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ENGL 103 - Critical Read/Writ/Thinking - Jennifer Brezina

Course:Critical Read/Writ/Thinking
Professor:Jennifer Brezina
  • Online
Course Length:
  • 8 Week


Photo of Jennifer Brezina

Welcome to English 103 online! My name is Jennifer Brezina, and I’ll be your instructor. I’m looking forward to working with you!

I grew up in Southern California and studied English at three wonderful schools - UCLA (BA), San Diego State (MA), and UC Riverside (PhD). I began working at College of the Canyons in 2001 as a full-time faculty member in the English department. I started teaching online in 2002 and completed a graduate certificate in Online Teaching and Learning in 2009. I became Dean of Humanities in 2012 and served in that position until Fall 2015. 

I moved to Nashville, TN in 2015 and am now Vice President for Academic Affairs at Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin, TN. I also still teach online for College of the Canyons part-time and very much enjoy keeping up the connection with students and with College of the Canyons.

Course Description

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. Essay topics may include pop culture, politics, social issues, or moral/ethical issues.

This course is meant to build on the reading and writing skills you developed in English 101 and help you develop a critical thinking framework so that you can better analyze and evaluate the information and influences that you encounter.

What to Expect in this Course

This is not a class where you can complete work far ahead of your classmates or make up work during the last minutes of the term, and some of the work will involve engaging in discussions with your classmates. The discussions will be asynchronous, not synchronous, meaning that you can log in at a time of day convenient to you, but you will need to complete assignments each week by posted deadlines, some of which will involve replying to the work of other students and will require logging in at least a few different days during the week.

You will receive a detailed syllabus and schedule inside the online course, and I will evaluate your performance on discussion board posts, essays, quizzes, and other assignments based on specific assignment instructions and provided rubrics. The quizzes and short writing/discussion assignments are designed to help you to understand the readings from the textbooks, strengthen your writing skills, and feel prepared for the essay assignments. Essay assignments will use a writing process approach, meaning you will write the essay in stages with feedback along the way that is designed to help you improve your work.

Because this is a condensed 8-week class, it will be important to set aside enough time to be successful in the course. You should expect to spend about twice as much time per week on this course as you would for a full-semester length class since you will be completing it in half the time. 

Types of Assessments

Essays, quizzes, online discussions

Textbook Information

It is very important that you have the class textbooks from the beginning of the class. Almost all assignments from the very first days of class will require you read the texts, so you will not be able to complete assignments if you do not have these books. You should also make sure to have the correct editions of the books as the readings do vary from edition to edition; if you have an older edition, you may not have all the assigned readings.

If you do not yet have the books, you should still complete the orientation assignments to avoid being dropped from the class.

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 mandatory online orientation by 11:59 pm Pacific Time on the first day of class for the term. 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: 10/26/2021 Sub#: 1075