English 101

The new curriculum for the first course in a two semester sequence offers students six assignments fostering both academic and civic literacy:

  1. Close Encounters with our First Year Book: series of responses to the annual first year book that introduce students to active reading and critical writing strategies, including summary, paraphrase, and quotation. (Students produce at least 5 pages of text.)
  2. This I (Now) Believe: A personal credo addressing a significant change of mind. (Students compose a 2-page statement they later re-mediate into a 3-minute audio-essay.)
  3. My Take: An Open Letter to X: exercise in public address in which students take a stand on a topic of interest to an identifiable audience. (In the first of three linked assignments, students write a 3-page letter to appear in print or online.)
  4. Take Two: a revision of open letter into an academic argument. (Students compose a 6-page documented essay.)

English 102

This second semester course foregrounds research, both primary and secondary, over four major assignments:

  1. Literate Lives: Composing a Literacy Narrative: an account in which students explore their experiences with reading, writing, computing, etc. (Students write a 4-page narrative.)
  2. Profile of a Discourse Community: a research report on communication practices within a community to which a student belongs. (Students compose a 5-page report based on observing, interviewing, and collecting and analyzing data.)
  3. Researched Essay: a systematic introduction to processes of source-based academic argument that guides students from topics to questions, from claims to evidence. (Culminates in a an 8-10 page multiply-sourced paper.)