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Welcome to English 101 Section 101

Hello All,

This blog will serve as a medium for announcements concerning homework, reading assignments, quizzes and other important information relating to your working folders and portfolio. As many of you may have discovered during orientation, this year the campus is working to focus on and draw student’s attention to the topic of water/sustainability. To fulfill our part of the campus-wide theme this course will be 50% electronic based. This means that most of our business inside and outside of class will be conducted via:,, D2L, and SIU email. However, it is required that you submit your final draft of each essay in hard copy form as well as a soft copy to D2L.

Because we are officially a course within the SIUC 2013 Fall Tablet Initiative you are required to arrive to each class with a fully charged tablet. We will access readings, compose in-class responses, draft, and complete group work on the Dell tablets that you have been provided with, so it is essential that you arrive to class with your tablet fully functional.

Students are also held responsible for attendance and adherence to assigned due dates. Each student is allotted 9 unexcused absences by the English Department and will receive an automatic failing grade if she/he goes beyond the 9. Habitual tardiness will result in unexcused absences. If you are absent please do your part to make up the in-class work and check this blog for any assigned prompts due the following class period. If you believe that your absence should be excused (family emergency, illness, unforeseen circumstances) be sure to bring proof (a doctor’s note..etc) that your absence was unavoidable and I will mark the absence as excused. IF you fail to speak with me or bring proof that your absence from class was unavoidable within the time frame of 2 class periods following the absence it will result in the absence remaining unexcused.

Late work will be deducted a half of a letter grade for each day that the work is not submitted. If you think that you will need an extension to work on a unit draft please speak with me at least a week before the essay is due. I understand that many of you are enrolled as full-time students with obligations outside of your studies as well. If you feel that you genuinely can not complete the assignment on time we will be able to discuss arrangements that need to be made during my office hours. If you do not speak with me prior to the assigned due date I will not be able to grant an extension.

English 101 is a portfolio course. This means that 50% of your entire grade rests on your ability to substantially revise 3 unit essays along with a reflective introduction and submit them in a collection to be assessed. There are 4 units throughout the semester, each building on the prior to add skills and tools that you will need for a successful portfolio. Every unit is worth 10% of your final grade and is assessed in the form of a “working folder” that includes a draft of the assigned essay and graded homework/quizzes assigned during the unit. Each unit we will attempt to build the best working drafts possible so that your role in the revision process of each draft is potentially smoother. If you do the assigned unit work to the best of your ability it will make for a much easier assembly of the final portfolio. If you do not commit to the completion of each unit’s working folder it will only serve to complicate and harden your time during portfolio assembly.

Because of this, I advise that each student keep a copy of  working folder drafts for each unit in a secure location so that all required work remains organized and easily found. I also advise that students make revision a continual part of the course rather than retaining it for the last remaining weeks of class. Doing these things will minimize the stress that can build at the end of the semester.

Again, I understand that many of you are adjusting to university life and college-level courses therefore I am willing to discuss any difficulties that you may come across and strive to assist you in overcoming them or pointing you toward someone that is more qualified to assist you. Do not hesitate to let me know if you are falling behind or are unsure of any material that we cover. I will be in my office (Faner 2238) on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 1-2:50.

Please do not be a stranger to the writing center which exists solely to help students of all abilities progress in their writing. Whether you are having persistent grammatical problems or simply would like to discuss your essay or thesis outside of the context of our class, the writing center is a wonderful and confidential resource. Their webpage has up to date information on all resources and appointments available.

I look forward to working with you all and hope that you will do your best this semester!

–Ms. Ruffino


About Ms. Ruffino

Hello students, I'm very excited for the semester with hopes that this blog will keep everyone organized and on task! If you have any questions or concerns stop by my office (Faner 2238) or let me know via email.

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