4. Course Objectives and Philosophy
Your objectives for this course are to
- Create individualized writing learning plans based on the results of diagnostic tests and in consultation with instructor.
- Practice grammar skills (those applicable to the individual student) through frequent electronic and written exercises, with feedback and explanation, both in and out of class.
- Practice the grammar skills learned in exercises by focusing on these issues in the composition, revision, and editing phases of the writing process.
- Develop sustainable main ideas for paragraphs and short essays.
- Compose grammatically correct (free of both syntax issues and surface errors) sentences in paragraph-length writing assignments.
- Practice writing process skills such as prewriting, free writing, brainstorming, listing, outlining, mapping, zero drafting, drafting, revising, proofreading, and copyediting
- Plan, write, and revise several types of short essays.
This course fulfills the Communication, Self-Awareness, and Reflection element of the Liberal Arts Core. Keep all drafts of your papers from all your classes. You will need to include a selection of papers in your graduation portfolio -- a required component of each major.
Course Philosophy and Pedagogical Design
(Why we think this way of teaching you will help you learn.)
Composition is a multi-stage process rather than a single-sitting activity. The principle of writing as a process will unite all course activities. This course is designed to help students identify their own writing strengths and weaknesses and to build a plan for writing improvement based on those findings. Students will take an early diagnostic test, which, along with guidance from the instructor, will allow them to identify areas needing work. Grammar exercises and writing assignments will be tailored to each student, offering practice where needed. The course will also use a sequential building method, asking students to analyze their own writing on a sentence-by-sentence level, then on the paragraph level, and finally, in the context of the short essay. The instructor will assign some writing topics; other assignments will allow for student choice in subject matter. A post-test will offer assessment information for instructor and student alike, and a final self-assessment essay will give students the opportunity to reflect on writing progress and to identify writing goals and challenges for the future.