Disruptive Student Policy.  The College seeks an environment that promotes academic achievement and integrity, that is protective of free inquiry, and that serves the educational mission of Notre Dame College. Similarly, the College seeks a community that is free from violence, threats, and intimidation; that is respectful of the rights, opportunities, and welfare of students, faculty, staff, and guests of Notre Dame College; and that does not threaten the physical or mental health or safety of members of the College community. As a student at Notre Dame College you are expected adhere to Student Code of Conduct. To review the Student Conduct Code, please see 

Students with Disabilities.  Notre Dame College makes reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities. A qualified student with a disability may request support services from the Dwyer Learning Center on a yearly basis. In order to receive services at Notre Dame College, students with disabilities must provide documentation, which meets state and federal standards for indicating the presence of a disability.

The Writing Lab @ Notre Dame College.  Students seeking help with writing assignments for any class or project, as well as those wishing to develop their writing skills in general are invited to visit The Writing Lab, located at 201 in the Clara Fritzsche Library.  Staffed by undergraduate students majoring in a variety of disciplines, tutors offer one-on-one writing assistance and are trained in proven writing center methods.  The Writing Lab is open for walk in hours 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday and 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Sunday.  Students may also set up an appointment by sending an email to The Writing Lab.

Academic Policies and Procedures. For the policies concerning Incompletes, Appealing a grade, and Course Withdrawal Policy see the Notre Dame College Catalog.

As articulated in the Notre Dame College Core Curriculum (2017-18 Catalog, p. 30):

“Creative Inquiry. In a liberal arts college, students have the priceless opportunity to explore and hone their creative abilities. The study of music, art, theater, or creative writing stimulates the mind and fortifies the spirit. Students learn about the elements, forms, and styles of different media. By doing so, they understand themselves and their engagement with others critically, thoughtfully, and meaningfully.”

As a result, students in EN100 will

  1. Develop both creative and analytical thinking through the exploration of the creative process.

  2. Define and apply the vocabulary related to the elements, forms and styles of the respective media.


College Composition I (EN100) is part of the First-Year Composition Course curriculum. In this course, writing instruction begins at the paragraph level. EN100 will prepare students for college-level skills in writing, reading comprehension, and critical thinking with an introduction to rhetorical analysis and the research process. This course will meet for three class hours a week.  Upon passing this course, students should enroll in EN101: College Composition II the following semester to complete the composition course requirement for First-Year Composition.

Course Description

In this course, students will learn several forms of the writing process such as pre-writing, drafting, summarizing, quoting, paraphrasing, peer response and revision. They will enhance their critical thinking skills by practicing the modes of exposition: narrative, description, comparison/contrast, and cause and effect. Students will learn how to employ lively and varied language to clearly, accurately and concisely express their ideas through the application of rhetoric and the basic skills of argument.  Finally, students will learn the basics of academic research, learning how to work with outside source material and how to utilize library databases.

Notre Dame College of Ohio, a Catholic institution in the tradition of the Sisters of Notre Dame, educates a diverse population of in the liberal arts for personal, professional, and global responsibility.

In EN100, all students will work toward the goals as articulated in the Notre Dame College Core Curriculum (2017-18 Catalog, p. 30):

“Written Fluency. The strength of a liberal arts education depends on its ability to teach students how to translate critical and creative thinking into writing. Employers continue to stress clear communication skills, especially writing, as essential to a successful career.”

Therefore, students in EN100 will

  1. Construct sustained, coherent argument or presentation in more than one medium for general and specific audiences.

  2. Work in collaboration with others to address a social, personal, or ethical dilemmas.

  3. Demonstrate effective communication skills using conventions of Standard English for academic writing.

The objective in EN100 is to help students learn the tools that will enable them to interact within college discourse. Students will learn how to effectively communicate in this course, not only through the written form but also by recognizing the staples of critical inquiry so that when they are asked to add their own opinions to the arguments that rise within the academic environment, they will do so, confidently. 

Course Rationale

By the end of EN100: College Composition I, students should:

  1. have participated in writing as a process, a format permitting writers to compose and revise with multiple drafts. This includes: developing flexible strategies for generating, revising, editing, and proof-reading; understanding the collaborative and social aspects of writing processes; learning to critique their own and others' works; using a variety of technologies to address a range of audiences.

