Skip to main contentSkip to footer

ENGLISH 103-57223 - Critical Reading, Writing, and Thinking - Christy Russell

Course:Critical Reading, Writing, and Thinking
Professor:Christy Russell
  • Online
Course Length:
  • 16 Week


My name is Christy Russell, and I'd like to welcome you to English 103 where you will learn to hone your critical writing abilities, critical reading skills, and critical thinking skills You will also engage collaboratively with other students in fun and intriguing discussions, activities, and writing projects.

I actually prefer to be called "Christy," so when you address me it is fine to use my first name. If you prefer something more formal, you can call me Professor Russell. I'm very excited to be your guide on this fun and exciting educational journey together.

I've been an adjunct English instructor at COC over the past 11 years. I received my Masters and Ph.D. work in English from U.C. Riverside and my undergraduate degree in English Language and Literature, Psychology, and Women's Studies from the University of Michigan Ann Arbor. 

Course Description

English 103 is a course which examines the principles of critical thinking as applied to writing and reading arguments on complex issues. This class focuses on close textual analysis, argumentative/persuasive writing, and logical reasoning. Essay topics may include pop culture, politics, social issues, or moral/ethical issues.

What to Expect in this Course

This section of English 103will be taught 100% online –no face-to-face meetings. There will be regular weekly Discussion Board and Critical Thinking Activities in addition to quizzes, first drafts, peer reviews, and final essay drafts submitted throughout the semester.

You should expect to spend approximately 3-5hours per week logged into the class website viewing videos, PowerPoint/Prezi lectures, reading handouts, and participating in discussions to replace the “classroom” time this class would have spent if it met face to face. You also should expect to spend approximately 9-12 additional hours per week completing writing assignments and reading the material to be prepared for class, just as you would for any other 16-week course.

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”). Therefore, Effective time management skills are crucial to your success in the course. 

READING & WRITING EXPECTATIONS: This course includes a great deal of challenging reading in this course, so please be aware that you may be asked to read anywhere from 20-30 pages a week (sometimes more) from the required textbook IN ADDITION to viewing PowerPoint presentations, reading handouts, watching videos, and reviewing websites, if applicable. There is also a great deal of writing in this course. All assignments have word count requirements that must be met to be eligible for full credit.

Types of Assessments

You can expect textbook assignments, quizzes, online discussion boards, 3 prewritings, 3 rough drafts, 3 final essays, and a final exam as well as other projects.

Textbook Information

From Critical Thinking to Argument. By Sylvan Barnet, Hugo Bedau, and John O’Hare. 6th Edition. ISBN-13:9781319194437

Other Relevant Course Information

Students who do well in online courses tend to share the following qualities:

  • They are incredibly self-motivated and consistently meet deadlines.
  • They are strong, critical readers, and communicate clearly and effectively in writing.
  • They have strong time management skills.
  • They enjoy active, cooperative learning experiences.
  • They have reliable access to the Internet (Lack of internet access, poor Internet access or malfunctioning technology – including software and computer programs – are not acceptable excuses for not completing assignments on time.).
  • They have basic computer skills, including the ability to cut/copy and paste between documents, send and download email attachments, and create and save documents in Microsoft Word.

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: 08/13/2021 Sub#: 337