Composition II

I.     Course Prefix/Number: EGL 102

       Course Name: Composition II

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

C grade or higher in EGL 101.

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course introduces strategies for planning, writing, and revising advanced expository essays and the college research paper. Content includes critical reading and analysis, the structure of argument, and the use of sources.

IV.   Learning Objectives

The student will be able to:

A.    Identify and apply strategies for planning, drafting, and revising advanced expository, argumentative, and research essays for academic audiences.
B.    Analyze and evaluate various forms and styles of argument.
C.    Accurately and fairly represent the ideas and opinions of others using techniques of summary, paraphrase, and direct quotation.
D.    Document source material appropriately using MLA format.
E.    Recognize the ways that other academic disciplines document sources.  
F.    Use appropriate technology to identify and locate sources for college writing.
G.    Analyze, evaluate, compare, and synthesize source materials and use them effectively in assigned essays.
H.    Incorporate collaboration with others as part of the revision process.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

This sequence is an example based on the Prentice Hall Guide to College Writing and adapted from "Teaching Writing with the Prentice Hall Guide" by Stephen Reid.  

Week 1: Course introduction; Review Ch.1, and Ch. 2; Diagnostic essay and journal entries on cross-curricular topics assigned.

Week 2: Review purpose, process, and academic audiences for cross-curricular topics; Conferences on topics, Library orientation.

Week 3: Review Ch. 5 & Ch. 6; Explaining essay in Ch. 7 assigned; Journal entries on possible explaining topics. Read Chapter 12.

Week 4: Workshops on collecting and shaping for explaining essay; Library/field research; Editing workshops; Explaining essay due.

Week 5: Ch. 8 and readings; Evaluating essay assigned; Library and field research.

Week 6: Workshops on collecting and shaping for evaluating essay; Revised draft collected; Conferences on revision plans.

Week 7: Revision of evaluating essay, with reference sources cited in text; Editing workshops; Evaluating essay due.

Week 8: Ch. 9 and readings; Problem solving essay assigned; Journal entries; Library and field research.

Week 9: Workshops on collecting and shaping for problem solving essay; Assign research log.

Week 10: Revision of problem solving essay. Conferences on revision plans; Editing workshops; Problem solving essay due.

Week 11:  Ch. 10 and readings; Arguing essay assigned; Journal entries; library and field research; Assign research log.

Week 12: Workshops on collecting and shaping of arguing essay; Conferences on topics; Editing workshops.

Week 13: Summaries of research articles; In-class discovery draft of arguing topic.

Week 14: Workshops on in-class drafts of arguing essays; Collaborative peer responses.

Week 15: Arguing essays due; Discuss final examination.

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Lecture, discussion, and small-group work may be used to introduce and clarify course topics.  All courses will include oral and written analysis of professional writing, primarily prose non-fiction, and may include oral and written analysis of student writing.  All courses will include instruction in using the library.  Grammar and mechanics should be treated as appropriate to the particular forms of writing taught in the course: e.g., thesis writing, incorporating sources, revision techniques to improve style, etc.  Written responses to questions or quizzes may be included to encourage student preparation of assigned readings.  Some instructors may introduce word processing and/or invention software.
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Reading, writing, and revising as assigned. EGL 102 Instructors will vary in types of essays assigned and other written materials required, e.g. drafts, journal entries, prewriting exercises, etc., but a minimum of 4,500 words of finished writing is required.  Drafts and pre-writing do not count as part of the total.  Students will be expected to revise most formal papers to make them more effective, and to demonstrate the ability to make substantive revisions (revisions that change the content or the outline) to address problems presented by readers. All of the writing assigned will be based on sources and all students will produce a minimum of ten pages (2500 words) of finished multi-source research writing. The ten pages multi-source research writing can be in a single paper or two papers, but can’t be broken into more than two papers.  Readings are to be primarily expository in nature, although some writing about literature may be included. Readings should include materials from academic journals or other clearly college-level texts.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

See the English Department Home Page for a list of approved texts.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

A.    Faculty will provide a grading rubric like the one below to show how writing will be evaluated.  Grading rubrics will take into account both the effectiveness of the writing to a specific audience and purpose and the student’s grasp of the conventions of college writing.
B.    A minimum of 60% of the course grade must be based on the formal writing assignments. Students must receive a grade of D or better on the multi-source research writing to pass the class.
C.    Students will be evaluated in terms of their response to other assignments, e.g. drafts, quizzes, etc.
D.    Students may also be graded on class participation.

These grading criteria are an example, adapted from the "Teaching Writing with the Prentice Hall Guide" by Stephen Reid

“A” essays satisfy the following criteria:

A.    Focus: These essays have a clearly identifiable main idea, thesis, or claim.  The writer’s purposes are appropriate for the writing situation.  Promises made to the reader early in the essay are kept.  Expectations for the reader are set and then met.  Ideas, examples, and reasons developed in the body of the paper are clearly related to the main focus.    

B.    Development: These essays have ample supporting evidence:  sensory details, specific examples, statistics, quotations, or other data.  The writer’s assertions are immediately followed by supporting evidence.  The writer shows rather than just tells.  Appropriate research (personal experience, interviews, surveys, library sources) supports the writer’s man idea, thesis, or claim.  The writer shows how or why evidence is relevant to main idea or claim.

C.    Organization: The ideas and paragraphs proceed in some logical and apparent sequence or pattern.  The writer uses sufficient audience cues to let the reader know what has been discussed, what is being discussed, or what will be discussed.  Structural devices: attention-getting titles and leads, essay maps, summary and forecasting statements, topic sentences, transition words and phrases, and effective conclusions guide the reader from beginning to end.

D.    Style: these papers have appropriate voice and tone as well as effective sentences and word choice.  The style is appropriate for the purpose and audience.  In addition, these papers avoid problems in usage, grammar, punctuation, mechanics, and spelling that interfere with the writer’s ideas or distract from the audience’s pleasure in reading.

“B” essays have weaknesses in one of the 4 areas:

A.    Focus: These essays have a clearly identifiable main idea, thesis, or  claim.  Promises made to the reader are fulfilled.  Deficiencies in focus may exist, but the overall purpose is still clear.

B.    Development: These essays have good supporting evidence.  Typically, support may be thin or deficient in spots, but relevant evidence supports assertions or general statements.

C.    Organization: The ideas and paragraphs proceed in some logical and apparent sequence or pattern.  Occasional deficiencies in audience cues may exist, but the overall shape is clear to the reader.

D.    Style: Typically, these papers communicate clearly, but the voice may not be as clear, or a few deficiencies in sentence structure, word choice, grammar, or punctuation exist.

“C” essays have weaknesses in two of the 4 areas:

A.    Focus: These essays have a clearly identifiable main idea, thesis, or claim.  Often, though, these essays shift the focus at some point in the essay.

B.    Development: typically, these essays do have some supporting evidence, but some evidence is not relevant or some assertions or general statements are left unsupported.

C.    Organization: Often, an overall pattern or sequence may exist, but the writer has made little effort to guide the reader through the major ideas.

D.    Style: Sometimes these papers have a lackluster “Engfish” style, appearing to be written mechanically to fulfill an assignment rather than directed to a specific audience.  Distracting sentence errors may interfere with communication.

“D” essays have weaknesses in three of the four criteria or have one major flaw that seriously disrupts communications:

“F” essays have few redeeming qualities.  Typically, they are little more than rough drafts that do not meet the requirements of the writing situation, or they have major flaws that prevent communication.

XI.   Other Course Information

A.    Attendance policy

B.    For whatever information/procedures the instructor holds the student accountable.

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at