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English 101 - English Composition - Prof. A. Dimakos

Course:English Composition
Professor:Prof. A. Dimakos
  • Online
Course Length:
  • 16 Week


Woman smiling at camera

Hello. My name is Professor Dimakos.  I will be your instructor for English 101 and I LOVE writing!

This semester we will be working together to sharpen your reading, writing, and thinking skills for a college-level audience and setting.

I understand that reading and writing can be challenging and often frustrating, but This class operates on a growth mindset.  This means that there is no such thing as a naturally good writer—someone who was born with writing talent and doesn’t have to work at it. 

We may all have subjects we prefer, but quality writing (or any other product) is the result of hours of practice, hard work AND not giving up when the material becomes difficult.  You can all be good writers, but you must be willing to put in the hours. 

Also, think of our class is a team. We will support each other’s learning and growth over the course of the semester.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns. I look forward to working with you this semester. 

Remember: You can do this!


About Me: I earned my bachelor’s degree in English literature from UCLA and my master’s degree in English literature at CSUN. I've been teaching a variety of courses at COC since 2009, including English 101, 103, 204, and 250 and Humanities 115 and 116. I’ve been teaching online and hybrid courses since 2012 and I really enjoy their flexibility and freedom. I’ve also found that online learning options help students who may not always have the ability to take classes physically on campus and this allows for a truly diverse collection of students from a variety of backgrounds and locations. The diversity in my online classes is just one of the things I love about teaching online!

Course Description

This course 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.

What to Expect in this Course

100% ONLINE: This course is 100% online and there are NO required face-to-face meetings or in-person video class sessions. Lectures and explanations of concepts will be given in various formats: YouTube videos, PowerPoint presentations, and PDF and Word documents.

CANVAS: Our Canvas course is where you will complete all assignments, interact with your classmates, take quizzes, complete peer review, access videos, links, and documents, and locate a few of the required readings in the course.

Our Canvas site cannot be accessed until the first day of the semester (Monday at 8:00am PST – Pacific Standard Time). This course requires a great deal of discipline, organization, reading and participation several days a week (and by “several,” I mean 3-4 days a week minimum”).

VERY IMPORTANT: To avoid being dropped from the course as a “no show”, you must login to the course website on Canvas and complete a discussion board activity by 11:59pm on Monday (the first day of the semester).  If you do not complete this assignment by the deadline, you will be dropped from the course. Again, the website becomes available for student access at 8:00am on Monday. It is not enough to log in to our Canvas course; you must complete the discussion board activity to be counted as “present”.


In general, for every 1 unit a college course is worth, you will spend about 3 hours per week outside of class reading and practicing the skills you’ve learned.

This means that for a 4-unit course like ours, you should expect to devote about 12 (maybe more) hours PER WEEK reading, writing, thinking, researching, receiving tutor assistance, and completing homework assignments. While this number is an estimation, and everyone learns and works differently, this course will require a significant portion of your time.

Since this is a time-intensive course, you will want to be mindful of your time management from the very beginning of the semester. This means you should find time management techniques that work best for you, such as using a calendar (paper or electronic) to note important due dates, inputting reminders in your phone, considering giving yourself extra time for reading tasks and assignments, and avoiding waiting until the last minute to complete assignments. Time management can be challenging, but it is a key component to your success!  

TURNITIN.COM: ALL final drafts of your four essays will be automatically submitted to when you submit them to Canvas. will check for uncited material and potential plagiarism in your assignments.

EXPECTATIONS: Please do not take this class because you don’t have time in your schedule to take a “real class.” This is a real college class (we’ll be delving into some real college readings and topics – it may even be fun!) that requires the same time commitment as a class that would be 100% face-to-face. 

This is not a class where you can complete work far ahead of your classmates or make up work during the last minutes of the semester. Our class wide online discussion boards will be asynchronous, not synchronous, meaning that you can log in at a time of day convenient to you -- even 3 am. (I won’t be on at 3 am. I’ll be sleeping and dreaming of interesting essay topics, or cupcakes, but you’re welcome to sign on whenever you like). However, there are due dates and deadlines for assignments. 


Regular access to a reliable computer with stable, high-speed internet connection.

Proficiency in the following apps and techniques:

  • Canvas (phone app available)
  • Zoom
  • Microsoft Word (free to COC students - click here)
  • PDF reader (free to COC Students - click here)
  • YouTube
  • (Optional): record videos of yourself through Canvas Studio

Types of Assessments

Four multi-paragraph argumentative essays


Rough drafts and peer reviews

Discussion Board assignments




Textbook Information

Please make sure to have access to the following textbooks by the end of Week 1 of the semester:

  • They Say, I Say by Gerald Graff, Cathy Birkenstein, and Russel Durst. (3rd Edition) ISBN:   9780393935844
  • Popular: Finding Happiness and Success in a World That Cares Too Much About the Wrong Kinds of Relationships by Mitch Prinstein ISBN-13: 978-0399563751

Other Relevant Course Information

Students who do well in online courses tend to share the following qualities:

  • They are incredibly self-motivated and consistently meet deadlines.
  • They are strong, critical readers, and communicate clearly and effectively in writing.
  • They have strong time management skills.
  • They enjoy active, cooperative learning experiences.
  • They have reliable access to the Internet (Lack of internet access, poor Internet access or malfunctioning technology – including software and computer programs – are not acceptable excuses for not completing assignments on time.).
  • They have basic computer skills, including the ability to cut/copy and paste between documents, send and download email attachments, and create and save documents in Microsoft Word.

I look forward to working with all of you and helping you succeed in this course. Did I mention I love writing?

Best wishes and see you online on the first day of the semester!




Professor Dimakos


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: 06/14/2021 Sub#: 274