Skip to the content
Cal State L.A.



Laura Garrett
Office: E&T 608
English Department Mail Room: E & T 636
Office Hours: MW 11:40-1:20, 3:20-4:00
Campus Phone: 323.343.4156
Course Web Site:
Course blog:

Learning Objectives

§  Write with greater focus by generating a thesis that states a controlling purpose

§  Develop ideas more fully and fluently

§  Read and respond critically to outside texts

§  Analyze personal experiences with specific reference to an outside text

§  Incorporate quotations and paraphrase into essays with correct attribution

§  Use the writing process effectively to develop ideas and substantively revise essays

§  Edit final drafts to eliminate systematic errors in English sentence structure, mechanics, and usage

The purpose of this course is relatively straight-forward:  To work on improving your ability to think critically about texts (in whatever form you encounter them) and communicate clearly your ideas.  No magic solutions will be offered nor will you be taught a one-size fits all college essay format.  Upon successful completion of this course you will be eligible to take English 101. 

Required Work

There will be weekly reading and writing assignments in this class.  You will need to plan ahead carefully in order to complete the following tasks on time:

§  Weekly reading assignments

§  Four short essays (at least 3 pages each)

§  Two revised essays

§  One final exam essay/reflection

§  Six Reading Journals in which you will summarize and respond to the reading assignments from our text.

Please note that every assignment (the readings, the essays, and the journal entries) is required.  I will not accept a portfolio from anyone who has failed to complete all of the assignments.

Expectations: Attendance is mandatory. I will take attendance at the start of every class. If you are not present I will mark you absent. Arriving late will count as half of an absence.  If you miss more than four classes (or are late more than eight times) you will be disqualified from taking the final and therefore will fail the class. The English Department has a firm policy that states that no student may miss more than 20 percent of the class meetings.  If you must miss a class for a valid reason, please call the department number or email me and leave a message that includes how I can reach you so that we can make sure you don't fall behind the rest of the class. In addition, English Department policy states that composition students must attend the first two classes of the quarter to retain their place in the class.  Any student who is absent either the first or second class meeting will be dropped and the space given to another student who is trying to add.

Throw nothing away, and bring paper, our text, and your journals to class every time, unless otherwise instructed.

In conjunction with regular attendance, you must keep up with the work.  Late work is not acceptable and a missing assignment is counted as an absence.

Supplies: You will need some regular, lined notebook (8.5 x 11) paper, some dark-ink pens (blue or black), and one pen in a bright, unusual color—this we'll use for our class workshop exercises.  It’s a very good idea to purchase a decent American language dictionary.  From the bookstore pick up at least two standard-sized (8.5 x 11) bluebooks (exam books) to use for your reading journals and a 8.5 x 11 Manila folder for your portfolio. 

Texts: Our text is Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler.  It should be in the bookstore.  I will supply other supplemental texts.

Your Portfolio: For this class, ultimately you will be evaluated on the basis of three writing samples:  two essays written during the quarter, revised and edited (with rough drafts attached beneath the revision), and your final exam.  Due dates for each revision are noted on the schedule. 

Respect: Please turn off all cell phones, iPods, MP3 Players, etc. before class begins.  If you text during class, this indicates that you are not interested in what the class is doing or what I am saying, and therefore, not interested in passing the class.  Careful—you may get your wish. Please be respectful of the classroom experience of others. Please do not be one of those insufferably rude people. Unless the use of such devices is approved by the Office of Students with Disabilities, please do not use electronic devices during class.

Plagiarism: All students are expected to do their own work.  Please refer to the Academic Honesty Policy.  Plagiarism/cheating leads to failing the class and serious trouble for you. If you plagiarize or otherwise misrepresent the source of your work, you will receive a zero on the assignment and be reported to the Student Disciplinary Officer.

If you panic and are tempted to plagiarize or cheat, DO NOT. Contact me and we can negotiate a solution. Once you cheat, it is too late for you to negotiate anything.

Grades: Unless announced otherwise, these are the final grades that can be assigned:

CR—Credit:  You pass the course and are eligible to enroll in English 101 NC—No Credit: You must retake English 096

ADA Accommodations: Reasonable accommodation will be provided to any student who is registered with the Office of Students with Disabilities and requests needed accommodation.

5151 State University Drive . Los Angeles . CA 90032 . (323) 343-3000
© 2008 Trustees of the California State University

Last Update: 01/12/2016