English 100 Guidelines for Instructors
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should prepare students fully for English 101, which means not only addressing
students' mechanical competence, but also introducing them to rhetorical,
logical, and analytical concepts.
English 100 Course Goals/ Objectives:
- Instructors should introduce their students to the basic
principles of rhetoric--effective self-presentation, the clarity and logical
strength of the message, and attention to audience--even though this introduction
can be through a simple assignment, such as a consumer letter.
should introduce their students to the most important principle of argument:
to establish claims and back them up with evidence, whether this evidence
consists of personal experience examples or researched evidence. If they
wish, instructors can also encourage their students to anticipate and deal
with opposing points of view.
- Students should learn the basic principles of
must have a thesis or main idea
- each paragraph
should have a main idea
- there should
be clear, logical connections between sentences and ideas within paragraphs
and between paragraphs
Students also must understand that their choices about organization
must be communicated to the reader by the use of logical transitions.
- English 100 should focus on grammar to a greater degree
than English 101, especially such major problems as: sentence fragments,
run-on sentences (specifically, comma splices), verb tense, subject/ verb
agreement, vague or ambiguous pronoun reference, pronoun case and agreement,
and punctuation for clarity, etc. There are several possible methods to achieve
this focus on grammar, and instructors can use whatever method or combination
of methods works best for them:
specific grammar issues in class with lessons and/or written exercises
students work on grammar individually or in groups, with editing logs
and/or assigning handbook exercises or worksheets for individual students
presentations in which students research grammar issues and teach them
to the rest of the class
students do exercises from a handbook or from worksheets, in which they
must take a piece of writing and proofread and edit for a specific type
of grammar problem
- having students correct each other's work on grammar
and/or editing exercises
- Some kind of peer review should be built into the course,
not only to help in the revision process for the papers, but to help students
become more sophisticated and critical readers of their own writing.
should also do some kind of reflection or self-assessment of their writing
process, and their strengths and weaknesses as writers, either for each paper,
or as a reflective essay at the end of the course, or both.
- Since reading
and writing skills are interdependent, both should be addressed with English
100 students. Instructors should incorporate vocabulary and reading comprehension
activities into the course.
Types of Assignments for English 100:
English 100 paper assignments should be for short (1-5 page) papers, with
a focus on the rhetorical and logical aspects of writing. Students should
be able to revise at least some of their papers, either before or after
they are graded. English 100 instructors should also be aware that they
must prepare their students to write longer papers (5+ pages) in English
101 and in their other college courses.
should also be required to do at least one persuasive or argumentative
paper in English 100, to prepare for English 101, even if it's only supported
with personal experience examples. If they wish, English 100 instructors
may choose to have their students do a paper that uses researched evidence,
but this assignment should limit the students' choice of topics to those
that could be covered adequately in a shorter paper and could not easily
Grading and course policy requirements for English 100 instructors:
- Course policies, including grading, should be clearly explained
in the syllabus. The syllabus should cover issues such as absences, late
assignments, revisions of papers, and how final grades will be calculated.
All instructors should have an attendance policy that may lower student grades
for excessive absences, with possible exceptions for documented illnesses,
family emergencies, etc.
- For essay assignments, instructors need to give
students written assignment sheets, clearly explaining goals, length requirements,
- Grammar and mechanics can (and probably should) be emphasized
more in the grading for English 100 than for English 101, but grammar should
not be emphasized to the exclusion of other aspects of writing, such as rhetorical
and logical qualities.