Professor: Robert Mugford
Office: LC 352 (you will have to use the LC Bldg. main entrance)
Home page: https://faculty.scottsdalecc.edu/mugford
Office hrs: MW 3:00-4:00 F only by online appointment T-Th 10:30 to 11:30
Download a hard copy of the course syllabus
Quick Links: Click on any of the following to save you from having to scroll through a quite lengthy page:
Course content Required Written Work Essay Resources Basic grammar resources Common sentence errors Writing Paragraphs Final Exam Policies Grading Turnitin Enrollment Writing Center
WAC 101 Course Outline Follows:
Please contact me ASAP if you notice any broken links on this page.
Coming soon, info. on the MCCCD Writing Contest Information
Check out The Retro Muse Coffee House
The intention of this course is to provide you with the opportunity to acquire the necessary writing and thinking skills with which to maturely express yourself not only in college, but in the workplace as well. Through critically thinking, reading, then writing, you can develop your own ideas and opinions, sharpen organizational skills, acquire proofreading and editing skills, as well as focus on elimination of grammar errors. Students often think of writing as a dreaded producing of a necessary evil: a “Please-Let-This-Pass” essay for a class. But without the necessary process behind the creating of the essay, the entire effort is sometimes an empty procedure whose product is shallow and clichéd. Good writing is more than mastery of grammar (although to effect the former, the latter is a significantly important skill to possess). It is the attempt to communicate in writing our deepest thoughts and feelings, and it is this process that endows language with the ability to move and interest us.
Easy on the Wallet
You will not be required to purchase a textbook for this class.
I have collected quite an eclectic array of handouts with which to
supplement writing assignments. I will also have you go to various web sites
to do exercises and read eclectic materials related to various topics. If you do need to buy books for other classes you might want to go here first:
Though I will not require that you purchase them, you should always have access to a good dictionary and a thesaurus–hardcopy or online—both valuable items in any writer’s toolbox. I also suggest you use either a flash drive or your free server space to access your written work, homework, etc., especially on the day a written assignment is due.
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After introducing yourself to your classmates and me during the second class period, at the third class I will review for the Memory Test to be administered during the fourth class. The PowerPoint review will be downloadable from the web page and Canvas. This test does not count as far as a grade is concerned, but after I examine them, it does give me an idea of what you remember from your previous English classes, which, in turn, gives me an idea of what I can supplement in class. We will go over the test in class as a way of reviewing some of the important course materials.
The emphasis in the class is on the major components that make up the structure of primarily an essay that offers your opinion on a topic of your choice. They are as follows: topic selection and topic narrowing, writing the introductory paragraph, writing the body paragraphs (at least two), and writing the concluding paragraph. In addition you will learn the major components of the developmental paragraph: the topic sentence, the support sentences, sentence variation, and concluding sentence or transitional sentence, as it relates to connecting ideas between paragraphs. Regarding sentence variety, I will have you demonstrate your ability to write the four types of sentences according to grammatical structure: simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex. Most of the assignments will be in response to your having read an article that I select. I do try to pick topics that would appeal to most students: often these are contemporary issues written about by famous journalists or textbook authors.
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Required Written Work:
You will be asked to write a minimum of three documented essays, (prior to the final exam essay), again written in response to a reading assignment. All essays must be a minimum of four paragraphs: Introduction (75-100 words), at least two body paragraphs (200 word minimum; in these you will use both direct and indirect quotes) and a conclusion (75-100 words). These specifications are in line with the requirements set forth by the SCC Developmental Education Committee. Due dates for written work will be announced in class and posted on Canvas. Tentative: You may also have to participate in a pre-assessment essay in the early part of January. This is a mandatory essay but is not graded. You will report to one of the computer classrooms located in the same area as the writing center. You will have two class periods to complete the essay, which is written in response to your having read an article on a controversial topic. I will provide the pre-assessment rubric.
All out of class essays and the final must be submitted to Turitin.com, and you must attach the first page of the originality report—not the receipt—to the back of the essay you submit to me.
