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Associate Professor of English
Composition & Literature Division
Rock Valley College

Office: TC-G35        Phone: 654-5534

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Course Title: English 098, Developmental English
Professor: Mr. James J. Harcharik
Course Description: English 098 DBC is intended to help students improve their basic writing skills to the college level. The emphasis is on learning to write an effective paragraph containing a clearly expressed central idea supported by relevant, well-organized, specific details and examples. Weekly writing assignments are required. The course is remedial and gives preparation for English 101. Students scoring below the cut-off point in the English Placement Test are required to take ENG 098. A grade of a "C" or better is required in this course to advance to ENG 101. Five hours lecture/discussion a week. (4 credit hours)
Attendance Policy: Attendance is required at both class and lab sessions. Any absences known about in advance should be discussed with the class instructor or lab tutor
A. If you are absent more than the number of class sessions in one week without doing a make-up, your grade for the course will be lowered one letter grade
B. Each tardiness will be counted as a complete absence.
C. You may make up one class session only by attending a tutoring  session. In other words, if a class meets three times a week, you may make up the fourth absence only. If a class meets twice a week, you may make up the third absence only.
  1. You must arrange your PLC make-up session within two weeks of your absence
  2. You should get the make-up form from your class instructor, have it signed by the PLC tutor, and return it to your class instructor by the deadline.
English 098 Class and Lab Policy: II. LAB
A. All English 98 students are required to attend two 50-minute labs per week (four 55-minute labs in summer).
B. Absences from the lab will definitely affect your grade in English 098.
1. If you are absent three or more times from lab without doing a make-up, your grade for the course will be lowered one letter grade.
2. You may make up the third absence only.
3. You must arrange your PLC make-ups within two weeks of  your absence.
4. You may not make up any class or lab absences during final exam week.
5. You will be marked tardy if you are not in lab when the lab instructor begins the session.
  1. Labs will start precisely at the scheduled time.
  2. If you are 10 or more minutes late for the lab session, you will be marked absent.
  3. Three tardies will equal one absence.
6. If you come to any lab without your assignment or materials, you will be considered absent.
7. It is your responsibility to make sure your tardies and/or absences are recorded correctly.
8. If you miss a lab, it is your responsibility to come to the PLC to pick up the lab materials so you know the assignment.
Lab Orientation: The labs will give you a chance to learn or review some of the important aspects of language usage. They offer a chance to practice many of the skills you will use in writing your English 098 assignments. Because you are being tutored in small groups, you will be able to concentrate on those areas where you need extra help. You may be advised to seek individualized tutoring.
Course Completion Policy:
  1. The English Assessment test may not be repeated.
  2. You must receive a grade of "C" or better in English 098 in order to take English 101.
  3. You may repeat English 98 only one time.
  4. You are completely responsible for all lecture and textual material, all classroom and lab assignments, any individualized assignments, and for making up all missed work. All assignments must be completed and submitted in order to pass the course. If they are           not, a failing grade will be administered.
  6. All in-class hand written assignments must be in ink. All other assignments must be computer printed or typewritten.
  7. Multi-page assignments MUST BE STAPLED by the student. Late assignments will NOT be accepted except with prior instructor permission.
  8. All graded assignments/tests MUST be reviewed within one  week of the return date or they will be destroyed.
  9. It is the responsibility of the student to keep track of all absences.
  10. Programmed Spelling Demons books MUST be completed by the final exam date, as assigned.
  11. Final exams will NOT be returned to the student under any  circumstances
Required Textbooks: Greenberg, Karen. The Advancing Writer, Book I. New York: Harper Collins, 1994   (for lab use)
Greenberg, Karen. The Advancing Writer, Book II. New York: Harper Collins, 1994. (for class use)
Supplementary Textbooks: Roget's Thesaurus or a synonym book
Programmed Spelling Demons (required per diagnostic testing)
A college-level dictionary.
Materials: A blue or black pen only.
8 ½" by 11" white lined paper (no spiral).
1.44 megabyte computer diskette (2 disks).
Course Content: The course will contain instruction in two major areas:
  1. What to Write - which will include class work and written assignments dealing with developing vocabulary, spelling, and formation of clear, specific, concrete ideas.
  2. How to Write - which will include class work and written assignments dealing with basic mechanics and grammar of writing, the developnment of effective, clear, varied sentences, and the construction of unified, coherent paragraphs. Drills and exercises will be utilized. Some of this writing will be done in class.
Instructional Methods and Materials: The instructor will give writing assignments and may give reading assignments as stimuli to writing, as aids to understanding, and as vehicles to remedy skill deficiencies. Writing assignments will include pre-writing activities, single- and multi-paragraph papers, and rewriting. Much of this writing will be done in class. The instructor will evaluate this work to help students learn how to edit and improve their own papers.

Students generally possess different levels of competence in writing. Since English 098 is a developmental course giving preparation for English 101, the final course grade given will reflect somewhat the amount of progress the student has made in developing his/her writing skills from the time of entrance into the course, but PRIMARILY the level of competence finally achieved in the course through papers,exercises, and other written work. The incentive in the course should be the improvement of composition skills and the elimination of weaknesses in writing, not competition for a grade. Upon request, the instructor will review a student's grade and progress in the course privately and only during an office hour appointment.

