Approved by Faculty Senate.

University Studies Course Approval

 

Department or Program English
Course Number 111
Semester Hours 4
Frequency of Offering every semester (approx. 25 sections of 25 students)
Course Title College Reading and Writing
Catalog Description Writing based on reading, interpreting, analyzing, critiquing and synthesizing texts; writing as a means of expression, learning and critical inquiry. Offered every semester.
This is an existing course previously approved by A2C2: Yes
This is a new course proposal: No
(If this is a new course proposal, the WSU Curriculum Approval Form must also be completed as in the process prescribed by WSU Regulation 3-4)  
Proposal Category: Basic Skills/College Reading and Writing
Departmental Contact: J Paul Johnson, Associate Professor
Email Address: pjohnson@winona.edu
Department Approval and Date:  
Dean’s Recommendation and Date:  

 

English 111
College Reading and Writing — 4 s.h.
A General Education/University Studies Basic Skills Course
Proposal and Rationale

Catalog Description

Writing based on reading, interpreting, analyzing, critiquing, and synthesizing texts; writing as a means of expression, learning and critical inquiry. Offered every semester.

General Course Information

English 111 is the required Basic Skills College Reading and Writing course in the WSU University Studies Program. The program is designed to provide a broad base of skills and knowledge to equip students for informed, responsible citizenship in a changing world. This four-credit course fulfills the College Reading and Writing requirement in the University Studies Program. All WSU students are additionally expected to complete at least two "Writing Flag" courses in their major or minor program, and individual departments and programs may have additional further requirements. The purpose of English 111 is to help WSU students increase their critical reading, thinking, and writing skills. The course will help students develop a mature writing style and an ability to integrate material from multiple sources with their own writing. The course will further emphasize writing as essential to academic learning and intellectual development. This class is designed to establish a foundation for the reading and writing done in later college courses, supporting a larger writing-across-the-curriculum educational experience.

Rationale
USP Course Objectives:

  1. Students will read challenging texts that reflect important cultural themes and demand critical thinking.
  2. Unlike some composition courses, English 111 provides a rigorous reading experience, one intended not only to help students read critically but also to inform their writing. Most of the reading is non-fiction prose: some readings serve an illustrative purpose, as models of a specific prose genre; others provide a range of perspectives on classical and/or contemporary issues. On a regular basis, students will read selections from an anthology of thematically or rhetorically selected essays, or, alternatively, a series of selected books. Although selections will vary from section to section, course readings are typically chosen for their thematic relevance, rhetorical mode, and intellectual challenge.

  3. Students will analyze the rhetoric and structure of (their own and others’) arguments.
  4. Good writers need to understand the structure of argument, and they need practice in identifying and using rhetorical strategies for argumentation and development. Both in class and in their writing, students will study the rhetorical structure of argument, evaluate arguments for their effectiveness, and critique their own arguments.

  5. Students will summarize and critique examples of mature expository and argumentative prose.
  6. The ability to write an accurate summary of a prose piece is integral to writing in college, as is the ability to articulate a judicious critique, whether that critique is based on the accuracy of evidence, the structure of the argument, or the rhetorical approach. Students will write formal summaries of selected readings in different genres. Students will also write formal and/or informal critiques of those readings.

  7. Students will revise through multiple drafts and critical readings to create and complete successful essays.
  8. Contemporary scholarship suggests that students can produce their best work when provided the occasion for revision based on critical reading. In a writing course, students need to write frequently, and their writing needs to be read. Aside from their informal writing, students typically compose between four and eight papers through multiple drafts, consisting of 20-30 pages (5000-7500 words) of polished prose. Students can expect prompt feedback on their work: most instructors report a turnaround time of one week for formal papers and require personal conferences with students. Students can also expect regular informal writing activities and exercises.

  9. Students will formulate intelligent claims and make purposeful, appropriately documented use of authoritative sources as supporting evidence.
  10. Successful academic writing is dependent upon the ability to evaluate and use appropriate evidence in support of well-constructed claims. And every discipline expects appropriately documented use of sources in students’ research writing. Students’ formal writing will require the use of intelligent claims supported by evidence documented in one or more commonly recognized documentation formats, such as MLA, APA, or Chicago style. However, since English 111 provides only an introduction to, and practice in, documented writing, the course does not provide in-depth training in the use of any single documentation style.

