EN 104 Expository Composition II,Section K2, Fall Semester 1999

Tuesday/Thursday, 9:30 - 11:00 a.m., Classroom TBA

Instructor:       Jennifer Ho

Office:             236 Bay State Road, Room 133

Phone:             358-2516 (English Dept.), Voice Mailbox: 140-2619

E-mail:             obongo@bu.edu

Office Hours:  Tuesday and Thursday 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. and by appointment

Nature of the Course: 

The two main purposes of this course are to help you write critically and clearly and to help you read analytically and carefully. We will go over grammar exercises in order to strengthen writing skills. Building upon these skills, we will discuss the mechanics of writing a cohesive and clear essay.  The essays in this course concentrate on the theme of conflict:  conflict in ourselves, within or among cultures, and with society. Additionally, the syllabus closes with essays and a novel on warfare, a subject that incorporates the various conflicts we will have covered during the semester. Good essays and literature contain elements of conflict (how interesting is a story about a happy person who has happy thoughts and leads an absolutely contented and unexamined life?). Through a close reading of these essays we will discuss various forms of conflict and analyze the writer’s purpose in illuminating his/her individual response and reaction to conflict. The three formal papers—the analysis, the comparison, and the synthesis or research paper—will continue to build on the writing skills you develop during the course of the semester. Class time will be devoted to a thorough analysis and discussion of the essays (with your enthusiastic participation), peer-writing workshops, grammar exercises, and in-class writing assignments.

Required Texts:            

75 Readings Plus, 4th Ed., Buscemi and Smith (RP)

The Bedford Handbook for Writers, Fifth Edition, (white cover) Hacker (BH)

The English Patient, Ondaatje (EP)

Any good college dictionary (ex: Webster, American Heritage)

These texts are available at the Boston University Bookstore.

Additional Material:          

(1)  A notebook and pen/pencil (for class notes and assignments)

(2)  A folder  (for keeping your exercises, assignments, papers, and revisions, which will be

      handed in as your writing portfolio at the end of the semester)

Course Requirements:

You will be responsible for reading all the essays listed on the syllabus. (Feel free to read additional essays, for your own enjoyment and in preparation for your final synthesis paper.) You will also complete all in-class writing and grammar exercises and participate in all the peer-writing workshops.  Formally, you will submit five papers: Paraphrase Paper #1 (1 page), Imitation Paper #2 (1 page), Revised Analysis Paper #3 (3-4 pages), Revised Comparison Paper #4 (5-6 pages), and Final Research Paper #5 (7-8 pages). You will revise papers #3 & #4 and re-submit them for a grade. All other papers will be graded based on your completed work at the time of the due date. These paper requirements will be explained in detail as the due dates approach (see syllabus for due dates).  

There will also be an entrance and exit grammar examination. The grammar exercises we will work on in class will help you to pass the exit examination on the last day of class. A basic knowledge of the rules of grammar is essential for developing strong writing skills. 

Additionally, there will be informal take-home writing assignments (ungraded but critiqued) and occasional reading and grammar quizzes.  Since this is a small class participation is STRONGLY ENCOURAGED. 

Attendance and Punctuality:

Your attendance is required and will be factored into your final grade (see GRADING POLICY). You are allowed two unexcused absences; all subsequent absences count against you. This rule also applies to tardiness--three late arrivals equal one absence. Medical excuses, family emergencies, and absences due to religious holidays are exceptions to this rule and must be discussed with me in private.

Late Papers:

Late papers are highly discouraged. I appreciate advance notice and will take into consideration your early excuses for late papers if you find yourself in the unfortunate predicament of needing to miss a paper deadline; however, the later the paper, the lower your grade descends. Turning in a first paper as a revision does not count as a revision; it counts as a first paper, and only revisions receive grades.

Format for Papers and Assignments:

Papers should be typed, double spaced on 8 1/2 x 11 inch paper using 1 inch margins on all four sides of the paper. Please use a 12 point font in either Times Roman or Arial. In this course we will use MLA style documentation (see Hacker 584-615). All papers and revised papers must include a title sheet (which includes the title of your paper) and the following information:  Student Name / EN 104, Section ## / Instructor: Jennifer Ho / date.  For assignments, you may put this information in the top left hand corner of the paper. Also, please number all pages--location of the page numbers is at your discretion.

Grading Policy:

At the end of the semester you will be required to hand in your writing portfolio along with your final research paper. The last day of the semester will also be the date of the grammar exit examination. Final grades will be determined as follows:

Grammar exit examination 5%
Quizzes and assignments 10%

Class attendance, participation,and explication presentation

Paraphrase Paper #1 5%
Imitation Paper #2 5%
Revised Analysis Paper #3  15%
Revised Comparison Paper #4 20%
Final Research Paper #5 30%


Explication Presentation:

An explication is a brief but in depth analysis of a piece of writing. To write an explication you will analyze a brief portion of text for its stylistic, linguistic, structural, and expressive components and then synthesize these various components with relation to one another and the essay as a whole.  In other words, for your explication presentation you will take a paragraph or two from one of the essays and dissect that passage thoroughly, making connections between the components of that paragraph and the overall composition of the essay. You will be reading your one-page explication aloud to the class as a presentation, and class members will be required to comment, constructively and critically, on your analysis. More details about this assignment will follow.


There will be at least five (5) quizzes during the course of the semester. Quizzes may include questions about the essays we have read, grammar basics, or a combination of both. I recommend reading ahead to prevent falling behind as the semester continues and your assignments increase. If you are absent the day of a quiz you have 48 hours to make-up the quiz in my office or you must take a zero (0) for that quiz. If you do not contact me concerning a make-up quiz within 24 hours of your absence, I will automatically register a zero (0) for you in my gradebook.