To help with with some English fundamentals.
Download the Memory Test Power Point
Download the Common Errors PowerPoint
Download the Paragraph Requirements PowerPoint
Resources for Essay writing
Writing the Introductory paragraph
Writing Introductions (from UNC)
Writing the Introduction (from Purdue’s Owl)
Writing an Introduction (with example paragraph)
First Assignment Requirements
Download the Quote to Thesis assignment
Download the Writing a Thesis PowerPoint
Writing the body paragraph (Purdue’s Owl)
Body Paragraphs (Aims Community College)Providing Transitions
Body paragraph Template (Exercise)
Writing Concluding Paragraphs
Putting it all Together: The Essay
Information on the Final Exam (scheduled for May 6 at 9:30 )
Basic Grammar Resources:
Covers: Parts of speech, Sentence Patterns, More sentence patterns
Types and Functions of Phrases, (download the phrases PowerPoint)
Dependent Clauses and Functions, More on clauses, Still more on clauses
And even more on clauses!
Types of Sentences, Download the sentence types PowerPoint
Download the Common Errors PowerPoint
Conferences Near the end of the semester, I will try to schedule a conference
with each student to discuss his or her progress/grade in the class).
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How to write an effective paragraph (Purdue’s OWL)
*The instructor reserves the right to make changes in the course
to modify assignments, dates, etc., as necessary. Specific reading
assignments and exercises for you to complete on handouts or the
web will be announced at each class meeting and posted on Canvas.
(A note of caution: Plagiarism is tantamount to failure. You are expected to do your own work, which I will allow you to do in class as well as out of class. If you are unsure of what constitutes plagiarism, consult the English Dept. Policy on Plagiarism at
FINAL EXAM: English Department policy requires that all Eng.091 students, in order to receive any grade for the course, must complete a final exam that is composed and administered by the instructor, unless otherwise notified. Mine will have you write an opinionated essay—to be typed in the Writing Center or on your laptop—that demonstrates your knowledge of the introductory paragraph, the body paragraphs (at least two), and the concluding paragraph. I will give you a rubric, provided by the Dev-ed committee, to help you with your final draft.
Exam date: Wednesday, May 6 @ 9:30 in Rm. 353
Please be aware that you may be quizzed on any assigned reading materials. Usually, I give the quiz at the beginning of class and without prior announcement. (Just a cursory reading of the assignment won’t help!) Furthermore, none, if missed, can be made up unless you are participating in an authorized college function (see attendance policy below) or unless your excuse registers a “five” on my credibility scale; e.g., your having to go to Sweden on the day of the quiz to accept the Nobel Prize for discovering the drug that cures student procrastination would register a “four.”
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ATTENDANCE: (please read carefully)
Obviously, you will get much more out of the class if you are always in the room listening and asking questions about the assignments, which make up eighty percent of your grade for the course. As a veteran teacher, I can honestly say that most students who are excessively absent often fail because they do not fulfill assignments’ objectives and/or fail quizzes, do not submit homework, etc. All college level courses require student responsibility; mine is no different. You may initiate your own withdrawal (without my signature) prior to and including Mar. 6. I will also initiate a withdrawal for you; I can do it online .
ON BEING LATE TO CLASS:
Because you have enrolled for this class, you have established a 15-week commitment to be in the classroom at the designated start time, and I expect you to honor it. In my 140 years of teaching, I have found the consistently late student to be quite disrespectful to the instructor and to his or her classmates. Sure, sometimes the god Tardynisis may prevent us from being on time; however, if you must be late, please be courteous to everyone in the room: enter quietly and proceed to your desk, all the while looking up from your phone to prevent your being judged as a nomophobe (see below).
LATE PAPERS: Important!!!!
On the due date, if you submit your assignment any time after the class officially ends, (11:50) I deduct one letter grade; if you submit it the next day, I deduct another grade; after this time, I will not accept any paper, as the highest grade it could get is a D. Also, any late paper not turned in to me personally must be stamped with the time and date of submission (most often done by a Department secretary in LC 305); I will not accept one without the stamp.
