The following are the core skills and ideas students should gain from the College Writing course sequence:
Concepts of Writing
- Students should understand that writing is a process, a series of choices, and not simply a product.
- Based on the idea that writing is a series of choices, students should learn how to make effective choices in their own writing.
- Since writing is a social act, students should learn how to give critical feedback to their peers’ writing and to receive critical feedback on their writing.
- In learning these concepts, students should begin to develop an awareness of themselves as writers.
Writing Process Skills
- Students should understand and attend to the role of the audience in writing.
- Students should learn how to formulate an original thesis in their writing projects and to develop that thesis into a well-supported argument.
- Students should learn a range of research methods and how to incorporate source material into their writing so that it develops and supports their ideas.
- Students should learn effective organizational strategies for their writing.
- Students should learn to write in multiple genres (e.g. personal narrative, researched essay, textual critique, proposal, profile, timed-writing essay).
- Students should develop the ability to sustain an analytical essay for at least eight pages.
- Students should learn how to recognize and repair sentence-level errors.
- Students should be challenged to develop critical thinking and reading skills, so that they can devise original ideas, rather than simply echo the ideas of others.
- Based on class discussion, class reading, writing assignments, and conferences, students should learn how to arrive at informed questions and opinions.
- Students should learn how to express themselves clearly as participants of the class, whether in discussion or more formal presentations.
- Students should learn how to analyze assignments from all disciplines.
- Through experience with the instructor’s commentary and workshops/peer review, students should learn how to interpret feedback on their writing.
- Students should acquire research skills, including making full and meaningful use of the library’s resources, such as databases, catalog, stacks, periodicals, and media holdings, as well as non-textual sources (e.g., the larger DC community).
- Students should learn how to support ideas with persuasive research.
- Students should learn how to evaluate the credibility of a source (especially Internet sites), to use academic/scholarly resources, and to incorporate sources effectively.
- Students should learn the correct formatting for MLA citation, including the construction of an MLA-style Works Cited page.
- Students should learn the definitions of and consequences for plagiarism and other Academic Integrity Code violations, as well as techniques for avoiding unintentional violations.