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Distance Education at Mendocino College

Summer 2013 English 80 Academic Reading and Writing  4 units

Section 8139     Begins    6/10  Ends  7/25
  • Instructor:  Rebel A Rickansrud-Young
    The best way to get in touch with me after the class starts is by using the private message tool.  We will explore how to do this during the first week online.
  • Course Description
    This class will ask you to work hard to develop your academic reading and writing skills.  You will work to improve your ability to express your thoughts and feelings in writing by coming to understand writing as a set of skills and a process.  In order to achieve the goal of your writing improvement, we will do a lot of writing in many different forms (in-class, informal, formal, writing prompts, free-writing, drafts, essays, etc.).  In the course of developing your writing skills, you will read from a variety of authors.  We will analyze these works in order to best understand the content as well as to examine the writing craft involved in the example.  You will learn to be a critic of your own and others’ writing.  This skill will be developed through the reading described above, writing about reading, peer editing, and by writing multiple drafts of your own essays.
    This section of English 80 will also require you to use technology to access readings and resources. This will aid you and being ready for much of the academic reading and writing you will engage in throughout you college experience.
  • Student Learning Outcomes Students completing English 80 will be able to:
    1. Compose organized essays of varying length that are governed by an opinion-based thesis statement, supported by relevant textual and anecdotal evidence, and written with minimal sentence-level errors.
    2. Utilize active reading and critical thinking techniques in composing texts which demonstrate an understanding of diverse college-level readings.
    3. Recognize the differing strategies of basic essay composition (such as compare/contrast, personal narrative, research, and persuasive) in assigned readings, and utilize them as options within the writing process.
    4. Utilize basic researching strategies, and incorporate both primary and secondary texts into academic essays.
    5. Navigate the online Etudes platform.
  • Texts and Materials
  • Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood, by Marjane Satrapi –Graphic novel from $3.95 used to $21.95 list price new
  • Rules for Writers Diana Hacker, 6th edition (recommended)
  • A good dictionary (recommended)
  • Class Assignments and Percentage of Semester Grade
          Essays (3 total):                                                                 40%
          Critical Reading Essays (3 total)                                      30%
          Reading and Writing Discussions:                                    20%
          Midterm and Final:                                                           10%

  • Grading System:       Your grade for each assignment and for the course will be determined by the following system:
          A: 90 – 100% of the total points possible C:  70 – 79%
          B:  80 – 89%                                             D:  60 – 69%
  • Note:  You will be unable to pass the class if you miss turning in one of the essays

  • Overview of Assignment Requirements
    1. Due Dates/Time
      Assignments are due at 11:59 pm on the due date. There is a grace period of 1 week where I will still accept the assignments, but essays and other edited writing will lose 10 points for being late.   
    2. Assignment Formats
      Essay drafts, completed essays, and critical reading essays must be typed and submitted into the appropriate assignment inline or as an attachment.
    3. Reading and Writing Discussions
      You will be doing reading and then writing in the online class discussions. Your discussion writing will be evaluated based on 1) whether or not you originally had it done on time, 2) how complete and careful of a job was done, 3) the level of thought put into each assignment.  It is absolutely critical that you do the reading that is due each week in order to participate in the discussions.  You will be unable to effectively participate in the class without having done a close reading of each assignment.
    4. Plagiarism
      Do not plagiarize (copy any other writer's work as your own).  This will result in an automatic failing grade on the assignment, and can result in a failing grade in the course.
  • Syllabus Outline:  Topics and Readings
  • The reading and writing assignments this semester will revolve around the topic, “The Self in Context.” We will explore how individual and group identities are influenced and formed by different environments and other contexts.
  • The semester’s assignments are organized into three themes which explore different aspects of the central topic, “The Self in Context.” You will receive a detailed assignment sheet at the start of each new theme. Each theme will include reading assignments, discussion writing, a critical reading essay, and an essay assignment
  • Estimated Time per Week: Students can expect to spend approximately 12 to 18 hours per week reading, writing, and participating in online class discussions. Remember this is a 17 week 4 unit class condensed into 8 weeks!
  • Special Requirements: Log into Etudes the first day of class.
  • Additional Comments: The entire course will be conducted online through the Etudes program. Students are required to have Internet access, an active email account, the ability to use word processing, conduct Internet searches, attach files, send emails, and work independently.
  • New to ETUDES: Here is an Online Orientation (Flash presentation opens in a new window) that will show you the basics of how to use ETUDES. Here is a flash tutorial (Flash presentation opens in a new window) that demonstrates the log in protocol. Be sure to check System Requirements before getting started with ETUDES. You need to do this on each computer you use while taking a class through ETUDES.
  • ETUDES Course: You will log into the Etudes classroom with the log-in information provided below.

Log in to your course on the first day of the class. Here's how:
Go to the ETUDES portal at

Log-in ID


First 2 letters of first name +
First 2 letters of last name +
Last 5 digits of Student COLLEAGUE ID
(Type using all lower case letters)
Jose A. Garcia
Student ID: 1021945
Username = joga21945

Month Day of birth in school records
(Type using all lower case letters)
Birthday is April 11th, 1982 (04/11/82)
Password = 0411