Prof. Rockwood

Contact:;; (212) 749-1253


My website: (I will post some of the materials for the course on this website as well as links to resources to help with your research paper)

Office Hours: TBA & by appointment.


Across Cultures, A Reader for Writers (8th edition) Sheena Gillespie & Robert Becker **PLEASE RENT OR BUY THIS TEXT USED AS IT IS VERY EXPENSIVE NEW!!!
We will also be using the following text which can be found free online:

Rules for Writers (8th edition) Dianna Hacker & Nancy Sommers (I will provide a link in Blackboard)
NOTE: You can download Rules for Writers 8th Edition free here:

FORMAT: This is an online synchronous class. You are required to attend classes as per our schedule and attendance will be determined: 1. By your attendance during our live sessions in Blackboard Collaborate AND 2. By your camera being on during these live sessions.


I am sorry that I must be so strict about the cameras, but I cannot teach a class where I cannot tell if you are actually present.

The ENA section of the class will meet separately for additional work as per our schedule. Attendance is required (except for emergencies) and taken separately for this section.

All work will be completed/submitted in Blackboard. Please submit either PDF files or Word files. I cannot read Pages files and Google Docs files often require permission to view. These documents can either be converted into PDF files or cut & pasted into Blackboard’s editor.

COMMUNICATION:  The best way to contact me is through my personal email: I can also be reached through LaGuardia’s email: Please do NOT use the Blackboard messaging service as I will not be checking it. 

Course description:          
ENG 101/ENA 101 is a writing workshop designed to help students become critical readers and proficient writers. We will study the process of writing – from brainstorming to final draft – with a focus on persuasive essay writing. We will also study essay and paragraph structure and review some common grammatical mistakes.

Critical thinking and analysis are a major focus of the course. Students will identify a text’s major assumptions and assertions and evaluate its supporting evidence. Students will also become familiar with the concepts of audience, voice, context, and purpose.

Much of our class time will be spent critically analyzing a variety of texts. Students will complete many informal “low stakes” writing assignments in response to these texts.

Additionally, students will write several formal essays over the course of the semester including a midterm and a final topic. Please note that formal essays must follow MLA style and integrate primary and/or secondary sources.

Pathways Common Core Student Learning Objectives (SLOs):

Per the recommendations of the Pathways Six Year Review Report, the following SLOs must be included on all syllabi of courses in the respective Pathways Common Core area, regardless of instructor.


English Composition
* Read and listen critically and analytically, including identifying an argument's major assumptions and assertions and evaluating its supporting evidence.
* Write clearly and coherently in varied, academic formats (such as formal essays, research papers, and reports) using standard English and appropriate technology to critique and improve one's own and others' texts.
* Demonstrate research skills using appropriate technology, including gathering, evaluating, and synthesizing primary and secondary sources.
* Support a thesis with well-reasoned arguments, and communicate persuasively across a variety of contexts, purposes, audiences, and media.
* Formulate original ideas and relate them to the ideas of others by employing the conventions of ethical attribution and citation.

Grading Policies:

I will consider the following when determining your final grade:       

Essay #1 (Your education story – connected to “From Dropout to Graduate” and/or “One Voice” 20%)
Essay #2 (research supported persuasive essay 20%) 
Journal Writings (Short low-stakes writings based on quotations related to the readings 10%)
Quizzes (Mostly grammar review based on the weekly readings from Rules for Writers 10%)           
Midterm Topic (Essay based on a reading from our text 20%)        
Final Topic (Essay based on a reading from our text 20%)

*PLEASE NOTE: It is the policy of the English Department that to pass this course, students must submit a passing draft of all writing assignments.  Students who receive a grade lower than a “B” on an assigned paper may revise the paper for a better grade (up to a “B”). Students who receive a failing grade on an assigned paper or exam MUST revise their work so that it receives a passing grade or they may fail the course. I highly recommend students make use of LaGuardia’s Writing Center for help with their assignments. * NOTE: The writing center may be offering virtual help sessions instead of or in addition to live sessions. Please contact the Writing Center for further details


Students must attend our live sessions AND have their cameras on to be counted for attendance.

The college catalog states that “the maximum number of unexcused absences is limited to 15% of the number of class hours” and “absences are counted from the first day of class even if they are a result of late registration or change of program.” The departmental limit is the equivalent of two weeks, therefore 6 hours for a 3-hour class, 8 hours for a 4-hour class, 10 hours for a 5-hour class, and 14 for a 7-hour class. The same number of hours applies to 6-week sessions, where the limit is one week. No incompletes will be granted absent special and documentable circumstances. If you are absent more than the college allows, you may have to repeat this course. NOTE: I AM ALLOWED TO EXCUSE AN ADDITIONAL ABSENCE OR TWO IF THERE IS A LEGITIMATE REASON, BUT THERE IS AN ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENT FOR THIS COURSE AND I DO NOT HAVE UNLIMITED DISCRETION TO EXCUSE ABSENCES. Students are responsible for all work missed due to absence.

A student will fail this course and be reported to the English Department if they engage in plagiarism. A student plagiarizes when they use the words of another without proper citation. A student may also be guilty of plagiarism even if they do not use the exact words of another. The original ideas of another author must also be properly cited, even if the student puts these ideas into their own words. If you engage in plagiarism, I will almost certainly find out – so please don’t. The only way to become a better writer is to practice. If you put an effort into this class, you will improve as a writer and have the best chance of passing the course with a good grade.

Please follow MLA style for all written work. PLEASE SUBMIT ALL WORK IN BLACKBOARD (NO EMAILED PAPERS). Please use PDF format or cut & paste into the provided editor. I cannot read Pages files and Google Docs often requires permissions – so please convert these into PDF files and submit them. I can read Word files and if they do not require permissions, these are also acceptable.

