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Mission Statement: First Year Writing Sequence

January 28, 2010 (revision)

The First Year Writing Sequence (English 1303 and 1304) instructs students in the principles of rhetoric as applied in reading, analyzing, and writing prose. 1303 concentrates on expository writing, including description and narrative writing, while 1304 incorporates those expository skills and concentrates them to emphasize the analysis and production of persuasive writing. The courses aim to teach students that effective writing communicates clearly and appropriately for a given rhetorical situation, and that writers make careful choices to suit their writing to the audience and the occasion. Through the study and analysis of student and professional models, students learn to identify rhetorical strategies available to them as writers. Through guided practice, students learn to assess the needs of specific rhetorical situations and begin to build an arsenal of rhetorical strategies to suit them for the writing they will do, both within and outside the academy.

English 1303

English 1303 is the first of a pair of writing courses designed to make up and satisfy the first year’s core curriculum requirements in communication. As the gateway course, 1303 concentrates of expository writing. The aim of Exposition is the production of explanatory writing that is clear; precise; correct according to current conventions of style, grammar, and form; organized, and suited to its targeted audience. It presumes an audience seeking information that will be useful to it, and thus differs from argumentation in that although it may involve persuasion, it does not have persuasion as its goal. Student writers typically will begin by reading and analyzing the techniques of various expository articles and essays to discover ways writers of such prose present and organize their materials for the most efficient and effective communication to their target audience.

English 1304

As the second semester in the Freshman Composition sequence, English 1304 continues to develop students’ understanding and command of the writing processes by focusing on invention, organization, drafting, revision, editing, and presentation. Part of the development of these skills is teaching students to recognize and analyze rhetorical features within the writing of others. Using scholarly, popular, and student texts for inquiry and research, students will find, evaluate and analyze how authorial choices function within both primary and secondary sources. By the end of the course, students are expected to recognize and understand the conventions of format, structure, and style appropriate to a variety of rhetorical situations, audiences, and genres. By identifying how rhetorical choices work within the writing of others, students can begin to make choices within their own writing; integrate their own ideas with the ideas of others; and write an inquiry driven paper that conforms to the standards of the discipline, using consistent documentation style.