This course, the second in a series of two, introduces research techniques, documentation styles, and argumentative strategies. Emphasis is placed on analyzing data and incorporating research findings into documented argumentative essays and research projects. Upon completion, students should be able to summarize, paraphrase, interpret, and synthesize information from primary and secondary sources using standard research format and style.


Building on the skills developed in English 111, this course will help you further improve your communication and writing skills through constructing sound, reasonable arguments. At the completion of the semester you will be able to evaluate an argument; develop your own argument, taking a position on an issue or proposing a solution to a problem; support your arguments by using readings and materials gathered through research; properly attribute ideas to their authors; and properly cite sources using MLA format. Simply stated, you will become a better thinker and a better writer.

Completion of ENGL 111 or THL 111.

Vorel, Desirée E.

Adjunct Assistant Professor in English
Part Time
B.A. (2004), Clemson University; M.A. (2007), M.F.A. (2007), Chapman University
Subject Matter: 

Desirée Vorel received her college degree in 2004 from Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina. Between 2004-2007, Mrs. Vorel completed her Master of Arts in English and her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Chapman University in Orange, California. During her tenure at Chapman University, Mrs. Vorel assisted in the Writing Center, taught introductory English and worked as an English tutor. Mrs. Vorel has taught 8th and 9th grade English and served as a copywriter. From 2007 through 2009 she was also employed as an Adjunct English Instructor and Writing Center tutor for Tri-County Technical College in Pendleton, SC.

Course Credit: 
Three (3) semester credit hours
Instructional Objectives: 

On successful completion of this course, a student should be able to:

  1. Do assigned readings and demonstrate an understanding of their written and/or quantitative content;
  2. Demonstrate the ability to summarize, paraphrase, and question using standard written English;
  3. Locate appropriate information using an assortment of media, including books, magazines, journals, newspapers, and electronic sources;
  4. Write using standard English, clear, well-organized argumentative essays and research papers, that utilize primary and secondary sources;
  5. Synthesize different and divergent information, using the integration of information from multiple sources to engage in critical discourse;
  6. Write personally relevant research-based essays that integrate information from outside sources, including library databases, as well as your own experience, and observations, and correctly cites all informational sources using either MLA documentation style.
  7. Demonstrate academic integrity through the appropriate use and citation of the language and ideas found in valid, reliable and credible source materials;
  8. Locate, evaluate, organize, and use research material collected from electronic sources, including scholarly library databases; other official databases (e.g., federal government databases); and informal electronic networks and internet sources.
Required Texts: 

Mayberry, Katerine J. Everyday Arguments: A Guide to Writing and Reading Effective Arguments. 3rd ed.
ISBN: 978-0618986750

Lester, James D., and James D. Lester, Jr. Writing Research Papers: A Complete Guide 14th ed.
ISBN: 978-0205059331

You are responsible for the chapter readings that correspond with each class lecture. Please read the assigned chapters and/or essays prior to viewing the lectures and finishing the weekly assignments.

Additional Readings: 

Most weekly readings will be in the textbooks, however I may also post additional readings to the course site. I will clearly note any additional readings on the appropriate Lesson page.


I will provide a PowerPoint with audio lecture each week. Please see the course website for further details.

Course Calendar: 

Course Details

Lesson 1 Introduction
Lesson 2 Plagiarism
Lesson 3 Where Writing Begins
Lesson 4 Choosing a Topic and Writing Your Thesis
Lesson 5 Supporting Your Argument
Lesson 6 Formal and Informal Logic
Lesson 7 Reading and Evaluating Sources
Lesson 8 Arguing Facts
Lesson 9 Gathering Sources and Field Research
Lesson 10 Causal Arguments
Lesson 11 Taking Notes and Creating Outlines
Lesson 12 Arguing Evaluations
Lesson 13 Arguing Recommendations
Lesson 14 Analyzing and Synthesizing Ideas
Lesson 15 MLA Formatting
Lesson 16 Works Cited
Lesson 17 Wrap Up
Course Requirements: 

Due dates and extensions - Submit all assignments on or before the due date. Students must complete the course by the last official day of instruction as set forth in the academic calendar.

Icebreaker - To officially begin this course you must complete the icebreaker assignment. Please post a short (200 word or less) autobiography as a reply to the "Icebreaker" topic on the Lesson 1 Discussion Forum. Do NOT create a new discussion. Please use the following questions to guide your biography:

a. What is your name?
b. What church area do you attend?
c. What do you believe are your writing strengths and weaknesses?
d. What do you hope to learn from this class?

