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ENGL 121 College Composition I

This course guides students through the expository writing process through close reading of contemporary critical discourse and teaches the rhetorical arts of argument and persuasion through critical thinking, reading and research. Students will develop an understanding of themselves as readers and writers of culture as they participate in public discourse about writing; examine the relationship among writer, audience, and purpose; and practice writing prose through a recursive process.   Students completing this course should be able to write persuasive, researched and documented essays (of at least 1,000 words) demonstrating the conventions of standard written English and manuscript presentation.

Placement test scores or completion of required developmental English course work.
Laura Gunzburg

Overall Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, you will be able to select and use a variety of techniques for generating and gathering information. You will learn how to analyze your audience; organize ideas logically and effectively; and present appropriate support for your theses. You will perform basic research using a variety of sources and incorporate source material into your writing.

Major Course Topics

  • Writing as a recursive process
  • Creating the expository and persuasive essay
  • Employing effective library and electronic research techniques
  • Documenting sources
  • Writing the effective research paper
  • Writing with authority and integrity

Course Format

This course:

  • Is not self-paced. We will work together on a weekly schedule of required readings, written responses, and drafts. Instructions, due dates, and feedback for all major assignments will exist in Canvas. The workload, course content, and writing assignments are equal to those in a regular classroom section of English 121.
  • Exists on a Canvas site that you will access several times a week at your own convenience. All class readings and assignments live on this site.
  • May require real-time chats or conferences. We will communicate primarily through Discussions.
  • If you decide to take ENGL 121 in the online format, you should like working on computers, be self-motivated, and be prepared to do significant amounts of work outside of class. This format may not be for you if you have a tendency to procrastinate.

Technical Requirements and Orientation:

  • Review the Technical Requirements link on the eLearning homepage.
  • Review the "Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)" and "Is eLearning Right For You?" sections of the eLearning Homepage
  • This course does not have a face-to-face orientation. There is an online orientation highlighted in a Canvas Module. If this is your first class and/or you would feel more comfortable meeting before class starts for a face-to-face orientation, just email me at

Course Requirements

  • Formal essays
  • Weekly discussion board responses to various readings
  • Peer review activities
  • Interaction with instructor via Canvas

Texts and Materials

No textbook is required for this course. All readings are free through our Canvas course site.


Student Profile - Maribel