English 102

I. ENG 102: Composition II 

 II. Course Description

A continuation of ENG 101, with further study of the resources of the language through a critical analysis of imaginative forms of writing. Emphasis will be placed upon well-organized written composition, factually-supported conclusions, and awareness of language variety. Effectiveness of expression and validity of judgment in the student's writing are stressed. Genre reading will include fiction, poetry, and drama. Prerequisite: ENG 101 with a grade of C or better.

III. Course Objectives and Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students should continue to demonstrate the writing skills acquired in English 101, including the ability to:

  • use the writing process—prewriting, writing, drafting, revising, and editing—to write unified and coherent essays;
  • employ specific and focused thesis statements and topic sentences;
  • develop body paragraphs with appropriate detailed support;
  • use language clearly and with a level of formality appropriate to college writing;
  • integrate source material into a text and document it correctly, according to MLA style; and
  • edit writing for grammar, mechanics, sentence structure, and usage.

Additionally, students should demonstrate knowledge of the conventions and methods of literary study, which includes the ability to:

  • develop persuasive arguments about works of literature and organize support by drawing evidence from texts;
  • relate a work to its literary, historical, and cultural context; and
  • analyze the use of a variety of literary terms in drama, poetry, and fiction, including plot, character, theme, point of view, setting, and—for poetry—imagery, figurative devices, and sounds.

IV.  Measures to Assess Student Learning Outcomes

a)      If the course is a SUNY General Education Requirement, describe how SUNY-mandated Knowledge and Skills areas are directly measured;


1.   Students will gain knowledge of the conventions and methods of literary study by reading a large selection of poems, plays and short stories and becoming conversant with the vocabulary of literary analysis. Through reading, class discussion and writing, they learn to recognize and to write about such concepts plot, character, theme, point of view, setting, and—for poetry—imagery, figurative devices, and sounds.

Basic communication:

1.      Common college-level written forms. Students in ENG 102 will learn to produce coherent written work in the form of expository essays and essay examinations.

2.      Revision. Students will learn to improve such texts by using invention and revision strategies as they develop final drafts of essays.

3.      Researching, developing an argument, and organizing supporting details. Students in ENG 102 will learn to develop a thesis about a work of literature and organize support for this thesis by drawing evidence from literary texts. Some projects also require further research in print and/or electronic sources.

4.      Oral discourse. Students in ENG 102 will discuss assigned literary works during most class sessions. Instructors will model oral literary analysis, and students will practice this mode of analysis, both alone and in collaboration with classmates. Students may make in-class presentations.

Critical Thinking (Reasoning):

1.      Identification, analysis, and evaluation of arguments. The pattern of literary analysis taught in ENG 102 is to assert a statement about a literary work, support it with evidence from the text and analyze that evidence to demonstrate that it does indeed support the point being argued. Students will be exposed to many samples of this pattern of discourse as they discuss assigned works in class, examine their classmates’ writing, and review their own drafts.

2.      Development of well-reasoned arguments. Students in ENG 102 will learn to develop arguments about literary works employing the method of literary analysis described above in both formal writing projects and in class discussion.

Information Management:

1.   Computer use. Students in ENG 102 will write and revise essays on computers. Some sections meet weekly in computer classrooms.

2.   Basic research techniques. Students in ENG 102 will learn to present and document evidence according to MLA conventions (see attached page for the MLA conventions taught in ENG 101 and reinforced in ENG 102). For some projects they conduct research in print sources, electronic databases, or on the Web.

3.   Location, evaluation, and synthesis of information from a variety of sources. Students in ENG 102 will learn to illustrate a statement about literature with evidence from a number of literary texts. For some projects, they synthesize information from a variety of research sources. (See Addendum for specific guidelines).

V. DCC General Education Objectives

The following DCC General Education Objectives are addressed in the previous section:

  • critical thinking;
  • reading and writing;
  • listening and speaking;
  • computer usage; and
  • literature, the fine arts, and other humanities.

Additionally, by reading and responding critically to a variety of works with attention to gender, race, class, and social and historical context, students of English 102 will strengthen their awareness of:

  • cultures other than one’s own, and
  • the concept of personal development.

VI. Course Outline indicating

a) Topics covered

The main focus of English 102 is on developing students’ writing skills. Each professor will determine the amount of time spent on each genre and the order of discussion.

