Hostos Community College

ENG 110

Fall 2019

Professor Krystyna Michael                                                                                                      Office B520                                             Office Hours: W 1-3 pm or by appointment

Course Description

English 110, a foundational writing course, is designed to strengthen students’ composing skills so that they will produce increasingly complex and better-structured essays.  Reading and responding to interdisciplinary texts representing various rhetorical modes, students will practice paraphrasing and summarizing these texts, enrich their vocabulary, and improve their writing, revision, and proofreading skills.  Additionally, students will be introduced to the use of print and on-line secondary sources.  Upon completion of this course, students will be able to respond critically, in writing, to a variety or texts, integrating their own ideas with those presented in the readings.

Section Description

In this course, we will be reading and writing about the experience of living in New York City. We will look at how people make themselves imaginatively and physically at home in the urban landscape, and will examine a series of alternative maps of New York City as efforts to reflect, shape, and manage the experience of city life. Students will collaborate on study guides for two theoretical texts, practice close reading in an in-class essay, investigate two different approaches to mapping in a summary and evaluation essay, construct an argument about a map in an in-class midterm essay, and, in our final essay, a “digital essay” that will incorporate independent research, students will create their own alternative map and accompanying justification.

Student Learning Objectives

In this course, students will

  • read and listen critically and analytically, including identifying an argument’s major assumptions and assertions and evaluating its supporting evidence,
  • write clearly and coherently in varied, academic formats (such as formal essays, research papers, and reports) using standard English and appropriate technology to critique and improves one’s own and other’s texts,
  • demonstrate research skills using appropriate technology, including gathering, evaluating, and synthesizing primary and secondary sources,
  • support a thesis with well-reasoned arguments, and communicate persuasively across a variety of contexts, purpose, audiences, and media,
  • formulate original ideas and relate them to the ideas of others by employing the conventions of ethical attribution and citation.

Course Texts

Solnit, Rebecca ed. Nonstop Metropolis: A New York City Atlas. Berkley, California: University of California Press. 2016. Print. (ISBN 0520285956) Listed online price: $22.21.

Birkenstein, Cathy, et. al. They Say, I say, Fourth Edition. New York, New York: W.W. Norton & Company. 2018. Print. (ISBN 0393631672) Listed online price: $24.39.

Course texts are not available at the Hostos bookstore; I recommend buying them from Amazon, as they are cheapest there.

Required Course Materials

  • Digital accounts and services
    • Access to and knowledge of how to use Google Docs (creating a Gmail account is free).
    • Access to the CUNY Academic Commons, where our course website will live. I will post readings and assignments there, and I will use the Commons to send out group emails with reminders, updates, and any emergency information, such as if class has to be cancelled at the last minute.
    • Access to Blackboard, where you will submit your work
    • An official Hostos student email account. I strongly prefer that you use this email address to communicate with me.
  • A daily planner to record what’s due when during the semester. You can use your phone for this, and I recommend you use the planner to organize your work for all your classes and work/activities outside of school.
  • A dedicated notebook and folder or binder for the course.
  • A way of backing up your work. I recommend using a USB flash drive as well as free online storage software like Google Drive or Dropbox. Additionally, emailing your work to yourself frequently is a good way to keep track of drafts. A lost file is not an excuse for a missing paper in my courses, so save and backup your work often!
  • Activate your Hostos library card by going to the library and, right inside on the left, having the attendant scan your card. You need to do this each semester. This way you can take out books and can also use the Hostos Library resources from home. You can also borrow a laptop from the library to take home for a week at a time!

Final Course Grade Breakdown

Assignment Title Length Points Earned Points Possible
Campus Scavenger Hunt Assignment 1 page 50
Essay #1: In Class Close Reading 2 pages 100
Essay #2: Summary and Evaluation 2 pages 100
Essay #3: In Class Midterm—Making an Argument 2 pages 150
Essay #4: Research-Based Digital Essay 5 pages 200
Final Exam 2 pages 150
Contributions to Study Guides 100
Daily In Class Low Stakes Writing and Quizzes 50
Participation & Preparedness 100
TOTAL: 1,000

*NOTE: To determine your current grade for the course at any time during the semester, add up the points you’ve earned and divide by the total number of points possible thus far.

