English 1108--Comp I


Inver Hills Community College

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(Summary of Course Website)


Welcome to Eng 1108!  You are in the Eng 1108 website for Richard Jewell's version of this course.  This web page is a traditional syllabus.  It is simply a summary of the Eng 1108 web site with nothing new or different.  For more details about each of the topics discussed here and much more, return to the "Home Page" and click on the links of your choice.  To see more information about the author, including contact information, go to www.RichardJewell.org.

Additional Syllabus Information from the IHCC Administration


Welcome to "English 1108--Writing and Research Skills" as taught by myself--Richard Jewell, your instructor.  This four-credit course has an assumed workload of about twelve hours per week: approximately eight hours for homework and four clock hours for class-time activities.  The Inver Hills Community College Catalog describes this course as follows: 

Eng 1108 Writing and Research Skills: Emphasizes critical writing, reading, and thinking with attention to rhetorical elements such as argumentative structure, audience, and purpose. Students learn types of college writing and research techniques; report, synthesize, and draw conclusions from their readings; document the use of sources; and practice the writing process. Prerequisites: Recommended by Accuplacer assessment or Grade of C or higher in Read 93/94 and Eng 99. (f. '13)

In addition, this section of Eng 1108 is taught in conjunction with Eng 2235, "Mythic Stories": the two courses together form a "Learning Community" of the same students taking both courses at the same time. In a Learning Community, the professors work together to design some parts of the courses to be done together, and other parts of the courses so each course helps the other course.

I'd like to make this Eng 1108 course not only interesting and helpful to you, but also enjoyable -- and to make it possible for you to do well not just in this course, but also in Eng 2235.  I also want you to participate as actively in both class as possible.  In fact, part of your grade in this class is based on your active participation, so have fun, talk out and up about class subjects in class and/or online, ask questions, and offer your input, especially when you are engaged in interaction with other students in the class, whether online or in a physical classroom. The more you put into this class, the more you'll enjoy it and the more rewarding you'll find it.

Some sections of this course also may be hybrid physical-classroom and online-class courses.  If that is true of this section, then one third of your class time will be spent on the Web on discussion boards (bulletin boards).  If you're not sure if you are in a hybrid one-third-online section, ask your instructor or go to http://www.inverhills.edu/classschedule/, look up this section, and see if anything is mentioned in the notes (after the description of the hours, times, and cost)--if the section is a hybrid, it should be mentioned in those notes. If it is, then please sign up for this section only if you are able to easily handle working online by Internet on the Web.  If you have these basic Internet skills and easy access to the Web, then you should be fine with a hybrid section of this course. 

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Again, welcome to the course.  We will have a relatively small class (max. 28), so we'll be getting to know each other somewhat well, and I would like you to participate as actively in the class as I do. In fact, part of your grade is based on your active participation: so have fun, talk out and up about class subjects, ask questions, and be active. The more you put into this class, the more you'll enjoy it and the more rewarding you'll find it.

How about the grading: will it be tough?  If you're willing to work hard, it won’t be. My assumption is that most of you will work hard and earn an average or above-average grade.  There also will be a lot of group work. Will you find it useless and/or boring? I doubt it. Even those who dislike group work usually find it productive and enjoyable most of the time in my composition classes. Why use it? It's highly efficient in teaching writing, it is enjoyable to most people, and it also is good training for your future profession.

This section of 1108 is also different in that it makes use of the Internet, as mentioned above.  Internet use can save you $40-$80 because you will not have to purchase your main textbook and some class materials--they're on the Web.  We'll also have one class per week on the Web--on a Web bulletin board.  Finally, I sometimes may use email to contact you as a group and/or individually.  As mentioned above, all of this Internet use is required in this section of 1108, as noted in the school schedule, so be sure you know how to handle such stuff before you decide to stay in this section.  

What am I like?  For starters, please feel free to call me "Richard" or "Mr. Jewell"--or anything else that's nice.  :-)    I'm looking forward to working with you.  If you'd like to find out more about me, check out "About Richard."  There's a description of me, a picture, my resume, and a sample short story of mine.  I am somewhat new at IHCC.  I taught undergraduate writing and literature at the University of Minnesota for five years, but in early 2001, IHCC offered me a lifetime position.  One of the main reasons I decided to switch from the University of Minnesota to IHCC is that, I believe, two years at IHCC provides as good an education as the same two years at the average private four-year college in Minnesota--and a better education than the first two years at the University of Minnesota or a state university.  I'm very glad you've chosen Inver Hills as your school.  It is an excellent school.  And the composition courses here are, in my own opinion and in accordance with national research, among the best in Minnesota.