Discussion Board Posts - Most weeks, you will post to that week’s Discussion Board a concise response to the prompt I provide (please see the “Weekly Schedule” for the selected weeks). As it is a discussion board, please read and respond to at least one other student’s reply. The idea is to talk about the ideas presented in the prompt so you may learn from one another’s points-of-view. Postings are always due on FRIDAY.

Internet Exercises - Most weeks, you will also complete and turn in Internet Exercises, which are designed to help you practice proper and useful internet research. You will submit your answers by FRIDAY via the Tests tab on our course webpage. While these assignments are labeled “tests,” please do not think of them as tests, but rather as activities. They are, of course, “open book” in that you will need to conduct Internet research in order to answer the questions. If you find that you need to consult your textbook to guide your research, that is perfectly acceptable.

This term, you will write four short papers. Essays will always be due on MONDAY. Essay assignment specifics may be found on the “Essay Assignments” Lesson webpage. If you have trouble planning, drafting, or revising an essay, I urge you to contact me immediately so I may help with the process. All writing assignments in this course should follow the MLA style as set forth by Lester and Lester in Writing Research Papers: A Complete Guide. Please cite your sources and use quotations marks where needed. Any plagiarized paper, whether copied or paraphrased from a published article or another person’s paper, will result in an F. After grading, I will return your final drafts, with comments. Each paper will be graded on content and grammar; you will lose one point per error, so please plan to leave time for thorough revision and editing before submitting your essays.

To turn in essays, click on the Assignments tab and then click on the assignment you want to submit. Use the file attachment feature on the assignment submission page to submint your work so your instructor can have it handy for download, review and grading. You may turn in only one late paper during the semester, and it must be turned in within 48 hours of the due date.

Final Exam
For the final exam you will turn in a Final Research Project, which is essentially a long research essay. Further details will be provided during the semester. The Final Research Project is due by the end of the semester.

Late Work
You are allowed to turn in one late assignment. This does not apply to weekly assignments or the Final Research Project. It does apply to the four essays. If you need to use the late pass this semester, keep in mind that the late assignment MUST be turned in within 48 hours of the due date. Every essay is due on a Monday; therefore if you decide to use your late pass, you must turn in the essay by that Wednesday. If you fail to turn in your essay by midnight Wednesday, you will receive a zero.

Grading Category Weight   Letter Grade Percentage
Weekly Assignments 10%   A 90-100%
Essay 1 15%   B 80-89%
Essay 2 15%   C 70-79%
Essay 3 15%   D 60-69%
Essay 4 15%   F 0-59%
Proposal for Final Research Project 5%      
Revised Claim for Final Research Project 5%      
Final Research Project 20%      
Total 100%      

Students With Disabilities
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities have a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. Students having a disability requiring an accommodation should inform the instructor by email (on the “Course Info” page click on the instructor’s name and then select “Send Email”).

Technology Access
This course requires web access and the student has to have an established e-mail account. The Adobe Acrobat Reader is necessary to view documents that are PDF files. One can download the reader free at

Course Evaluation
Student input is welcome for improving this course. Making suggestions by e-mail is helpful. Our goal in this course is to facilitate the successful achievement of all instructional objectives by all students. At the end of the course students have the opportunity of assessing the course. We want to make e-learning courses as effective as we can. We may also ask some other questions concerning a student’s experience in distance learning to help us improve our program. We appreciate students letting us know how we can improve our products and services for them and other distance learners.

Withdrawing From or Dropping This Course
It is the responsibility of a student to drop a course if he or she cannot meet the requirements of the course. Any student who stops attending a course without officially withdrawing from it risks receiving a punitive grade for that course. Withdrawal requests may be conveyed in any manner to the course professor, Registrar, or Vice President of Academic Affairs. This action is sufficient for ensuring any refund owed you. Please note the following: If a student drops a course on or before the “Last day to withdraw from a course without a grade penalty” as published in the University Academic Calendar, even if his or her work is not of a passing grade, then a “W” is recorded. If a course is dropped after that date, but before the last 21 calendar days of the semester, then the instructor determines the grade. The faculty member will at this time record a grade of “W” if passing (not computed in GPA) or “WF” if failing (computed in GPA). Students who drop a course, yet remain in one or more other courses during the last 18 calendar days of the semester, will receive a grade of “WF.” Students who completely withdraw from the University at any time during the semester may be given a grade of “W” on all courses. If students do not initiate the withdrawal process, the instructor is required to initiate the administrative process and to record a grade of “W” or “WF” for the course depending on the date the faculty member drops the student from the course. Students who register for a course as an audit, but then withdraw will be assigned a grade of “W” for the course.