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English 103 - Critical Thinking, Writing, and Reading - Mike Harutunian

Course:Critical Thinking, Writing, and Reading
Professor:Mike Harutunian
  • Online
Course Length:
  • 5 Week


Hello there! My name is Mike Harutunian, and I have taught at COC for a very long time. I'm fully aware how much the last two years have disrupted our lives and learning in general. My thematic focus for this semester will be identity and we will be using the semiotic approach of our textbook, Signs of Life in the USA to address this issue. Semiotics is the study of signs. Its origin is in linguistics, but it has since morphed into a powerful tool for understanding our modern pop culture.

Course Description

As noted in the introduction, we will be using a semiotic approach and writing four essays over the course of the semester. The first essay will focus on how advertising helped to form identities around products to help sell them. The second paper will be about the polarization of identity that is part and parcel of modern living. The third paper will look at how, after internalizing all these forces, we now project our own identities in the cloud. Finally, the last paper will be a research paper.

What to Expect in this Course

This course is 100% online through Canvas. I will be offering office hours online through Zoom. I encourage students to work together through the discussion board assignments, but also on their papers.

Types of Assessments

The course will consist of:

  • Online discussion boards
  • Written assignments

Textbook Information

The textbook for this course is Solomon and Maasik's Signs of Life in the USA, 10th Edition ISBN# 978-1-319-21366-4

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.

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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.

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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.


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Last updated: 05/14/2022 Sub#: 1354