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First-Year Writing Program

Your English 5A/5B Options

Option 4: The Stretch Option
(English 5A/5B)

What is Option 4?

English 5A and 5B, Academic Literacy I and II, "stretches" the reading and writing assignments over two semesters. The first semester starts with shorter assignments and moves toward more complex reading and writing at semester’s end. The second semester builds on work in 5A and leads you through longer and more complex reading and writing tasks. This option will make the transition from high school to college reading and writing easier for you. Unless you really excel in English, we suggest this option. (2 semesters, 6 units)

These two courses have the same learning outcomes as English 10. The only difference is that there is more time to learn the conventions of academic writing. You should choose this option if you haven't done a lot of reading and writing or if you find reading and writing difficult. In addition, these classes will focus more on researching, citing, and including sources correctly in your writing. You will learn to read critically and to connect the reading with the writing that you will do.

Finally, these courses include more direct instruction in language choice, sentence variety, and editing.

Why take Option 4?

• Fulfills requirement in two semesters

• Emphasizes developing writing and reading strategies

• Gives you an entire year of work with the same peers & teachers

• Begins with less demanding assignments (3-5 pages)

• Offers more opportunities to revise papers and learn to read critically

• Eases transition to college reading and writing

Sample syllabus and writing assignments

• Sample English 5A Syllabus

• Sample English 5B Syllabus

• Sample English 5A Writing Assignment

• Sample English 5B Writing Assignment

Option 5: The Stretch Option, with Support
(English 5A/5B, with English 1L for one semester)

What is Option 5?

Students who choose this option — English 5A and 5B, Academic Literacy I and II, with English 1L, Writing Center Tutorial for one semester — are average readers and writers who might want some additional individual attention and support.

Students who take this option will enroll in English 5A in one semester and English 5B the second semester, and will also choose one semester to include the English 1L, Writing Center Tutorial, class. The tutorial supports students with the work they do in the English 5A or 5B class they are enrolled in during the same semester.

Why take Option 5?

• Fulfills requirement in two semesters

• Emphasizes developing reading, writing, and responding strategies

• Eases the transition into college

• Adds support to English 5A or 5B with a semester-long tutorial

• Develops the work assigned in English 5A or 5B through additional meetings twice per week

• Provides more individual attention and guidance

Sample syllabus and writing assignments

Same as Option 4

Option 6: The Stretch Option, with More Support
(English 5A/5B, with English 1L for both semesters)

What is Option 6?

Students who choose this option — English 5A and 5B, Academic Literacy I and II, with English 1L, Writing Center Tutorial for both semesters — struggle with reading and writing, or may have a lack of confidence when it comes to reading and writing.

Students in this category know that they have several things to work on in their writing, may struggle understanding what they read, or may be second-language speakers of English.

Students who take this option will enroll in English 5A and English 1L in one semester and English 5B and English 1L the second semester. The tutorials support students with the work they do in the English 5A or 5B classes.

Why take Option 6?

• Fulfills requirement in two semesters

• Emphasizes developing reading, writing, and responding strategies

• Eases the transition into college

• Adds support to English 5A or 5B with semester-long tutorials each semester

• Provides sustained, individualized guidance over the course of two semesters

Sample syllabus and writing assignments

Same as Option 4