  • Writing about Fiction: Writing about fiction will also focus on selected readings. Topics will include structure, point of view, tone and style, characterization, theme, and symbol.
  • Writing about Poetry: Selected readings will be used to illustrate various aspects of form and content. Topics will include speaker, occasion, diction (connotation, denotation), tone, paraphrasing, figures of speech (metaphor, simile, personification), irony, imagery, sound devices (alliteration, assonance, rhyme patterns), and rhythm.
  • Writing about Drama: Writing about drama will focus on selected readings. Topics will include structure (exposition, complication, climax, resolution), setting, characterization (protagonist, antagonist), action, theme, and tone.

b) Instructional methods

Instructors in English 102 direct class discussion, lecture, assign reading and informal writing, assign and comment on formal writing, and may use computer labs and multimedia.

Additionally, instructors individually may assign journals, quizzes, exams, and other written assignments related to the reading.

c) Course requirements

English 102 is the second credit course in the DCC Writing Program and is required in all DCC degree programs and most certificate programs. The prerequisite for the course is a C or better in English 101.

Students write at least four expository and analytical essays in response to a variety of literary genres such as short stories, poems, and plays. Within each essay, students are taught how to analyze and explicate one or several literary texts included in the textbook for the class, and, as in English 101, are carefully guided by the professor to incorporate these sources correctly according to the MLA style, using both in-text citations and a Works Cited page. Building on the skills practiced in English 101, each essay should have a clear thesis, well-developed paragraphs organized around a topic sentence, and supporting details. Most essays start in class and are developed through a process of brainstorming, drafting, revising, and editing. In the process of explicating a literary text, students are guided to use the methods of literary analysis appropriate to each genre and become proficient in using and identifying literary terms.

The final consists of a 150-minute, in-class examination. Students write a formal analytical essay of at least 750 words (or several shorter essays) on a literary topic (or topics) determined by the instructor. Students may know the topic in advance and should bring the textbook—but no outlines or drafts—to the examination. MLA-style citations are mandatory.

d) Grading practices

Final grades are normally made up of some combination of papers and examination grades and may include participation, quizzes, presentations, journals, and other work assigned by the instructor.

Each instructor will articulate specific policies on attendance and academic standards on his her syllabus. The attendance policy of the Department of English and Humanities Attendance Policy is that success in courses is related directly to attendance and participation. The Department of English and Humanities expects regular class attendance so students can learn the material covered in classes. Students with excessive absences will miss so much work and class discussion that they risk failing the course. Individual instructors will determine the specific requirement for attendance in each course.

The Rights and Responsibilities Handbook defines the college’s policy on academic dishonesty.

e) Required text(s)

The text for English 102 is a department-approved anthology of fiction, poetry, and drama.       

In addition, students are encouraged to keep their writing handbook from Eng 101.

A standard desk dictionary is also recommended.

f)  Supplementary readings

The Writing Program Handbook, 1st edition, published by the DCC Department of English and Humanities. The Handbook provides an overview of the entire composition sequence and includes departmental policies in addition to departmental and campus resources.


MLA Style

Presenting Material from a Source

English 102 re-emphasizes the following MLA skills, taught in English 101:

(Page references are to The Little, Brown Compact Handbook with Exercises, seventh edition.)

When quoting, students should:

  • incorporate quotations grammatically into their sentences;
  • follow specialized conventions for long quotations (508);
  • not change language from the source unless they signal the change with square brackets or ellipses (59; 340-43; 356; 417);
  • not leave a quotation to stand alone as a sentence.

When paraphrasing, students should:

  • render the passage into their own language and sentence structure;
  • know that even though they have not used the exact language and sentence structure of the original passage, they must still document the source.

When creating parenthetical in-text citations, students should:

  • know how to use The Little, Brown Compact Handbook models (465-70) to create citations appropriate to the sources they are using;
  • know how to place and punctuate in-text citations (470-72);
  • know that there must be at least one in-text citation for every source in the Works Cited list.

When creating the Works Cited page, students should:

  • know how to select Little, Brown Compact Handbook models (474-505) to create Works Cited entries appropriate to the sources they are using (and understand that sometimes it is necessary to combine several Little, Brown Compact Handbook models);
  • follow the models closely with respect to arrangement of elements, correct punctuation, and spacing between and within entries (473-74; 477; 479; 482; 491; 498; 500; 517-18);
  • know that there must be a Works Cited entry for every source cited parenthetically in the text.

Some Strategies to Encourage Academic Honesty

  • Require students to submit a photocopy or printout of every page of source material that they document. This allows the instructor to ascertain whether students have used source material  
  • appropriately: i.e., whether they have quoted, paraphrased, and documented correctly, as well as whether they have plagiarized.
  • Assign documented essays in stages, collecting and evaluating research materials before the paper is due. This encourages students to do thorough research and gives them time to assimilate it.