Regarding Students with disabilities:
It is a college policy to provide reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities. If you would like to request accommodations due to a physical, mental, or learning disability, please contact the Disability Resources & Services office, SC-144, 480-423-6517.
Regarding Audio-Visual Cellular Communication Devices:
Though I realize many of you nomophobes will suffer from withdrawal symptoms–your thumbs begin to shake terribly and your phone ear twitches from lack of tactile stimulation–the English Department policy is Disable (your) Dopamine Release Mechanism (DDRM) while in class.
Texting is Vexing
Sexual harassment is any unwelcome, verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it alters working conditions and creates a hostile environment or reasonably interferes with, limits, or deprives a student of the ability to participate in or benefit from any educational program or activity. Sexual harassment and discrimination in any college education program or activity, is prohibited. Students should report any discrimination and/or harassment they experience and/or observe to the Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs (SCC’s Title IX Coordinator); located in the Administration Building (AD), phone 480-423-6300. To view the full Sexual Harassment Policy, refer to the Student Handbook – page 254: http://www.scottsdalecc.edu/sites/default/files/catalogs/adr2062914/scc_2013-14_catalog_rev2.pdf
Diversity and a Safe Learning Environment
This classroom will be a safe learning environment for every individual as far as I am able to ensure that outcome. This means I will treat each student with respect, and in turn I expect respect to be given to the instructor and every individual in this course. Disagreement does not equal disrespect. We all bring different points of view, different personal values, different life experiences, and different personal preferences with us into the classroom. This diversity makes for great discussion, adds interesting dimensions to our interpersonal relationships, and is welcome in the academic arena. Though we celebrate our differences, I expect each student to respect the rights and needs of fellow classmates. Students cannot feel safe to express themselves without the assurance that their ideas, attitudes, and beliefs will be treated with respect.
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The three essays are worth 50 points each and the final essay is worth 60 points. I also include another 20 points for very good attendance, participation, brief quizzes, in-class assignments, etc.
All numerical grades will be posted on Canvas, which does all the calculating.
After final exams, I then post to MYmaricopa.edu a letter grade based on your final tabulation in Canvas. Important: In case of any discrepancies, please retain all graded assignments I give back to you; perhaps purchase a separate folder in which to file them.
During the first week, you must enroll in this class @ Turnitin.com
The enrollment ID number is 21839364
The enrollment key is writeforscc
Process for new users only
Go to http://www.turnitin.com Near the top right of the screen, click “Create
Account.” At the Create a User Profile screen, click on “student.” This will bring you to the site wherein you fill in all the necessary information before you go to the bottom and click on “I agree—create a profile.” Be sure to write down the password you created to enroll and the answer to the secret question you answered. Remember, the password is case sensitive and must include a number as part of the 6-12 characters.
For those of you in the Turnitin system, when you sign in, you will have to know the password you initially selected; once you use this, you can then enroll in my class, using the above enrollment ID and key. If you have forgotten your password, you will be prompted to answer the secret question you initially answered.
If you (or I) should think that tutorial assistance is necessary to help improve your writing skills and, in turn, your grade for the class, SCC’s Writing Center, located in LC 379, offers FREE tutoring for students (usually in 20 to 30 minute sessions) having problems with English class assignments and/or writing assignments for other classes. Individualized instruction from human beings (English Dept. faculty members) is available and/or from PC and Mac computers; some of the software can help with grammar, usage, mechanics, organization, etc. As far as your skills as a writer are concerned, please do not use my Memory Test as a barometer.
The SCC Writing Center offers two ways for students to access free writing help online.
- Online English tutoring allows students to meet one-to-one with a tutor, share documents, and discuss assignments.
- Our email essay review service lets students submit an essay and receive a tutor’s comments within two working days (usually faster).
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Questions or comments?