341 Office Hours: M/W 1230-330 or by appointment if needed Required Texts and Other Expenses

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Melanie Jeffrey / English 70 Email: melanie.jeffrey@cerrocoso.edu

Office: 341

Office Hours: M/W 1230-330

or by appointment if needed

Required Texts and Other Expenses

Texts and Contexts: A Contemporary Approach to College Writing 7 edition, ISBN 978-1-4130-3345-8, Robinson and Tucker

Farewell to Manzanar ISBN: 978-0307976079, Jeanne Houston

Night ISBN: 978-0374500016, Eli Wiesel

MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th ed.): ISBN-10: 1603290249

A Journal

3 bluebooks (available in the bookstore)

Photocopies of essays, a pocket

Please Note: this class utilizes Moodle, an online learning tool; regular reliable access to the internet is a must.

Catalog Course Description

This composition course prepares students to take transfer-level courses and to enter the job market. Students write four to six short expository and argumentative essays and a 1,250-word research paper with a central controlling idea, coherent development to a reasoned conclusion, and correct sentence structure, punctuation, and spelling. The course further emphasizes properly acknowledging and documenting sources. Prerequisite: Level 2 Writing or completion of English C040.

This is a writing course. That means you will have to write. A lot. You will be required to write 4 out-of-class essays, including a 6-8 page long term project. In addition, you will write 3 in-class essays, as well as journal assignments. All of these are designed to create a community of writers and thinkers, which in turn will strengthen your knowledge and comprehension, improve your writing skills, and develop your critical thinking skills.

Course Objectives

Upon entering English 70, students must be able to

  • write short compositions with clear organization, keywords, thesis, and topic sentences.  

  • construct coherent, unified, and well-developed paragraphs. 

  • identify and correct major errors in grammar (fragments, comma splices, fused sentences, subject/verb agreement errors, incorrect pronoun form), although minor errors (irregular comma use) might be present. 

  • determine general versus specific statements, claims versus support.

Papers will be graded assuming these skills are already in place.

In order to pass this course, students are expected to write solid, mostly error-free, college-level compositions. To successfully complete this course, students must be able to

  • organize mid-size (750-word) compositions effectively with cueing devices like keywords, topic sentences, and thesis statements.

  • write clear and grammatically-correct prose, free of both major and minor errors.

  • conduct original research and write a longer (1,250-word) research essay by evaluating and synthesizing multiple sources.

  • work conscientiously and properly with the ideas and wordings of outside sources, clearly distinguishing ideas of their own from those of others, both in the body of papers by means of signal phrases and in the use of MLA, and effectively integrating outside sources: quoting, paraphrasing, summarizing, and giving proper citations.

  • revise substantively, making significant changes in structure, focus and style.

  • work beyond the standard, basic essay, using different modes—explanation, argument, summary, synthesis—and variations as needed. Writing should demonstrate a clear sense of purpose and audience and should be more developed and fluid than at the 40 level.

  • read and understand mid-length essays and determine how they relate to other texts; distinguish between the ideas of multiple writers; and present and reflect on ideas.

  • read longer popular and accessible academic readings and read for comprehension, purpose, audience, and structure.

  • identify central points, both explicit and implied; distinguish fact from opinion; distinguish the major and minor supporting information, and determine author's purpose and recognize tone.

  • recognize structure of essays and longer works by using outlining skills and summarize and annotate texts for more complete understanding.

Student Learning Outcomes: To pass the class, students are expected to write solid, error-free, college-level compositions that carefully and conscientiously employ and cite outside sources. In particular, students must be able to

  • write clearly structured text-based essays which require finding, evaluating, organizing, and effectively integrating college-level source material.

  • employ MLA format and citation apparatus correctly.

  • analyze college-level reading material for structure, purpose, audience, and relation of ideas to other texts.


Students who have verified learning disabilities and need assistive services or who, due to a sensory or processing disability, require alternative media formats of class materials should contact the Special Services Office at (760) 384-6250.

