English 101 Guidelines for Instructors
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Writing Skills Requirement | E-mail Mary
should prepare students for college level writing, which means having mastered
rhetorical, logical, and analytical skills, as well as mechanical competence.
English 101 course goals/ objectives:
- Students should have a thorough understanding that all argumentative
writing uses the three major rhetorical appeals:
appeal to the speaker's credibility and self-presentation
appeal to logic and reason, consisting both of the clarity of the message
and how well it is supported with credible evidence
appeal to the audience's values, emotions, and concerns
- Students should have a thorough understanding of these general
claims have to be supported with clear reasoning and valid evidence
- all claims
inherently depend on larger assumptions, which also need to be argued
(opposing points of view) need to be anticipated and addressed
words (such as probably, may, often, etc.) can be used to make arguments
- In English 101, the organizational principles taught in
English 100 (see course goals/ objectives for English 100) should be reinforced.
In addition, however, English 101 students should be taught to see organization
in the context of rhetorical choice, ie; that a single 5 paragraph theme
format does not work for every single paper.
- As in English 100, peer assessment
or evaluation should be built into the syllabus, not only to help with the
revision of papers, but to help students become more critical and sophisticated
readers of their own writing.
- As in English 100, students should do some kind
of reflection or self-assessment, either for each paper, or as a reflective
essay at the end of the course, or both.
- In English 101, students should understand
grammar and style in the context of rhetorical choice--namely, that poor
grammar and/or spelling injures a writer's credibility, undercuts his or
her reasoning, and detracts from his or her appeal to the audience. English
101 students should also understand how some choices (e.g., slang, contractions,
colloquialism, technical terms) that might be appropriate in some rhetorical
contexts, are not appropriate in other rhetorical contexts.
- The extent to
which grammar is taught in class in English 101 should depend on the needs
of the class. Students should be encouraged--if not required--to research
their own individual mechanical problems and learn how to identify and fix
them with the use of a handbook and/or dictionary.
- English 101 should also
allow students to investigate writing style in a more sophisticated manner,
not just in terms of grammatical correctness. An English 101 student should
come to understand that writing can be grammatically correct and still not
work stylistically, because of poor diction, syntax, or a lack of cohesion.
the time they have finished English 101, students should have an understanding
of research techniques, although the manner in which these techniques are
incorporated into the syllabus is at the instructor's discretion. Students
should learn how to find books, articles, and/or Internet resources on particular
topics, using modern library technology, and learn how to evaluate the credibility
of these sources. Students should also learn how to document their use of
sources correctly using MLA documentation, with the understanding that there
are other documentation systems (APA, Chicago Manual of Style) that they
may be required to use in some other academic disciplines.
Types of assignments for English 101:
- Students should do at least one paper that involves a rhetorical
analysis of something--whether it be a literary work, essay, speech, movie,
TV show, advertisement, whatever--but they must be able to go beyond a simple
summary of a "text,"
to write an analytical argument that uses an explication of that
"text" to support its claims.
- Students should write at least one
paper that involves the use of researched evidence to support an argument.
Grading and course policy requirements for English 101 instructors:
- Course policies should be clearly explained in the syllabus--these
policies should cover absences, late assignments, grading criteria, how much
each assignment is worth, etc. English 101 instructors should have some kind
of attendance policy that lowers students' grades for excessive absences
and gives the instructor justification for failing them if they miss more
than two weeks of class, with possible exceptions for documented illnesses,
family emergencies, etc.
- For essay assignments, instructors need to give students
written assignment sheets, which clearly explain goals, length requirements,
- As with English 100, the revision of at least some papers
should be built into the syllabus, although the policies regarding these
revisions are left to the instructor's discretion.
- In English 101, instructors
should evaluate and assess student writing based on the same logical and
rhetorical principles that they are teaching. In other words, grading criteria
should be ranked by their relative importance, commensurate with course goals.