Composition Skills

Course Details

Course Number
Section Number
Fall 2013
Dillard College of Business Administration
Classroom Number
Days & Times

TR 9:50-10:50

Ashley Hurst (view Profile)


Course Objectives





Other Materials




Important Websites

Gorrell, Donna. LB Workbook: custom edition for Midwestern State University. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson, 2010

ISBN 13: 978-0-558-79024-0


Loose-leaf paper                   Folder with pockets and brads

Note-taking materials           At least 3 blank Blue Books

USB Stick (optional)            Something to keep it all together


MSU’s D2L & Pearson’s


Course Goals

  • Write thesis-based essays that provide strong support and specific details
  • Engage in a writing process that includes invention, drafting, and revision
  • Demonstrate proficient use of Standard Written English
  • Document sources responsibly and follow a designated style guide.
    Additional information about course objectives can be found on the department webpage,


Grading Standards


Course Requirements

Assignments                                                                              % of Grade

8 Quizzes                                                                                        20

4 Writing Assignments                                                                   40

Final Grammar Test                                                                        15

Final Essay Exam                                                                           20

Participation                                                                                    5

Grading Policies

In this class, the following numerical equivalents for final grades are used: A = 100-90%; B = 89-80%; C = 79-70%; D = 69-60%; F = 59-0%. 
Individual assignments will use the following pattern: A+ = 99%; A = 96%; A- =93%; etc.
According to MSU’s Undergraduate Catalogue, “letter grades have the following significance:
 A indicates excellent work; B indicates good work; C indicates satisfactory                 work; D indicates passing work; F indicates failing work” (73).
Consequently, essays that meet the basic requirements earn a C, not an A or B.  If you wish to earn As and Bs, you will have to work harder to produce better than satisfactory, or average, writing.



Final Exam

12/10/2013 8 am-10 am

Submission Format Policy


Submission Format and Policy

All Formal Essays must be submitted typed in MLA format with approved topics, pre-writing, rehearsal drills, and required drafts in a folder containing all previous Formal Essay assignments.
By enrolling in this class, you expressly grant MSU a “limited right” to all intellectual property created by you for the purpose of this course.  The “limited right” shall include but shall not be limited to the right to reproduce your work product in order to verify originality and authenticity, and for educational purposes.
Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Label a folder with brads and pockets accordingly:






ENGL 2113- 101

Fall 2013


















Submitted Assignments




Writing Resources



Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Late Paper Policy


Late Paper/Assignment Policy

Work is due when called for in class. Late work can be submitted one day late (actual days, not class days) for a penalty of -10. Work can be submitted two days late for -20, but no work submitted after the two-day period will be accepted unless arrangements have been made with the instructor. For example, if an assignment is due Monday, one day late would be Tuesday. In the event of “Authorized Absences,” arrangements should be made to turn in work early.  If work is missed, students should meet with the instructor to determine what can be made up. Additionally, no late work will be accepted more than 48 hours after the original deadline.


Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception.

Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters.

We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student.

We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed.

Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, (940) 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement

The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor

All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements


Attendance Policy

My policy is very simple and straightforward: if you have more than 6 absences excused or not, you fail the class. Please note that this is not an invitation to miss three weeks of class—class time will provide the instruction you need to meet the objectives of this course and to develop as a writer. In the unfortunate event that you accrue 7 or more absences before the last day to withdraw, you have the responsibility of withdrawing from the class. Please don’t feel you have to explain or justify any absences to me; I respect your privacy, but you must accept the consequences. If you miss class, you miss any writing assignment or group work done during that period, and you miss any announcements regarding future assignments. Notify me in advance if you will not be able to make class; you may leave an email message. If you must miss class on a due date for an assignment, email it as an attachment or it will lose points. Consider it your responsibility to be here, prepared for class, or you will not do as well as you wish, nor gain as much as you could.


Other Policies


Other Policies















Draft Policy






This University is part of the academic community in which certain standards of behavior are upheld. Thus, certain guidelines will be observed during class:
Lateness: I expect you to be on time. If you are repeatedly late to class, I will simply begin marking you absent. 
Preparedness: Students are expected to come to class prepared with materials and information. Students must ensure that they have read the assigned reading, as per the schedule. Each assignment should be read by the date it appears on the syllabus.

General Courtesy:  Please silence cell phones in class. Resist the temptation to text during class; texting not only interferes with your ability to learn but also distracts your peers.  Show respect to your classmates by listening to them when they speak.

     Any student behaving in a disruptive manner will be asked once to stop the behavior. If the disruption continues, the student will be asked to leave and marked absent for the class. If a student is consistently disruptive in class, he or she will be reported to the Dean of Students and potentially dropped from the course.

The best and easiest way for you to improve in this course is to write drafts.  Drafts are not required—they are your responsibility. On each draft, I will identify 2-4 “targets” for improvement and will make suggestions about how you should proceed. Usually (not on weekends) I will get drafts back to you the next day, sometimes the same day. If you want an even faster response, bring a draft to my office during office hours. 





Writing Center












Writing Proficiency Requirement


The MSU Writing Center provides tutoring and consulting to all members of the campus community: undergraduates, graduate students, staff, and faculty.  Anyone working on a shorter project (fewer than 5 pages) is welcome to visit one of the labs during the scheduled hours and participate in a 30-minute tutoring session.  If you are working on a longer project or have questions, please contact the director, Dr. Kristen Garrison, at


Mon. – Thurs.              9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Bea Wood 224

Thurs., & Sun.     6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in Moffett Library Lounge


Here are some general guidelines to make your session more productive:

  1. Bring at least one copy of your draft.
  2. Bring the assignment.
  3. Take some time to determine the most pressing issue you wish to discuss.
  4. Plan for a full, focused session.

Understand that tutors cannot edit your paper; instead, the lab provides a space for you to get some productive feedback from experienced readers, who will offer specific suggestions for improving a specific essay and the overall quality of your writing.

All students seeking a Bachelor’s degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they have 1) passed English 1113 and English 1123 and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113.  Please keep in mind that, once you have earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit-hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.



Key:  *—materials to be printed from D2L; PREPARATION—work to be completed before that day’s class; Chomp— interactive exercises to be completed online;

The following course syllabus (calendar) is subject to change. You will be notified about changes right away.

Writing Proficiency Requirement

All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed the 6 hours of Communication Core and and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.

Campus Carry

Senate Bill 11 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature allows licensed handgun holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, effective August 1, 2016. Areas excluded from concealed carry are appropriately marked, in accordance with state law. For more information regarding campus carry, please refer to the University’s webpage at

If you have questions or concerns, please contact MSU Chief of Police Patrick Coggins at