El Camino College

English Department

English 1A
College Reading and Writing

English 1A
Dr. Y. Joy Zhao

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Dr Joy Zhao

1.  Course (Catalog) Description: 

This course is designed to strengthen the students’ ability to read with understanding and discernment, to discuss assigned readings intelligently, and to write clearly. Emphasis will be on writing essays in which each paragraph relates to a controlling idea, has an introduction and a conclusion, and contains primary and secondary support. College-level reading material will be assigned to provide the stimulus for class discussion and writing assignments, including a required research paper.

2.  Course Objectives: 

  1. Recognize and revise sentence-level grammar and usage errors.
  2. Read and apply critical-thinking skills to numerous published articles and to college-level, book-length works for the purpose of writing and discussion.
  3. Apply appropriate strategies in the writing process including prewriting, composing, revising, and editing techniques.
  4. Compose multi-paragraph, thesis-driven essays with logical and appropriate supporting ideas, and with unity and coherence.
  5. Demonstrate ability to locate and utilize a variety of academic databases, peer-reviewed journals, and scholarly websites.
  6. Utilize MLA guidelines to format essays, cite sources in the texts of essays, and compile Works Cited lists.

 3.  Student Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of this course, students will:
  1. Complete a research-based essay that has been written out of class and undergone revision. It should demonstrate the student’s ability to thoughtfully support a single thesis using analysis and synthesis.
  2. Integrate multiple sources, including a book-length work and a variety of academic databases, peer-reviewed journals, and scholarly websites. Citations must be in MLA format and include a Works Cited page.
  3. Demonstrate logical paragraph composition and sentence structure. The essay should have correct grammar, spelling, and word use.

 4.   A Special Message to Students with Disabilities:

It is the policy of the El Camino Community College District to encourage full inclusion of people with disabilities in all programs and services. Students with disabilities who believe they may need accommodations in this class should contact the campus Special Resource Center (310) 660-3295, as soon as possible.  This will ensure that students are able to fully participate.  

 5.  Academic Honesty and Plagiarism:

 El Camino College places a high value on the integrity of its student scholars.  When an instructor determines that there is evidence of dishonesty in any academic work (including, but not limited to cheating, plagiarism, or theft of exam materials), disciplinary action appropriate to the misconduct as defined in BP 5500 may be taken.  A failing grade on an assignment in which academic dishonesty has occurred and suspension from class are among the disciplinary actions for academic dishonesty (AP 5520).  Students with any questions about the Academic Honesty or discipline policies are encouraged to speak with their instructor in advance.

6.  Attendance Policy:

Students are expected to attend their classes regularly. Students who miss the first class meeting or who are not in regular attendance during the add period for the class may be dropped by the instructor. Students whose absences from a class exceed 10% of the scheduled class meeting times may be dropped by the instructor. However, students are responsible for dropping a class within the deadlines published in the class schedule. Students who stop attending but do not drop may receive a failing grade.






Credit in Engl. A and/or 2R or equivalent, or qualifying score on the placement test



English 1A aims to help develop and strengthen your ability to handle college reading and writing assignments. The course covers reading strategies, composing stages and writing standards, literary analysis, and research. Through lecture, class discussion, peer activity and frequent practice, you will obtain vital skills for reading, for writing, for analyzing literature, and for doing research.


1.      To enable you to write strong academic essays, applying unity, coherence and support

2.      To enable you to improve reading comprehension and speed

3.      To enable you to understand, analyze and appreciate literature

4.      To enable you to conduct library/Internet research and incorporate research information in writing, using MLA documentation style


Humorously Serious, A College Reader and Rhetoric 

Humor Your English Grammar: A Trouble-Shooting Guide and Workbook

Mark Twain & Henry James: Stories and a Step-by-Step Guide for Literary Analysis

Star Student Essays: A Motivating Reader (Optional) 

[Available at ECC Bookstore on campus and online]


Regular attendance and active participation are essential. Absences, which are recorded, can affect your learning and grade. You may be dropped if you have four or more absences in the semester. For an unavoidable absence, notify me beforehand or afterwards. When absent, please contact your group members for missed information ASAP. Absences are not excuses for late or make-up works. Tardiness and early retreat, being disruptive to class activities, are also recorded. Three such instances count as one absence.

On the other hand, perfect attendance in the semester will earn you 10 bonus points, and groups that stay together till the end will earn another 10 bonus points for each member.

You are expected to be courteous and respectful to one another to ensure a learning-conducive environment. Your friendly presence and positive contribution are vital to your own success and the success of your group and the class.

Please be aware that it is your responsibility to drop yourself when absolutely necessary; yet, you are advised to talk with a counselor or me first.


Nobody can write well without practicing! Altogether, you will write five essays—two regular essays, an in-class essay, a group essay, and a research paper (plus an essay in the final exam). The research paper and the final exam must be passed for a passing grade in the course. All the essays, except the in-class one, must be typed using the MLA format. Both your peers and I will evaluate your essays.

Please turn in your essays on time; essays that are late by one class meeting will be accepted yet with a 10-point penalty. (Essays late by more than one class meeting will be accepted at any time before the finals week but graded only at the end with a 15-point penalty.) All the essays bearing your name must be written by you. No writing guilty of plagiarism—using others’ words and ideas as if one’s own—will be graded.  


To eliminate errors and strengthen your writing, you will do quick grammar and writing exercises—mostly during the first 10-15 minutes of the class—and will participate in mini-grammar workshops. These exercises must be done and submitted on time; no late or make-up exercises will be accepted.  


The final exam, which includes an essay, will help you find out how much you have learned in the semester—your knowledge of and skills on reading, essay writing, and research.

You must pass the final exam to pass the course.     


       A Quick Summary

Task % Points
Participation 0 (20 Potential Bonus)
Papers/Projects + Process 50+10 600
Exercises 20 200
Final Exam 20 200

Total:                       100        1,000


90% & above 80-89% 70-79% 60-59% 58% & lower






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El Camino College, 16007 Crenshaw Blvd., Torrance, California 90506
Phone: 310-532-3670 Toll Free: 1-866-ELCAMINO (1-866-352-2646)
 Last Published 7/14/16