Brian Gogan’s 1106 Syllabus

Course Description

English 1106 will build on the skills you learned and practiced in English 1105. However, as its name implies, English 1106 is also an introduction to writing with sources, both primary sources and secondary sources. For example, you will be asked to find and cite sources from the library and the Internet, but you will also be asked to conduct your own primary research using interviewing, observations, or surveying techniques. The latter type of research is called field work because it involves working “in the field.”

In addition to practicing research skills, you will continue to compose in response to more complicated assignments. In particular, you will practice synthesizing elements of your research into coherent wholes. Successful synthesis of research requires that you are able to understand and interpret your sources and put them in conversation with each other. Another important part of research involves correctly documenting and attributing your sources.

Course Goals

During this course, you will:

  • Continue to practice writing as a process via using multiple brainstorming, invention, revision, and editing strategies.
  • Write in several genres that require paraphrase, synthesis, analysis, evaluation, argumentation and documentation skills.
  • Practice using the conventions of written and spoken composition.
  • Practice writing form research and developing different types of research projects—including fieldwork as well as library and on-line research methods.
  • Demonstrate a knowledge of the conventions of bibliographic citation forms.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the uses of source material of all types, taking care to always distinguish between source material and the student’s own work.

Course Texts and Materials

  1. Diana George, ed. Composition at Virginia Tech, 7th ed. Pearson, 2009. (CAVT)
  2. Course Readings on Scholar Site (SS)

NOTE: You should print all course readings and handouts prior to class. You must bring a hard copy of the texts with you to class.

  1. Binder Clips (use instead of staples or paper clips)
  2. Two-Pocket Folder (for submitting each assignment, and all of the contributing work)
  3. Compact Disc (for the electronic copy of your final portfolio)

Course Requirements

Because you will be submitting all of your work to me, including draft work, it is imperative that you keep hard copies as well as electronic copies of each version of your work. In other words, establish and maintain a system of organization. Do not throw your work away and do not “save over” files.

Please refer to the course scholar site for detailed descriptions of the following assignments. Please also note that you may only revise two papers—the Article in Your Major paper and the Writing in Your Major paper—in order to increase your point total for this course.

Informal Writings (10 points)

Due: 2/03; 2/05; 2/08; 2/10; 2/15; 2/17; 2/22; 2/24; 2/26; 3/01; 3/03; 3/05

Article in Your Major Presentation and Paper (15 points)

Article Due: 2/01; Presentation Due: TBA; Paper Due: 2 weeks after your presentation

Writing in Your Major Paper (15 points)

Due: 2/15

Research Project Proposal (5 points)

Due: 3/22

Annotated Bibliography (10 points)

Due: 4/05

Research Project Progress Report (5 points)

Due: 3/31

Final Paper (30 points)

Due: Final Exam Period

Peer Review Sessions (5 points, or 1 possible point per peer review day)

Due: 2/12; 3/15; 4/19, 4/21, and 4/23

Formal Conference Presentation (5 points)

Due: 4/26, 4/28, 4/30, or 5/03

Course Grade

The total points possible for this class are 100. Your final course grade will be determined by the number of percentage points you earn: A 100-94; A- 93-90; B+ 89-87; B 86-84; B- 83-80; C+ 79-77; C 76-74; C- 73-70; D+ 69-67; D 66-64; D- 63-60; F 59 and below.

Course Policies and Principles

Late Assignment Policy

All writings are due at the beginning of class; anything turned in later in the class is considered late.

Missing Assignment Policy

All course requirements must be submitted to pass the course.

Attendance Policy

Daily attendance is required. In a course such as ENGL 1106, your success and the success of the course depends upon your participation. For example, the short writings (SW) are designed to enhance your thinking about your essay assignment; thus, being in class for discussions of these writings may improve your final writings.

Inclusive Language Policy

Written work in this course should employ inclusive language, which shows that the writer honors the diversity of the human race by not using language that would universalize one element of humanity to the exclusion of others. For example, one area where this exclusivity commonly occurs is gender. Use men and women or people instead of the “generic man“; use they or alternate he and she instead of the “generic he.”

Publication Policy

Any written course work may be used—anonymously—for pedagogical purposes within our class. Should a particular piece of work prove useful in another or subsequent class, or in a publication, as that piece’s writer, you decide whether that piece can be used. Accordingly, I must receive your consent through a completed “Student Author Permission Form.” Denying consent will not affect your course grade in any way.

