ENGL&102 W21 1294 & 1298 – COMPOSITION II

NORTH SEATTLE COLLEGE: Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

Course: ENG&102.D7 (Item #1294) & ENGL&102.D10 (Item #1298)

Theme: Focus on Travel and Journeys: Travel writing and the cultural, economic, and ecological issues raised by travel.

Quarter: Winter 2021

Web: canvas.northseattle.edu

Instructor: Molly Tenenbaum

Office: IB2423C, Suite 9 (but because of the pandemic, I am not on campus this quarter.

Office hours: By appointment through Zoom.

E-mail: During the quarter, contact me through Canvas inbox. Outside of the quarter, use my campus e-mail: molly.tenenbaum@seattlecolleges.edu


  • The Best American Travel Writing 2020, edited by Robert MacFarlane
  • Various other readings and resources will be provided online.


Because any writing class needs something to write about, our subject this quarter will be travel. We’ll read about various kinds of travel—travel to escape dire circumstances, to seek a hopeful situation, to understand the past, to conquer or colonize, to seek the unknown, to find out something. We’ll explore recent developments in travel: the effects of climate change and Instagram, for example. We’ll read and analyze essays and poems relating to travel, identify issues connected to the readings, and research these topics. We’ll study some good travel writing to discover what makes it good, and we’ll practice applying these principles to our own writing adventures.

English 102 asks you to spend a lot of time reading, thinking about, and writing about our assigned texts. In many ways, 102 is a giant leap from 101: There is more reading, more writing, and the pace is somewhat faster than in English 101.


Upon successful completion of ENGL&102, students will be able to:
1. Read a variety of college level texts critically, including at least one full-length
written text.
2. Compose coherent analyses of college-level full-length texts.
3. Plan, organize, and write longer thesis-driven essays about a complex idea.
4. Recognize and choose rhetorical strategies for academic audiences and
5. Synthesize sources and information.
6. Accurately and ethically summarize, paraphrase, and quote an author’s ideas for
the purposes of analysis.
7. Smoothly integrate source material in support of an essay’s thesis.
8. Apply MLA-style standards and documentation to academic essays.
9. Engage in self-editing practices in order to write clear, grammatically and
mechanically correct prose.
10. Use library resources for locating print and online sources not openly available
on the free Internet.
11. Evaluate sources critically for authority, bias, currency, and relevance to the
rhetorical situation.
12. Understand plagiarism and how to avoid it.

This course fosters and promotes the following NSC Essential Learning Outcomes (ELOs), skills that the college believes are essential for all students:

  • Inquiry based on information accessed through ethical research.
  • Problem Solving using critical and creative thinking, quantitative and qualitative reasoning, information literacy, and disciplinary and cross-disciplinary knowledge.
  • Communication in oral, written, and artistic modes of expression, individually and in collaboration with others
  • Responsibility for understanding and integrating intercultural competence, practicing ethical reasoning and conduct, applying sustainability principles, and demonstrating respect for self and others.


English 102 students are expected to have taken English 101 and passed with at least a 2.0. In order to be successful this quarter, you must have a basic understanding of how to write and organize an essay, including crafting thesis statements, providing support via quotations and paraphrase, creating transitions between points in your argument, writing introductions and conclusions—although we will review these, and other, elements of essay writing during the quarter. If you need extra work in these areas, you may find it challenging to pass this class. If I notice that you need work in these areas, I will let you know and will advise you to visit the Page One Writing Center (See links below).


This course is offered fully online through Canvas. You will type ALL assignments and communication, and must have regular and reliable internet/computer access. We have no scheduled “classroom” time, although assignments will have specific deadlines and you will need to access the class page regularly to stay on top of everything. I will check my Canvas email every day and you need to as well.

This class is reading and writing intensive. You will be reading, working on your own, and working online rather than sitting in a classroom 5 hours a week; however you are expected to spend this same amount of time, plus homework time, for our class. Homework time is estimated to be two hours for every hour of class time, so expect an online class to take approximately 15 hours a week.

If you have never taken an online or hybrid course before, hereLinks to an external site. is a link to North’s e-Learning technical support page, which is also linked on our Canvas homepage. Please review these materials and make sure you understand what’s expected from you in an online class.

