English 101 Section OHS

Spring Quarter 2009 Course Syllabus


Instructor: Carrie Tomberlin                                           Phone: (425) 564-2509 Office Hours: 11:00 am – 12:00 pm TTh                                    Office: R230K

E-mail:* carrie.tomberlin@bellevuecollege.edu  


** Do not contact me at my BCC address unless you cannot reach me through the course website!**




A Writer's Companion by Richard Marius (Fourth Edition) is our basic guide to writing, and the course refers to it extensively.

The McGraw-Hill Reader (Tenth Edition) is our general pool of essays. We'll use it for examples, models of what we do and don't like, and for topics to generate our own writing and thought.


Neither of these books have in-depth explanations of grammar rules, and if you don’t already have a handbook I recommend The DK Handbook by Wysocki and Lynch or The Writer’s Reference by Diana Hacker.  They will be not only be useful for this class, but for the rest of your academic career and beyond.




English 101 is a completely online class; therefore, you are not required to attend classroom sessions. However, English 101 is not a correspondence course, completed on your own timetable in isolation. How much you learn will be directly related to how much you participate in the online community, how well you manage your time, and how well you follow written directions.  If you are not sure whether or not an online course is right for you, complete the following questionnaire:  http://distance



If you signed up for this course thinking that it would involve less work than a course in the classroom, you were mistaken.  Please be advised that the workload may be very difficult for you if work and family demands do not allow you a minimum of two to three uninterrupted hours every weekday to work on the assignments for this class.


Academic writing is a skill, developed with practice in reading texts, analyzing texts, thinking through the texts and then lastly, writing the words down. Anyone with enough determination and effort can learn to communicate effectively in writing.




  1. Technology requirements: First and probably most important, the student enrolled in this course MUST have a reliable computer and some attendant software and services, including a word processor (Microsoft Word is preferred), an Internet Service Provider, and a browser service.


  1. Computer skills: Some critical skills you must have include: uploading and downloading files, following written directions, attaching files to e-mail messages, and knowing how your browser and computer system work. 



  1. Computer problems: Keep me informed if you have problems, and I will try to find help for you.  I am no computer expert, so--unless the Vista server is malfunctioning--it is your responsibility to get any technological problems worked out.


  1. Daily logins: To be successful in an online course, you must be self-motivated and work independently.  I strongly recommend that you login daily (particularly during the week), check your course mailbox and the calendar to see what assignments you should be working on.  


  1. "Netiquette" (Courtesy Expectations): This class is conducted entirely online, yet I expect you to be as courteous and respectful to me and to your classmates as you would be in person in a classroom setting. Emails and discussion board posts cannot be taken back. So, please write all of your correspondence with care and courtesy; don't send emails or posts that you might later regret - in terms of content, words, and tone. A good test is, "Would I say that in person, in exactly those words, to my professor or classmate I don't know well? How would I react if I were on the receiving end?" (Also keep in mind that even if you're thick-skinned, many of your classmates are not and shouldn't have to be here.) Another good rule of thumb: Before sending something, write it up, save it, go away for an hour or more, then re-read it before posting.




  1. Communication:  If you send me a message through the course mailbox or the discussion area, you can expect me to respond within 24 hours on weekdays.  If you send a message on weekends (which begin on Fridays at 5:00 pm), you can expect me to respond to you by Monday morning. 


  1. Feedback:  During the opening weeks of the course, you can expect some feedback from me for just about every assignment.  I want to make sure that you understand my expectations and the instructions.  Later in the course, I focus primarily on your papers, so I will not provide quite as much feedback about discussions, peer reviews, and other assignment postings (though I will continue to evaluate and grade them).  


  1. Deadlines:  Deadlines (due dates and times) are posted on the course calendar.  You will discover early on that I am firm about them.  If you try to post assignments after the deadline listed on the course calendar, you may find that the discussion has been locked to prevent late postings.  I cannot grade discussions while people are continuing to post.  See below for my policy on late papers.





Throughout the quarter, you will write 5 essays that are 2-5 pages in length. These will be run through different levels of development, beginning with a draft that will be edited in group sessions. Participation in the editing, as well as written notes on one student essay per session, will factor in with the essays as part of your grade.


Participation in threaded group discussion is also required. Topics will be posted weekly, and each student must make a minimum of one, three-to-four line comment responding directly to each question in the topic, and at least one further reply to another student's thread. (More comments are warmly encouraged.)
Assignments will be posted, as will the weekly lectures, under the Course Content icon.




The largest part of your grade (70%) will come from your writing; however, you will also have the group editing and written editing notes, and your threaded discussion participation factored in at 15% each. You MUST average a C- or better in order to pass this class.

Late work:  Work turned in late will lose a full letter grade for each day it is late past the due date. For example, if your paper would have been an A- on the day it was due but you turned it in the next day, it would now be a B-; if you turn it in another day later, it will be a C-. You can see the trend. Essays turned in one week past the due date will not be accepted.

If you're having trouble with or are confused by an assignment, let me know as soon as possible; don’t procrastinate.  The process for writing, revising and submitting work is on a tight timeline. Don't fail to meet these deadlines.






Plagiarism is deliberately (or even unintentionally) passing off someone else’s writing as your own. Though this should be common sense, plagiarism also includes resubmitting papers that you have written previously in another class.

