Course Syllabus

English 1A: Composition and Reading

Section #0789, Fall 2023

Jump to: Course Description * Student Learning Outcomes * Content* Lesson Overview * Assignment Descriptions * Course Texts * Hardware and Software *Grading * Administrative Matters * Attendance * 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 look 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, most career fields, and in life.

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 topic 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.

Unit & Lesson Schedule

Unit #1 Introduction to Writing & the Course

Unit #2 - Writing Basics

    • Lesson 3: Preparing for Writing
    • Lesson 4: Writing Process
    • Lesson 5: Paragraph Structure
    • Lesson 6: Revision


Unit #3 - Advanced Topics In Writing

    • Lesson 7:Understanding & Remembering
    • Lesson 8: Reading
    • Lesson 9:Patterns of Development I
    • Lesson 10: Patterns of Development II


Unit #4 - Information Literacy & Research

    • Lesson 11: Research
    • Lesson 12: Incorporating Information
    • Lesson 13: Documentation
    • Lesson 14: Grammar History
    • Lesson 15: Grammar Use
    • Lesson 16: Course Review

Lesson Overview

This course is organized into regular Lessons (one per week) 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.

Depending on the type, assignments are due by 11pm on Wednesday or 11pm Sunday (PST). Due dates for all assignments are given in the Calendar and at the bottom of the syllabus. 

Regular Assignment Due Dates

Since this is a hybrid course, we will be meeting every on campus in our regular classroom one per week for two hours. Each week, you will complete the following work:

By 11pm on Wednesday night:

  • Reading Quiz (10 points)
  • Video Assignment (30 points)
  • Discussion main post (10 points)

During Class on Thursday:

  • In-Class Work (20 points)

By 11pm on Sunday night:

  • Mastery Assignment (40 points)
  • Any essay-related assignments (varies)
  • Any extra credit (varies)

There is one lesson topic per week with the associated assignments. The only exception to this is "Lesson 16: Review," which has fewer assignments. Aside from that final week of class, each week 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 or as a link
  • Take the Reading Quiz. Take the quiz associated with the reading that you did (usually a chapter quiz on the textbook). Complete Quiz Assignment Directions can be found in the Basic Information module. 
  • Watch Video Lecture and Complete Video Assignment. Instead of in-class lectures, you will be watching video lectures I have recorded for you which are hosted on YouTube. These videos are interactive and will pause as you watch, giving you a question (such as short answer, fill in the blank, or multiple choice) which you will respond to. Complete 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.
  • Attend Class, arriving on time and with your textbook or the ability to access it online. You are welcome to bring phones, tablets, or laptops to class for accessing your textbook. Find more details about class meetings in the Course Meetings page of the Basic Information module.
  • Complete a Mastery Assignment, showing you have mastered the skills and abilities of the Lesson. Complete directions will be found in the assignment itself, as they vary.
  • 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 (after the 2-week Introduction Unit) ends with an essay assignment.

For all three essays, students will turn in the rough draft (10 points) one week, have a conference with the instructor about the essay (30 points) the next week, and turn in the final draft (250 points) the week after that. The only exception is the research essay final draft (in Unit #4), which is worth 500 points.

Essay directions for each essay will appear on an assignment of their own in relevant modules. Most essays are required to be at least 3 pages long, except the research essay (in Unit #4), which is required to be at least 5 pages.

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

Reading & Quizzes

Every Lesson will have required reading for 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

After completing the reading, you will have an auto-graded, multiple-choice quiz to check your understanding. You may re-take the quiz up to two additional times. (Your highest score will be retained.)

Complete Quiz Assignment Directions can be found in the Basic Information module. 

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. These videos are interactive and will stop to ask you multiple-choice and short-answer questions as you watch. You can re-do the videos to earn a higher score as many times as you would like before the video due date. 

Complete Video Assignment Directions can be found in the Basic Information module. 


There will be an assigned discussion each week, usually on an assigned article or on the topic of the Lesson for that week. You will need to submit your main post by 11pm Wednesday so that we can discuss the topic in class on Thursday and so that everyone has time to reply to two classmates by 11pm on Sunday. Each week with give specific directions for the discussion, and general Discussion Assignment Directions can be found in the Basic Information module.

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

  • Textbook:  College Reading and Composition: Information and Strategies, (4th revised edition) by L. Dawn Lukas; available as either a standard printed text (ISBN: 978-1-7924-3254-5) or as a limited ebook: 6 month license, online access only (ISBN: 978-1-7924-3780-9). Both the print and ebook versions can be purchased directly from the publisher at 

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.
  • 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 3000 points divided in the following way:

Discussions (16 x 20 points each) 320
In-Class Work (16 x 20 pts) 320
Chapter Quizzes (15 x 10 pts) 150
Video Assignments (15 x 30 pts) 450
Mastery Assignments (15 x 40 pts) 600
Essay Rough & Conferences (3 x 40 pts) 120
Essay Final Draft (2 x 250 pts) 500
Research Essay  Final Draft (1 x 500 pts) 500
Final Exam (1 x 40 pts) 40


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% (2700 points or more)
B = 80%-89% (2400-2699 points)
C = 70%-79% (2100-2399 points)
D = 60%-69% (1800-2099 points)
F = 59% and below (1799 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. Assignments can be completed at any time up to one week before the deadline.

Note: Discussion assignments will NOT be accepted late: this assignment type must be submitted by the Sunday at 11pm 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.


For face-to-face courses, students who fail to attend the first class meeting may be dropped by the instructor. MAKE SURE TO ATTEND THE FIRST CLASS MEETING! More information about class meetings (including dates, times, and location) can be found in the Course Meetings page of the Basic Information module.

You are required to attend class: after the first week, you may be failed or dropped if you miss more than one class meeting without prior notice, and you will lose In-Class Activity points for being more than a few minutes late.  We will have many class discussions and group activities: participation is required.  An absence results in a loss of participation points, which cannot be made up.  Any student who is constantly late and/or unprepared may be dropped without notice.

Any distractions or disrespect during class will be dealt with immediately. All students are expected to know the Student Conduct Code ( and adhere to it. Students who violate the code may be suspended or referred for other disciplinary measures.

List of assignments

Course Summary:

Date Details Due