Please use a word processor for all formal work and take advantage of the grammar and spell-check features available, but keep in mind that they don’t find everything (particularly with grammar).

Please double-space papers so I can more easily read and correct them.

I will accept late papers without penalty if you ask for a reasonable extension and don’t take advantage of this policy. I understand that many students here are not full-time and that many of you have busy lives outside of class. I want to see your best work and not a hastily written first draft you handed in to meet an arbitrary deadline. Taking the time to revise your work is also one of the best ways to become a better writer.
The following schedule should serve as a general guide. I reserve the right to change this schedule and to add or delete assignments to cater to the specific needs of the class. PLEASE NOTE: CHANGES TO THIS SCHEDULE ARE LIKELY! HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENTS WILL BE POSTED ON THE BOARD AT THE BEGINNING OF EACH CLASS. A SPECIAL LIBRARY CLASS WILL ALSO BE SCHEDULED AND I WILL ANNOUNCE THE DATE AS SOON AT IT IS MADE AVAILABLE.

Note to ENA students: I will provide materials for our meetings which will be designed to reinforce what we have done during the previous week. We can, however, also spend this time working on assignments and/or going over areas you feel you need more work on.

Week 1

3/4      Introductions/Syllabus; STAGED PERSUASIVE ESSAY ASSIGNED (TOPICS & RESEARCH DUE WEEK 5, 1ST DRAFT DUE WEEK 7, FINAL DRAFT DUE WEEK 11); HOMEWORK: Read Chapter 1: “The Writing Process” pages 1-48 in Rules for Writers (you don’t have to hand in anything, but please read this important material. Pay special attention to the sample essay at the end of the chapter). 

3/6       CHAT GPT (DOs & DON'Ts); Basic Essay Writing/Common Grammar Mistakes (ENG 101 IN A NUTSHELL)

ENA:  ACTIVE VS PASSIVE READING & PRACTICE; topics for staged persuasive essay assignment.

Week 2 

3/11     Read: Writing Effective Paragraphs (49-64) in Rules for Writers; Active vs. Passive Reading; READ: “From Dropout to Graduate” Across Cultures; PAPER #1 Assigned.  

3/13     READ: “One Voice” in Across Cultures and Eliminating Distracting Shifts (147-152) in Rules for Writers

ENA: WRITING EFFECTIVE PARAGRAPHS; active reading practice; work on paper I


Week 3

3/18     Read Sentence Fragments (188-195) in Rules for Writers;

Read "The Joy of Reading & Writing: Superman & Me" in Across Cultures

3/20      Read Make Subjects and Verbs Agree (202 - 212); Read "A Letter to a Child Like Me" in Across Cultures

Paper #1 Due.         

ENA: The Thesis Statement; Fragments; Subject/verb agreement; work on persuasive essays; active reading/paragraph writing practice

Week 4

3/25     Read: Native Americans and the Federal Government (Link Provided in Blackboard); Tighten Wordy Sentences (166-169) in Rules for Writers.

3/27      "The Loan Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven" (Link Provided); Editing Practice: Tightening Wordy Sentences
                        ENA: Active Reading/Paragraph Writing Practice        

Week 5
4/1   TOPICS & SOURCES FOR PAPER 2 DUE; Read: "People Like Us" Across Cultures; Read: RUN-ON SENTENCES (195-201) in Rules for Writers

4/3 Read: The Declaration of Independence (link provided in Blackboard); Editing run-on sentences practice

ENA    Run-on Sentences work; Active reading/paragraph writing; work on persuasive essays

Week 6

4/8       "One Friday Morning" (link provided); Double-Negatives (235-236) in Rules for Writers

4/10    Summary: Brown vs Board of Education (link provided);

The Apostrophe (319-323) Rules for Writers

ENA     Double-negatives & The Apostrophe review; Active reading & paragraph writing practice.

Week 7 


4/15      "Is That Video Game Programming You?" in Across Cultures; Constructing Arguments (91-119) in Rules for Writers.

4/17     "Arnie's Test Day" (Text in this week's folder); Timed Essay Strategy (materials provided in class)


Week 8

5/1 MIDTERM TOPIC: Please complete your midterm topic this week. We will not meet for instruction 5/1 as you would normally have the time in class to complete this assignment.

Week 9

5/6       Fake News/Evaluating Sources (416-427) Rules for Writers; "Redefining What's Fit to Print" Rules for Writers (112-117)

5/8       Choose Appropriate Language (170-179) Rules for Writers; "Why We Work" in Across Cultures

Week 10

5/13     “Why We Crave Horror Movies” in Across Cultures; Quotations: Rules for Writers (323-329)

5/15     Too Much Technology in Across Cultures; Inserting Quotations (materials provided in class)

ENA: Practice Inserting Quotations; Active reading/paragraph writing practice

Week 11

5/20      Capital Letters (356-360) Rules for Writers; “The Man I Killed” Across Cultures

5/22     “Roughing It” (Link Provided in Blackboard); Grammar Review (materials provided in class)


Research Papers Due

ENA: Capital Letters/Grammar Review; Active Reading/paragraph writing practice

Week 12


5/29     “The Lottery” in Across Cultures; Symbolism in Literature (materials provided in class)

ENA: Symbolism in popular media/paragraph writing practice

Week 13

6/3       Last Live Meeting: Stone Throwing in India, an Annual Bash; Grammar Review

ENA:   Grammar Review/TBA

6/5       FINAL TOPIC: Please complete your final topic this week. We will not meet for instruction 6/5 as you would normally have the time in class to complete this assignment.

Week 14

Finals Week (We do NOT meet); ALL WORK DUE BY 6/13 @ 5PM


Grades Due 6/16