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101 - English Composition - Randall Gifford

Course:English Composition
Professor:Randall Gifford
  • Online
Course Length:
  • Applies to All Course Lengths


I'm Professor Gifford. I look forward to working with you in English 101. I especially like this level as we get to work on the key skills of thinking in a critical way. Remember that learning is a process and things will come together when you trust in that process

Course Description

  • 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.

What to Expect in this Course

For this semester you will be writing four regular length essays, taking an essay midterm and final. There will also be journal assignments and discussions. 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.

Key points to review:

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.

Types of Assessments

There will be discussion forums, journals, and four essays. There will be a midterm and a final. There may be quizzes.

Textbook Information

No textbook purchase is required for this next class. 

Other Relevant Course Information

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: 06/13/2022 Sub#: 1407