Important Dates

  • September 6—Last day to drop with a refund

  • September 9—last day to drop without a “W”

  • November 4—last day to drop with a “W”

Readings Policy of the Cerro Coso English Department

All Associate and transfer-level English courses at Cerro Coso Community College require the reading of at least one novel or other work of imaginative literature. In these works students may encounter material that challenges their viewpoints and/or beliefs. The English department feels strongly that a student's ability to examine carefully and write seriously on ideas that he or she may not agree with is a crucially important critical thinking and interpersonal skill in our diverse community. For this reason, alternative materials will not be assigned. If a student feels that he or she simply cannot study the works assigned, then the student should consider dropping the class.

Class procedures and Grading Policy

Please be on time and turn off all cell phones, blackberries, palm pilots, beeping wristwatches, pagers, and any other electronic device that might disturb the class. Also, do not send text messages or fiddle with your phone during class.

Technology policy: although you may use your laptop to take notes or use an e-reader for your texts, please know that students who are using these devices in a way that disrupts the class (working in your online math class, for example) will be given a warning after the first incident. After the second incident, the student will be asked to leave class for the day.

Please complete each reading assignment before class. If you do not have the book yet, there is a reserve copy for you to use in the library. I do not wish to give quizzes, but will do so if necessary.

Attendance is mandatory. If you miss class for any reason, it is your responsibility to get any assignments that you might have missed. Coming in late as well as leaving early may count toward your absences, especially if it becomes a habit. I may drop any student with 4 or more unexcused absences. Also, due to the unusually large number of grandma dying / cousin in the hospital/ computer crash incidents that occur when assignments are due, all extensions require appropriate documentation.

Please bring your journal and all textbooks to class each time.

All out-of-class essays must be typed or computer printed using a standard font and adhering to MLA guidelines. I will not accept any electronic submissions, including rough drafts, nor will I print from a disk. Late papers, including drafts, will not be accepted and fail automatically. Life threatening emergencies, as always, is the only exception. Please read attached handout for additional information about essay format.

In general grades are determined according to course rubric using the following system:

Essay #1—draft 15 points 90-100%=A

Final 50 points 80-89%= B

Essay #2—draft 15 points 70-70%= C

Final 50 points 60-69%=D

Essay #3—draft 25 points 59% and below =F

Final 100 points

Long Term Project—Topic Proposal 25 points

Annotated bibliography + outline 25 points

First Draft 50 points

Final Draft 100 points

Bluebook essay 1—25 points

Midterm—50 points

Final Exam—100 points

Homework, In-class activities, quizzes—70 points total

700 points total

A Note about Journals

Most class meetings will begin with a timed free-write designed to encourage critical thinking, help develop ideas for possible essay topics, and make students more at ease with the writing process. These will be completed in your journal; I will never read from your journal, but may occasionally ask for volunteers to share what they have written. For the most part however, your journal is a private place for you to write. Don’t know what to write? Write a list of ten things you want to accomplish in the next year, write a review of the latest movie you have seen, write a letter you know you could never send—the point is to keep writing.


“Plagiarism: The action or practice of taking someone else's work, idea, etc., and passing it off as one's own; literary theft” (Oxford English Dictionary). Students are expected to submit their own original work written specifically for this course. All sources quoted, paraphrased, summarized, or otherwise borrowed from, must be given proper credit through the use of quotation marks, parenthetical in-text citations, and Works Cited pages. See a recent edition of an MLA handbook for specifics on documentation. Plagiarism constitutes a breach of academic conduct for which the college imposes severe penalties. It is easy for an instructor to spot plagiarism, especially with the services of turnitin.com. If a paper, quiz, exam, journal entry, or forum post contains plagiarism of any kind or turns out to be associated in any way with an online "research assistance firm," the piece in question will receive an automatic zero and cannot be made up. Depending on the severity of the case, further disciplinary action may be taken. Flagrant cases of plagiarism will be reported to the Vice President of Student Services.
Units of Study

Unit 1 (weeks 1-4)


  • Review rhetorical modes

  • Understand features of a thesis, topic sentence

  • Learn effective organizational strategies for maintaining essay coherence and unity

  • Learn and apply features of a classification essay

  • Learn strategies for developing paragraphs

  • Understand the difference between summary and analysis

  • Review reading comprehension strategies

  • Learn basic features of MLA format and documentation

  • Grammar and mechanics: punctuation

  • Learn effective ways to transition between sentences

Unit 2 (weeks 5-8)


