Score BIG Details

This is for the 2017 Pilot Program. I have enrolled the following classes for competition: ENG 1002; ENG 1001-10; ENG 0900-01; ENG 0900-04. Here are the details as I understand them; provide din ENG 1002 “storytelling” terms:
The premise: a campus wide competition between 18-20 classes (some are still signing up).
The hero/heroine: you guys as a class!!
The antagonistic forces: the other classes; procrastination; motivation
The war:
  • You will receive email direction and more detail once you complete STEP 1 directions below.
  • Student scores should be updated in Blackboard by Friday morning each week.  On Friday afternoon each week the class leaderboard will be posted on the library’s digital monitor by the cyber cafe.
  • The deadline: student deadline for completion is November 21, 2017.  The program is designed for students to complete the activities on their own time throughout the semester, so the earlier they start, the better they will do in class and in the game.
The aftermath (what you and we win):
  • Class prize: Each class is competing for a class prize.  With the winning instructor’s permission and designation of a class period near the end of the semester, the Student Life Space and its gaming equipment will be reserved for the entire class period and refreshments will be served. The type of refreshment may vary depending on the time of day the winning class meets. A tiebreak is yet to be determined, but likely some sort of final class challenge.
  • Individual prize: based on highest points achieved. The tiebreak will be the first completer with the highest points.  If the student owns a vehicle the prize includes a gas card and a service at the IVCC automotive department.  If the student uses public transportation the prize includes a pass to the transportation system and a gift card to the cafeteria.
STEP 1 Directions:  log into your student email account and send an email to with “Join Score BIG” in the subject line. Include your K#, name, and which class/section in the email. When you are enrolled in the Blackboard for Score BIG you will get an email response giving them instructions.  Just for accomplishing the sign-up step from your IVCC email account you will get your first 5 point. Visit this link or the Learning Commons if you have trouble accessing your student email account.

ENG 0900 Final Grades

Spring 2017 final semester grades on Blackboard now represents the letter grade I’ll officially give you in the course (unless we’ve discussed an Incomplete or you’re still making up a writing assignment). Please note the following:

  1. Your FINAL GRADE is your RUNNING GRADE with any necessary reductions for absences (see the policy on my syllabus). If you have grading questions or concern, email or message me by noon Monday, May 15.
  2. IVCC only offers A, B, C, and F as final grades for ENG 0900, so you will receive an A in the course for any percentage from 94-100, you will receive a B in the course for any percentage from 87-93 and you will receive a C for any percentage from 80-86; anything below an 80% requires me to give you an F in the course.
  3. If you have any questions or concerns about grades, please notify me on or before Monday, May 15 at noon so I have time to make any necessary changes before “officially” entering grades to WebAdvisor. If you contact me with grade concerns or mistakes after Monday at noon, I will still be able to change a grade “in the system” (assuming the concern is valid and not too late after the end of the semester) but it will take some time, which occasionally slows transfers to 4-year institutions or enrollment in spring/future classes.
  4. I plan to officially post grades to WebAdvisor the morning of Tues., May 16. You should be able to view them “in the system” within 24-28 hours of that time.
  5. Here’s how you can view your final grades for this and previous/future IVCC classes by logging into WebAdvisor.

Argumentation Essay

A list of the most useful Argumentation essay resources. And please note that this and the previous essay are worth more than the first two in the semester.

Assignment Resources:

Writing Prompt Option 1: Support a claim that answers whether social media is good or bad for our society.
Argument Expectations: You will choose the good side or the bad side, include one opposing viewpoint (refutation). Your essay will be a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 4 full pages.
Support: You will rely on 1-2 reputable Internet sources or personal interview to formulate your claim. Include a direct quote in each body paragraph.
Thesis is required to reference:

  • your main good or bad reasons
  • your opposing viewpoint (refutation)
Writing Prompt Option 2: Expose and argue the positive traits of a taboo or counterculture.
Argument Expectations: You will choose a counterculture or taboo, include one common negative perception (refutation). Your essay should be in third-person (allowing for plural first-person) and a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 4 full pages.
Support: You will rely on 1-2 reputable Internet sources or personal interview to formulate your claim. Include a direct quote in each body paragraph.
Thesis is required to reference:

  • 3-4 positive traits
  • common negative perception (refutation)

And don’t forget the expectations PowerPoint, the authoritative language PowerPoint, or that we discussed introduction and conclusion paragraph expectations in a PowerPoint a couple of essays ago. Be sure to check that you’ve included an opposing viewpoint paragraph; you’ll also want to verify that your introduction paragraphs for both parts:

PART 1: grounding/introductory information
PART 2: transition + thesis sentence.

Same with your conclusions:

PART 1: remind readers of your thesis points (body paragraph main points)
PART 2: show how those thesis points work together to prove your thesis.

