Course Logistics

ENG 101: College Composition

Section 0775 / 9:15-11:30, Tuesdays (E-225) and Thursdays (E-228)

Section 0792 / 11:45-2:00, Tuesdays (E-225) and Thursdays (E-228)

Professor Bethany Holmstrom (professor.holmstrom [at], Office E-263/D. Office Hours 12-1 on Mondays, 2-3 on Tuesdays.

3 credits, 4 hours

Learning Objectives

  • Demonstrate understanding of writing as a process by using such strategies as pre-writing, drafting, revising, editing, and proofreading.
  • Read and listen critically and analytically, including identifying an argument’s major assumptions and assertions and evaluating its supporting evidence.
  • Write clearly and coherently in varied academic formats (such as formal essays, research papers, and reports) using standard English and appropriate technology to critique and improve one’s own and others’ texts. Essays will vary in length between 600 and 1500 words and will demonstrate an understanding of audience, voice, and purpose.
  • Demonstrate research skills by using appropriate technology, including gathering, evaluating, and synthesizing primary and secondary sources. Essays will include quotation, summation, paraphrase, and citation and will avoid plagiarism.
  • Support a thesis with well-reasoned arguments, and communicate persuasively over a variety of contexts, purposes, audiences, and media.
  • Formulate original ideas and relate them to the ideas of others by employing the conventions of ethical attribution and citation.

In our section

We’ll be focusing mainly on ideas of inclusion and exclusion in the United States, exploring these themes in a range of readings, podcasts, and performances. You will ultimately research an issue relevant to you or a particular community, using a podcast to share your findings with a wider audience.

Required Texts & Technology

A course packet will be provided. You will also need to regularly listen to podcasts. The links to every podcast will be posted here, but you will need access to a smartphone, tablet, or computer to listen to these recordings.

ENG 101 Department Requirements

The purpose of this class is to improve your writing, research, and communication skills. According to the English department guidelines, you will be responsible for five papers in this class including two in-class essays, each 600 words or more. You must turn in all five papers to pass this class. You can read the department guidelines here.


Email should primarily be a method of contacting me to set up a meeting if you cannot come to office hours. Use class time to ask questions about the syllabus, readings, and assignments. Please use the subject line “meeting request” and give me two possible times/dates you can meet, along with a short (no more than a couple of sentences) reason for the meeting. I am, of course, available to consult and offer advice on projects or papers, but that is something we should do in person rather than via email. Emails asking if you missed anything when you were absent (you did, we did not just sigh and stare at a wall during class while you were gone), when something is due (it’s on this site), or other logistics are almost always solved by asking a peer in the class or consulting our syllabus/site, and thus these sorts of emails will not receive a reply. We will both get to know each other better – and I can give more helpful feedback and guidance – if we chat in person. I only check email on weekdays from 9-5, so please be patient and plan in advance.

Students’ Learning Needs: To receive accommodations for testing and instruction, students with disabilities must inform the Office for Students with Disabilities. In my life prior to academia I was a special education teacher, so please also inform me of any accommodations you might require if you have a disability. As a whole class, we will also be discussing individual approaches to reading, writing, revising, and studying.


You will be evaluated in terms of your attendance/participation, informal writing (in-class writing, double-entry notebooks, etc.), group-work, your final portfolio, and the podcast projects. As a class, you will be given an opportunity to give feedback about/negotiate our grading contract during our first class meeting.
This is the grading contract for our class:

You will be responsible for two podcasts this semester – both of which can be collaborative endeavors. You can read more about the podcast assignments here.

Because you will present a portfolio at the close of the semester, you will not receive “formal grades” on papers and your podcasts as we go. There will be criteria or checklists for each paper and the podcasts, but you will not receive a standard letter grade – we will focus on the process of revising and improving our writing and communication skills instead. You will receive drafts with comments, and will be encouraged to make revisions on your written products as necessary before you deposit pieces in your portfolio. For more on what goes into your portfolio, visit the “Portfolio” page on our site. The portfolio will be evaluated and given a final grade, which will in turn largely determine your overall course grade.



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