In 1105, students are expected to:
*Gain knowledge of composition’s rhetorical dimensions
*Use writing as a tool for critical thinking and reflection
*Practice writing as a process via using multiple brainstorming, invention,
revision, and editing strategies
*Write in several genres that utilize analysis, reflection, narrative, critique,
and argument skills
*Practice using the conventions of written, spoken, and visual composition
*Practice writing and creating in digital environments
So: What is the purpose of 1105?
“English 1105 is subtitled ‘Introduction to College Composition: Critical Reading, Writing, and Thinking.’
“I suppose it might also be called “how to do things with texts” because that is primarily what it is about. I think the important thing to know about 1105 is that it isn’t a course about how to read and write about literature. It is about texts of all sorts as they are used both in the academy and in the world outside the academy.
“So, the focus of a course like this must be on the rhetorical dimensions of both reading and producing texts—again, texts of all sorts.”
“To me the purpose of 1105 is to introduce first-year students to college-level writing. While research is not necessarily a formal part of 1105 (as it is in 1106), students are asked to consider the kinds of knowledge they know from a variety of sources and to write about that knowledge in a variety of ways.”
“I look at 1105 as an opportunity to change the way students think about writing–and about themselves as composers of texts. Many students arrive thinking, I’m not a writer or I’m gonna hate this because I’ve never gotten good grades in English. So I say, let’s explode that student’s understanding of what it means to write and to be one who writes. Instead of studying arbitrary rules and asking them to write five paragraph essays that avoid the use of “I,” let’s get them thinking about the actual types of writing that exist in the world. Let’s get them thinking about the decision-making process of putting words on a page, about what they want to accomplish and who they’re talking to. Let’s give students the opportunity to write in lots of different genres, ask them to write reviews and profiles and op-eds and essays and surveys and analyses and comics and memoirs. Give them the opportunity to experiment with and look critically into music and art and film. Get them to talk about how different kinds of writing get made, by whom and for whom. And above all: have fun doing it.”
“Learning to write is hard, and it takes a long time. Writing is something we do, and it involved deeply engrained behaviors and habits. While that might be stating the obvious, it also lets me focus on what is most important in 1105, which is working on processes and attitudes. It is unlikely that we are going to see huge changes in students’ writing abilities in 15 weeks of instruction, but we can, in fact, see huge changes in both how they go about composing and how they feel about it. And that is, well, huge. Students in 1105 come in with considerable baggage about writing. The purpose of 1105 is to help them shed it.”