COMP090 Basic Writing

Department of Language & Literature: Composition

I. Course Number and Title
COMP090 Basic Writing
II. Number of Credits
3 credits
III. Number of Instructional Minutes
IV. Prerequisites
Writing Assessment Test score of 2 or permission of the Department of Language and Literature
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.

COMP090, like other developmental courses, is non-transferable.

The Department of Language and Literature has determined that COMP090 is an intensive-writing course and that students will write 2500 words minimum in formal writing assignments.

According to Department policy, all COMP090 students will repeat the placement test at the end of the semester to prove competency.

VI. Catalog Course Description
By writing short compositions, through a process of pre-writing, drafting, revising, and editing, students improve both grammar and usage and composition development and organization. Course readings serve as sources and models for writing. This course prepares students for subsequent composition courses.
VII. Required Course Content and Direction
  1. Course Learning Goals

    Students will:

    1. use correctly, with reasonable success, mechanical elements of writing, such as spelling, capitalization, punctuation, homonyms, possessives, and fundamental agreement; and recognize and learn to avoid writing errors, such as comma splices, run-ons, and fragments;
    2. write short, focused compositions that offer specific details and examples in support of a clear point;
    3. demonstrate an awareness of audience by providing appropriate context and transitions;
    4. demonstrate the ability to read closely essays that serve as models and sources for text-based writing;
    5. generate and develop ideas reflecting critical thinking through pre-writing and drafting, and refine the presentation of ideas through revising, proofreading, and editing; and
    6. demonstrate an understanding of the basic requirements of academic integrity.
  2. Planned Sequence of Topics and/or Learning Activities

    1. Each formal composition assignment engages a range of writing/reading processes:
      1. reading, discussing, and/or writing on sources from class;
      2. pre-writing activities (such as free-writing, brain-storming, note-taking, answering questions about or summarizing readings, group or class discussions, etc);
      3. considering the question of audience as it pertains to the specific assignment;
      4. drafting and reviewing rough drafts (in peer groups and/or with the instructor);
      5. revising, and finally proofreading/editing (individually, with peers, and/or with the instructor);
      6. re-reading/re-evaluating final compositions after they are returned with grades and comments from the instructor (individually and/or with the instructor).
    2. When students are working individually or with peers through the writing/reading processes (above), instructors engage students in frequent impromptu mini-conferences to facilitate one-on-one instruction.
    3. In addition to impromptu mini-conferences, instructors schedule two formal individual conferences with each student, one before the midterm and one before the end of the semester.
    4. Formal reading and text-based writing assignments are structured primarily in sequences, or mini-sequences, around specific topics or themes chosen by the instructor. In this way, students develop an expanded knowledge base from which to draw in their compositions, and have more opportunities to re-think, revise, and develop their ideas and responses in writing.
    5. To meet the 2,500 words min. in writing, students write at least five formal out-of-class compositions and at least two in-class compositions. Composition length ranges from approximately 200 words to 600 words. Instructors require students to keep all compositions they write for the course through the end of the semester.
    6. Grammar and correct usage are addressed, both in class discussions and student assignments, primarily through the students' writing. Practice proofreading, editing, and correcting compositions is structured into class activities. Instructors may require students to keep a grammar journal or folder in which they correct errors of usage and grammar from their essays. Instructors may also encourage or require students to work on specific writing difficulties at the Tutoring Center.
    7. Requirements of academic honesty are addressed in a standardized assignment early in the semester and through use of sources in student compositions by the end of the semester.
    8. After midterm, instructors arrange for a library visit for students to complete a focused assignment, such as a scavenger hunt.
    9. Instructors may require students to write in a journal, answer reading questions, summarize reading assignments, respond orally or in writing to student papers, participate in group activities, and/or take quizzes.
  3. Assessment Methods for Course Learning Goals

    1. At least 90% of the final grade is determined by the formal, graded compositions. Up to 10% of the final grade may be determined by the following: journals, attendance, participation, quizzes, informal reading, writing or group assignments, and/or use of the Tutoring Center.
    2. In determining the final grade, instructors give more weight to writing done in the second half of the semester.
    3. In evaluating and commenting upon student compositions, instructors do not unduly privilege correctness in grammar and usage alone. In order to receive a passing grade (C or above) the student's writing should demonstrate adequate control of grammar and usage so that, for the most part, basic meaning is not impeded. Instructor evaluations will address student writing primarily holistically, attending to issues of focus, development, support, organization, context, reading comprehension, critical thinking, and academic integrity, as well as grammar and usage.
    4. Instructors evaluate all formal writing assignments with commentary, written and/or discussed in conference; instructors will return each formal composition before the next one is submitted, with reasonable flexibility for in-class writing assignments, and in evening or summer classes.
    5. Students will repeat the placement test at the end of the semester to prove competency.
  4. Reference, Resource, or Learning Materials to be used by Student:

    Required text(s) will include readings that are adequately challenging to prepare for college-level writing and reading, and writing instruction with grammar and usage guides. See individual course syllabi for specific titles chosen. Texts may not duplicate those used for COMP107, COMP110, or COMP111.

Review/Approval Date - 9/02; New Core 8/2015