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WRITING 101 GOALS (include on syllabus)

1.    To use writing, the critical reading of mature prose texts, and research as means of general cognitive development, as activities which foster intellectual growth in an academic environment.

2.    To encourage students to see writing as a learning tool that is important in all contexts and is not confined to the writing classroom. 

3.    To teach students to plan, organize, and develop persuasive essays by using introspection, general observation, deliberation, course reading, and research beyond classroom texts. 

4.    To make students aware of their individual voices and how those voices can be adapted to fit different audiences and rhetorical situations. 

5.    To encourage students to view writing as a process by using several prewriting, organizing, drafting, revising, and editing strategies. 

6.    To stress the importance of clear communication by teaching students to revise effectively through the complete rethinking, restructuring, and rewriting of essays. 

7.    To encourage independent thinking. 

8.     To teach students to evaluate, document, and incorporate source material accurately and appropriately, according to “The Correct Use of Borrowed Information.” 


Writing 101 introduces students to college-level writing.  Our primary goal is to further the development of our students' writing skills and to show students that writing is essential to a liberal arts education and to life-long learning.  Students should learn about the developmental nature of writing, the importance of academic standards, and the significance of "writing to learn." Be sure to include the 8 listed goals above on your syllabus.


Student Learning Outcomes (Include on syllabus.)
Student Learning Outcomes for Writing 101 include the following:

1.       Students will analyze and evaluate nonfiction prose texts both for their ideas and their rhetorical choices trough the use of critical reading strategies.

2.       Students will plan, organize, and develop persuasive, logical, and well-supported essays by using strategies such as introspection, general observation, and deliberation of source material.

3.       Students will recognize and use prewriting, organizing, drafting, and revising strategies.

4.       Students will apply feedback from the instructor, peers, and self-analysis to improve their writing.

5.       Students will evaluate, document, and incorporate source material accurately and appropriately according to “The Correct Use of Borrowed Information” and MLA documentation style.


University Level Competencies (include on syllabus)

Competency 1: Winthrop graduates think critically and solve problems. Winthrop University graduates reason logically, evaluate and use evidence, and solve problems. They seek out and assess relevant information from multiple viewpoints to form well-reasoned conclusions. Winthrop graduates consider the full context and consequences of their decisions and continually reexamine their own critical thinking process, including the strengths and weaknesses of their arguments.
Competency 2: Winthrop graduates are personally and socially responsible. Winthrop University graduates value integrity, perceive moral dimensions, and achieve excellence. They take seriously the perspectives of others, practice ethical reasoning, and reflect on experiences. Winthrop graduates have a sense of responsibility to the broader community and contribute to the greater good.
Competency 3: Winthrop graduates understand the interconnected nature of the world and the time in which they live. Winthrop University graduates comprehend the historical, social, and global contexts of their disciplines and their lives. They also recognize how their chosen area of study is inextricably linked to other fields. Winthrop graduates collaborate with members of diverse academic, professional, and cultural communities as informed and engaged citizens.
 Competency 4: Winthrop graduates communicate effectively. Winthrop University graduates communicate in a manner appropriate to the subject, occasion, and audience. They create texts - including but not limited to written, oral, and visual presentations – that convey content effectively. Mindful of their voice and the impact of their communication, Winthrop graduates successfully express and exchange ideas.

Minimum Grade Requirement

Students must earn at least a C- in Writing 101.  Students must repeat Writing 101 if they earn less than a C-.  Remind students that at least a C- in Writing 101 is a prerequisite for enrolling in HMXP102.  Be sure to include on course syllabi a notice about this grade requirement.


Number and Types of Assignments (Approved by Department 11/15/2012)

WRIT 101 is an introduction to academic discourse.  The focus of the course should be on the writing process, a process that results in well-supported, thesis-driven prose.  While formal argument will not be the only emphasis, the writing in this course should use many of the strategies of formal arguments:  a clear stance; reasoned, logical support; concession; refutation; authorial voice; awareness of audience; and the correct documentation of borrowed materials.  Reading assignments and class discussion should lead directly or indirectly to writing assignments, and reading assignments should be mature non-fiction prose.  The first paper in the course may be an experiential, transitional—“from high school to college”—paper, based solely on personal experience, but writing should progress quickly to objective analytical writing that correctly incorporates summarized, paraphrased, and quoted materials.