  • Learn and apply features of a discussion / argument essay

  • Learn effective strategies for transitioning between paragraphs in order to maintain essay coherence

  • Learn to distinguish facts from opinions in one’s writing

  • Learn basic research strategies

  • Learn features of appropriate critical sources and college level sources

  • MLA: Learn effective ways to integrate source material

  • MLA: Understand features of appropriate paraphrase

  • MLA: Learn to recognize and avoid plagiarism

  • Grammar: fragments and run-ons

Unit 3 (weeks 9-13)


  • Learn and apply features of comparison and contrast essays

  • Learn effective strategies for responding to primary readings

  • Learn effective strategies for responding to source materials

  • Learn to synthesize primary readings with source material

  • Evaluating sources for credibility

  • Learn effective strategies to develop critical thinking skills

Unit 4 (weeks 14-16)


  • Review steps in the research process (from topic proposal to final draft)

  • Learn advanced research techniques

  • Synthesizing college-level sources

  • Learn features of annotated bibliography

  • Learn features of outline

  • Preview expectations of English 101

Tentative Reading Schedule

The dates listed are the dates we will discuss the selected readings, so they should be completed before the dates. This is especially true when we are reading from the novels.

Week 1—The Writing Process

8/27 Introduction, Syllabus, the Writing Process, Expectations of Academic Writing, “Superman and Me”

8/29 Texts and Contexts: 3-20, 61-80

Week 2—Organizing Thoughts and Documenting Sources

9/03 Texts and Contexts: 136-149

9/05 Texts and Contexts: 83-99 + items on reserve in LRC

Texts and Contexts: 119-136, Review 136-149

Diagnostic Paragraph due

Week 3—Summary vs. Analysis

9/10 Texts and Contexts: 20-40, 152-169

First Draft of Essay #1 due / Bring in 2 copies

9/12 MLA Workshop: Documenting Sources

Week 4—More Textual Analysis

9/17 Texts and Contexts: 496-504 complete exercises

Punctuation Workshop:

9/19 Texts and Contexts: 457-461

In-Class essay #1 (Bring Bluebook)

Final Draft of Essay #1 due

Week 5—Making Claims/ Making Connections

9/24 Handout on Transitions

Texts and Contexts: 382-391

9/26 Research Workshop

Texts and Contexts: 255-264

Week 6—Integrating Sources

10/01 Texts and Contexts: 338-361 complete odd numbered exercises only, 391-398

First Drafts of Essay #2 due (bring 2 copies)

10/03 MLA Workshop: Integrating Sources

Week 7—Farewell to Manzanar

10/08 Final Draft of Essay #2 due

10/10 Texts and Contexts: 170-174

Week 8— Farewell to Manzanar

10/15 Texts and Contexts: 174-181

Begin Farewell to Manzanar “Chronology” Ch. 1-4

10/17 Texts and Contexts: 241-254

Farewell to Manzanar ch. 5-9

Week 9— Farewell to Manzanar

10/22 Midterm (Bring Bluebook)

Farewell to Manzanar ch. 10-14

10/24 Farewell to Manzanar ch. 15-17

First Draft of Essay #3 due (bring 2 copies)

Week 10—Beyond Manzanar:

10/29 Farewell to Manzanar ch. 18-22

10/31 Texts and Contexts: 437-456

Final Draft of Essay #3 due

Week 11—Night

11/5 Begin Night “Preface” “Forward” pg. 1-22

11/07 Night pg. 23-46

Week 12—Night

11/12 Night pg. 47-65

Topic Proposal for Final Project due

11/14 Night pg. 66-96

MLA Workshop: Interpreting and Responding to Sources

Week 13—Night

11/19 Night pg. 98-115

Annotated Bibliography + Outline due

11/21 Comparing Night to Farewell to Manzanar

MLA quiz

Week 14—

11/26 First Draft of Final Projects due (bring 2 copies)

11/28 Thanksgiving---no class

Week 15—Wrapping it all up / Preparing for 101

12/02 Focus on Synthesizing Sources (Handout)

12/04 Course Wrap up/ What to expect in 101

Week 17—

Final Exam TBA

Final Draft of Final Project due

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