Course Syllabus

English 1A: Composition and Reading

Section #4273, Spring 2022

Jump to: Course Description * Student Learning Outcomes * Content* Lesson Overview * Assignment Descriptions * Course Texts * Hardware and Software *Grading * Administrative Matters * List of Assignments

Course Description

You will be honing the skills that you have learned in previous years, learning to communicate better and more clearly in your writing as well as learning to both understand and analyze the written works of others. We will practice looking at the strategies that writers use to create and organize their works, with the goal of making it easier and more enjoyable for you to do the writing required in college and in most career fields.

We will be concentrating on several college skills and strategies for success:

  • Analysis
  • Paragraph Development
  • Writing Process Strategies
  • Revision & Reading Strategies
  • Critical Reading Skills
  • Research 

Each lesson will work towards giving you information and strategies that you can use for more successful reading and writing, concentrating on one area per lesson.

Course Deadlines can be found by checking the SRJC Academic Calendar. You can also view the official SRJC course description and catalog information.

Student Learning Outcomes

By the end of the semester students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of a variety of discipline-specific skills, strategies, and resources that facilitate the acquisition of college composition conventions and academic discourse.
  2. Demonstrate the capacity to comprehend, summarize, analyze, evaluate, and synthesize college-level texts of various lengths and genres, primarily non-fiction.
  3. Write primarily expository and argumentative texts that respond to a variety of rhetorical situations and contexts.
  4. Locate, evaluate, analyze, and synthesize outside source materials and integrate them into writing assignments using MLA style.
  5. Engage in inquiry and analysis of texts to determine how meaning is constructed and how it relates to the reader.


The class is divided into four units, three of which culminate in an essay assignment, with each lesson focusing on a particular reading or writing topic. The schedule of units and topics is as follows (each lesson is one week in a normal-length semester class; there are two lessons per week in shorter terms, such as summer):

Unit #1 - Introduction

  • Lesson 1: Introduction to the Course
  • Lesson 2: Introduction to College Reading and Writing

Unit #2 - Introduction to Writing

  • Lesson 3: Preparing to Write
  • Lesson 4: Writing Process
  • Lesson 5: Paragraph Development
  • Lesson 6: Revision - Overview & Strategies

Unit #3 - Advanced Topics In Writing

  • Lesson 7: Understanding & Remembering
  • Lesson 8: Reading
  • Lesson 9: Patterns of Development
  • Lesson 10: Modern Argument
  • Lesson 11: Grammar History
  • Lesson 12: Grammar Applications

Unit #4 - Information Literacy & Research

  • Lesson 13: Finding Sources
  • Lesson 14: Evaluating Sources
  • Lesson 15: Incorporating Information
  • Lesson 16: Documentation


Lesson Overview

This course, although it is online, is not self-paced. The course is organized into regular Lessons (one per week for regular semesters) with assignments and due dates.

Each Lesson you will begin by looking at the current Lesson Module, containing all the important information. The module page contains ALL information and links to all assignments and reading for that lesson.

All assignments are due by 11pm on Sunday (PST). Due dates for all assignments are given in the Calendar and at the bottom of the syllabus. Assignments are due each week on Sundays by 11pm.

Regular Assignments

Each lesson, you will be expected to do the following:

  • Complete assigned reading - you will usually have reading both from the textbook (College Composition and Reading), as well as one additional reading, generally provided in PDF format
  • Complete the Lesson Writing Assignment. Directions will appear on the Lesson Module. Some lessons, you will do a summary and response, or a writing journal, others you will have a unique assignment, and some you will be given a choice. See the Lesson Module to find out what the Lesson Writing Assignment is for that Lesson. Detailed Writing Assignment Directions can be found in the Basic Information module.
  • Watch Video Lecture and Complete Video Assignment. Not all lessons have a video, but most do. The videos are hosted on YouTube and each is embedded in Lesson Module. Detailed Video Assignment Directions can be found in the Basic Information module.
  • Create a Discussion Post following the directions given on the Lesson Module, and reply thoughtfully to at least two other students' posts for that Lesson. Detailed Discussion Assignment Directions can be found on the "Basic Information" module, with directions for each Lesson found in the Lesson module.
  • Optional: Although not required, each Lesson has an extra credit assignment for extra practice with an important skill or concept from the Lesson. There is also an extensive list of available extra credit on the Extra Credit Options page.

