Syllabus for ENC-102



English Composition II is essentially a course about three aspects of one process: writing an effective research paper. To successfully write such a paper, a student must know how to gather the needed information, organize the information and write in clear prose, and formally document sources in an appropriate format.


After completing this course, you should be able to:  

  1. Demonstrate the ability to use appropriate library and Internet resources when researching a topic.
  2. Effectively compose a short research proposal.
  3. Compile an annotated working bibliography and a complete bibliography in correct MLA or APA format.
  4. Demonstrate the ability to write a formal topic or sentence outline.
  5. Formulate a thesis for an essay or research paper.
  6. Compose effective introductory, body, and concluding paragraphs.
  7. Use quotations and paraphrases to strengthen your own thesis in essays and research papers.
  8. Correctly document sources in either MLA or APA style.
  9. Analyze and revise essays for greater effectiveness.
  10. Spot common grammar, punctuation, and mechanics errors and explain how to correct them.


You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the University's textbook supplier, MBS Direct.

Required Textbook

ISBN-13: 978-1524907860

Reference Handbook

ISBN-13:  978-1319083502

Online Sources

In addition to the Hacker text (in hard copy), you will be directed in this course to several online sites that provide reference information. Bookmark the following sites in your browser so that you can easily return to them:


English Composition II is a three-credit online course, consisting of eleven modules. Modules include learning objectives, study materials, and activities. Module titles are listed below.


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, complete written assignments, and complete a final project. See below for more details.

Consult the Course Calendar for assignment due dates.

Promoting Originality

One or more of your course activities may utilize a tool designed to promote original work and evaluate your submissions for plagiarism. More information about this tool is available in this document.

Discussion Forums

You will be invited to post a discussion thread in the Introductions Forum, introducing yourself to the class. In addition, you are required to participate in six additional graded online discussions. These class discussions, like the written activities, are an opportunity to share your insights and understanding of writing.

Communication with the mentor and among fellow students is a critical component of online learning. Participation in online discussions involves two distinct activities: an initial response to a discussion question and at least two subsequent comments on classmates' responses. Meaningful participation is relevant to the content, adds value, and advances the discussion. Comments such as "I agree" and "ditto" are not considered value-adding participation. Therefore, when you agree or disagree with a classmate, the reading, or your mentor, state and support your agreement or disagreement. You will be evaluated on the quality and quantity of your participation. Responses and comments should be properly proofread and edited, professional, and respectful.

Written Assignments

You are required to complete nine written assignments. The written assignments are on a variety of topics associated with the course modules.

The assignments are cumulative, particularly the drafts, and you can incorporate your mentor's suggestions in later drafts and assignments.

Prepare your written assignments using whatever word processing program you have on your computer. Please note the following in preparing assignments:

English as a Second Language

If English is your second language, you must be able to write acceptable Standard English to complete the course successfully. As a result, all students in this course will be held to the same standard.

Thus, the purchase of a good writing handbook will be invaluable to students for whom English is not the first language. Ask your mentor for recommendations for such a handbook. Many of the popular handbooks feature helpful tips for the ESL writer.

The final and perhaps hardest hurdle in learning English is to get a sense of word order and idiomatic usage. In evaluating your activities, your mentor can note problems with usage and indicate the accepted phrase.

Final Project

Your final assessment is a research paper, worth half of your grade. Many of the interim activities help you gain mastery of the intermediate steps in writing a research paper such as choosing a topic, doing research, preparing an annotated bibliography, writing an outline, and revising paragraphs.


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:






























Below 60

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or better, based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., exams, assignments, discussion postings, etc.).


First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:


Students at Thomas Edison State University are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.


Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State University expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the University insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty can take the following forms:

Please refer to the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the University Catalog and online at




Using someone else’s work as your own is plagiarism. Thomas Edison State University takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing will be severely penalized. If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, or without identifying it as a direct quote, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > “Citing Sources.”)

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance and originality report checking, click the links provided below.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism 

When to Quote and When to Paraphrase

Writing Assistance at Smarthinking


Disciplinary Process

First-time incidents of academic dishonesty concerning plagiarism may reflect ignorance of appropriate citation requirements. Mentors will make a good faith effort to address all first-time offenses that occur in courses. In these cases, the mentor may impose sanctions that serve as a learning exercise for the offender. These may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool including a lower grade when appropriate. The mentor will notify the student by e-mail. Decisions about the sanctions applied for subsequent plagiarism offenses or other violations will be made by the appropriate dean’s office, with the advice of the mentor or staff person who reported the violation. The student will be notified via certified mail of the decision. Options for sanctions include:

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