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Contra Costa College English 142B Online

Page history last edited by Georgie Ziff 2 years, 7 months ago

Welcome to your English 142B Online class information page! Here is your Class Syllabus.


Instructor contact:  GZiff@contracosta.edu

If you have questions about the course, you may post them in the Student Q & A Discussion Board for your classmates and your instructor. 

Please include in the subject line of any email: Eng 142B Your Name & Reason for emailing 

Emails will be responded to within 24 hours during the work week: Mon - Fri. before 5 pm. 

Messages received after 5pm will be responded to the next day; those received after 5pm Friday will be responded to on Monday.

Online Office Hours: Wednesdays at 5pm - you may connect with me via Chat in the course, or through email, or through Zoom. 


Since this is a six week course that has to include as much work as a normal 16 week semester, each week is packed full with a number of assignments about general writing topics

and discussion boards with questions about readings in the textbook.


In preparation for this online course, all students are required to read:


For example, the following myths prevail: 

MYTH: Online courses are easier than those in a classroom setting. 
FACT: Students will not have a teacher explaining face-to-face the details of the assignments. All information is available through the student's reading of the details and instructions only, and much more reading is required.

MYTH: Since all the course work is set, I can put off doing anything until the last week.
FACT: Online success depends on your participation.You have to be "visible". through interactive discussion boards, peer reviews, and timely assignments. Late work receives only partial credit, which will NOT be enough to pass the course!

MYTH: Online courses are great because they're so convenient!
FACT: Yes, distance learning is convenient, and therefore students must have a great deal of self-discipline to actually do the work, rather than "just" showing up to a class to sit in a chair.

MYTH: If students need help the instructor is always available.
FACT: Most instructors are juggling multiple classes and responsibilities. Feedback is crucial of course, but students are expected to read all the material in the course and avoid emailing to ask questions whose answers are IN the course. Instructors are NOT online tutors.

TIPS for Success:* Set a Time and a Place to do your work
* Don't Procrastinate
* Communicate with your classmates 
* Print the Syllabus and Weekly Schedule 
* Keep a Notebook 
* Check your email frequently for updates
* Know Thyself - "Make sure you are capable of making yourself do your homework", wrote one student. "Know what kind of student you are", wrote another.
* Accept Responsibility - hold yourself accountable for taking the time to understand the expectations of the course and the assignments.


Required book: Human Rights and Wrongs by Adrianne Aron 

       ISBN: 978-1-944977-21-4 (paperback) 
       978-1-944977-18-4 (e-book)


  Additional readings will all be embedded in the course as a thematic unit:  Mindsets/College Fear Factor 







English 142B is comprised of five components:

  1. Weekly Writing Assignments
  2. Two Multi-Draft Essays
  3. Discussion Board Forums
  4. Exercises/Quizzes
  5. Final Timed Essay 


1. Weekly Writing Assignments: due to Canvas by Sunday 11:59 pm. Emailed work is NOT accepted. Work is accepted late for only partial credit. Full credit = 5 points if submitted the week they are due; next week = 3 points; next week: 1 point, after which the assignment expires and work cannot be submitted. Do the work in a timely   manner to get the most points! The weekly homework assignments are to read the assigned articles and write a three paragraph summary, analysis, and response for each article:


  • Paragraph one summarizes the article, identifying the main points and discussing what the article is about.
  • Paragraph two analyzes the rhetorical differences in the materials in terms of audience/purpose and effectiveness.
  • Paragraph three is your response, framed in terms of how the ideas relate to you and your academic writing experience. 




2. Two Multi-Draft Essays – click on the Essay Guidelines to read details. Peer reviews required in the groups set up in Canvas.

You will refer to the peer review guide sheets and exchange drafts with at least two classmates to provide and receive feedback.

To better understand what a good essay is, read the Essay Grading Rubric.   

Here is information about citing sources: How to Cite Sources in MLA and Sample Works Cited List. Here is a template for correct MLA formatting of papers.


3. Canvas Discussion Board 

You will post your responses to the topics based on the required book and other relevant writing topics,

and then respond to TWO classmates by 11:59 Sunday for full credit of 6 points, after which the Discussion Board closes.




4. Exercises/Quizzes: the class as a whole will work general proofreading exercises You may be assigned individual proofreading exercises according to your personal writing challenges. Completion of these is required.


5. Final Timed Essay - you will have two hours in which to write a response to a prompt.

You will spend the first 10 minutes pre-writing/brainstorming and the last 10 minutes proofreading using a checklist. 




Click on the Essay Guideline Page for details and handouts.

Due dates are on the Overview page.

Late work receives only partial credit.

Use this template for formatting your work.

Essay grading is based on overall writing quality and improvement.

Individual grading rubrics are available in each essay section on the Essay Guideline page.


Overall, to better understand what a good essay is, read the Essay Grading Rubric.


The essay submission policy:

  • Late essays are discouraged and will receive a full letter grade deduction.
  • ALL essays must be submitted to continue in the course or receive course credit. NO exceptions.


Recognizing your own writing patterns and challenges are the only way to improve and polish your writing. To do this, you will learn how to proofread effectively and practice those writing challenges. Click on this link to access these proofreading pages.


Handouts  - 

Use Active Verbs

Pre-Writing Strategies

Annotating a Text

Annotating and Active Reading

Peer Review Guidelines: Summary Writer Peer Reviews

Backwards Planning

PIE Paragraph


Topic Sentences

Thesis Statement

Using Quotations

MLA Information

MLA Format Sheet 

MLA_Works Cited Page201

Analyzing an Argument in an Outline pdf


Link to Knight Cite Citation Machine


Answer Key Diagnostic Test 

Proofreading Quiz Answers


Grammar Bytes Presentation Materials 

Classroom Materials


Paperrater sample paper

How to Be a Successful Student



Essay Guideline page:

How to Format an Essay in MLA Style - video - 9:59

How to Format an Essay - powerpoint

Things to Avoid in Writing Essays & PPT


Essay One - Summary Response Essay

 Reading: Mary Pipher - Writing for Change


Essay Two - 



Timed Final Essay Essay Prompt (will be available the last week of class).

  • You will have two hours in which to respond to a writing prompt 
  • Your response will be thesis-driven, which must be supported by reasons and examples
  • This essay is required as part of the class and will count for 5% of your grade.




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