You are responsible for interacting on your own with the material posted to our Canvas site. This material will include written documents as well as some video and audio. It is important that you interact with—read, watch, listen, consider—these materials before attempting to complete any of our class assignments.

Minimum technical recommendations for participating in online and hybrid classes at NSC

To participate effectively, you must have:

  • Access to the Internet, preferably via computer and broadband internet access (cable modem, DSL, or other high speed service);
  • A modern web browser: the most recent release (or two prior releases) of Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or Internet Explorer. Note that Canvas does not work well on Internet Explorer;
  • Up-to-date Flash and Java plug-ins;
  • Permissions/ability to install additional plug-ins or class software as needed; and

It is also highly recommended that you:

  • Have up-to-date anti-virus software installed and active.

Skills for Success

To succeed in an online or hybrid class, you should have the ability to:

  • Navigate the WWW, including downloading and reading files from web sites;
  • Download and install software or plug-ins such as Adobe Reader or Flash;
  • Use email, including attaching and downloading documents/files from emails;
  • Save files in commonly used word processing formats (.doc, .docx, .rtf);
  • Copy and paste text and other items on a computer;
  • Save and retrieve documents and files on your computer; and
  • Locate information on the internet using search engines.


There are three deadlines each week:

  • Wednesday at 11:59pm
  • Friday at 11:59pm
  • Sunday at 11:59pm

These deadlines will be consistent every week throughout the quarter. To find out what to do each week, read the “Overview and Instructions” in each week’s module. All the information you need will be accessed from that page. Do the assignments there in the order they are listed.


The list below is subject to change: In case of power outage or other emergencies, I may shift the number and kinds of assignments to accomplish our objectives in alternative ways. This, however, is my best prediction of what we will do.

Three major essays. Approximately 1300 words each (5 pages) plus a works cited page. Each will be developed through a multi-phase process of brainstorming, researching, drafting, organizing, receiving feedback, revisions and proofreading. The first two will involve a small amount of research. Each will be submitted to a peer workshop for review, then revised and submitted for a grade. Specific requirements for each will be given as the quarter proceeds.

Essay 1 (100 points): Based on themes and topics found in the articles we read in our anthology, Best American Travel Writing 2020.

Essay 2 (100 points): Based on a selection of travel-related poems which you will analyze and research.

Essay 3 (80-125 points): A travel article or short sketch in which you put into practice what you have learned about travel writing, and it will include a reflection of how what you’ve learned about travel writing has influenced your writing process.

3-4 seminar papers (20-55 points each): These will include analytical responses to readings, pre-writing and editing activities, and practice of specific writing skills. These will not involve peer workshops. Detailed instructions will be given as the quarter proceeds.

Short final project (30-50 points): What this is will depend on how much time is left once we complete the 3 essays; what I do know, is that it will be a short project involving some reading, analysis, and reflecting on the course themes.

Weekly Canvas Discussions (10-15 points each): Each week there will be a Canvas discussion involving responses to our course readings and thoughts about the theme of travel. Some weeks, the discussion will be a workshop on a draft of the essay assignment. Each discussion will be given specific instructions.

Writing Exercises (10-20 points each): Each week there will be 1-2 smaller writing exercises asking you to practice certain writing skills and respond to the readings. Some of these exercises you will do on your own, some will be in quiz format, and others will be created in small-group discussions with others.

Extra-Credit assignments (5 points each): You may earn up to 20 points of extra-credit in this class. Extra-credit assignments will be added during the quarter, and you may do up to 20 points’ worth.


Essay assignments must use Modern Language Association (Links to an external site.) (MLA) formatting and documentation. Links for MLA are on our course homepage, but here are some of the highlights of this format:

  • Double-space
  • Title: Center the title above the text, and capitalize all words except prepositions (such as ofbetweenthrough), articles (such as a, the, and an), and conjunctions (such as butandor; however, capitalize them if they begin the title or the subtitle). Do not underline or italicize your own essay title or put it in a bold font.
  • To start a new paragraph, indent 5 spaces (or one tap of the “Tab” key)
  • Except for the title, which is centered, align your text with the left margin. Do not justify the margins. (Justified margins create a straight light of text on both the right and left sides. Do not do this. The right margin should be ragged.)


