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HON 121: Honors English 121: Syllabus





ENG 121 H: Academic Writing I

3 Credit Hours

Fall 2014


Professor:                    Dr. Patrick Crerand

Course Number:         ENG 415

Prerequisites:               ENG 220

Classroom Location:   St. Ed 165

Class Hours:                9:30-10:20 a.m. 

Office Location:          242 St. Ed

Office Hours:              MWF 10:30-11:30; 12-3 TR

Office Telephone:       x-8437


Turnitin:                     8490416 (ID)/ Crerand121H (password)


I.                   Required Texts:


1.      Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces

2.      George Saunders’ Tenth of December

3.      Handouts


II.                Course Description:


Academic Writing is designed to teach students to communicate effectively in an academic environment.  The goal of the course is to provide instruction, practice, and discussion to improve students’ communication skills.  Students will write for a variety of purposes and audiences and in a variety of rhetorical modes.  The focus of the course is on practical, relevant, academic writing skills.  Although good prose models are used throughout the course, the students’ writing is the primary focus.  All students will present one formal speech.  Three credit hours.


III.             Learning Outcomes:


As a result of this course, students will be able to do the following:

  1. Perfect the ability to write clear theses. Demonstrate proficiency in writing well-constructed introductory, body, and concluding paragraphs.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to revise and proofread.
  3. Demonstrate proficiency in editing, revising, and producing drafts of an essay.
  4. Demonstrate proficiency in spelling, punctuation, and grammar.
  5. Improve sentence structure.
  6. Improve writing style.
  7. Improve critical thinking and problem solving skills.
  8. Improve speaking skills.
  9. Develop proficiency in writing a five-paragraph essay in the various rhetorical modes.


IV.              Core Value & Policies:


I have four main rules for my classroom, which I have adapted from Rosellen Brown’s “Letter to a Fiction Writer.”


1.      SHOW UP.  In other words, be a good member of this COMMUNITY.  Attend class and do your work.  Attendance entails being physically and mentally present in the class: meaning, you are in an alert, conscious state.  The only absences I excuse are SLU-sponsored activities.  Any funerals, weddings, doctor, dentist, astrologist, allergist, acupuncturist, and/or alienist (etc.) appointments are NOT excused.  I’m not saying these events are not important; it’s just that they have to happen on your time and you will be responsible for any and all work you missed.  Class goes on with you or without you.  If you are an SLU athlete, SLU policy states it is your responsibility to make up any and all missed work ahead of time.  If something serious arises, let me know and we can work it out.  Late work will receive a one letter grade deduction for each day past the due date. 

A huge part of showing up is being prepared for the day.  Bring your book, paper for notes, and a pen to write with every day.  Whether you were aware of this fact or not, when you entered college, you entered the professional arena.  You are all now burgeoning professional students much in the same way a single-A class baseball player is a professional athlete.  Would a baseball player, even a lowly, underpaid, single-A class ball player, show up to the ballpark ten minutes late and without his glove and bat?  No.  Neither should you.  What would happen to him if he did?  He’d be traded for a spicy nacho cheese dispenser and forced to be bat-boy for life.  In other words, be on time and have your materials ready.  Not having your book or failing to bring in your entrance tickets will result in a lower grade.


2.      PAY ATTENTION.  In other words, have RESPECT[1].  Obviously listen and be respectful when I am talking and give that same respect and attention to your colleagues.  Part of being respectful means turning off (not on vibrate) any and all electronic devices, including cell phones and laptops.  I will let you know when, and if, you may use laptops.  Until then, do not bring them to class.  Texting in class is prohibited and could result in massive penalties for you in this class and—fingers crossed—in the afterworld.  Respect also entails being prepared to share your ideas each day.  You don’t have to agree with anything your colleagues say, but you do have to respect their right to voice their opinion (within reason)[2].


3.      TELL THE TRUTH (or A Brief Note on Plagiarism).  Good writers have INTEGRITY.  They are honest with their audiences (and themselves) about their opinions, emotions, and their sources.  Students are required to cite the source of any material (wording or ideas) which they have borrowed and used in an essay.  Failing to cite a source, deliberately or accidentally, is PLAGIARISM.  Any essay found to contain plagiarism will be given a grade of 0 and will be included in my report to the Academic Standards Committee, who in turn can fail you for the entire class or simply expel you from the university.  Academic dishonesty is representing another’s work as one’s own, active complicity in such falsification, or violating test conditions.  Charges of plagiarism or dishonesty will remain on your transcript forever.  Graduate and professional schools as well as many employers will not accept a candidate with such an honor code violation.  Consult the SLU Honor Code (attached) or ask me if you have any questions on this issue.


