Course Syllabus

*Syllabus available for download here

ENC 1102 Fall 2013 Syllabus

First-Year Composition

University of South Florida


Instructor:  Julie Gerdes


Course Location: BSN 1400

Course Time: T/Th 11-12:15 pm

Section: 013

Office Location: CPR 305                                                  

Office Hours: M 1:30-3, F 10-11:30, or by appt.

Course Website:



Required Resources/Texts

  • Carabelli, Jason, Sullivan, Brogan, eds. Rhetoric Matters. (Online text)
  • My Reviewers, the FYC web-based resource and assessment tool (Students will purchase this resource/assessment tool at
  • Skloot, Rebecca. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Random House, Inc., 2010.

Course Description

ENC 1102 introduces students to rhetorical conventions and provides them with an opportunity to analyze, research, and compose arguments. ENC 1102 is designed to improve students' academic writing, research, information literacy, and critical thinking abilities. The course focuses on visual, written, and oral arguments as they hold the potential to influence perspectives on a given issue, mediate difference, and incite change. The major projects, then, focus on the ways writers convey visual arguments, negotiate differences to determine a solution, and compel an audience to take action against a social issue or injustice.

Students will select a controversial, current issue to analyze throughout the semester. The major projects in 1102 ask students to consider this issue from a rhetorical perspective by analyzing visual arguments from various stakeholders (Project 1), arguing for a solution to the issue while negotiating common ground between various stakeholders (Project 2), and inviting a non-engaged stakeholder to take action for the given issue in a concrete way (Project 3). Below is a detailed summary of major course activities.

Major Projects and Assignments



First Week Writing Assessment: Topic chosen by Instructor.


Homework and Classwork [weeks 1-15]

You will be assigned a variety of different homework and classwork tasks, including quizzes, critical reading assignments, project evaluations, and other teacher assigned work.

10 %

Peer Review [weeks 6-15]

For projects 1, 2 and 3, you will be asked to participate in meaningful peer review using My Reviewers.



You will attend at least two individual conferences with the instructor to help in the development of your writing.


Project 1: Visual Analysis [weeks 1-6]



Project 2: Finding Common Ground [weeks 6-9]



Project 3:  Composing Multimodal Arguments [weeks 10-15]





Instructors will record your grades, absences, and tardies in Canvas throughout the semester. Instructors may grade assignments on a percentage or a letter-grade basis. Letter grades, including plus and minus grades, will be converted to points according to the Grade Point Average grading system, as follows:

A+ (97–100) 4.00        B+ (87–89.9) 3.33       C+ (77–79.9) 2.33       D+ (67–69.9) 1.33

A (94–96.9) 4.00         B (84–86.9) 3.00         C (74–76.9) 2.00         D (64–66.9) 1.00

A– (90–93.9) 3.67       B– (80–83.9) 2.67       C– (70–73.9) 1.67       D– (60–63.9) 0.67

It is up to each student to check on his or her grade deduction due to lateness or absences. Remember that your final percentage in the Canvas gradebook will not reflect deductions due to lateness or absences.

A final grade of C– satisfies specified minimum requirements for Gordon Rule and Composition. Exemptions for the writing portion of CLAST require a 2.5 combined GPA in ENC 1101 and 1102.  

If any student has missed enough class work to prevent him or her from successfully completing the course requirements,(i.e. has failed to turn in one or more major assignments or acquired enough absences to impact their final grade by one whole letter grade), instructors will recommend that the student drop the course.


Attendance is mandatory for all in-class, individual, and group meetings/conferences. It is your responsibility to contact the instructor regarding information about any missed work.

For the purposes of this course, there is no differentiation between excused and unexcused absences. Students are allotted two absences free of penalty, regardless of the reason for missing class. Students who have incurred more than two absences will have their final grade lowered by 1/3 for each missed class beyond two (e.g. if a student’s final grade is an “A-”, yet they have missed three classes, the final grade is a “B+”). Employment schedules, athletic training and practice schedules, and personal appointments are not valid reasons for scheduled absences.

Please alert your instructor in advance regarding documented absences based on the following:

  • Court Imposed Legal Obligations (Jury Duty, court subpoena, etc.)
  • Military Duty
  • Religious Holy Days
  • Ongoing Medical Conditions. Note: In addition, students facing extenuating circumstances, such as a debilitating illness or injury (physical or mental) that inhibits him/her from attending class or completing assignments, must work with the appropriate on-campus organization, which will then act as a liaison on behalf of the student and help the instructor determine appropriate action. These organizations include the Center for Victim Advocacy & Violence Prevention, Students with Disabilities Services, and Students of Concern Assistance Team (SOCAT).
  • USF Athletics’ Participation: Note: Any student who intends to miss class because he or she is participating in a schedule USF athletics’ event is expected to present a schedule of such participating events to his or her instructor by the third week of the semester if he or she intends to be absent for a class or an announced examination.

Missing a scheduled conference with your instructor will be treated the same as any other absence.

