ENGLISH 101 SYLLABUS TEMPLATE—updated August 2013

[The format of the information below is up to you.  You may rearrange content to fit your needs.  Please design the syllabus to accommodate your sense of good design.  This template contains what you must include, as well as some additional materials.]




ENGL 101.0X: Introductory Writing 3 credits [WRTG] [W]

Class Time: Day/Time                                                                                         

Class Location: Room #

Instructor:  Your Name

Office: Avery XXX

Phone: 335-XXXX (if available)

Email: Your WSU email

Office Hours: (minimum of 2/week)


Catalog Description [Required: verbatim]

Prereq writing placement exam or Engl 100. Designed to develop students' academic writing, critical thinking, rhetorical strategies, reading and library skills. Credit not granted for more than one: Engl 101, 105, and 198.


Course Description [Required: write your own description of what students will learn in your course. A sample has been provided from past syllabi. Yours might be more specific and engaging although your description must still emphasize the research writing focus of the course.]

This course will introduce you to the conventions of academic and research-based writing.  My goal as your teacher is to help each of you to understand your place as a writer and critical reader of research-based texts, as well as develop an awareness of your own writing process.  The class readings, group work, and writing exercises are all designed to help you develop the skills necessary to create strong research-based arguments.


Required Texts [Required]

The Academic Writer (2nd Ed.) by Lisa Ede

e-Portfolio (packaged with The Academic Writer or purchased separately)



Course Goals [Required: verbatim]

By the end of ENGLISH 101 students will


Portfolio [Required: describe the portfolio and all major writing assignments and additional graded categories; use your own language. Sample below.]

All ENGL 101 courses are portfolio-based.  The portfolio is the primary means for evaluating student work in the composition program at WSU because it honors both the processes and products of writing. Your portfolio will consist of a significantly revised cover letter, final research project, and two of your three shorter projects.  It must include at least 22 pages of revised work (any draft after the first) and demonstrate writing from sources.  Drafts of your cover letter count as revised work.


You will receive extensive feedback on your writing from both your peers and your instructor, but you will not receive grades on the drafts of your portfolio projects.  Every composition course at WSU uses this method of postponed grading in order to ensure that the focus of the course is on your writing.  After I return the draft with my comments, you have the rest of the semester to revise your projects before submitting them for the portfolio.  The portfolio will be evaluated holistically at the end of the semester, and may be reviewed by other readers.  You must turn in every project in order to pass the course.  Each late draft will lower your final grade by 5%.  Save All Drafts!!  101 Policy states that I can refuse to accept a project for which you have no preliminary drafts.


Portfolio Evaluation Criteria [Required: verbatim]

All students in ENGL 101 will be assessed on the following criteria:

Indicates which of the Seven Learning Goals of the Baccalaureate are met by ENGL 101.


Writing Assignments [Required: use your own language here and include at least a listing of the major writing projects; a minimum of four projects is expected. Sample below.]

Research Project 1: Title and Description

Research Project 2: Title and Description

Research Project 3: Title and Description

Research Project 4: Title and Description

                Any other projects/assignments


Grade Distribution  [Required: you must have some grade distribution policy included in your syllabus; below are possible distributions based on the Portfolio requirement. The Portfolio is required and must be at least 50% of the course grade. ]    

Sample A

50%                  Portfolio             

20%                  In-class Writing and other in-class activities

10%                  Mini-portfolios

10%                  Annotated Bibliography

10%                  Final Presentation

Sample B:

65%                  Portfolio

15%                  Group Annotated Bibliography

10%                  Conference Proposal and Presentation

10%                  In-class work and Participation

Sample C:

60%                  Portfolio

20%                  Online writing assignments (blogs, forums, etc.)

10%                  Class Participation (Peer Reviews, written Revision Plans, Early Drafts)

10%                  Weekly Source Reports

Sample D:

75%                  Writing Portfolio

15%                  Attendance and Participation   

10%                  Writing Journal



Grading Scale [Strongly suggested: based on percentages; may be translated into point scale.]

94-100%                                              A

90-93%                                                A-

87-89%                                                B+

84-86%                                                B

80-83%                                                B-

77-79%                                                C+

74-76%                                                C

70-73%                                                C-

67-69%                                                D+

64-66%                                                D

0-63%                                                  F


WSU Grading Standards [Optional: since the below is a WSU standard, it might be good to include it in your syllabus. Also note that WSU has a multi-tiered grade system.]

The grading for ENGL 101 follows WSU standards:

A: Outstanding achievement-awarded only for the highest accomplishment

B: Praiseworthy performance-above average in most respects

C: Satisfactory performance-work meets the standards for competency

D: Minimally passing-effort and achievement less than satisfactory.


Midterm Grades [Required: verbatim. This is official Composition Program policy.  It must be in your syllabus so that students are clear on how midterm grades work.]

