Mrs. Westenskow                                                            email:

Room 203                                                                                email:

Phone: 720-423-6183


Writing for College


As the name implies, this is a writing course to prepare students for college, so the emphasis will be on writing full expository essays. Students may also be required to read and analyze short pieces of literature written in a variety of forms. The “Word of the Day” will help expand vocabularies. All reference material for this class will be supplied, and many classroom notes and assignments can be found on line.



Rather than give you a specific time line for the work, the following is a tentative list of the writing assignments we will work on. We will also work with grammar as needed and sentence variety (fluency).

Personal essay


College essays



Combined method



Research paper (2nd sem.)

Cause and effect


Literary analysis




I give homework and I expect you to do the assignments and hand them in on time. Writing assignments will lose a letter grade for every calendar day (not class day) late. Writing assignments turned in late one week or more will receive no better than 50%. Homework not turned in is a “0.” Incremental work for writing assignments is critical and failure to complete these daily assignments will result in a reduced grade.



Your grade is your reward for learning. In general, I grade on product, not the effort; however, hard work usually produces a better product. Your grades will be based on your daily work, tests, and writing. I will use the school grade scale for letter grades. Based on the class work, the percentages listed below for daily and test grades may be revised as the term progresses.


(15% of grade) classroom work, homework


(20% of grade) quizzes, major tests (unlikely), vocabulary


(65% of grade) all essays and major writing assignments

Semester grades are determined by averaging the percentages of the two nine weeks




Every week you will receive twelve words for a vocabulary section in your notebooks. Most of the words will be new vocabulary for you. I will give you the part of speech, a definition, and a sentence for each word. You will need to learn the words and be able to use them correctly in sentences. The first meeting day of each week you will have a usage test on the words. It is your responsibility to get the words if you are absent. If you are absent for the test, you must make it up before the next test is given. If you are absent from school for two or more class days, accommodations will be made. Make up tests must be scheduled with me. Quizzes are a part of your test grade. You may earn bonus point which count toward your test scores. I will explain this in class.



Students will come to class prepared to work

with the required supplies

Notebook for class notes, vocabulary, homework, and essay work

Black or blue pens


Place for handouts

Positive attitude

Students should have access to a dictionary and thesaurus at home.

Cell phones must be turned off and not visable, or they will be confiscated.

 When absent, students are responsible for getting the assignments from a classmate.



Regular classroom attendance is required to be successful in this course. On the third unexcused absence a parent/guardian conference will be required with a counselor and the Academic Dean. Students may be assigned to the Academic Success Room to complete missing course work and obtain tutoring assistance. Students with habitual attendance issues may be placed on an attendance contract, face legal intervention through State attendance laws, or be referred to an alternative school. Habitually truant students over the age of 16 may be withdrawn from school by an administrator. Also, it is the student’s responsibility to find out what materials have been covered in class when an absence occurs.  It would be advisable to get at least one classmate’s phone number in order to find out what material has been covered in class.


All students will be granted three tardies in each class per grading period.  On the second tardy, I will inform parents of the current tardy status and the next consequence.  On the fourth tardy, a referral will be given to the Dean of Students. The student will then receive an assignment to Saturday School.  On the fifth tardy, the student will receive an in-school suspension and a parent conference will be required before re-entry into school. 


A note on submitting assignments in electronic format or via e-mail

As I am a firm believer in students learning how to function in an increasingly electronic environment, I gladly accept written assignments saved on USB drives, CDs, or via e-mail; however, if your document does not show up in my inbox or will not open on my computer and is submitted at the last minute, the assignment will be considered late. Check with me for Word format compatibility questions and possible blocking issues of e-mailed assignments. 


Also, please remember that I am here to help you.  I am available 30 minutes before school, and during my planning periods.  You may also contact me via e-mail with any questions you may have and I will respond as soon possible.  I want each and every one of you to be successful in this class!  


This course will cover the Colorado Model Content Standards for reading and writing.  For a complete description of these standards you can visit the following website: