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Welcome Letter


Investigative Report Writing / CJ 226 (32499)


Kevin Watts

Contact Information

  • Email Address: kevin_watts1@cuesta.edu
  • Class Meeting Times: This class is fully online (no face-to-face meetings) and is scheduled to begin on January 16, 2024.
  • Virtual Office Hours: Monday - Friday (via email appointment only).


Hello and welcome to CJ 226 – Investigative Report Writing. I am looking forward to facilitating your academic journey and helping you to learn more about the investigative report writing process.

Instructor Contact Expectations

The best method to contact me is via Cuesta email. Generally, I will generally respond to your emails within 24 hours during weekdays only. In some case, during busier periods, the response time may increase to 48 hours. If you do need to contact me on weekends, I will attempt to get back to you as soon as possible; however, I cannot guarantee a fast response.

Course Description

During this course, we will learn how to (1) collect information, (2) identify key facts, and (3) draft concise, accurate, and easy to understand investigative reports. 

Course Environment

This online course will be using Canvas, a Web-based Learning Management System, as the method to disseminate information. Canvas provides the framework for delivery of course materials including zoom recorded power point presentations, videos, the tools to receive and send course materials, and a grade book.

The course is organized into 16 modules. You will need to complete Module 1 during the first week of class – and a module each week for the duration of the semester. Assignments must be completed in the week in which they are assigned. Due dates will be noted in the syllabus for your convenience.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  1. Prepare accurate and complete investigative notes and reports
  2. Develop a professional, grammatically correct, and ethical investigative report.
  3. Explain the meaning of legal terms commonly used in preparing investigative reports
  4. Describe the importance of including “Brady” information in investigative reports

Textbook and Materials

Just the Facts: Investigative Report Writing, 5th Edition, Michael Briggs, Pearson, 2016. ISBN: 9780133591309

Supplemental Materials Necessary for this Class

Class Open - Accessing Canvas

Prior to the start of the class, you will receive an email to your my.Cuesta.edu address providing you with a reminder that class will be starting, as well as log in procedures for Canvas - the learning management system (LMS) used to deliver course content.

You can access Canvas by logging into MyCuesta, clicking on the Resources Tab, and clicking on Canvas in the Online Learning Channel, or by typing the Canvas address (https://cuesta.instructure.com/) into your browser address bar. Do not bookmark / favorite the canvas site after your login, or you will get an error message next time you try to log in. You must access the canvas log in directly.

If you are not familiar with logging into Canvas, please refer to the Canvas Quick Reference Guide.Links to an external site.Once logged into Canvas, you will be directed on where to get started. Be sure to read all of the directions on the course home page.

Technical Support

Cuesta students are encouraged to direct all technical support inquiries to support@my.cuesta.edu.

If you are having issues with Canvas, you should contact the Canvas Support Hotline at (877) 921-7680, email canvas technical support at: support@instructure.com, or click on the help button on the Canvas Navigation page to report a problem.

If you are having difficulty viewing the course or logging in, it may be because you are not using the correct url: https://cuesta.instructure.com/ or you are using your phone or using an unsupported browser.

Your learning environment is best accessed from a desktop or laptop computer, using Firefox or Chrome.  This may solve your problem!  Please review the browser requirements and minimum computer specificationsLinks to an external site..

Online Learning

If you have never taken an online class or this is your first experience with Canvas, please be patient with yourself. Online classes are not inherently easier, although they may be much more convenient for many students. You should expect to spend at least as much time, if not more on this course as you would on a course that meets face-to-face. Since there is no lecture component, much of this time will be self-directed and there will be a substantial amount of reading, viewing, studying, and writing required. This course is completely online using Canvas; all coursework (discussions, written assignments, and projects) will be submitted online. There are no face-to-face meetings. Please be prepared to spend 8-12 hours per week on coursework for this class.


  • First, go to the Cuesta College Canvas Tutorial (self-paced)Links to an external site.,  there are many resources that were designed to help you understand the basis for an online class and the skills necessary for success. (If the tutorials do NOT describe you, then taking this class online is NOT for you and I strongly suggest that you drop the online class and enroll in a traditional classroom section.)

Regular Effective Contact Policy

Regular and Effective Instructor Contact will be met through weekly instructor initiated threaded discussion forums; weekly announcements to students; timely and effective feedback on student assignments; email, phone or messaging to individuals; and virtual office hours.


This course is designed using an accessible Learning Management System, and course materials have been created with ADA compliance in mind. If you have a disability and might need accommodations in this class such as extended time on exams or other resources. Please contact me as soon as possible so that you can receive appropriate accommodations in a timely manner. You should also contact DSPS (Disabled Student Programs & Services)Links to an external site. or at 805-546-3148.

College and Course Policies

Academic Honesty Policy: Please note all students attending San Luis Obispo County Community College District at any district site and when representing Cuesta College in any off-campus activity, assume an obligation to conduct themselves in an acceptable manner compatible with the Student Code of Conduct. Please review the Cuesta College Student Code of conductLinks to an external site..

Add / Drop Policy: Please review the Cuesta policy for adds, drops, and waitlists:

Waitlist Policy: Pease review Cuesta’s waitlist procedure and instructionsLinks to an external site..

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at kevin_watts1@cuesta.edu

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