Key Features of English 101 and English 115

Writing courses at Xavier University serve two aims: first, to introduce students to writing as a subject of scholarly inquiry grounded in rhetorical theory and knowledge about the writing process, and second, to help students develop writing skills that they will use in their college courses and beyond?in their personal, professional, and public lives.

The Writing Program at Xavier University consists of the following courses: English 101 (English Composition) and English 115 (Rhetoric). Most students take either English 101 or English 115 as freshman, and only these students should register for English 115: English majors and minors; students enrolled in an honors program (University Scholars; Philosophy, Politics, and the Public; and Honors Bachelor of Arts); and students whose degree programs require English 115.

Both courses fulfill a core requirement at Xavier, and there is not a system for students to test out of the requirement. However, students may receive credit for English 101 with a score of four or five on the Advanced Placement English Language and Composition test. Students must earn a D in the course to fulfill the core requirement.


Goals, Means, and Outcomes for English 101

All elements of English 101--course syllabi, assignments, and classroom activities--stem from the program goals, means and outcomes. The first three goals span the four areas outlined in the WPA Outcomes Statement for First-Year Composition: rhetorical knowledge; writing processes; critical thinking, reading, and writing; and knowledge of conventions. And in keeping with the mission of Xavier University, the fourth goal emphasizes the ethical and societal ends of a Jesuit rhetorical education. The means describe the practices required to meet the goals and outcomes.

Goal 1: Rhetorical Knowledge and Writing Processes
Students will be writers who have developed an effective writing process guided by the rhetorical elements of audience, purpose, and cultural context.

Outcomes for Goal 1:
By the end of the semester, students should demonstrate the ability to:
1) Respond appropriately to different rhetorical situations, varying their approach, format, and structure in recognition of the shifting needs of audience, purpose, and context.
2) Demonstrate familiarity with concepts describing writing processes (invention, drafting, revising, editing) and use them effectively and efficiently in their own writing process.
3) Articulate the rhetorical choices they have made.

Goal 2: Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing
Students will understand writing as an art that helps them solve problems analytically, creatively, and rhetorically and as a means of inquiry, thinking, communication, and argumentation.

Outcomes for Goal 2:
By the end of the semester, students should demonstrate the ability to:
4) Understand and use rhetorical vocabulary to analyze writing by others and themselves.
5) Integrate their own ideas with those of others.
6) Explore an issue or question raised by another author and respond to it or challenge it in the service of developing their own view.

Goal 3: Knowledge of Conventions
Students will be writers who understand the role and use of information.

Outcomes for Goal 3:
By the end of the semester, students should demonstrate the ability to:
7) Observe the rules of academic honesty, intellectual property, and citation style(s).
8) Use rhetorically appropriate information from academic and popular sources to corroborate, expand, and alter personal knowledge.

Goal 4: Writing in Community
Students will be writers who understand the power and ethical responsibility that come with the production of written discourse.

Outcomes for Goal 4:
By the end of the semester, students should demonstrate the ability to:
9) Engage responsibly with topics that have ethical, moral, and cultural meaning.
10) Acknowledge and show respect for different views/opinions in their writing.

English 101 instructors help students meet the program goals and outcomes through these means. Evidence of these means should be present on the course syllabus, in major projects, and in activities:
1) Completion of at least four major projects that involve textual analysis and/or production in a variety of genres for a variety of audiences. These major projects must include rhetorical analysis, argument that responds to counterarguments, and research-based writing; students must write for academic and public audiences.
2) Completion of the Common Assignment during the last three weeks of the term.
3) Production of 7,500 - 10,500 words of polished writing (or 15,000 - 21,000 words including drafts).
4) Frequent commentary on successive drafts of writing projects by peers and instructors.
5) Classroom instruction including lectures, class discussions, collaborative learning and writing, guided writing practice, and providing feedback on peers' writing.
6) Individual writing conferences with the instructor.