Leslie Goerner's Website


Mrs. Leslie Goerner, Associate Professor, Humanities Department

Mohawk Valley Community College, 1101 Sherman Drive Utica, NY 13501









EN101: Composition | Syllabus

Welcome to English 101 Composition!


Students in English Composition have probably been writing essays for a number of years. Your goal in this course is to become more effective in writing at the college level. Your tasks will be to demonstrate proficiency in several areas:

--choosing topics that allow you to present important information based on personal knowledge and experience

--organizing main points logically

--developing content with relevant supportive detail

--revising all assignments before they are posted for evaluation


English Composition focuses on several kinds of writing:

self-expressive (personal narrative)

process (how-to complete a step-by-step task)

informative (telling others something they don’t already know)

research (supporting your knowledge with other expert sources)

persuasive (helping others understand and accept your view)

business (resume/cover letter)

English Composition encourages students to produce the clear, correct and effective prose required in a wide variety of professions and occupations. Short essays are studied as models of good writing.

--The prerequisite for the course is placement by the student's advisor.


No Textbooks Required!

All readings for this course will be provided by your instructor



Students should work toward the following goals:

-to demonstrate an ability to communicate ideas purposefully in self-expressive, informative, and persuasive writing to particular audiences in specific contexts, at a level generally expected for successful students.

-to develop an understanding of ways in which the interactions of writers and readers require an exploration of human knowledge, values, ethics, language, and social institutions.

-to develop intellectual independence and abilities to use language for the purposes of reading, learning, communication, and critical thinking.

-to become acquainted with a history and methodology of rhetoric and composition.

-to attain a level of writing fluency adequate for success in college courses.


Only typewritten work will be accepted. I recommend that you complete and save your writing exercises in a Word document to make the revision process easier.

Work typically has a minimum length requirement. When working in a Word document, you can easily check word count by clicking on Tools on your task bar at the top of the screen. Scroll down to “Word Count” to see if you have met the requirement. If your content is too short or too long (more than 50 words over the recommended length), you’ll know that you need to revise your existing response.

Always check grammar before submitting. Do not rely on the spell and grammar check functions, which often fail to catch even the most common errors. Your ongoing task is to use available resources to strengthen your writing skills. These resources include:

--all assigned readings

--the writing of fellow students

--interactive online grammar exercises
(see "Grammar Practice” and Purdue OWL, the Online Writing Lab)

Your personal writing goal for this class should be to improve existing strengths and overcome persistent weaknesses.


You can expect to receive an evaluation from me before the next formal assignment is due.


Assignments build on specific instructions which must be followed exactly in order to qualify for credit.

Writing Exercises and Activities

Work may include:

--development of essay drafts on assigned topics
--reading and written response to essay model handouts
--interactive analysis of student work
--grammar practice

Formal Writing Assignments

In general, formal assignments will be developed as polished revisions of work already completed..


For full details on activities, participating students will receive a semester-specific handout.