Class Meets: MWF 11:00-11:50
Office Hours: MW 12:00-1:30 (& by appointment
Office: Stevenson 414A
Office Phone: 438-3752

Any student needing to arrange a reasonable accomodation for a documented disability shold contact Disability Concerns at 350 Fell Hall 438-5853 (voice) or 438-8620 (TDD).

What is English 101: Composition and Critical Inquiry?

The point of Composition and Critical Inquiry is to help you become more critical and proficient consumers and producers of texts. Thus, this course is designed to:

  • help you develop topics for writing through critical reading and discussion
  • help you think critically about writing for different situations and audiences
  • enable you to use a range of persuasice strategies in different rhetorical situations
    help you think critically about audiences for your writing
  • teach you to revies your writing to better address these audiences
  • teach you to ask critical questions that will guide effective revision of your writing
  • teach you to read others' writing critically so that you can help them improve their papers
  • help you to become a more critical ready and writer who can think and write analytically about written texts
  • teach you where, when, and how to research your topics to strengthen your ideas and arguments
  • teach you to make the best use of technology as you write, research, and revise your papers
  • help you improve your editing and proofreadeing skills
  • offer you an opportunity to think critically and write analytically about your own work as a reader, researcher, and

Writing for academic situations and for professional situations beyond college demands that you be a critical thinker and successful writer. As yo will discover, superficial thinking and the kind of drafts that grow out of it are almost never sufficient in these situations. In this class, you will be encouraged to challenge your own thinking and the thinking of your classmates; to identify, read, and consider other writers' perspecitives on your topics; to analyze your audiences' knowledge and opinions; and to think critically about each new rhetorical situation in which you find yourself. By doing these things, you will become more critical thinkers and, hence, more powerful readers, producers, and revisers of texts. You will also learn how to think critically and analytically about yourself as a writer so that you can continue to develop throughout your life.

Why is this course required of all first-year students?

Reading, thinking, researching, and writing are skills that underpin nearly everything you will do in college and in the rest of your professional life. This course offers you a chance to develop the skills and strategies you need for critical reading, analytical thinking, successful researching, and proficient writing so that you will be better prepared to succeed as a student and a professional. As all writing classes are taught in networked computer classrooms, you will learn how to use the latest technology and be able to use computer technology effectively in other classes. We expect that you will also take this opportunity to think critically about technology and the role it plays in your thinking, writing, and research.

Who teaches this course and how do they teach?

Your instructor for Composition and Critical Inquiry is specially trained to teach writing at the college level. All teachers in the course are writers themselves, and each has serve an apprenticeship to become a more expert teacher of writing. All new teachers take a seminar in the teaching of writing, and all teachers attend monthly professional development events. Every instructor will follow a standard syllabus, but specific assignments and activities may vary from teacher to teacher. Still, everyone in the course will do the same amount of writing, revising, and research; and all students will write extensive analytical essays at the end of the course.

What will I have to do in this course?

In this course, you will be expected to engage in the kind of extensive, critical work that experienced writers undertake every time they produce a text. Briefly, you will

  • write multiple drafts of at least six five- to seven-page papers
  • identify and shape topics by reading and talking to other writers
  • use computers to write drafts in and outside of class
  • analyze the rhetorical situation which shapes each text you encounter and produce
  • think critically about your own texts and devise thought-provoking questions to ask your instructor and classmates so that they can help you improve your drafts
  • read your fell students' paper with a critical eye and provide thoughtful ideas for revisions
  • analyze suggestions from your instructor and peers and think critically about whether and how to incorporate those ideas into your texts
  • rethink and revise each paper several times, conducting additional research and gathering and analyzing data as the topic, situation, and audience demand
  • learn to use the technology in the classroom and in the library to research, write, and revise your papers
  • think critically and write analytically about each paper you write, discussing your research process, the development of your argument, and the evolution of your text. At the end of the course, you will combine those analyses into a final analytical essay that takes a critical look at your work in the course and how it reflects your development as a thinker, researcher, writer, and user of technology.

What do I need to do to be successful in Composition and Critical Inquiry?

Success in Composition and Critical Inquiry depends on your developing as a thinker, researcher, writer, and user of technology. In order to develop in these ways, you will need to:

  • attend class faithfully
  • participate fully in group interactions designed to help you think critically about issues such as topic selection, research possibilities, rhetorical situations, textual analysis, revision possibilities, and the conventions of writing
  • complete all reading, writing, thinking, and research assignments in a timely fashion, developing and applying crticial thinking skills to the analysis, research, and production of texts.
  • use technology effectively, efficiently, and thoughtfully for research, text production, revision, and so on
  • develop and apply analytical thinking skills to consider and write about texts and about your work in the course.
  • produce a final portfolio that demonstrates that you have completed all assigned work and met the goals of the course.

Note: Your final portfolio will be worth 100% of your grade in this class. Please see the grading standards for the portfolio at the back of the Course Guide for an explanation of how your work will be assessed, and note that the work is cumulative, and an incomplete portfolio cannot receive a grade higher than a "D".


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