English 099 is intended to foster your development as a successful writer by introducing you to academic composition. The course will teach you about the kinds of writing required in college courses. English 099 will provide you with a repertoire of strategies for writing for different aims and audiences, for gaining more insight into successful processes of writing, for critically reading others’ writing, and for understanding the integral role that writing will play in your academic, personal, and professional life. This will allow you to learn about your own writing processes and how to establish methods for making the most of your individual writing strengths.
This section of English 099 is guided by four central concepts:
- Reading as Process: Reading will play an integral part in this course. Whether you are reading for pleasure or for a class, reading requires analytical and critical thought. This is a process that this course will explore in-depth as we use readings to sharpen our critical thinking skills. Everyone makes sense of readings through their own individual experiences. It is a meaning making process that must be practiced in order to be learned.
- Writing as Process: The course stresses the process of writing—inventing and developing ideas, planning, drafting, and revising. This course will help you develop more awareness of your writing process, offering you a variety of strategies for improving that process at every level.
- Writing as Inquiry: Many think of writing as an act of transcription: you have an idea in your mind and you simply transcribe it on paper. Research and experience, however, show that the act of writing is an act of learning, a process of discovering new ways to look at our worlds and our places in them. When writing is an act of inquiry—when it starts with dissonance and questions, rather than pre-fabricated answers—writing becomes a process of learning. Hence, a central goal of the course is to help you think about and experience writing as a mode of inquiry and discovery.
- Collaboration: Writing is a social act, and whether you’re writing in an academic community, business community, virtual community, and/or creative community, all writing is (in one way or another) collaborative. Learning to write with others, to respond to others’ writing, and to write for specific audiences are vital goals for the class. It is my hope that this course will be a place where sharing ideas, generating and working through conflict, and engaging in a spirit of collaboration prevails.
- Primary Course Goals
- Students will write and revise three major essays for a total of at least 3,000 words of finished, edited prose
- Students will participate in collaborative learning environments via peer group and workshop experiences.
- Students will recognize and correct patterns of error in their own writing.
- Specific Assignment Goals
- Students will have a better understanding of how to use writing to explore, describe, and reflect on their own experiences;
- Students will begin to consider the ways in which literacy and writing are social acts;
- Students will consider their audience and purpose more carefully when making decisions in their writing;
- Students will understand that writing plays a significant role in the lives of most professionals;
- Students will be able to incorporate other sources into their writing fluidly;
- Students will begin to think more seriously about the types of writing involved in college and the rhetorical sensitivity necessary to successfully complete a variety of projects;
- Students will be able to critically read, analyze, and comment on various types of written and visual discourse;
- Students will be able to acknowledge and articulate an argument about an issue concerning a community;
- Students will be able to support an argument with various types of evidence;
- Students will be able to identify and use argument strategies that are appropriate and effective for your audience.
Anderson, Marilyn. Keys to Successful Writing: Unlocking the Writer Within. New York: Pearson Longman, 2008.