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English 101 Guidelines

Composition Director: Dr. Mary Lenard  |  lenard@uwp.edu

English 101 should prepare students for college level writing, which means having mastered rhetorical, logical, and analytical skills, as well as mechanical competence.

This course is the second in a series of university-level writing courses that teaches the academic skills students need to communicate effectively and appropriately for academic purposes.

The class builds upon many of the skills gained in English 100. As the outcomes demonstrate, however, the course is differentiated from ENGL 100 in four primary ways.

1.     Students are asked to engage with the outcome categories in more developed and complex ways.

2.     The class focuses heavily on logical reasoning and argument-driven academic writing (which is possible because of many of the university-level skills developed in ENGL 100)

3.     The course expects students to develop competencies that will allow them to research independently and incorporate this research into their own argument with sophistication.

4.     The course requires a significant level of metacognition.

Students who complete the course with a C- or better will have attained competency within the categories listed below by doing the following

Purposes of the writing task

·      Demonstrate an awareness of a variety of purposes in an assigned writing tasks (e.g. summary, critical analysis, persuasion, synthesis, researched argumentation, etc.)

·      Compose essays that apply a wide variety of rhetorical strategies to achieve potentially varied purposes

·      Use multiple modes or rhetorical strategies in one document as required by the specific writing task

Position/Main Point/Message

·      Create thesis statements that are relevant, complex, insightful, and driven by an argumentative claim

Awareness of multiple audiences

·      Demonstrate an awareness of multiple audiences for assigned writing tasks

·      Compose essays that employ appropriate strategies to communicate with multiple audiences in each assignment as the requirements dictate

Engagement with Peers

·      Provide detailed feedback on essays produced by peers

·      Articulate multiple specific examples of what their peers have done well and where their peers’ writing may be strengthened

·      Independently use feedback received by peers in the revision process for their own essays

·      Articulate the value of the peer review process


·      Identify and articulate multiple ideas or questions for development

·      Prewrite, draft, and revise (both locally and globally) to demonstrate the recursive nature of the writing process

·      Articulate sophisticated reasons for final revision strategies

Organization and development of ideas

·      Construct thesis-driven, argumentative essays with an introduction, body, and conclusion

·      Construct clear, complex, relevant, and argumentative thesis statements, and use these thesis statements to guide the paper

·      Construct precise, argumentative topic sentences to guide body paragraphs, and develop paragraphs according to these topic sentences

·      Employ appropriate evidence to support topic statement claims

·      Use logical transitions between body paragraphs

Grammar, Mechanics, and Style

·      Employ sentences that are complete, varied, yet clearly focused (instead of long and rambling)

·      Choose words that are precise and sufficiently complex for the academic genre

·      Employ the conventions of standard written English for academic writing to make strategic decisions about grammar, usage, and mechanics that are appropriate and effective in achieving the writer's purpose

Use of Source Materials

·      Independently use library resources and databases

·      Independently assess multiple scholarly sources for quality of reasoning, use of evidence, and credibility

·      Follow the conventions of MLA in-text and bibliographic documentation techniques to summarize, paraphrase, and use quotations ethically and effectively

Document Design and documentation

·      Compose clear and coherent text within electronic environments by following academic formatting conventions dictated by the audience and purpose of the writing situation

·      Articulate connections between document design, purpose, and credibility


·      Read, view, or listen to a variety of texts (including scholarly articles and non-fiction works) for the purposes of understanding, analyzing, and evaluating complex arguments

·      Articulate thesis claims within these texts and the evidence used to support these thesis claims

·       Evaluate the quality of the thesis and evidence

Types of assignments for English 101:

  1. The course should focus heavily on argument driven writing, and 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.
  2. 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:

  1. Course policies should be clearly explained in the syllabus--these policies should cover late assignments, grading criteria,  how much each assignment is worth, etc. English 101 instructors should  follow the ENGL 100 and 101 attendance policy.
  2. For essay assignments, instructors need to give students written assignment sheets, which clearly explain goals, length      requirements, expectations, etc.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
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