COMP107 Introduction to Rhetorical Skills

Department of Language & Literature: Composition

I. Course Number and Title
COMP107 Introduction to Rhetorical Skills
II. Number of Credits
3 credits
III. Minimum Number of Instructional Minutes Per Semester
IV. Prerequisites
Writing Placement Test score of 4 or better or COMP090 (C or better)
V. Other Pertinent Information

This course will not satisfy the general elective category for students who entered their program or study in or after the 2007 Fall semester.

The Department of Language and Literature has determined that all composition courses will require a 5000 word minimum in writing assignments.

As a pre-college level course, COMP107: Introduction to Rhetorical Skills is generally not transferable.

A final grade of C or higher in this course is necessary for registration in COMP110.

VI. Catalog Course Description
This course in the English Composition sequence entails extensive expository writing with an emphasis on essential rhetorical skills. Through class discussion and intensive individual conference, instructors guide student use of evidence to support topic sentences and theses. Students prepare for COMP110 by developing fluency in their writing.
VII. Required Course Content and Direction
  1. Learning Goals:

    1. Course
    2. Students will:
      1. use at least eight of the following rhetorical modes: narration; description; exemplification; comparison/contrast; definition; argument; division; classification; process analysis; and cause and effect;
      2. demonstrate critical thinking and reading skills by writing expository paragraphs and essays in response to course readings;
      3. compose a multi-paragraph essay (of at least 500 words) that supports and develops an effective thesis statement with specific supporting details and examples, and is coherently organized with a clear understanding of introductory, developmental, and concluding paragraphs; and
      4. write varied sentences, using correct standard American English, free from errors in mechanics, usage, grammar, and spelling.

    3. Core (if applicable)
    4. This course is not included in the Core.
  2. Planned Sequence of Topics and/or Learning Activities:

    1. Students complete text-based writing assignments, both formal and informal, in which they respond critically to the issues raised in course readings and classroom discussion of those readings.
    2. Instructors assign readings to provide sources for discussion and paper topics, to demonstrate models of writing, and to develop critical thinking and reading skills.
    3. Students write six to eight separate paragraphs, of approximately 200 words each, demonstrating their facility with selected rhetorical modes, followed by at least three multi-paragraph essays (500 words each at minimum). Students write no fewer than two of the paragraphs and the last essay during class time.
    4. Paragraph and essay assignments are formalized--directing the topic to be covered and suggesting modes of development and types of evidence to be used--and distributed to students electronically or via hard copy.
    5. Shortly after midterm, students visit the Library and use the dictionary, in addition to other Library resources at the instructor’s discretion, in conjunction with an assignment using the definition rhetorical mode.
    6. Students are required to devote special attention to the development of thesis and topic sentences, to the presentation of ample specific supporting details, to paragraph unity and coherence, to grammar, diction, and spelling, and to sentence structure, including phrases, clauses, and punctuation.
    7. Instructors require rough drafts and other pre-writing activities with each formal writing assignment. Further, instructors encourage students to revise their paragraphs and essays.
    8. Instructors arrange for an orientation session at the Tutoring Center within the first two weeks of the semester.
    9. Instructors schedule one-on-one conferences to take place before midterm and during the last quarter of the semester.
    10. Instructors may require students to schedule Tutoring Center appointments as a part of course requirements.
  3. Assessment Methods for Core Learning Goals:

    1. Course
      1. Student writing is evaluated according to the Department’s approved criteria for grading compositions in COMP107: Introduction to Rhetorical Skills, which are now a part of the syllabus (see attached Grading Standards for COMP107: Introduction to Rhetorical Skills).
      2. Students submit a minimum of 5000 words for evaluation. No fewer than six separate paragraph and three multi-paragraph compositions can be used to achieve this total. These assignments must constitute no less than 90% of the final grade.
      3. At least two paragraphs and one essay must be written in class during the semester, one of which must receive a passing grade (equivalent of a C or better) for the student to pass the course.
      4. In their paragraphs and essays, students must demonstrate effective use of rhetorical modes such as narrative, description, exemplification, comparison/ contrast, definition, classification, and cause and effect, and respond critically to course readings.
      5. In their paragraphs and essays, students must demonstrate competency in standard American English.
      6. Other evaluative tools such as quizzes, examinations, journals, exercises, and class participation may be used as specified in the individual instructor’s class format. These evaluative tools will contribute a total of no more than 10% of the final grade for the course.

    2. Core (if applicable)
    3. This course is not included in the Core.
  4. Reference, Resource, or Learning Materials to be used by Students:

    Department-approved textbook
    Department-approved handbook
    Audio/visual resources at the instructor’s discretion
    See course format
VIII. Teaching Methods Employed
Section VIII is not being used in new and revised syllabi as of 12/10/08.

Review/Approval Date - 9/98; Revised 2/2012