Body

Courses and Outcomes

Overview of Courses
Student Outcomes

OverView of Courses

The First Year Writing Program at the University of Michigan-Flint is designed to help you study and practice critical writing, critical reading, and critical thinking.  The First Year Writing Program consists of the following courses (see UM-Flint’s current Catalog for additional information):

English 100: College Reading and Learning Strategies

ENG 100 provides intensive work in reading for comprehension and associated learning strategies.  ENG 100 is designed to help students be better prepared for academic work at the university.  Some students might be required to take ENG 100 on the basis of test performance, other students, including transfer and returning students, who desire to improve their reading and learning skills may elect to take ENG 100. 

English 109 Section One: College Writing Workshop, 1 credit

ENG 109 provides directed writing instruction to students who need extra practice with their writing work. It can be taken for one to three credits. Most often, students are placed in ENG 109 through their Writing Placement Exam (WPX), though students may elect to take the course.  When a student registers for ENG 109 for one credit (section one), he or she must visit the Marian E Wright Writing Center (308 Lib) to sign up for a weekly writing workshop. Students who fail to attend their weekly workshops will not earn credit for the course.

ENG 109 Sections 2 and 3: College Writing Workshop, 3 credits

English 109 is designed to give students the opportunity for extra, quality writing practice in a small class atmosphere.  Students write in class daily– from informal discovery drafts with little to no structure, to more formal, presentable polished drafts in essay format.  Student confidence, recognition of various rhetorical situations, and various writing strategies are emphasized to prepare students for the kinds of writing and critical thinking they will be expected to do in the First Year Writing Program (English 111 and 112) and across the curriculum. [For a more thorough description of the goals and procedures of ENG 109 go to http://www.umflint.edu/writingcenter/eng109.htm]

ENG 110: College Writing Workshop II

ENG 110 is an independent study held in the Marian E. Wright Writing Center for only ESL (English as a Second Language) students. The course is designed to give second language learners additional practice with their writing work in English and should be completed concurrently with other courses at the University where essay assignments are common. Students may elect to take ENG 110 for one credit and repeat the course for up to three credits. When a student registers for ENG 110, he or she must visit the Marian E. Wright Writing Center (308 Lib) to sign up for a weekly meeting time. Students who fail to attend this weekly workshop will not earn credit for the course.

English 111: College Rhetoric

ENG 111 emphasizes the development of the student as a confident writer and an academic thinker.  English 111 lays a foundation of writing practice and critical rhetorical awareness which is further developed and expanded in the context of academic writing and research in English 112.  All students of the University of Michigan-Flint must complete ENG 111 or transfer the equivalent with a C or better before taking English 112.

English 112: Critical Writing and Reading

ENG 112 focuses on critical, analytical and researched writing and the thoughtful, informed reading that makes academic inquiry and research possible.  ENG 112 is designed to help students strengthen the academic reading and writing skills needed in the university curriculum.  All students of the University of Michigan-Flint must complete ENG 112 or transfer equivalent with a C or better.


Student Outcomes

A statement of student outcomes articulates the goals of a course or program.  At the university, you will likely hear a lot about student outcomes and student outcomes assessment.  Every program, major, and department at the university has student outcomes [to research student outcomes and assessment at UM-Flint, go to http://www.umflint.edu/assessment/].  By indicating the goals, standards, benchmarks, and/or key course experiences, a statement of student outcomes helps you know what to expect and what will be expected of you. 

In terms of what to expect and what will be expected of you as a writer at the University of Michigan-Flint, you should be familiar with the following student learning outcomes:

  • General Education Program’s Learning Outcome for Competent Written Work
  • The First Year Writing Program’s Outcomes Statements for ENG 111 and ENG 112. 