  11. Students will make use of basic tools of research, such as general indexes, periodicals, and on-line databases.
  12. Successful academic writing is dependent upon an ability to find, locate, evaluate, and use information relevant to the subject matter. Students will use WebPALS (including the online catalog, ERIC, EAI, etc.) and other current databases (such as Lexis–Nexis, FirstSearch, J-Stor, Project MUSE, and Encyclopedia Britannica) for their research writing. Individual course sections typically include an introduction to, and practice in, using the WSU Library for research.

  13. Students will construct coherent essays based on reading, interpreting, analyzing, critiquing, and synthesizing texts.
  14. Successful writing depends upon being able to formulate an argument that is coherent—that is to say, one in which evidence is used to support claims or reasons that support a thesis, and one in which appropriate organizational cues are used to signal the essay’s structure to the reader. Additionally, since much academic writing is based on the close reading of texts, most writing projects assigned in the class will be based on students’ reading, and classroom activities will include advice and guidance in methods of critical reading, from interpretation and analysis to critique and synthesis.

  15. Students will adapt the structure, content, and tone of their writing to the knowledge and attitudes of their audience.
  16. Successful writing is contextual: good writers strive to accommodate the needs of their readers when structuring their arguments, when adapting their tone, and when evaluating their content. Critical reading assignments will include the study of different authors’ approaches to adapting structure, content, and tone to an audience. In the process of writing in different genres and for different audiences, students will practice these strategies for adapting their writing to varying rhetorical situations.

  17. Students will use vivid, concrete language; concise, varied sentences; unified, cohesive paragraphs; gender-inclusive English; and a college-level vocabulary.
  18. Although successful writing is context-bound (in that "what works" in one context might not in another), certain features of successful writing are nonetheless germane to nearly every rhetorical situation: concrete language, varied sentencing, cohesive paragraphs, correct English, and appropriate vocabulary. Through a series of formal writing assignments, in-class exercises, and handbook review, students will be taught and encouraged to use these features of formal prose style.

  19. Students will proofread, edit, and correct their final copy for common errors of spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and usage.

While research suggests that college-level writing is no more error-free (nor more error-ridden) than that of previous generations, the kinds of errors made most frequently do change from one generation to the next. Successful writing, however, needs to be carefully proofread, edited, and corrected in order for it to have any kind of persuasive function in most formal situations. Through in-class and other exercises and activities, students will study common errors typical to college-level student prose; they will further practice proofreading and editing strategies for finding and correcting these errors. Formal papers will be held to a high standard of correctness.

Note

English 111 can not by itself prepare students for the rigors of upper-division writing-intensive courses in specific programs and departments, but is intended as a general introduction to college-level writing. The Department of English encourages all departments and programs to build on this preparation by helping students learn …

bulletthe processes and procedures for creating and completing successful writing in their fields; bulletthe main features and uses of writing in their fields; bulletthe general expectations of readers in their fields; bulletthe technologies commonly used for research and writing in their fields; and bulletthe conventions of evidence, format, usage, and documentation in their fields.

English 111

College Reading and Writing — 4 s.h.

A General Education/University Studies Basic Skills Course

Sample Course Syllabus (will vary from instructor to instructor)

Catalog Description

Writing based on reading, interpreting, analyzing, critiquing, and synthesizing texts; writing as a means of expression, learning and critical inquiry. Offered every semester.

 

General Course Information

English 111 is the required Basic Skills College Reading and Writing course in the WSU University Studies Program. The program is designed to provide a broad base of skills and knowledge to equip students for informed, responsible citizenship in a changing world. This four-credit course fulfills the College Reading and Writing requirement in the University Studies Program.

The purpose of English 111 is to help WSU students increase their critical reading, thinking, and writing skills. The course will help students develop a mature writing style and an ability to integrate material from multiple sources with their own writing. The course will further emphasize writing as essential to academic learning and intellectual development. This class is designed to establish a foundation for the reading and writing done in later college courses, supporting a larger writing-across-the-curriculum educational experience.