Hostos Standard Grading Scale

A: 93-100        C+: 77-79

A-: 90-92        C: 70-76

B+: 87-89        D: 60-69

B: 83-86          F: Below 60

B-: 80-82

*As final course grades, Hostos does not give C-, D+, or D- grades, but students may receive these grades on assignments during the semester.


Students must perform all work adequately and in a timely manner in order to receive a passing grade. Each student will be given equal consideration, regardless of need, personal situation, GPA, program requirements, etc. Final grades are A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, D, F, WU, INC.

  • INC – Incomplete
    • This grade indicates that the objectives of a course have not been completed for good and sufficient reasons, and that there is reasonable expectation that the student can, in fact, successfully complete the requirements of the course. For an instructor to grant INC, the student must have met the instructor’s attendance requirements in the course, completed most of the coursework and have a passing semester average. If this not the case, the student should receive the grade of F.  An INC should not be given to a student for excessive absences.
  • WU – Withdrawal Unofficial
    • This grade is given due to excessive absences signifying that the course was not completed, but the student attended at least one session. (F).]

Failing, Getting Ds, and Withdrawing from Courses

If IN DOUBT ABOUT WHAT TO DO, please go to your academic advisor, Student Success Coach, or ASAP Advisor if applicable. Sometimes the consequences of failing a class or getting a “D” or withdrawing (W grades) can mean that you lose your financial aid.

  • ­Getting an “F” in a course:
    • An “F” is a failing grade.
    • If you get an “F” in a course at Hostos, you can retake that course and eventually your new grade will replace the “F” on your transcript. So sometimes getting an “F” can, in the long-term, be better than getting a “D.”
    • You can lose your financial aid if you fail too many courses.
  • Getting a “D” in a course:
  • Withdrawing from courses:
    • If you are in danger of getting a “D” or an “F,” and you don’t want to, here are the dates at which you can withdraw from a course. Please note, the later you wait, the less tuition you will get refunded to you.
    • If you just stop coming to class, but you do not withdraw, instructors are forced to give you a “WU.” This counts like an “F” toward your GPA. This is as bad as an “F”.

Writing Requirements

All writing assignments, including rough drafts brought to class, must be typed/word-processed and double-spaced, with a font size of 12; margins should be of normal size. The student’s name, the date, the title of the assignment, and my name must be at the top of the first page; a cover sheet is not necessary.

Late Work Policy

Generally, I will not accept late work from students other than in the event of an emergency. Late work will be downgraded one full letter grade per class day. In special circumstances, I will grant an extension. In order to get an extension, you must contact me well in advance of the due date. No retro-active extensions will be granted.

Revision Policy

Students may choose to revise any piece of formal writing during the semester to submit for a brand-new grade. I repeat: a brand-new grade! Revision is optional, but highly recommended.

Here’s the “catch”: Revisions must be turned in within 2 weeks after the graded assignment is handed back to students. Revisions must be significant; you cannot just change a couple comma errors and get a higher grade. You must bring your essay to the Writing Center for feedback as part of the revision process. When turning in a revision, hand in both the original graded essay and the new revised essay, both in printed HARD COPY. On the revision, highlight or underline all the changes you’ve made.

Informal Writing Assignments

Informal writing assignments are graded much less strictly than are formal writing assignments. When grading an informal writing assignment, I am primarily looking for two things: completion and effort. This doesn’t mean that they should be sloppy; rather, you should put your best effort forward and attempt to present and organize your thoughts as logically as you can. With informal assignments, however, I don’t pay as close of attention to things like spelling, grammar, punctuation, mechanics, etc. I’m more interested in seeing that students have followed instructions, met the length requirement, turned the assignment in on time, and have demonstrated real thought and effort.