  2. have opportunities to participate in one-on-one discussions about the writing process through conferencing with the instructor; engage in conversations about effective writing with a Consultant from The Writing Lab.

  3. experience composing in digital environments. This includes: drafting, reviewing, revising, editing, and sharing texts; locating, evaluating, organizing, and using research material collected from digital sources, including scholarly library databases; other official databases (e.g., federal government databases); and informal digital networks and internet sources.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. learn common formats for different kinds of texts. This includes: developing knowledge of genre conventions ranging from structure and paragraphing to tone and mechanics; an understanding of surface features such as syntax, grammar, punctuation, and spelling.

  2. have a working knowledge of rhetorical situations. This includes: responding to the needs of different audiences; focusing on a purpose; adopting appropriate voice, tone, and level of formality in their writing; an understanding of how genres shape reading and writing; an exploration of the media and design elements used in writing; write in several genres.

  3. have successfully completed a writing assignment that includes a series of components: finding, evaluating, analyzing and synthesizing appropriate primary sources; practice appropriate means of documenting outside sources.

  4. have written an accumulative 60 pages of text.

* Adapted from the Writing Program Administrators’ WPA Outcomes for First-Year Composition.

Academic Dishonesty. Generally the individual faculty member decides on sanctions for acts of academic dishonesty; such decisions do not preclude further disciplinary action under College judicial procedures. Those penalties include but are not limited to failure on the specific assignment, failure in the course, and the establishment in the Office of Academic Affairs of a plagiarism file for the offending student, which includes an Incident of Plagiarism document detailing the offense.

Academic Dishonesty includes but is not limited to the following:

  1. 1.the completion or attempted completion of any academic work by means other than those permitted

  2. 2.the alteration of a document relating to the grading process, including – changing an instructor’s grade book, or changing answers on a test after the time to complete the test is over.

  3. a.Examples of Academic Dishonesty include but are not limited to; unauthorized collaboration, copying another student’s answers, unauthorized aids on a test, using purchased or pre-made term papers, plagiarism, and destroying another student’s work.

  4. b.Plagiarism occurs when an individual presents the ideas, thoughts, or words of another as his or her own. Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to, using phrases, sentences, or ideas from a published source, including the internet, without citing that source, representing another’s unpublished work as your own, rewriting or paraphrasing the work of another without giving credit to that person by citation, submitting a paper as one’s own work that has been copied, in whole or in part, from another’s work.

  5. c.Generally, the faculty decides upon sanctions for acts of Academic Dishonesty. Thus, Academic Dishonesty may carry specific penalties carried out by the faculty outside of the Judicial Procedure. Those penalties include but are not limited to: failure on the specific assignment, failure of the course, the creation of a Plagiarism File in the Office of Academic Affairs, which includes filing an Incident of Plagiarism Form detailing the offense, filed with the Office of Academic Affairs. Note that while deference is given to the faculty to handle matters of Academic Dishonesty, such action does not preclude further disciplinary action under the College Judicial Procedure.

Course Policies

Drafts. Students are welcome to bring any assignment at any stage of progress to the Instructor for review; there are no limitations on how many drafts the Instructor will read and advise with revision suggestions.  Taking advantage of this opportunity will assure the grade desired for this course. Note that no drafts will be accepted for discussion through email.  The Instructor will only be able to help advise properly by meeting one-on-one, either during office hours or through requests for an appointment. 

Late Work. All assignments are due at the beginning of the class on the assigned due date.  If students are absent the day that an assignment is due, they are still required to submit all assignments by the beginning of class time.  Late assignments are NOT ACCEPTED except under extraordinary circumstances and only after prearranged negotiations with the Instructor.  If assignments are not submitted by the due date indicated, an F will be issued for that assignment.

Attendance. A community of scholars cannot be formed if the members of the community do not show up.  There is a strict attendance policy for this course.  Attendance for this course is mandatory.  Students should come to class having printed out, read and annotated all required reading.  Students are considered absent if: they are more than five minutes late or leave before class is over; are unprepared for class having arrived without the required material as listed in this syllabus; use technology to virtually ‘leave’ class.  Any extenuating circumstances must have documentation; if students are absent due to any college-sponsored organization, proper documentation must be provided.

