Dream. Flourish. Succeed.

English 1A – Fall ’19

English 1A – Fall ’19

Assignment for Monday, Sept. 16th:

Please read the Cornel West essay “Prisoners of Hope” (distributed in class on the 11th);

ANNOTATE IT — ‘aggressively’! — and then…

Draft THREE ‘trial’/potential thesis statements in response to West’s essay — and possibly involving one or more of the other texts we’ve considered so far this semester.

–links will be added soon to assist with THESIS STATEMENTS.


Assignment for Wednesday Sept. 11th:

Turn one of your quotation-inclusive paragraphs into a One-Paragraph Essay.

— One page, max. — Typed, 1.5- or Dbl-spaced.  Nice clean font, 11-12 pt.

                                    Recipe For Success

1. Go with what you’ve got: Pick the paragraph you feel best about, or the one that deals with the reading you like best so far.

2. Copy what you’ve previously written, and paste it into Word or googledocs.

3. Try to get your writing into 1.5- or double-spacing, so it will be easier to work with.

4. Read it out-loud, or at the speed of speech with the voice in your head.

5. DON’T FALL IN LOVE WITH WHAT YOU’VE WRITTEN!!! — It’s time to see it in a new light, and build it up into a more complete, more ‘developed’ piece of written expression.

6. Strengthen some sentences. If you can’t “fix” a sentence, try saying it a different way.

7. Whatever you’ve written, you could probably add a NEW INTRO SENTENCE at the beginning. Try for an ‘on-ramp’ that starts with the ideas you’re dealing with, and don’t mention the source text right away.

8. Does your paragraph have a beginning, middle, and end? — The early middle is a good place for a one-sentence summary of the text you quote from!

9. Often, the best ‘conclusions’ are commitments to action, suggestions, or recommendations.

10. Swing the grammar hammer: Push for a ‘voice’ that you might read in a magazine. You can still be you, for sure — but push for the Academic You. — And don’t be shy about asking ‘grammar’ questions; it’s a great way to master phrasing and punctuation!



This website MAY serve the English 1A class taught by Chris Weidenbach (Cdub) at Laney College in Fall 2019.

Why “MAY”? — Because students will decide whether to go forward with the instructor’s plan to use a Canvas website or not. If we use Canvas, this WordPress site will be taken offline. If we don’t use Canvas, this site will be in full effect!

A finalized syllabus will be ready by the second week of class.

The required texts are a non-fiction book entitled TRIBE: On Homecoming & Belonging by Sebastian Junger (ISBN: 9781455566389), and an anthology of short essays called The Impossible Will Take a Little While, by Paul Rogat Loeb (ISBN: 9780465031733). Both are available at the Laney College Bookstore. If you want to check on its availability, you can contact the bookstore at 510-464-3514, or search availability at   https://www.bkstr.com/laneystore/home/en — But please note: I urge you NOT to begin reading TRIBE yet! We will start reading from the anthology the first week of September.

We will focus on public discourse around relevant issues, such as climate change, poverty, and social justice — and will also spend time mastering the expectations of writing in the academic universe, and in the academic voice. Students will be reading each other’s writing, and writing thoughtful responses to it.

The full 1A webpage content is not yet ready for Fall ’19, but it will take shape quickly!

Students, I look forward to meeting you in person — and to working with you to build a very successful, fulfilling semester!