Contra costa college

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Course Description

ESL 192-6554 – 5 Units -- Introduction to Essay Writing for ESL Students




Office Hours:

Office Phone:

Class Dates:



Final Exam:

Advisory: Successful completion of ESL 189 or appropriate score on ESL Placement Test.

COURSE DESCRIPTON: This course provides instruction in essay writing for advanced ESL students.


Students will demonstrate ability to write unified, coherent essays of 500 words incorporating rhetorical styles appropriate to the purpose of the essay. Students will be able to communicate their ideas clearly and effectively.

At the completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Write unified, coherent essays of approximately 450-700 words with a clear focus on a main idea.

  2. Connect personal experience and texts to social issues and current events and reach logical conclusions.

  3. Use rhetorical styles appropriate to the purpose of the essay.

  4. Organize and develop effective detailed support by giving relevant and accurate information.

  5. Write effective introductions and conclusions.

  6. Use a range of low frequency vocabulary specific to the content.

WHAT WE WILL DO: [optional – may be modified]
In this class we will read a variety of articles on academic topics and current events and personal essays. We will analyze how these texts are written. We will write essays of approximately 450-700 words and other short assignments related to the readings.


  1. Instructor feedback on student writing

  2. Text exercises, including reading comprehension and rhetorical analysis

  3. Explicit instruction on focus, development, rhetorical styles, and grammar and mechanics as necessary

  4. Pair and group discussions and feedback

Textbook: Inspired to Write (2004). Withrow, Brookes & Cummings. Cambridge University Press.

1. Four in-class writing assignments: 25%

2. Four out-of-class essays with revisions 30%

3. Weekly assignments including quizzes,

responses to readings, summaries, and

responses to questions 20%

4. Final Exam 25%

A letter grade will be assigned based on the following categories: 90-100% = A,

80-89% = B, 70-79% = C, 60-69% = D, below 60% = F. Students who choose

the Credit/No Credit option will receive CR for an average of 70% and above,

or NC for an average of 69% or below.

Course expectations: [Optional – can be modified]

I expect you to be present in every class meeting and participate actively in class activities. You must come to class on time and complete your homework before class begins. This is a four-unit course, so you will have to spend approximately eight hours a week doing homework and preparing for class.

Attendance policy: If you miss class often, regardless of the reason, you will not learn the material covered by the course. For that reason, there are no excused absences in this course. If you miss more than three class meetings/six hours of class, you may be dropped from the class. When you are late to class, I will add up the number of minutes you miss. Each fifty-minute period will count as an hour of class. If you miss class, contact a classmate or me to find out what the homework is. I expect you to complete the homework even if you miss class.
When students are late, unprepared, or distracted, they can’t learn and they don’t let other students learn, so we must all do our part to create a good learning environment. This includes respecting and supporting other members of the class, doing our share of the work in groups, staying on task, speaking English, and listening to the instructor or other students when they are speaking to the class. Telephones and beepers must be turned off and put away before class begins.

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