Composition Skills

Course Details

Course Number
Section Number
Summer I 2015
Classroom Number
Days & Times

 Online: Access course content through D2L.

Dr. Sally Henschel (view Profile)

Course Objectives

In English 2113, students are introduced to and become proficient in the essential elements of the cycle through which successful writers create and polish persuasive essays. A persuasive essay states an opinion and supports it convincingly. Skill in clear and forceful composition and in standard usage is a primary objective of the course. The course is required of those who have failed the Writing Proficiency Exam and may not be counted toward an English major or minor or toward English as a first or second teaching field or teaching emphasis.

Until the Writing Proficiency Requirement is met, a student may be required to enroll in and stay enrolled in ENGL 2113 in order to continue taking classes at MSU.  Any student with credit for more than 90 semester hours who enrolls in and subsequently withdraws from or is withdrawn from ENGL 2113 will be dropped from all courses. The student will not be allowed to enroll in any course except 2113 until the Writing Proficiency Requirement is met.

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 critical and creative thinking about a timely issue or debatable topic

·   Demonstrate proficient use of Standard Written English


Departmental Leaning Goals, Objectives, and Measurements:

Knowledge of Language and Literature(Objective 2.1): Students understand the usage and structure of the English language.Measurement:completion of a series of quizzes, discussion board postings, and writing assignments.

Writing as Process (Objective 3.1): Students reflect on their arguments over multiple stages of development.  Measurement: successful completion of writing assignments that are characterized  by the following:

  • Thesis: Students develop a clear claim about a topic and justify this claim with reasons and evidence;
  • Support: Students provide adequate, detailed, relevant support for the thesis;
  • Organization: Students arrange the materials in a coherent, effectively developed pattern  of paragraphs;
  • Clarity: Students choose precise wording and effective sentence structures to convey ideas  clearly and forcefully; and
  • Conventions of Edited American English: Students edit in order to observe the conventions of grammar, spelling, and punctuation expected by a well-read audience.

(Objective 3.2): Students reference and format primary and secondary sources using MLA style. Measurement: successful completion of writing assignments.

Engagement (Objective 4.1):  Students are aware of a cultural context for their own values and those of their sources. Measurement: synchronous and asynchronous correspondence with instructor. Successful completion of writing assignments.

Course Expectations

Quizzes (20%):  Eleven grammar quizzes. The lowest graded quiz will be dropped at the end of the term. Students are encouraged to meet with the instructor (by phone or online) following each quiz to review the quiz content and their performance. 

 Writing assignments (40%): Four writing assignments. Writing assignments will be marked with instructor's commentary, and the grade assigned will reflect overall demonstration of the skills outlined in course objectives.

 Final exam (40%): The final proctored exam consists of two parts: a grammar exam (20%)  and a thesis-driven essay (20%). Both exams are taken over a three-hour time period.

Grading Standards

 100 - 90% — A 

   89 - 80% — B 

   79 - 70% — C

   69 - 60% — D

         < 60% — F

See essay grading guidelines in D2L.

Final Exam

07/02/2015 See syllabus for exam options

Submission Format Policy

All formal writing assignments submitted for grading must conform to the formatting and style guidelines outlined in the Writing and Formatting Your Essay and Grading Guidelines documents attached to the D2Lcourse site.


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

All assignments will be due on dates assigned. No late work will be accepted unless specific arrangements have been made prior to the due date. Students falling two assignments behind are subject to administrative withdrawal from the course by the instructor.

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

Students are required to interact with the instructor within the D2L course management system at regular intervals during the semester or term. By completing your weekly quiz or quizzes and writing assignments on time, you will meet this requirement. Any student who fails to interact with an instructor via completing work in D2L, by telephone, email, or in person during any one-week period of the term may be subject to administrative withdrawal from the course by the instructor. 

Other Policies

See attached Syllabus and Asignment Schedule.

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