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ENGL 101 - English Composition - Ann O'Bryan

Course:English Composition
Professor:Ann O'Bryan
  • OnlineLive
Course Length:
  • 16 Week


Ann O


My name is Ann O'Bryan and I look forward to teaching English 101 this semester. I look forward to getting to know each of my students through writing assignments, questions, struggles, and successes. 

A little about me:

I have been teaching English at the college level since 2012. My career began at California State University, Northridge as a MA student. While working toward my degree, I taught Composition classes, much like this one, under the direction of a professor with decades of valuable experience. Once I graduated, in 2014, I began teaching at the community college level. I have taught a mixture of online, hybrid, remote, and face-to-face classes. I have a particular affinity for teaching at the community college level, which stems from my own struggles as a community college student. Once upon a time, I went where most other 18 year olds went after high school - college. However, I was unable to balance financially supporting myself while also juggling the demands of college. I ended up dropping out of Moorpark College in my first semester. It took several years and an interstate move for me to return to college. Once I returned, at the age of 26, I became committed to seeing my education through. It was one of the most challenging experiences of my life because I then had small children to care for. On the flip side, my knowledge in subjects I had never considered had grown tremendously. I learned things about the human body in Anatomy and Physiology that I never knew existed. I learned about cultures and customs in Humanities classes that were previously unknown to me. I learned about social structures, how the human mind works, the dark side of U.S. and world history. I even learned some Math (as painful as that was). I then transferred to Colorado State University where I decided to major in English and pursue a college teaching career. This was my favorite college experience, by far. The majority of my classes were in the English department. It felt too easy - all I had to do was read literature and write essays to get a college degree! This is when I knew that I was on the right career path. It's a choice I have yet to question. I loved college so much that I still ponder going back to college, one final time, to earn a PhD in English.

Course Description

According to the COC course catalogue, 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."

What to Expect in this Course

In my course, you will write four essays. You will engage with your classmates on discussion boards and in peer reviews. You will work with online tutors to help you revise your essays. The textbook, Understanding Rhetoric, is necessary to complete many of the discussion posts. Your first essay will be a rhetorical analysis that focuses on short readings provided by me. The second essay will be an evaluative analysis based on one of the three "recommended books" listed in the textbooks section. The third essay will be research-based. The final essay will be a portfolio, where you revise a previous essay and include a reflection. Each of the essay assignments include peer reviews and tutor meetings. You will do the peer reviews and tutor meetings entirely online. You may submit late work for a 50% point penalty. Although, I am sensitive to challenges that come up in life, so I am willing to work with students who notify me in advance of due date conflicts. We will meet twice each week, over Zoom, to discuss relevant issues in the course. We will also engage in writing activities, group work, and lectures. 

Types of Assessments

There are 1,000 points available in this course – the following are your assignments for the semester: A = 90 – 100% B = 80 – 89% C = 70 – 79% D = 60 – 69% F = 0 – 59% 10 Discussion Posts (200 points total) 3 Prewriting Activities (75 points total) Rhetorical Analysis Essay (125 points total)
Evaluative Essay (125 points total)
Research Essay (150 points total)
3 Rough Drafts and Peer Review (150 points total)
3 Tutoring sessions and reflections (75 points total)
1 Final Portfolio (100 points total)

Textbook Information / Link to ZTC Textbook

Required textbook: Understanding Rhetoric: A Graphic Guide to Writing, 3rd Edition ISBN: 978-1319244996)

Choose ONE of these graphic novels:
The Complete Maus, by Art Spiegelman (ISBN: 978-0679406419)
Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood, by Marjane Satrapi (ISBN: 978-0375714573)
Fun Home, by Alison Bechdel (ISBN: 978-0618871711)

Other Relevant Course Information

I know reading can be a struggle in college. There are so many textbooks and sometimes they can be incredibly dull! This led me to choose books in a graphic format. My intention is to make reading more engaging and less time-consuming without sacrificing quality. 

The textbook, Understanding Rhetoric, is required and necessary to complete many of the discussion posts. It is designed in a graphic novel-type of format, which (hopefully) makes it more engaging and easier to read. 

I tried to pick a variety of graphic novels for you all to choose from. My hope is that you will identify more with the one of the stories, which will make it more interesting to read. The graphic novels are all memoirs, which means that they are based on true events in the authors' lives. The Complete Maus is Art Speigelman's memoir that tells his father's story of enduring (and surviving) The Holocaust. The story flashes from past, to present, and is told by the author (as a character in the novel) while he interviews his father. Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood is Marjane Satrapi's memoir that highlights the struggles she endured as a child and teenager growing up during the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Fun Home is Alison Bechdel's memoir of her home life with her closeted gay father as well as her own coming out story. 

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

College of the Canyons cares about your emotional and physical health. Learn more about the broad range of confidential student services, including free counseling and mental health services available during this time by visiting the Student Health & Wellness Center website or by calling them at: 661-362-3259.

The National Suicide Lifeline number is 1-800-273- 8255 (TALK). Please call it if you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide or is in severe distress - it could save someone's life.

You can also use the Crisis Text Line: Just text "Courage" to 741741. It's free, available 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.


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Last updated: 10/25/2021 Sub#: 961