Assignment Descriptions

All assignments are described in detail in the Basic Information Module; the information given here is merely an overview.


The class is organized into four units, and each unit except the introduction unit ends with an essay assignment.

For all three essays, students will turn in the rough draft (25 points) one week, have a conference with the instructor about the essay (25 points) during the following week, and finally turn in the final draft (250 points) the week after that.

Essay directions for each essay will appear on an assignment of their own in relevant modules. Most essays are required to be about 1250 words, except the research essay (in Unit #4), which is about 1500 words.

Complete information about the essay process can be found on the Essay Information page in the Basic Information module.


Every Lesson Page will list the reading for the that Lesson, usually including at least two of the following:

  • a chapter in the textbook, College Composition and Reading: Information and Strategies
  • one or more essays or articles in PDF format
  • reading on the Lesson Module itself

Video Lectures

Most Lesson Modules will include a link to a video lecture that should be viewed after doing the assigned reading for the Lesson. This video will go over the most important information from the reading with additional important discussion. The videos are required viewing and will have closed-captioning available for hearing-impaired students or others who need it. You will complete a short assignment after watching the video.

Tests & Submissions

This class has one Final Exam. The final exam may only be loaded ONE TIME and may only be submitted ONE TIME for credit. This means that the first time you open the final, you must complete it. If you close it without completing it, you will receive a zero.  If you take the exam additional times, only the first one will be counted for your grade and subsequent submissions will be ignored.

Final Expectations

1. Assignments are due on a weekly basis, and students are expected to complete all work by Sunday at 11pm, Pacific Standard Time (PST), as specified in the schedule. 

2. While this course does involve a great deal of solitary study, it also emphasizes construction of knowledge, skills and abilities through social interaction and communication; therefore, discussion posts are shared with the other students in the class. Once these posts are submitted, they will be available to everyone in the class.

3. It is extremely important that everyone be respectful toward the members of this class. If any member of this class has a problem with another student, please let me know immediately.  More information about message board etiquette and consequences for noncompliance can be found on the "Basic Information" Lesson page.

4. If you encounter technical problems that prevent you from completing assignments, you need to let me know in a timely manner. I will do my best to help you trouble-shoot the problem. Technical problems are not an acceptable excuse for not submitting assignments on time. If you are unable to post your work through the usual channels, you should submit a copy of your assignment to me as an email attachment.

Course Text

You can locate and order textbooks online via the SRJC Bookstore. If your class is based out of Petaluma, your books will be listed on the Petaluma Bookstore web site.

Hardware and Software

Because this is an Internet-based class, students will need:

  • Access to the Internet via a modem or high-speed connection such as cable or DSL
  • A recent version of Web browser software (such as Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, or Internet Explorer)
  • An email account and the ability to access that account for sending and receiving messages
  • The ability to watch YouTube videos (This means having Adobe Flash player; nearly all computers/browsers already have this installed - if you have watched YouTube videos before, you have it - but if you do not have it, you can download the software for free from
  • A sufficiently powerful computer with modern operating system capable of handling the above requirements.

Because this is an online class in which students will be uploading essays and receiving feedback from peers and the instructor, students will need:

  • To be able to create and open/view Microsoft Word files (.doc or .docx) - many other programs have a "save as" feature by which you can convert. There is also a FREE program available called Open Office that can create and open MS Word files: you can get more information at
  • The ability to view PDF files. Most browsers already have this capability, but if yours does not, you can get the FREE viewing program from adobe at



This course consists of 1800 points divided in the following way:

Writing Assignment (16 x 20 points each) 320
CRR Discussions (6 x 30 pts) 180
Other Discussions (10 x 20 pts) 200
Video Assignment (15 x 10 pts) 150
Essay Rough Drafts (3 x 25 pts) 75
Essay Conferences (3 x 25 pts) 75
Essay Final Draft (3 x 250 pts) 750
Final Exam (1 x 50 pts) 50


Note: you must turn in a final draft for ALL THREE essays. If you do not turn in a final draft for any of the three essays, you will automatically receive an "F" in the course. If have not contacted me and have not turned in anything for the Essay #1 final draft by one week after the due date, you will be dropped from the course, since not submitting the essay final draft by the one-week cutoff date for late assignments means an automatic F for the course.