Note: Disability Services Accommodations. The IHCC Disability Services Office says, "It is the policy and practice of Inver Hills Community College to create inclusive learning environments, and provide students with disabilities reasonable accommodations so they have equal access to participate in educational programs, activities, and services. If there are aspects of the instruction or design of this course that result in barriers to your inclusion, please notify your instructor as soon as possible. For further support, and to arrange specific reasonable accommodations, students are encouraged to contact Kayla Swenson, Disability Services Coordinator/Academic Advisor, 651-450-3508, KSwenso@inverhills.mnscu.edu, Office--College Center 211."

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  Textbooks and Work Load 

   (For details, see "Homework.")



  • (1) Grammar Handbook:
    Rules for Writers by Hacker (in IHCC Bookstore, listed for this course and section)
    The Online Grammar Handbook (free at www.OnlineGrammar.org)
    if you already have a college-level grammar handbook, show it to me and you may be able to use it, instead.
    NOTE: You do NOT need both or all three, just one.

  • (2) One of four nonfiction books on the class subject "Fantasy Fiction":

    • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by Rowling

    • The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

    • Hunger Games, Book One, by J. K. Collins

    • Narnia Series. Read from the Narnia Series by C.S. Lewis. Buy at least two for the wks. 2-4 readings.

    NOTE: You do NOT need all four sets above--not at the start--just one of the above choices. (You will need 1-2 more of these or similar books by Wk. 4.)

OTHER REQUIRED RESOURCES (you do not need to buy these):



I'd like to ask you for your commitment this semester to the expected amount of time for work. The Inver Hills (and national) standard is three hours of work (two of homework and one class hour) per week for every one college credit, to receive an average grade. This class is a four-credit class, so please plan on spending at least twelve hours per week on class and homework: four on class and eight on homework.  This represents an average--some weeks may be less, some more.  It also represents the work needed by the average college student to receive an average grade (which, nationally, is probably a "B" or "B-" in the first two years of college).  If you want an "A" or you tend to be a below-average student, you may need to work more than the amount of time described here. 

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  Assigned Papers

  (For details, see "Writing of Papers" and "Dates/Weekly

For our section of this course, I have developed a somewhat unusual approach.  There will be no graded papers.  Instead, you will have a number of drafts of papers and revisions of those drafts, and you will receive X's for the drafts once they are complete.  You also will make your own choices of subject matter for these drafts.  If you don't get the drafts right the first time, you will have as many chances as you need to fix them.  The only limit you will have on these drafts and the X's you get for them is a time limit: you must be done with them by the end of the semester.  There also will be readings of chapters to do, and rough-draft study questions or journals to write about them.  

In all, I have planned a large amount of practice for you--i.e., practice of writing--as that is the primary way in which people become good writers.  Some of these papers are like lab practice in a biology course: they will show me you've done the readings and help you practice writing and think about it more.  Other papers are continuing revisions so that you can feel and see your papers growing from a first, rough idea to a very well-finished product.  I am doing these kinds of assignments instead of having several objective tests or several graded papers because I believe that in the long run, you'll learn more from writing frequently on a weekly basis.    


How many assignments are there?  There are many.  Most, however, are short and relatively easy, and some, while longer, still usually are rough-draft papers.  The key to whether or not you succeed in this class is consistent hard work: if you keep working hard to get the rough-draft papers done each week, you will succeed in this class. 

Please remember that you may write these as "lab" papers--in very rough-draft form--without worrying about grammatical usage, spelling, or punctuation (except for the Draft-4 papers).

STUDY QUESTIONS: First, you'll read a required chapter in the main textbook.  This chapter will describe how to write a certain type of paper.  Then you will type or handwrite rough-draft answers to the "General Study Questions" available through the chapter.  You'll have a choice of questions to answer for 150+ words about the chapter.  

JOURNALS: There will be just a few journals: about yourself, about the course Web site, and about how you liked the course (at the end).  Journals must be 300+ words, rough draft.  

DRAFT 1, 2, 3, AND 4 PAPERS: The final type of weekly papers is the drafts of papers to write each week.  You will have a number of drafts to write, and you will be responding to a  main reading book mentioned above, which everyone will be reading, or to a book of your own which you will choose from a list of possible books on related topics.  There will be no graded papers.  You'll simply receive X's for each correct draft.  And if a draft isn't right, you'll have time to fix it--and even fix it again, if necessary. The only limit you will have for fixing these drafts is the length of the class itself:  You must have all the drafts (or as many as you can) done by the end of the semester.  You will have a total of six Draft 1's, and from these you'll develop two Draft 2's.  From these, to receive more than a "D," you'll develop one Draft 3.  And from this, to receive more than a "B," you'll develop one Draft 4.  You will have thorough directions at each step of the way.

