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ENGL-103 - Critical Reading/Writing/Thinking - Kathleen Powell

Course:Critical Reading/Writing/Thinking
Professor:Kathleen Powell
  • Online
Course Length:
  • 8 Week


Kathleen Powell

You confront food issues every day, whether you choose to think of them or not, and these issues will impact your own health and society for your entire life. In this course, we use food issues (diet, GMOs, and biodiversity) as a frame to develop good reading, writing, and researching skills.

Course Description

ENGL103 examines the principles of critical thinking as applied to writing and reading arguments on complex issues. Focuses on close textual analysis, argumentative writing, and logical reasoning.

What to Expect in this Course

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

1. Evaluate the strength of written, visual, and multimedia arguments on a range of different issues and controversies.

2. Compose logical, well-reasoned arguments on selected topics such as popular culture, politics, social issues, and moral and ethical issues.

This course is 100% online.  There will be no Zoom or onground meetings.

Types of Assessments

Essays, discussion boards, timed writing, quizzes, journals, and a presentation project.

Textbook Information

• Beyond Feelings: A Guide to Critical Thinking, Vincent Ryan Ruggiero (9th Edition). ISBN 978-0-07-803818-1. You must use the 9th edition of this text.
• Mendel in the Kitchen: A Scientist's View of Genetically Modified Foods. Nina V. Federoff. Joseph Henry Press, 2004. ISBN: 978-0309097383
• Bread, Wine, Chocolate: The Slow Loss of Foods We Love, Simran Sethi. HarperOne, 2015. ISBN: 978- 0061581076

Other Relevant Course Information

Time Commitment:

This course requires as much of a time commitment as any onground English 103  class.  You should expect to log on at least three times a week to complete assignments.  Expect to spend 128- 160 hours  total on this class.  If you are not able to commit this time to the course, this course is not for you.

This is not a class where you can work far ahead.  You will be required to log in at least three times a week and complete the course work at an appropriate pace.  However, you can log in at any time to complete work for the course as long as you meet the deadlines for assignments.


Advantages of and Misconceptions about Online Learning:

Online learning can be an incredibly rewarding and exciting adventure. It provides flexibility and an educational opportunity for students who might not otherwise be able to take advantage of a college curriculum; however, you should be aware that self-discipline, self-motivation, and attention to detail are required to complete the course successfully in this format. Students must be committed to meeting deadlines for reading and homework assignments in addition to participating in the virtual classroom for a minimum of three hours per week (online time). Some students are under the impression that online courses are “easier” than on-ground courses. This is not the case. Students who take the online version of English 103  believing that it will be easier than the on-ground version will be surprised by the volume of written work and the amount of reading required.  If you are ready for the challenge, this online course will allow you to build critical reading and expository writing skills without being in a traditional classroom. 

If you have any questions before the beginning of the course, please feel free to contact me at

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: 10/25/2021 Sub#: 1048