Though this is an on-line course and we won’t see each other as a whole class, be advised that teachers can pick up a student's individual style fairly quickly.  Therefore, we can detect when essays come from sources other than the student's own hand. We also have software which runs checks on suspected plagiarized essays, and I do so at the slightest provocation.  Do not be tempted by on-line essays floating out there in the ether; to tell you the truth, most of them aren't really that good.

Plagiarism is cheating and is taken very seriously by me and by the college.  BCC and the Arts & Humanities Division have policies regarding plagiarism:  You receive an F on any paper that is plagiarized which will be counted as a “0.”  You will also fail this class if you are caught plagiarizing.  In addition, a report of the incident will be filed in the Dean of Students’ Office.  This report may become part of your permanent record and the Dean may choose to pursue further disciplinary action.  For more info see: (http://bellevuecollege.edu/artshum/studentinfo.asp)


The Writing Lab – D204-d www.bellevuecollege.edu/writinglab

M-Th:  8 a.m. – 8 p.m., F:  8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Sat. & Sun: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

The Writing Lab is a place where students can work on developing college-level writing skills. Students can come to the Writing Lab (not more than once per day) for individual help on revising their writing for class, college applications, or personal projects. Tutors can listen to ideas and ask questions to help students focus on one topic; help them learn how to correct and avoid punctuation and grammar errors; and review papers to ensure they are clear and follow the assignment. However, tutors do not edit papers!

While students can drop in any time the Writing Lab is open, it is better to make an appointment at least two days before a paper is due by calling 425-564-2200. If students do not have an appointment and all of the tutors are busy, they may have to wait or come back later.


SCHEDULE (Note: All assignments due to me by midnight of the due date)

Week One: April 1 - 3

Lecture One: The Nature of 101 Essays

Readings:  Writer's Companion Preface, Chapter 1, Appendix Two
McGraw-Hill Reader pgs 2-19

First Essay Topic Posted

Beginning Thread Questions and Opening Exercises Posted.

Week Two: April 6 - 10

LectureTwo: Rhetorical Modes and Getting Rolling

Writer's Companion Chapters 2, 3
McGraw-Hill Reader pgs 32-56
"Freewriting," by Peter Elbow, pg 68
"Of A Monstrous Child" by Michel de Montaigne (attached by Link to Lecture Page)







Week Three: April 13 - 17

Lecture Three: Grammar: Why Bother?

Writer's Companion Chapters 10, 11
McGraw-Hill Reader "I Just Met a Girl Named Maria," by Judith Cofer  Ortiz, pg 391
"In the Lab With Agassiz," by Samuel Scudder (essay attached here::
"In The Lab with Agassiz," by Samuel Scudder)

First Essay Due 4/16

Weekly Thread Questions

Group Editing Sessions Begin (with draft of Essay Two) Post Drafts to Groups preferably before the weekend: 4/16 or 4/17

Week Four: April 20 - 24

Lecture Four: Development: The Inside Story

Writer's Companion Chapters 5,6
McGraw-Hill Reader "New Superstitions for Old" by Margaret Mead, pg 681
"My Creature from the Black Lagoon," by Stephen King, 582

Editing Notes (for Essay Two) Due 4/23

Still More Thread Questions

Week Five: April 27 – May 1

Lecture: Audience, Audience, Audience

McGraw-Hill Reader "Reflections on U.S. Manners," by Alexis de Tocqueville, pg 488
"Red, White, and Beer," by Dave Barry, pg 590

Essay Two Due 4/30

Thread Questions

Post Drafts to Groups by Sunday, if possible! (Monday at the latest)

Week Six: May 4 - 8

Lecture: Critical Reading, Critical Thinking

Writer's Companion Chapter 7
McGraw-Hill Reader "Delusions of Grandeur," by Henry Louis Gates Jr., pg 504
"Professions for Women," by Virginia Woolf, pg 499

"Cake Mixes," Consumer Reports, attached to lecture page

Editing Notes Due 5/7

Check Thread


Week Seven: May 11 - 15

Lecture: Revision

Writer's Companion Chapters 8, 9, Appendix III
McGraw-Hill Reader

"The Clan of One-Breasted Women," by Terry Tempest Williams, pg 907

"The Environmental Issue from Hell," by Bill McKibben, pg 819

Third Essay Due 5/14

Editing drafts posted by weekend

Thread Questions

Week Eight: May 18 - 22 (last day to drop:  5/22)

Lecture: Argument Versus Persuasion

Writer's Companion 59-71
McGraw-Hill Reader "American Dreamer" by Bharati Mukherjee, pg 471

Editing Notes Due 5/21

Week Nine: May 25 - 29

Lecture: Persuasion/Argument

Writer's Companion pgs 71-87
McGraw-Hill Reader "Sex Ed," by Anna Quindlen pg 297
"Cyberspace: If You Don't Love it, Leave it", by Esther Dyson, pg 458

Fourth Essay Assignment Due 5/28

Post drafts ASAP 

Week Ten: June 1 - 5

Lecture: What Happens Now?

Readings: McGraw-Hill

"The Allegory of the Cave" Plato, pg 704

"The Divine Revolution" Vaclav Havel 700

Week Eleven: June 8 - 12

Closing Thread discussions

Editing Notes Due 6/9

Fifth Essay Due 6/11

BCC Final Exams: June 16 - 18

There is no final exam for this class

Grades Accessible on the BCC website no later than June 22