English Department

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English Department

The ability to communicate effectively on paper is critical to your success academically and professionally. Coastline's English courses can help you prepare for a certificate, earn a degree, transfer to a university, or advance in your career. We recognize that students have busy schedules, so we offer classes taught by helpful and caring instructors in a variety of formats, including classroom, hybrid Independent Study, and online in 8-week and 16-week sessions.

Other than English C097, all composition courses require either a prerequisite course or a qualifying score on the English Placement Test. Learn more about the test at the Assessment Center. If you have any questions, contact Professor Marilyn Fry or Professor Kenneth Leighton (, English Department Co-Chairs.

The English Department's Philosophy Regarding Composition

Freshman Composition (English C100) is the only required English course for transfer A.A. degrees. The purpose of Freshman Composition is to provide students in their first semester of college with the skills and strategies necessary to be successful in all the rest of their college or university courses. Freshman Composition teaches students the structures of the most common essays required in other courses, the research methods necessary to write research reports for other courses, and the strategies for being successful in taking essay examinations in other courses.

The main focus of Freshman Composition is on the essay: how to organize various types of essays and how to develop ideas with specific facts, details, examples, and/or anecdotes. Punctuation and grammar are not specifically taught in English C100; the English Placement Test or prerequisite courses should have shown that students have achieved these skills before entering the course. (Students should also be able to read on at least the ninth-grade level.) Secondary elements of Freshman Composition are strategies for taking examinations, knowledge of research methods, and an introduction to logic and critical thinking.

English C097 (Basic Grammar and Writing), English C098 (Developmental Writing), and English C099 (Fundamentals of Composition) are preparatory courses that focus mainly on sentence structure, sentence variety, grammar, and punctuation. In English C097 and C098, students learn to write well-organized, well-developed paragraphs. Students begin the semester of English C099 writing paragraphs and then are writing structured essays by the end of the semester, further developing their skills in punctuation and grammar.

A variety of English courses below the English C097 level teach reading or specific punctuation or grammar subjects. The reading courses are 2 unit courses taught in class at the Le-Jao Center; the other courses are half-unit, self-paced online courses.

After completing English C100, students who are planning to transfer to the University of California, to any private college or university in California, or to any college or university in the rest of the United States or the world will take Critical Reasoning, Reading, and Writing (English C102). Students who are in the IGETC (Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum) Program are required to take this course. As the name implies, the focus is on reading critically, thinking critically, writing argumentative essays, and doing a research report. Twenty-five years ago, English C102 or a composition and literature course was also required for graduation from any of the universities in the California State University system. However, CSU dropped the second semester of composition in favor of requiring a logic/critical thinking class (generally a philosophy course), and the California community colleges followed suit. English C102 satisfies both the second semester of composition and the logic/critical thinking requirement.

For other types of writing, students can take Fiction Writing (English C133), Business English (English C103), Business Writing (English C135), or Business Communication (English C136).

Coastline has a wide variety of literature courses from which to choose. Most of these are offered once or twice a year. They are listed below in the courses available for the English major.

The English Major - TRANSFER A.A. DEGREE

The study of English provides opportunities to explore the world of literature. This English major produces graduates with demonstrated skills in literary analysis, critical thinking, and written communication. With this major, students will build important research and critical thinking skills. As English majors are learning to read with a critical eye, they are polishing their own writing skills.

Requirements for the major:

The following courses must be completed with a grade of 'C' or better.

  • English C102-Critical Reasoning, Reading, and Writing (3.0 units)
  • English C150-American Literature 1 (3.0 units)
  • English C155-American Literature 2 (3.0 units)
  • English C270-British Literature to 1800 (3.0 units)
  • English C275-British Literature since 1800 (3.0 units)

Choose one or more of the following literature courses.

  • English C140-Introduction to Literature (3.0 units)
  • English C143-Children's Literature (3.0 units)
  • English C144-The International Short Story (3.0 units)
  • English C145-American Literature: The Short Story (3.0 units)
  • English C146-Introduction to 20th Century Military Fiction (3.0 units)
  • English C181-Shakespeare (3.0 units)
  • English C296-Gothic Victorian Literature (3.0 units)
  • English C297-Contemporary Gothic Literature (3.0 units)
  • Theater Arts C101-Introduction to the History and Literature of the Theater

For the transfer A.A. degree, students take 18 or more units in the English Major plus the CSU or Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) General Education requirements for a total of 60 units.

English C102 counts for the A3-Critical Thinking requirement for the CSU A.A. Degree and for the Group B: Critical Thinking requirement for the IGETC A.A. Degree.

All of the literature courses (English C140 through English C297) also count for C2 Humanities credit for the CSU A.A. Degree. English C140, English C144, English C145, English C150, English C155, English C181, English C270, English C275, and Theater Arts C101 count in Group B: Humanities for the IGETC A.A. Degree.

English C144 and C145 also count for Coastline's Global and Multicultural Studies requirement.

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