from My Writing Lab. Be sure to purchase the program as soon as possible.

IVC Writing Lab

You will be required to visit the IVC Writing Lab once for each paper at some point before you submit it. Since I work in the lab, I will check the white lab slip the tutors make out to see if you have gone. There is a 10-point penalty for not completing a tutorial visit. You may go to the lab in person to meet with a tutor, or you may schedule an online appointment.

To make an appointment (either in person or online), you may go in person to the lab and sign in the appointment book, or you may call 355-6391 and ask for an appointment. If you meet face-to-face with a tutor, do not check the online box.

Tutors are trained to help you become a better writer. They will prioritize problems areas and focus on your writing skills rather than your paper. They are to guide you, not to proofread or edit your paper. That's your job.

Conference with a tutor once for each paper, including the Research Paper for a total of four conferences. The best time is after you have completed the first draft and before you have completed the final draft. Please arrive on time and have your paper printed out before arriving at the lab. The lab charges 15 cents per page to print, and the extra time to print may cause you to lose your spot if there is a walk-in.


1) Call 355-6391 as indicated above to set your appointment. Make it known that you want an online appointment.

2) At least one hour  before your scheduled time, copy and paste your paper into an email and send to If you do not send your work, the lab will not call you and you will be considered a no-show. Do NOT send an attachment.

3) Call the lab at your appointment time. Call the direct number at 355-6352. Have your paper opened up on your computer. All of the rules and methods for face-to-face tutoring will also apply in on-line tutoring. Your tutor will not edit your work but will try to help you become a better writer.

WARNING: Appointments will book up. Plan at least four days ahead of when the final is due. The lack of tutoring appointments is not a valid excuse for not meeting this requirement. It just means you tried to get an appointment too late.


Student Learning Outcomes:

-Demonstrate mastery of research strategies, including appropriate use and correct documentation of research materials.

-Demonstrate mastery of pre-writing strategies, including brainstorming and outlining

-Develop an essay of multiple pages that effectively presents and strongly supports a clear thesis statement.




3 Writing Assignments

240 points (80 each)

1 Research Paper

120 points

6 Reading Quizzes

60 points (10 each)

10 Discussion Board Assignments

120 points (12 each)

Works Cited Page

20 points


10 points

13 My Writing Lab Units

130 points (10 each)

1 Midterm (in-class essay)

100 points

Final (in-class essay)

200 points







I don't give out grades. You earn them. Here is the breakdown and the grading scale:

900-1000 points = A

800-899 points = B

700-799 points = C

600-699 points = D

Below 599 points = F

Trying Your Best:

This expression, "I tried by best," is often misused. One student misused this expression on a midterm in English 101. She wrote, "I am sorry, Mrs. Dorantes. I did not do the reading for this midterm, but I tried my best to write a good essay here."

If a student does not complete the reading or adequately study for a major exam, obviously, she did not "try her best." In fact, she "tried her worst!" There's no way to do worse on an exam than not do the reading.  Please do "try your best," but make that expression mean something. Devote the hours required to this class for the reading, assignments, and study for this class. In fact, better than "try your best" would be to "DO your best."


Research Paper

The research paper will be due towards the end of the semester.  It needs to be five to seven pages in length and will require 8-10 sources that must be documented according to the Modern Language Association (MLA) guidelines. A rough draft and peer draft will be required for this assignment.  The final paper will consist of a cover page, outline, 5-7 pages of text, and a works cited page.


Check Homepage every time you sign on for the latest in work due. Also, you can see what's going to be due soon.

Please keep up with the workload and don't get behind. Follow the modules list in the module section, working your way through each module. 

Etudes Tools:

Notice the Toolbar in the lefthand column of this page.

The Homepage is an important site that will keep you updated on deadlines, new announcements, and new chats.

The Syllabus tool is a guide that you can refer to throughout this class. It gives class rules, student responsibilities, and grade breakdown, plus lots, lots more. Please read it! Print it out for handy reference.

Modules are lessons that need to be covered in the week. Modules will open based on the week they are to be completed.

Assignments, Tests, and Surveys are used for quizzes and some assignments. You will know to post here from instructions on Homepage.

Discussion and Private Messages need to be checked a few times per week. Look for the words Private Message on this page, and see if there is a number after it. If there is a number, you have a Private Message. Use the "Quote" tool to respond so that Private Messages keep a running tab of the conversation. I get several PMs every day, and it's hard for me to remember what I've been talking about with a particular student without referring to previous messages.

Discussions are under the same tool. You will be told on Homepage when deadlines are for Discussions.

Chat Room is used to discuss matters involved in the class that everyone may be interested in. Students may use also use Chat to ask questions. If you know the answer, feel free to respond to other student questions or comments. I will also check and give answers and comments if needed. You can use Chat for anything except disparaging and/or hurtful comments. Check on Chat every time you log in. Scroll up to the last Chat that you read.

Resources has several documents that are important to this class. All of the essay assignments and grading rubrics can be found here (though they may not be updated yet). Some readings can be found here.

You can see how you're doing in the class with Gradebook. I try to post grades as soon as I have them ready. The class uses a point system, so in order to see you standing, figure out the total grades possible and your percentage of that. I will let you know when major grades, such as those from papers, are posted.

My Writing Lab is an outside program. You may use the toolbar at the left, or you may go directly to the site from your URL at More information about this program is posted in the Modules.

You will use to submit essays and the research paper. I will download your papers to my computer, and I will see them as they appear in hard copy. I will type comments on your paper and return your papers through a Private Message attachment. Turnitin is a separate program from Etudes. You may find out more information about this program on the Syllabus page.



Cheating is defined as fraud, deceit, or dishonesty in an academic assignment or using or attempting to use materials, or assisting others in using materials, or assisting others in using materials which are prohibited or inappropriate in the context of the academic assignment in question, such as:

·         copying or attempting to copy from others during an examination or on an assignment;

·         communicating test information with another person during an examination;

·         allowing others to do an assignment or portion of an assignment, including the use of a commercial term paper service.

Plagiarism includes the deliberate misrepresentation of someone else's works and ideas, as one's own, as well as paraphrasing without footnoting the source.

The bottom line is you cannot copy anything directly from any source including your textbooks or the Internet, unless you are using a quotation and you must note the book or article or website, and page number from the source of your quote, following MLA guidelines. If you paraphrase something, you must also cite the source of your information.


It is the responsibility of the student to officially withdraw from the class through the Office of Admissions and Records.

YOU MUST OFFICIALLY DROP THE COURSE YOURSELF before the deadline or you will receive an "F" for the course if you have not completed the work. You must be an active participant in the class or you will be denied further access to the course without further notice. This means if you do not turn in any assignments for two weeks without contacting me to let me know what the problem is, you will be dropped.


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