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ENG-101 - English Composition - Abby McMillen

Course:English Composition
Professor:Abby McMillen
  • Online
Course Length:
  • Applies to All Course Lengths


I’m Abby McMillen, an English instructor here at College of the Canyons.  I have taught at COC since 2014, and have been a classroom teacher since 2004.  I started as a full-time instructor in the local high school district, and then spent a few years working with home-schooling families at a local charter school before starting my career here at COC.

My M.A. is in English Rhetoric and Composition, so teaching writing is one of my favorite things to do. I enjoy fostering respectful and challenging class discussions, as well as encouraging deep critical thinking about everyday topics. 

Course Description

English 101 focuses on college-level writing and demands a rigorous commitment to the reading and writing process for the duration of the class.  English 101 builds critical reading and expository writing skills through the analysis and evaluation of college-level texts and the composition of well-organized, full-length essays containing properly documented evidence.

Upon successful completion of the course, you will be able to:

  • Analyze and critically evaluate college-level texts for rhetorical and genre strategies.
  • Compose persuasive, well-organized, grammatically correct essays, synthesizing properly documented and relevant evidence to develop and support a unified thesis.


What to Expect in this Course

You must have daily access to a computer equipped with reliable online access. Although you may use the computer labs at the COC campus to access this course, please make sure that you are familiar with their hours of operation. Additionally, for this class, MS Word processing capacities are required. This class assumes that students can open the course documents composed in MS Word, MS PowerPoint, and as PDF files. Additionally students will submit assignments that can be opened in MS Word as .doc/.docx.

All information regarding this course will be available through Canvas. The course will be available on the first day of the term at 8:00am PST for you to access through the website provided above. If you have any questions or issues accessing Canvas, please use the following information: Tech Support Email: Phone Number: (661) 362-3344 Tech Support Office: BONH-106/107

We do not "meet" at the same time each day for this online course. It is your responsibility to use Canvas for our class for assignments and due dates. Regularly check the "Announcements," and “Modules” links. This will help you to keep track of upcoming assignments and due dates. Plan to spend just as much time doing the work for this class as you would for an in-person course. Remember that online courses are student driven. This means that it will be YOUR responsibility to read the material, do the work, keep track of deadlines, and notify me if you have any questions. Any student who does not log in or show any form of online participation for seven consecutive days will be dropped from the class.

***To avoid being dropped from the course as a “no show,” you must login to the course on Canvas and complete an online discussion board activity by 11:59pm on the first day the term begins.  If you do not complete this assignment by the deadline, you will be dropped from the course.

The specifics of the grading process and assignments will be available in the course syllabus, which will be posted on our class Canvas page as of the course start date.  Please read it carefully and make sure you understand the demands of the course.  If you have any doubts about your ability to complete this course, please drop immediately so that other students can enroll without complications. 

Types of Assessments

For this course, you will be graded on the following types of assignments:

  • Class Discussions/Participation
  • Reading Journals
  • Quizzes and Assignments
  • "Success" Activities
  • Group Project (based on a full-length, non-fiction text)
  • Essays (including prewriting, drafting, peer reviews, and final submissions)
  • Essay Reflection activities
  • Final Exams 

Textbook Information

This class is ZTC (Zero Textbook Cost), which means you are not required to spend any money at all on textbooks.  The texts we will be using are available for free online.  You may print out the textbook if you prefer to read it on paper, and the bookstore will have copies of the additional text, but both are completely free in their online formats.

English Composition: An Open Educational Resources Publication by College of the Canyon, available on the COC website under Academics/Online Education/OER and Zero Textbook Cost/English/ZTC textbooks/English 101 -OR- through this link (if you're signed into your COC account). 

This class also contains many online articles to read, all of which will be accessible via our Canvas page.

You will also be assigned a non-fiction text to read for your third essay.  The books is It’s Complicated by danah boyd, and it's available as a free PDF on her website.

