English 201A Fall 2022

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By the end of this Welcome Letter, ask yourself what the three quotes have in common and what they tell you about this class you plan to take.

Welcome to English 201A!

I am delighted you have chosen to join our classroom community, and I look forward to a productive, educational, and rewarding semester with all of you.  This Welcome Letter will give you a general overview of our upcoming face-to-face class, but you will learn so much more about the class, your instructor, and your peers in the coming weeks.  For now, take the time to read this document in its entirety so that you are prepared to begin our class on Tuesday, August 16, 2022. I am excited to meet all of you!


Quote 1: “It's all knowing what to start with. If you start in the right place and follow all the steps, you will get to the right end.” Elizabeth Moon, American science fiction writer


Contact Information

Email Address: aemerson@cuesta.edu

Office Location/ Hours: Tuesdays & Thursdays 11:30-12:00 in 3412


Instructor Contact Expectations 

I am typically available before and after class to speak with students. If you need to reach me outside of class time, the best and fastest way to contact me is email through your Canvas course Inbox.  I will generally respond to your emails within 24 hours during weekdays.  During busy times of the semester, the response time may increase to 48 hours.  On weekends, I will do my best to get back to you ASAP, but I cannot guarantee an expeditious response. 


Course Environment

This is a face-to-face course that meets twice a week. Our class time together will include brief lectures, small and large group work, in-class writing, and research. This face-to-face course will also be using the web-based learning management system Canvas as a supplemental method to provide information, collect submissions, track grades, collaborate on course material, and communicate with each other.


Course Description

English 201A provides a study of and practice in the use of language and writing of argumentative/analytical essays and research papers.


Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completing English 201A successfully, students will be able to

  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; and
  5. Write clear, grammatical sentences with few errors.


Quote 2: "Success isn't always about greatness. It's about consistency.  Consistent hard work leads to success.  Greatness will come." Dwayne Johnson, American actor


Textbook and Materials

This class requires a significant amount of weekly reading.  We will be completing homework assignments and class discussions based on weekly reading assignments.  Therefore, you will need the textbooks right away.  Textbooks may be purchased reliably through the Cuesta College Official BookstoreLinks to an external site.Links to an external site., but you may rent or purchase a new or used copy through other sites.  Be certain to purchase the correct edition.    

  • ISBN: 9781319245061--Axelrod, Rise B. and Charles R. Cooper. The Concise St. Martin’s Guide to Writing, 9th edition
  • ISBN: 9781558619234--Cuesta College 2018-2019 Book of the Year: Black Dove by Ana Castillo
  • All other course materials are accessible through our Canvas LMS.


Course Policies & Content

A syllabus and weekly schedule that details class objectives, policies, types of assignments, grades, and student resources will be distributed the first day of class and will also be available in our Canvas course. 



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)Links to an external site.Links to an external site. at 805-546-3148.


Accessing Canvas

You can access Canvas by logging into MyCuesta, then clicking on Canvas listed under Pick a Service, 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.Links to an external site. Once logged into Canvas, you will be directed on where to get started. Be sure to read all the directions on the course home page.  

If you are having difficulty logging into Canvas after 8/15/22 and need assistance, please email me or technical support at this email address: support@my.cuesta.edu


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. If you use your phone to access Canvas, the interface does not offer all of the same features and can result in some difficulties completing the course.

Canvas 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.Links to an external site.. You can also view the FAQs about Technical RequirementsLinks to an external site.Links to an external site..


See you in class!

Quote 3: "A scholar is committed to building on knowledge that others have gathered, correcting it, confirming it, enlarging it."  Parker J. Palmer, American educator, activist

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