COMP107 Introduction to Academic Writing

Department of Language & Literature: Composition

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

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

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

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

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

VI. Catalog Course Description
To prepare students for COMP110, this course emphasizes paragraph development in academic, text-based essay assignments. Instructors guide students through the writing process, which requires critical thinking and decision-making in the use of evidence, sources, and rhetorical modes for effective paragraphs and essays.
VII. Required Course Content and Direction
  1. Course Learning Goals

    Students will:

    1. Compose developed individual paragraphs and essays that use evidence, sources, and appropriate rhetorical modes to support topic sentences and thesis statements;
    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.
  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. Students read assigned texts that provide sources for discussion and paper topics, demonstrate models of writing, and develop critical thinking and reading skills.
    3. Students are required to devote special attention to paragraph unity and coherence, to the development of topic sentences and thesis statements, to grammar, diction, and spelling, to the presentation of ample specific supporting details, and to sentence structure, including phrases, clauses, and punctuation.
    4. Students write six to eight paragraphs, integrated with the essays, of approximately 200 words each, to be graded independently, and, in some cases, then to be revised for a multi-paragraph essay. Two of these paragraphs are written in class, with class time scheduled to allow for revision.
    5. Students write five to six multi-paragraph essays, of 450 to 750 words each. One of these essays (of 450 to 500 words) is written in class, with class time scheduled to allow for revision.
    6. To prepare for writing the standalone paragraphs, students study, in concert with the instructor, rhetorical modes useful for examining and responding to the essay assignments. Such modes include narration and description, exemplification, classification, analysis, comparison and contrast, cause and effect, summary, and definition.
    7. Students receive formalized paragraph and essay assignments--directing the topic to be covered and suggesting modes of development and types of evidence to be use--distributed to them electronically or via hardcopy.
    8. Students write rough drafts and other prewriting activities with each formal writing assignment.
    9. Students attend an orientation session at the Tutoring Center early in the semester.
    10. Students may be required to schedule Tutoring Center appointments as a part of course requirements.
  3. Assessment Methods for Course Learning Goals

    1. Student writing is evaluated according to the Department's approved criteria for grading compositions in COMP107: Introduction to Academic Writing, which are now a part of the syllabus (see attached Grading Standards for COMP107: Introduction to Academic Writing).
    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. Two paragraphs and one essay must be written in class, or proctored, during the semester, one of which must receive a passing grade (equivalent of a C or better) for the student to earn a C or better in the course.
    4. In their paragraphs and essays, students must demonstrate critical thinking and effective paragraph development in the use of evidence, sources, and rhetorical modes, as appropriate to the assignment.
    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.
  4. Reference, Resource, or Learning Materials to be used by Student:

    Department-approved textbook
    Department-approved handbook
    Audio/visual resources at the instructor's discretion
    See course syllabus

Review/Aproval Date - 9/98; Revised 2/2012; Revised 4/2014; New Core 8/2015