Course: ENGL 0980Division: Humanities
Department: English & Philosophy
Title: Writing Basics
Semester Approved: Summer 2021
Five-Year Review Semester: Spring 2026
End Semester: Spring 2027
Catalog Description: Recommended for students scoring lower than 17 on the English section of the ACT (and required for those scoring below 11), this course provides a first experience with academic writing and/or a review of the basic components of writing, including grammar, usage, and punctuation. Students learn simple sentence construction and coordination leading to basic paragraph construction. Students learn to respond to written texts and prompts. The course prepares students to succeed in English 1010.
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring
Credit/Time Requirement: Credit: 3; Lecture: 3; Lab: 0
Justification: ENGL 0980 offers students who might not be ready for college writing a chance to brush up on those skills required for success in ENGL 1010, a required course. It offers an opportunity to learn mechanics and usage expected in academic discourse to students from diverse backgrounds where the use of standard English has not been the norm.
General Education Outcomes:
5: A student who completes the GE curriculum can communicate effectively through writing and speaking. Students will write effective sentences and paragraphs. The goal is for student writing to reach the level of beginning English 1010 students. Students will demonstrate this writing ability on informal and formal writing exercises.
Student Learning Outcomes:
Students will write coherent sentences and paragraphs. Students will demonstrate these abilities through formal papers and through informal practice writing.
Students will be able to write topic sentences. Students will demonstrate these abilities through formal papers and through informal practice writing.
Students will recognize and correct simple sentence-level errors. Students will demonstrate these abilities through formal papers and through informal practice writing.
Students will recognize and correct punctuation errors. Students will demonstrate these abilities through formal papers and through informal practice writing.
Students will learn to combine sentences effectively to add variety to their writing style. Students will demonstrate these abilities through formal papers and through informal practice writing.
Students will respond appropriately to written and verbal prompts. Students will demonstrate these abilities through formal papers and through informal practice writing.
Students will complete practice writing exercises in and out of class, including sentence combining. Students then learn the characteristics of the English paragraph and practice paragraph construction. Because of the wide range of abilities typically present in this class, each student will be encouraged to work at his or her own pace to master skills.
Both content and instruction will acknowledge and address multiple literacies that reflect diverse linguistic backgrounds. Care should be given to encourage students and not to adopt a deficiency-based assumption about their abilities.
Key Performance Indicators:
Instructors evaluate students' writing on a daily basis and offer suggestions for improvement. Possible performance indicators (and approximate percentages) include:
Informal writing exercises 20 to 40%
Formal writing exercises 30 to 60%
Participation and reading exercises 10 to 30%
Representative Text and/or Supplies:
Clouse, Barbara F. Conventions and Expectations. New York: Longman, current edition.
Ingalls, Anna, and Dan Moody. Expectations. New York: Longman, current edition.
Bazerman, Charles and Harvy S. Weiner. Writing Skills Handbook. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, current edition.
Bazerman, Charles and Harvy S. Weiner. All of Us: A Multicultural Reading Skills Handbook. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, current edition.
Langon, John, and Janet M. Goldstein. English Brushup. Boston: McGraw Hill, current edition.
Wilson, Paige, and Teresa Ferster Glazier. The Least You Should Know about English. Wadsworth, current edition.
As noted in the content section, this course needs to be taught by an affirming, engaged instructor who can work one-on-one and with diverse groups of students. The course design and instruction should make writing relevant, build on the various literacies students already possess, and avoid deficit-based assumptions about writers coming from vernacular and/or nonstandard backgrounds and experience levels.
Metacognition, goal-setting, study skills, and reflection should be embedded in the course so that students can strengthen their college-success skills.
Maximum Class Size: 15
Optimum Class Size: 15