Remember that being physically present does not necessarily indicate mental “presence.” Instructors reserve the right to count any student absent who is not engaged with the class (i.e. sleeping, texting, or not paying attention). Students should come to class and conferences prepared, which means that readings and assignments should be completed with great care. In addition, your conduct in class and during conferences, particularly the respect for and engagement with your classmates and instructor, affects your participation grade.


Please respect your classmates and your instructor by getting to class on time.  Your teacher will take attendance once at the beginning of class. Three tardies, to class or conferences, will equal one absence.

Disability Accommodations

Students in need of academic accommodations for a disability may consult with the office of Students with Disabilities Services to arrange appropriate accommodations. Students are encouraged to meet with the instructor during the first week of class to discuss accommodations (see Student Responsibilities: and are required to give reasonable notice prior to requesting an accommodation. As accommodations are NOT retroactive, any grades earned before a student requests accommodations will stand. Each student must bring a current Memorandum of Accommodations from the Office of Student Disability Services that is prerequisite for receiving accommodations. Accommodated examinations through the Office of Student Disability Services require two weeks’ notice. All course documents are available in alternate format if requested in the students’ Memorandum of Accommodations (see faculty responsibilities:

The SDS can be an excellent resource for students with disabilities:


Conferences have a variety of purposes such as to aid student invention and organization, give students the opportunity to ask questions, provide student assessment, direct course of research, define a manageable aspect of a topic, etc.

Instructors must hold at least two individual student conferences throughout the semester. In preparation for these conferences, instructors may ask students to write down specific questions, complete a brainstorming exercise, or prepare in other ways prior to coming to the scheduled meeting. Being tardy, absent, or unprepared for any conference will count as one absence.

Policy for Late and Missed Work

All assignments must be completed on time.Instructors will not accept late in-class assignments or late out-of-class homework assignments for any reason. Instructors may accept late drafts of major projects; however, late projects will be penalized (see below). Instructors will assign a date and a time when project drafts are to be uploaded to My Reviewers. My Reviewers notes the date and time that each document is uploaded, and instructors will use this stamped record to note when your essay has been submitted.


Major Project Deductions:

  • Any draft (intermediate, final) that is submitted on the due date, but after the designated submission time, will be penalized by 1/3 of a letter grade.
  • For every 24 hours the project is late one whole letter grade will be deducted (an “A” becomes a “B” and so on).


Revision Policy

This course focuses on the writing process, and a major component of that process is revision in response to feedback from an instructor and peers. Therefore, students may be penalized for submitting a final draft that has not been significantly revised. Your instructor may reduce your final draft grade by a full letter grade, and you may also lose the opportunity to receive instructor feedback.


Incomplete Grade Policy

The grade of “I” (Incomplete) will be given for only very compelling reasons. Assigning a student the grade of “I” for ENC 1101 or II must be approved by the instructor and the Director of Composition. For more information, refer to the USF Undergraduate Catalog’s “I” Grade Policy:


Uploading to My Reviewers and Accessing My Reviewers’ Resources

My Reviewersis the companion site to the University of South Florida’s First-Year Composition Program and General Education writing courses. At My Reviewers, you can learn more about grading criteria, upload essays for review, conduct peer review, access Common Comment stylistic and grammatical exercises, and review teachers’ feedback. For Projects 1 through 3, this course requires you to upload the intermediate and final drafts of your projects and conduct peer review using My Reviewersat


All FYC instructors will use My Reviewers when grading intermediate and final versions of major projects and peer review. My Reviewers will also be used by students to complete peer reviews (to include document markup, grammatical and stylistic Common Comments, and endnotes) of the project I, II, and III intermediate drafts.


The following should be considered:


1.   It is the responsibility of the student to upload projects to the correct folders for grading. To do this, students need to use their USF Net ID to log on to the following URL: Student documents must be uploaded in .pdf form. There is a step-by-step instruction manual for uploading, viewing, and peer reviewing documents on My Reviewers.

2.  It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that they have uploaded the correct draft. No extensions will be given for students failing to upload the proper draft on time.

3.     Once instructors finish commenting on and grading students’ projects, students can log on to My Reviewers to view their grades and instructors’ comments.


FYC Assessment Rubric:

My Reviewers employs a rubric to enhance accuracy and consistency in grading.  In addition to enabling instructors to provide feedback regarding five criteria – focus, evidence, organization, style, format – My Reviewers enables instructors to include comments on students’ documents. My Reviewers also provides instructors and students with an endnote text box that teachers can use to make substantive comments on students’ projects.


Students can learn more about the rubric that will be used to assess their writing by visiting the My Reviewers website at .


Instructors will make every effort to ensure that students will have at least 3-4 days to complete revisions.


Technology Requirement

ENC 1102 requires consistent access to the Internet, My Reviewers, Canvas, word processing, and a printer. Not having access to a computer will not be an acceptable excuse for not having checked the syllabus for homework or not having checked your USF email for class announcements. You are required to check your USF email account on a regular basis, and use of this account is mandatory. Students who come to the university without necessary computer skills are provided access to numerous resources, including an IT Help Desk that is available by phone (866-974-1222) or e-mail ( and free online tutorials through Atomic Learning (available through Canvas).