The writing: All assignments (unless you are otherwise instructed) must be typed, and, except for discussions, must be double-spaced. I will not accept single-spaced assignments. Always submit assignments to the Canvas drop-box or discussion for that assignment. Do not e-mail assignments. Hot tip: As students, you can get Office 365, including Word, for free. Click here for more about getting Office 365 for free (Links to an external site.).

Post Canvas Work on Time: Assignments are time sensitive, meaning if you submit an assignment even one second late, it is late. Please pay attention to deadlines and don’t cut it so close that a computer glitch causes your work to be late! It is your responsibility to be aware of deadlines and to meet each one.

Email: All correspondence with your instructor needs to be proofread in proper email format: 1) A subject line saying what the e-mail is about; 2) “Dear Ms. Tenenbaum”; 3) and then the content of your message. Emails sent without a subject line will be deleted immediately, and emails that have not been proofread are perceived as disrespectful, and will put me in a bad mood before I have even read your message, though I will do my best to help you anyway.

Instructor availability: I will return e-mail and respond to questions within 24 hours, Monday through Friday. I am usually offline one day a week, often Saturday, and though I check in over the rest of the weekend, it is not guaranteed that I will be able to answer lengthy questions.

Participate! Contribute to the collaborative and supportive atmosphere of our class. Review the Netiquette policy in our Start Here module. Be on time with your feedback and responses.

Save your work: Keep a copy of all the work you submit through Canvas. It is also recommended that you compose outside of Canvas, save, and then copy and paste into discussion text boxes, so that in case of a Canvas or computer crash, your work is not lost.


Whatever your percentage of the total points possible, that’s your course grade. Below is a conversion chart to show how percentages convert to grades on the 4-point system. These conversions are standard across the Seattle Colleges System.

Chart Showing NSC Grading System
Student PerformancePercentage of Points EarnedLetter Grade EquivalentNumerical Grade
Excellent97%-100 %A+4.0
64% and belowF0.0

Note that the lowest possible grade is 65%–everything below that results in a 0.0 grade. However, Financial Aid often requires a grade of 75% (2.0) to keep your status.

Checking your grades: During the quarter, you can check your grades in Canvas. At the end of the quarter (four business days after the last day), you can look up your final course grade at: https://northseattle.edu/online-services/gradesLinks to an external site.


Explanation: The late polices below are based on the following reasoning:

  • Together, we are creating a learning community in which we encourage, help, and share ideas with each other. Those with late assignments are not ready to benefit from others’ insights nor are they ready to offer their insights to others.
  • Learning happens over time in a step-by-step process. Being late with one assignment means you have less time to do other assignments, and thus less time to practice and absorb the material—and thus, often, the late or rushed assignments are of lower quality and receive poorer grades.
  • Nevertheless, I know that things can come up—getting sick or having a family emergency, for instance. The policies below aim to allow for emergencies while also encouraging promptness with deadlines.
  • Always get in touch with me if you think you may be late with an assignment. Together we will figure out the best approach for the situation.
  • To avoid the penalties listed below, you must have contacted me before the assignment is due, or on the due date if you absolutely cannot contact me before.

Late Essay or Seminar Paper:

  • You have one free pass to turn in Essay #1Essay #2, or a Seminar Paper up to 48 hours late, with no questions asked, no reasons needed. It is your responsibility to let me know that you are requesting that option for a particular essay or seminar paper. Late passes must be requested before the deadline. I will not automatically apply them.
  • If your essay is not ready for the peer workshop, you will not earn the full points for that workshop.
  • Without the late pass, or with it but beyond the time it allows, these assignments lose 5% of their point value per day.
  • Essays or Seminar Papers more than a week late are not accepted.
  • Late passes may not be used for Essay #3, since it is already due toward the end of the quarter.
  • To avoid the 5%-per-day penalty, you must have contacted me before the assignment is due, or on the due date if you absolutely cannot contact me before.

