English 99

Improvement of Writing

Instructor:    Shusmita Sen

Office:             Old Main 211-R

Phone:           533-7367

Email:             msen@scc.spokane.edu

Office Hrs:    

Text:             Writing Paragraphs and EssaysFourth Edition.
                         By Joy Wingersky, Jan Boerner, and Diana Holguin-Balogh


  • 81/2 X 11 legal, loose-leaf papers for all in-class writing
  • 2 Manila Folders for essays/assignments
  • College dictionary/thesaurus—optional but suggested
  • Disks (3.5 inch high-density floppy disks)

Course Description:

Many students have difficulty with the fundamentals of writing (basic grammar, sentence structure, punctuation, spelling, and the organization, development and support of an essay); therefore, English 99 has been designed to review and emphasize these skills which are necessary for your continued success in future English classes.

Course Objectives:

By the end of the course, you should be able to demonstrate the following outcomes:

  • Develop critical reading and writing skills.
  • Practice brain-storming and prewriting activities to generate ideas for writing assignments.
  • Use a writing process that involves strategies of prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, and proof-reading.
  • Apply various rhetorical elements and strategies to particular writing assignments.
  • Write well-developed and clearly organized paragraphs and college-level essays, using Standard English sentences—following basic grammar and punctuation rules.
  • Respond, thoughtfully and critically in writing, to college-level readings.
  • Recognize and demonstrate the SCC Student Learning Outcomes Abilities: Responsibility, Communication, Problem-Solving, Global Awareness.

Student Learning Outcomes:

"The Student Learning Outcomes Initiatives at Spokane Community College is committed to enriching the educational environment so that the power and growth of learning are valued by all members of the college. We are dedicated to seeing our students demonstrate … critical Student Learning Abilities as they relate to our institution and the larger community." (SCC Outcomes Mission Statement)

The final grade for overall performance in this class will include assessment of the four SCC Outcomes Abilities:

Responsibility: You will be graded on your ability to manage your time, keep up with your educational commitments, set priorities, work individually and in groups, and turn in acceptable, college-level work.

Communication: You will learn to present/offer your point of view (written and verbal) clearly, freely, and effectively—with logical reasoning strategies and adequate evidences to support your claim—so that others in the class can understand the materials being presented.

Problem Solving: You will be accountable for synthesizing necessary information (facts, evidences, and expert opinions) in your essays, learning to ask the right questions for clarification, demonstrating your knowledge of analytical methods and the ability to arrive at reasonable conclusions/solutions, and recognizing the connections between what you learn, your learning styles, and real-life skills.

Global Awareness: You will be expected to demonstrate your awareness of and respect for human diversity and differences of opinion in class, keeping your mind open to fresh/new perspectives and displaying the willingness to listen to other view points

Note: Your performance on these learning outcomes will be assessed through regular self-analysis, group evaluation, and instructor-generated evaluation methods.

Course Format:

The course will be taught through lectures, class discussions, group projects, and a substantial amount of in-class assignments. Therefore, your participation and preparedness are absolutely necessary for an effective learning experience. As the course progresses,

  • You will review, refine, and use a writing process that is appropriate for college-level writing
  • You will study a variety of rhetorical strategies (e.g. illustration, cause/effect, persuasion etc.) and rhetorical elements (e.g. audience, tone) and use knowledge of these strategies and elements to inform and shape your writing
  • You will write series of well-developed paragraphs and at least 3 college-level essays, both in and out of class, in response to specific readings or other assignments. These writing assignments will help you learn the following:
    • clear organization
    • effective development
    • clear and correct expressions
  • These works will be peer-edited frequently and assessed by the instructor regularly.


  • In-class writing must be done on loose-leaf paper and written double-spaced.
  • Papers written outside of class should be computer-generated (optional but preferred) and double-spaced.
  • All copies of the prewriting activities, the rough and other drafts of your essays, along with the feedback sheets need to be turned in with the final draft in a manila folder.
  • Also, since papers have a bad habit of getting misplaced or lost, you are responsible for keeping a copy of all final drafts of your essays and all graded assignments.

Attendance and Late-Work Policies:

  • Because so much of what you learn and receive credit for must be completed within the class period, your attendance is important. Daily attendance will be taken, and you will begin to lose points after the first three absences. Therefore, use your "day-offs" with caution.
  • Being late for class or leaving early is also disruptive, so please be on time and in class for the scheduled classes. Moreover, you may not be allowed to sign in after the first five minutes, especially if late arrival becomes a pattern.
  • I will encourage you to take responsibility for your attendance, behavior, and work. If for some reason you are forced to miss a class, please inform me on time so that we can work on an alternative schedule. Please do not offer me your excuses or explanations for late or failed work or for your absence. I do not distinguish between "excused" and "unexcused" absences. Absences, regardless of the situation, are absences. Learn to accept the consequences of your choices—especially those choices that are personally challenging.
  • Your contribution to the class will enhance the learning environment for you and your classmates. If your behavior disrupts others or the learning environment, you will be asked to leave, and you will not receive credit for that day’s work or attendance. This is a college classroom and adult level of behavior is expected at all times. Should you have occasion to arrive late or leave early, please do so quietly. Violations of decorum or repeated/disruptive late arrivals or early departures may result in a student being administratively dropped from the course.
  • Unless otherwise directed, papers and assignments are due at the beginning of the class period, unless otherwise directed. Please make sure to give them to a friend or to me on or before the due date if you will be absent. Late papers are not "excused" due to absences. Also, you are responsible for all information covered during class in your absence. Choose a classmate from whom you can get the missed notes, assignments and hando
  • All written and other assignments should be handed in at the due time.
    • Your assignments will lose 5% of the grade for everyday they are late.
    • Assignments may not be accepted after three days.
  • As a rule, you should expect to spend two hours of additional time on studying and skill development per hour in class, per night. This is a standard college course expectation.

