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H ow t o S u c c e e d i n E n gl i s h C l a s s e s at Oakland Community College H e r e ’s W h a t Yo u N e e d t o D o : KNOW what you’re getting into REALIZE the importance of English studies ORGANIZE your time, DO your work, and PLAN ahead ATTEND class and PARTICIPATE regularly MAINTAIN a clear focus and positive attitude ASK for help INFORM yourself! READ, WRITE, THINK and REFERENCE helpful materials. K N O W w h a t y o u ’ re g e t t i n g i n t o College English classes differ from high school English classes. Compared to past classroom experiences, college English classes are often more demanding in terms of time, effort and level of challenge. Students in college English classes must make an honest commitment to reading, writing and thinking. REALIZE the importance of English studies Students use knowledge and expertise gained through English studies in all college classes and throughout their lives. All thoughts require organization. Good communication skills are necessary in school, on the job and at home. Strengthening reading, writing and thinking skills improves self confidence. English studies encourage creativity. ORGANIZE your time, DO your work and PLAN ahead Schedule English classes with your strengths and weakness in mind. Follow the course’s tentative schedule and come to every class prepared. Complete all work as scheduled, or even better ahead of schedule. Read all assignments in a timely manner. Reread! Start thinking and prewriting for papers early. Revise! Don’t procrastinate! Ask me to show the corresponding video I made in 2006 in the classroom. Hear students peers share these truths! AT T E N D c l a s s a n d PA RT I C I PAT E e n t h u s i a s t i c a l l y Aim to attend every single class meeting. Don’t miss class unless absolutely necessary. Take full responsibility for catching up if absent. In a writing class, always write! Record observations and take notes every class meeting. Listen attentively to instructors and classmates. Volunteer to take part in class discussions thoughtfully and regularly. Be responsible: read and reread all handouts! Follow the Student Code of Conduct. M A I N TA I N a c l e a r fo c u s a n d p o s i t i v e a t t i t u d e When polled in Winter 2006 about achieving success in college English classes, over and over Oakland Community College students taking Academic Literacy and Composition courses replied, “Keep an open mind!” and take English classes “seriously.” One student suggested not to view English as a “burden” but as “enjoyment.” Be ready to work hard throughout the semester. Don’t be afraid! As one student explained, “Stay optimistic!” Keep in mind that effort always pays off in an English class. A S K fo r h e l p If you encounter problems, go to your instructor first. Utilize instructor’s office hours and contact information. Students may be able to establish a professional relationship with instructors during office hours, before and after class, over the telephone, through e-mail, via instructor websites or Blackboard/Educator online services. Check syllabus for details. Seek tutoring and attend Success Seminars in the ASC. Ask librarians for help with search terms and other research questions. They want to help! Work with classmates outside of class. Join or form study groups. Always obtain contact information from a few other reliable students in class. INFORM yourself! READ, WRITE, THINK and REFERENCE helpful materials Read newspapers. The Detroit Free Press, The Detroit News, The Oakland County Press, The New York Times and a world of newspapers are available free through the OCC Library. Read magazines and journals. Hundreds of titles are available in hardcopy and free online through the OCC Library. Spend time reading print and online publications to be up-to-date with current events. Read books: choose fiction and/or nonfiction; follow personal and professional interests. Write publicly: college applications, resume cover letters, letters to the editor, editorials, narrative essays, arts reviews, research articles, fiction, poetry, plays, screenplays . . . Write privately: family stories, diaries, journals, personal letters. Use the Oakland Community College Library regularly. Listen to news and information sources such National Public Radio (NPR), WDET 101.9 in the Detroit area. Watch PBS Public Television and other educational programming. Attend concerts, speeches, museums, talks, author readings, performances, debates. FILL YOUR WALLET OF C U LT U R A L C U R R E N C Y S o y o u ’ ll h av e mo re to say when you speak and write!
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