Course Policies

Students will be allowed three absences over the course of the semester.  Each subsequent absence will drop the final course grade by a full letter grade; with seven days, students will automatically fail the course. 

Students are responsible for attending every class scheduled for this course.  This includes through finals week.  Arrangements to leave town before the semester ends should not be made unless students are prepared to accept the penalty concerning absences.

Personal Technology.  If the student chooses to use a laptop, tablet, or any other device for taking notes or drafting in class, this is allowable.  However, they should not choose to use a personal device for any purpose unrelated to class.  All devices not used for learning purposes should be silenced.  Smartphones should be put away, except in the rare instance that the Instructor includes them in an activity.  A smartphone should not be used at any time during class.  It is recommend that all smartphones be powered down.  If there is a serious need to leave a smartphone on, such as in a family emergency, please put it on vibrate and let the Instructor know; if a student needs to leave the classroom to take a call, it will be understand by the Instructor.  If a student leaves the classroom to take a call without notifying the Instructor, it will be considered an absence.  If a student has been asked more than once to put their smartphone away, it will be considered an absence. 

  1. ‘The Norton Field Guide to Writing,’ Fourth Edition, by Bullock, Daly Goggin and Weinberg

  2. ‘A Pocket Style Manual,’ Seventh Edition with 2016 MLA update by Hacker and Sommers

  3. digital back-up source: USB key / memory stick / jump drive

  4. ear buds or headphones

Required Course Materials

Grading Policy.  All requirements will be assigned a letter grade based upon the following points.  You are eligible for 1000 points for this course:

Course Requirements and Methods of Evaluation

Grading scale. Grades will be assigned according to the scale indicated in the College catalog:

Reading Quizzes

Library Assignment

Diagnostic Essay

Strategy Paper

Rhetorical Analysis

Single Source Analysis

Reflection Essay & Portfolio

100 pts

150 pts

100 pts

150 pts

150 pts

150 pts

200 pts











A grade of “A” or “A-“ represents excellence, extraordinary achievement











Reading Quizzes.  In all first-year composition courses, reading quizzes will be assigned.  Reading quizzes are not assigned to “catch” students at not doing the assigned reading; quizzes are assigned to prompt reading the assigned texts closely and to help students focus their thoughts on the ideas presented by the authors before the readings are discussed in class.  By asking students to sort through the themes and ideas in a reading as multiple choice quizzes are structured, they will find it helps to create a comprehensive understanding of a text.

If the student is registered with the Academic Success Center:

  1. They have the option to take reading quizzes at the ASC in Regina Hall.  The ASC will have all reading quizzes on file.  As quizzes will be reviewed in class, ASC students should arrange to take their reading quiz within 24 hours before a scheduled reading quiz. 

For students who miss a reading quiz due to a school-sponsored event: 

  1. They should notify the Instructor throughout the semester when they are going to miss a class due to a school-sponsored event.  It is the student’s responsibility to arrange an appointment for a Test Proctor at Dwyer Learning center at dwyer@ndc.edu.  There are no drop-in hours for Text Proctoring.  Students must make the appointment 24 hours in advance of the time they wish to take the quiz.  Students have within 24 hours of a scheduled reading quiz to take the quiz at Dwyer. 

For students who miss a reading quiz due to an illness excused by a doctor’s note: 

  1. Students will need to arrange a time with the Instructor to make up a missed reading quiz.  Only with an absence excused by a doctor’s note should a make-up reading quiz be scheduled.

Participation & Preparation.  Not only is it important for students to be present in class, it is also crucial that they have a voice in discussions, group work, and in-class writing.  Active, engaged participation is therefore required.  Students should come to class prepared to participate every day.  This means completing all reading and writing assignments, as well as being prepared to discuss what they’ve learned, observed, loved, and even hated.  Know that the Instructor may have a tendency to call on people at random to get a sense of what is on everyone’s mind.  This is not done to make anyone feel awkward or uncomfortable—they do it because some people tend to talk more in class, some less.  Being quiet in class does not necessarily mean students are unprepared.  By calling on people, a space is created in which all students can engage with one another equally and openly.  This classroom is a safe haven for all ideas.  This means that everyone, including the Instructor, will respect each other as equal participants in learning.

