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Course Planning

Nothing beats a good plan.  Actually, that’s not true.  Successful execution of a plan beats the plan itself.  The point, however, is to be as prepared as possible.  Here are some tools for plotting your English 101 and 102 courses.

Susan Moore’s Adjunct Faculty Resources –> Libguide

This is a repository of invaluable information ranging from writing syllabi to securing parking passes.

Outcomes / Competencies

The district’s official guidelines for First-Year Composition can be found here:

There are countless ways to approach these core competencies.

  • Concept Map for English 102 — This is a visual outline (using Popplet) of some of the major concepts/outcomes associated with English 102.


The syllabus acts as a legal document containing an explicit outline of course objectives, expectations/requirements, evaluation methods, and other information about the course.  The syllabus is an agreement between instructor and student about expectations: not just what is expected of the student, but what is expected of the instructor as well.  Consider covering the following in your syllabus:

Helpful Tip: Include at the top of your syllabus a disclaimer that reserves your right as the instructor to change syllabus content at any time.  For example: “The following syllabus is a guideline for English 101 and is subject to change at the discretion of the instructor.”

  • Vital Information: The course name, section number, meeting times and places, instructor name and contact information, and office hours and location.  

Helpful Tip: Include a description of how and when you can best be (prefer to be) reached via email or phone.  This is good information for the students and can serve as a backup in case a student complains that you’re not responding promptly to emails sent at four a.m. on a Sunday morning.

  • Course Summary and Learning Objectives/Outcomes: Describe the purpose and methods of the course, how its content may be relevant to the students, and whatever other general information you feel may be valuable.

Helpful Tip: Include a statement describing the college’s WOVeN model of general education objectives, such as: “General Education enhances students’ abilities in critically analyzing and effectively communicating in Written, Oral, Visual, and Numerical form. General Education is WOVeN through the curriculum and co-­‐curricular experiences at Scottsdale Community College.”

  • Tools and Resources: Inform your students about what they’ll need in order to succeed in class, including required/optional texts, IT tools (such as Canvas or Turnitin.com), pen/paper, etc.  This is a great place to list some of the resources provided by the college, such as MySCC, Student Information System, the Writing Center, the Library: whatever you recommend for student success.
  • Evaluation/Grade Policy: Outline the main grade factors, such as major assignments and exams, and explain what other categories of class activity are involved in the grade as well (e.g. participation points or in-class writing).  Also include an explanation of when and how grades will be calculated and posted.

Helpful Tip: Be sure to clearly state any special requirements for assignment submissions.  For example, if your policy is that all essays will not be considered for credit if they are not submitted on time to Turnitin.com, and it says so in the syllabus, then a student has no right to complain if they receive no credit for not turning it on time.

  • Plagiarism Policy: While academic dishonesty/plagiarism is clearly unacceptable, there is no official department policy regarding how it should be dealt with.  Describe your own attitude toward plagiarism and clearly outline how you will respond should the need arise.  Mitigate your language by using phrases like “may fail” instead of “will fail” in order to maintain full control in any event.  Here is an example of sample language that you may use if it suits you:

“Plagiarism is the act of using another person’s ideas or words (phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or essays) and presenting them as one’s own. Even when one paraphrases material, he or she must still give credit to the source. Some (but not all) of the instances which constitute plagiarism are listed below:                                                                                                                                                                                                   1. Borrowing from an anonymous author and signing one’s own name
2. Copying from another student’s paper
3. Taking a paragraph from another source and enlarging on it to write an essay without properly indicating the source
4. Presenting an idea or language which is not original and not properly indicating the source (published or unpublished material)
5. Buying a professionally prepared paper and turning it in as one’s own
6. Having another student do one’s paper for him/her
7. Directly quoting material or statistics, dates, etc. and omitting the quotation marks with or without including the source of the material.

Since all students on the college level, especially ENG 101 and ENG 102, are supposed to have reading and comprehension skills adequate for understanding the above definition and for fulfilling the requirements of these courses, instructors believe that plagiarism is intolerable; consequently, the student may receive an F in the course for plagiarism. A letter may also be sent to the Dean of Students advising him/her of this action. We will be working throughout the semester on methods of research and composition that will help to avoid inadvertent plagiarism.”

  • Code of Civility: Instructors are encouraged to include the following comments about classroom behavior (or something comparable) in their syllabi:

“Instructors are expected to be professional, courteous, respectful and empathic to students. They will: Begin and end class on time Be prepared for each class session Provide academic feedback and grade assignments in a timely manner Be available for individual consultation Clarify assignments and inform students of any adjustments to the class schedule. Students are expected to be reflective, courteous, respectful and emphatic to classmates, instructor, and other college staff assisting in their learning. Students are expected to arrive on time for class and remain until class has ended. The instructor should be notified in advance if there is a need to leave early. Students will be expected to: Silence mobile electronic devices before entering classroom Be in class and be on time Be prepared for class sessions Participate in class activities Follow instructions and complete assignments Keep up with and turn in assignments by due dates Put forth their best efforts Exchange phone numbers with two classmates in order to keep current Ask questions when they don’t understand Maintain knowledge of their grade status Contact instructor right away about concerns or situations that interfere with their success in class Comply with policies found in the SCC Catalog and SCC Student Handbook.

 Students that behave in such a way in class as to distract their peers and/or deter a better comprehension of the material may ultimately be withdrawn from the course. We have to work together to get through what can sometimes seem like difficult or dry material (although it is only slightly difficult and not really very boring), and any dissatisfaction with the material or topic should be addressed directly to the professor.

Everyone in this class, including the instructor, must adhere to the policy of the Maricopa Community College District which states: “The policy of the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) is to provide an educational, employment, and business environment free of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal and/or physical conduct or communications constituting sexual harassment as defined and otherwise prohibited by state and federal law.” For additional information, please check SCC’s General Catalog & Student Handbook.”

  • College Resources: It never hurts to include a list of campus resources such as
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