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.


  1. Use writing and reading for inquiry, learning, thinking, communicating and persuading.
  2. Learn how to conduct research and use it effectively in your written works:
    1. Interpret, evaluate, integrate, and document information gathered from primary and secondary sources.
    2. Understand a research assignment as a series of tasks that include: finding, evaluating, analyzing, and synthesizing information from primary and secondary sources.
    3. Use a variety of research strategies (interviews, surveys, online and print journal articles, books and databases, etc.).
    4. Integrate information from sources into your writing, documenting it according to appropriate conventions.
  3. Respond appropriately to different kinds of rhetorical situations, with a focus on purpose and the needs of various audiences using appropriate genre conventions.
  4. Adopt appropriate voice, tone, and level of formality.
  5. Apply knowledge of structure and organization, paragraphing, and mechanics.



All sections of English 2000 must meet the following requirements:

  1. Students should complete at least three, major evaluated writing projects. Two of these must be researched (include library research of scholarly materials).
    1. 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
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
  2. The argument essay, used for assessment, should at least 1500 words. This text should require significant research, including library research.
  3. At least two major essays should require multiple research strategies, including library research, to complete the rhetorical task.
  4. Throughout the semester, students should write at least 5000 words that are evaluated either as individual products or as a portfolio.
  5. 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).
  6. 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).