Composition I

Description: This course is designed to introduce students to college-level writing and is based on the assumption that all of us already engage in writing-related activities in our day-to-day lives—the editors of our textbook even go as far as to claim that everyone already is an author. Although this may sound like an overstatement, it seems safe to say that the number of people who do not regularly engage in writing activities like blogging, emailing, or texting is dwindling. Even the most mundane writing task requires us to think rhetorically: e.g. what is the writer’s purpose and stance, who is the audience, and what is the context? Which genre and media are best suited for a particular purpose and audience? These are key questions that writers—both in digital forms of communication and in academia—routinely ask before composing texts. This course, then, will build on students’ experience in composing a variety of texts to provide them with the writing skills required to succeed in college.

Objectives: In accordance with the Student Learning Outcomes for ENG 100, by the end of the course students will be expected to 1) compose college-level writing that achieves a specific purpose and responds adeptly to an identifiable audience; 2) provide evidence of effective strategies for generating, editing, and proofreading a text in order to produce finished prose; and 3) compose an argument that makes use of source material that is relevant and credible and that is integrated in accordance with an appropriate style guide. All assignments and course work are intended to help students meet these objectives.

Methods: The methodology of this course is twofold. First of all, we will engage in writing as a process. This means that writing assignments are designed to go through prewriting, drafting, revising, and editing stages. A fair amount of class time will therefore be devoted to learning and practicing strategies that will assist students during different stages of the writing process. Secondly, writing is ultimately a social act: though we often write in solitude, we almost always write for an audience. Since we will have the luxury of being part of a community of writers in this course, we will take the opportunity to engage in peer review and workshopping in class.

Assignments: Students in this course will engage in a variety of writing related tasks, both informal and formal. Informal writing assignments will include reading responses, discussion posts, and other “low stakes” written work. Formal writing assignments will include a review, an analytical essay, an argumentative essay, and a final research paper. In conjunction with the research paper, students will also submit an abstract, an annotated bibliography, and give an oral presentation to the class. Finally, there will be regular reading assignments, which will serve as the material for the informal writing assignments and for class discussion.


Textbook: Lunsford, Andrea, et al. Everyone’s an Author with 2016 MLA Update. Second Edition. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2016. ISBN: 978-0393617450. Paperback.

The textbook will be available at the UHM bookstore.

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