COURSE OUTLINE
COURSE NAME:               Skills for College English
COURSE CODE:               COMM 1003
PREREQUISITES: Admissions or Placement Test
COREQUISITES:              none
PLAR ELIGIBLE: YES                  ( )       NO       (x)
EFFECTIVE DATE: September 2009
PROFESSOR: Christopher Simpson                         OFFICE #: N/A
PHONE: N/A:                EMAIL:

NOTE TO STUDENTS: Academic Departments at George Brown College will NOT retain historical copies
of Course Outlines. We urge you to retain this Course Outline for your future reference.

                                               FOR OFFICE USE ONLY

                            SIGNATURE                                       DATE

                              SIGNATURE                                       DATE

       DATE OF REVISION:__________________________________________________

EQUITY STATEMENT: George Brown College values the talents and contributions of its students, staff and community
partners and seeks to create a welcoming environment where equity, diversity and safety of all groups are fundamental.
Language or activities which are inconsistent with this philosophy violate the College policy on the Prevention of
Discrimination and Harassment and will not be tolerated. The commitment and cooperation of all students and staff are
required to maintain this environment. Information and assistance are available through your Chair, Student Affairs,
the Student Association or the Human Rights Advisor.

George Brown College is dedicated to providing equal access to students with disabilities. If you require academic
accommodations visit the Disability Services Office or the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Office on your campus.

STUDENT RESPONSIBILITIES: Students should obtain a copy of the Student Handbook and refer to it for additional
information regarding the grading system, withdrawals, exemptions, class assignments, missed tests and exams,
supplemental privileges, and academic dishonesty. Students are required to apply themselves diligently to the course of
study, and to prepare class and homework assignments as given. Past student performance shows a strong relationship
between regular attendance and success.

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In English Skills, students develop reading and writing skills that are necessary for success in
college-level courses and in the workplace. The focus is on improving understanding of
different types of readings by learning to recognize common strategies that are used to organize
and present messages in written texts. Students also learn how to use those structures and
strategies to improve the focus, clarity and organization of their own writing. They plan, draft,
write and revise several paragraphs as well as at least one summary and one complete essay.
They also learn basic research and documentation skills. This non-credit course is a pre-
requisite for College English and for other advanced COMM courses.


As mandated by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities essential employability skills
(EES) will be addressed throughout all programs of study. Students will have the opportunity to learn
(L) specific skills, to practice (P) these skills, and/or be evaluated (E) on the EES outcomes in a
variety of courses. The EES include communication, numeracy, critical thinking & problem solving,
information management, interpersonal and personal skills. The faculty for this course has indicated
which of the EES are either Learned (L), Practiced (P) or Evaluated (E) in this course:

                 Skill                      L   P   E                Skill                  L   P   E
 1. communicate clearly, concisely and      X   X   X   7.  locate, select, organize and    X   X   X
    correctly in the written, spoken and                    document information using
    visual form that fulfills the purpose                   appropriate technology and
    and meets the needs of the audience                     information sources
 2. respond to written, spoken or visual    X   X   X   8. show respect for the diverse         X
    messages in a manner that ensures                       opinions, values, belief
    effective communication                                 systems, and contributions
                                                            of others
 3. execute mathematical operations                     9. interact with others in groups       X
    accurately                                              or teams in ways that
                                                            contribute to effective
                                                            working relationships and
                                                            the achievement of goals
 4. apply a systematic approach to          X   X   X   10. manage the use of time and      X   X   X
    solve problems                                          other resources to complete
 5. use a variety of thinking skills to     X   X   X   11. take responsibility for one’s       X
    anticipate and solve problems                           own actions, decisions and
 6. analyze, evaluate, and apply            X   X   X
    relevant information from a variety
    of sources

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Upon successful completion of this course the students will have demonstrated the ability to:

1) Accurately summarize college-level texts using their own words.

2) Locate information/resources in the GBC library and/or in other appropriate electronic and
print sources.

3) Use a standard documentation style (APA or MLA) to create in-text and full references for
secondary sources.

4) Create logical, cohesive introductory, body, and concluding paragraphs for existing (but
incomplete) texts using outlines and/or drafts provided.

5) Compose an organized, coherent text (i.e., a short essay or report) with a distinct introduction,
body and conclusion.

6) Revise and edit their own writing to improve organization, sentence structure, grammar and


Teaching and learning strategies used in this course include interactive lectures, group
discussions, demonstrations, group work, in-class assignments and exercises (skill-building and
writing), homework exercises and assignments (reading, writing and skill-building), on-line
learning, library orientation/workshop, peer feedback.


Required: Biays, J.S., Wershoven, C. & Sauer, L. (2010) Along these lines (3Rd Canadian
Edition). Toronto: Pearson Canada.

Recommended / Optional:

College-level dictionary

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1) Some writing assignments and skill-building exercises must be completed in class. If you must miss
an in-class assignment, please contact your professor as soon as possible to make alternate arrangements.*

2) Take-home assignments are due at the beginning of class on the date indicated on the schedule. If you
know in advance that you will be unable to complete a particular assignment by the scheduled due date,
contact your professor before the due date to request an extension. If you miss a deadline due to
unforeseen circumstances, it is your responsibility to contact your professor as soon as possible
to explain the situation. If the reason for missing the deadline is valid, an extension will be
granted.* Otherwise, late assignments will be penalized at a rate of 10% per day and may not be
accepted beyond one week after the original deadline.

3) The final exam must be written during class time on the scheduled day. If you are unable to complete
the exam as scheduled, notify the professor well in advance so alternative arrangements can be made.*
Failure to follow this procedure may result in a zero grade.

 Important: When an assignment deadline or in-class test or assignment is missed, you may be
required to provide documentation (medical or legal) to confirm eligibility for an extension or a

4) Paper dictionaries can be used as aids for in-class essays/exams; electronic dictionaries and other
devices including cell phones and PDAs can not be used.

5) Assignments completed outside class should be word-processed and double-spaced.

6) You are advised to keep all marked assignments, feedback on workshop/labs, and the course outline. In
cases of disagreement over marks or work completion, you must produce the graded assignments.

Important: Students with special needs are encouraged to discuss any necessary accommodations with
their professors as soon as possible.

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     EVALUATION SYSTEM: *This schedule (Due Dates) may change as resources and
                          circumstances require.

Assessment Tool:            *Date /      % of
                            Week:        Final
Grammarwocky                4            5

Summary from                5            5
Introductory                5            5
First essay                 7            10
Outline                     11           10
First draft of essay        13           20

Final draft of essay        15     20
Final Exam                  15     25
                            TOTAL: 100%


The passing grade for this course is: ___60%___

A+    90-100   4.0     B+        77-79   3.3   C+   67-69   2.3   D+   57-59   1.3   Below 50   F   0.0
A     86-89    4.0     B         73-76   3.0   C    63-66   2.0   D    50-56   1.0
A-    80-85    3.7     B-        70-72   2.7   C-   60-62   1.7

Excerpt from the College Policy on Academic Dishonesty:
The minimal consequence for submitting a plagiarized, purchased, contracted, or in any
manner inappropriately negotiated or falsified assignment, test, essay, project, or any
evaluated material will be a grade of zero on that material.
To view George Brown College policies please go to

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