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ENG 101 - English Composition - Michele DeGraffenreid

Course:English Composition
Professor:Michele DeGraffenreid
  • Online
Course Length:
  • Applies to All Course Lengths


Welcome to English 101! I look forward to getting to know you as we work together to understand language and writing. I will be your guide as you enter into the world of expository writing and research. Even though this class meets 100% online, I will be with you every step of the way.  

To many students’ surprise, an asynchronous online class usually requires more discipline and determination than a traditional class. This is a reading and writing intensive course, conducted in a very different format than a Face-to-Face (F2F) course. As such, students are expected to devote a substantial amount of time to the class in order to successfully complete assignments and do well in the course. To determine if an online course is right for you, please carefully read the “Commitment” section of this letter.

Below you will find general information regarding the course and college that you may find useful. Please contact me with any questions or concerns you may have. I am available through email and generally respond within 24-48 hours of your email being sent. 

Course Description

English 101 builds critical reading and expository writing skills through the analysis and evaluation of college-level, non-fiction readings and the composition of well-organized, full-length essays containing properly documented evidence.  

At the end of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Compose persuasive, well-organized, grammatically correct full-length essays, synthesizing properly documented and relevant research and other evidence to develop and support a unified thesis.
  2. Analyze and critically evaluate college-level, non-fiction texts for argument, structure, and rhetorical strategies.

What to Expect in this Course


English 101 is a 4-unit online course. As such, you should expect to spend a significant amount of time dedicated to this class. The following is a rough estimate of how much time you may need to schedule to work on the course material:

  • 5-Week Session: 5 hours a day for five days a week
  • 8-Week Session: 3 hours a day for five days a week
  • 12-Week Session: 2 hours a day for five days a week
  • 16-Week Session: 1.5 hours a day for five days a week

Each student is different and individual needs vary. However, in general, the shorter the session, the more time you will need to spend each day focusing on the class.

Since this course is also 100% online, we will NOT be meeting for any face-to-face or live Zoom sessions. This course is not a “traditional” course, as it is associated with the Distance Learning department. Plan on spending several days a week reviewing the “lecture” material, “activity” material, and all assigned homework which will be due on several different days throughout the week.


Reliable Internet Access

Because this is an online class, no homework will be excused due to unreliable internet access or issues with technology. If your internet has gone down for more than a day, you will need to complete your homework on campus, at a library, internet café, or a friend’s house.

Your Own Email Address

To ensure that the Educational Code regarding student privacy is followed, you are required to use your Canyons email. I cannot share your course information or grades with anyone else, including your parents or legal guardians. Regardless of your age, when you are enrolled in a college class, you are treated and considered as an adult who is responsible for your own grades. Since I rely almost exclusively on online communications, such as email, to communicate with you when it comes to your grades and class performance, I will only do so through the Canyons email system.

MS Word Processing Capacities Required

All course documents are written in Microsoft Office 2013, which is currently the most popular and accessible word processing program. This class assumes that students can open the course documents composed in Word and PowerPoint and that students will submit essays as Word Documents. This does not mean that you have to buy Office if you do not have it; as a College of the Canyons student, you have free access to Office through your student email account. If you would like to purchase Microsoft Office, a student discount is available to you as a student as long as you use your Canyons email:

Discussion Board (DB) Postings and Quizzes

Several Discussion Board posts with responses will be due each week. Occasionally, there will be some pre-announced quizzes. All these will take place on Canvas. Each posting asks for a minimum word count that will increase as the weeks progress. Please expect to write significant responses, in addition to formal papers. All assignments are due by 11:59PM through Canvas.

Four Formal Essays

You will write a total of 4 formal, critical essays, with a minimum of 6,000 words total (distributed among all four essays) throughout the course in order to fulfill the transfer requirement. Each essay will be submitted in required portions.

Types of Assessments

Assignment Overview


“Check-In” Discussions


Argumentative Project 1- Formal Essay with Multiple Drafts 4 Pages


Argumentative Project 2- Formal Essay with Multiple Drafts 5 Pages


Argumentative Project 3- Formal Research Project with Multiple Drafts

including Visual Rhetoric and Annotated Bibliography 6 Pages


Argumentative Project 4- Formal Argumentative Reflection Project 4 Pages




Alone Together Reading Responses 2 Pages Each


Timed Writing 3-4 Pages


Course Total


Textbook Information

Use the ISBN to confirm you are looking at the correct text. Also consider looking at the texts in the COC bookstore for cover images to ensure you are acquiring the correct edition of each text.

  1. Graff, Gerald, Cathy Birkenstein, and Russel K. Durst. "They Say/I Say": The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing: With Readings 4th Edition. 2018. ISBN 9780393631685
  2. Turkle, Sherry. Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other. Revised and Expanded Edition. 2017. ISBN 9780465093656


Other Relevant Course Information


The course website will become available in Canvas at the beginning of Week 1 (If you want to get a head start in the class, begin reading the Introductions in both required texts). You must log in and finish the first assignment (a Discussion Board posting) before 11:59 PM on Tuesday of Week 1 so that your seat is not given to a student on the waitlist. (This is the same rule as the “first day no show” for F2F classes. This policy means: If a student does not show up for the first day class, the student will be dropped by the Instructor.) The first assignment is relatively easy to do. If you complete your first assignment in time, I know that you have logged in and know how to use the basics of Canvas.


The Quest for Online Success is a self-paced, online course that you can proceed through at your own pace. Use it to become familiar with Canvas (your online classroom), and identify ways to improve in things like technology, time management, and more! 



This may seem overwhelming at this point as you enter into the realm of the unknown. I promise that with a little planning, organization, and dedication, you have the potential to do quite well in this course. However, if you are unable or unwilling to dedicate a significant amount of time per week to this class, you should consider taking English 101 as a F2F/Live course or in a longer session. Should you decide to remain in this course, I will be available throughout the session for any of your questions or concerns. Please do not hesitate to email me at; I am more than happy to provide support throughout the semester.I look forward to working with you this session and am excited to be a part of your journey as a college writer! 

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: 08/16/2022 Sub#: 1465