We will also do lots of informal writing in class, most of which will not be collected but will be designed to get you thinking and get into the habit of writing every day.

Communication Policy

The best way to communicate with me is via email, at the address listed on the first page of the syllabus. I check email many times a day and will always respond to a student within 24 hours, usually less. However, on weekends I generally do not check email until Sunday evening, so try to email me during the week. Of course, you can also visit me in person during office hours or schedule a meeting outside of my office hours via email.

Extra Credit

There is only one way for students to earn extra credit in this course: attending any kind of event or activity on campus or an activity or event in the city related to class material, and writing up a 300 word response to it as a blog post on our course blog. The response should summarize what the event was, and then you should respond to the event. What was your reaction to it? What did you learn? Etc.

Academic Dishonesty

Students are responsible for understanding and following the college policies on academic integrity, including cheating and plagiarism, in the Hostos College catalog or on the college web site.  Cheating and plagiarism constitute academic dishonesty.  Any student found to have been academically dishonest will automatically fail that assignment with no option to make up that assignment. The office of student integrity will be notified, and the student will face the possibility of failing the course and being expelled.

***In other words, do all of your own work and submit only things that are your work!***

Plagiarism is the act of presenting another person’s ideas, research or writings as your own. The following are some examples of plagiarism, but by no means is it an exhaustive list:

  • Copying another person’s actual words without the use of quotation marks and footnotes attributing the words to their source.
  • Presenting another person’s ideas or theories in your own words without acknowledging the source.
  • Using information that is not common knowledge without acknowledging the source.
  • Failing to acknowledge collaborators on homework and laboratory assignments.
  • Internet Plagiarism includes submitting downloaded term papers or parts of term papers, paraphrasing or copying information from the internet without citing the source, and “cutting & pasting” from various sources without proper attribution.

–  Adapted with permission from Baruch College. A Faculty Guide to Student Academic Integrity.

Classroom Policies

  • Stay off cell phones during class. Put them on silent and put them away, off your desk. If you need to use them to look something up, please ask permission first. Students who are on their cell phones in class may be marked absent for the day. Sometimes we will use them in class together for this purpose, as they are an incredibly valuable tool!
  • Laptops or iPads/tablets are permitted for students who prefer working this way.
  • Please arrive on time and have your music off as you enter the classroom.
  • Do not wear headphones during class.
  • Students are not permitted to eat during class, but may have drinks with lids.
  • Students may leave to use the restroom, get a drink of water, or stretch their legs as they wish without asking permission. Just do not create a disruption for the rest of the class. If you leave repeatedly, or for an extended period of time, you may be marked absent for the day.

Classroom Expectations

  • Students should come to class prepared, having done required readings and brought any required writing to class. Students should always have paper and a pen. Always bring the required book to class.
  • PARTICIPATION! This course is not, I repeat NOT, a lecture. This is a discussion-based class. The only way it will be successful—both educational and entertaining—is with everyone’s enthusiastic participation in class discussions, group activities, and presentations.
  • My classrooms are about creating a feeling of safety, community, camaraderie, and mutual respect. You’re all in this together, as I see it, and not competing against one another for grades. I’m here to try to help all of you succeed as writers, readers, thinkers, and college students in general. This whole thing is a team effort!
  • Therefore: racism, sexism, ableism, ageism, homophobia, transphobia, and all other forms of discrimination have no place in the classroom and will not be tolerated.


Students are expected to attend all class meetings in the courses for which they are registered. Classes begin at the times indicated in the official schedule of classes. Arrival in class after the scheduled starting time constitutes lateness. The maximum number of absences is limited to 15% of the number of scheduled class hours per semester, and a student absent more than the indicated 15% is deemed excessively absent. Attendance is monitored from the first official day of classes. In the case of excessive absences or lateness, the instructor has the right to lower the grade or assign a failing grade. Absences due to late registration, change of program, or extenuating circumstances, will be considered on an individual basis by the instructor. Absences and lateness are not an excuse for not turning in assignments and keeping up with the course work.

