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ACE English Composition 1 (3 Semester Credits) - Course Syllabus


English Composition 1 develops students’ critical reading, writing, and research skills at the college level, with course materials structured around essential parts of the academic writing process. Key topics include reading strategies; rhetorical modes, multiple stages of the writing process; how to conduct research and cite relevant sources; grammar and mechanics; and success strategies. Each of the six modules is packed with relevant, engaging, curated content which includes text, video, interactive self-check activities, and more.

 Textbook: English Composition 1 – Lumen Learning with Cerritos College

(This text is provided to students as part of their enrollment.)

Prerequisites: No prerequisites

Course objectives:

Throughout the course, you will meet the following goals:

  • Define and evaluate college success skills.
  • Evaluate academic reading strategies.
  • Evaluate the process of academic writing.
  • Evaluate the process of academic research.
  • Critique patterns of academic grammar and punctuation usage.
  • Demonstrate your learning by completing a written project. 

Course Evaluation Criteria

A passing percentage is 70% or higher.

Grading Scale                                                                                   

A = 95-100%

B = 88-94.9%

C = 80-87.9%

D = 70-79.9%

F = Below 70%

ACE Course Retake Policy

2 (two) attempts are allowed on every quiz, and 2 (two) attempts are allowed on every final exam.

Proctorio – Video Proctoring          

All Final Exams are video proctored with Proctorio. (

ADA Policy

Excel Education Systems is committed to maintaining an inclusive and accessible environment to all students, across all of its schools, in accordance with the 1990 Federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

There is a total of 220 points in this course:

Grade Weighting

Module Quizzes          35%

Written Project            35%

Final Exam                  30%


Assessment Points Available Percentage of Final Grade
Module 1 Quiz 30 7
Module 2 Quiz 40 9.35
Module 3 Quiz 30 7
Module 4 Quiz 20 4.65
Module 5 Quiz 30 7
Written Project 20 35
Final Exam 50 30
Total 220 100


Course Contents and Objectives


Module 1 – College Writing Success Skills
Lessons 1.1 Habits for Success

1.2 Critical Thinking

1.3 Time Management

1.4 Writing in College

1.5 Computer-Based Writing

1.6 Conclusion to College Writing Success Skills

  • Identify and practice habits for success.
  • Identify and apply critical thinking skills.
  • Analyze time management practices.
  • Define successful approaches towards college-level writing tasks.
  • Apply word processing skills to college writing tasks.
  • Develop a personal definition of success.
  • Identify specific strategies to achieve success.
  • Identify support network options.
  • Define critical thinking.
  • Identify the role that logic plays in critical thinking.
  • Apply critical thinking skills to problem-solving scenarios.
  • Apply critical thinking skills to evaluation of information.
  • Identify common types of writing tasks given in a college class.
  • Describe the purpose of writing tasks, and what an instructor might expect to see from your work.
  • Recognize strategies for success on particular types of writing tasks.
  • Define writing anxiety.