 

General Education Program’s Learning Outcome for Competent Written Work

As one of its 12 student learning outcomes, the General Education program expects “competent written work.”  Competent written work is structured (organized/logical), substantiated (supported), and correct on the surface (clear expression grammatically/mechanically) as defined by the disciplinary conventions appropriate to the field.  Faculty across campus want to see:

  • STRUCTURE: coherent and logical organization allows a writer to convey ideas clearly; form reflects disciplinary conventions.  Written work showing emerging competency in this standard would attempt to assert a purpose and organize ideas with limited awareness of formatting conventions.  Written work showing mastery of this standard would demonstrate skillful use of a field-specific form that allows the writer to synthesize and apply content knowledge and innovative ideas in ways valued by the field.
  • SUBSTANTIATION: solid reasoning and valid evidence supports assertions; sources are documented in accordance with disciplinary conventions.  Written work showing emerging competency in this standard would attempt to present some support.  Written work showing mastery of this standard would offer sophisticated reasoning and compelling scholarly evidence to support conclusions and carefully incorporate and conscientiously document evidence.
  • LANGUAGE: controlled, readable, clear, proofread, and suitable for the discipline.  Written work showing emerging competency in this standard would show language sometimes impeding meaning, convoluted syntax, and/or consistent errors in usage.  Written work showing mastery of this standard would offer language that is sophisticated, precise, appropriate to context, professional, and/or scholarly, and virtually error free.

The First Year Writing Program supports this General Education outcome by introducing you to and helping you practice techniques of competent written work.  Many other courses in the General Education Program and in your chosen major will require you to use and expand your writing knowledge [for more information on writing at UM-Flint, read the Faculty Survey Results later in this document].

 

The First Year Writing Program’s Student Outcomes Statements

Introducing the Writing Program Outcomes

While the First Year Writing Program courses contribute to the overall goal of graduating competent writers, our courses are unique in that they are devoted expressly to the study of writing and the practice of writers; other courses at the university will ask you to write, but the courses you take in the First Year Writing Program will offer sustained and dedicated writing instruction, a working knowledge of the complex and sophisticated practice of writing, and an understanding of yourself as a writer.  While striving for successful written communication as defined by the General Education Outcomes for Written Communication, successful students of the English 111 and 112 will strive more specifically to meet the outcomes of the First Year Writing Program.  

 

Importance of the Writing Program Outcomes

The First Year Writing Program Student Outcomes Statements

  • Give you a sense of the kind of work you will do as a student in the program
  • Articulate what we see as the most important goals of the program
  • Help maintain coherence and consistency in the program 

Whether you enroll in English 111 section 2 or section 7 or English 112 section 1 or section 5, the First Year Writing Program Student Outcomes Statements make clear

  • What you can expect from any English 111 and 112 section
  • What all English 111 and 112 instructors will expect of you

 

Connection to National Writing Standards

The First Year Writing Program Student Outcomes Statements were derived by the collaborative efforts of those who teach first year writing courses at UM-Flint.  Our Student Outcomes Statements represents the collective understanding of the writing program faculty at the University of Michigan-Flint.  While locally significant, our Student Outcomes Statements are supported and informed by the work of the “WPA Outcomes Statement for First-Year Composition,” a document published in the preeminent journals of the field of Composition Studies and accepted by several national organizations dedicated to supporting the work of students and teachers of writing: the Council of Writing Program Administrators (WPA), the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), and the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC).  We have modified and used directly some of the WPA language and categories as they speak “to the common expectations, for students, of first-year composition programs in the United States at the beginning of the 21st century” [for the full WPA Outcomes Statement see College English 63(2001): 321-325 or go to http://wpacouncil.org/positions/outcomes.html].

 

OUTCOMES STATEMENT for ENG 111: College Rhetoric

“[L]earning to write clearly can help us think and feel and see.”

Joseph Williams (Style: Toward Clarity and Grace 14)

The primary objective of English 111 is to help you develop fluency, confidence in yourself as a writer, and increased sophistication in your writing.  English 111 lays a foundation of writing practice and critical self-awareness as a writer which is further developed and expanded in the context of academic writing and research in English 112.