Late Writing Exercises:

  • You have one free pass to turn in one solo writing exercise (not group exercises) up to 24 hours late with no questions asked, no reasons needed.
  • Late passes must be requested before the deadline. I will not automatically apply them.
  • Without the late pass, or beyond 24 hours, these assignments lose 5% of their point value per day.
  • Writing exercises more than a week late are not accepted.
  • To avoid the 5%-per-day penalty, you must have contacted me before the assignment is due, or on the due date if you absolutely cannot contact me before.

Late Discussions and Peer Workshop:

  • Late initial posts: The rubric for each discussion and workshop details how many points are earned by posting the first post on time. It is usually 1-2 points.
  • Late replies: Late replies are not accepted. Discussions depend on the participation of others, and after the closing deadline, participants have moved on. Discussions will close at the deadline and be unavailable for submissions (though you will still be able to view the posts).


Campus or community emergencies:

It is possible that power outages, viruses, or other conditions will affect classes, transportation to and from campus, or internet needed for schoolwork. If our class is affected, I will let you know through Canvas announcements. If you are affected by conditions in your community, such as a power outage or loss of wifi, let me know as soon as possible.

Personal emergencies:

  • Always get in touch with me if you think you may be late with an assignment, no matter the reason. Together we will figure out the best approach for the situation.
  • The following situations, by my definition, are NOT emergencies: computer problems, traffic, confusion about the assignment, writer’s block, etc. Please plan ahead to allow for these.
  • If you are confused about the assignment or are having trouble with it, please get in touch with me as soon as possible, ideally well before the due date, and I will help you!
  • If you are sick or have an emergency, get in touch with me right away, preferably before a due date, and we will try to figure out how to keep you caught up.
  • If you have been participating regularly and keeping up with assignments, I will be more likely to be sympathetic and will work with you to resolve the situation.
  • Extended Emergencies: Sometimes a crisis can cause you to miss so much class or be so occupied that it is not possible to remain caught up or to complete the class. Please get in touch with me to see how you might stay caught up, or to explore other options. In a serious crisis, it can sometimes be better to drop the class and take it again when you are able to focus on it.
  • In order to be fair to all students and situations, and to support student success, I reserve the right to make exceptions to late policies if I feel it is warranted.
  • However, do not assume there will be exceptions for you. Please follow the policies in this syllabus, and get in touch with me if there is a problem.
  • Always get in touch with me! I will work with you to help you succeed in the class.


To take the words or ideas of someone else and present them as your own is plagiarism and is unacceptable in academic life. The nature and causes of plagiarism may cover a range from the accidental to the dishonest. Examples of plagiarism encountered in academic writing may include the following:

  • incorporating into your own writing, without proper acknowledgment, words and sentences from a print, electronic, or oral source;
  • paraphrasing so closely or so extensively from a source that sentences and ideas really belong to the original writer;
  • submitting as your own whole essays or seminar papers written by another person or taken partially or in whole from a printed source, including from the internet;
  • receiving so much help from another person (or program or app, such as a translation app) that the work cannot honestly be called your own.
  • Including outside material within your own writing (without acknowledgement) when the assignment requires only your own thinking and no outside material.
  • submitting assignments produced for one class in another (or previous) class without permission of both instructors (auto-plagiarism).

By your attendance here, you’ve agreed to adhere to the Student Code of Conduct which states, in part, that “academic dishonesty, to include cheating, plagiarism, and providing false information to the college” may bring disciplinary action. The policy of the NSC English faculty is to exercise its professional judgment as to the nature and cause of each case of suspected or proven plagiarism and to respond in a manner suited to the case. Our responses may include the following:

  • requiring that a piece of writing be revised to eliminate the plagiarism;
  • denying credit for a piece of writing in which plagiarism has been found;
  • recording a “0” grade in the student’s class record for this project or paper, thereby lowering the student’s final grade;
  • forwarding the student’s name to the Vice President for Student Services for possible further action.


