English 1102. Composition II

  As the second part of a year-long experience in writing, English 1102 extends the essential skills of critical writing and reading, including understanding the composing processes, critical reading approaches, and research methods that were introduced in English 1101. English 1102 places these skills into the context of the specialized reading and writing demands of various disciplines. The learning outcomes build on those from English 1101: the focus of English 1102 remains on process, and the differences between English 1101 and 1102 are matters of degree. By means of the same kind of student-centered, electronically mediated pedagogy used in English 1101, students learn to read more critically and write more persuasively. Students read selections that help them view topics from a range of perspectives and that provide diverse views from the experts within various academic fields. The texts they read provide topics and ideas for the students' own writing and research.


Process: The key word here is continuation. The complex activities of the writing process continue to be emphasized. But class discussions in English 1102 should help students learn more about the research process and the analysis of disciplinary texts. This course should provide students with a repertoire of strategies, terms, and critical approaches that can help them look more closely at disciplinary texts and move among literal, symbolic, historic, contextual, rhetorical, and other levels of reading. The skills students learn in English 1102 are intended to help them evaluate and analyze texts in a manner suited to university writing assignments across the curriculum.

Readings: In English 1102, students will read different disciplinary texts, from those written for a general audience to those written for a more specialized audience, from those that report empirical findings to those that are theoretical arguments, from those that are analytic to those combine narrative with analysis and persuasion. Texts must include a reader, rhetoric, and handbook.

Expository Strategies: Students should not only demonstrate their mastery of the methods of writing required for 1101, but they should also be able to write essays showing reasonably sophisticated analysis, criticism, and synthesis of the critical sources that they have read.

Research: Students should be able to use the library and its indexes to find current information in books, magazines, and specialized periodicals. They should be able to demonstrate the ability to identify a topic of inquiry within a field of study, to plan an efficient search strategy, and to recognize sources most likely to be useful and reliable. This includes being able to assess web-based and print sources and to distinguish between scholarly and popular sources. They should also be able to summarize and quote sources accurately and use parenthetical citation and a "Works Cited" page following MLA , APA, or Chicago Manual style. They should know how to check the forms of citations in a handbook or style manual. Students need not write a traditional term paper to demonstrate these skills, as long as they produce researched and documented essays.

The university's academic honesty policy is a part of the syllabus (or class policy) in every class.

Writing assignments: A minimum of four essays ranging in length from 500 to 1250 (or 2 to 5 pages) and documented as appropriate to the assignment is required. Assignments might move from analysis of disciplinary texts based on a close and/or rhetorical reading to developing a topic of inquiry for research in a particular discipline. Students must also write a minimum of one competent impromptu essay during the semester. Regardless, instructors should give some practice in the kind of impromptu writing required for essay exams, the Regents' Test, and some types of professional writing.

Final Examination: Some instructors may allow students to respond to a choice of topics about the class readings or to a specific reading that has been prepared before the exam. In such cases, whenever possible, students should compose the final essay in the computer classroom using books, notes, and dictionaries, and using proper documentation. Other students may ask students to prepare a portfolio of writings. Still others may ask students to write an impromptu essay or to write an essay using no books or notes during the final examination period. University policy requires that all classes meet during the final examination period.

Style: Students should distinguish among oral, written, and graphic styles, between narrative and more structurally complex expository modes. Students should produce coherent paragraphs containing a variety of sentences that display a writer's ability to use subordination and parallelism accurately, as well as some ability to manipulate tone through precise word choice.

Correctness: Students should be able to edit their work to produce prose free of errors of syntax or mechanics. Through practice in editing as the final stage of the writing process, students should demonstrate control of all the major conventions of grammar, usage, and punctuation that result in Standard Edited English. Students should avoid major sentence errors, such as sentence fragments, comma splices, and fused sentences. Students should have some understanding that historical and social forces as well as audience determine conventions of usage and grammar, specifically non-sexist language and jargon.

Computer Literacy: By means of interactive discussions, networked conversations, and computer-mediated assignments, students learn that academic inquiry and processes that involve critical reading and writing. Students learn to preview the source; annotate the text and think critically while reading; and think critically after reading and identify information content, form, organization, expository and stylistic features, figurative language, and rhetorical elements.

By using Microsoft Office, students are able to move text more effectively, emphasize important sections, find more effective words using a thesaurus, and search and replace. With a networked software package they are able to participate in on-line discussions and reactions to their peers' writing and contribute to improved writing in a text-specific way. Using network-based writing software, students also learn how to draw on annotations, notes, and preliminary writing to produce first drafts of academic essays and how to revise essays at the drafting stage as well as later in the writing process. Other activities help students access print and electronic sources from databases and the World Wide Web. Students learn to design search strategies for research that culminates in the synthesis of ideas and the production of essays and research papers. Students also gain practice in the oral and visual presentation of their research results through the use of PowerPowerpoint.

These activities are rarely performed in isolation; the reading, writing, and research in English 1102 depend on collaboration among students and between instructor and students in the traditional and the electronic classrooms. The combination of pedagogy, technology, and workshop size classes of English 1102 serves to facilitate such activities as collaborative invention, electronic peer review, interactive face-to-face and electronic discussions, and oral presentations.


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