The first element of the drafting process is a Peer Draft that will have gone through a peer response process.  Students should be prepared to exchange drafts with their assigned peers, a full working draft on the due date listed in the Weekly Schedule for each assignment; having only notes, or only an outline is not acceptable and will lower the assignment grade by a full letter grade.  Students will receive credit for not only having a proper draft for peer response but also for the response given to each assigned peer(s).  Should students miss class the day peer response is scheduled, they are still required to take part in the peer response process.

The Drafting Process

The second element is an Instructor’s Draft which is a revised draft based on the comments offered by peers and continued class discussions and exercises.  This draft will be returned with a grade and suggestions for revision should students care to take advantage of the revision option for this draft.

The third or Revised Draft is an optional draft based on Instructor feedback.  Students have the option of revising any Instructor’s Draft with a grade of B or lower if they feel they would like to revise for more feedback on their writing or for a grade change.  While all Revised Drafts are due with the Portfolio Assignments at the end of the semester, students are welcome to submit a revision at any point during the semester.

  1. All assignments are due at the start of class unless otherwise indicated.

  2. Students should not compose drafts or exercises on a smartphone.  While cell phone technology has come a long way, smartphones are not reliable enough for drafting entire papers; software developed for the smartphone platform is not designed to work well with lengthy prose or file saving.  It is a guarantee that any assignment or exercise drafted on a smartphone will be lost at some point during the term.  While tablets are a bit better, the safest form of drafting is to compose all assignments and exercises on a computer or laptop.

  3. All drafts are to be formatted in with 1” margins all around, double-spaced, and using an academic or professional font such as Times or Times New Roman, 12pt. unless otherwise specified.  (Students should make sure to check this information in whatever word processing program is used as Microsoft Word and Pages for Mac often defaults to 1.5” margins.) 

  4. A page of text must fill at least 3/4 of the page to be considered a full page.

The Drafting Process

When submitting drafts digitally:

  1. All digital files for this class must be exchanged using NDC email addresses.

  2. When submitting a draft for either peers or the Instructor, a draft must be sent as an email attachment.  Drafts emailed through the MicroSoft OneDrive do not properly convert 9 out of 10 times.  Students are responsible for submitting drafts properly and emailing a draft as an attachment is the best way to ensure this happens.

  3. All files must be saved as a .docx file (in Microsoft Word).  If Pages for Mac is being used to draft any writing, the file must be exported to Microsoft Word before submitting a draft for either peers or the Instructor.  Students are responsible for making sure peers and the Instructor can open a submitted draft.  If a draft cannot be opened, it will be counted as late (see the Late Assignments policy).

  4. When emailing a draft or exercise, plan to list the name of the assignment in the email subject line. 

For learning this semester, participants in this course will be utilizing the digital technologies that are available on the NDC campus.  It is advisable that each student save all work and back up all files often on a digital back-up source.  As technology is not always 100% reliable, having a copy of a completed assignment will save the risk of receiving an F on an assignment that is not handed in on time due to technological errors.  The Late Policy will not be changed due to problems with lost digital files; get into the habit of backing up all digital files.  For this class, each student should frequently check their NDC email account, as they will be notified of any important class changes through their NDC email address.

The DIgital Classroom

Course Moodle Site. While the course website will be where you will find all of the information for this course, I will activate our course Moodle site so that we may access group class emails, if needed.  You have been automatically added to Moodle.  I will be using Moodle to update the class on any assignment changes or late-breaking news; if you have not activated your Notre Dame email, please do so as it is the only email account that can be used through Moodle.

EN100: College Composition I

Professor:  Dr. Michele Polak    Office:  200 Library

email:  mpolak@ndc.edu    Office Hours:  Tues, Thur: 10:00a-2:00p

Section C 12-12:50p, M/W/F 

211 Admin Building

Section E 1:20-2:10p, M/W/F 126 Regina

Section F 2:30-3:20p, M/W/F 126 Regina