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English Composition II

Purpose of Course  showclose

The ability to research topics and incorporate information from your sources into your work is an important skill both in college and on the job.  This course will reinforce the concepts you practiced in English Composition I by introducing you to basic research concepts and techniques.  It will also give you a chance to put these new concepts and techniques to work as you develop a final research paper.  We will begin by looking at how to build research into an effective writing process.  First, you will learn to think of researching not as a requirement for getting a good grade on a paper but as a valuable tool that can make your writing more powerful and convincing.  You will learn how to build research into your writing process so that you can add persuasive power to your finished work.  Through rigorous practice of the fundamental techniques, you will come to see that, like writing itself, research is an act of discovery rather than a search for prefabricated ideas.

The intent of this course is to teach you how to prepare research for any discipline or subject. We will carefully explore and practice general research techniques and processes that you should be able to apply to many academic disciplines and in your job.

In Unit 1, you will select a topic that intrigues you, you will conduct preliminary research to focus your topic, and you will develop a thesis statement and a set of questions to help guide the remainder of your research.

In Unit 2, you will learn strategies for conducting your research and taking careful notes.  We will look carefully at researching on the Internet, but we will also make a point of honing the skills necessary to research topics in a physical library.  So that you may begin to make the most of your resources when you start to write, we will explore some of the techniques that scholars use to record and organize the information that they plan to include in their work.  By the end of the unit, you will have completed detailed notes for your own research project.

In Unit 3, you will learn how to evaluate and understand the sources you located in the previous units.  You will learn why it is important to put significant effort into reading and evaluating Internet sources, and you will learn how to identify and what you need to take into consideration when you use primary and secondary sources.  You also will get plenty of practice in determining how and when to use sources to help make your point.  By the end of this unit, you will start to understand how to determine whether any source is authoritative, accurate, and current.  You will also have an annotated bibliography that will guide you through the writing process.

In Unit 4, you will develop your argument and create a detailed outline for your research paper. We will take some time to reinforce and expand upon the rhetorical concepts we introduced in Composition I.  Like the prerequisite course, this unit focuses on how to put your research to work to strengthen your academic writing.  We will study how to use the results of your research and analysis to bolster written arguments and support rhetorical strategies.

Unit 5 focuses on how to correctly use style standards and citation methodology.  The work in this unit will help you to clearly understand why it is important to document and cite your sources, and to do so consistently and correctly.  We will closely examine the issue of plagiarism, noting the situations that can cause writers to misuse source materials, either consciously or accidentally.  After completing this unit, you will write a complete draft of your research paper.

Unit 6 prepares you for revising and polishing your paper. We will provide you with detailed editorial exercises that focus on specific elements of sentence and paragraph structure, grammar, and mechanics and which will help you achieve your goal of writing clear, grammatically-sound expository and persuasive prose.

We will use the Modern Language Association (MLA) standards for citation and formatting. Please refer to The Saylor Foundation’s “MLA Style Resources” (PDF) for a cheat sheet to the most useful MLA sites on the Web throughout this course – and any other course requiring you to write, for that matter.

Course Information  showclose

Welcome to ENGL002 English Composition II. General information on the course and its requirements can be found below.

Course Designers: Carolyn Tedholm, Dr. Chelsea L. Booth and Carolyn Savoldy

Primary Resources: This course is comprised of a range of different free, online materials.  However, the course makes primary use of the following materials:
Supplementary Resources: For students using mobile devices, these two apps (among others) would be useful word processing tools for writing research papers and other academic reports.
Requirements: In order to complete this course, you will need to work through each unit and all of its assigned materials.  The course builds upon itself from one unit to the next, so it is important to work thoroughly through each section to understand that which follows.  You will also need to complete the final exam.

Note that you will only receive an official grade on your final exam.  In order to pass this course, you will need to earn a 70% or higher on the final exam.  Your score on the exam will be tabulated as soon as you complete it. If you do not pass the exam, you may take it again.

Time Commitment: Completing this course should take approximately 102.25 hours. Each unit includes a time advisory that lists the amount of time you are expected to spend on each subunit. These should help you plan your time accordingly. It may be useful to take a look at these time advisories, to determine how much time you have over the next few weeks to complete each unit, and then to set goals for yourself. For example, Unit 1 should take approximately 18.5 hours. Perhaps you can decide to complete subunit 1.1 (a total of 3.5 hours) on Monday night; subunit 1.2 (a total of 7.75 hours) on Tuesday and Wednesday nights; etc.

Tips for Completion: It may be helpful to take notes as you work through the materials in each unit in preparation for the final exam. Consider posting your responses to any of the exercises within readings and any of the activities on the Saylor Foundation’s “ENGL002 Course Discussion Board”. Also, review and respond to other students’ postings.

Learning Outcomes  showclose

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:
  • define the relationship between research techniques and academic work in various disciplines;
  • refine research within a writing process, identifying and using rhetorical strategies as well as practicing critical thinking and reading;
  • identify the various kinds of research used to produce written work in academic disciplines;
  • identify and use tools for conducting Internet-based and library research;
  • demonstrate critical and analytical thinking in locating, evaluating, and using research;
  • use quotes, paraphrases, and summaries accurately and appropriately to strengthen written arguments and to avoid plagiarism;
  • demonstrate skills in source summarization and in synthesis skills;
  • cite and document information sources in accordance with MLA style requirements;
  • use information from resources as structural elements in an academic paper; and
  • review and practice the grammatical and rhetorical skills necessary for successful writing.

Course Requirements  showclose

In order to take this course, you must:

√    have access to a computer;

√    have continuous broadband Internet access;

√    have the ability/permission to install plug-ins and software (e.g., Adobe Reader or Flash);

√    have the ability to download and save files and documents to a computer;

√    have the ability to open and edit Microsoft Office files and documents (.doc, .docx, .ppt, .pptx, .xls, .xlsx, etc.);

√    have competency in the English language;

√    have read the Saylor Student Handbook; and

√    have completed ENGL001.

Preliminary Information

  • Full Course Download

    ENGL002 Full Course DownloadIf you would like to work through this entire course offline, you may download the course contents here. All individual resources are included in the zipped folder and grouped by units, though you can use the provided word doc syllabus (Course- English Composition II Offline.docx), which contains links directly to the locally hosted and downloaded files.

    Note: If using a PC, you will have to "extract" the files before being able to access the resource folders and syllabus.

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