Course Descriptions & Syllabi

Course Descriptions & Syllabi

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Note: some or all of the courses in the subjects marked as "Transfer" can be used towards a transfer degree: Associate of Science and Arts or Associate of Engineering Science at DACC. Transferability for specific institutions and majors varies. Consult a counselor for this information.

Areas of Study | | ENGL121 syllabus

COURSE TITLE:Communication Skills
DIVISION:Liberal Arts
DELIVERY MODE:Online, In-Person, Hybrid

Students will read, summarize, and respond to a number of informational texts, such as articles from credible newspapers and magazines and research from credible agencies. Students will use information and/or examples from those readings to support their ideas in organized paragraphs that work together to support a larger point. Students will begin with shorter texts, such as basic summaries, and move on to construct longer texts, including discussion posts and multiple paragraph essays. Students will produce multiple drafts using feedback from the instructor and will learn to evaluate their own writing in terms of content, organization, and sentence-level concerns. Students will produce 2,500 words over the course of the semester.

Place into ENGL121 with approved documented placement test scores (writing & reading) or by completing DEVE098.


Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:
  • Identify and apply the foundational rhetorical concepts (audience, purpose, rhetorical situation) to the careful reading and analysis of published examples and from their peers and to the drafting of their own texts.
  • Write and revise short academic texts with a clear purpose (including but not limited to narratives, summaries, responses, and persuasive texts).
  • Craft cohesive, well-developed paragraphs that work to support the writer’s purpose.
  • Identify, describe, and apply basic conventions for a number of academic texts, focusing on purpose, organization, style, and tone.
  • Identify the differences between informal and formal written and spoken language, and apply the conventions of Written Standard English to combine sentences and to revise informal pronouns and verbs to more formal options.
  • Make audience-focused decisions about their language (in terms of word choice and grammar) and their content.
  • Identify sentence fragments and run-ons, and revise those fragments and run-ons into complete sentences with appropriate capitalization and punctuation.

Students will produce four common academic genres: summaries of informational texts, responses to course materials (discussion posts and response papers, for example), a position paper, and a narrative.

Varies by section. College Writing Skills (9th edition) by John Langan or Course Pack.

See bookstore website for current book(s) at

During the first day of class, instructors will provide students with a sample reading and a prompt. Students will be asked to construct a brief summary and essay in response to the prompt. This initial Diagnostic Essay will be used to focus reading, writing, and grammar instruction over the course of the semester. Students will have the opportunity to revise their Diagnostic Essays at the end of the semester for their final project. This Diagnostic Essay will help instructors and students to assess the development of academic writing skills at the end of the semester.

Unit One:  Writing Effective Summaries 20%
Unit Two:  Responding to Academic Texts 20%
Unit Three:  Constructing an Argument 20%
Unit Four:  Writing Creative Genres 20%
Homework and Quizzes 10%
Final:  Global Revision of the Diagnostic Essay 10%


Membership in the DACC community brings both rights and responsibility. As a student at DACC, you are expected to exhibit conduct compatible with the educational mission of the College. Academic dishonesty, including but not limited to, cheating and plagiarism, is not tolerated. A DACC student is also required to abide by the acceptable use policies of copyright and peer-to-peer file sharing. It is the student’s responsibility to become familiar with and adhere to the Student Code of Conduct as contained in the DACC Student Handbook. The Student Handbook is available in the Information Office in Vermilion Hall and online at:

Any student who feels s/he may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the Testing & Academic Services Center at 217-443-8708 (TTY 217-443-8701) or stop by Cannon Hall Room 103. Please speak with your instructor privately to discuss your specific accommodation needs in this course.

Fall 2018

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