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English 101 - English Composition - Lisa Wallace

Course:English Composition
Professor:Lisa Wallace
  • Online
Course Length:
  • Applies to All Course Lengths


Hi, my name is Lisa Wallace, and I received my Ph.D. in English from UC Irvine. I have been teaching composition and literature classes full-time at COC for the last twenty years. Whenever I’m asked what I think about teaching here, I share how much I enjoy working with COC students; they’re good-natured, hard-working, and invested in learning. When my students ask me a similar question, I tell them that their idealism and drive to improve the world around them give me hope about the future. I enjoy my job tremendously.

I approach teaching writing with specific beliefs in mind:

  • To help students feel comfortable sharing their writing and ideas, I need to strive to create a  class climate in which they feel respected, supported, and comfortable;
  • Providing lots of models of the kinds of writing students will be asked to do themselves helps them to understand the assignments better;
  • Paper assignments will seem less daunting if I can teach students how to break them down into smaller, more manageable tasks;
  • Writing is a craft that can be learned, but it takes a lot of practice to grow as a writer. With more practice, writing also gets easier;
  • Even though writing gets easier, even professionals struggle at it. It can be frustrating, difficult, challenging . . . but it can also be very rewarding. Polished, well-developed writing requires multiple drafts and revision;
  • Learning is a collaborative venture between students and teachers. For it to occur, both of us will have to work hard, be open to learning from each other, and be willing to take risks;
  • I bring my enthusiasm for teaching and for my field to every class. I love my job and feel honored to work with my students.

Course Description

This is a UC/CSU  transferable course that 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. Units (4.00) apply to the associate degree. Course objectives include:

  • 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

The benefits of learning how to write well go beyond these class goals. Writing is a thinking tool that can be used in multiple fields and extra-curricular situations to generate and clarify ideas. Writing can also be a powerful rhetorical tool to get things done in the world. It’s also a skill coveted by employers.

What to Expect in this Course

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. However, because this course improves students' reading and writing skills, we’ll be doing a lot of reading and writing.

All of our work occurs at our class website. I will hold virtual office hours (Zoom), but there will not be an all class mandatory Zoom meeting. 

The class website opens to registered/enrolled Students at 10:00 am on the first day of the semester.

If you enter the website via a browser (Google, for instance), you will see the Home Page and all the information is provided to guide your next steps. If you enter the website via the Canvas app, click on the Home Page navigation button.

In order to successfully complete this course, you must have ready and reliable access to the Internet. You must log into our class's site many times a week and on several different days each week to retrieve and submit assignments and to participate in discussion board activities, and more.  I will post and email an announcement on Canvas every Monday morning that reviews what is due that week as well as lists our accompanying learning goals. These announcements will also include detailed guidance on readings and assignments.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me by email. I check my email several times a week and do my best to respond to you promptly.

In order to maintain your seat in the course, you will need to post your response to the Icebreaker activity by Wednesday of the first week.


Types of Assessments

This course will include reading response assignments, online discussion boards, peer critique assignments, four major essays, and a final exam.

Textbook Information

Diana George and John Trimbur. Reading Culture 8th ed. Pearson. ISBN: 9780205211258. Atul Gawande. Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End. Metropolitan Books. ISBN: 9781250076229

Other Relevant Course Information

You must post your initial response to the Icebreaker assignment by Wednesday of the first week in order to avoid being dropped from the course.

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: 08/23/2021 Sub#: 575