Module 2 - Reading
Lessons 2.1 Types of Reading Material

2.2 Characteristics of Texts, Part 1

2.3 Characteristics of Texts, Part 2

2.4 Characteristics of Texts, Part 3

2.5 Characteristics of Texts, Conclusion

2.6 Reading Strategies

2.7 The Rhetorical Situation

2.8 Academic Reading Strategies

2.9 Specialized Reading Strategies

2.10 Online Reading Comprehension

2.11 How to Read Effectively in Math

2.12 How to Read Effectively in the Social Studies

2.13 How to Read Effectively in the Sciences

2.14 5 Step Approach for Reading Charts and Graphs

2.15 Vocabulary

2.16 Strategies to Improve Your Vocabulary

2.17 Using Context Clues

2.18 The Relationship Between Reading and Vocabulary

2.19 Thesis

2.20 Locating and Evaluating Thesis Statement

2.21 The Organizational Statement

2.22 Logic and Structure

2.23 Rhetorical Modes

2.24 Inductive and Deductive Reasoning

2.25 Diagramming and Evaluating Arguments

2.26 Logical Fallacies

2.27 Evaluating Appeals to Ethos, Logos, and Pathos

2.28 Outcome: Supporting Claims

2.29 Types of Support

2.30 Supporting Claims

2.31 Summary Skills

2.32 How to Annotate

2.33 Paraphrasing

2.34 Quote Bombs

2.35 Summary Writing

2.36 Conclusion to Reading

  • Evaluate various types of reading material.
  • Evaluate general reading strategies.
  • Evaluate reading strategies for specialized texts.
  • Evaluate vocabulary usage.
  • Evaluate thesis ideas of texts.
  • Evaluate supporting claims of texts.
  • Evaluate use of logic and structure in texts.
  • Evaluate summary skills for reading comprehension.
  • Evaluate various forms of writing, from various sources.
  • Evaluate distinguishing characteristics of journalism, literature, nonfiction, and academic texts.
  • Evaluate strategies for reading on digital devices.
  • Evaluate strategies for reading math, social science, and science texts.
  • Evaluate strategies for reading graphics (charts, etc.).
  • Evaluate strategies for defining words from context.
  • Evaluate additional tools for defining words (i.e. dictionaries and reference works).
  • Evaluate strategies for retaining and using new words in a working vocabulary.
  • Evaluate explicit thesis statements in texts.
  • Evaluate implicit thesis statements in texts.
  • Evaluate strategies for using thesis statements to predict content of texts.
  • Evaluate basic features of rhetorical modes (narrative, comparison, definition, etc.).
  • Evaluate logical structures in argument.
  • Evaluate the impact of logical fallacies.
  • Evaluate various forms of support that can be used in a text to validate a thesis.
  • Evaluate use of personal forms of support (narrative, anecdote).
  • Evaluate use of research-based forms of support (facts, statistics, outside authority).
  • Evaluate relationship between the rhetorical context of a text, and the effectiveness of the types of support used.
  • Evaluate annotation strategies.
  • Evaluate strategies to paraphrase a text’s thesis statement.
  • Evaluate strategies to quote significant passages from a text.
  • Evaluate strategies to distinguish a text’s major claims from minor ones.
  • Evaluate strategies to convey the essential features of a text to someone who hasn’t read it.


Module 3 – The Writing Process
Lessons 3.1 Topic Selection

3.2 Starting a Paper

3.3 Choosing and Developing Topics

3.4 Back to the Future of Topics

3.5 Developing Your Topic

3.6 Outcome: Prewriting

3.7 Prewriting Strategies for Diverse Learners

3.8 Prewriting

3.9 Rhetorical Context

3.10 Working Thesis Statements

3.11 Finding Evidence

3.12 Using Personal Examples

3.13 Performing Background

3.14 Listening to Sources, Talking to Sources

3.15 Organizing

3.16 Moving Beyond the Five-Paragraph Theme

3.17 Introduction to Argument

3.18 The Three-Story Thesis

3.19 Organically Structured Arguments

3.20 Logic and Structure

3.21 The Perfect Paragraph

3.22 Introductions and Conclusions

3.23 Outcome: Drafting

3.24 From Outlining to Drafting

3.25 Flash Drafts

3.26 Drafting

3.27 Revising

3.28 Seeking Input from Others

3.29 Responding to Input from Others

3.30 The Art of Re-Seeing

3.31 Higher Order Concerns

3.32 Proofreading

3.33 Lower Order Concerns

3.34 Style

3.35 Proofreading Advice

3.36 “Correctness” in Writing

3.37 The Importance of Spelling

3.38 Punctuation Concerns

3.39 Conclusion to Writing Process

  • Evaluate strategies for personalizing an assigned topic.
  • Evaluate strategies for finding a focus for an unassigned topic.
  • Evaluate strategies for moving from general to specific.
  • Evaluate purpose and defining characteristics of prewriting.
  • Evaluate various prewriting strategies.
  • Evaluate rhetorical context for the writing task.
  • Evaluate the role of a working thesis statement.
  • Evaluate experience or examples from personal life as they relate to a topic.
  • Evaluate strategies for preliminary research on a topic.
  • Evaluate strategies for synthesis of research and personal ideas.
  • Evaluate effective techniques for quoting a source.
  • Evaluate effective techniques for paraphrasing a source.
  • Evaluate effective techniques for summarizing a source.
  • Evaluate appropriate rhetorical pattern for the topic and the task.
  • Evaluate components of an effective thesis statement.
  • Evaluate components of an effective logical argument.
  • Evaluate components of an effective paragraph.
  • Evaluate components of an effective essay body.
  • Evaluate components of an effective introduction.
  • Evaluate components of an effective conclusion.
  • Evaluate strategies for drafting from an outline.
  • Evaluate considerations unique to early drafts.
  • Evaluate the value of multiple drafts.
  • Evaluate the process of seeking input on writing from others.
  • Evaluate strategies for incorporating personal and external editorial comments.
  • Evaluate methods for re-seeing a piece of writing.
  • Evaluate higher order concerns for revision.
  • Evaluate lower order concerns for revision.
  • Evaluate strategies for improving sentence clarity.
  • Evaluate strategies for recognizing potential grammatical issues in a draft.
  • Evaluate strategies for recognizing potential spelling issues in a draft.
  • Evaluate strategies for recognizing potential punctuation issues in a draft.


