Syllabi for Dr. Smith

ENC 1101: Composition I (General Syllabi for all Fall 2021 ENC 1101 Courses)

ENC 1101: Composition I (General Syllabi for all Fall 2021 ENC 1101 Courses; please check Canvas for individual course information.)

Writing about Writing: An Introduction to Writing and Rhetoric

Fall 2021, Valencia College

Instructor: Dr. Andrew Smith

E-mail: It's easiest to just access it from Canvas, but if you need my actual email, it is:

Zoom Office hours available on request, and if I can accommodate them.

Course Description

This is a writing course about the subject of writing itself. We'll be exploring your own literacy experiences with and conceptions of reading and writing, how writing works in the world, the various forms and reasons for writing, and the social interactions involved with writing within communities. By understanding how writing actually works, you can exercise more control of the variety of writing situations you'll face both in your personal, academic, civic, and professional lives.

Please Take Note: This is a writing intensive course. You will have work due on Tuesdays, Thursdays, or Sundays (see course schedule; this varies some weeks). Expect to spend at least 12+ hours a week devoted to completing assignments, per university credit hour/study time calculations for a summer course. 

Course Objectives

  • In brief, through the work in this course:
    • Students will be able to read and use scholarly texts to support their writing goals.
    • Students will be able to describe and analyze writing processes in order to flexibly adapt them to support their goals.
    • Students will learn how to adapt to different writing contexts they need to address.
    • Students will consider how social, rhetorical, and technological contexts shape writing conceptions, processes, rules, and learning.


Gordon Rule

ENC 1101 is a 3-credit Gordon Rule course.  You must earn at least a C- in order to fulfill university and state Gordon Rule and GEP requirements. Over the course of the semester, you will write 6000 words of formal evaluated academic writing and four major assignments, as mandated by Valencia policy.  Each has the following characteristics and in this class will utilize the heuristic ISA--Introduce (lay out the claim for the reader), Support (use citations to support your claim), and Analyze/Apply (follow up that support with an explanation). Further characteristics:

  1. The writing will have a clearly defined central idea or thesis;
  2. It will provide adequate support for that idea;
  3. It will be organized clearly and logically;
  4. It will show awareness and appropriate response to the rhetorical situation in which the text exists;
  5. It will be formatted and presented in a rhetorically appropriate way.

Course Materials

  • Computer/ Internet access
  • Word or PDF document file extensions accessibility

Required Textbook

All of our readings come either from the Valencia Writer, linked below: 

or, I will provide all other readings for the course electronically. Students are not required nor asked to purchase any books for this course.

Course Policies

Coursework & Grading



30% of your grade  will result from your engaged participation in the course, by which I mean:

Preparation for and participation in class discussion, reading responses, and activities. Not posting threads or responses for these will result in a deduction of points from the final engagement grade.




70% of your grade will result from unit papers, by which I mean:

Completion of all assigned writing for all major writing assignments as outlined below. Keep in mind much of your work will primarily be graded on learning, thoughtfulness, and growth. 

Literacy Narrative*

10 points

A 1,200-2,000 word essay of your conceptions of writing and literacy experiences. 

Profile of a Writer*

10 points 

A 1,200-2,000 word essay of your "profiling" of a writer. 

Rhetorical Criticism*

10 points

A 1,200-2,000 word rhetorical criticism of a chosen piece of writing on a topic of interest. 




Included in the 70% of your grade, 25% of which will result from your Final Portfolio, by which I mean:

A curation of your major assignments with revision and reflection on your learning and achievement of the course outcomes.


Letter Grade



90 – 100 points


80 – 89 points


70 – 79 points


69 and below

Grading will utilize a plus-minus system, and the overall grade will be calculated from the percentages above. I will provide you my specific grading rubric for each assignment, but generally, I will grade based on how well the assignment fulfills its requirements (as specified on the assignment sheet), how well it achieves its purposes, and how well it accommodates its audiences.

Note: No "Incompletes" are given in ENC 1101 or 1102 courses. The grade of NC (no credit) can be assigned at the teacher’s discretion only if the student completes all work in the course, but does not meet university standards to pass the course.

Other Important Grading Notes

  • Students must complete ALL Major Projects with a passing grade to pass the class.
  • If you have a passing grade, yet have not completed all Major Projects, you cannot pass this class.
  • The Major Projects help meet Gordon Rule requirements. Again, no "I" or grade of Incomplete is given in ENC 1101 or 1102 courses.
  • Expect to receive major papers one week after submitting them (e.g., if turned in during week 1, will get back during week 2).
  • No late discussion posts or Reading Responses are accepted. Major Projects will receive a letter grade deduction after each day that passes.
  • Please do not email me at the end of the semester and ask “Why?” about your grade. Instead, lay out all of your coursework, do the math, and if it still doesn’t add up, message me through Canvas. 
  • I do "round up", but only if a student has turned in all assignments. If you receive a 0 for any work, I will not round up.

Engagement Policy

In basic terms:  Carefully read the assignments and complete the work on time.

Your continued enrollment in this course constitutes your acceptance of the policies outlined in this syllabus.

  • Each time you do not post an assignment, you are not participating, so your engagement grade will lower significantly.
  • I will use Announcements and messages to communicate important information about the class.  You are responsible for making sure your Knights email account is working and that you check it daily.
  • Late assignments are not accepted for discussion posts and reading responses, regardless of excuse. For Major Projects, a letter grade is deducted after each 24-hours that pass the deadline.

