Here is one way the official Course Goals for College Writing 2 (see below) might be translated into a simplified checklist of Criteria for course submission and approval.
SAMPLE CHECKLIST FOR COURSE CRITERIA
- Maximum class size of 25 students.
- No prerequisites other than ENG 110: College Writing 1.
- Have a title that starts with the word “Writing” followed by an appropriate preposition. E.g., HIST 1XX: Writing about History; PHIL 1XX: Writing in Philosophy; ENGL 2XX: Writing about Literature.
- Begin your bulletin description with the common introductory sentence: “[HIST 190] fulfills the College Writing 2 requirement and builds on the work of English 110 (College Writing 1), in order to teach the conventions of writing in the [discipline of History].”
- Regularly feature instruction on disciplinary writing (i.e., be a “writing class” foremost–see the second Writing Intensive criteria on “attention to writing in class” for examples).
- Require students to complete at least 5,000 words of formal, graded writing (approximately 20 pages).
- These pages should be divided into three or more writing assignments.
- Scheduled pre-draft writing, drafts, and revisions for all three formal writing assignments. At least one of these revisions should be done as a peer review, and at least one of the assignments must require students to revise in response to instructor feedback.
- The formal, graded writing assignments should include more than one genre appropriate to the discipline, for example: essays, research papers, reviews, oral presentations, lab reports, online writing projects, creative writing, or annotated bibliographies.
- At least one of the formal, graded writing assignments should include the application of research methods appropriate to the discipline. Class time must be devoted to such methods (including the use of research databases, the development of a research question, and the evaluation of sources).
- Require regular, ungraded, informal writing assignments (such as blogs, journals, writers notebooks, field notes, or in-class writing exercises) both in class and outside of class.
OFFICIAL COURSE GOALS FOR COLLEGE WRITING 2
The primary goal for College Writing 2 is to help students transfer the interdisciplinary work that they do in English 110 to write effectively with the scholarly conventions of a particular discipline. With that in mind, College Writing 2 courses will meet a number of overlapping goals from three documents:
- the Academic Senate-endorsed Queens College Goals for Student Writing,
- the Pathways Learning Outcomes for English Composition Courses, and
- the requirements for Queens College Writing Intensive “W” Courses.
Main Goals from Queens College Goals for Student Writing
Students will learn to:
- Become fluent with the elements of academic writing, including thesis, motive, evidence, analysis, and style
- Practice the processes and methods commonly used by effective writers
- Take ownership of the language and rhetorical strategies they employ
- Develop a working knowledge of the grammar and mechanics of standard English
- Gain experience with the conventions of various genres, disciplines, and professions
Pathways Learning Outcomes for English Composition courses
Students will learn to:
- Read and listen critically and analytically, including identifying an argument’s major assumptions and assertions and evaluating its supporting evidence.
- Write clearly and coherently in varied, academic formats (such as formal essays, research papers, and reports) using standard English and appropriate technology to critique and improve one’s own and others’ texts.
- Demonstrate research skills using appropriate technology, including gathering, evaluating, and synthesizing primary and secondary sources.
- Support a thesis with well-reasoned arguments, and communicate persuasively across a variety of contexts, purposes, audiences, and media.
- Formulate original ideas and relate them to the ideas of others by employing the conventions of ethical attribution and citation.
Writing Intensive Course Criteria
- 10-15 pages of evaluated writing in three or more assignments (either separate papers or one term paper done in stages) so that students have the opportunity to develop and improve.
- Some attention to writing in class, in one or more of the following possible forms:
- discussion of papers before they are written and after they are returned.
- reading aloud of successful papers or models.
- discussion of the rhetorical strategies or writerly qualities of course readings.
- the occasional use of informal, ungraded writing to stimulate class discussion
- peer editing: opportunities for students to give each other feedback on first drafts.
- discussion of goals for student writing and evaluation criteria.
- Exams [if given] that include essay questions.
- Maximum class-size of 25 students.