Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2022
Units: 5
Hours: 5 lecture per week (60 total per quarter)
Prerequisite: Appropriate placement through Foothill College's placement model (i.e., guided self-placement) or successful completion of Level 5 courses: ESLL 125 & ESLL 249.
Advisory: Not open to students with credit in ESL 26; designed for students whose native language is not English.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Area II: English
Transferable: CSU/UC
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Evaluate, use, and document sources appropriately to develop a position on a topic.
  • Write an argumentative essay of at least 1,000 words articulating and developing a position on an issue discussed in one or more texts.


The techniques and practice of expository and argumentative writing based on critical reading and thinking. Analytical reading of authentic, college-level expository and persuasive texts intended for a native speaker audience, chosen to represent a broad spectrum of opinions and ideas, writing styles, and cultural experiences and perspectives. Fulfills the Foothill College reading and composition requirement for the AA/AS degree.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:


  1. Critically read and closely analyze academic texts, student writing, and selected college-level non-fiction prose written on a level of difficulty equivalent to the literary work of Cathy Park Hong (Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning), Sharmila Sen (Not Quite Not White), and Trevor Noah (Born A Crime) for their content and rhetorical features
  2. Determine how the author's assumptions regarding the readers' background knowledge/experience and the author's purpose contribute to the organization of the text
  3. Critically discuss ideas presented by the author, especially in comparison to the ideas of other authors and the students' own views
    1. Use supporting details from multiple areas, such as learner background knowledge, historical references, internal text structures, and personal experience, to make inferences about a given text
  4. Read and provide feedback on classmates' compositions


  1. Write text-based expository, analytical, and argumentative essays
  2. Integrate ideas from multiple sources
  3. Utilize level-appropriate, target vocabulary and varied sentence structures
  4. Proofread own work to find and correct language errors related to syntax, semantics, and prosody

Course Content


  1. Read critically and closely analyze at least two book-length college-level and/or professional texts and student texts, supplemented at instructor's discretion by additional readings, handbook, reference, and/or rhetoric
    1. Identify the author's main idea, audience, and purpose
    2. Analyze author's writing technique and stylistic choices
    3. Analyze and evaluate the types of support, evidence, and reasoning used by the author
    4. Identify logical fallacies and appeals to emotion
    5. Recognize value system differences when judging and evaluating the effectiveness of a written product
    6. Notice elements of syntax, such as noun phrases, complete subjects, reporting verbs, to understand rhetorical features, such as voice, tone, and diction
  2. Determine how the author's assumptions regarding the readers' background knowledge/experience and the author's purpose contribute to the organization of the text
  3. Critically discuss ideas presented by the author, especially in comparison to the ideas of other authors and the students' own views
  4. Read and provide feedback on classmates' compositions
    1. Point out specific effective writing techniques, such as:
      1. Main idea or thesis
      2. Supporting details
      3. Organizational patterns
      4. Coherence and cohesion
  5. Ask questions for clarification
  6. Provide constructive criticism


  1. Write text-based expository, analytical and argumentative essays totaling 6,000 words
    1. Generate ideas
    2. Select appropriate topic(s)
    3. Formulate an arguable thesis
    4. Organize and develop ideas with adequate support, evidence, and reasoning
    5. Avoid logical fallacies
    6. Interrogate different aspects of a text including writer's intent, literary craft, and the reader's assumptions and expectations

    7. Use hedging language to express differing degrees of objectivity, certainty, and proximity to the subject
    8. Use diction and tone appropriate to the rhetorical purpose and audience identified in the specific writing assignment
  2. Integrate ideas from multiple sources
    1. Evaluate credibility and relevance of selected sources
    2. Read sources for a specific purpose
    3. Synthesize information from several sources
    4. Determine what to summarize, paraphrase, or quote from published works, class discussion, and other sources
    5. Incorporate primary and/or secondary source information appropriately for given assignments
    6. Integrate quotations with rhetorical, grammatical, and mechanical correctness
    7. Follow MLA guidelines for documentation of sources and formatting of manuscripts
    8. Use signal phrases and parenthetical citations accurately to attribute words and ideas to their original sources
    9. Discuss current/counter arguments
    10. Identify and avoid plagiarism
  3. Use effective language and edit for correctness and clarity
    1. Use a variety of cohesive devices including transitional adverbs, transitional phrases, pronouns, and repetition of key terms
    2. Use a variety of sentence types including phrasal modifiers and complex sentences with attention to agreement, tense, aspect, number, word order/function
    3. Use a wide range of vocabulary with only occasional errors of word form, choice, or usage which do not obscure meaning
    4. Edit for correctness
      1. English sentence structure (S + V +O)
      2. Subject-verb agreement
      3. Verb tense
      4. Pronoun-antecedent agreement
      5. Word form
      6. Word choice
      7. Punctuation
      8. Fragments
      9. Fused sentences
    5. Revise: Make substantial changes in content (e.g., delete, add, or rearrange ideas) based on feedback from peers, from the TLC, and from the instructor
  4. Write and edit a complete essay in class in 80 minutes. When the timed/in-class essay is given as the final exam, the allotted time will be 120 minutes

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

1. When taught on campus: no special facilities or equipment needed.
2. When taught virtually, ongoing access to computer and email; web access with JavaScript and cookies enabled.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

Analysis of assigned reading selections
Informal writing assignments
1. Double-entry journals
2. Analytical paragraphs
3. Pre-writes
At least three text-based, revised essays of approximately 1,500 words each
1. A synthesis of the themes/ideas of two or more readings (this is NOT a comparison/contrast essay)
2. An argumentative essay supporting or refuting issues raised in one or more readings
3. A problem-solution or persuasive essay on a topic of current relevance utilizing multiple sources
At least two timed/in-class essays of approximately 750 words, at least one of which is an argumentative essay, based on one or more reading selections
Participation in class discussions
Exercises and quizzes

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

Lecture presentations
Classroom discussion

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Axelrod, Rise B., Charles R. Cooper, and Ellen Carillo. Reading Critically, Writing Well. 2020.

Barnet, Sylvan. A Short Guide to College Writing. 2014.

Kennedy, X.J., Dorothy M. Kennedy, and Marcia F. Muth. The Bedford Guide for College Writers. 2020.

Lunsford, Andrea A., John J. Ruszkiewicz, and Keith Walters. Everything's an Argument with Readings. 2019.

Wood, Nancy, and James Miller. Perspectives on Argument. 2018.

Graff, Gerald, and Cathy Birkenstein. They Say/I Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing. 2018.

Hacker, Diana, and Nancy Sommers. A Writer's Reference. 2018.

Although one of the representative texts for this course is older than the suggested "5 years or newer" standard, it remains a seminal text in this area of study.

When taught virtually: supplemental lectures, handouts, tests, and assignments delivered via email and/or web; feedback on tests and assignments delivered via email and/or web; class discussion may be delivered in chat rooms, listservs, and newsgroups or through Canvas.

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

  1. Required readings from the text and other sources.
  2. Five essays, two of which are written in class, and three of which are written outside of class and are approximately 1500 words each.
  3. Other writing such as responses to reading, journal writing, and summaries.


English as a Second Language (ESL)