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Essay Assignments in College Writing

The assignments in College Writing (Englwrit 112) are designed according to the following assumptions: that writing is an activity, not content to be memorized; that people learn to write by writing and by receiving feedback on that writing; that writers need to be aware of their own writing processes; and that students’ own writing should be the focus of instruction.

Students write five essays in this class, each one around 750-1,500 words long. Most go through an extensive drafting process, and each introduces new challenges. In all of them, students focus on readers’ expectations, and they experiment with multiple ways of communicating with those readers.

The first essay, the focus of Unit I: Inquiring into Self, asks each student to analyze an aspect of his/her context and to write about this to a familiar audience.

The second essay, the focus of Unit II: Interacting with Texts, is based on a more scholarly purpose and audience: a critical response to one or more published texts.

The third essay, the focus of Unit III: Adding to a Conversation, asks students to develop their own research question, engage in research purposefully, and effectively communicate what they learn with a more public audience.

The fourth essay, the focus of Unit IV: TBA (To Be Announced), differs from section to section; students receive more information about it as the semester progresses.

The fifth essay, the focus of Unit V: Final Reflection, is a cumulative reflection in which students analyze what they have written in the course and reflect on where they are headed as writers.

For more information on College Writing, see the standard syllabus.


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