Grading Policy:

Your grade will be based on the total points achieved on the activities you choose to complete. As indicated above, it can also be affected by your attendance. Keep these guidelines in mind:

  • Homework and in-class activities can be made up, at the instructor’s discretion.
  • No time extensions will be given for in-class work done for credit or for certain assignments specified by the instructor during the quarter.
  • As a rule, extra-credit work is not assigned. If an exception is made, it will be an opportunity allowed the entire class, not for individual cases.
  • An approximate idea of the possible assignments and points is as follows:



Three Essays of 400-450 words each

150 total

Short Paragraphs (5 approximately)

75 total

Grammar Tests (as many as needed)

100 total

Other miscellaneous assignments

100 total


50 total

Outcomes Assessment

25 total

Total Possible Points


Spokane Community College Grading Scale:

Note: the grade scale for this course will be slightly different

Numeric Grades Letter Grade Equivalent Grading Scale
3.8-4.0 A (Superior achievement) 95-100
3.5-3.7 A- 89-94
3.2-3.4 B+ 83-88
2.9-3.1 B (Above average achievement) 79-82
2.6-2.8 B- 76-78
2.3-2.5 C+ 73-75
2.0-2.2 C (Average achievement) 70-72
1.6-1.9 C- 66-69
1.3-1.5 D+ 63-65
1.0-1.2 D (Minimum achievement) 60-62
0.7-0.9 D- 57-59
0.0-0.6 F 56 and below

Please save all your assignments till the end of the quarter (in case there is any conflict or error in the final grade calculation).

Withdrawals and "Z" Grades:

It is recommended that you see your instructor and /or advisor if you consider withdrawing from this class. In the event you stop attending, have not formally withdrawn, and do not complete the course, you will receive a grade of 0.0 (F).

  • A grade of "Z" or "I" (Incomplete) may be given, when requested by the student, under justifiable circumstances and solely at the instructor’s discretion.
  • An "I" will only be considered under the following circumstances:
    • Passing work must have been achieved prior to the student not being able to complete the course and
    • The student is not able to complete the course due to circumstances beyond his/her control.

Other Considerations:

Please review this SCC English Department Plagiarism Policy:

The American with Disabilities Act is designed to ensure that students with disabilities have an equal opportunity to access academic programs and successfully complete their educational goals. Spokane Community College is committed to providing accessibility to all students. Any students with disabilities who have accommodation needs must contact Disability Support Services located in the Learning Resources Center (Library) or call Laura at 533-8872 to make an appointment to complete the intake process. This information will remain strictly confidential.
Classroom Visitors: Washington Administration Code 131, 12.010 Section 3 specifies that children are not allowed in classes with a parent. Because of this regulation, please make other arrangements if school schedules or illnesses are a problem.
 Cheating: WAC 132Q-04-060
  • Any student who, for the purpose of fulfilling an assignment or task required by the faculty as part of the student’s program of instruction, shall knowingly tender any work product that the student fraudulently represents to the faculty as the student’s work product, shall be deemed to have cheated. Cheating shall be cause for disciplinary action.
  • Any student who aids or abets the accomplishment of cheating as defined in subsection (1) of this section shall also be subject to disciplinary action.
 Plagiarism Policy: WAC 132Q-04-061

"Plagiarism (from the Latin word for "kidnapper") is the presentation of someone else’s ideas or words as your own. You plagiarize deliberately if you copy a sentence from a book and pass if off as your writing, if you summarize or paraphrase someone else’s ideas without acknowledging your debt, or if you buy a term paper to hand in as your own. You plagiarize accidentally if you carelessly forget quotation marks around another’s idea because you are unaware of the need to acknowledge the idea. Whether deliberate or accidental, plagiarism is a serious and often punishable offense.*

*Fowler, H. Ramsey. Little, Brown Handbook, 3rd Ed. Boston: Little, 1986: 570.

To encourage academic excellence and honesty, we have established the following policy:

Penalties for Deliberate Plagiarism or Cheating:

First Offense: Automatic failure of the paper or test and possible failure of the course.

Second Offense: Automatic failure of the course.













Contents within this site are copyrighted by both the author of essays and/or Mita Sen
(email msen@scc.spokane.edu)
The contents within these pages are solely those of the author and S.C.C.
should not be held responsible.  2005 and 2006
Hit Counter