Course Overview and Policy Statements



Text Analysis

Individual Topics

Reflective Writing

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Authors & Contributors

CO301 as a Core Course

To be approved for the new all-University Core Curriculum, CO301 needs to meet several key goals established by the University Curriculum Committee. First, we include the criteria and then the explanations of how CO301 meets the objectives.

Core Objectives:

2. Advanced Writing
The objective of this option is enhancement of skills in written communication. This option further develops the writing competencies of the II.A. requirement. Courses designed to achieve the objective should develop students':
a. awareness of and ability to implement basic strategies of written communication for specialized purposes, contexts, and media;
b. command of Standard English syntax and specialized usage;
c. awareness of which modes and styles of language are appropriate to specialized kinds of communication and audience;
d. understanding of how specific objectives and audiences determine the choice of strategy, mode, and medium of written communication;
e. skills specific to the desired effects, presentation strategies, modes, and media of advanced or specialized forms of written communication. These include the ability to:

  1. identify a thesis;
  2. locate and acquire information;
  3. critically evaluate sources;
  4. interpret and critically evaluate written texts;
  5. synthesize information;
  6. define and develop a main argument;
  7. structure and organize supportive arguments;
  8. develop an outline to structure the main argument and its supporting arguments;
  9. identify and analyze audience and adapt the message to them;
  10. phrase information in an intelligible and rhetorically effective manner;
  11. use appropriate formats of documentation and citation;
  12. choose an appropriate style and format of presentation;
  13. understand and use appropriate technologies and formats of delivery;
f. understand linkages to Foundations and Perspectives courses.

CO301 meets these core curriculum objectives in these ways:

A. Implement Basic Strategies of Writing for Specialized Purposes: CO301A-D builds on the core competencies in writing developed in CO150 and extends them to more specific rhetorical contexts. In section A, students focus on Arts and Humanities, in B on Sciences, in C on Social Sciences, and in D on Education. In CO301A-D students will read a variety of texts written about a general, disciplinary topics in order to analyze how purpose and audience affect how a final text is written. Drawing from these analysis skills, students then will target their own audiences and purposes for writing about disciplinary issues and subjects, and compose texts for those contexts, choosing the appropriate genre, organization, and style for their intended context. Both the students' reading and writing will address specialized purposes related to their disciplinary focus for more diverse audiences, typically non-experts.

B. Command of Standard English Syntax and Specialized Usage: In reading and writing for specific contexts and audiences, students will be targeting specific venues for their writing, including targeted publications. Students will be required to edit and proofread their texts to provide professional final drafts as well as to make choices about when specialized, disciplinary language is appropriate within these contexts.

C. Adapt Style to Audience: Since CO301A-D emphasizes audience throughout, students will be required both to know how to analyze a written text to determine how its style is affected by its audience, and to write texts for similar audiences, adapting their style to fit the rhetorical context.

D. Adapt Strategies, Mode, and Medium to Specific Objectives and Audiences: CO301A-D's primary focus is on this objective. By requiring students to identify, analyze, and construct a text with a specific objective and audience, the course emphases how genre, strategy, organization, medium, and style must be chosen in accordance with that context. Final drafts are evaluated on how well the writing strategies used address the text's specific purpose and audience.

E. Skills Specific To Desired Effect: CO301A-D requires students to practice the basic elements of good writing covered in CO150 including identifying a thesis, locating and evaluating sources, synthesizing information, defining and developing a specific purpose, choosing and maintaining an organizational strategy, and using appropriate forms of documentation, style, and medium for delivery. In CO301A-D these skills are applied to more complex rhetorical contexts, and instruction on adapting these skills to audiences and contexts in the public sphere is emphasized throughout. Most importantly, these skills are directed toward writing at a more professional level about specialized topics from the student's discipline.

F. Understand Linkages to Foundations and Perspectives Courses: Through investigation of a general, disciplinary theme, students will read and write texts focused on issues specific to their discipline to audiences across the disciplines. CO301A-D asks students to apply their foundational knowledge of their own discipline in their writing, while adapting that knowledge to address multiple audiences and purposes. To reach wider audiences, an understanding of diverse perspectives and the connections/divergences among disciplinary perspectives and contexts is necessary.