The Boston University Academic Conduct Code booklet defines plagiarism as an “attempt by a student to represent the work of another as his or her own.”  Cases of suspected plagiarism will be reported to the Academic Conduct Committee. You will receive a copy of the Academic Conduct Code booklet.  Familiarize yourself with it, and please see me if you have any questions regarding its contents.

Conferences and Contacting Me:

You will be required to have one 20 minute conference with me at the end of March. Beyond the required conference I encourage all of you to visit me in office hours to discuss class issues, your writing, the essays, or just to chat. You can always leave a message on my voice mail (358-2516 – mailbox # 140-2619) and I will try to return your message as soon as possible, or you may e-mail me (obongo@bu.edu). If you want to discuss specific class and paper issues, I recommend seeing me during office hours; personal visits are more beneficial for paper guidance than phone calls or e-mail communications.   

Grading Guidelines:

The Freshmen-Sophomore Writing Program has established a series of grading guidelines that all Expository Composition instructors must follow when grading their students’ papers. These guidelines insure consistency and objectivity among all instructors and enable students to understand the criteria used to evaluate their writing. Please use the following grading guidelines as a checklist for your writing, especially as you revise your papers. In other words, in striving for an “A,” ask yourself if your writing meets the grading guidelines criteria for an “A” paper. 

Week One

Th - 9/2           Introduction

                        Hughes, “Salvation”  RP 8-9


Week Two

T - 9/7             Grammar entrance exam

                        Parts of speech and sentence patterns BH 728-744

                        Independent Clause/Simple Sentence BH 769

                        Continue discussing “Salvation”

Th - 9/9           Swift, “A Modest Proposal” RP 419-425

and King Jr. “I Had a Dream”  RP 443-446

Letter of introduction due

                        Sentence fragments BH 284-295


Week Three

T - 9/14           Plato “The Myth of the Cave”  RP 375-378

                        Analysis paper discussed

                        Comma splice and run-on sentence BH 296-307

Th - 9/16         Walker “Am I Blue?”  RP 407-410 and Forster “My Wood”  RP 338-340

                        Semicolon and Colon BH 454-463    

                        Paraphrase Paper #1 due

Week Four

T - 9/21           Noda “Growing up Asian in America”  RP 215-221

                        Quotations and MLA citation BH 468-476, 573-581, 584-615

                        Imitation Paper #2 due

Th - 9/23         Peer Editing - Paper #1 (Analysis)

                        Works Cited Page BH 593-610, 626

                        Quiz #1


Week Five

T - 9/28           Minatoya “Discordant Fruit”  RP 267-271

                        Subordinate word groups BH 755-768

                        PAPER #1 DUE IN-CLASS

Th - 9/30         Kingston “No Name Woman”  RP 18-27      

                        Agreement (subject-verb, pronoun-antecedent) BH 308-330           

Week Six

T - 10/5           Momaday “Way to Rainy Mountain”  RP 73-77

Analyze analysis paper examples

                        Comparison paper discussed

Th - 10/7         Angelou “Grandmother’s Victory”  RP 12-16

Comma BH 426-453

                        Quiz #2


Week Seven

T - 10/12         Whitehead “Where have all the Parents Gone?”  RP 353-358                      

                        Comparison paper thesis development exercises

Th - 10/14       Dershowitz “Shouting ‘Fire!’” RP 401-405

                        Lie vs. Lay BH 364-366, Between vs. Among BH 776, Affect vs. Effect BH 774

                        REVISED PAPER # 1 DUE IN-CLASS*

Week Eight

T - 10/19         Hentoff “Should this Student Have Been Expelled?”  RP 435-440

                        Mixed Construction BH 207-212

Th - 10/21       Lawrence “Four Letter Words Can Hurt You”  RP431-433

                        Gelder “The Great Person-Hole Cover Debate . . . ” RP 427-428

                        Appropriate Language BH 256-269

Week Nine

T - 10/26         Peer edit Paper #2 (Comparison)

                        Quiz #3

Th - 10/28       Meyer “If Hitler Asked You to Electrocute a Stranger Would You? Probably” 

RP 361-367

Misplaced and dangling modifiers BH 213-223



Week Ten

T - 11/2           Berger “Hiroshima”  RBR

and Laurence “Atomic Bombing of Nagasaki Told By Flight Member”  RBR

Revisions BH 59-64

Research paper discussed

Th - 11/4         Bettelheim “The Ignored Lesson of Anne Frank”  RBR

                        Parallel ideas BH 128-135

                        Analyze comparison paper examples

Week Eleven

T - 11/9           CONFERENCES

Th - 11/11       CONFERENCES

Week Twelve

T - 11/16         Ondaatje The English Patient (through 130)

                        Pronouns and who/whom BH 331-351

Th - 11/18       Ondaatje The English Patient (133-158)

                        Possessive vs. plural BH 385-388

                        Quiz #4

                        REVISED PAPER #2 DUE IN-CLASS*

Week Thirteen

T - 11/23         Continue discussing The English Patient


Week Fourteen

T - 11/30         Ondaatje The English Patient (161-261)

Th - 12/2         Ondaatje The English Patient (265-302)

Week Fifteen

T - 12/7           Yamamoto “The Legend of Miss Sasagawara”  RBR

Th - 12/9         Peer Review of Research Paper (bring in your first 4 pages)

Grammar review exercises and preparation for the grammar exit exam

Week Sixteen

T - 12/14         Grammar Exit Exam & Quiz #5 &  FINAL PAPER #3 DUE IN-CLASS*

*Denotes papers which will be graded

RP = 75 Readings Plus, 4th Edition

BH = The Bedford Handbook

RBR = Reserve Bookroom at Mugar Library