The class is organized into three units, each culminating in a graded essay assignment. You will also complete in-class and homework exercises throughout each progression; this work will contribute to your process grade. You are expected to complete all these exercises, as they help you to do the difficult work required to develop strong formal and final drafts. 

Essay 1: Close Reading of a Poem
Identify an interpretive problem in one of the poems we have read and develop a thesis that addresses it. Use some of the literary terms we have discussed as key terms to analyze the text and support your thesis with close reading. (4 – 5 pages) 

Essay 2: Close Reading of a Text in Context
Use close reading of one of the three short stories we’ve read to analyze the narrative’s presentation and/or the narrative’s function, defining your terms precisely with reference to the secondary texts we’ve read in tandem with the short stories. (5-6 pages) 

Essay 3: Literary Research Paper
Make an argument that answers an interpretive question about The House on Mango Street. Support your argument with close reading, using secondary sources to expand on your ideas and to contribute to an ongoing scholarly conversation about the text. You can use the source that we read in class, but you must also refer to at least four sources that you find through original research. (7 – 9 pages)

Annotated Bibliography
A summary/evaluation of at least three sources found through research en route towards completing Essay 3.  

In a cover letter of about 500 words, students reflect on the writing practice they gained through their pre-drafts, drafts, and revisions over the course of the semester.


In English 130, you will learn and practice a reflective, recursive, and collaborative writing process as you develop final drafts of your writing. Therefore, your final course grade will be a combination of your final draft grades and your writing process grade: 

FINAL DRAFT GRADES (65% in total)
Essay 1: Close Reading of a Poem (4 – 5 pages) – 15%
Essay 2: Close Reading of a Text (5 – 7 pages) – 20%
Essay 3: Literary Research Paper (7 – 9 pages) – 30% 

Homework – 10%
In-class writing and Portfolio – 10%
Annotated Bibliography – 10%
Preliminary and formal drafts – 5%

Late and Missed Assignments, Drafts, and Final Essays 

Submitting work late and failing to submit work at all make it much harder for you to do well on your essays since you miss the opportunity to receive timely feedback that can guide your revisions.  In the spirit of fairness and professionalism:

  • Unless explicitly stated otherwise, all homework will be submitted on the class blog in the form of blog comments. Failure to submit blog comments on time results in no homework credit.
  • Late formal drafts will not receive written feedback. However, you are always welcome to come visit me in office hours to discuss your work.
  • For late final drafts, your draft grade will be lowered by 1/3 (e.g. from a B- to a C+) beginning the minute after the deadline. The grade will continue to go down by a third of a letter grade every 24 hours until the essay is submitted. I am open to granting extensions for up to a week after an essay’s deadline, but only if you ask me in advance.  
  • All work must be submitted via WordPress, Dropbox, or Google Drive by the deadline in order to be considered “on time.” 

Academic Integrity 

College Writing will provide you with strategies for working ethically and accurately with the texts you engage. We will discuss source use practices that prevent plagiarism, a serious academic offense that runs counter to our academic community’s core values of honesty and respect for others. According to the CUNY Policy on Academic Integrity ( 

Plagiarism is the act of presenting another person’s ideas, research or writings as your own. The following are some examples of plagiarism, but by no means is it an exhaustive list:  

  • Copying another person’s actual words without the use of quotation marks and footnotes attributing the words to their source.
  • Presenting another person’s ideas or theories in your own words without acknowledging the source.  
  • Using information that is not common knowledge without acknowledging the source.  
  • Failing to acknowledge collaborators on homework and laboratory assignments. 

Internet plagiarism includes submitting downloaded term papers or parts of term papers, paraphrasing or copying information from the internet without citing the source, and “cutting & pasting” from various sources without proper attribution.  

Web sites and businesses set up to sell papers to students often claim they are merely offering “information” or “research” to students and that this service is acceptable and allowed throughout the university. Unfortunately, this is untrue. If you buy and submit “research,” drafts, summaries, abstracts, or final versions of a paper, you are committing plagiarism and are subject to disciplinary action 

Final drafts that contain plagiarism will receive a zero, may result in failure of the course, and the case will be reported to the college. 

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