The Composition Program Handbook - SUNY New Paltz

Robert Singleton, Adjunct Instructor, English Department ..... An in-class timed essay 5%; Quizzes and informal writing exercises 10%; Reader-response journal  ...

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The Composition Program Handbook 2011-2012 Editors: Rachel E. Rigolino, Joann K. Deiudicibus, Matt Newcomb
Copy Editor: Joann K. Deiudicibus
Revised and Designed July 2011: Joann K. Deiudicibus Copyright © 2011-2012 Department of English, SUNY New Paltz
Associate Professor of English, Chair Nancy Johnson
Associate Professor of English, Deputy Chair Matt Newcomb
Assistant Professor of English; Coordinator, Composition Program Rachel E. Rigolino
Lecturer; Coordinator, SWW Composition Program Joann K. Deiudicibus
Staff Assistant, Composition Program Special thanks to our inspiring colleague Pauline Uchmanowicz,
Associate Professor of English; Coordinator, Composition
Program, 2006-2010
Previous editions of The Composition Handbook are a compilation of various
booklets and handouts that were created by faculty and by staff at SUNY New
Paltz. The editors would like to acknowledge especially the work of the
following members of the New Paltz community:
Pam Atkins, Director of the Psychological Counseling Center
Victoria Ann Blythe, former Adjunct Instructor, English Department
Pamela K. Bonsu, Assistant Director, Educational Opportunity Program
John Burdick, Adjunct Instructor, English Department
Arthur Cash, Professor Emeritus, English Department
Lisa Chase, Director, Educational Opportunity Program
Lynne Crockett, former Lecturer, English Department
David Eckbold, former Student, Composition I
Mary Fakler, Instructor, English Department
Marie Gabriel, Secretary Emeritus, English Department
Sarah Gardner, former Coordinator, Writing and Tutoring Center
Tom Impola, former Adjunct Instructor, English Department
Sharon Kahn, former Adjunct Instructor, English Department
Richard Kelder, Curriculum Coordinator, CADL
Beverly Lavergneau, former Director, Special Student Programs
Alice Matzdorf, former Counselor, Special Student Programs
Rosa Lou Novi, former Instructor, English Department
F.X. Paz, Associate Professor Emeritus, English Department
Joan E. Perisse, Adjunct Instructor, English Department
Rachel E. Rigolino, Lecturer, English Department
Jan Zlotnik Schmidt, Distinguished Professor, English
Bruce Sillner, former Coordinator, Haggerty Institute
Robert Singleton, Adjunct Instructor, English Department
Karen Soll, former Adjunct Instructor, English Department
H.R. Stoneback, Distinguished Professor, English Department
Lyn Thoman, former Staff Assistant, Composition Program
Pauline Uchmanowicz, Associate Professor, English Department;
former Coordinator, Composition Program
Robert Waugh, Professor Emeritus, English Department
Ethel Wesdorp, Secretary, English Department
Margaret C. Winters, former Teaching Assistant, Department of English;
Editor 1993 and 1994 editions Fan Lan Ying, former Coordinator, Haggerty
Institute, English as a Second Language Program Composition Program Handbook
Table of Contents
At-A-Glance Top-10 List: Composition Program Policies
At-A-Glance Top-10 List: Transfer and Accreditation Part One: The Essentials
Curricular Objectives of the Composition Program 7
Composition Program Overview 8
Composition I 10
Composition II 13
Composition I and II Supplemental Writing Workshop and ESL/SWW 14
General Honors English I and II 15
Academic Integrity 17
Common Summer Reading 18 Part Two: Writing and Revising Effectively
Effective Writing: The Composing Process 21
Characteristics of Effective Writing 23
Checklist for Revision and Evaluation of Essays 24
The Ten Most Troublesome Grammar Errors 25
Preparing the Final Copy of Your Essay 27 Part Three: Support Services
Educational Opportunity Program 30
Center for Academic Development and Learning 30
Haggerty Institute-English as a Second Language Program 31
Office of Special Student Programs for Learning Disabled Students 32
The Psychological Counseling Center 32 Appendix: Placement and Proficiency Testing; GE III Assessment Placement and Proficiency Testing Introduction 35
Sample Composition and Critical Thinking Placement Exam 39
Sample First-Year Composition Placement Exam Essays 42
SUNY New Paltz Portfolio Assessment Rubric 47
GE III Assessment: Basic Communication and Effective Expression 49
Composing texts involves complicated processes of analyzing a
situation, thinking critically about options, and stylistically
creating and revising material in the proper format. Because of the
importance and complexity of writing for academic, business, and
personal settings, SUNY New Paltz requires two distinct writing
courses that ALL students must complete-
Composition I (ENG 160) and Composition II (ENG 180) or its course
equivalent Honors English II (ENG 206). Students placed into
Composition I upon matriculation at SUNY - New Paltz must begin the
course sequence in their first semester, and complete all required
Composition courses within their first year. Students placed into
Composition II or Honors English II must complete the course within
the first year of matriculation at SUNY New Paltz. The first course
teaches more general stylistic, mechanical, rhetorical, and analytical
skills while the second teaches more advanced argument and research
skills. Students eligible for Honors English II are interested in
literature and writing. Please use this guide to be sure you meet your Composition I and II
1. Composition I and Composition II are taken in a two-semester sequence
upon matriculation to complete the General Education III (GEIII)
requirement. If, FOR ANY REASON, the Composition courses are taken out
of sequence, this does not provide exemption status for Composition I.
Both courses cover specific writing techniques and skills and are not
redundant syllabi. CLEP scores must be received before the student
matriculates; AP and IB scores must be received within the first week
of classes of the semester that the student matriculates.
2. No student may take more than one Composition course at a time to
satisfy the Composition requirement.
3. No student may withdraw from Composition for any reason.
4. Attending the library session as assigned is mandatory to comply with
the GEIII Information Literacy Component for Composition I and II. If
a student is absent from the library session, he or she must make
arrangements to make up the session.
5. Any student with a disability should notify his or her instructor as
early in the semester as possible so proper arrangements can be made
to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
6. An attendance requirement is in effect in all Composition courses: in
a course which meets twice per week the total absences allowed for any
reason are three; in a course which meets three times per week, the
total absences allowed are five. Three latenesses constitute an
7. A student must prepare and submit a passing portfolio at the end of
Composition I in order to move on to Composition II. A student who has
exceeded the number of absences permitted, who has not completed all
the work required, or who has not earned a passing grade (D or better)
prior to the final exam may not submit a portfolio.
8. Some students with weak writing skills may need more than one semester
to pass Composition I or II. If a student fails Composition I or II
because his or her writing is too weak to pass (but is not failing due
to excessive absence or inability to complete at least 60% of the
assignments) a Repeat ("R") grade may be granted. An "R" grade will
not affect a student's cumulative average, jeopardize tenure at the
college, or endanger financial aid. An "R" grade requires the student
to repeat the course the following semester. The student then is
assigned the grade earned in the repeated class.
9. In some cases, students who submit Composition I portfolios will be
given a provisional pass. This grade means that the student must
immediately enroll in a Composition II Supplemental Writing Workshop
(SWW). If a student elects NOT to enroll in an SWW section of
Composition II, the student will receive an "R" and must repeat
Composition I. Conversely, those students who demonstrate particularly