For Students: Course Description
The purpose of this course is to advance students’ writing skills in a variety of
academic, professional, and public genres, with an emphasis on research and argumentation.
In order to communicate effectively and persuasively, writers must start with a research
question, collect, organize, and evaluate sources, anticipate the needs and expectations
of their audiences, understand the basic conventions of a chosen genre, and craft
clear, focused, and compelling arguments. Students will acquire these skills in the
process of completing sustained, well-researched writing projects. Each larger project
will be approached as a series of discrete tasks ranging from the identification of
a research problem or inquiry to the final revision of an essay. Group collaboration
and classroom discussion will be important elements of the course.
- Use writing and reading for inquiry, learning, thinking, communicating and persuading.
- Learn how to conduct research and use it effectively in your written works:
- Interpret, evaluate, integrate, and document information gathered from primary and
- Understand a research assignment as a series of tasks that include: finding, evaluating,
analyzing, and synthesizing information from primary and secondary sources.
- Use a variety of research strategies (interviews, surveys, online and print journal
articles, books and databases, etc.).
- Integrate information from sources into your writing, documenting it according to
- Respond appropriately to different kinds of rhetorical situations, with a focus on
purpose and the needs of various audiences using appropriate genre conventions.
- Adopt appropriate voice, tone, and level of formality.
- Apply knowledge of structure and organization, paragraphing, and mechanics.
All sections of English 2000 must meet the following requirements:
- Students should complete at least three, major evaluated writing projects. Two of
these must be researched (include library research of scholarly materials).
- A project may take several class periods to complete and include various reading,
writing, and research assignments. Writing assignments may include journal entries,
write-to-learn exercises, paraphrases or summaries, or researched materials
- Although not all of the writing assignments included in a major essay must be graded,
the major essay should be graded or evaluated even if the portfolio method is used.
- Over the course of the semester, students should produce final researched essays,
at least one of which must be an argumentative, researched essay on a complex issue.
- The argument essay, used for assessment, should at least 1500 words. This text should
require significant research, including library research.
- At least two major essays should require multiple research strategies, including library
research, to complete the rhetorical task.
- Throughout the semester, students should write at least 5000 words that are evaluated
either as individual products or as a portfolio.
- Students’ work should include at least one oral presentation and/or technological
component as part of a project (e.g., PowerPoint, poster presentation, post to a discussion
board, blog, and website).
- Coursework should require students to work collaboratively on at least one project
through such activities as peer response groups, collaborative research projects,
such as an annotated bibliography, or a collaborative text (it should not be the argument
essay for assessment).