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English Composition in the Core Curriculum

 

University Core Curriculum Objectives
Supported by the Rhetoric and Composition Program

As is written in the University Core Curriculum: A Guidebook for Students and Faculty Advisors:

The UCC’s goals focus on four areas: The Mind (enhancement of cognitive abilities), The Self (enhancement of individual development), The World (enhancement of cultural and natural awareness), and The Synthesis (the integration and application of knowledge). These are then subdivided into 13 smaller objectives concerned with oral and written communication, mathematics, critical thinking, information processing, ethics, the arts, health and lifestyle, history, individual development and social behavior, science, western culture, global communities, and inter-disciplinary studies. (1)

English 101 and 201 are designed to support the first of these areas, The Mind, and the first of the smaller objectives, A1: The ability to communicate effectively, listed below.

A. The Mind: Enhancement of Cognitive Abilities

A1. The ability to communicate effectively

Students should be able to write clear, concise, and coherent prose in both expository and persuasive modes. They should be able to speak clearly, effectively, and persuasively in both formal and informal circumstances.

Objectives for English 101: Rhetoric and Composition I: Critical Thinking

Tentative new title:    Rhetoric and Composition I: Literacy and the Self

Outcomes

  1. Academic Literacy
          Prepares students to:
    • Read and comprehend academic discourse.
    • Discover, develop, and articulate ideas through discussion and writing.
    • Communicate effectively within various rhetorical contexts.
    • Reflect on their reading and writing practices.

  2. Academic Discourse Conventions
          Are the basic rules for writing academic prose. These rules include:
    • Reasoned arguments.
    • Organized ideas.
    • Developed supporting evidence.
    • Correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
    • Appropriate documentation and format.
    • Language appropriate to the rhetorical context.

  3. Enhancement of Individual Development
          Means that, through critical thinking, reading, and writing, students will:
    • Discover, develop, revise, and express their ideas.
    • Become members of academic discourse communities.
    • Develop, refine and defend a personal ethos. 
    • Evaluate positions on issues from critical perspectives. 

Requirements
To achieve these goals, all English 101 students will be required to write at least 16 pages (4500 words) of revised, finished prose, developed through a process of invention, development, and revision.  Assignments, either individually or in combination, will ask students to practice the following:

  • Exposition
  •  Analysis
  • Critique
  • Argumentation
  • Reflection

Objectives for English 201:  Rhetoric and Composition II: Argumentation

Tentative new title:   Rhetoric and Composition II:  Literacy and the World

Objectives:

  1. Academic Literacy
                Enables students to:
    • Employ critical thinking, reading, and writing skills in order to communicate effectively within various academic contexts.
    • Employ the appropriate research methods and conventions for a given context. 
    • Adapt these skills to life in the university and beyond.

  2. Academic Discourse Conventions
                Are the basic rules for writing academic prose. These rules include:
    • Reasoned arguments.
    • Organized ideas.
    • Developed supporting evidence.
    • Correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
    • Appropriate documentation and format.
    • Language appropriate to the rhetorical context.

  3. Enhancement of Cultural Awareness
                Means that, through writing and discussion, students will:
    • Discover, develop, revise, and express their ideas.
    • Locate themselves as members of discourse communities.
    • Conduct research to support various forms of argument. 
    • Develop, evaluate, and refine their positions with respect to those held by other members of various discourse communities. 
    • Apply their knowledge and understanding of the various forms of argument to subjects and issues in contemporary society and culture. 

Requirements
To achieve these goals, all English 201 students will be required to write at least 20 pages (6000 words) of revised, finished prose, developed through a process of invention, development, and revision.  Assignments, either individually or in combination, will ask students to practice the following:

  • Inquiring
  • Convincing
  • Persuading
  • Mediating or Resolving
  • Reflecting

College Achievement Program

The University of Southern Indiana’s College Achievement Program (CAP) is managed by the Office of Continuing Education. CAP is a cooperative program between USI and participating high schools which allows high school students to take English 101: Rhetoric and Composition I: Critical Thinking in their own high schools. These sections of English 101 are taught by qualified high school English faculty selected by the English Department. High school students who would like to register for CAP English 101 will take the Rhetoric and Composition Placement Exam during the final weeks of their junior year or during first or second week of their senior year. These exams will be administered by a the CAP instructor and will be evaluated by members of the USI English faculty to ensure that students have the prerequisite skills for English 101. The Director of Composition or the English Department Chair will notify CAP instructors of their students’ scores, and CAP instructors may write to the Director or Chair to appeal the results of these scores.