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Welcome to ENGL 201A: English Composition

Instructor: Dr. Sally Demarest


Instructor: Dr. Sally Demarest

Email:  sarah_demarest@cuesta.edu

Hello, 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 and considering issues from multiple points of view. We will also work on developing strong critical reading skills, as we analyze articles, satirical pieces, and fiction. 

This is a Fully Online Course:

We have no face-to-face meetings and no mandatory Zoom meetings. Everything will be online and asynchronous. However, I will engage with you a lot online, and I will offer you a lot of feedback on your writing. I also have weekly scheduled office hours through Zoom, and I am also available for Zoom appointments, so please reach out if you'd like to connect.


Fall Course Start and End Dates:  January 17, 2023 through May 19, 2023.

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. 


Learning Management System that houses the class:



What you should know:

  • This course is 18 weeks.
  • We have no face-to-face meetings.
  • We have no required Zoom meetings.
  • You must participate in this course regularly throughout the week.
  • You will write discussion posts and replies 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 through Zoom.


Required Texts (can be purchased through the Cuesta BookstoreLinks to an external site.):

  • They Say, I Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing (5th ed)
  • So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, Jon Ronson 
  • A few (2-3) TV episodes or movies available for online streaming
  •  Additional resources and readings provided online through Canvas

When to Start:

Please login to Canvas on Tuesday, January 17, 2023 and begin working in the class.  If you do not log in within the first three days of the class, 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 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:

  • interaction between students (and the instructor) in discussion forums
  • weekly homework readings and submissions
  • 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)Links to an external site. 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 Resources Tab, then 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 GuideLinks to an external site.. 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.



Online Learning:

If you have never taken an online class or this is your first experience with Canvas, please be patient with yourself and with the technology. 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 as you would on a 4-unit course that meets face to face (8-12 hours per week), and sometimes it will feel like it takes more time than a regular course because you have to do so much of the work on your own. Since there is no lecture component, much of this time will be self directed, and there will be a substantial amount of reading, video viewing, studying, and writing required. This course is completely online using Canvas; all coursework (discussions, assignments, quizzes) is submitted online. There are no face-to- face meetings.






Canvas Browser requirements/minimum computer specifications:

https://www.cuesta.edu/academics/distance/faqs_technical.htmlLinks to an external site.

Academic Policies (add, drop, waitlist, academic honesty, etc.):

https://www.cuesta.edu/student/studentservices/admrreg/arpolicies/index.htmlLinks to an external site.

Distance Education Support:

https://www.cuesta.edu/academics/distance/technical_support.htmlLinks to an external site.

Disabled Student Services Program:

If you have a disability and might need accommodations (support services) in this class, please contact Disabled Student Program & Services in Building 3300 as soon as possible to ensure that you receive the accommodations in a timely manner.

https://www.cuesta.edu/student/studentservices/dsps/index.htmlLinks to an external site.



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