ENGL1801AE: Off Campus

Academic Writing: Fundamentals  -  Course Syllabus

Instructor: Prof. Robert Cooper

Group class time: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM in Classroom: WW101

Office hours: During class, or by appointment, or by email

Course Management System website:

Email address:


Welcome to Algoma University

A note from the president

Support for students is available at or for technology-specific questions/needs please submit an IT ticket here. Faculty can also use the email or their Early Alert Tool, accessible in the employee portal, to communicate with advisors so we can help students quickly. Student success belongs to everyone: faculty, students, staff, admin. We are all in this together.  

As you know, recently, the decision was made to deliver fall programming remotely in a non-face-to-face environment. This decision was made after full consultation with the internal community - including student leaders. We don’t know what the winter term will look like yet - but we will make this decision mid-fall. We strongly suggest that you not delay decisions for the fall registration but work with advisors to support your long-term plans.  I have included a short video sharing how we made this decision as well as my own personal thoughts about the situation we have found ourselves in. I truly believe this is a tremendous learning opportunity for all of us, myself included. The world will change post-COVID,  that is certain. The technology skills we are adopting, adapting to and learning about are the same technologies global businesses, industries and communities are utilizing during the pandemic. I believe the skills our students will have emerging from this experience will help them post-graduation in ways we have not even considered. The video is approximately 3 minutes

Catalogue Description

"The focus of this course will be basic English communication skills, including reading, writing, listening, speaking, and thinking. Through presentations and essays, students will learn to communicate effectively in the academic setting. Special attention will be given to problems in syntax, grammar, and mechanics in oral and written assignments. An elective credit not applicable to a major in English. Students cannot retain credit for more than one of ENGL 1801, ENGL 1501 and ENGL 1101. (LANG 4.5) (3 cr)”

Course Requirements

This course emphasizes writing, English usage grammar, syntax, and rhetorical modes, which may include description, narration, comparison/contrast, cause/effect, definition, classification/division, exposition, and argument/persuasion. Students will be introduced to the library. Weekly assignments may include in-class and out-of-class assignments, group-work, at least two major essays, and one final essay and/or report.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this course can expect to have acquired the following skills:

1.   The ability to write university papers at an introductory level using correct grammar and punctuation, appropriate tone and diction, and suitable research methods and  critical thinking.

2.   The ability to read academic literature in English at an introductory level and engage with it critically.

3.   Study skills for university courses including note taking, information and library skills, and an understanding of how to participate in class discussions.

4.   Intercultural skills for all students including an awareness of cultural differences and strategies for clarifying the expectations of different disciplines and professors.

5.   A clear understanding of and commitment to academic integrity.

Required Text

Recommended Texts

The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL):

Any good dictionary.  Internet access

All aspects of the course must be completed in order for a final grade to be issued.


Assignments (assorted)


Work-shopping 20

Major Assignment




Writing Folder






Please note that a missing assignments will result in a grade of zero (0) for that assignment.  No make-ups will be permitted for in-class quizzes, announced or unannounced.

Late Policy

A10% deduction per day late will be applied unless you can provide documented evidence of a legitimate reason for having been unable to meet the deadline (e.g. a doctor’s note).  Assignments build upon each other in this course. If you get late with one, you will find it hard to keep up.

Lateness to Class

Excessive and/or repetitive lateness will not be tolerated. It is very disruptive of the class when you join us once the class has started. Anyone arriving more than 10 minutes late will be permitted into the class but they will be marked as absent. A student missing more than 20% of the classes will receive a “Fail” for the course.

Plagiarism & Academic Dishonesty

Plagiarism is a serious offence. It will not be tolerated. The University takes a very serious view of academic offences such as plagiarism, cheating, and impersonation. Regulations and procedures stipulated in the AU Student Code of Conduct (Academic) will apply and are available in the AU Academic Calendar, available online at

This course will give you a clear understanding of plagiarism and how to avoid it. If you have any questions about plagiarism, please come and ask me. I reserve the right to process your work through plagiarism detection software such as Turnitin.


Please email me to arrange one-on-one consultations if you have concerns about the course, have questions about the course material, or wish to discuss your presentation and essays with me as you are working on them. Do remember to plan ahead and make arrangements to see me in time for it to be helpful! Brief or unexpected queries can be addressed in my office hours listed at the top of this course outline.

Submitting Work

It is your responsibility to retain a back-up copy of all work you submit for this course.

Conduct in Class

Please remember the discussions we have in our first class about class expectations.

Class Schedule








July 15



Start Assignment #1

Writing Folder


Buy your textbook



July 17



Diagnostic testing Writing

Toulmin Continued


Start reading Assignment #1

pp. 21-25


July 20



Intro to the library  -  Search Phrases

Workshop Summary

Plagiarism started   

Toulmin Continued

Summary Draft



July 22


Library introduction. 

Finish Plagiarism

Writing Lab




Ch. 8


July 24



Workshop Description


Toulmin's Framework

Description Draft

Ch. 6


July 27



Paraphrase   pptx

Workshop Narration

Work on Assignment #1 (and get caught up.)

