Welcome Letter

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Welcome to ENGL 201A: English Composition

Instructor: Dr. Sally Demarest

Fall 2024: CRNs 71344 and 71348

Hello, prospective students! My name is Dr. Sally Demarest, and I look forward to working with you in ENGL 201A. In this class we will work on writing effective arguments as we consider issues from multiple points of view. We will also work on developing strong critical reading skills as we analyze essays, research-based articles, and fiction. One of our central texts will be John Green's collection of essays title The Anthropocene Reviewed: Essays on a Human-Centered Planet, in which Green writes with wisdom and humor about everything from "Diet Dr. Pepper" to "Air Conditioning" to "The World's Largest Ball of Paint." We will discuss and write about many topics related to the human experience.



This is a Hybrid Course:

This class will be taught in the hybrid module, which can offer our class community the best of both worlds in terms of online and in-person learning. Some of the lecture material and coursework will be online, and these online elements will afford you flexibility for time management while also giving you extra writing practice in low-stakes, online assignments.

Be sure that you are ready to do some online work.

We will also have an in-person, on-campus class session once a week. Please check the Cuesta College Class Schedule for class meeting times.

This in-person session will offer us an opportunity to have engaging discussions about the class material, and it will give us a chance to help make sure that everyone understands the material and has the necessary guidance to succeed.


Course Start and End Dates: 

August 12, 2024 through December 13, 2024

If you need to contact me before the class starts, please email me any time:



Course Description:

Provides instruction in and study of expository and argumentative writing, appropriate and effective use of language, close reading, cogent thinking, research strategies, information literacy, and documentation. 


Required Textbooks and Materials:

  • The Anthropocene Reviewed: Essays on a Human-Centered Planet by John Green, ISBN 978-0525556534 (available at the Cuesta College bookstore, as well as libraries and anywhere books are sold)
  • Regular Access to the internet


Learning Management System that houses the class:



What you should know:

  • This course is 18 weeks.
  • It will include once-a-week in-person meetings as well as online content and assignments.
  • We have no required Zoom meetings.
  • You must participate in this course regularly throughout each week.
  • You will have homework assignments and readings due every week.
  • You will write a series of essays that will include drafts and peer reviews.
  • I will be available to meet with you in office hours both in person and through Zoom.


When to Start:

Please login to Canvas on on the first day of the semester (see above for dates) and begin working in the class, and please attend our first in-person class session on August 13, 2024.  If you do not attend our first in-person session, you may be dropped so that I can accommodate other students who are trying to add the class.



If you are on the waitlist for the course, be sure to check your email regularly (it's best to check twice a day). If a spot becomes available, you will receive an automated message from Cuesta, and you will have just 24 hours to add the class, or you will lose the spot and be dropped from the waitlist. If you are still on the waitlist when the class starts, please attend the first class session or email me on the first day of class to check on your status and the likelihood that you’ll be able to add.


Student Learning Outcomes:

  1. Write a fair and persuasive argument that takes a clear position while incorporating differing viewpoints.
  2. Write an essay that is effectively and clearly organized.
  3. Find necessary information, assess its value, and use it in a research paper.
  4. Integrate and document sources correctly, clearly, and ethically.
  5. Write clear, grammatical sentences with few errors.


Required Regular and Effective Contact:

This course requires regular and effective contact among all students and the instructor for the full 18 weeks of the course. We will achieve this in a variety of ways, such as, but not limited to, the following:

  • in-person class meetings
  • interaction between students (and the instructor) in discussion forums
  • homework readings and submissions
  • in-person office hours
  • virtual office hours
  • optional Zoom appointments
  • interactive online essay work-shopping through Canvas forums
  • viewing of short video lectures and content
  • instructor feedback on written work
  • announcements
  • email messages


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 work with Disabled Students Programs and Services and the instructor as soon as possible so that you can receive appropriate accommodations in a timely manner.

DSPS (Disabled Student Programs & Services) or 805-546-3148.  



About Canvas, the Course Learning Management System (LMS):

This online course will be using a Web-based Learning Management System called Canvas as the method to disseminate information. Canvas provides the framework for the course including PowerPoint presentations, student data files, the tools to receive and send course materials, and a grade book. Using the communication tools, you can communicate using e-mail, and you can share materials and ideas with other course participants via the discussion forums and groups. Please feel free to ask questions, look up YouTube videos on how Canvas works, and contact our support desk when needing help: support@my.cuesta.edu. If you send an email to the support desk, please describe the problem you are experiencing and include your name, class, section number (CRN), and instructor's name.


Starting the Class / Getting into Canvas:

Prior to the first day of class, I will send an email to your my.cuesta.edu address providing you with a reminder that class will be starting and log in procedures for Canvas, the learning management system (LMS) used to deliver course content. You can access Canvas by logging into MyCuesta, then clicking on the Canvas link.

If you are not familiar with logging into Canvas, please refer to the Canvas Quick Reference Guide. Once logged into Canvas, click on the ENGL 201A course card on your dashboard, and then you will be given directions for how to get started. Be sure to read all the directions on the course home page. If you are having difficulty logging into Canvas and need assistance please email me, or email technical support at this email address: support@my.cuesta.edu.




Canvas Browser requirements/minimum computer specifications Links to an external site.

Academic Policies (add, drop, waitlist, academic honesty, etc.) Links to an external site.

Distance Education Technical Support Links to an external site.

Disabled Student Programs and Services Links to an external site.





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