USF students have access to free printing (up to $2.50 a day) and computer use in the library, campus computer labs, and the Marshall Center.


Turn It In

Instructors may ask students to submit their papers to Turn It In, a plagiarism detection site, through Canvas.


End of Semester Evaluations

During the last three weeks of the semester, your instructor will ask you to complete an online teacher evaluation.


Grade Grievance Policy

The English Department, like other departments at USF, follows USF’s Grievance Accordingly, please note that USF only changes grades when the review process determines that an incorrect grade has been assigned: The term “incorrect” means the assigned grade was based on something other than performance in the course or that the assignment of the grade was not consistent with the criteria for awarding of grades as described in the course syllabus or other materials distributed to the student. In the case of all other academic grievances, the University reserves the right to determine the final outcome. In other words, you may disagree with an instructor’s grade on an assignment, yet this disagreement does not constitute sufficient evidence to warrant a change of grade. However, if an instructor made a mathematical error or based your grade on something other than his/her assessment of your performance in a course, then a grade change could be warranted.


A student interested in disputing a grade needs to carefully review the student Academic Grievance Procedure outlined at the First Year Composition website: He/she should first meet with his/her instructor, as mentioned in the grievance procedure. Should a student wish to proceed with a grade grievance after the teacher meeting, he/she should contact Dr. Dianne Donnelly, Associate Director of First-Year Composition, for a grade grievance conference. Students may then file a notification letter within three weeks of the triggering incident to Dr. Donnelly, Department of English, CPR 107, 4202 E. Fowler Avenue, Tampa, FL 33620. Be sure to specify precisely why you believe the grade needs to be changed based on USF’s Academic Grievance Procedure.


Student Conduct Policy

A positive learning environment is important for students and instructors. Please observe common classroom courtesies:

●      Turn off or silence cell phones before class begins.

●      If you bring your laptop, ask for your instructor’s permission and guidelines before you use it in class.

● While students are encouraged to provide criticism to help peers improve their work, disrespectful or disruptive behavior and comments will not be tolerated, online or in person.

● Submitting any work with intentionally inflammatory or offensive material is unacceptable.

●   If any behaviors interfere with instruction, whether in the classroom or online, your instructor will then follow policies regarding your conduct from the USF Handbook.


Disruption of Academic Process

According to university policy, disruption of academic process is defined as the act or words of a student in a classroom or teaching environment, which in the reasonable estimation of a faculty member: (a) directs attention from the academic matters at hand, such as noisy distractions; persistent, disrespectful, or abusive interruptions of lecture, exam, or academic discussions, or (b) presents a danger to the health, safety, or well-being of the faculty member or student. Consequences for disruption of academic process will depend on the seriousness of the disruption. Please see the Disruption of Academic Process policy at


Plagiarism and Academic Honesty

Plagiarism includes the use of a quotation, that is, the exact words of a text (interview, lecture, periodical, book, or website), without quotation marks and documentation; the paraphrasing of ideas or passages from a text without documentation; the inclusion from a text of information not generally known to the general public without documentation; and the following of the structure or style of a secondary source without documentation. To facilitate your understanding of the plagiarism policy, please see the FYC site (you must be signed on) at

It is your responsibility to make yourself aware of these policies using the resources that are available—the FYC website documents, your e-text, and discussion with your instructor if necessary. Students who plagiarize will be subject to FYC’s policies as detailed at the link above. If a student has plagiarized, they will automatically earn an “F” on the assignment because each assignment in this course asks you to create an original argument that you author yourself. The ideas of others can inform your argument when they are properly attributed to their sources. Using the ideas or words of others without proper attribution, however, is not acceptable. Students who plagiarize will possibly earn an “FF” in the course, depending on the situation. Students who have questions regarding plagiarism should contact their instructor before submitting papers.


Writing Center

USF's Writing Center ( offers assistance to any student who wants to improve his or her writing skills. Rather than offering editing assistance, during a session in the Writing Center, consultants and students work together to enhance the organization, development, grammar, and style of any type of writing across the disciplines. Students are encouraged to visit the Writing Center at any stage during the writing process, from brainstorming and pre-writing to final polishing. The USF Writing Center is conveniently located in the Library Learning Commons. Walk-ins are welcome dependent on availability, but students are encouraged to make an appointment by visiting the Writing Center during office hours or calling 813-974-8293. Additional feedback is available via SmartThinking, an online tutoring center, which is accessible via Canvas.


Emergency Plans

In the event of an emergency, it may be necessary for USF to suspend normal operations. During this time, USF may opt to continue delivery of instruction through methods that include but are not limited to Canvas, Elluminate, Skype, e-mail messaging and/or an alternate schedule. It’s the responsibility of the student to check for communication from their instructor and / or the university.


Important Resources for Students

Plagiarism Information:

Students with Disabilities Responsibilities:

USF Counseling Center:

USF Advocacy Program:

Student page at the FYC Web site:

Purdue OWL:

USF Writing Center:







Course Summary:

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