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University High School

English Language Arts Department

Expository Composition Course Syllabus (Grade 12)

Instructor: Ms. K. Mitchell

Email: kdm4952@lausd.net
Website: http://msmitchellsclasses.weebly.com
Course Description
The major purpose of this semester course is to provide experiences in writing that are characterized by logical and coherent organization, clarity of
expression, and suitability in style, usage, and the conventions of writing. The student is required to read closely within and across expository and
informational genres (e.g., essays, biographies, critiques, prcis, and news and magazine articles) for literal and implied meaning and to
demonstrate through classroom discussion, oral presentation, and written expression an understanding of the text(s). Emphasis in this course is on
expository reading and writing and the essential skills of editing, although the course provides some practice in other domains of writing.
The curriculum of this semester course was developed by a collaborative group of California State University and high school faculty to help
students meet the expectations of college and university faculty, meet the California English/Language Arts Common Core Standards, and develop
literacy skills critical to lifelong participation to the worlds of work and community. Students learn to make predictions about texts, analyze both
the content and the rhetorical structures, and properly use materials from the texts they read in supporting their own oral and written arguments.
Students are expected to write and revise several academic compositions within the twelfth grade year, including timed writing pieces, research
papers and developed compositions. The CA Common Core Language Arts standards requires that students in the twelfth grade are expected to
read two million words of running text annually on their own, including a good representation of classic and contemporary literature, magazines,
newspapers, and online articles. Students will apply and refine their command of the writing process, writing conventions, and rhetorical strategies
of narration, exposition, persuasion, and description to produce texts of at least 1,500 words each. Expository Composition fulfills a B requirement
of the UC/CSU Subject Area Requirements.

Focus Standards - For explanation of California Common Core standards, please visit:
English Language Arts Standards Writing Grade 11-12











Representative Performance Outcomes and Skills

In this course, students will know and be able to:

Read a wide variety of complex informational and expository texts, organized around topics or issues.
Demonstrate an understanding of the elements of discourse (e.g., purpose, speaker, audience, form) when completing expository and
persuasive writing assignments.
Identify, analyze, discuss, describe, and use appeals to pathos, ethos, and logos and other rhetorical strategies that writers employ to
craft an argument.
Analyze the content, complexity, and structure of the language employed to convey a writers perspective.
Demonstrate control of grammar, diction, and paragraph and sentence structure and an understanding of English usage.
Critique the power, validity, and truthfulness of arguments set forth in public documents; their appeal to both friendly and hostile
audiences; and the extent to which the arguments anticipate and address reader concerns and counterclaims.
Examine models of effective academic, professional, and business writing and speaking: college application essays, introductory and
business letters, rsums, and interviewing techniques.
Develop presentations by using clear research questions and creative and critical research strategies (e.g., field studies, oral histories,
interviews, experiments, electronic sources).
Reflect appropriate manuscript requirements in writing.

K. Mitchell











Unit 5

Juvenile Justice

Skills: Aristotelian Rhetoric / persuasive appeals / persuasive

techniques / faulty logic /thesis development / essay content and
structure /MLA
Skills: Nutritional awareness / media strategies / Evaluating food
labels / GMOs / reflective & narrative compositions / analyzing
rhetorical devices and patterns of organization/ Documentation
Skills: Consumer awareness / media strategies / persuasive
techniques / emotional appeals / rhetorical analysis / primary and
secondary sources
Skills: Argumentation / Research strategies / collecting, organizing
and synthesizing data/ MLA format and citation/ quote integration
All skills used in previous units will be utilized in this unit as you
work towards developing and presenting arguments for a class

Units may be changed by instructor if deemed necessary

Grading / Assessments - Note: Your work will be assessed based on quality, not simple completion.
Teacher-designed quizzes and tests
Essays and other student written

Oral presentations and discussions


Class work
Group & individual projects

Grading Scale
Numerical Average
below 60

Letter Grade


***Please be aware that timeliness is of the utmost importance. Tardiness may affect your grade by causing
you to miss assignments given at the beginning of the period. Further, excessive tardiness will result in
reduced credit for homework.

