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Azin Arefi - English

EWRT 1A-Reading & Composition

Course Introduction:

English 1A is a transfer level course in reading and composition that prepares students to analyze college texts and to write college papers.  This course serves as an introduction to academic reading and writing. We will examine closely a variety of texts from culturally diverse traditions. We will identify common rhetorical strategies used in the writing of others and examine how to implement effective strategies in our own writing.  We will identify components of essay writing and learn how to compose clear, well-organized, and well-developed essays, with varying purposes and differing audiences, from personal to academic.

Course Objectives:

In the course of taking this class, you will:

  • Read diverse narrative and academic texts and analyze them from a variety of perspectives.
  • Generate ideas and topics for essays.
  • Integrate and organize ideas.
  • Formulate and support theses.
  • Develop personal style/voice appropriate to purpose and audience.
  • Identify and practice common rhetorical strategies used in academic writing.
  • Practice writing as a multi-step process, with particular attention to planning and revision.
  • Compose clear, well-organized, and well-developed essays with varying purposes and differing audiences, from personal to academic.


Course Requirements:

  • Regular attendance and active participation in class discussions.
  • Keeping up-to-date on the assignments and readings.
  • Four papers.
  • A Final examination.
  • Keeping a Journal
  • Unannounced quizzes, in-class assignments, and presentations.


Required Texts:

  • A Course Reader, available from instructor
  • Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
  • The Pocket Handbook, 2nd Edition, Kirszner & Mandell, eds. Or another grammar guidebook.

Course Evaluation<o:p></o:p>

The grade break down is shown in the table below:







Final Exam




Participation/Peer Editing


Group Work/Presentations




Grading Scale:

100-95% = A, 94-90 = A-, 89-85% = B, 84-80=B-, 79-75% = C, 74-70=C-, 69-60% = D, 59%-below = F

Course Assignments:

Journal. You will keep a course journal in which you write responses to particular questions or ideas discussed in class or in specified readings. You will write most of your journal entries in class, but some will be given as homework. You may write them in a notebook or on loose paper. I will periodically collect and evaluate them. 

Quizzes. These quizzes measure your preparation for class and your understanding of class lecture and concepts covered. Quizzes will be given at the beginning of the class period so do not be late.  They are meant to reward you for your preparation and your on-time attendance.

Participation/Peer Review. You are expected to come to this class prepared with paper, pen, appropriate text, having completed the reading and all assignments due, and ready to participate in discussion. In addition, you will be reviewing the work of your classmates. By reviewing the writing of others, you not only help them, you help yourself. You will learn to identify strengths and weaknesses in the writing of others and, in turn, how to identify them in your own writing. I will grade you on the quality of your review. Other students’ drafts with your comments will be submitted to me as part of the grading process.

Papers. You will be required to write four papers during the course. In each of these essays you should pay close attention to style and mechanics and implement the writing skills we discuss in class. Your papers should be typed, double-spaced, 12-pt font, with one-inch margins all around. Your name, date, course section, and paper # should appear on the upper right hand corner. Your paper should have an interesting title. Each essay must be organized and written clearly. Careful proofreading and correct grammar and punctuation usage are crucial. Three to five pages is appropriate for each. Use MLA format. Please be sure to staple your rough draft to the back of your final draft before turning it in. Papers are due at the beginning of class on the due date.

Final Exam. Your final exam will be scantron and essay based and will test your ability to demonstrate critical reading and writing skills you have mastered in class.

Course Policies:

Plagiarism. Plagiarism is using someone else’s words or ideas in direct quote, paraphrase, or summary form and submitting them as your own. I expect no copying or cheating whatsoever, at any time, by any student. IF YOU EVER FEEL BOGGED DOWN BY WRITER’S BLOCK OR FRUSTRATED WITH AN ASSIGNMENT IN ANY WAY, COME TALK TO ME! IF YOU ARE WORRIED ABOUT YOUR WRITER’S VOICE AND WANT TO SOUND BETTER ON PAPER, COME TALK TO ME! Plagiarism is often committed on accident, by people who want to sound better or by those who do not know how to correctly incorporate and cite research into their papers. But these are not excuses for it. Plagiarism, whether intentional or not, is always wrong. Plagiarism may result in automatic failure of the course.

Attendance: Attendance every day is required. You should come to class on time and prepared. If you have to be absent, please call or email to excuse yourself.  If you have three unexcused absences, I will assume that you have withdrawn, and give you a W. Repeated tardiness will also affect your attendance grade.

Late work: As a rule, I do not accept late work, since it is unfair to those who turn in their work on time. However if an emergency arises and you notify me, I can make exceptions. If the late work is accepted, it will have points deducted.

Respect: In class we will be discussing a lot of issues and each individual person's opinion must be respected. You are to listen to each other and be considerate of one another at all times. You can disagree with someone, but always in a respectful manner. Disruptive behavior may result in being dropped from the class. As part of that, please remember to turn off cell phones, as they are disruptive to the class. If your cell phone does go off, you are to bring treats for the class the next day J.  



Julia Alvarez “Snow”,
Malcolm X, “The Shoeshine Boy”
Frank McCourt, “Brooklyn & Limerick”
Maya Angelou, “Graduation”
George Orwell, “Shooting an Elephant”
Julia Alvarez, “Queens, 1963,”
Robert Frost, “The Road Not Taken,”
Walt Whitman, “A Noiseless Patient Spider”,
Marge Piercy, “Barbie Doll”,
Denise Duhamel, “Buddhist Barbie”,
Walt Whitman, “One’s-Self I Sing,” “When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer”
William Carlos Williams “This Is Just to Say,”
John Donne, “The Flea,”
Martin Espada, “Coca-Cola and Coco Frio,”
Robert Haas, “A Story About the Body”,
Lennon & McCartney, “Eleanor Rigby”
William Trevor, “Gilbert’s Mother”
Gabriel Garcia Marquez, “The Woman Who Came At Six O’Clock”
Ernest Hemingway, “A Soldier’s Home”
Alice Munro, “Boys & Girls”
“Noureddin & The Fair Persian” from The Arabian Nights
Susan Glaspell, Trifles
Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire
“Fiction Across Media: Film”
Julio Cortazar, “Blow-Up”
Bharati Mukherjee, “Two Ways to Belong to America”;
Hughes, “Let America Be America Again”,
W.H. Auden, “Unknown Citizen”
Amy Tan, “Mother Tongue”
Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston, “A Tapestry of Hope”
Kurt Vonnegut, “Cold Turkey”
Harold Pinter, “Art, Truth, & Politics”
Paul Goldberger, “Quick! Before It Crumbles!”
Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier

In-Class Movie, Rebecca
In-class Movie: Blow Up
In-class Movie, A Streetcar Named Desire

email icon Email: Azin Arefi
phone icon Phone: 408.864.8547


Last Updated: 4/25/16