Resources & FAQs

English/Reading Resources

Blackboard is the online classroom for Distance Education courses.

Reading

Vocabulary

Online exercises for Building Vocabulary and Improving Vocabulary Series
Click “online exercises” in the top menu bar and select the appropriate text.

Writing

Online Writing Lab – The OWL at Purdue
Writing, Grammar and MLA Formatting

Study Skills

University of Minnesota, Duluth, Study Strategies
Information on time management, learning styles, test taking, metacognition

The Realms of Recall
Improving Memory from the Cuesta College’s Academic Support webpage

Mind Tools
Academic and career skills, including time management, stress management, memory improvement, problem solving, and project planning

General

Refdesk.com
Reference source for facts on many topics.

English/Reading Frequently Asked Questions

Course Selection

Q: How do I know which English/Reading course to take?

A: The first step in deciding which English courses to take is completing the placement test in the Assessment Center. Based on your test results, a counselor will determine which English courses you should take.

English as a Second Language

Q: English is my second language. I don’t think the ESL (English as a Second Language) courses will prepare me for English 100. Shouldn’t I take English courses?

A: ESL courses are especially designed for English language learners and lead to English 100 just as quickly as the path for native speakers.

High School Grades

Q: I earned A’s in my high school English classes. Why do my placement scores indicate that I need to take English 57 or English 58?

A: The expectations and level of difficulty in college courses differs dramatically from high school courses. You need to develop specific skills to be a successful, independent learner.

Course Progress

Q: I want to complete my English classes as quickly as possible. Shouldn’t I begin with English 100?

A: It may be hard to believe, but the fastest way to complete English classes is to take the courses determined by the placement test. Every student is screened by his or her instructor to verify placement. If you start at the wrong level, you will risk wasting time repeating courses.

Course Sequence

Q: I placed into English 100. What courses can the English/Reading Department offer me?

  • English 96: College Reading Strategies will help you master college level texts and academic journals and satisfies the Cypress College reading requirement for the AA Degree.
  • English 106: Critical Thinking meets the CSU critical thinking requirement and the Cypress College reading requirement, and prepares you to think critically about everything you read and hear.
  • English 137: College Study Strategies will teach you to take better notes, manage your time, and improve your test scores, among other critical college success skills.

Critical Thinking

Q: I need to take a critical thinking course. Why should I take English 106?

A: English 106 meets the critical thinking requirement and is perfect for students who plan to attend a CSU. It focuses on improving analytical skills and covers contemporary topics and current events as well as classic texts.