English Department ENG 110

Appendix A:     Course Description for ENG 110 (Fundamentals of Academic Writing)

Note: This ENG 110 course description shows one way course objectives and requirements might be achieved. Instructors teaching ENG 110 will collectively determine a range of suitable texts, assignment sequences, and teaching goals for all course sections. In keeping with the Liberal Education Program's commitment to ongoing and evolving assessment, norming sessions and portfolio assessments will be used to revisit and adjust those decisions each semester.


I.    Catalog Description
ENG 110: Fundamentals of Academic Writing. Instruction in multi-stage reading and writing processes in order to comprehend complex texts and write different types of academic essays.   A portfolio will be required.  By assignment only.  3 credits.

II.    Purpose
ENG 110 is a first-semester, 3-credit course that provides students lacking significant academic writing experience foundations in academic reading and writing practices. 

ENG 110 complements the inquiry skills students develop in their LEP Tier 1 First-Year Experience (FYE) and Critical Thinking courses and prepares students for ENG 112 (Writing Arguments).  For students placed in ENG 110, the course is a prerequisite to ENG 112. 

ENG 110 teaches students to develop and practice multi-stage reading and writing processes. They will use these processes to comprehend and respond to different types of academic texts, to write several different types of academic essays, and to become familiar with the conventions of inquiry, claim and support, academic honesty, and correctness practiced by academic readers and writers. 

ENG 110 also places a special emphasis on teaching accurate peer review and self-assessment. ENG 110 students produce a portfolio in order to develop their self-assessment skills in preparation for the portfolio-based competency demonstration required in ENG 112.

III.    Key Elements
A  Claim Comprehension.  Summarizing and analyzing challenging texts. 
B. Essay Construction. Making a coherent written text that gives background information, presents a reasonable claim, and uses a range of evidence to support the claim.
C. Academic Honesty. Avoiding plagiarism by properly using sources, including paraphrase, summary, and accurate citations (in an appropriate citation style). 
D. Audience Awareness. Using the conventions of academic essays to communicate effectively with particular audiences.
E. Correctness. Demonstrating control over Standard English language usage (grammar, spelling, tone, style, semantics, and syntax) and revising for accuracy, clarity, and depth.
IV.    Sample ENG 110 Syllabus
A.    Learning Goals and Outcomes
Like most rhetoric and composition programs in the US, the SCSU Composition Program has adapted learning goals and objectives for its first-year courses from the Outcomes Statement for First-Year Students jointly authored by the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC) and the Council of Writing Program Administrators (WPA). 

The CCCC/WPA Outcomes Statement for First-Year Students organizes first-year composition course learning goals and outcomes into the following categories:

1. Rhetorical Knowledge
2. Critical Thinking, Reading, Writing
3. Writing Processes and
4. Writing Conventions
1.    Rhetorical Knowledge
•    ability to apply rhetorical concepts such as audience, situation, purpose, and genre to comprehend a piece of writing
•    ability to use appropriate voice and tone for audience and purpose
•    ability to use appropriate conventions of format, structure, and language for audience and purpose

2.    Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing
•    ability to identify rhetorical concepts such as audience, situation, purpose, and genre
•    ability to interpret, evaluate, and incorporate outside texts
•    ability to develop own point of view in relation to others
•    ability to engage in question-driven inquiry
•    ability to use writing as a way of thinking through ideas & discovering own point of view
•    ability to evaluate own strengths and weaknesses

3.    Processes
•    ability to engage with multiple texts
•    ability to propose, plan, and undertake source-based academic writing that involves multiple tasks and drafts
•    ability to use reference materials and student/instructor feedback to revise writing
•    ability to accurately evaluate strengths and weaknesses of own and peers' writing

4.     Conventions
•    ability to meet audience expectations for significant/substantive guiding question, controlling idea, and organization of ideas
•    ability to effectively integrate sources into different genres of academic writing
•    ability to avoid plagiarism
•    ability to use standard English grammar and mechanics
•    ability to correctly use MLA documentation style

B.    Assessment
Instructors should require
•    12-15 pages of revised, polished, academic writing 
•    150-200 pages of reading (including student essays, textbook readings providing writing instruction, and 2-3 exemplar texts in each assigned genre)
Instructors should include a variety of reading and writing assignments supported by classroom instruction, such as
•    Write-to-learn exercises that ask students to identify and analyze the rhetorical elements of exemplar and student texts, to examine multiple points of view in comparison to their own, to reflect on their writing process, and to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their and their peers' writing
•    A sequence of 3 different types of source-based essays that culminates with an analytical argument : (i.e., Literacy Narrative, Summary and Response, Textual Analysis; or Informative Report, Image Analysis, Self-Evaluation Essay)
•    Peer Review/writing workshops that ask students to engage with and accurately assess peer work at different stages of the writing process for its effectiveness at the global (structure, organization) and sentence (grammar, style) levels 

In this sample syllabus instruction in academic writing and exemplary texts are provided via Richard Bullock and Francine Weinberg, The Norton Field Guide to Writing with Handbook. 2nd ed. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2009.
 Instructors may use this or similar materials to provide exemplary texts and explicit writing instruction in multiple types of academic writing.

C.    Sample Course Schedule

Weeks 1 and 2
Rhetorical Situations
Identifying Purpose
Identifying Audience
Identifying Genre
Identifying Stance
Media/Design
Keeping a Writing Portfolio
Faculty development: a beginning-of-semester goal-setting session based on the portfolio assessment results of the previous semester, a beginning-of-semester faculty development workshop, and a  beginning-of-semester norming session.

Weeks 3 and 4
Writing a Literacy Narrative
Marjorie Agosin, "Always Living in Spanish"
Richard Bullock, "How I Learned about the Power of Writing"
Shannon Nichols, "Proficiency"
Developing skills: telling a story; creating vivid details; clarifying
    significance for your readers
Developing a Writing Process: the rhetorical situation, generating ideas
    and text; drafting; peer review; revision; editing; proofreading

Week 5
Workshop/Peer Review: Literacy Narratives

Weeks  6 and 7
Writing an Informative Report
    Susan Stellin, "The Inevitability of Bumps"
    James Fallows, "Throwing Like a Girl"
Jeffrey DeRoven, "The Greatest Generation"
Developing Skills: a tightly-focused topic; well-researched information; clear
    definitions; appropriate design; choosing between different possible
    organizational and writing strategies
Developing a Writing Process: the rhetorical situation; working with
    information; design; drafting; peer review; revision; editing; proofreading

Week 8
Workshop/Peer Review: Informative Report
Faculty Development: midterm norming session
Week 9 and 10
Writing an Image Analysis
    Magazine advertisement
    Public Service billboard
    Election Campaign brochure
Developing skills: description of the text; attention to content; clear interpretation;
    support for conclusions
Developing a Writing Process: the rhetorical situation, generating ideas
    and text; design; drafting; peer review; revision; editing; proofreading

Week 11
Workshop/peer review: Image Analysis

Week 12
Revising for the final portfolio: using peer review comments and course objectives to revise from the organizational to the sentence level

Week 13
Revising for the final portfolio: using peer review comments and course objectives to revise from the organizational to the sentence level

Week 14
Writing a Self-Evaluation Essay

Week 15
English 110 Final Portfolio Assessment and post-assessment discussion