Academic Honesty Policy

The Honor Code will be strictly enforced in this course. All assignments submitted shall be considered graded work, unless otherwise noted. All aspects of your coursework are covered by the Honor System. Any suspected violations of the Honor Code will be promptly reported to the Honor System. According to the Constitution of the Virginia Tech Honor System “The fundamental beliefs underlying and reflected in the Honor Code are: (1) that trust in a person is a positive force in making that person worthy of trust, (2) that every student has the right to live in an academic environment that is free from the injustices caused by any form of intellectual dishonesty, and (3) that the honesty and integrity of all members of the university community contribute to its quest for Truth” (see

The following is the Honor Code written verbatim from the VT Honor System Constitution:

The Honor Code is the University policy that expressly forbids the following academic violations:

  1. Cheating — Cheating includes the actual giving or receiving of any unauthorized aid or assistance or the actual giving or receiving of any unfair advantage on any form of academic work, or attempts thereof.
  2. Plagiarism — Plagiarism includes the copying of the language, structure, ideas and/or thoughts of another and passing off same as one’s own, original work, or attempts thereof.
  3. Falsification — Falsification includes the statement of any untruth, either verbally or in writing, with respect to any circumstances relevant to one’s academic work, or attempts thereof. Such acts include, but are not limited to, the forgery of official signatures, tampering with official records, fraudulently adding or deleting information on academic documents such as add/drop requests, or fraudulently changing an examination or other academic work after the testing period or due date of the assignment.

Virginia Tech’s Principles of Community

Virginia Tech is a public land-grant university, committed to teaching and learning, research, and outreach to the Commonwealth of Virginia, the nation, and the world community. Learning from the experiences that shape Virginia Tech as an institution, we acknowledge those aspects of our legacy that reflected bias and exclusion. Therefore, we adopt and practice the following principles as fundamental to our on-going efforts to increase access and inclusion and to create a community that nurtures learning and growth for all of its members:

  • We affirm the inherent dignity and value of every person and strive to maintain a climate for work and learning based on mutual respect and understanding.
  • We affirm the right of each person to express thoughts and opinions freely. We encourage open expression within a climate of civility, sensitivity, and mutual respect.
  • We affirm the value of human diversity because it enriches our lives and the University. We acknowledge and respect our differences while affirming our common humanity.
  • We reject all forms of prejudice and discrimination, including those based on age, color, disability, gender, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, and veteran status. We take individual and collective responsibility for helping to eliminate bias and discrimination and for increasing our own understanding of these issues through education, training, and interaction with others.

We pledge our collective commitment to these principles in the spirit of the Virginia Tech motto of Ut Prosim (That I May Serve).

Computer Policy

On particular days, you will need to bring your laptop computer to class, in order to participate in media related activities. At other times on other days, you may be asked to close your laptop.

Accommodations, Assistance, and Complaints


Reasonable accommodations are available for students who have a disability.  Students should contact the Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD), 231-3788 (V), 231-1740 (TTY); Susan P. Angle,,  “Students with disabilities are responsible for self-identification….To be eligible for services, documentation of the disability from a qualified professional must be presented to SSD upon request. Academic adjustments may include, but are not limited to: priority registration, auxiliary aids, program and course adjustment, exam modifications, oral or sign language interpreters, cassette taping of text/materials, notetakers/readers, or assistive technology.”

Writing Conferences

I plan to require two writing conferences this semester. You may also schedule other conferences or see me during my office hours. At these conferences, I will provide you with a formative assessment of a given writing assignment. This assessment will not be exhaustive, so please come prepared with specific questions.

Instructor Assistance

If you have questions, comments, concerns, etc., please visit me during my office hours, schedule an appointment, call my office, or call me at home—before 9 p.m. please.

Writing Center

The Virginia Tech Writing Center is open (Monday-Friday, 9:00 am-5:00 pm) to all Virginia Tech students, faculty, and staff, at all levels. The Writing Center works with writing and reading assignments from any University course and can also help you with writing projects that are not linked to classes. The Center is free and open for regular appointments or walk-in sessions. For an appointment, call 540-231-5436.

Grade Complaints

If you have a concern about a grade, workload, or any other aspect of the class, please bring it to my attention. Do not hesitate to ask me questions.

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