Other Relevant Course Information

Time Commitment:

This course requires as much of a time commitment as any face-to-face English 101 class. You should expect to log on at least three times a week to complete assignments. You should also expect to spend anywhere between 8 and 40 hours per week on class assignments and online participation, depending on whether the course is 5-week, 8-week, or 16-week format. Obviously the longer course will be on the shorter end of the time commitment (8-15 hours per week), and the shortest format the longer end (up to 40 hours per week).  The time commitment also differs from student to student based on differences in learning styles, organization, and time management. If you are not able to commit this time to the course, this course is not for you. This is not a class where you can work far ahead. You likely need to log in every weekday (unless you submit at least some assignments in advance of their due date) and complete the course work at an appropriate pace in order to succeed.

Email Policy:

Open communication is an important part of academic success. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns regarding the course. The fastest way to contact me for an online class is to message me through the Canvas system (rather than the school email system).  I will typically respond to your messages within 24 hours, and I do NOT respond to messages on weekends. This means it is best not to wait until the last minute for clarification. All correspondence must be professional and follow basic email etiquette (they need a descriptive and informative subject which includes the course name, an appropriate greeting, information details, closing line, and your name in the body of every email). If you do send an email to my school email account rather than through Canvas, remember to sign your name and to use your Canyons email account, as I cannot reply to personal email accounts.

Additional Resources


This course can be accessed on the first day of class via Canvas at Log into Canvas using your CanyonsID single sign-on:

  • CanyonsID Username is your COC student email address (Ex:
  • CanyonsID Password is your COC student email password

Please visit the Get to Know Your Online Classroom page for help logging into Canvas and for tips on using Canvas and Zoom. Canvas Chat Support is also available 24/7 for any Canvas related issues.

Online Education

Check out the Online Education website for more information on a variety of topics that can help you be a successful online student such as: exam proctoring, learning styles, computer skills, and tips for student success. If this is your first online course, feel free to take our online learning readiness assessment to assess your skills.

The Learning Center (TLC)

The TLC provides FREE online tutoring resources to COC students!

Academic Accommodation Center (AAC)

College of the Canyons AAC provides educational services and access for eligible students with documented disabilities who intend to pursue coursework at COC. A variety of programs and services are available which afford eligible students with disabilities the opportunity to participate fully in all aspects of the college programs and activities through appropriate and reasonable accommodations. For more information on their services visit the Academic Accomodation Center website.

Online Counseling

The Counseling Department offers appointments online. You can schedule an appointment by visiting the Online Counseling website. Counselors can help you map out a plan to reach your educational goals as well as advise you on course selection and registration.

Management of Stress and Mental Health

Often the pressure on our students is very strong, involving academic commitments, relationships, outside jobs and family pressure to name a few. The staff and faculty of College of the Canyons are here to see you succeed academically and care about your emotional and physical health. You can learn more about the broad range of confidential student services, including counseling and mental health services available on campus by visiting the Student Health & Wellness Center in the Student Services Building (across from the bookstore). The phone number is 661-362-3259 that you can call 24/7. You can also e mail for an appointment at At the Canyon Country Campus the Health Center will be in the new Student Services Building.

Also, the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline number is now 988. All students at COC are encouraged to enter that phone number in their cells. You can call it when you, or someone you know, is having thoughts of suicide or is in severe distress.

You can also now use the Crisis Text Line: Just text "Courage" to 741741. Someone will get back to you immediately. Its free, 24/7, and confidential.

Veterans Resource Center

The College of the Canyons Veterans Resource Center is a department within the Student Services Division at the college, created to help veterans and veteran dependents with applying to College of the Canyons, enrolling in classes, and requesting VA Education or Vocational Benefits. For more information please visit the Veterans Resource Center website, email or phone (661) 362-3469.


The Library provides live online and in-person research help, access to a full range of e-resources and physical materials that support the curriculum, individual and group study areas, and much more!

Last updated: 06/02/2023 Sub#: 246