Pre-College English

Purpose of Course  showclose

Effective writing skills are important for you to succeed in your studies at the collegiate level, as well as for your future career. This course is designed to improve your writing ability, which is necessary for entrance into English Composition 1, as well as for your ongoing success in other academic subjects. Pre-College English coursework focuses on active reading and analytic writing, with emphasis on organization, unity, coherence, and adequate development; an introduction to the expository essay; and a review of the rules and conventions of standard written English. In Unit 1, you will learn the basics of active reading and how active reading is paramount in your success as a student and beyond. You will also learn how to identify the main idea in a piece of literature, and how to create a topic sentence that conveys the main idea in your own writing. You will discover the benefits of prewriting, and will learn prewriting techniques that can be used at the onset of any writing project. In Unit 2, you will delve deeper into the main idea by learning the basics of thesis statements, while developing strong thesis statements of your own. You will also learn the value of outlines in writing, and some techniques to help you outline effectively. Units 3 and 4 continue to explore active reading by focusing on making inferences and paraphrasing material for use in your own writing. Unit 5 wraps up the writing process by providing strategies for writing introductions and conclusions. Various types of essays will be explored, along with strategies to incorporate effective introductions and conclusions. All of the units include grammar basics to facilitate your continued growth as a writer. Each unit will also include active reading practice, allowing you to apply learned skills throughout the course.

Course Information  showclose

Welcome to Pre-College English. General information about the course and its requirements can be found below.

Primary Resources: This course is composed of a range of different free, online materials. However, the course makes primary use of the following materials:
  • Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges’ Open Course Library
  • Purdue University’s Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL)
  • Dartmouth College Academic Skills Center
  • The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Writing Center
Requirements: In order to complete this course, you will need to work through each unit and all of its assigned materials. The course builds upon itself from one unit to the next, so it is important to work thoroughly through each section to understand that which follows. You will also need to complete:
  • Unit 1 Assignments
  • Unit 1 Assessment
  • Unit 2 Assignments
  • Unit 3 Assignments
  • Unit 4 Assignments
  • Unit 5 Assignments
  • The Final Exam
Note that you will only receive an official grade on your Final Exam. However, in order to adequately prepare for this exam, you will need to work through the readings, lectures, web media, assignments, and assessments throughout the course.

In order to pass this course, you will need to earn a 70% or higher on the Final Exam. Your score on the exam will be tabulated as soon as it is completed. If you do not pass the exam, you may take it again.

Time Commitment: This course should take you a total of approximately 61.5 hours to complete including readings, assignments, essays, and the Final Exam. Each unit includes a time advisory that lists the amount of time you are expected to spend on each subunit. These advisories should help you plan your time accordingly. It may be useful to take a look at these time advisories and to determine how much time you have over the next few weeks to complete each unit, and then to set goals for yourself. For example, Unit 1 should take you approximately 15.5 hours. Perhaps you can sit down with your calendar and decide to complete Subunit 1.1 and half of Subunit 1.2 (a total of 3 hours) on Monday night; the remainder of Subunit 1.2 (a total of 2 hours) on Tuesday; Subunit 1.3 (a total of 3 hours) on Wednesday; etc.

Tips for Completion: It may be helpful to take notes as you work through the materials in each unit in preparation for the Final Exam. Practice with active reading and writing will also help you to improve your English skills.

This course has been developed through a partnership with the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges. Unless otherwise noted, all materials are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. The Saylor Foundation has modified some materials created by the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges in order to best serve our users.

Learning Outcomes  showclose

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:
  • recognize organizing principles, including the relationship between sentences;
  • outline the relationships between main ideas and subordinate ideas within assigned readings;
  • write analytical paragraphs in response to readings;
  • recognize main and secondary points, making somewhat fine distinctions;
  • make simple deductions from a series of facts;
  • use punctuation correctly;
  • demonstrate sound principles of critical reading;
  • craft short essays employing a variety of organizational patterns;
  • narrow a topic, write a clear and focused thesis statement, and create an outline with main and subordinate ideas;
  • support the thesis statement with sufficient appropriate primary and secondary points and details;
  • craft appropriate introductions and conclusions;
  • use transitional words and expressions and employ a variety of sentence patterns to improve coherence; and
  • proofread to eliminate spelling and usage errors.

Course Requirements  showclose

In order to take this course, you must:

√    have access to a computer;

√    have continuous broadband Internet access;

√    have the ability/permission to install plug-ins (e.g. Adobe Reader or Flash) and software;

√    have the ability to download and save files and documents to a computer;

√    have the ability to open and edit Microsoft Office files and documents (.doc, .docx, .ppt, .pptx, .xls, .xlsx, etc.);

√    have competency in the English language; and

√    have read the Saylor Student Handbook.

Unit Outline show close