English 100 Syllabus

Fullerton College
Humanities Division
English Department 
English 100F: College Writing
Spring 2017 Syllabus

Instructor: Jesse La Tour
E-mail: jlatour@fullcoll.edu


Writing is a skill acquired by consistent practice, feedback, and revision. The ability to read and understand challenging texts, and the ability to organize and compose your thoughts into a coherent and convincing essay, are crucial for success in college. The specific focus of this class is to help you develop your skills as an academic writer. This is not a lecture class. Most classes will consist of discussion of readings, and writing activities. Thus, what you get out of this class will depend largely upon what you put into it.  I’ve tried to select a wide variety of interesting readings, and for the essay assignments, I give you a fair amount of freedom with what you can write about. It’s my hope that, upon completion of this class, you feel more confident as a writer of academic essays, and you will have discovered, perhaps for the first time, that you have a voice and things to say.  This semester you will be writing essays about your local community, its culture, history, politics, and social problems. Your essays will not be boring, abstract academic exercises, but real investigations of real things in the place where you live. You will never look at Orange County the same again!

Catalogue Description:

This course will develop the reading, critical thinking, and writing skills necessary for academic success. The class focuses on expository writing and research/ documentation skills.


Prerequisite: Recommended score on the English Placement test, or ENGL 060 F with a grade of "Pass," or ESL 186 F with a grade of "Pass," or ENGL 099 F with a grade of "Pass." Advisory: READ 142 F. 72 hours lecture per term. This is a college level course in composition designed to develop the reading, critical thinking, and writing strategies necessary for academic success. The emphasis is on reading and writing expository essays. The course includes research and documentation skills. (CSU) (UC) (Degree Credit) AA GE, CSU GE, IGETC

Instructional Objectives:

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

-Analyze a variety of primarily non-fiction texts for their content and rhetorical strategies, particularly purpose, tone, intended audience, and methods of support

-Evaluate the rhetorical effectiveness of various kinds of texts

-Apply a variety of rhetorical strategies in writing unified, well-organized, and fully-developed academic essays in response to a variety of writing tasks

-Identify the audience for a particular writing task and employ rhetorical strategies appropriate for that audience

-Analyze and evaluate stylistic choices in their own writing and the writing of others

-Revise essays at the sentence level for clarity and style

-Review writing in order to correct a majority of errors in grammar, punctuation, and spelling

-Locate relevant information from a variety of sources to use in the development and support of their own ideas

-Evaluate the reliability of sources

-Synthesize information and ideas from several different sources to develop their own ideas

-Integrate ideas and information from sources effectively in their own essays using paraphrase, summary and direct quotation

-Use the conventions of the MLA documentation system consistently and accurately to cite and document sources used in their writing

Student Learning Outcomes:

Students completing this course will be able to:

-Employ appropriate methods of development for sustained expository essays.

-Use sufficient, relevant information from outside sources to develop their essays

-Integrate information and ideas from sources effectively in their own writing

-Conform to the conventions of the MLA documentation system

Humanities Division Student Learning Outcomes:

Students completing courses or programs in the Humanities Division will be able to:

-Use language skills effectively in reading, writing, listening, or speaking to achieve personal, academic, or
vocational goals.

-Use critical thinking skills to examine information, events, and ideas from a broader perspective.

-Recognize the significance of language and culture in human experience.

-Apply principles of academic honesty and integrity.

-Work cooperatively and collaboratively with others.

-Use campus and/or community resources to participate actively in their own education.

Required Texts (available at the Fullerton College Bookstore):

The Bedford Guide for College Writers (with reader) by Kennedy, Kennedy and Muth (10th Ed.)

Other Materials:

-Mead comppsition book

-Pens, pencils, paper

Course Work:

Journals:  Throughout the semester, you will write ten 400-word, double-spaced typed journals.  In your journals, you must write your reactions and responses to the week’s assigned readings.  You may also connect the readings to a writing assignment you are working on.  Journals are meant to help you prepare for class discussion, and to practice writing in a more informal way.  Journals are usually due on the first class meeting of every week.