In this course, students are allowed a total of FOUR ABSENCES (this is equivalent to 15% of the total class meeting hours, as per Hostos policy).

I take attendance as soon as class begins each day. As long as you walk in before I’ve finished calling attendance, you will be marked present. If you walk in after I’ve finished calling attendance, you will be marked late. Please see me after class if you’re late to ensure that I’ve marked you down. In this class, being late 3 times will equal 1 absence for the course. Sometimes, in-class low-stakes writing or quizzes will serve as attendance for that day. These cannot be made up, so if you arrive after it’s finished, you are late, and you have missed a graded assignment.

*Note: I do not need to know why you are absent or late. Whether you had an emergency, or you just feel like taking a mental health day and lying in bed all day binging a TV show, every student is allowed 4 absences. I don’t need doctor’s notes or anything else regarding student absences.

Disability Support (Americans with Disabilities Act [ADA] Statement)

If you have a disability of any kind that requires accommodations, contact:

Accessibility Resource Center (ARC)

Savoy (D) Building

120 Walton Avenue, Room D-101L

Bronx, NY 10451

718-518-4454 (Voice/TTY)

In all your classes: If you are already registered with ARC and have a letter from them verifying that you are a qualified student with a disability, please present the letter to the instructor as soon as possible.  The instructor will work with you and ARC to plan and implement appropriate accommodations.

If you think you could benefit from accommodations provided by ARC, such as receiving extra time on exams or special help with assignments, Hostos has a great resource to help you assess what sort of support you might need. There is no risk and no cost associated with getting assessed by one of the staff members at the resource center. Here is what the ARC website says (

Here at the center we provide students with academic supports and accommodations. In addition to classroom and campus accommodations, students have the opportunity to use our private accessible computer lab, participate in workshops, and be trained in the use of assistive technologies. Registered ARC students are also provided with opportunities for personal and professional growth through participation in CUNY wide activities where they can build relationships and be introduced to job opportunities.

For your information (FYI):

  • Students who receive ARC services have higher graduation rates than those who don’t.
  • Students who receive ARC services get help with job placement.

The Hostos Writing Center

The Writing Center is located in Room C-596. The Writing Center provides free tutoring services to all Hostos students for any writing assignments they are working on, and at any stage of the writing process. I encourage students to visit the Writing Center with essay drafts and copies of the associated assignment sheet. Just walk in to set up an account and make an appointment. To learn more about the Writing Center, visit:

The Counseling Center

College life can be stressful and overwhelming for everyone, and I understand that personal issues can sometimes impact a student’s ability to perform to their fullest potential. The Counseling Center provides on-going personal and academic counseling for students on an individual and group basis. Counseling is provided in a private and supportive environment in which students may focus on academic and career issues, family problems, personal development concerns and other matters of importance to them. Visit the Counseling Center, C-330, (718)518-4319 | Email Address:

Hostos Single Stop USA Resource Center

If you are experiencing traumatic issues in your life such as hunger, homelessness, health problems, or family-related disturbances, you can go to Hostos Single Stop USA Resource Center (

On their website, they say:

Come to the Savoy Building (Building D, 1st floor intake), visit Madeline Cruz and ask to be screened today. Some of the free benefits screenings are: food stamps, Medicaid, housing, public assistance, social security, disability SSI, school lunch, transportation, mental health care, domestic violence services, foster-care placement, food vouchers, debt solution, credit report, financial planning, maintaining small business, free tax preparation, legal advice and much more.

Walk-ins are accepted. Appointments can be scheduled by calling our Single Stop USA Resource Center at (718) 319-7981.