K. Mitchell
Cheating is defined as practicing fraud or deceit. It is a person who acts dishonestly, deceives, or defrauds. All of these behaviors are
frowned upon and prohibited in this class, as they display a lack of character and strong moral fiber. Anyone who is caught cheating
(looking at someone elses test; attempting to use pre-copied notes or electronic devices to answer test questions; copying someone
elses homework; or allowing someone else to copy their homework will receive an automatic zero on the assignment and will be
suspended from class for 2 days.
Plagiarism Policy:
I take plagiarism & cheating very seriously. Using someone elses words as your own is immoral, unethical, and does nothing
to further your education. With the availability of search engines like Google that search in-text for documents, it is easy to
catch someone if they have bought or copied information from the Internet.
My definition of plagiarism is:
Buying or borrowing a paper from someone and turning it in as your own work.
Extracting the exact words from a document without placing the text in quotation marks and citing the author.
Using someone elses published ideas without giving them proper cited credit.
Having a parent, friend, etc. write part or all of your paper for you.
If you are caught violating my rules on plagiarism, you will receive an automatic zero (0) on the assignment and be referred to
the proper authorities. Make sure your work is your own!
Materials Needed
3 ring binder (NO SPIRAL NOTEBOOKS PLEASE), paper (lined and white computer paper), colored pencils or crayons, black or blue pens,
red pen (for grading only), #2 pencils, flash drive & report covers with three-hole metal clasps.
Student Expectations
1. Students will come to class on time and be prepared to work (have all necessary materials). I define on time as in your seat
and ready to work BEFORE the tardy bell rings. BE HERE ON TIME. If you are late, you are to stand to the side of the door
and await instructions. You will complete a Demerit for Irresponsible Behavior (to be kept of file by the teacher). Once you
have accumulated 3 demerits, a detention will be assigned.
2. Students with unexcused tardies may not receive full credit for the previous nights homework.
3. Homework is an obligation for this class. Failure to complete your homework will result in a lower grade. Further, you will
be required to complete a Demerit for Irresponsible Behavior (to be kept of file by the teacher). Once you have
accumulated 3 demerits, a detention will be assigned.
4. Take care of your beauty and bathroom needs BEFORE you get here. YOU HAVE PLENTY OF TIME BETWEEN CLASSES AND
DURING NUTRITION OR LUNCH. There will be NO HALL PASSES ISSUED.DONT ASK. *In the event of an extreme
emergency, you will be allowed out of class. However, for every minute that you are gone, you will owe double at the end
5. Turn ALL electronic devices OFF and keep them put away. Any cell phone that rings or radio that comes on during class
time will be confiscated and turned in to the Deans Office. THEY ARE NOT ALLOWED AT SCHOOL.
6. There is no eating allowed in class. You may, however, have gum and drink water (no sweet drinks, please)
7. Raise your hand to speak or if you need help. DO NOT YELL across the room.
8. Respect yourself and others. No swearing, teasing, name-calling, pushing, kicking, or yelling. A research essay will be
assigned to the whole class if profanity is used. There is a time and a place for everything. School is not the place for the
actions listed above.
9. Copy your homework upon entering class and then begin the warm up (journal) activity, IMMEDIATELY. Failure to do so will
result in loss of positive participation points.
10. Do all homework and classwork on time. NO LATE WORK WILL BE ACCEPTED. There are deadlines in the real world and
you will practice meeting them, now. Three missed assignments will severely affect your grade, will result in detention and
will result in a U in work habits.
11. No make up exams will be given. Be here on test days or make prior arrangements for excused absences.
12. Bring your own class supplies.
13. The bell does not dismiss the class, the teacher does.

K. Mitchell

Parent and Student Signatures:

Student, please sign and have your parent(s) or guardian(s) sign below. Then detach and return to teacher.
I have read and understand the contents of this syllabus, and am fully aware of the (student please initial each):
Grading policy ______
Grade distribution ______
Assignment deadline requirements ______
Class rules and expectations ______
Plagiarism & cheating policy stated within ______

Students printed name: __________________________________________

Students signature:__________________________________________ Date: _________________

Parent/guardian printed name: _____________________________________

Parent/guardian signature: _____________________________________ Date: ________________

Parent/guardian contact information:

Email: _______________________________
Home Phone: _________________________
Cell Phone: __________________________
Work Phone: _________________________