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ENGL 91: Home


English 91 (98) Syllabus

Spring 2017

Instructor:  Carmen Hoover    choover@olympic.edu   360-432-5409   TJL 127  

Text: Rules of Thumb, current edition

Office hours: 9:30-10  a.m. & 330-430 p.m. M/W and 130- 2 T/TH

Required Materials:

Reading Plus—Login Card. This is a card that you purchase from the OC bookstore. Do Not log in or lose the card. Bring the card to the 1st class meeting. We will use the Reading Plus computer program daily throughout the quarter.

Access to a computer—campus computers are available for all students.  You will need access for ReadingPlus, reading on our class LibGuide, and for word processing.

Here is the path to get to our class LibGuide: go to OC splash page, click on Haselwood Library, scroll down to click on Research Guides (LibGuides), choose English, then English 91/Hoover.

A computer flash drive to save your work.

A three ring binder with tabs.

Loose leaf lined paper and pens.


Course Description:

This course develops students’ critical strategies for reading, writing, problem solving, and academic life. Reading/writing assignments focus on personal, academic, and career interests. We will cover writing elements including grammar, sentence structure, editing, voice, thesis, and essay development. In addition, we will work on reading strategies and use a computer assisted reading program to improve your reading speed and comprehension.

NOTE: At mid-quarter, I will notify each student about whether or not you will continue the course and complete it as English 91, or if you have the option to switch the registration so that you can complete the course as English 98. In order to have this option, you will need to have scored an 80% or better on completed essays, have excellent attendance, completed all assignments, and met the ReadingPlus mid-quarter goal of 40 lessons with progress. The course will be taught using English 98 curriculum. If we decide that you will complete the course as English 91, you will turn in a revised portfolio, but you may opt out of the last formal essay.


Course Activities and Requirements:

In-class and at-home journal writing, reflections, reading/film responses, and homework as assigned

At three or four short essays with revisions

Completion of required number of ReadingPlus lessons—80 or more (8 per week)

Active participation in Daily Style & Conventions, class work, discussions, and workshops

On-time attendance without more than 2 absences


Course Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of this course, you should improve in the following areas:

Comprehension and retention of information you read

Ability to critically read and engage an author’s ideas

Speed and fluency of reading

Vocabulary and word identification skills

Writing grammatically correct sentences with few errors using Standard Written English

Reliable writing process to complete assignments and writing projects

Study skills and academic conventions





Participation & Professionalism—25%





Course Completion:

English 91—If you decide to complete the course at the English 91 level and receive a 3.0 or better, you will have the choice of moving to English 98 or English 99 next. If you earn a 2.0-2.9, you will be eligible for English 98 only. A grade below 2.0 may require that you repeat English 91.

English 98—If you decide to complete the course at the English 98 level and receive a 3.0 or better for a final grade, you will be eligible to move to English 101. If you score a 2.0-2.9, you will be eligible for English 99 only. A grade below 2.0 may require you to repeat English 98.

Essays and other assignments:

We will have at three or four essays due in this class. Failure to participate in workshops and turn in essays on time seriously disrupts class activities, which hurts you and your classmates. A missing workshop may cause you to fail the paper and you will need to make up the workshop with a class member outside of class or in Writing Lab. Late papers will go to the back of the line behind on-time project in all four of the classes I teach and I will get them back to you whenever I can. Be advised that late turn-ins can set you back dramatically.

All essays must be written to minimal length in order to qualify for full points. An essay length of 2-3 pages means a minimum of two full pages. In addition, papers must be properly formatted, typed, and printed from a computer. Computers are available for your use on campus.

Keep all assignments in your binder/portfolio.  A good rule of thumb is to never throw anything away—it all counts for you in your final portfolio. Starting with week one, organize and update your portfolio using the portfolio table of contents:

Tabs 1-4               Essays

Tab 5                     In-class journals, reflections, Style and Conventions, and exercises as assigned

Tab 6                     At-home reading journals, reflections, and exercises as assigned

Tab 7                     First-day writing and final self-evaluation

Tab 8                     Lecture notes and film notes



I do not facilitate any make-up work. If you miss classes and assignments, you are welcome to try to replicate work with the help of your classmates, and I do advise you to form a study group with two or three other students. You are responsible for a complete portfolio.

Proofreading: This is a college course and typed assignments require careful proofreading. A piece of writing with excessive errors will be returned un-graded for correction. If you notice just a few errors after you have printed your final draft, I would rather see handwritten corrections than errors. Be sure to spell check your work, and take workshops seriously.

Plagiarism and Academic Dishonesty: Plagiarism refers to passing off another person’s ideas or words as your own. Copying someone else’s ideas or words without citing that source is plagiarism. At all universities, plagiarism is unacceptable. Any student suspected of plagiarizing will not receive credit for that assignment and will be referred to the Dean’s Office for an academic disciplinary hearing, which can result in expulsion. Give credit where credit is due.



ReadingPlus is an online program for improving your reading speed, comprehension, retention, and vocabulary. The program is designed to begin at your current level (after a diagnostic session) and build your skills. Everyone in the class will have an individualized plan. What is required of you is dedication to completing the work. Great improvements in students’ reading speeds, comprehension, and confidence can occur when you get on a regular schedule for completing the work in ReadingPlus.

As part of this course, you will need to log in to ReadingPlus at www.readingplus.com/users. You will need to complete 7 lessons (5 in SeeReader, 1 in IBalance, and 1 in ReadAround) each week in ReadingPlus—This will take 2-4 hours a week for most students. Again, you must complete at least 8 lessons each week.

Note: you can stop in the middle of a lesson and save your progress. However, the program works best if you have time to complete each lesson in one sitting. I strongly recommend that you block out time in your weekly schedule for doing this work.  You can use the computers on campus and at home. I also recommend that you have a quiet space and time when you can concentrate, as reading requires your full attention. All weekly lessons are to be completed by Sunday night of each week.

Your completion of the diagnostic, required number of lessons (approximately 70) or completion of a significant number of levels (to level H or above) is a mandatory requirement of this course. You must also take the post-test near the end of the quarter. Failure to meet the mandatory ReadingPlus requirements will hold you to a grade below 2.9 in the course--regardless of other work you have completed. ReadingPlus is not optional.



Coming to class is a big part of passing the course. Consider this class a job, and personally commit to approaching it will full attendance. It is not acceptable to arrive late or pack up early. Be respectful of your colleagues and participate fully. There will be times when you are tired or feel like slacking off. If you are sick, by all means stay home, but at the same time, don’t use illness as an excuse—especially to yourself. Consciously work to develop focus and engagement while in class.

Naturally, the use of cell phones or computers during class time for personal reasons is not permitted. Sometimes, when we are working as a group, it is fun to google an obscure fact or search the web for an answer to a question posed in class discussion. When in class, we will all be focused on the class. Turn your phones to vibrate—or power them down--as you walk in the door.

If you know that you may need to take a work-related or unusually important call, please let me know ahead of time. If the call comes in, please step outside to answer it.


Americans With Disabilities Act

Qualified, self-identified students with documented disabilities have the right to free accommodations to ensure equal access to educational opportunities at Olympic College. Any student who feels she or he may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the Office of Access Services at 360-457-7540 for information. Call ahead if you would like to make an appointment in Room 204 of the HHS Building on the Bremerton campus.



 From time to time, I like to make a copy of a student’s work (with name removed) for use on the English 91 website, for teacher training, or for my own course-improvement files. If you consent to this, no action is required. If you object to this, please write a note or send an email to me stating that you do not give me permission to make copies of your work for any reason.







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