NOTE: For more instructions on how to write these papers, see "Writing of Papers."  Be sure to check the "Dates/Weekly Assignments regularly to see what is due.  If you run into a true emergency, do call me or come see me before homework is late.  

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  Grading and Attendance 
  (For details, see "Grading" and "Attendance.")


I use a point system, as mentioned above.  As a result, attendance is worth roughly 1/3rd of your grade; your writing (weekly, rough-draft, and finished papers) is worth about 2/3rds of your grade; and your participation and improvement can bring the total grade up or down up to one letter grade.


This portion of your grade will be determined by how many of your weekly, rough-draft, and finished writing assignments you turn in. Each assignment will be worth one or more check marks or "X's" of credit. Your total number of X's for both writing and attendance will determine your grade, along with some final changes for improvement and participation. 


The attendance portion of your grade will be determined by how many of your classes you attend.  Both on-ground (in-person) classes and online (discussion board) classes count toward attendance.  Make ups are allowed but may involve extra time because you have missed direct contact with me and the rest of the class.  Each class you attend is worth 1/2 to 1 "X." Your total number of X's for both writing and attendance will determine your grade, along with some final changes for improvement and participation. 

  • Lateness/Leaving Early in regular classroom at IHCC: If you are 15 min. late to arrive or early to leave a physical-classroom class, you'll lose half a credit for that class hr.

  • Make up: --see details in "Attendance."  

The improvement/participation part of your grade will be determined by how actively you participate and improve.  There are a variety of ways to do this.  Your letter grade for the course as determined by the above point system (for attendance and writing) can go up or down an entire letter grade based on excellent or poor improvement/participation.


I am committed to supporting the learning of all students in my class. If you have already registered with Office of Accessibility Resources and have your Letter of Accommodation, please meet with me early in the course to discuss, plan, and implement your accommodations in the course. If you have or think you have a disability (learning, sensory, physical, chronic health, or mental health), please contact the Office of Accessibility staff to learn more about the services and supports available for students with disabilities at Inver Hills. OAR staff can be reached at 651-450-3884, by visiting the office in the Learning Center (L207) or by visiting the website at www.inverhills.edu/LearningSupport/AccessibilityResources/


Any student who faces financial challenges securing their food or housing and believes this may affect their performance in the course is urged to contact the counseling department for support.  The phone number is 651-450-3864 and email is counseling@inverhills.edu. Furthermore, please notify me if you are comfortable in doing so.  This will allow me to help connect you personally with the counseling department.


The Mobile Pantry is brought to Inver through a partnership with The Open Door Pantry.  Students can select FREE food for themselves and their family members.  The food includes FRESH fruit and vegetables, deli items, dairy items, meat, eggs and also some other nonperishable items.  Students can also get things like DIAPERS or formula for their children or other personal hygiene items!  The Mobile Pantry is on campus Wednesday afternoons 12-2:30.  There are no income requirements or limitations.  All students are eligible. If you have questions or would like to sign up for this resource please call our counseling appointment line at 651-450-3508 or email us at counseling@inverhills.edu  and ask to make an mobile pantry intake appointment with a counselor.



I hope you enjoy the class!  If there's anything I can do to help you enjoy it more--alternatives, help with understanding something, etc.--come see me, email me anytime, or call me from 9 am-9 pm.  My phone number, email address, and other info are at the beginning of this syllabus.    

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On This Page
Click on what you want.


The Course

Purposes & Course Content

Textbooks & Workload

Assigned Papers

Grading & Attendance

Course Outline (Goals, Outcomes, et al.)

Contact the Professor


Useful Tips for
Taking This Course


(1) Unsure about Taking This Class?  If you have doubts about taking this class, read this syllabus.  It is a summary of what this particular professor--myself--offers for this course, and what my version of the course requires. To successfully pass in this section of 1108, I require you to do a large amount of writing, some of it casual and some of it very well defined and organized.  You also must be a college-level reader to do well in this course.


(2) If you already know you will take this class, you don't need to read this page: it is just a summary of the entire website, which you will be required, in the first week's assignments, to read, page by page. 


Updated Jan. 2018



Contents and page design: Copyright () 2005-2017 by Richard Jewell

Images courtesy of IHCC, Barry's Clip Art, Clip Art Warehouse, Clip Art Universe, Clipart Collection, MS Clip Art Gallery and Design Gallery Live, School Discovery, and Web Clip Art

First date of publication: January 1, 2005.  Graphics redesigned Aug. 1, 2013
Home-page server's URL:  www.richard.jewell.net/1108/home.htm
CONTACT RICHARD: See www.Richard.Jewell.net/contact.htm.  Office: Business 136