SPRING 2017 Deadline

  • Rough Draft due Friday, April 28
  • Final Draft due Monday, May 1 (typed/printed & uploaded)

Works Cited Page Resources

Building a Works Cited page
Sample Works Cited page
NoodleTools login link is located on the IVCC Library under “Citing Sources” page

Grammar and Writing Resources

Parallel Sentence Structure
Verbs for References Sources
Pronoun Reference and Clarity
Absolute “Conclusion” Language
General Grammar Resource

Comma Resource: Sentence Punctuation Patterns
Quick Comma Guide
General Punctuation Resource
Transitional Words and Phrases
Thesaurus for word choice variety

Related Textbook chapters:

  • “Arguments,” pg. 43-47
  • “Words for Building Common Ground,” pg. 314-316

Grading Resources & Expectations

IVCC English Department Grading Standards
Grading Criteria Rubric for Writing Assignments

2017 Final Exam Schedule

Here’s a list of all my final exam times and locations for the 2017 Spring semester. I also have these posted in the “Syllabus and Calendar” link on each course’s Blackboard shell. And in case you’re interested, here’s IVCC’s full exam schedule page.

Class Day & Time – Course Name  – Exam Day Time/Location

MWF 8:00 AM – ENG 0900 – Wed. May 10 regular time/place

MWF 9:00 AM – ENG 0900 – Mon. May 8, regular time/place

TR 8:00 AM – ENG 1002 – Thurs. May 11 regular time/place

TR 11:00 AM – Creative Writing – 11:00-1:30 p.m., Tues. May 9, Fireplace Lounge (B216)

Online – ENG 1002-590 Online – Research Essay due Wed. May 10 by 11:59 p.m.

ENG 0900: resources for using sources

Here’s a list of useful resources while you plan and finalize the sources you want to use in your Argumentation essay.

Our library research guide that explain finding reputable Internet sources.

The WWWs_PowerPoint the librarian used during our first library session as well as a printable PDF version of the information.

And here is the WWW_Checklist we used to check the reputability of Internet sources.

ENG 0900 Method of Assessment: Grades

Here is how ENG 0900 final grades are weighted in my based on category. This represents how Blackboard’s “running grade” is established and has been set throughout the semester.

METHOD OF ASSESSMENT: Final grades will be based on grades received on four (4) formal essays, grammar/style building activities, in-class writing responses/journals (including class participation peer-review and discussions). The break-down includes:

Summary & Response Essay 3 & Argumentation Essay 4 (3-4 pages)   . . . . 50%
Narrative Essay 1 & Definition Essay 2 (2-3 pages)  . . . .  30%
Writing Process Assignments  . . . .  10%
Journals/Grammar Assignments  . . . .  10%


A = 94-100%

B = 87-93

C = 80-86

F  = Below 80

Key to Common Grading Feedback

Here’s a list of my commonly used ENG 0900 grading phrases and what they mean; those in blue are grammar and writing related and those in pink are structure, organization, or thesis related. The few green underlined comments are about citation and only relate to the last essay of the semester.

Explain more / add more depth: isolates a location in the essay that could use one or two more sentences to describe your meaning or other specific example.

Italicize / no italics: the title or name you’re referencing is in the wrong format; the title of website names or sources names such as The Atlantic or The Guardian should be italicized.

Move Thesis: your thesis is in a location other than the last sentence of your introduction paragraph.

No “I”: points out a location where you used singular first-person pronoun (I, me, my, mine) in a third-person essay assignment.

No “you”: points out a location where you used second-person pronoun (you) in a third-person essay assignment.

Needs clarification: sentence doesn’t fully explain your point; sentence is too vague.

Phrasing: the sentence reads in a confusing way, or the sentence isn’t using common English word order.

Proofing: points out a typo, a missing word, a repeated word, or spelling error.

Punctuation: the circled or referenced punctuation is incorrect.

Singular / Plural: the underlined words are not using subject/verb or pronoun/antecedent agreements.

Correct example: When someone (singular) is faced with failure, he or she (singular) has the choice to keep going or stop trying.

Incorrect example: When someone (singular) is faced with failure, he or she (they) have the choice to keep going or stop trying.

Too Short / Paragraph too short: Your paragraph doesn’t include the minimum 6-8 sentences as required.

Use quotes / no quotes: the title you’re referencing is in the wrong format; the title of an online article such as “When Internet Memes Infiltrate Physical Life” from The Atlantic should be in quotation marks.

Weak conclusion / needs part ___: the conclusion paragraph doesn’t feel convincing enough; you are missing part 1 (remind) or part 2 (how your points prove your thesis).

Weak introduction: doesn’t provide enough grounding information to prepare readers for your thesis or body paragraph content; oftentimes, simply repeats the same idea over an over in different language.  

Weak paragraph / develop paragraph more: points out body paragraphs that feel weaker than the rest of your body paragraphs.

Word Choice / WC: the word circled/highlighted doesn’t fit the context of the sentence or is the incorrect preposition.

Word Form: most often points out the wrong verb or pronoun form/tense; incorrect use of plural versus possessive; use of dangling modifiers, or incorrect homonym/homophone.

However, if you choose to rewrite an essay or are replacing a failed essay, please do not rely solely on my comments and feedback; I don’t point out each and every grammatical or mechanical mistake but those that show up “the first time,” most often, and/or appear to be distracting from your sentence/argument meaning the most.