Welcome Letter 34380

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English 231 / 34380

Instructor: Dr. Sarah Miller

Welcome to English 231!

Please read through this Welcome Letter carefully as it provides details about this course and its technological requirements. If you should choose to enroll, you will be sent more instructions before the course starts on January 16, 2024.

NOTE: This course is hybrid

This is a hybrid course, which means we will meet once a week in person and assignments will be due online once a week. You need to commit to both parts of the course in order to be successful.

Contact information

Email Address: sarah_miller4@cuesta.edu

Office Hours:

I will give you a number of options to reach me for office hours during the semester. More information will be provided closer to the start of the semester.

Instructor Contact Expectations: 

The best and fastest way to contact me is email.  I will generally respond to your emails within 24 hours during weekdays only.  During busy times of the semester, the response time may increase to 48 hours.  On weekends, I try not check email. If I receive an email after 5 on Friday, I probably will not respond until the following Monday. If you do not hear from me in 48 hours, please email me again to put yourself at the top of my inbox.

Course Environment

We’ll be together in person where we’ll workshop each other’s drafts and discuss reading. Online, we’ll exchange ideas, submit drafts, and engage in writerly practices.

This online course will be using a Web-based Learning Management System Canvas as the method to disseminate information. Canvas provides the framework for the course including lecture material, 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.

Accessing the Course

You will see your course in Canvas on the first day of class. You can access Canvas by clicking on Canvas from the top bar of the Cuesta homepage (www.cuesta.edu), or by typing the Canvas address (https://cuesta.instructure.com/) into your browser address bar.

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

If you are having difficulty logging into Canvas after January 16, 2024 and need assistance please email me or technical support at this email address support@my.cuesta.edu.   

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 office hours.

In order to be successful in this course, you must be committed to working through assignments and turning them in on time. Each week you should log-in to Canvas consistently, and please know, that Canvas allows me to see your log-ins. 

Course Description

Catalog Description

Presents an opportunity for creative literary expression and emphasizes techniques in writing poems, and/or short stories, and/or plays for informal discussion and criticism by the class and by the instructor. Provides the opportunity to discover one's talent and to practice writing skills.

Schedule Description

Presents an opportunity for creative literary expression and emphasizes techniques in writing poems, short stories, and/or plays.

Prerequisite: English 201A with a grade of C or better.

Transfer: CSU; UC

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Identify the elements of fiction writing (want, obstacle, conflict, identification, showing, resolution) and can writing a short story using them.
  2. Identify the basic elements of poetry (concrete images, natural sound, tension, figures of speech) and write poetry using them.
  3. Critique the poetry and fiction of fellow writers.
  4. Effectively present his or her work and read it aloud to an audience.
  5. Explain how to publish poetry and fiction in journals and magazines.

Text Book and Materials

  • The Practice of Creative Writing: A Guide for Students, 4th edition, by Heather Sellers
  • You will need a weekly, reliable internet connection where you can access Canvas. All supplemental readings and materials, available online for free, will be available in Canvas.
  • This is a writing intensive course, and therefore, it cannot be completed successfully from a smart phone. Please make sure you have access to a device with a keyboard.
  • Final drafts must be submitted in Microsoft Word: Microsoft Office for Free (including Word and PowerPoint
  • Supplemental Materials:

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, or click on the help button on the Canvas Navigation 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 specifications.


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 the instructor as soon as possible so that you can receive appropriate accommodations in a timely manner. You should also contact DSPS (Disabled Student Programs & Services) at 805-546-3148.

College & Course Policies

Academic Honesty Policy: In addition to my course policy, which will be detailed on the course syllabus once the course begins, 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 conduct.

Add / Drop Policy: Students who do not log in to Canvas for more than 2 weeks will be dropped from the course unless the instructor is contacted by the student before or during this period. It is the student’s responsibility to communicate with the instructor regarding consistent course engagement. It is also the student’s responsibility to drop the course before the drop deadline. In addition to my policy, please review the Cuesta policy for drops

Waitlist Policy: Please review Cuesta’s waitlist procedure and instructions.

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