Course Syllabus

Ms. Kathleen McGinty-Johnston, AH 301F
email: mcginty-johnston@lacollege.edu
office hours: MW 11:30-3:00, TR 2:00-3:30, F 11:30-1:00 and by appointment (schedule via email, please)
office phone: 487.7445

LC Mission Statement: The mission of Louisiana College is to provide liberal arts, professional, and graduate programs characterized by devotion to the pre-eminence of the Lord Jesus, allegiance to the authority of the Holy Scriptures, dedication to academic excellence for the glory of God, and commitment to change the world for Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Required resources:

  • Anker, Real Writing with Readings, 7th edition
  • Flash drive, notebook, functioning pen, electronic resources (Turnitin, LC Portal, course website)
  • Louisiana College email address. The official way that the college communicates with you is through your assigned LC email address. You are responsible for knowing and using this email address.

Course objectives: You must know how to write competently in order to communicate with other people. In your future careers, no matter what they may be, the ability to write correct and standard English will always be necessary in order to demonstrate that people should take you seriously. Competent writing includes the use of well-structured sentences, coherent paragraphs, and clear, focused essays. You will learn to use words correctly and appropriately, and you will learn to organize your thoughts and arguments.

The course will focus on grammar and paragraph development and will culminate in two five-paragraph essays. You will learn and practice all aspects of the writing process, including brainstorming, prewriting, outlining, drafting, revising, and editing – and you will never turn in a first draft as your final draft.

By the end of the semester, you should be able to:

  • Write sentences that are clear, concise, and varied in structure
  • Identify and correct fragments, comma splices, run-on sentences, s-v agreement issues, and pronoun-antecedent agreement issues
  • Use correct punctuation
  • Avoid errors that distract the reader
  • Write organized paragraphs of 200 words that are focused
  • Write 2 five-paragraph essays that are clear and focused

Grading scale: 
A = 93-100         B = 85-92         C = 75-84         D = 70-74         F = 0-69

Course requirements and grades:

  • 30% — 6 paragraphs of 200 words each
  • 25% — 2 5-paragraph essays
  • 10% — Homework, quizzes (5 lowest grades will be dropped at the end of the semester)
  • 20% — 2 grammar tests
  • 15% — Final exam


Attendance: Louisiana College’s attendance policy requires students to attend at least 75% of the scheduled classes. Missing more than the permitted number of classes will result in automatic failure and withdrawal from the course, reducing your overall enrollment hours by 3.

  • More than 10 absences = failure
  • Using your phone in class = absence, 0 for all assignments that day
  • Using the internet for non-class purposes = absence, 0 for all assignments that day
  • 2 tardies = 1 absence
  • Daily assignments missed cannot be made up (5 lowest daily grades will be dropped)*
  • You are responsible for finding out what you missed during your absence
  • Class assignments that are on each unit syllabus syllabus are always due on the date assigned.
  • All homework assignments are due at the beginning of class on the day they are due. Late homework will not be accepted. Paragraphs/essays cannot be uploaded late.

Classroom conduct: The classroom is an environment that promotes mutual respect and dignity for everyone. Anyone who intentionally creates an uncomfortable or unpleasant situation will be asked to leave and will be counted absent.

  • No verbally abusive or inappropriate language is permitted.
  • Only enrolled students may attend class.
  • All personal electronic devices will be turned off in the classroom.
  • Unless students have a real need to do so (via the PASS office), no personal computers may be used.

Course design: Below is an overview for the semester. Additionally, there will be detailed unit syllabuses for weeks 1-5, 6-9 and 10-15.

1. Unit I, weeks 1-5: You will work on major grammar errors, topic sentences, the basics of writing, and revision. You will turn in 3 200-word paragraphs during this unit – 1 narrative paragraph and 2 descriptive paragraphs.

2. Unit II, weeks 6-10: This unit will begin with a grammar test. You will continue to focus on major grammar errors and will study parts of speech and construction, including word usage, punctuation, and capitalization. You will also work on organization and paragraph refinement. You will turn in 3 200-word paragraphs – 1 definition paragraph, 1 comparison paragraph, and 1 contrast paragraph.

3. Unit III, weeks 11-15: This unit will begin with a grammar test. You will concentrate on mastering grammar and polishing your prose. You will work on using well-constructed paragraphs to form a well-written essay, you will turn in 2 five-paragraph essays (narrative, expository), and you will take a final exam.

Online resources: Turnitin, LC Portal, your LC email, and the class website are online resources that are not optional. These tools will allow me to communicate any and all information regarding the class and your obligations. Additionally, reading email is most certainly not optional, and failing to do so is not the same as “not getting your email.” We will go over accessing these resources during the first week of class.

Writing Center: The Writing Center is a free tutorial service that offers one-hour sessions for students to work one-on-one with trained tutors on any aspect of their writing project. In addition to tutoring, it also houses resources such as references guides. The Writing Center is located in the Humanities department in Room 301D. Hours and tutors are limited, so be sure to sign up as early as possible.

For students with a disability: Any student who has a disability that qualifies under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and who desires modifications or accommodations should contact the director of the Program to Assist Students’ Success (PASS) for information and guidance (487.7629).


Academic Integrity and Dishonesty: All violations, including plagiarism and other forms of cheating, will result in serious penalties. Cheating includes, but is not limited to, using any materials such as notes, electronic devices, and cell phones during exams and giving, receiving, and/or obtaining information about exams. Plagiarism not only means failure to cite direct quotations, paraphrases, and other information, or representing the ideas or words of another as one’s own, but it also includes recycling or re-using papers that were written for another class, using portions of or complete essays found on the Internet, and collaborating with others on an assignment. Plagiarism also means copying all or part of another’s work (either word for word or with interchanging words) and claiming it as one’s own. A single instance of dishonesty/plagiarism will be grounds for failure of this course. Essays will be checked against available electronic sources for plagiarism. In addition, the Code of Academic Integrity Violation Report will be sent to the Assistant Dean of Louisiana College. Please see the Student Handbook for other repercussions of dishonesty. Remember that you signed an Academic Honesty Contract at the beginning of the semester; please ask to see it if you have any questions.

*Tests may be made up if your absence was due to verified illness or a school-sponsored event. I am permitted to use discretion regarding illness-related absences.

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