Instructors should assign at least 4,000 words of graded writing, an amount that includes the final exam (a timed writing assignment). Each student should write at least five graded essays (including the final exam).  At least three essays should be written outside of class and the final exam should be written in class during the university’s scheduled final exam period.  The remaining essay may be written outside of class or in class. At least four essays should incorporate borrowed material, and at least two of these should include library or other outside research.  One of our crucial goals for this course is that students learn how to incorporate borrowed material correctly, and every effort should be made to ensure that this goal is achieved.  The University community assumes that students leave WRIT 101 with the tools needed to document borrowed material without unintentionally plagiarizing and to understand what constitutes plagiarism and what its consequences might be. 

Complete revisions (i.e. re-written papers) may count as new essays if both versions are graded.  Ungraded drafts and corrections do not count toward minimum writing requirements.  NOTE:  In WRIT 101, we DO NOT teach modes (narration, description, classification, etc.) as the sole organizing strategy for any single assignment. 


 NOTE:  Final exams must be given during the assigned exam time.



All WRIT 101 faculty are required to use the same handbook and documentation guide: Prentice Hall Reference Guide:  3rd Custom Edition for Winthrop University, taken from the Prentice Hall Reference Guide, 8th edition by Muriel Harris.  You may choose the non-fiction reader you wish to use from the texts selected for WRIT 101: Behrens and Rosen’s  Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum (12th edition);  Axelrod, Cooper, and Warriner's Reading Critically, Writing Well (9th edition); and From Inquiry to Academic Writing


Common Book

All Winthrop freshmen will read the same common book as part of their orientation and ACAD experience. This year, the book selected is William Kamkwamba's The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind. The University College website has information on the Winthrop Common Book Project



Please require your students to download and print a copy of the grading rubric from the department web page.  We ask that you go over this material with the students prior to the first essay assignment.  Some faculty have had great success in asking students to evaluate a student-written essay using the grading rubric.  This task seems to make them more aware of what is required in their own writing.  Be sure to include on your syllabus your grading scale, breakdown, and whether or not you are using the +/- system. 


Diagnostic Essay

Faculty should have students produce a writing sample on the first day of class.  A prompt will be available in the workroom, or you may use one of your own.  Many faculty use this writing as a pre-writing exercise which leads to a revised essay.  These essays may help you to spot students with serious writing problems so that you can direct them immediately to the Writing Center for assistance.    


Students should learn how to summarize, to paraphrase, and to handle direct quotations in Writing 101; and they should be able to use material from two or more sources in one essay.  The departmental guideline entitled "The Correct Use of Borrowed Information" which is now included in the custom handbook should be used along with the appropriate chapters in the Prentice Hall Reference Guide –3rd Custom Edition.   The Winthrop library also has prepared information about “Citing Electronic Sources: MLA Documentation” that you may use.  Students and instructors should be familiar with the University’s policy on plagiarism (as stated in the Winthrop University Undergraduate Catalog and the Student Handbook) and should be aware that the penalty for plagiarism, depending on the severity of the offense, may vary from a grade reduction on the assignment to a failing grade in the course.  We encourage all faculty to set up an account and use TURNITIN.  We believe this program will help you and your students and certainly reduce the incidents of plagiarism.      


Required Library Lecture

There is now an on-line tour of the library, which each student may take from the privacy of his/her computer terminal. This assignment will focus on using DOC and finding books.  This assignment should be completed in WRIT 101.
Writing 101 classes normally include include a library lecture. Currently, the library faculty is preparing video tutorials on various topics that are scheduled to be available mid-September on.  Please reinforce this information with your students.  To schedule a library class, please contact Jackie McFadden: Information Literacy Coordinator (i.e. Bibliographic Instruction), 323-2322.

Final Exam

All Writing 101 students will take their Writing 101 exam during the regularly scheduled exam time for that class period in their regular Writing 101 classroom.  (The exam schedule is available through the Records and Registration website.) Each instructor will construct his or her own final essay examination based on course material or special readings provided by the instructor.  (Objective exams are not acceptable.)  The final exam should count from 10% to 15% of a student's final grade for the course.  Your syllabus should include your exam time


Please give a copy of your final exam topic (assignment) to the Director of Composition and to Carol Schlabach. 


Storage of Students' Papers

The English Department no longer stores WRIT 101 students’ papers.  Individual instructors who would like to keep their WRIT 101 students’ papers must arrange for appropriate storage and disposal following FERPA guidelines, available at http://www.winthrop.edu/recandreg/default.aspx?id=22609

You may be asked to provide copies of randomly selected papers for assessment purposes. 



When you have drawn up your syllabi, give one copy to Carol Schlabach. All syllabi must also be archived electronically for accreditation purposes.


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