Reading and composition

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Instructor: Christina M. Guillen

Office: P106 Phone: 938-4266 E-mail:

Office Hours: MW 2:00-3:00; TTh 9:30-10:00 and 12:00-1:00 (by appointment)


Catalogue Description
Prerequisite: Qualification for the Honors Program. Qualify through the English assessment process, or ENGL 105 or ESL 34. Grading: letter grade. Eligibility for the Honors program is required for enrollment.
In this course, students read and analyze college-level texts in order to write researched, thesis-based essays. During the semester, students are required to complete three hours of supplemental learning activities in a Success Center. Transfer Status: Transferable to UC/CSU, see counselor for limitations.
Required Texts and Materials

  • A World of Ideas, 8th ed., Jacobus

  • Web-enhanced course: access to a computer and a printer

  • Calendar

  • Pocket Stapler

  • Examination Booklets

Recommended Texts

College dictionary and thesaurus


  • Reading assignments and annotations

  • Class discussions and other learning activities

  • Other written work preparing for essays

  • Three essays (one of which is an essay exam)

  • One research paper and oral presentation

  • Final Essay Exam

Course Overview
1.  Reading: We will read approximately 12 selections and various excerpts from A World of Ideas and from other sources.  We will use these readings as points of departure for discussing issues, learning writing techniques, studying vocabulary, and generally enhancing our knowledge of the world and how it works.  We will simply attempt to read and come to terms with the best writing and thinking we can make available to us, and we will use these selections to strengthen our own processes.  Please note: The reading is challenging. Most pieces are translations from other languages and are not contemporary. Reading quickly or casually without annotating the text will not be adequate preparation. Each reading will be followed by a provocative discussion and/or activity. It is your responsibility to be prepared for our discussions. Your class participation grade, the weight of one essay, depends on your preparation. If it appears that the class is not ready for our discussions/activities, pop quizzes will be factored into the grading scale.
2.  Writing Assignments: I will provide five graded writing projects, one of which will be an extensive research paper.  You will have ample time to complete these projects, and I will take you through the process step by step.  I read these papers carefully as they are submitted; up to 2.5 weeks is not unusual for my response. I'm hopeful that in preparing the assignments for this class, you will gain confidence in yourselves as writers and experience some of the joy that comes in being able to communicate with others and to express your thoughts in writing. We will also use the Purdue Online Writing Lab ( for topics related to research and writing. This website is crucial for the development of your skills, especially if you need additional help at the sentence level. Another helpful online source is the companion site for A World of Ideas (, where you can find links to numerous resources about the authors and tutorials on avoiding plagiarism, among other links for research-based writing.
3. Usage Review: I assume a certain level of competence since you have taken English 105 (or tested into English 1), so we will spend a minimum amount of time reviewing standard usage and style, apart from our peer critiques, comments on assignments, and recommendations to consult the Purdue Online Writing Lab (

4. Process: In general, the class will proceed through reading, discussion, and the writing process. As an English 1 student, your success relies on your willingness to commit the time and effort required for the work--quite a bit of it at times. On average, you must devote at least eight hours per week outside of class in order to receive a passing grade. You can count on me and WRSC tutors to give you as much support and individual attention as we are physically able to provide.  I will do my best to maintain a positive environment, to present information clearly and directly, to challenge you, and (I hope) to have a bit of fun amid a semester of hard work.
5. Student Learning Outcomes

  • Read and analyze college-level texts.

  • Write academic prose with a clear purpose and effective, logical, relevant support from sources.

  • Locate, evaluate, organize, and synthesize research material from a variety of sources.

  • Compose essays that demonstrate consistent control of academic discourse and rhetoric.



Possible Points

Essay 1: Government


Essay 2: Justice


Research Paper: Gender and Culture


Essay 3: The Individual (In-Class Essay Exam)


English 1 Final Exam (In-Class Essay Exam)


Plan 1: Government


Plan 2: Justice


Research Paper Hypothesis


Research Paper Oral Presentation


Research Paper Plan


Plan 3: The Individual


Class Participation





Course Grade











It is expected that students in an honors course will perform at a higher level than students taking the same course and not receiving honors credit. With this in mind, consider that each assignment will be more challenging and graded more stringently. See course website for more details.

