CCS 200, or Chicano/a studies, is a very powerful course. If you are of  Hispanic culture, this class is very interesting to take because you learn a lot about a branch of the Hispanic culture, or Chicano cukture, and why it is important. Even if you are not a part of the Hispanic culture, this class is still great to take because it is a good way to get informed. It is also imporant to note that this class is a replacement for RWS 200, which is a writing course. If you choose to take CCS 200, this is what it entails.

1. Course Objective

CCS 200 is a writing development course that aims to establish the intellectual frameworks and analytical tools that students will need to be able to navigate as they engage with the sophisticated texts and incorporate key concepts from our discipline—including border and feminist theory, multilingual composition, non-traditional methodology, etc.—into their own work. This semester, we will frame this challenge around the theme of ethnic and cultural identity, considering how we write and speak about our own identities, how we write and speak about group identity, and how we write and speak about our communities.

2. Textbooks

As for textbooks, you will need to purchase or rent 4. The 4 will be used for essays and for grammer. Here they are listed below.

Anzaldúa, G. (2012). Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza. (Any Edition). Thousand Oaks, CA: Aunt Lute Books. ISBN: 978-1879960855

Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza is a semi-autobiographical work by Gloria E. Anzaldúa that includes prose and poems detailing the invisible “borders” that exist between Latinas/os and non-Latinas/os, men and women, heterosexuals and homosexuals, and other groups.

Bejarano, C. (2005). ¿Que Onda? Urban youth culture and border identity. Tuscon, AZ: University of Arizona Press. ISBN: 978-0-8165-2686-4

This book analyzes the construction of Mexicana/o and Chicana/o identities through a four-year ethnographic study in a representative American high school. It reveals how identity politics impacts young people’s forms of communication and the cultural spaces they occupy in the school setting. By showing how identities are created and directly influenced by the complexities of geopolitics and sociocultural influences, it stresses the largely unexplored divisions among youths whose identities are located along a wide continuum of “Mexicanness.”

Casagrande, J. (2010). It was the best of sentences, it was the worst of sentences. Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press. ISBN: 978-1-58008-740-7

This book is a writers guide to creating sentances. It is meant to teach you about grammer as well as how to correct run-on sentances.

Strunk, W., & White, E.B. (2000). The elements of style. New York: Pearson. ISBN: 978-0-205-30902-3

This book is another book used for sentance structure. It will teach you everything you need to know in order to write a good essay. From learning to form the possessive singular of nouns to enclose parenthetic expressions between commas, this book has it all!

3. Assignments

In the course, there are quite a few assignments in addition to the essays. There are a few blackboard discussion board assignments, which are simply just responses to articles that you need to read. There is also one poetry assignment, a mini group presentation about grammer, a personal essay, a research presentation, and a writing style quiz. The assignments are very spread out, so it does not get stressful or too overwhelming which is good.


4. Essays

In the course, there are 3 main essays that must be written. Each essay is worth 50 points. Essay 1 – Anzaldúa Response 50 Points. Essay 2 – Bejarano Response 50 Points. Essay 3 – Final/Personal Research Topic Essay. For the most part, the essays are responses to the book readings.


5. Overall Class

In CCS 200, every class is a fun class. Despite having a bit amount of work throughout the course, it truly is a great class. Also, the work is spread out, so you are never really stressed out about assignments which is great. Overall, this class ia a great alternative for an RWS course. It goes deep into the roots of the Chicano/a culture, and it is very informative.


In conclusion, this course is a good alternative to RWS 200, and it is highly recommended by many to take. It is an interesting class, and at times can be more informative. The workload is simpler, more fun, and a nice twist from your average writing class. If you want to be informed and learn more about Hispanic culture and identity, this course is for you.


Josy Lopez

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