Narration Draft

Ch. 9


July 29



Workshop Paraphrase

Process Analysis Powerpoint 

Semicolon Use     Apostrophe Use

Paraphrase Draft

Ch. 12


July 31



Workshop Process               


Introductions and Conclusions

Process Draft



Aug 3


Victoria Day  -  No Class

Essay #1 Draft

Ch. 13


Aug 5


Workshop Essay #1

"Picking off the lint"  in-class editing exercise




Aug 7



Bullshit  Write a one paragraph summary for Friday 

Assignment #1

DUE  (20%)



Aug 10



Workshop Comparison/Contrast

Cause/Effect    PowerPoint

Comparison Draft

Ch. 10, 11


 Aug 12



Analogies ( .htm)  PowerPoint

Workshop Causal Analysis (Cause/Effect)

Cause/Effect Draft



Aug 14


Workshop Analogies

Definition  PowerPoint 

Explain Writing Folders

Assignment #2  -  Instructions and marking sheet




Aug 17


Workshop Definition


Definition Draft 

Ch. 13


Aug 19


Workshop Folder





Aug 21


Workshop Argument Draft #2 (Penultimate)

Folder DUE (20%)



Aug 24


Last Class

Final paper Due   

Review  and Reflection                        

Assignment #2 DUE







No exam for this course.




Comma Use


Research Proposal  / Research Prospectus




Writing Lab presentation 

Develop a topic

The Chaos Of English Pronunciation by Gerard Nolst Trenité

Writing Lab

The Writing Lab is a student service that can help you with specific writing issues and with the writing and editing process. The Writing Lab Instructor is Marissa Ross. The service is run by appointment so contact Marissa early in the semester to make appointments before your assignments are due.
Office: WW201B (Library, 2nd floor); Email: or

Phone: (705) 949 2301 ext. 4226
Hours: TBA

Marking Outline*

(A+) 90% - 100%:

The assignment incorporates original and creative ideas that are clearly expressed. The writer demonstrates an excellent use of vocabulary by using a variety of word choices. The assignment shows clear organization and incorporates appropriate transitions. The writer pays close attention to agreement, word order, sentence construction and sentence variety. The assignment is virtually free of errors in grammar, spelling and punctuation.  Paragraphs are fully developed and the writer uses relevant details and examples as support. The assignment is written according to instructions and meets the length requirements.

 (A) 80% – 89%:

The assignment is effectively organized and clearly expressed. The writer demonstrates a good use of vocabulary. The assignment incorporates original ideas that are supported with effective examples and details. The writer pays close attention to agreement, word order, sentence construction and sentence variety. The writing is mostly free of errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation. The assignment is written according to instructions and meets the length requirements.

(B) 70% - 79%:

The assignment shows good organization and adequate clarity. Paragraphs are fully developed and sentences are all comprehensible. There are few spelling and punctuation errors. The assignment incorporates relevant examples and details as support. The writing contains some grammatical errors but generally shows successful grammar usage. The assignment demonstrates appropriate word choice. The assignment is written according to instructions and meets the length requirements.

(C) 60% – 69%:

The assignment is unclear or underdeveloped. Paragraphs are not adequately developed and some sentences may be incomprehensible. The writer does not demonstrate effective vocabulary, as the word choice may be repetitive or inappropriate. There are mistakes in grammar, spelling, and punctuation. The assignment generally follows instructions and is reasonably close to the length requirements.

(D) 50% – 59%:

The assignment lacks clear organization and appropriate word choice. The writing is generally unclear, and as a result, the assignment does not provide a coherent message. Paragraphs are underdeveloped and do not contain support. There are frequent errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation. The assignment is significantly short of the length requirements.

(F) Below 50%:

The assignment is disorganized and confusing. The writing demonstrates a poor use of vocabulary and is full of spelling errors. There are many grammar and punctuation problems. The assignment does not follow instructions because it is significantly underdeveloped and is far from meeting the length requirements.

* Developed by Professor Emily Andersen 

Algoma University Grading System:

The grading scale for all individual courses, effective September 1977, is as follows:

80-100% (A)

Excellent Performance: comprehensive knowledge in depth of the principles and materials treated in the course, fluency in communicating that knowledge and originality and independence in applying material and principles.

70-79% (B)

Good Performance: thorough understanding of the breadth of materials and principles treated in the course and ability to apply and communicate that understanding effectively.

60-69% (C)

Satisfactory Performance: basic understanding of the breadth of principles and material treated in the course and an ability to apply and communicate that understanding competently.

50-59% (D)

Marginal Performance: adequate understanding of most principles and material treated in the course, but significant weakness in some areas and in the ability to apply and communicate that understanding.

0-49% (F)

Failure: Inadequate or fragmentary knowledge of the principles and material treated in the course, or failure to complete the work required in the course.

Additional Resourcces

Comma Use

Apostrophe Use

Semicolon Use 


Citation Programmes