Valencia Financial Aid Requirement 

Valencia must comply with a federal financial aid regulation that states that in order to receive federal aid, students must be actively academically engaged (according to a federal definition) in each course in which they are enrolled. Without verification of this engagement, students will not receive their aid.  Canvas will analyze all student activity to determine which students have met the federal standard, and that information will be sent to the Office of Student Financial Aid for processing. In this course, the academic activity is the Video Introduction.

Missed/Late Assignments

Assignment deadlines will typically be on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays at 11:59 pm EST. Since the schedule for the entire semester has been provided to you, plan your own schedule accordingly. Late work for Discussion Posts or RRs, however, will not receive credit (see above for details). Keeping this policy in mind, prepare for technological catastrophe by saving frequently, backing up files, and/or emailing files to yourself. You all are tech-savvy enough to know how to avoid disaster; “the computer/Canvas ate my homework” is not a valid excuse. Also, get into the habit of saving posts to your computer before hitting "reply" and double-checking to make sure all of your assignments went through. This is your responsibility.

Contacting Me

The best and quickest way to get in touch with me is via Canvas messages or email me. Please be sure to include your full name in the email so I know who you are. I will respond within 24 hours. 

Atlas Email

In this class, our official mode of communication is through email. All communication between student and instructor and between student and student should be respectful and professional. Atlas Email is the only official student email at Valencia. 

Special Considerations

If for any reason you have a family emergency or any unforeseen happenings during this course that will impact your performance, please contact me immediately. Notifying me of a situation or problem several days after the fact prevents me from making alternative arrangements.

Deployed Active Duty Military Students

A deployed active duty military student who feels the need for a special accommodation due to that unique status should contact their instructor to discuss the circumstances.

Campus Safety

Emergencies on campus are rare, but if one should arise during class, everyone needs to work together. Students should be aware of their surroundings and familiar with some basic safety and security concepts.

  • In case of an emergency, dial 911 for assistance.
  • Every Valencia classroom contains an emergency procedure guide posted on a wall near the door. Students should make a note of the guide’s physical location.
  • Students should know the evacuation routes from each of their classrooms and have a plan for finding safety in case of an emergency.
  • If there is a medical emergency during class, students may need to access a first-aid kit or AED (Automated External Defibrillator).
  • Students with special needs related to emergency situations should speak with their instructors outside of class.
  • To learn about how to manage an active-shooter situation on campus or elsewhere, consider viewing this video
  •  (<You CAN Survive an Active Shooter (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.>).


**Please also see "Success Resources" in the Canvas column for a more comprehensive list of student resources readily available to you.

Student Accessibility Services

Valencia College is committed to providing reasonable accommodations for all persons with disabilities. This syllabus is available in alternate formats upon request. Students with disabilities who need accommodations in this course must contact the professor at the beginning of the semester to discuss needed accommodations. No accommodations will be provided until the student has discussed with the professor to request accommodations. Students who need accommodations must be registered with SSD.

Diversity and Inclusivity

Valencia College considers the diversity of its students, faculty, and staff to be a strength and critical to its educational mission. Valencia expects every member of the university community to contribute to an inclusive and respectful culture for all in its classrooms, work environments, and at campus events. Dimensions of diversity can include sex, race, age, national origin, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, intellectual and physical ability, sexual orientation, income, faith and non-faith perspectives, socio-economic class, political ideology, education, primary language, family status, military experience, political beliefs, cognitive style, and communication style. The individual intersection of these experiences and characteristics must be valued in our community.

Title IX prohibits sex discrimination, including sexual misconduct, sexual violence, sexual harassment, and retaliation. If you or someone you know has been harassed or assaulted, you can find resources available to support the victim, including confidential resources and information concerning reporting options at

If there are aspects of the design, instruction, and/or experiences within this course that result in barriers to your inclusion or accurate assessment of achievement, please notify the instructor as soon as possible and/or contact Student Accessibility Services.


Valencia Phoenix

Valencia publishes a journal of student writing known as Phoenix. Students cand find physical copies on campus, and allows students a chance to have their voices heard and published. If you are interested, please check the URL above and consider trying your hand at having your writing published! 

Stylus: A Journal of First-Year Writing from UCF 

While we are not a UCF course, I highly recommend Valencia students check out The Department of Writing and Rhetoric at UCF's journal for outstanding writing produced by Composition students called Stylus.  I urge students to check out Stylus to see examples of similar styles of college level writing published by students of comparable skill and education at to an external site.


This course may contain copyright protected materials such as audio or video clips, images, text materials, etc. These items are being used with regard to the Fair Use doctrine in order to enhance the learning environment. Please do not copy, duplicate, download or distribute these items. The use of these materials is strictly reserved for this online classroom environment and your use only. All copyright materials are credited to the copyright holder.

Third-Party Software and FERPA

During this course you might have the opportunity to use public online services and/or software applications sometimes called third-party software such as a blog or wiki. While some of these could be required assignments, you need not make any personally identifying information on a public site. Do not post or provide any private information about yourself or your classmates. Where appropriate you may use a pseudonym or nickname. Some written assignments posted publicly may require personal reflection/comments, but the assignments will not require you to disclose any personally identity-sensitive information. If you have any concerns about this, please contact me.

*Please note that all of these policies are subject to change at my discretion. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Please check the course schedule for all important dates, including Holidays, deadlines, and due dates.