Foundations Courses (formerly First-Year Composition)

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English 150. Critical Thinking and Communication. (3-0) Cr. 3. F.S.SS. Prereq: Concurrent enrollment in Lib 160. Application of critical reading and thinking abilities to topics of civic and cultural importance. Introduction of basic oral, visual, and electronic communication principles to support writing development. Initiation of communication portfolio.

English 250. Written, Oral, Visual, and Electronic Composition. (3-0) Cr. 3. F.S.SS. Prereq: 150 or exemption from 150; sophomore classification or exemption from 150; credit for or concurrent enrollment in Lib 160. Analyzing, composing, and reflecting on written, oral, visual, electronic (WOVE) discourse within academic, civic, and cultural contexts. Emphasis on supporting a claim and using primary and secondary sources. Continued development of student portfolio.

English 250H. Written, Oral, Visual, and Electronic Composition, Honors. (3-0) Cr. 3. F. Prereq: Exemption from 150 and admission to Freshman Honors Program; credit for or concurrent enrollment in Lib 160. In-depth analysis, composition, and reflection on written, oral, visual, and electronic (WOVE) discourse with academic, civic, and cultural contexts. Emphasis on argumentation: developing claims, generating reasons, providing evidence. Individual sections organized by special topics. Development of student portfolio.

English 150 Objectives

The purpose of English 150 is to begin preparing students for academic courses, as well as providing communication skills for future careers. While most of the course will be devoted to writing, students will also work in small groups, interview others, analyze and create visual communication, and learn how to compose professional email correspondence. Instructors design their courses to address the following goals in a variety of ways.

Written

  • adapt writing to specific purposes and audiences
  • use a variety of organizational strategies
  • integrate a variety of informational sources into an essay
  • develop strategies to revise one's own writing
  • reflect upon one's communication processes, strengths, goals, and growth

Oral

  • interview others, asking effective questions and listening actively
  • be an effective team member in small groups as a contributor and as a listener
  • give brief oral presentations, usually as a small group member

Visual

  • use typography effectively in creating headings and subheadings
  • use the appropriate layout format for a brochure, fact sheet, or newsletter
  • analyze visual communication, such as art on campus
  • use visuals effectively (e.g., imported, scanned, or digital pictures)

Electronic

  • use appropriate format, voice, and language in a professional email such as correspondence with an instructor
  • use word processing skills, including making attachments, tables, etc.

Types of Assignments in English 150

Below are a few of the typical assignments included in English 150. Learning communities often modify assignments to their specific field.

Profile Analyzing Visual Communication Report Composing Visual Communication Proposal
Writing about a person, place, or situation. This assignment will incorporate observational and/or interview skills. Describing and analyzing visual communication (e.g., art-on-campus essay) and incorporating an image into the essay. For this assignment, you will work in groups to analyze the piece and then compose individual essays, incorporating quotations from your partners. Using primary and secondary sources to compose a short report on a topic within one's field of study. The report will include quotations and documentation of sources. Summarizing the highlights of a report by composing a form of visual communication, such as a brochure, fact sheet, or newsletter. Proposing a change within one's field of study. This final project will help prepare you for the transition to English 105, which includes work on argumentation.

English Objectives

The goals of English 250 are for students to develop skills in written, oral, visual, and electronic communication. As a result, students should become not only more perceptive consumers of information, but also communicators better able to make effective decisions in their own work. Throughout the course, students will learn to summarize, analyze, and evaluate various types of communication and then use those skills in four kinds of assignments: summaries, rhetorical analyses, argumentative and persuasive texts, and documented research. Individual instructors incorporate both the course goals and specific types of writing assignments listed below into the syllabi they design.

Written

  • analyze professional writing to assess its purpose, audience, and rhetorical strategies
  • construct arguments that integrate logical, ethical, and emotional appeals
  • write source papers analyzing a rhetorical situation and identifying and accurately documenting appropriate source material
  • avoid distracting or confusing sentence-level errors
  • reflect systematically upon all your communication processes, strengths, goals, and growth

Oral

  • give an oral presentation, either individually or as part of a team, using effective invention, organization, language, and delivery strategies
  • be an effective team member in small groups as a contributor, listener, and presenter

Visual

  • rhetorically analyze visual communication, such as an advertisement, film, etc.
  • create a visual argument (e.g., advertisement, bookmark, poster, slide presentation, etc.)

Electronic

  • rhetorically analyze electronic communication, such as emails or websites
  • create an electronic composition (e.g., communication e-portfolio)

Types of Assignments in English 250

Below are a few of the typical assignments included in English 105. Learning communities often modify assignments to their specific field.

Summary Rhetorical Analysis Argument and Persuasion Documented Research
Students will learn how to identify main ideas and recast those ideas in their own words. Active reading skills will help students notice how writers express, organize, and support their points. Students will not only learn the practical skill of accurately translating others' ideas but also learn accountability for treating those ideas with respect. Students will also analyze readings to see how—and how successfully—the author uses substance, organization, style, and delivery to fit the particular context of purpose and audience. Learning to analyze rhetorically will allow students to become adept at noticing how an author accomplishes his/her purpose. This skill will help them plan their own communication efforts. Students will explore argument and persuasion by analyzing a variety of texts—essays, editorials, advertising, websites, film, etc. Students will then apply this knowledge as they construct their own arguments. For example, students might compose a rebuttal to one or more of the readings, an oral presentation recommending changes on campus, or a slide presentation argumenting your position on a controversial topic. As students develop their own arguments, they'll learn to support their ideas by interweaving sources into your compositions. In English 250, they'll gain experience with basic research methods, standard documentation forms, and the appropriate uses of summary, paraphrase, and direct quotation—all of which will enhance the integrity of their writing. In addition to a written text, the instructor might ask students to share their research with classmates through a poster presentation or a group slide presentation.