 

As the required Basic Skills College Reading and Writing course in the WSU University Studies Program, English 111 includes requirements and learning activities that promote students’ abilities to…

  1. read challenging texts that reflect important cultural themes and demand critical thinking;
  2. analyze the rhetoric and structure of (their own and others’) arguments;
  3. summarize and critique examples of mature expository and argumentative prose;
  4. revise through multiple drafts and critical readings to create and complete successful essays;
  5. formulate intelligent claims and make purposeful, appropriate documented use of authoritative sources as supporting evidence;
  6. make use of basic tools of research, such as general indexes, periodicals, and on-line databases;
  7. construct coherent essays based on reading, interpreting, analyzing, critiquing, and synthesizing texts;
  8. adapt the structure, content, and tone of their writing to the knowledge and attitudes of their audience;
  9. use vivid, concrete language; concise, varied sentences; unified, cohesive paragraphs; gender-inclusive English; and a college-level vocabulary; and
  10. proofread, edit, and correct their final copy for common errors of spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and usage.

As class requirements and activities are discussed and listed below, they will refer to objectives in the above list by letter.

Texts and Supplies bulletrhetoric: Axelrod & Cooper, The St. Martin's Guide to Writing, 5e (paperback) bullethandbook: Lunsford & Connors, EasyWriter bulletreadings: Wolff, This Boy's Life; Santiago, When I Was Puerto Rican; Toth, The Mole People; Bissinger, Friday Night Lights; Medved, Hollywood Vs. America; Isaacs, Brave Dames & Wimpettes; Lefkovitz, Our Guys; Blumberg, The Body Project.

Journals

The journal will be a collection of responses to readings and other short assignments, including many exercises in SMG, some of which students will complete in class. Writing in the journal need not be "polished" to earn credit, but it must be thoughtful. Its purpose is to help students achieve critical thinking as readers, flexibility as researchers, and fluency as writers (cf. outcomes a, b, c, h, i).

The Portfolio

The portfolio will include selected pieces of "finished" writing as well as some "work-in-process" and self-assessment. By the time a finished piece of writing appears in the final portfolio, it will have been painstakingly planned, drafted, workshopped, and revised (j). Submitted essays must provide essays evidence of the writing process (invention/field notes, interview transcripts, early drafts, written feedback, etc.), since all submitted written work must be produced in class, prompted by class discussion and critiqued by colleagues and instructor alike (d).

 

Major Writing Projects

project description length draft models
a personal narrative (SMG ch.2) narrate an autobiographical event, showing the details of its occurrence and speculating about its significance; the goal is to present a compelling story in precise detail and vivid language (d, h, i) 1000 words week 3, with a revision at midterm (d) This Boy’s Life, When I Was Puerto Rican (a)
a case study of an intriguing person, place, or activity (SMG ch.4) drawing primarily (but not exclusively) on field research, profile a subject in an attempt to enlighten and inform your audience (d, h, i) 1500 words, two sources week 6, with a revision at midterm (d) The Mole People, Friday Night Lights (a)
a position paper (SMG ch.6) articulate and defend a thesis in response to Medved or Isaacs; the goal is to make the thesis understandable and rational to an intelligent, informed audience by using clear claims and persuasive evidence (d, e) 1500 words, five sources week 11, with a revision at final conference (d) Hollywood Vs. America, Brave Dames & Wimpettes (a)
a researched analysis (SMG ch.9) research and present a careful analysis of a phenomenon suggested by reading Lefkowitz or Brumberg; the goal is to persuade the audience of a subject's existence and importance, then to speculate intelligently about its causes, implications, or effects (e, f, g) 2500 words, ten sources week 14, with a revision in the final portfolio (d) The Body Project, Our Guys (a)

 

Conferences & Draft Workshops

Individual conferences and scheduled draft workshops will provide opportunities to receive structured, constructive feedback before work is evaluated in the portfolio. Classmates will read the work carefully and critically, responding to specific strategies, details, claims, and evidence. And either in conference or on revisions, instructor feedback will be aimed at helping each student rethink and revise the project for inclusion in the final portfolio (d).

 

Book Forums

The purpose of the book forums is the continued exchange of academic ideas beyond and outside our Minn� classroom. To earn credit for book forum participation, students can (1) address the posted questions and/or raise new questions for further discussion; (2) make connections between different course texts; and (3) tactfully and purposefully respond to another’s question (a, b).

