Bunker Hill Community College

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ESL-079 Academic Writing I

Course Syllabus

3 Credits

Go to BHCCselfservice to see course details, schedules and availability.


Placement into ESL Level I


In this low-intermediate course, students learn to write paragraphs and short essays through an academic writing process in a variety of rhetorical styles using basic MLA format. Students will write from personal experience and respond to readings by paraphrasing and quoting. Students will learn to write different sentence types, using coordinators and subordinators. Punctuation and grammar will be taught, and students will apply their knowledge by revising and editing their papers. Students must pass the ESL 079 Writing Competency Exam and earn a C or better in order to pass the course.


Students can…

  • Begin to use 5 steps of the writing process (brainstorm, organize, write, revise, and edit)
  • Revise for content, organization and development
  • Edit writing for grammar and mechanics
  • Use proper MLA format
  • Respond to a reading of some complexity (approx 5-7th grade reading level), demonstrating comprehension and critical thinking through writing
  • Begin to use a variety of sentence types (simple, compound, complex)
  • Distinguish coordinators (FANBOYS) from subordinators
  • Write a paragraph with main idea and simple supporting details
  • Develop essays (approx.350-400 words) with a thesis statement, introduction, body and conclusion using a variety of rhetorical styles
  • Use simple logical connectors including conjunctions and transitions
  • Begin to quote and paraphrase from a secondary source
  • Utilize effective academic vocabulary and correct word forms that are reflective of the reading
  • Achieve a 3.6 REEP score on an in-class essay
  • Demonstrate proficiency of the grammar in the 079 curriculum


First Steps in Academic Writing, Ann Hogue, Pearson Longman, 2008.


This class will include lecture, class discussion, group work and individual work. Students are expected to be prepared for class and to participate. Most reading will be done outside of class. Writing will be done both inside and outside the class. Groups will be asked to give some informal presentations or explanations to the class. Some quizzes will be given without notice. Students will usually be able to rewrite at-home compositions for a higher grade; in this case 1st and 2nd copies of the work must be submitted to the instructor. Students may be required to complete assignments in the Language Lab.


Plagiarism will be discussed in this course. Basically, it is the unauthorized use of someone else’s work. Examples of plagiarism include copying ideas or sentences from a textbook or Internet article without using quotation marks or without including the source with the essay. Plagiarized work may result in a failing grade for the assignment or for the course, or a student may be asked to leave the course. All students are asked to read the Student Code of Conduct in the Student Handbook. All students must complete the plagiarism course at this website and print a copy for me: https://plagiarism.iu.edu/certificationTests/


All students are expected to be present and on time for each class. It is your responsibility to make up work if you are absent. If you miss a class, you must come to me in class or in my office to get any missing work. Three absences will result in a 1/3 letter grade drop (A to A-, A- to B+, etc.) Each successive absence will cause a 1/3 drop in the final grade.


All out of class assignments must be typed in “times new roman” font size 12, double-spaced, and should include your name, the class, the date, and a title. Save your work on a flash drive. Save all assignments that have been graded and returned to you. Assignments are due on the assigned date. Late assignments may result in a lower grade.


All students are expected to behave in a manner considerate of the instructor and the other students. Disruptive students may be asked to leave the class. Students must turn off cell phones during class. If you need to receive a call because of some emergency, please let the instructor know at the beginning of class.


Writing assignments (weekly): 60%
Quizzes: 10%
Midterm Test: 15%
Final Test: 15%
Total: 100%


A=94-100 A-=90-93 B+=87-89 B=83-86 B-=80-82 C+=77-79 C=70-76 D=60-69 F=below 60

This syllabus may be subject to change.