Course Policies
1. The student must attend regularly and punctually. The class will begin at the scheduled time and will end no later than one hour, fifty minutes. College rules state that if a student misses 20% of the course (i.e., exceeding six absences for a course that meets twice per week) or four class meetings in succession, the instructor may withdraw the student from the course. Late arrivals and early departures (a total of two instances) will result in losing an attendance credit.
You will be marked late if you enter the classroom after roll is taken. It is your responsibility after class to confirm that you have been marked late. Failure to do so will result in an absence. If you have missed an activity in the beginning of class, you will not be given an opportunity to make up that work. Avoid scheduling work hours, appointments, job interviews, etc. during class time. It is your responsibility to keep track of your attendance. Do not spend your absences early; you may need them later in the semester. If you have any issues regarding your attendance, please set up an office hour appointment a.s.a.p.
If you plan on withdrawing from the course, it is your responsibility to process the withdrawal before the posted deadlines. Please contact me by email to confirm your withdrawal. If you continue attending class beyond the 11th week or attend sporadically near the 11th week and plan on not returning, you will be given a letter grade based on the work you submitted.
2. If you do miss class, it is your responsibility to contact a classmate, get the assignment, and be prepared for our next class meeting (which also means turning in assignments, preparing readings and other materials when they are due even if you are absent). Collect the names, phone numbers, and email addresses of at least five students in the class so that you will have people to contact. You may not make up in-class work (e.g. quizzes, in-class essay exams, group projects, etc.) at another time, and no late homework assignments will be accepted.
3. Be prepared for each class meeting with the textbook, a notebook, pens, pencils, stapler, and any other materials, including handouts, that we are working with at the time. You must have the textbook or copies of the assigned pages for each class meeting (even if you are on the waiting list or a petitioner); otherwise, you will be asked to leave the classroom and will be marked absent. The text is available on reserve in the LBCC Library. This is a web-enhanced course, which will require frequent computer access and printing capability. Please make an appointment if you foresee issues with the web-enhanced portion of the course.
4. All writing and other assignments, unless otherwise stated, must be typed in 12-point Courier font, double-spaced, and formatted according to the MLA Format 2009 Style Guide ( Work that is not submitted in the proper format will be returned for re-submission and dropped 10 points. Be prepared for our peer critiques with a completed, properly formatted plans and subsequent rough drafts. Each plan and rough draft will figure significantly in your class participation grade.
5.  One late out-of-class essay (and its corresponding plan) will be accepted no later than one week beyond the due date.   If this work is not submitted within a week, you will receive a zero, reducing your chances of passing the course.  The first late paper will be penalized one full letter grade (e.g., a 95 would drop to an 85).  A second/third late paper will receive an automatic zero. The essay exams must be submitted on their due date or you will receive a zero.
6. Plagiarism to any extent is grounds for a failing grade in the course (See “Plagiarism Statement” on
7. Please be courteous in all your communications with other students and with me. Review the “Standards of Student Conduct” in the LBCC College Catalog for more detailed policies. If you disrupt the class, you will be given a warning. On your second offense, you will meet with me to determine if you should proceed with the class or confer with the Dean of Student Affairs. If you have a grievance about the class, it is your responsibility to set up an office hour appointment. Class time will not be utilized as a forum to air grievances.
8. Please be proactive in your learning so that you can be successful. It is your responsibility to get help if you do not understand an assignment. Set up an office hour appointment, send an email, call my office, attend supplemental instruction sessions (if available), and/or go to the Success Center for additional support.   For office-hour conferences or any other communications, be prepared with written questions about a reading or writing assignment. I will not grade your essay prior to the due date, nor will I review your essay at the sentence level for more than one page.
9. Please avoid all electronic disruptions, which includes texting, in the classroom. Laptops and similar devices are permissible, but you will lose that privilege if you are not focused on the classroom lecture/activity. The exception is in-class essay exams, which will be handwritten in an exam booklet. If your device interrupts the class, you must write a five-page essay before returning to the next class meeting. Failing to write this essay will result in a 10% reduction of your class participation grade.
10. No food or drinks, except for water, will be allowed in the classroom.
11. See the course website for extra credit opportunities.
12. I will store papers and final exams for one semester before I recycle them. Please stop by my office to pick up your materials.

