I. English 092: Patterns of Writing
II. Course Description
This course introduces students to college writing and reviews fundamental grammatical principles. Students begin to learn to formulate a thesis, use topic sentences, develop ideas, and organize supporting evidence in an essay. Grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and clear language are heavily stressed. This course is required of some students on the basis of a placement examination and open to other students who want a review course. This course is also a requirement for those students receiving a grade of less than A in English 091.
III. Course Objectives and Student Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to:
- Write logically constructed, well-developed paragraphs and essays;
- Construct sentences correctly in a variety of types and patterns and punctuate them correctly;
- Use the writing process: prewriting, drafting, revising, and editing;
- Use appropriate verb tenses, subject-verb agreement, and pronoun-antecedent agreement;
- Use textbook chapters, the dictionary, and the computer spell check function to spell correctly.
Students should begin to learn to:
- Write essays in a variety of rhetorical forms;
- Compose thesis statements and topic sentences;
- Develop body paragraphs with full and detailed support;
- Expand vocabulary through reading and the use of a dictionary;
- Use language clearly and precisely, with a level of formality appropriate to academic writing.
IV. General Education Objectives Met by ENG 092
In a variety of tasks, ENG 092 helps students develop essential general-education skills: problem solving and critical thinking, reading and writing, and listening and speaking. Whether pre-writing, writing, or revising and editing, students focus on these general-education skills as they develop a proficient use of words, sentences, paragraphs, and essays.
V. Measures To Assess Student Learning Outcomes
English 092 includes a common final which is described under course requirements.
VI. Outline of Course Content
A. Topics Covered
1. Reading and writing various types of essays: descriptive, narrative, process, comparison and contrast, cause and effect, analysis.
2. The writing process: prewriting, drafting, revising, and editing.
3. Prewriting and drafting strategies: brainstorming, organizing ideas, structuring of paragraphs and essays, topic sentences and thesis statements, introductions, body paragraphs, conclusions.
4. Revision strategies: detailed support, transitions and coherence, audience and purpose.
5. Editing strategies: joining sentences, punctuation, verb tenses, subject-verb agreement, pronoun-antecedent agreement, concrete and concise use of language, punctuation, spelling, vocabulary.
B. Instructional Methods
A diagnostic composition should be administered during the first or second class meeting of the first week of the semester and should be read promptly to assess students’ abilities and needs. Instructors may also want to administer diagnostic tests in spelling, mechanics, or reading. Details of the course objectives, paper format, and attendance policies should be made clear to the students. Regular class attendance, therefore, is an important requirement for the students’ success.
C. Course Requirements
Department of English and Humanities Attendance Policy:
Success in courses is directly related to attendance and participation. The Department of English and Humanities expects regular class attendance so students can learn the material covered in classes. Students with excessive absences will miss so much work and class discussion that they risk failing the course. Individual instructors will determine the specific requirement for attendance in each course.
The assignments in English 092 include a variety of formal and informal writing meant to prepare students for taking English 101. Informal writing may consist of quizzes, unannounced in-class paragraphs, responses composed on electronic Discussion Boards and DIWE, or journal entries. Usually, the professor administers an ungraded diagnostic essay within the first week of class in order to evaluate student needs and abilities.
The formal writing includes paragraphs and essays written in a variety of rhetorical modes with an emphasis on expressive and expository writing. Usually, students write five to eight compositions out of which at least two are in-class timed essays. Each essay should have a clear thesis, well-developed paragraphs organized around a topic sentence, and supporting details. Most paragraphs and essays start in class and are developed through a process of brainstorming, drafting, revising, and editing. Some professors require a portfolio, in which students include at least two revised essays for this purpose and a reflective cover letter. The essays in English 092 are usually five paragraphs or a page and a half to two pages and have a strong emphasis on reviewing students’ knowledge of grammar, punctuation, and spelling according to the rules of Standard Academic English and the MLA style.
The final examination is a common departmental examination reviewed annually by the English 091/092 Committee. The final consists of a timed essay written in class. Students are required to write a unified, coherent, multi-paragraph essay of 300 to 500 words in length on a topic students will choose out of several different options. The final is graded in terms of the ability to write a clear thesis, the ability to compose well-developed paragraphs centered on a topic sentence and developed through supporting details, and the ability to use correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling according to the rules of Standard Academic English.
D. Grading Practices
Students must earn a C or better to advance to English 101. A grade of C or better at the end of the semester signifies that essays demonstrate the ability to organize and develop ideas with specific support, to choose words and structure sentences that communicate clearly and coherently, to spell with reasonable accuracy, and to write grammatically correct English with few instances of serious errors. Fragments, comma splices, run-on sentences, faulty reference or agreement, and shifts in point of view are serious grammatical errors that should appear infrequently. A grade of D or F signifies that essays demonstrate serious weaknesses in development, organization, clarity, spelling or grammar or, more likely, a combination of several of these elements. A grade of D or F will not allow the student to progress to English 101.
E. Required Texts
Instructor should select one of the following:
The Writer’s Response by Stephen McDonald and William Salomone
Writing Paragraphs and Essays by Wingersky, Boerner, and Holguin-Balogh
Each student should have a standard desk dictionary.
F. Supplementary readings
The Writing Program Handbook, 1st edition, published by the DCC Department of English and Humanities.
The Handbook provides an overview of the entire composition sequence and includes departmental policies in addition to departmental and campus resources. The Handbook is available both in print and online.