 

Panel Presentations

During the semester, students will participate in formal class presentations called "panels," where they will present and discuss a published book. These should be business-like models of efficiency and articulateness. Students should use appropriate informational handouts and visual aids to enhance their audience’s understanding. The purpose will be to inform other students in the class of the book’s contents, to engage them in its description, and to familiarize them with an example of a particular genre of writing (a, b, e).

 

Evaluation and Grading

Class participation will be evaluated by the following: bulletJournals: timely, purposeful, engaged completion of 100% of assigned journal entries bulletDrafts: complete, timely, purposeful, engaged submission of assigned drafts bulletConferences and Workshops: active, tolerant, communicative, well-prepared participation bulletBook Forums: timely, demonstrated, convincing, purposeful participation in at least five book forums bulletPresentations and Participation: well-prepared, articulate, purposeful participation in panel presentations; consistently meaningful contributions to others’ presentations

The writing portfolio will be evaluated by the following:

bulleta developed ability to read for comprehension, evaluation, & interpretation (a, b, c) bulletan ability to engage and persuade critical audiences in different rhetorical situations (h) bulletconvincing evidence of an ability to research thoroughly, to think critically and articulately (e) bulletsound arguments, unmarred by fallacies, implementing alternative points of view (b, e) bulletclearly-presented organizations, with consistently helpful cues: forecasts, transitions, summaries, etc. (g) bulletconcise, intelligent, qualified claims, supported with specific evidence from authoritative sources (e, f, g) bulletcorrect documentation in MLA and APA formats (e) bulletconsistently accurate, purposeful quotation and paraphrase (e) bulletefficient, varied sentences and rhetorically effective, accurate language (I) bulletcorrect, rhetorically effective use of punctuation, usage, & mechanics conventions (i, j) bulleta developed ability to improve writing through diligent, purposeful revision (d)

Sample Project Calendar

8/26 SMG ch. 12, reading critically: the structure of argument (b)

8/31 SMG ch. 1, "the" writing process: myth, ritual, and practice (d, j)

9/2 SMG ch. 2, readings in narrative: Wolff, Dillard, Auster (a); summaries due (c)

9/7 reading & panel presentation: Wolff, This Boy's Life (a, b, c)

9/9 reading & panel presentation: Santiago, When I Was Puerto Rican (a, b, c)

9/14 post draft of event essay for workshop critique; critical reading (b)

9/16 reading: Tan, G. Wolff; SMG ch. 13 & 14 on narration, description; complete, read workshop critiques (b, d)

9/21 submit revised event paper (d, i)

9/23 SMG ch. 4, readings: New Yorker, Manegold, Noonan (a); summaries due (c); strategies for field research

9/28 SMG ch. 20, observing and describing

9/30 interview notes, transcript, follow-up; integrating researched information (e, f)

10/5 reading & panel presentation: Toth, The Mole People (a, b, c)

10/7 reading & panel presentation: Bissinger, Friday Night Lights (a, b, c)

10/12 post draft of profile essay for workshop critique; critical reading (b)

10/14 meet in Library 102. complete and read workshop critiques (b, d); proofreading & editing (i, j)

Note: submit midterm portfolio by 3 pm Monday, October 18

10/19 SMG ch. 6 readings Estrada, Ehrenreich, Molyneux (a); the rhetoric of argument (b, c, e)

10/21 evaluating claims and evidence (b, c, e)

10/26 types of claims and evidence; logical fallacies (e)

10/28 reading & panel presentation: Medved, Hollywood Vs. America (a, b, c)

11/2 reading & panel presentation: Isaacs, Brave Dames & Wimpettes (a, b, c)

11/4 Meet in Library 102. SMG ch. 21 & 22, library and internet research (f)

11/9 Meet in Library 102. post draft of position paper for workshop critique; SMG ch. 13, cues for coherence (g, i)

11/11 complete and read workshop critiques (b); adapting tone & content (h)

11/16 submit revised position paper (d, h)

11/18 SMG ch. 9, readings: King, Berger, Putnam (a); summaries due (c)

11/23 panel presentation: Lefkowitz, Our Guys (a, b, c)

11/25 panel presentation: Brumberg, The Body Project (a, b, c)

11/30 Meet in Library 102. Documenting electronic and other media (e, f, g)

12/2 annotated bibliography Due: 12 sources for analysis paper (f)

12/7 post draft of analysis paper for workshop critique; critical reading (b)

12/9 complete and read workshop critiques (b); proofreading & editing (i, j)

12/13 final exam period 10:30 a.m-12:30 p.m.: final portfolios due; final exam essay; course assessment

 

This schedule is tentative and subject to revision;

specifics of daily assignments and deadlines will be discussed in class.