English 102 is a challenging class. Here’s more about how to help yourself meet the challenges:

  1. The assignments are time-consuming: Assume that an assignment will take much longer than you might at first think. Assume that your writing needs a lot of work even if you’ve always received good grades in English. Assume that every detail needs a lot of attention. Therefore, allow as much time as you possibly can.
  2. There is a lot of reading: The reading may be more difficult than reading that you have done before, depending on your reading experience and comfort with English. You might want to form study groups outside of class, or visit Page One Writing CenterLinks to an external site. for extra help with the reading. Allow plenty of time for the reading.
  3. Keep a record of all sources you consult: You will need this information for working with the MLA system of documentation. We will do library work with Noodletools, linked on our home page, and I recommend using it.
  4. Save all documents frequently: You don’t want the computer or Canvas to lose your assignment. Keep backup copies: Keep them on a flash drive, or e-mail them to yourself, or store them in Google Docs or some other place online.
  5. Have several “class buddies” whom you can be in touch with for help or support. Be a class buddy for others.
  6. Don’t let a poor grade on an assignment get you down: I know that it’s hard to receive a low grade, especially when you feel that you made a strong effort or have done well in previous English classes. Nevertheless, English 102 is a very difficult class. If you get a low grade, the best thing to do is think hard about it, study my comments, ask me questions, and learn from these errors so that you can do better on the next essay. I have seen students get very low grades on the first essay, but then continue, working very hard, with curiosity and open-mindedness; such students often succeed with higher grades by the end of the quarter.
  7. Always ask for help at the first moment you become confused. If you wait, you’ll end up with less time to work successfully and with understanding.


E-learning OfficeLinks to an external site.This is your go-to place for everything to do with online learning, including Canvas issues. They are eager to help you, so don’t hesitate to be in touch.

Disability ServicesLinks to an external site.: I want to support all students in this class. If you have a condition that will affect your performance in this class please let me know. Students with disabilities are encouraged to use Disability Services for support in implementing reasonable accommodations. Running Start students: Understand that any accommodations you have from your high school do not automatically transfer to NSC; therefore, I encourage you to discuss your situation with me and to get set up with Disability Services.

Diversity: One of NSC’s key values, all of which you will find listed on North’s website under “Mission and Accreditation,” is embracing diversity: “We create a richer environment by embracing diverse cultures, ideas, perspectives, and people.” I want to emphasize that in this class we welcome, appreciate, encourage, and learn from everyone.

Veterans’ ServicesLinks to an external site.: offers a range of assistance to veterans, reservists, active duty personnel and eligible family members who receive Veteran’s Administration education benefits.

Religious Accommodations: Students who will be absent from course activities due to reasons of faith or conscience may seek reasonable accommodations so that grades are not impacted. Such requests must be made in writing within the first two weeks of the quarter (Seattle Colleges Policy 336).

Page One Language and Writing Center: We are lucky here at North to have a writing center that is open six days a week and staffed with well-trained, professional tutors (northseattle.edu/tutoring/page-one-writing-center). I encourage you to utilize this valuable resource. Our Page One tutors can assist you at every stage of the writing process, from better understanding the goals and grading criteria of a particular assignment, to planning, drafting, and revising an essay so that it fully reflects your best work. Every NSC student can have two thirty-minute tutoring sessions per day, and all tutoring in Page One is offered on a drop-in basis. Ultimately, if you use the writing Center regularly, you will become a better, more successful student. So don’t miss out! This quarter, all tutoring is online.

Counseling CenterLinks to an external site.: NSC’s Counseling center offers help with study skills, identifying interests and selecting academic programs, locating resources, and managing stressful situations. I urge you to take advantage of the knowledgeable staff there able help support your efforts.

Equity and Welcome CenterLinks to an external site.: Offers support and referrals, and serves current and prospective students of all ages, gender expressions, sexual orientations and cultural backgrounds regardless of immigration status. https://northseattle.edu/equity-welcome-centerLinks to an external site.

NSC IT Services (Links to an external site.): NSC offers remote computer access and discounts on equipment. We also have equipment you can borrow, such as pads and computers. Contact IT services for more about this, and for help with logging in.


I hope that by reading and writing you can learn about the world and about yourself. I hope that the work you do in this course will make you more confident and independent writers, and will enable you to carry out whatever tasks your education asks of you. Though there is always more to learn, by the end of the class you will have the basic tools you need for writing in the academic community and other settings. I hope your learning continues beyond your time at NSC, and I wish you all the pleasure and satisfaction that the work of thinking and writing and discovering can bring.