Developmental Writing 020
at St. Louis Community College--Meramec
Fall, 1999

Course SyllabusOnline at

Course Requirements: Previous or concurrent enrollment in appropriate reading course.

This course provides comprehensive review and intensive drill in the fundamentals of English sentences and paragraphs. Near the end of the semester, students will be counseled concerning their progress and what additional work they may need to accomplish their particular writing goals.

This course is designed to facilitate your transition into the academic writing process. In the past, you may have been taught composition techniques designed to enable you to communicate effectively in the work force and to set the stage for your college career. It is upon this foundation that the present course lies. We will move from there to preparing you for the more advanced writing courses and beyond.

In essence, college writing is different from high school writing, so you should consider this class an important part of your desire to graduate. During your upper level coursework, every instructor will require a paper, some short, others long—but all will expect you to have mastered the basic and advanced composition skills required to write them. Failure at this level, therefore, will foretell of failure at the next levels.

Your degree of proficiency to advance to the next level will be assessed through the following categories:

As the focus of this course lies in teaching basic sentence structure and paragraph development, 35% of your grade will be determined by short paragraph projects and in-class exercises taken from the book The Writer’s Workplace with Readings 3rd Edition, by Sandra and John Scarry, which may be found in the campus bookstore.

Business Website Essay Project Online--worth 15% of the semester total.

Diagramming Exercises--Click into here for practice with your diagramming tables

Tests taken over chapters 2-11 of The Writer’s Workplace with Readings 3rd Edition will count for another 20% of your total course grade.

In addition, you will also be required to read Daniel Keyes’ Flowers for Algernon and take a test concerning it, which will count for 15% of your total course grade. The purpose of reading this book is to give you experience in comprehending a short work of fiction that may otherwise have been lacking in your academic development. As this book is not in the college bookstore, you will have to purchase it elsewhere.

To fulfill the collaborative and analytical aspects of this course, the other 15% of your grade will be determined by regular journal entries submitted on a weekly basis, which will then be discussed in small groups.

As this is a foundational course, attendance is required. Excessive absence will result in a lower course grade or removal from the course.

Learning Objectives (Goals):

bulletUnderstand that writing involves a process of pre-writing, writing, and rewriting
bulletUnderstand the basics of English syntax, grammar, and punctuation
bulletUnderstand the basic structure of a paragraph
bulletUnderstand that there are many dialects of English, each appropriately used in different cultural, professional, and academic contexts
bulletUnderstand that the use of different dialects provides access to and membership in different discourse communities
bulletUnderstand that skills gained in Composition 020 apply to the workplace as well as to the college
bulletBe able to use college resources (such as the Writing Center) beyond the ENG:020 teacher to assist in developing writing skills
bulletGain greater confidence in writing and the competence to continue writing in other college courses

Expected Performance Outcomes (measurable):

bulletWrite clear, direct sentences
bulletAvoid most fragments, comma splices, and run-on sentences
bulletUse conventional syntax, grammar and punctuation
bulletUse a variety of sentence patterns
bulletUse consistent verb tenses in sentences and paragraphs
bulletSpell correctly
bulletWrite focused topic sentences
bulletSupport topic sentences with appropriate specific details
bulletWrite appropriately in response to selected readings

An inability to meet these goals and outcomes will result in your repeating the course until you have mastered them.

Plagiarism Policy: Plagiarism means repeating the words or ideas of another without acknowledgment of the author, thereby representing his/her work as your own. There are three types of plagiarism: 1) the deliberate word-for-word copying of someone else’s work as your own; 2) the rewording or rearranging of another’s work, which could either be a deliberate attempt to cheat, or an unintentional display of inexperience in research; 3) the use of an aid or tutor who, though well-intentioned, does so much of the student’s work that the student can no longer call the work her/his own. English Department policy dictates that a student guilty of plagiarism will receive an F in the course and may face disciplinary action that becomes a part of his/her permanent record.

College Services:

ACCESS Services, Clark Hall 120, 984-7673

St. Louis Community College-Meramec has a free service to guide, counsel and assist students with disabilities called the ACCESS office. If students receive services through the ACCESS office and need special arrangements, such as seating closer to the front of the class, a note-taker, or any other approved accommodation, feel free to make an appointment during the first week of classes to speak to me about them. All information shared with me will be held in strict confidence.

College Writing Center, CN 122, 984-7570
College Reading and Study Skills Center, CN 124, 984-7390

The College Writing Center is a free service to help students at any point in the writing process from brainstorming through revising. The CRSSC is a free service that offers help with reading and study skills, including note-taking and test-taking strategies. Appointments are not necessary.

Student Academic Rights:

bulletAccess to scheduled class meetings and appropriate instructional and support service.
bulletRight to a syllabus describing course objectives; units of subject matter to be provided; evaluation procedures; major course requirements such as term papers, book analyses, library field trips and weekly journals; and rules of attendance, grading and conduct.
bulletRight to have instruction that begins promptly; is presented in a clear and concise manner; and provides relevant, structured activities consistent with the contact hour requirements for the course.
bulletRight to have classroom instruction, assignments and evaluation that are consistent with the general course description and the specifications of the syllabus.
bulletRight to be treated in a humane, ethical and professional manner, both in the classroom and in all communication and contact with the instructor.

Student Academic Responsibilities:

bulletResponsible for being punctual and attending classes
bulletResponsible for being attentive and for appropriately participating in class activities
bulletResponsible for completing all class assignments as directed by the instructor
bulletResponsible for consulting with the instructor as soon as possible if problems arise
bulletResponsible for complying with official announcements
bulletResponsible for seeking appropriate support services to improve his/her level of academic achievement
bulletResponsible for behaving in a humane and ethical manner both in the classroom and in all communication and contact with the instructor, other staff members, and other students.

My office hours are scheduled for MWF 9:00-9:50 and 11:00-11:50. Should you need me for any reason outside of these times, feel free to contact me at home (314) 752-9311 or by email at

Return to Main Syllabus Page