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English 103 - Critical Reading/Writing/Thinking - John Albert

Course:Critical Reading/Writing/Thinking
Professor:John Albert
  • Online
Course Length:
  • 16 Week


Hello! My name is John Albert. I have worked 23 years as an adjunct instructor at COC.  I also teach full-time at Canyon High School. I am also a native of Santa Clarita. I graduated from Saugus High in 1990.  I have watched COC go from being three buildings to what it is today.  Teaching English 103 is one the most enjoyable classes for me to teach. I love the opportunity to explore critical thinking with you by analyzing the semiotics found in popular culture. Don't worry. It is easier than you think!  You will see the world differently, and you will be better prepared for the next step in your college and career goals.  I promise you will enjoy the journey and exploration of ideas!  I also understand that each of us has different needs. I hope to get to know each of you and to find ways to help you be successful in our class.  I look forward to hearing from you about what you need to be successful and addressing all your questions in concerns. Please reach out if you like. We can zoom, text, talk, email, or whatever! Whatever makes you feel the most comfortable.  My email is  Thank you for reading this and considering our class! I look forward to meeting you in our virtual world! Take care!

Course Description

  • Evaluate the strength of written and visual arguments on a range of different issues and controversies.
  • Compose logical, well-reasoned arguments on selected topics such as popular culture, politics, social issues, and moral and ethical issues.
  • Course Objectives:
  • - Identify the issue of an argument.
  • - Recognize the conclusion/claim of an argument.
  • - Delineate the different types of evidence and evaluate their strengths and weaknesses.
  • - Explain the importance of assumptions, ambiguous language, and hidden premises in arguments in general and recognize them in specific arguments.
  • - List the most common logical fallacies (errors of thinking) and analyze them in specific arguments, including one's own.
  • - Differentiate different types of appeals, such as pathos, ethos, and logos.
  • - Evaluate the soundness of assumptions in specific arguments.
  • - Select reliable sources for the evidence in an argument.
  • - Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of a written argument, and a visual or multimedia argument (such as an ad, an image, or a film).
  • - Analyze one's own thinking for various forms of bias, such as the mine-is-better perspective or similar types of ethnocentric/egocentric perspectives.
  • - Support an opinion with adequate, valid and well organized reasoning and evidence.
  • - Demonstrate good writing skills, including control of sentence structure, minimal subject-verb and noun-pronoun agreement errors, consistent point of view, proper punctuation, correct spelling, and correct MLA documentation style for material from external sources.

What to Expect in this Course

You should expect to work on the class at least 8 hours a week. This time will depend on our essay schedule. You will write four or five essays during the semester. Each essay is roughly 3-5 pages long.  This is the most challenging parts of the class. You will also read around 2-4 articles out of our anthology a week.  You will need to have access to canvas and be able to zoom. You will not be required to attend any zooms, but in case that is something you want to do, you will need access. Also, you will need to access We will use this for the writing process for each essay.  Now, most of our work will be completed in Canvas. We will use Canvas for assignments, class discussions, and quizzes. Expect to work with each other to explore new ideas. Expect to see the world in ways you never thought possible!!!  The book is very contemporary. It will help us explore ideas that are relevant to you and the world in which we are living!

Types of Assessments

Online quizzes and tests



Class Activities

Written assignments

Discussion Boards


Textbook Information

Signs of Life in America. 10th Edition

Other Relevant Course Information

I hope we can have a great semester with each other! I know this is  a particularly difficult time being a student. Our lives have been changed. 

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: 06/01/2022 Sub#: 172