Tentative Schedule
Weeks 1-5

Introduction to Text (xiii-xiv)

Critical Reading (1-11)

Introduction to Government Unit (14-19)

Machiavelli, “The Qualities of the Prince” (37-52)

Lao-Tzu, “Thoughts from the Tao-te Ching (21-34)

Rousseau, Excerpts from “The Origin of Civil Society” (TBA)

Jefferson, The Declaration of Independence (77-84)

Writing About Ideas (903-924)
What does [Machiavelli/Lao-tzu/Jefferson] imply about the obligation of the state to the individual it governs and about the obligation of the individual to the state? Is one much more important than the other? [Why?] . . . “ (Jacobus 34).
Honors Component: Apply your findings to a modern parallel that requires research and three additional cited sources.
Weeks 6-8


Introduction to Justice Unit (136-141)

Thoreau, “Civil Disobedience” (173-197)

Weeks 6-8 Continued

Stanton, “Declaration of Sentiments” (201-208)

King, “Letter from Birmingham Jail” (211-230)
What if Henry David Thoreau attended the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848 or time-traveled to Birmingham, Alabama in 1963 and advised Stanton/King on the practice of civil disobedience?
Honors Component: Research the authors’ backgrounds and present biographical information that complements the material in our text. Analyze the authors’ positions on civil disobedience more in depth by classifying the appeals as ethos, pathos, and/or logos.
Weeks 9-14

Gender and Culture

Introduction to Gender and Culture Unit (792-797)

Wollstonecraft, “Of the Pernicious Effects Which Arise from the Unnatural Distinctions Found in Society” (799-812)

Woolf, “Shakespeare’s Sister” (837-852)

Greer, “Masculinity” (889-900)

Selected ProQuest articles

How do the authors’ arguments relate to a specific gender issue in today’s world? Design a research topic that responds to one of Greer’s claims.
Honors Component: Using the hypothesis and annotated bibliography, deliver an oral presentation that establishes your proposed argument and your evidence selected from scholarly journal articles.
Weeks 15-18

The Individual

Introduction to The Individual Unit (246-252)

Emerson, “Self-Reliance” (255-268)

Du Bois, “Of Our Spiritual Strivings” (287-298)

Fromm, “The Individual in the Chains of Illusion” (325-337)
Using Emerson, Du Bois, or Fromm as a point of departure, what is the role of the individual in today’s society? In-class essay exam.
Honors Component: The prompts will be more challenging and require more complex essay responses.
Week 18

English 1 Final Exam

Monday, May 14 from 1:20-3:50, Room TBA

Please make arrangements in advance to take the final exam. You cannot take it at another time.

In-class essay exam, prompts drawn from selected readings in all four units.

Honors Component: The prompts will be more challenging and require more complex essay responses.

Student Information to Access Classes on the e-Zone (

1. How to access your Course File or Course Web Page: From the LBCC Homepage (, and click on the Distance Learning link. This will take you to the Distance Learning page. Choose the yellow “Web Enhanced On-Campus Courses” button. Then choose the link for the correct discipline: English.
2. Add the email address to your contacts list in your email account. (This is important in order to avoid communication problems when setting up your account and prevent LBCC correspondence from ending up in your spam folder. Even if you have received e-mails from before, you may still need to add it to your contacts list.)

3. Launch your browser (e.g., Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Chrome) and access the LBCC e-Learning Zone at the following URL:   (Note: Mozilla Firefox is the recommended browser.)

4. If you already have an e-Zone account, log on with your ID and password. (For security purposes, do not use your PeopleSoft/Oracle password; if you did, change it once you are logged in through the "My Profile" option). If you have an e-Zone account and forgot your password, click on "Receive a new password.”

5. If you have never created an e-Zone account, click on “New User? Obtain your password.”; then, enter your 7 digit student ID (without the “W”) and your email address (the address you provided in your Campus Personal Information on Oracle/PeopleSoft). Your new e-Zone password will be e-mailed to you.  (Note: your Email Type must be set to “HOME” in Oracle/PeopleSoft.

See for help. Changes will take effect after 24 hours.)

6. Once you receive your password, you can access the course between the official LBCC Begin Date and End Date of your course. (Check the e-Course schedule for dates.) To access the course, log in at and enter your ID and the new password that was sent to you. Once you enter the course gateway, change your password on the "My Profile" option and save your password in a secure place.

7. If you need any assistance logging in to the course, you may click on the "Need Help" option at the e-Zone Home page at For additional technical assistance or questions, call the LBCC Distance Learning HelpDesk line at (562) 938-4818. The HelpDesk regular hours are Monday through Thursday 8 A.M. - 7 P.M. and Fridays 8 A.M. - 5 P.M. If the line is busy, the voicemail message will come up. However, DO NOT leave a message on this voicemail; hang up and call again a few minutes later. The HelpDesk staff will not be able to return your calls.

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