Skip to the content
Cal State L.A.



Acrobat icon Click here to download the Course Syllabus as a PDF file. 

Laura Garrett
Office: E & T 608; phone (323) 343-4156 (Mail Room: E & T 636)
Office Hours: M/W 11:40-1:20 and 3:20-4:00
Course Web Site: 


Prerequisites: Completion of English 101 with a grade of C or better at CSULA, or the equivalent.

Course Catalog Description:  Prerequisite-- ENGL 101 or equivalent. Continuing to practice the rhetorical skills introduced in ENGL 101, students will develop analytical, interpretive, and information literacy skills necessary for constructing a well-supported, researched, academic argument. Graded A,B,C/NC.

Overall Objective:  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. We will build on ideas of audience, purpose, and the use of rhetorical strategies and organizations which you will have studied in English 101, and extend these ideas to larger projects requiring research and dealing with specialized audiences.  Furthermore, because the broad theme of this course is technology, ethics and the human body, my goal is that you will become more aware, not only of your own writing, but also about how we might imagine our future and how we live in the present.

Learning Objectives –The students will


Thin-film substrates, wafer fabrication, and electrical circuits shrinking daily to the width of an individual atom make possible the satellites taking high-resolution photographs of your backyard available on the Internet, and the terabytes and more of data streaming across fiber-optic trunk lines. This syllabus, in fact, comes to you through the miracle of modern technology.

That our technologies have developed at a tremendous rate is an historical fact. That technology is both savior and demon, benefactor and tyrant, is a banality that should surprise no one. But when these technologies converge, as they are, on the human body, what will be the result? What has technology made possible? What has technology made impossible? Where are we going with it, or where will it lead us? Are we living in the last of the human times?  What are the ethical implications of our love of all things technical?

These and other questions will guide us on our all-too-brief survey of the impact of technology on the “human,” and in fact, what that word might mean in the future. Through careful examination of texts and focused work on the writing process, we will explore these issues while improving our ability to focus, organize, develop, and articulate our ideas.

Course Requirements          

There is much reading and writing in this class.  You will need to be diligent about planning ahead and completing your tasks on time.  Please note that all assignments are required.  Listed below are the required assignments for this course:


Grading Policy:The distribution of points for the individual assignments in this course is listed in “Requirements” above. For the quarter, 200 points are possible. Plus and minus grades are used in the class.

Please note that in order to receive credit for this course, you must earn a grade of C or better (73% or higher).  A grade of C- or below (72% and below) is a No Credit grade.  If you receive a NC grade, you will have to take English 102 again.

In order to pass this course all assignments (papers and exams) must be legitimately attempted.  Plagiarism (see description below) does not constitute a legitimate attempt of the assignment.

Cell Phones: Texting during class is extraordinarily rude and foolish, and I will not tolerate it. Please be professional and treat yourself, me, and the class with respect.

Contacting the Instructor: The best way to contact me is email. Please use email professionally, and note that it is not the equivalent of texting. To be professional, please include an appropriate subject in the subject line and a salutation ("Dear Professor Garrett" will do). Please do not send me your work unless you have made arrangements with me ahead of time. If you are sending me your work, please include a message along with the attachment so that I know what I am about to open. You might even consider thanking me for accepting your (presumably late) work via email.

Attendance: Regular and prompt attendance is essential. Arriving late to class is rude and disruptive and will not be tolerated. If you cannot arrive to class on time you should consider taking classes at times more suited to your schedule. Regardless of the reason, failure to attend class or arriving to class late will affect your final quarter grade.  I also expect you to come awake, prepared and ready to engage in whatever work lies before you. 

Note: English Department policy states that composition students must attend the first two class meetings 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.

Written Assignments: Please note the following carefully when preparing your written assignments for this class:

Written assignments must be typed following standard formatting practices for college writing—use a readable type style (12 point type), indent paragraphs, double space between lines, and use one inch margins. Any style guide will contain information on formatting your written assignments for submission.

Before handing in written assignments, edit and proofread your work carefully.

Do not use plastic covers or report folders or title pages on your first two written assignments. Each assignment, though, should have your name, the course number, the date, and my name on separate lines (double-spaced) in the upper left corner of the first page. If the paper has a title, center it on the first page, after the above information.  The research paper does require a title page (but no folders).

Use page numbers and place them in the upper right corner of the page. If you are uncertain how to have word processing software generate the correct page number in the header of your document, ask someone in one of the labs.

Be consistent in your use of a citation format. You may use either MLA or APA. For a guide to these two citation systems, see the campus library’s APA or MLA style guides (available in the library or online).  I prefer MLA.

Late papers are not accepted. The assignment due dates are distributed on the first day of class, and the assignments are made available often weeks before they are due.

Academic Dishonesty/Cheating: Collaborating with others is encouraged when you are planning your papers, reviewing each other’s work, preparing for presentations or for exams. Study or reading groups can be effective ways to study and learn. However, when you write your papers, the text needs to be your own.

You must carefully observe the standard rules for acknowledging the sources of words and ideas. If you make use of a phrase or a quote or if you paraphrase another writer’s words or ideas, you must acknowledge the source of these words or ideas telling us the source of these materials. APA and MLA style differ on the exact format of this attribution, but the simple version is the name of the author and the page number (if appropriate) in parentheses at the end of the sentence containing the use of the source material. If you fail to acknowledge properly the source of your text, you will receive a zero on the assignment and be reported to the Student Disciplinary Officer.

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.

I have ordered the following texts for this class:

Required:  Huxley, Aldous, Brave New World.  

             Dick, Phillip K., Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep

             Birkenstein, Cathy and Gerald Graff, They Say, I Say

Other required readings will be distributed in class or made available online.

Optional: For anyone interested, I will be happy to recommend a writer’s handbook, and many fine ones are available in the campus bookstore. Also, if you do not already own a good single-language dictionary, I strongly encourage you to purchase one.

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

Last Update: 01/12/2016