4.      Don’t Be Attached to Results.  In other words, be open-minded.  You may have many pre-conceived notions about what academic writing is or that you are a good/bad writer.  You may have gotten those notions from Madame Guidry’s Séance Shop on Tchoupitoulas St. in New Orleans.  Who knows?  But many times, those notions get in the way of achieving any success in the course.  My advice to you, and it’s cheesy but effective, is to bring a positive mental attitude to class.  Writing is a process, and one goal of this class is to help you learn how your process works.  Try to put aside any emotional responses to the grades you will receive (whether they be good or bad) and monitor your progress scientifically.  The worst thing you can do in this class is to focus solely on the result of an assignment at the expense of evaluating how you achieved the result. 


V.                 Method of Assessment


1.                  Sentence Exams: There will be two exams on writing proper sentences, grammar, editing.  I hope you do good on them.[3] 

2.                  Essays: There will be four formal essays for this class that will constitute the majority of your grade.  I will distribute a rubric for each essay that I will use to grade the essay as well.  Grading will be done a split scale, where your grade is divided between content and syntax and grammar.  More information will be provided on the rubric and the split scale as we get closer to the first essay.  You may revise any two of these essays for a one letter grade increase.  However, you cannot turn in an ungraded essay for a revision.

3.                  Presentation: For the final essay, part of the grade will be based on an oral presentation that each student will deliver to the class.  I will distribute an assignment sheet with the final specifications for each.  In total, the presentation will be worth 5% of the total grade.





Grade Distributions: The breakdown for each assignment is listed below.  Please keep track of your grades on this sheet here.


  • 2 Sentence Exams: 20% ______
  • Essay 1: Speculating: 10% _____                                            
  • Essay 2: Proposing Solutions: 20% _____                                                      
  • Essay 3: Evaluation: 20% _______                             
  • Essay 4: Narrative Project: 20% ______
  • Participation/Comportment: 5% _________
  • Presentations: 5% ______


A final course grade will be based upon the following grading scale: 


            Grade                          Percentage                               Grade                          Percentage


A         Exceptional                  94% to 100%

A-         Superior                      90% to 93%

B+        Excellent                      87% to 89%

B          Very Good                   84% to 86%

B-         Good                           80% to 83%

C+       Above Average                        77% to 79%

C         Average                       74% to 76% C-         Below Average                        70% to 73%

D+       Marginal                      67% to 69%

D         Poor                            60% to 66%

F          Failure                         Below 60%


VI.       SCHEDULE:  See attached.




Students with disabilities who may require accommodations should contact the Office of Disability Services. 

University College location (Florida): SAB room 207

Telephone: 352-588-8484





The Academic Honor Code is published in it entirely in the Saint Leo University Catalog.  The first paragraph is as follows:


Saint Leo University holds all students to the highest standards of honesty and personal

integrity in every phase of their academic life. All students have a responsibility to uphold

the Academic Honor Code by refraining from any form of academic misconduct,

presenting only work that is genuinely their own, and reporting any observed instance of

academic dishonesty to a faculty member.





Disruption of academic process is 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 students. Education is a cooperative endeavor—one that takes place within a context of basic interpersonal respect. We must therefore make the classroom environment conducive to the purpose for which we are here. Disruption, intentional and unintentional, is an obstacle to that aim. We can all aid in sculpting the proper environment — in small ways (like turning off beepers and cell phones, and neither chatting nor sleeping in class), and in more fundamental ways. So, when we speak in class, we can disagree without attacking each other verbally, we wait to be recognized before speaking, and no one speaks in a manner or of off-topic content that disrupts the class.

            Carrying a conversation with a classmate, texting, listening to a i-Pod, making disrespectful comments, are all disruptive and disrespectful behaviors that contradict the Saint Leo core value of respect and diminish the quality of instruction available to all students. Students who repeatedly engage in such or other disruptive behaviors despite having been asked to stop may be asked to leave the classroom, and will lose their participation points for the course.