Due to the nature of the portfolio system, which emphasizes process over product, students who are making satisfactory progress in the class (i.e., turning in assignments on time, meeting basic assignment requirements, attending class regularly, etc.) will receive a midterm grade of “X,” which indicates that coursework is in progress. Students who are not making satisfactory progress will receive a grade of C- or below as a warning and are strongly encouraged to meet with their instructor.   Students who belong to an organization that requires proof of satisfactory progress (not a grade) in writing may request that their instructor sign a Progress Report Form.


Project Submission Guidelines [Required: you must include a section on whether or not you will accept late work and what penalties, if any, you will assess for late work.  Also articulate how you prefer projects to be turned in. Make sure this is a policy that you are willing and able to enforce. ]


English 101 Attendance Policy [Required: verbatim]

Because of the collaborative nature of the course and the intensive in-class work required, regular attendance is crucial for student success. Roll will be taken daily. A maximum of four (4) absences are allowed during the semester for T/Th classes (and a maximum of six (6) absences for MWF classes). Students will fail the class upon the 5th absence for a T/Th class (or upon the 7th absence for a MWF class). All absences, including University Excused Absences, count toward the total number of absences. In English 101, as in any of your classes, if serious illness or emergencies prevent you from attending class, you should contact the Dean of Students.


Make-Up Work [Required: Include a policy for making up in-class work. If you choose not to allow makeup of in-class work, we will support that policy, although note that the University asks (not requires) that make-up work be allowed for University-sponsored absences and extreme illnesses—see Academic Regulation Rule 73 for more information.]


Academic Integrity [Required: verbatim. The CWPA statement gives the policy disciplinary credibility; the WSU policy is Washington State Code.]

The Council of Writing Program Administrators (CWPA) states that “In an instructional setting, plagiarism occurs when a writer deliberately uses someone else’s language, ideas, or other original (not common-knowledge) material without acknowledg­ing its source.” The WSU Academic Honesty Policy  (based on State of Washington Code) expands the CWPA definition of plagiarism as well as explaining other categories of academic misconduct. As a WSU student, you are bound by these policies and are responsible for being aware of and abiding by them.  Students who commit intentional acts of plagiarism will be reported to the Assistant Director of Composition and the Office of the Dean of Students and will fail the class.


[During your first week of class, it would be good to include a discussion of this policy as well as a review of the WSU Plagiarism Information Site.  Review of these policies and sites is a great opportunity for a first, small assignment as the policies and other materials require some critical reading skills.]


Reasonable Accommodation [Required: verbatim]

Students with Disabilities: Reasonable accommodations are available for students with a documented disability. If you have a disability and need accommodations to fully participate in this class, please either visit or call the Access Center (Washington Building 217; 509-335-3417) to schedule an appointment with an Access Advisor. All accommodations MUST be approved through the Access Center.


WSU Safety Statement [Required: verbatim]

Washington State University is committed to maintaining a safe environment for its faculty, staff, and students. Safety is the responsibility of every member of the campus community and individuals should know the appropriate actions to take when an emergency arises. In support of our commitment to the safety of the campus community the University has developed a Campus Safety Plan, http://safetyplan.wsu.edu. It is highly recommended that you visit this web site as well as the University emergency management web site at http://oem.wsu.edu/ to become familiar with the information provided.


Personal Communication Devices/Laptops [Optional: Instructors may include a policy on the use of cell phones and laptops in their ENGL 101 courses. The policy that follows is a possibility, but your policy might be worded differently. Just make sure the policy (if you have one) is something reasonable and that you’re willing to enforce.]


Personal Communication Devices [Sample]

In order to ensure a productive learning environment, you are required to turn off or set your personal communication device to silent contact during class time. Use of cell phones, pagers, PDAs, or similar communication device is not allowed during classes unless such use supports class activities. Exceptions to this policy may be considered upon request.


Laptops [Sample]

Laptops may be used in class but only for class-related activities (e.g., taking notes, completing in-class or group writing assignments). If it becomes apparent you are using the computer for non-class activities (checking your email, playing games, Facebooking, etc.) then you will be asked to turn off your computer and refrain from bringing it into class in the future.


Additional Resources [Required: verbatim]


Avery Microcomputer Lab (AML)

All ENGL 101 students have access to the services and facilities of the AML (Avery 101, 103, & 105), including free printing.


Writing Center

Students are encouraged to visit the Writing Center, which provides free, walk-in peer tutoring service.  The Writing Center is located in CUE 403. The ENGL 101 program strongly encourages use of the face-to-face Writing Center. Online tutoring is available through eTutoring.


ENGL 102

A one-credit writing workshop.  Beginning the 3rd week of classes, students and a facilitator meet in small groups once a week to revise projects for ENGL 101 or any other course.  Contact Writing Programs for more information. You can sign up for the class on zzusis.


Course Calendar [Required: your course calendar must include a week-by-week description of due dates for readings, major assignments, and other course activities.  Please refer to the WSU Academic Calendar when designing your schedule.  Also, be sure to schedule your AML Orientation and Orientation to the Libraries. Course calendars are subject to change, but should provide enough guidance for both you and the students to prepare for your semester. For examples of Course Calendars, contact the DOC or ADOC.]