Out of Class Essays: Must include peer review forms and one copy of a rough draft. Must be four FULL pages, typed, double-spaced, in MLA format. We will discuss essays more in class.

Participation: Includes class discussion, ACTIVE and ENTHUSIASTIC participation in class activities, peer reviews, attendance at conferences, etc. When you are in class, I want you to be here, fully engaged and ready to work. What a wonderful opportunity you have to be in college. Take advantage of it. Learn everything you can learn.

Grading Policy:

Essay #1—100pts
Essay #2—100 pts
Essay #3—100pts



Late Work/Make-Up Policy:

Essays turned in late will be dropped ten points for each class period they are late.


Because revision is such an important part of the writing process, you may revise two out-of class essays for a higher grade. However, revisions must demonstrate major re-thinking of ideas, not just correction of grammar errors. We will discuss revision more in class.

Attendance and Tardy Policy:

You may miss three class periods without penalty. Each subsequent (unexcused) absence will negatively affect your grade.

Academic Honesty Policy:

Plagiarism means taking someone else’s words or ideas and passing them off as your own. Whenever you use someone else’s words or ideas, you must cite them properly. We will discuss in class how to properly cite sources using MLA format. Any students caught plagiarizing or cheating in any way will be dealt with according to university policies. This means that you will receive a "0" on the assignment, and Student Affairs will be notified.

Wait Time For Late Instructors:

If, due to unforeseen emergencies, the instructor does not arrive at the scheduled start time for class, students are to remain in class for fifteen minutes (unless otherwise notified by the division). If they do not receive notification to wait for their instructor to arrive, after fifteen minutes the students may leave with no penalty for absence or assigned work due for that class meeting.

Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) Statement:

Fullerton College is committed to providing educational accommodations for students with disabilities upon the timely request by the student to the instructor. Verification of the disability must also be provided. The Disability Support Services office functions as a resource for students and faculty in the determination and provision of educational accommodations.

Emergency Response Statement:

Take note of the safety features in and around the classroom. Also, please study the posted evacuation routes. The most direct route of egress may not be the safest. Running out of the building during earthquakes may be dangerous. During strong earthquakes, it is recommended to duck, cover, and hold until the quaking stops. Follow the guidance of your instructor. Your cooperation during emergencies can minimize the possibility of injury to yourself and others.

Fullerton College Catalogue and Class Schedule

The Fullerton College Catalogue and the Class Schedule contain a number of policies relating to students that are important to you.  Please be sure that you have read these publications thoroughly.  You may purchase copies of these publications at he campus bookstore, or you may read them online at the Fullerton College website, www.fullcoll.edu.

Classroom Etiquette:

As a courtesy to your classmates and to me, I ask that you refrain from using electronic devices during class. This includes cell phones, ipods, etc. Students caught texting during class will be warned once, and then asked to leave the class.

Course Calendar (Subject to Change)...

Week 1: (1/30-2/3) Introductions 

Get textbooks.
Read Bedford Guide Part 1: A College Writer’s Processes (p. 4-37)

Week 2: (2/6-2/10) Writing About Local Culture 

Journal #1 due.

Read Orange County: a Personal History: “Introduction: This is How We Do it in the OC (Don’t Call it That) (p. 1-22)

Find an article on local culture in your community, read it, bring it to class.

Assign and discuss Essay #1.

Week 3: (2/13-2/17) Writing About Local Culture 

Journal #2 due.

Read Bedford Guide Ch. 19: Strategies for Generating Ideas (p. 384)

Read Orange County: a Personal History: “Flying Potatoes, Anchor Babies, and Kidnapped Teen Brides: the Mirandas Go North” (p. 23-42).

Week 4: (2/20-2/24) Writing About Local Culture 

No Class Monday (President's Day)
Journal #3 due Wednesday.

