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ENGL-101 - English Composition - Mike Harutunian

Course:English Composition
Professor:Mike Harutunian
  • Online
Course Length:
  • Applies to All Course Lengths
  • 8 Week


My name is Mike Harutunian, and I will be your tour guide for this journey into academic writing. I have been a resident of the Santa Clarita Valley since 1977. My family owned a classic diner there. I’ve been around long enough to be one of those people who says things like "when I grew up here, we only had one paved road...." I started my higher education at College of the Canyons before going to CSUN and getting my degrees in history and English. I later received a master’s degree in English literature.

Besides teaching English, I love history and pop culture. I have two daughters who attend school in this valley, and you may very well catch me at Magic Mountain (I grade papers there) or around the valley. Feel free to come up and say hi or ask a question (hey, I went over someone's paper at Magic Mountain last year!). I love Southern California and tend to use if for a lot of material in class. 

As for my professional life, I love teaching 101 since it touches on one of the cores of the academic world. There are two types of knowledge at the base of academic life. One is information that is readily accepted or provable and doesn't require convincing. And the other is information that requires convincing. If I tell you that Magic Mountain is located in Santa Clarita, you probably don't instantly have an opinion about it. If I tell you it's the greatest theme park in America, you probably do. The first is just a general factual statement and doesn't need elaboration unless it's false. The second is definitely open to interpretation. To accept the statement, I'd need to know what it was based on and then see if I agreed with the premise.

You'll see both of these elements in your classes in college. There will be classes where you will be given lots of factual information that you will have to contextualize to understand. In other classes you'll be asked to evaluate and render judgement on some presentation. In most classes it will be a mix of the two. So, English 101 is extremely important in that it prepares you for every other class you'll be taking, since its purpose is to prepare you for that entire second element, the one where you have to agree or disagree, convince and motivate. 

And guess what, you just learned lesson number one in the class. English 101 exists because there are two approaches to information at the college level (actually, in the whole world).

Course Description

This class is a writing class. It actually falls under the traditional rubric of “Rhetoric,” which is the art of convincing people. Over the course of the semester you will learn the specific skill of convincing others of your argument by writing in an academic environment. We will also focus on the mechanics of language to effectively communicate those argument as well as learning the conventions of the academic world. In short, you will be prepared to do the kind of writing done in college. Along the way you will also learn how to take essay tests and read academic writing more effectively.

What to Expect in this Course

For this semester you will be writing four regular length essays, taking an essay midterm and final, and do additional handouts on Canvas and GLA's (Guided Learning Activities) at the TLC. Because of the compressed nature of the course, you should expect to be doing some writing every night and spending a minimum of two hours every day to keep up with the course while you are reading the text, writing your papers, and doing additional assignments.

Types of Assessments

There will be five discussion forums, guided learning activities, four graded essays, four quizzes, a midterm and a final.

Textbook Information

The only book you need for this class is William Saroyan's The Human Comedy, which can be found in an etext version here: 

Other Relevant Course Information

This course will be available in Canvas at 8am on the first day of the term. To confirm your place in this class, you must complete the first assignments in the course. If you do not, you will be considered a “no show” and will be dropped from the course in accordance with college policy.

If this course is full and has gone to a wait list, the best way to add the course is to be on the waitlist, as the college will automatically add you before the class begins if a seat opens up. The college will notify you by email when you are enrolled so that you can pay your fees and remain enrolled in the course. Students who are dropped for non-payment may not be able to be re-added.

If there is room for additional students to add the class, I will know on the second day of the term (after the “no show” students are dropped). Please contact me by email near the beginning of the term so that I know you are still interested in adding, even if you are already on the waitlist. Students will be added in the order of their waitlist position.  

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: 06/05/2024 Sub#: 841