BY THE END OF ENG 111, YOU WILL BETTER UNDERSTAND AND APPLY

WRITING AS A PROCESS by

  • Working collaboratively with others in reading and writing
  • Critiquing your writing and the writing of others
  • Experiencing the rewards of a full and extended drafting process
  • Learning about the Writing Center, library, and other university writing resources
  • Recognizing the need to continue to work on your writing throughout your academic and work career

YOUR WRITING PROCESS by

  • Producing informal and formal writing
  • Becoming less anxious and more prepared to begin writing projects
  • Developing and practicing strategies for generating, revising, editing, and proofreading
  • Coordinating and managing the stages of the writing process: discover, identify, and narrow a topic, plan and write a rough draft, revise, polish, proofread, and present work
  • Striving to organize ideas fluidly and fluently in sequence
  • Becoming aware of and writing about your writing processes and strategies
  • Articulating your characteristic strengths and weaknesses as a writer

RHETORICAL STRATEGIES by

  • Developing a central idea and maintaining focus in a sustained piece of writing
  • Organizing and exploring ideas in several paragraphs that relate to each other in intellectually coherent and logically consistent ways
  • Finding and presenting purpose in writing from introduction to conclusion
  • Using relevant evidence to develop your ideas, support main points, back up opinions, prove your argument, and make generalizations more concrete
  • Finding and addressing audience in writing
  • Practicing your own strategies for thoughtful reading and writing in response to reading

CONVENTIONS OF WRITING by

  • Responding appropriately to goals and instructions of written assignments
  • Discovering conventions of format, structure and documentation appropriate to a given writing situation
  • Becoming sensitive to reader expectations and beginning to anticipate reader response
  • Submitting typed prose edited for expression and proofread for correctness
  • Practicing control over surface features (syntax, grammar, punctuation, and spelling)

 

OUTCOMES STATEMENT for ENG 112: Critical Writing and Reading

ENG 112 picks up where ENG 111 leaves off.  Students should review the outcomes of ENG 111 in considering their preparation for ENG 112. 

“The research essay is good practice for this essential element of all academic inquiry: what you think and how you came to think it.”

Bruce Ballenger (The Curious Researcher 13)

The primary objective of English 112 is to strengthen your academic writing and reading skills.  You will learn strategies to become an active, critical, analytical reader of texts.  You will write papers that analyze, interpret, evaluate and respond to readings, and you will make use of sources using techniques of academic research.  The outcomes of ENG 111 are also outcomes for ENG 112; ENG 112 will reinforce and extend your understanding of and experience with WRITING AS A PROCESS, YOUR WRITING PROCESS, RHETORICAL STRATEGIES, and WRITING CONVENTIONS.  In addition, the following are outcomes specific to the critical writing and reading completed in ENG 112.

BY THE END OF ENG 112, YOU WILL BETTER UNDERSTAND AND APPLY

CRITICAL LITERACY by

  • Becoming aware of the connection between writing and intellectual inquiry
  • Analyzing, interpreting, and evaluating a variety of textual and non-textual materials
  • Distinguishing one’s own ideas from the ideas in readings
  • Synthesizing material from several sources to develop and support your own point of view, present an argument, or explain an idea
  • Accurately summarizing and paraphrasing a text’s central idea without plagiarizing
  • Integrating your own ideas with those of others
  • Studying how academic argument and analytical writing work
  • Using conventions of format and structure appropriate to academic writing
  • Controlling surface features such as syntax, grammar, punctuation and spelling so as to present the most effective argument
  • Becoming aware that you will need to adapt your writing to meet the different writing requirements and formats of various academic disciplines, and that in future classes, particularly in your major, you will gain this additional writing experience

RESEARCH and RESEARCH STRATEGIES by

  • Becoming aware of the connection between writing and research
  • Practicing techniques of academic research, such as finding, evaluating, analyzing, and synthesizing appropriate primary and secondary sources, using scholarly resources, approaching the Internet, or writing abstracts and annotated bibliographies
  • Gathering and evaluating data from multiple sources
  • Developing a thesis or perspective from researched material and exploring and developing that point of view through writing
  • Organizing, drafting, revising, proofreading, and polishing an extended piece of writing based on research
  • Becoming more aware of the rhetorical and historical contexts of ongoing conversations in the academy and the world and how you can contribute to those conversations through your own research and writing
  • Adopting appropriate voice, tone, and level of formality for written assignments
  • Learning why and practicing when and how to appropriately cite and document sources

Using MLA style documentation and becoming aware of other citation formats, such as APA and Chicago/Turabian styles