Excusal of student absence(s) for medical, legal, family emergency, etc., reasons is based on presentation of official documentation (physician release, court papers, obituaries, etc.) only. Official documentation must be presented to the Director of Academic Advising in 320/325 Saint Edward Hall for verification. Once verified, the instructor is notified and excusal is granted—upon the instructor’s discretion. Extended student absences for any reason may additionally require official clearance to return, as determined by the offices of Student Services and Academic Affairs.





My policy is 5% off per day for any late work not covered by the statement above.  If you are missing for an official function, you have until the next class period to get the work in.  If you have a serious illness or something goes horribly wrong for you during the semester, get it verified with Ms. Tracy and then please come talk to me so we can work out an arrangement.  Like any relationship, communication is key.



Cannon Memorial Library Resources


Library Instruction

To arrange library/research instruction for your classes, please contact:


Amy Harris                    University Campus

Viki Stoupenos        FL, GA, SC Centers

Christine Woods      Online Embedded Librarian


Cannon Memorial Library

Librarians are available during reference hours to answer questions concerning research strategies, database searching, locating specific materials, and interlibrary loan (ILL).


            Reference Hours

            Monday – Thursday    8 a.m. – 10 p.m.

            Friday                          8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

            Saturday                      12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

            Sunday                       12 p.m. – 9 p.m.


The library provides an 800 number and an email address for general reference services: 1-800-359-5945 or . The library’s mailing address and local telephone numbers are:


            MC2128, 33701 County Road 52, Saint Leo, FL 33574


            352-588-8477 (Reference Desk)

            352-588-8476 (Circulation Desk)

            352-588-8258 (Main)

            352-678-4393 (Text)


Online Catalog “WorldCat” (All Books and Media)

Click on Library Catalog (WorldCat) on the Cannon Memorial Library website ( Simple Search choices are: title, author, keyword, subject, or journal title. Use Advanced Search to set limits or expand your search terms. To borrow books from Cannon Memorial Library, present your SLU ID at the Circulation Desk. To have books mailed to you, use the Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery link on the library’s website, complete the online request form, and submit it.


Online Library Resources (Articles and E-books)

Saint Leo provides its own array of online article databases and e-book resources supporting campus, online, center, and distance learning classes. Use the Online Library Resources link on the Cannon Memorial Library homepage to see the latest subscription databases, e-book collections, etc.


XIII.    Miscellaneous Extras


·         All work done outside of class must be in MLA format.  That means each paper must be typed in an appropriate 12 point font (Times, Garamond, Arial, Goudy, Bell are fine; no Courier); use one-inch margins; use the appropriate heading (your name, my name, the class, and the date [day, month, year]) in the upper left hand corner of p. 1; have your last name and page number in the top right hand corner of every page; have a creative title (significant words capitalized: no bold, underline, or italics); and lastly, be stapled if more than one page.  (See <> for details.)

·         No work will be accepted by e-mail unless specified by the instructor.

·         Class ends at the listed end time.  Please do not pack up your bags beforehand unless I dismiss you early.


XIV.    Final Words of Advice:


We’re going to read lots of great texts this semester, and I am excited to guide you through this course.  Remember writing can be hard, but it can also be fun.  Every minute you spend in this course is a minute invested in the life of the mind, something no one can ever take from you.[4]  I look forward to getting to know you all as writers and thinkers this semester.  As always, I am here to help you, but like the Stevie Smith poem (see below), sometimes I can’t tell if you’re not waving but drowning.  Please stop by my office if you need help or get lost. 


Not Waving but Drowning – by Stevie Smith


Nobody heard him, the dead man,

But still he lay moaning:

I was much further out than you thought

And not waving but drowning.


Poor chap, he always loved larking

And now he’s dead

It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way,

They said.


Oh, no no no, it was too cold always

(Still the dead one lay moaning)

I was much too far out all my life

And not waving but drowning.




[1] Unless you are Rodney Dangerfield, in which case, you will get none, thus fueling your neurotic genius.  “Hey, it’s on me!  Shakespeare for everyone!” (taken from his magnum opus, Back to School.)

[2] Remember you’re entitled to your own opinions but not your own facts.  If someone starts spouting off on how Hitler wasn’t such a bad guy, then by all means, kindly remind the person of the difference.  For an example of what not to do, see Kinison, Sam’s performance as Professor Turgidson in Back to School.

[3] A little English humor— so please read it with a funny accent.

[4] Unless you default on your student loans.