Basic Reading and Writing: Composition 099
As the course title suggests, students in Basic Reading and Writing Skills 099 work to develop critical reading strategies and writing skills to prepare them for entry into Composition 101. After completing one semester in this course, student should be able to:
- Apply active reading strategies to comprehend, summarize, analyze, and evaluate texts.
- View the creation of insightful, coherent prose as a recursive practice, requiring planning, organization, and revision throughout several stages of drafting.
- Address the rhetorical demands of context, subject, and audience to communicate effectively through speaking and writing.
- Apply grammatical and stylistic concerns discussed in class as a means of shaping ideas and clarifying meaning at the sentence level.
- Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their own compositions as well as write appropriate commentary about peer writing. Assignments for this class encourage students to approach a variety of genres (essays, letters, brochures, Websites, emails, short works of fiction, etc.) with critical awareness and guide students in crafting compositions that address a variety of writing aims, rhetorical contexts, and audiences.
The Composition 101 syllabus consists of four units, each focusing on a different set of writing skills. In these units, students will study the writing process for analytical papers, learn summary and close-reading skills, practice crafting strong topic sentences and theses, and produce a strong, argumentative, five-page paper. After completing one semester in this course, students should be able to:
- Have a good understanding of the various stages involved in constructing a written argument.
- Distinguish between summary and analysis in their own and others’ writing.
- Close-read any given passage in a primary text (i.e., derive meaning from passages in a primary text and trace implications through the language of that text).
- Write effective transitions between paragraphs in an analytical paper.
- Write a strong, argumentative thesis for a five-page paper.
- Write a strong, claim-based topic sentence for each paragraph of a five-page paper.
- Distinguish between a strong and weak argumentative thesis in their own and others’ writing. Distinguish between strong and weak topic sentences in their own and others’ writing.
- Sustain a single argument through a five-page paper.
- Develop an argument in a five-page paper.
- Adequately conclude a five-page argumentative paper.
In Composition 102, students build upon the writing and critical thinking skills developed in Composition 101. Students in 102 learn to engage multiple texts and sources in their writing; identify viable research topics; find and evaluate secondary sources relevant to their topic; construct an annotated bibliography; and document their sources in MLA format. In 102, students should begin to understand writing as a conversation between texts, writers, sources, and different historical and cultural moments. After completing one semester in this course, students should be able to:
- Construct a five-page analytical paper that productively engages with and comprehends two primary sources (i.e., a compare/contrast paper)
- Comprehend, summarize, and respond to a variety of secondary sources.
- Evaluate secondary sources and differentiate between reliable and unreliable sources.
- Locate and use sources in the library independently.
- Construct an annotated bibliography of secondary sources.
- Produce an 8-10 page research paper involving three secondary sources.