Method of Evaluation: % of FINAL GRADE

8% - Word Unit
8% - Sentence Unit
8% - Punctuation and Convention Unit
54% - Paragraphs
15% - Final Exam
7% - Quizzes, other assignments,class participation


A - 100 - 90
B -   89 - 80
C -   79 - 70
D -   69 - 60
F  -   59 -  0

Plagiarism Statement: To plagiarize is to present someone else's ideas or work as your own. Credit should be given to the source in the following instances:
  1. When you directly quote someone else;
  2. When you use someone else's ideas or opinions (unless they are common knowledge);
  3. When you use someone else's examples;
  4. When you cite statistics or other facts compiled by someone else;
  5. When you present evidence or testimony taken from someone else's argument.

Berke, Jacqueline. Twenty Questions for the Writer. 4th edition. New York: Harcourt Brace, Jovanovich, 1985.


Academic Dishonesty Statement: Any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty such as plagiarism or cheating on an assignment, test, quiz, paper, etc. may receive penalties ranging from points taken off, to a zero for the assignment, to an F grade for the course depending upon the degree of dishonesty. Furthermore, other disciplinary sanctions imposed by the College are a distinct possibility.
Class Behavior Policy: Any student who demonstrates disruptive, distractive, or inappropriate classroom behavior as perceived by the instructor will be dismissed from the classroom. College disciplinary actions, including class expulsion, will be imposed when appropriate
Office Location: TC-G35 (Technology Center)
Phone: 654-5534
Office Hours: All students should feel free to call on the professor as often as is necessary when course-related problems arise. Scheduled office hours are provided.

M -W                              11-11:30 a.m.
Tues.                               7:30-8:00 a.m.

*All other times by appointment only*

Course Objectives: :General
  1. To help students improve their basic writing skills to the college level.
  2. To review fundamentals of grammar and usage.
  3. To identify weaknesses in composition AND help eliminate those weaknesses.
  4. To prepare the student for English 100 level courses by developing skills in word usage, sentence construction, and paragraph development. Emphasis is on learning to write an effective paragraph which contains a clearly expressed idea supported by relevant, well-organized, specific details and examples.
Course Objectives with Assessments:
1. OBJECTIVE: To follow directions for course work

ASSESSMENT: Students will demonstrate the ability to follow directions in written and oral work.

2. OBJECTIVE: To apply basic prewriting techniques, such as free writing and clustering.

ASSESSMENT: Students will use prewriting techniques in their writing.

3. OBJECTIVE: To use methods to produce a draft from prewriting materials. These methods will include:
  1. finding a focus,
  2. developing a topic sentence,
  3. generating adequate specifics to support topic sentence,
  4. organizing specifics

ASSESSMENT: Students will write drafts from the results of prewriting

4. OBJECTIVE: To recognize and use techniques/criteria for revision.

ASSESSMENT: Students will revise their drafts.

5. OBJECTIVE: To recognize and use techniques/criteria for editing/proofreading

ASSESSMENT: Students will edit/proofread their drafts.

6.  OBJECTIVE: .To write clear, unified, well-supported, and logically organized paragraphs.

ASSESSMENT: Students will write clear, unified, well-supported, and logically organized paragraphs.

7.  OBJECTIVE: To write paragraphs developed by different methods, such as description, narration, process, comparison/contrast, and cause and effect.

ASSESSMENT: Students will write paragraphs developed by different methods.

8.  OBJECTIVE: To write paragraphs using correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling

ASSESSMENT: Students will write paragraphs using correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling.

9.  OBJECTIVE: To recognize different types of sentences

ASSESSMENT: Students will identify and use different types of sentences in their writing.

10. OBJECTIVE: To know how to use a dictionary to improve their written and spoken vocabulary.

ASSESSMENT: Students will use dictionaries in their class work.

11. OBJECTIVE: To plan and write a multi-paragraph paper.

ASSESSMENT: Students will write at least one multi-paragraph paper.

Course Outline:*
Week 1 Introduction to course and texts
Goals and Objectives of course
Diagnostic testing/writing
Week 2 Word Unit
Dictionary use
Week 3 Word Unit
Introduction to Paragraph
Week 4 Exam on Word Unit
Sentence Unit
Topic Sentence
Week 5 Sentence Unit
Week 6 Exam on Sentence Unit
Paragraph Development
Week 7 Punctuation and Convention Unit
Organization/Mode of Approach
Week 8 Punctuation and Convention Unit
Paragraph Development
Week 9 Exam on Punctuation and Convention Unit
Week 10 Paragraphs/Unity, Coherence
Week 11 The Writing Process
Week 12 Paragraphs
Week 13 Paragraphs
Week 14 Introduction to the Essay
Week 15 350-500 Word Essay
Week 16 Essay Writing
*This weekly outline is subject to change at the discretion of the professor and depending on the needs and interests of the class.

This page maintained by James J. Harcharik
This page last updated June 12, 2000

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