Read Bedford Guide Ch. 20: Strategies for Stating a Thesis and Planning (p. 398)

Read Orange County: a Personal History: “Our Climate is Faultless: Constructing America’s Perpetual Eden” (p. 43-62)

Week 5: (2/27-3/3) Writing About Local Culture 

Peer review of Essay #1.  Bring a rough draft on Wednesday

Read Bedford Guide Ch. 21: Strategies for Drafting (p. 420).

Read Orange County: a Personal History: “His Fake Green Card, Her Tomato Packing” (p. 63-82)

Week 6: (3/6-3/10) Writing About Local Politics 

Essay #1 final draft due Wednesday.

Read Orange County: a Personal History: “Where All the Good Idiot Republicans Go to Die” (83-102)

Week 7: (3/13-3/17) Writing About Local Politics 

Journal #4 due.

Assign and discuss Essay #2

Read Bedford Guide Ch. 22: Strategies for Developing (p. 436)

Read Orange County: a Personal History: “The Philadelphia Story” (p. 103-122)

Week 8: (3/20-3/24): Writing About Local Politics

Journal #5 due.

Read Bedford Guide Ch. 23: Strategies for Revising and Editing (p. 458)

Read Orange County: a Personal History: “Gimme That OC Religion” (p. 123-146)

Week 9: (3/27-3/31) Writing About Local Politics

Peer Review of Essay #2--bring rough draft on Wednesday.

Read Orange County: a Personal History: “Genesis and the Stetson” (p. 147-166)

Week 10: (4/3-4/7) Writing About Local Social Issues

Journal #6 due

Essay #2 due Wednesday.

Read Orange County: a Personal History: “The Beaner-Bashing Capital of America” (p. 167-188)

Assign and discuss Essay #3

Week 11: (4/10-4/14) Spring Break!

Read Orange County: a Personal History: “My Mexican Awakening” (p. 189-210)

Week 12: (4/17-4/21) Writing About Local History 

Journal #7 due.

Read Orange County: a Personal History: “The ‘Real’ Real Orange County Reel, or: About Those Stupid Television Shows, Why Orange County is ‘Hip,’ and What’s Really Real and What’s Somewhat Real—for Real!” (p. 211-228)

Week 13: (4/24-4/28) Writing About Local History 

Journal #8 due.

Read Orange County: a Personal History: “Becoming ‘The Mexican’” (p. 229-248)

Week 14: (5/1-5/5): 

Journal #9 due.

Peer Review of Essay #3.  Bring rough draft on Wednesday.

Week 15: (5/8-5/12): Writing About Local History 

Journal #10 due (on "The Town I Live In")

Revisions Workshop

Week 16: (5/15-5/19): Revision

Revisions Workshop.

Week 17: (5/22-5/26): Final Week

Essay #3 final draft due.
Revisions Due.

Essay Prompts:

Essay #1: Writing About Local Culture

Culture is a broad topic, but it is perhaps best represented by things like art, music, theater, dance, even festivals and celebrations. Find a particular aspect of local culture that interests you. It could be a local music scene, venue, or band. It could be an art gallery, museum, art walk, or street art. It could be a community celebration, like a parade or street fair. It could be a play, or even a local theater. It could be a clothing trend, or style.  It must be something that exists in your local community.  Once you have found your topic, begin researching. Interview people who are involved. Find articles online. Pick up local publications like campus and community newspapers.  OC Weekly is a good resource for local culture. You are now a cultural critic, who carefully analyzes the culture around you, and seeks to understand it.  After conducting your research, write a paper in which you critically analyze your chosen topic. Your paper should not be a “puff piece” for your topic. You want to approach your topic honestly and critically.

It is very important that your essay has a thesis statement that has a TOPIC + SLANT.  A topic is what you are writing about.  It should be focused and specific.  A slant is what you are saying about your topic.  Your slant is the basic argument that you will support in your essay with clear reasoning and evidence from research sources.