Grades follow the standard scale

A = 90%-100% (1620 points or more)
B = 80%-89% (1440-1619 points)
C = 70%-79% (1260-1439 points)
D = 60%-69% (1080-1259 points)
F = 59% and below (1079 points or fewer)


Grades should be available in Canvas by one week after the assignment due date. I always post an announcement once all assignments for a Lesson are graded.

Late Assignments

I accept non-Discussion assignments only up to one week late with the following penalties:

  • 1-3 days late: 10% penalty
  • 4-7 days late: 25% penalty
  • more than 7 days late: not accepted

No assignments will be accepted after 11pm one week after the due date. For fall and spring classes, due dates are always Sundays at 11pm, although assignments can be completed at any time up to one week before the deadline as well.

Note: Discussion assignments will NOT be accepted late: this assignment type must be submitted by the deadline to receive credit. No exceptions. If you are forced to miss one for some reason, you can submit extra credit to make up points (see below).

Extra Credit

There are many different options for extra credit, some of which are available every Lesson, some only during specific Lessons, and some only under particular circumstances. Extra credit options are listed on the Extra Credit Options page. In addition to the options mentioned there, every Lesson has its own extra credit assignment option focused on a particular skill or concept from the Lesson. There are MANY extra credit options available!


Administrative Matters

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is vital for learning, so cheating or plagiarizing will not be tolerated. Plagiarism involves the representation of another's work as your own, for example: (a) submitting as one's own any material that is copied from published or unpublished sources such as the Internet, print, computer files, audio disks, video programs or musical scores without proper acknowledgment that it is someone else's; (b) paraphrasing another's views, opinions or insights without proper acknowledgment or copying of any source in whole or in part with only minor changes in wording or syntax even with acknowledgment; (c) submitting as one's own work a report, examination, paper, computer file, lab report or other assignment which has been prepared by someone else. If you are unsure about what constitutes unauthorized help on an exam or assignment, or what information requires citation and/or attribution, please get assistance. Violations will result penalties ranging from a zero for that assignment to a loss of points, depending on the severity of the infraction. For a second offense, penalties range from a zero on the assignment to failure of the course, and/or additional disciplinary actions.

View SRJC policy (3.11) on Academic Integrity and the Student Conduct Code, which is in the SRJC Catalog and part of Policy 8.2.8, Student Discipline. You do have a right to due process should you wish to contest an allegation or penalty that you have received. Some useful links:

Students With Disabilities

If you are student with a disability, if you have not done so, you are advised to register with the Disability Resources Department (DRD) as soon as possible in order to receive any accommodations that you qualify for. DRD is located in Analy Village on the Santa Rosa campus, and Petaluma Village on the Petaluma Campus.

Many additional links are available in the SRJC “Distance Ed Accessibility” page of SRJC Disability Resources Department (Click here to access the Distance Ed Accessibility page).

Every effort is made to conform to accessibility standards for all instructor-created materials. Students should contact their instructor as soon as possible if they find that they cannot access any course materials. Students with disabilities who believe they need accommodations in this class are encouraged to contact Disability Resources (527-4278) or the website link above.

Dropping the Class

If you decide to discontinue this course, it is your responsibility to officially drop it. A student may be dropped from any class when that student's absences exceed ten percent (10%) of the total hours of class time. It is strongly advised that if you need to miss more than one class/homework deadline in a row that you contact the instructor to avoid being dropped from the class.

List of assignments