Module 4 - Research
Lessons 4.1 Outcome: Finding Sources

4.2 The Research Process

4.3 Finding Sources

4.4 What are Scholarly Articles?

4.5 Finding Scholarly Articles and Using Databases

4.6 Database Searching

4.7 Advanced Search Strategies

4.8 Preliminary Research Strategies

4.9 Reading and Using Scholarly Sources

4.10 Outcome: Source Analysis

4.11 Evaluating Sources

4.12 CRAAP Analysis

4.13 Evaluating Websites

4.14 Synthesizing Sources

4.15 Writing Ethically

4.16 Academic Integrity

4.17 Defining Plagiarism

4.18 Avoiding Plagiarism

4.19 Using Sources in Your Writing

4.20 MLA Documentation

4.21 MLA Document Formatting

4.22 MLA Works Cited

4.23 Creating MLA Citations

4.24 MLA In-Text Citations

4.25 Conclusion to Research Process

  • Evaluate preliminary research strategies (developing a research plan, basic online searching, using Google).
  • Evaluate intermediate research strategies (advanced online searches, finding scholarly sources and primary and secondary sources, basic library searches, librarian consultation).
  • Evaluate advanced search strategies (advanced library searches, reading academic texts, using library databases).
  • Evaluate strategies for evaluating the rhetorical context (author, purpose, audience) of a source.
  • Evaluate strategies for evaluating the authority, reliability, and effectiveness of a source.
  • Evaluate relationship between a potential source and the writing task.
  • Evaluate strategies for comparison and synthesis between multiple sources.
  • Evaluate the definition of academic dishonesty.
  • Evaluate the definition of intentional and unintentional plagiarism.
  • Evaluate reasons for concerns about plagiarism and academic dishonesty in academic settings.
  • Evaluate strategies to avoid intentional and unintentional plagiarism and academic dishonesty, including summarizing, paraphrasing, and quoting.
  • Evaluate reasons for the use of MLA formatting and documentation.
  • Evaluate MLA document formatting, including page layout.
  • Evaluate the components of MLA Works Cited citations.
  • Evaluate the components of MLA in-text citations.


Module 5 - Grammar
Lessons 5.1 Outcome: Nouns and Pronouns

5.2 Nouns

5.3 Pronoun Cases and Types

5.4 Pronoun Antecedents

5.5 Try It: Nouns and Pronouns

5.6 Outcome: Verbs

5.7 Verb Types

5.8 Verb Tenses and Agreement

5.9 Non-Finite Verbs

5.10 Complex Verb Tenses

5.11 Try It: Verbs

5.12 Other Parts of Speech

5.13 Comparing Adjectives and Adverbs

5.14 Adjectives and Adverbs

5.15 Conjunctions

5.16 Prepositions

5.17 Articles

5.18 Try It: Other Parts of Speech

5.19 Punctuation

5.20 End Punctuation

5.21 Commas

5.22 Hyphens and Dashes

5.23 Apostrophes and Quotation Marks

5.24 Brackets, Parentheses, and Ellipses

5.25 Semicolons and Colons

5.26 Try It: Punctuation

5.27 Sentence Structure

5.28 Parts of a Sentence

5.29 Common Sentence Structures

5.30 Run-on Sentences

5.31 Sentence Fragments

5.32 Parallel Structure

5.33 Try It: Sentence Structure

5.34 Voice

5.35 Active and Passive Voice

5.36 Using the Passive Voice

5.37 Conclusion to Grammar

5.38 Try It: Voice

  • Critique the use of nouns.
  • Critique the use of different pronoun cases and types.
  • Critique passages for pronoun and antecedent clarity.
  • Critique passages for pronoun and antecedent agreement.
  • Critique the use of different types of verbs.
  • Critique passages for verb tenses and agreement.
  • Critique the use of different non-finite verbs.
  • Critique the use of advanced verb tenses.
  • Critique the use of adjectives.
  • Critique the use of adverbs.
  • Critique the use of conjunctions.
  • Critique the use of prepositions.
  • Critique the use of articles.
  • Critique the use of end punctuation: periods, question marks, exclamation marks.
  • Critique the use of commas.
  • Critique the use of semicolons and colons.
  • Critique the use of hyphens and dashes.
  • Critique the use of apostrophes and quotation marks.
  • Critique the use of brackets, parentheses, and ellipses.
  • Critique the use of common sentence structures.
  • Critique the use of common sentence punctuation patterns.
  • Critique passages, revising for run-on sentences.
  • Critique passages, revising for sentence fragments.
  • Critique the use of parallel structure.
  • Critique the use of active voice.
  • Critique the use of passive voice.

ACE English Composition 1 (3 Semester Credits)