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English Composition - 1st year


Teaches the techniques of English composition with an emphasis on the process of learning to write clearly and effectively and to read analytically.



Objectives:

By the end of the course, students will be able to:

1. Compose effective thesis statements;

2. Demonstrate proficiency in writing skills based on the criteria of standard essay structure and English usage;

3. Compose a clear, coherent, unified essay organized around a single central idea and using a variety of techniques for support;

4. Demonstrate understanding of and effective use of paragraph structure, including topic sentences, supporting examples and transition sentences;

5. Demonstrate effective use of introductions and conclusions;

6. Read, analyze and discuss reading with an understanding of structure and mechanics;

7. Employ the various stages of the writing process, including brainstorming, outlining, drafting, revising and editing;

8. Identify effective writing techniques in his or her essays and peer writing;

9. Effectively employ quotation, paraphrase and summary;

10. Effectively employ correct citation style, including parenthetical, in-text citation, and works-cited pages;

11. Employ various forms of support for claims, including concrete, significant and specific examples, illustrations, anecdotes, facts and reasons;

12. Demonstrate an ability to recognize and avoid plagiarism;

13. Evaluate sources for relevance and reliability;

14. Demonstrate ability to write for an academic audience.

Topics:

Course topics will include the following:

1. Essay structure (introduction, body, conclusion)

2. Paragraph structure (topic sentence, supporting example, transition sentences)

3. Basic rhetorical modes (narration, description, comparison/contrast, cause & effect)

4. Writing process (brainstorming, outlining, drafting, revising, editing)

5. Thesis statements

6. Fundamentals of persuasive writing: supporting claims, acknowledging counter-arguments, making concessions

7. Effective use of quotation, paraphrase and summary

8. Stylistics (syntax, vocabulary, conciseness, creating interest, tone)

9. Correct paper formatting

10. Grammar & mechanics as needed

11. Responding to and discussing assigned readings

Method of Instruction:

1. Lecture

2. Seminar discussion

3. In-class composition

4. Peer-revision

5. Assigned readings

Types of Assignments:

1. Short papers

2. Informal writing assignments, such as responses to readings or journal writing

3. Assigned readings

4. Independent reading

5. Class presentation


Sample Text:

1. Hairston, et al. The Scott, Foresman Handbook for Writers (San Francisco: Longman 2002 or latest edition)