For this essay, you must use at least three outside sources. One must be an interview that you conduct. The other two are up to you. However, wikipedia does not count as an academic source. If you list wikipedia as one of your sources, you will not get credit for that source. Your essay must be at least four FULL pages, typed, double-spaced in Times New Roman font and MLA format. When you turn in your final draft, you must include one copy of a rough draft and your peer review sheets.

Essay #2: Writing About Local Politics

While presidential elections get a lot of media coverage and widespread interest, local politics often do not. However, local governments, like your city council, often make decisions that affect you more directly than the president. Your task for this essay is to find an aspect of local politics that interests you and write about it.  Has there been a local political issue that merits research and discussion? Is there a local politician whose signs you see around town and wonder: “Who is that?” This essay must be a persuasive argument.  You must choose a side of a political issue or candidate and argue for your position.  As always, in an academic argument, you must support your claims and ideas with evidence (facts, statistics, expert testimony).  Your argument can be a proposal, that is, arguing for some new course of action on a political issue.  Whatever your topic, you want to try to convince your reader.  You must acknowledge the opponent's view, and present your case.  Good luck!

For this essay, you must use at least four outside sources. As always, wikipedia does not count as an academic source. Your essay must be at least four full pages, typed double-spaced in Times New Roman font and MLA format. When you turn in your final draft, you must include one copy of a rough draft, and your peer review sheets.

Essay #3: Writing About Local Social Issues

Social issues have to do with relationships between groups of people in society, whether they be ethnic groups, economic groups, religious groups, etc. While we like to think that we live in a society that does not draw lines between groups, the reality is more complex. In my hometown of Fullerton, for example, there is a clear ethnic/economic division that is represented by the railroad tracks, there is homelessness, and a host of other social problems.  What sorts of social problems/issues do you notice in your local community? Once you have identified your topic, research it. Try to get in the habit of picking up your local (or campus) newspaper, to see what is happening locally. You don't necessarily have to write about a CURRENT social issue. You may research a social issue that occurred in the past if you wish, like school desegretation, racism, etc. For a list of topics which previous students have written about, click HERE.  You want to approach your topic as an academic researcher.  Therefore, try to withold judgements until you have really researched all sides of your chosen topic.  Your task in this essay is to open people’s eyes to social issues in the place where they (and you) live.  As always, your essay needs a clear and focused thesis statement with a TOPIC and a SLANT.  Your thesis cannot simply be informative.  You must be saying something meaninful about your topic, based on the research and critical thinking you have done.

For this essay, you must use at least four outside sources. As always, wikipedia does not count as an academic source. One of your sources MUST be a full-on interview, and it cannot be with family or friends. I would like you to include the transcription of the interview with your essay. You might also visit your local library, and follow local publications like your community newspaper. Your essay must be at least four full pages, typed double-spaced in Times New Roman font and MLA format. When you turn in your final draft, you must include one copy of a rough draft, your interview transcript, and your peer review sheets.

Essay #4: Writing About Local History

In researching the history of Fullerton, I have been continually astonished by what I have discovered, and most of these discoveries did not come from reading the two “official” Fullerton history books: Ostrich Eggs for Breakfast and Fullerton: a Pictorial History. These books are pretty boring and tend to gloss over unpleasant aspects of history. The real goldmine of local history is the Center for Oral and Public History at Cal State Fullerton, which includes thousands of interviews with ordinary residents. From these interviews, I learned about the KKK in Fullerton, forced deportations of Mexican-Americans, political corruption, housing discrimination, and lots of stuff that made me go: “Whoa! I didn’t know that happened here!” It is important to understand our history, our real history, so that we can better understand our present. For example, housing segregation in Fullerton did not happen by accident. It was the result of racist housing covenants that excluded minorities from living in certain areas for many years. Your task for this final essay is to find an aspect of the history of the town you live in, an aspect that interests, inspires, or infuriates you, research it, and present your findings in a well-developed and interesting paper.

Essay must be four FULL pages, typed, double-spaced in Times New Roman font and MLA format.  You must use at least five outside sources.  Final draft due on the last day of class.

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