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ENG 151: Academic Writing

Course Overview ♦ Curriculum/Course Description ♦ SMSU LEP Outcomes For ENG 151 ♦ Course Goals Pertaining to ENG 151


Essay-Based Sample Course Outline ♦  Portfolio-Based Sample Course Outline  ♦ WPA Outcomes

ENG 151

Course Overview

Students in Academic Writing courses work in the liberal arts tradition as a community of writers learning to compose and revise for a variety of audiences, purposes, and contexts. Faculty in the Academic Writing Program, working together, provide writing instruction that reflects current standards as set forth by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and the National Council of Writing Program Administrators (WPA).

In order to achieve the course goals, students in ENG 151 will write in a variety of aims, beginning with more personal, or “reflective,” writing and moving on to expository writing and argument. Research will be scaffolded into at least two papers. Instructors will utilize a “stairstep” approach to learning about and incorporating research, beginning with a shorter paper and culminating in a longer research paper that requires the “finding, evaluating, analyzing, and synthesizing [of] appropriate primary and secondary sources” as per WPA Outcome B. At a minimum, one paper will include two to three credible sources, and the longer 6-8 page researched paper will contain a minimum of six credible sources. Instructors should draw upon a variety and range of source material.

Although instructors are free to select their own texts and craft their own assignments, these assignments and texts must align with national, Liberal Arts Core, and departmental outcomes and guidelines.

Curriculum/Course Description

This course will enable students to determine a writing purpose, generate ideas to support a topic, determine an audience, develop a focus, and organize a written text, beginning with more personal, or "reflective" writing and move on to expository writing and argument. At least two papers will involve a research component through which students begin to learn the conventions of citation and documentation. Furthermore, the class will enable students to learn how purpose and audience affect the content, language, and form of a written text. Students must meet minimum writing objectives as determined by the English Department's placement procedures in order to be placed into this course.

SMSU LEP Outcomes For ENG 151

All ENG 151 sections must also demonstrate how they are aligned with SMSU’s Liberal Education Program's (LEP) Outcome of “communicate effectively,” more specifically, the sub-goals listed below:

  1. Determine the nature and extent of information needed to formulate and develop a coherent and unified thesis.
  2. Understand and select the best communication methods for achieving a given purpose.
  3. Comprehend and synthesize messages conveyed in both oral and written contexts.
  4. Recognize and employ various methods of verbal, nonverbal, cultural, and emotional communication.
  5. Consider and account for the nature of audiences when presenting written and oral arguments.
  6. Present ideas with comfort and confidence in written and oral formats.
  7. Develop an appreciation for the significance and aesthetics of language.

Course Goals Pertaining to ENG 151

The Southwest Minnesota State University English Department’s course goals for ENG 151 are aligned with the “WPA Outcomes Statement for First-Year Composition,” the outcomes for first-year writing as described by the WPA. ENG 151 also meets the overall SMSU LEP Goal of teaching students to “communicate effectively.” Below, the WPA Outcomes are listed; next to each goal, where appropriate, the corresponding SMSU LEP Sub-goal for “communicate effectively” is cross-listed.

WPA Outcomes A & B
WPA Outcomes (A. Rhetorical Knowledge) LEP Outcome WPA Outcomes (B. Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing) LEP Outcome
Focus on a purpose #1 Use writing and reading for inquiry, learning, thinking, and communicating #3
Respond to the needs of different audiences #5 Understand a writing assignment as a series of tasks, including finding, evaluating, analyzing, and synthesizing appropriate primary and secondary sources #3
Respond appropriately to different kinds of rhetorical situations #2; #4 Integrate their own ideas with those of others #3
Use conventions of format and structure appropriate to the rhetorical situation #5, #7 Understand the relationships among language, knowledge, and power #7
Adopt appropriate voice, tone, and level of formality #4    
Understand how genres shape reading and writing #7    
Write in several genres #2, #4, #5    
WPA Outcomes C & D
 WPA Outcomes (C. Processes) LEP Outcome WPA Outcomes (D. Knowledge of Conventions)  LEP Outcome
Be aware that is usually takes multiple drafts to create and complete a successful text #2 Learn common formats for different kinds of texts #2, #5, #7
Develop flexible strategies for generating LEP #1, revising, editing, and proofreading #1 Develop knowledge of genre conventions ranging from structure and paragraphing to tone and mechanics #2, #5, #7
Understand writing as an open process that permits writers to use later invention and re-thinking to revise their work #1 Practice appropriate means of documenting their work #3
Understand the collaborative and social aspects of writing processes #4 Control such surface features as syntax, grammar, punctuation, and spelling #7
Learn to critique their own and others' works #6    
Learn to balance the advantages of relying on others with the responsibility of doing their part #6    
Use a variety of technologies to address a range of audiences #5    
WPA Outcomes A, B, C, and D together demonstrate LEP #6

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