student writingWelcome to English 1A online. The goal of this course is the development of college-level literacy skills, including classic reading and writing skills such as analyzing essays, developing opinions and ideas in response to readings, and writing thoughtful, focused, well-developed essays of your own. There are several specific learning outcomes for this course:

  • Read, annotate, summarize, and discuss all kinds of academic college-level non-fiction and fiction.
  • Identify and analyze argumentative, stylistic, and narrative techniques.
  • Explain the conventions of advanced academic discourse, including style, tone, point of view, and the importance of original thought in developing oral and written arguments.
  • Write a comprehensive, well-developed, and coherent expository essay with a focused thesis and appropriate support.
  • Recognize and correct errors in grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
  • Comprehend and use college-level vocabulary.
  • Locate, summarize, synthesize, and employ research in a well-developed and documented research essay.
  • Employ correct use of MLA format and formal citations.

To acquire these skills, we will proceed through 3 learning units: Home and family, Public Space, and Vacationland. Each unit includes specific student learning outcomes and reading, writing, and interactive peer response activities to help you reach these outcomes. By the end of the last unit you will have completed 5 essays (a summary, 2 expository essays, a research paper, and a timed essay exam).



  • Assignments are due on Wednesday and Sunday evenings at 11:59 pm. Please examine the week's schedule at the beginning of the week to make sure there are no unpleasant surprises!

  • It is extremely important that everyone be respectful toward the members of this class. If you ever have a problem with another student, please let me know immediately.

  • If you encounter technical problems that prevent you from completing assignments, you need to let me know in a timely manner. I will do my best to help you trouble-shoot the problem. Technical problems are not an acceptable excuse for not submitting essays on time. If you are unable to post your work through the usual channels, you should submit a copy of your assignment to me as an email or email attachment.


While this course involves a great deal of solitary study, it also emphasizes students' construction of knowledge, skills, and strategies through social interaction. Students in this course will interact with peers through reading responses and the message board.

drawing of group of people

Contact with Instructor

I will give students extensive feedback on each essay. I will also check into the Lounge regularly to monitor students questions and concerns. In addition, I will post regular updates and announcements. I can be reached most quickly via email, so feel free to email me anytime. I will generally respond within 24 hours, Monday-Friday.


Click the “Grades” link in Canvas to keep track of your grades. I grade once a week and post grades and comments in the Canvas grade book. Your overall grade in the course will be assigned as follows:

90%    A
80%    B
70%    C
60%    D

You will receive points for each assignment. The points fall into 3 categories, and these categories amount to different overall percentages of your course grade as follows:

20%  Discussion Posts
Discussion posts are designed to assess your understanding of required readings and other texts (such as films and photographs). These post assignments also help to build community, and prepare you for upcoming essay assignments. Posts that earn full credit will demonstrate a student's creative, insightful engagement with an author's ideas, and thoughtful, meaningful interaction with classmates. Please review the rubric and discussion post models before you post your first response to the discussion forum.

5%  Assignments
This category includes InQuizitive grammar activities, short reflections on writing, and a few miscellaneous assignments such as an annotated bibliography and outline for the research paper.

InQuizitive LogoInQuizitive activities are designed to help developing writers improve their grammar skills. Each activity is interactive, requiring students to drag and replace elements in a sentence, drag elements to blanks, click on parts of a sentence that need correcting, etc. Moreover, there are many gaming features in InQuizitive such as a wager system (wherein students wager points according to their confidence), levels of difficulty, reward screens, bonus points, immediate audio and visual feedback, animation, etc. These features make learning grammar rules less frustrating, more productive, and more fun. 

After you complete the "How to use InQuizitive" activity and the initial assessment, "Editing Errors That Matter," you will work on specific sentence problems such as dangling modifiers, pronoun/antecedent errors, common comma mistakes, and comma splices. You may choose any of the lessons you like each week, but by the end of the semester, you will need to have completed ALL of the assigned activities to receive full credit. (50 points total in "assignments" category). You will be able to see your results and monitor your improving skills over the semester. In addition, you will receive feedback on your essays directing you to specific InQuizitive activities for review or extra practice. For more information about InQuizitive visit the publisher's introduction to InQuizitive for Students.

75%  Essays

  • Essay 1, Family & Home: 100 points (1000-1200 words)
  • Essay 2, Summary: 100 points (800-1000 words)
  • Essay 3, Public Landscape Study: 150 pts (1200 - 1500 words)
  • Essay 4, Vacationland Research Paper: 200 pts with illustrations, video, or other supporting texts (1500-1800 words)
  • Essay 4, Media & Identity: 100 pts, timed final exam (1000 - 1200 words)

IMPORTANT: Essays must meet the assignment requirements to receive a grade (in terms of length, topic, content). If your essay does not meet the terms of the assignment, I will send it back to you without a grade.

private land signPlagiarism

Please note that my policy on plagiarism is VERY strict. I have no tolerance for plagiarism and will give you an "F" on the assignment if any part of your work is plagiarized. To prevent accidental (and intentional) plagiarism, all papers submitted through the site generate an "originality report." You can view this report to ensure that your work is clear of plagiarised passages.

Late Essays

I do not accept late assignments with one exception: if you are ill or have an emergency, you can request a short extension on ONE essay.

Library of Student Writing

Each semester I receive many outstanding essays. I select a few from among these to serve as models of the kind of writing that gets an "A." The authors of these essays have distinctive voices, and each essay shows the author's mastery of good essay writing techniques (though few of the essays are "perfect" in every way—one need not write a perfect essay to receive an "A"!). As you approach each writing assignment, take a look at the essays in the Library to get ideas and inspiration.

Textbook and Software

You must get a version of the Little Seagull Handbook that includes a registration code for access to the InQuizitive grammar activities (an important learning component of our course). You may purchase the ebook + InQuizitive online through the publisher website (the link is in the main menu above), or if you prefer to also have a print version of the textbook, you may buy the book through the SRJC bookstore (note: you may buy the ebook/IQ package at the bookstore as well). Do NOT purchase the textbook used or from another retailer because it won't come with the registration code.

I hope you enjoy the course! I look forward to getting to know each of you. — Jennifer Royal