Sample Writing Project: Researched Analysis

Research and present a careful analysis of a phenomenon suggested by your reading of Lefkowitz or Brumberg; the goal is to persuade your audience of your subject's existence and importance, then to speculate intelligently about its causes, implications, or effects.

In 1989 a group of popular high school athletes lured a retarded girl into a suburban basement in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, and gang-raped her. But weeks passed before the rape was reported to the police, and many of the town’s elders defended the boys while blaming the victim. Why did these jocks — "our guys" — do what they did? And why did the town defend them while vilifying the girl? Bernard Lefkowitz’s prizewinning book Our Guys details the events of the crime and provides some intelligent, difficult answers.

A century ago, most American young women shared an ideal: to develop a pure heart through the accomplishment of good deeds. Today, American women have more social choices and personal freedom than ever before; however, many of them are dissatisfied with their bodies, unconcerned with good deeds in the historical sense, and on their way — by age eight or nine — to a long-term obsession with weight, diet, beauty, and body. Why is this so? In The Body Project, historian Joan Jacobs Brumberg explores personal diaries and media images to arrive at answers.

Works like Our Guys and The Body Project, then, are analyses — speculative explorations of the causes of cultural phenomena. Although they are in many ways persuasive, they do not aim primarily to argue. Instead, they (1) demonstrate authoritatively that their subject exists and is worth consideration; and (2) provide thoughtful analysis of causes. This kind of analysis rarely yields irrefutable "proof"; causal analysis is largely speculative. Nonetheless, Lefkowitz and Brumberg investigate their subjects with zeal and intelligence, demonstrating a number of plausible reasons why "our guys" did what they did and why "the body project" has become so all-consuming. Both authors’ works are the products of inquiring, intellectual minds eager to learn why what happened, happened.

This project requires you to write a careful researched analysis of any phenomenon suggested by your reading of Lefkowitz or Brumberg. Your essay will analyze causes, rather than argue a position or advocate for solutions. Lefkowitz’s book might inspire you to study gang rape, victims’ rights, plea bargaining, homoeroticism, sex crimes by athletes, or rape trauma syndrome; Brumberg’s, dieting, piercing, mentoring, "coming out," body "perfecting," "bad body fever," or "ovarian determinism." You will need to present some coherent, purposeful summary of the relevant sections of Our Guys or The Body Project; to articulate and defend a focused, analytical thesis; to use researched evidence to support clear, conspicuous claims — demonstrating both the subject’s existence (and scope) and your analysis of its causes; and to make use of at least eight authoritative sources of correctly presented and documented research (MLA or APA format), with accurate paraphrase and quotation.

After our close reading of Lefkowitz and Brumberg in the panel presentations, you’ll post the draft to our workshop, where you’ll receive thorough critical readings from two classmates. At that stage, your revision concerns should include providing helpful cues for readers and correct, conventional usage. I’ll also be reading your work in conference during the semester’s last week of classes. For the final portfolio, the paper must be at least ten double-spaced pages (2500 words) with a Works Cited or References list.

DATES

bullet11/30 Library Research Day; Meet in Library 102 (f) bullet12/2 Annotated Bibliography and Prospectus Due (e, f) bullet12/7 Post Draft to Workshop for Critique (d) bullet12/9 Complete and Read Workshop Critiques (b, d, h)

GOALS

bulletcoherent, purposeful summary (a, c) bulleta focused, analytical thesis (e) bulletauthoritative researched evidence (e) bulletclear, conspicuous claims (e) bulletcorrectly presented and documented research (f) bulletaccurate paraphrase and quotation (e bullethelpful cues for readers (g, h) bulletcorrect, conventional usage (I, j)

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