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Transition to College Writing

Credits: 3 Grading: Mandatory credit/no credit | May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits

When university communities emphasize the value of writing, what kind of writing are they talking about? While acknowledgment of the value of writing is universal, sometimes the breadth of that assumption obscures what we really mean when we talk about writing. In this class, we will discuss writing frankly, within, across and outside academic contexts. Students will have the opportunity to develop their writing in a non-graded, laboratory environment that emphasizes both collaboration and individual attention. By the term's end, students will be well prepared for the norms and expectations they will encounter in subsequent writing classes.

This course focuses on the key features of college writing, helping to develop students’ skills and confidence. More generally, this course prepares students for the type of writing most often assigned and valued in University classes, which includes:

  • analysis in addition to summary;
  • revision for focus and clarity;
  • development and generation of ideas;
  • and style built on a solid grasp of conventions of grammar and punctuation.

Because writing is fundamental to success at the University, students who decide to take WRITING 100 should enroll in the course during their first term. Students can then utilize their newly learned writing skills the following term when they enroll in an approved First-Year Writing Requirement course, which is four credits and graded.

In class, students can expect to discuss readings, learn different writing strategies, and participate in peer review workshops. Typical assignments include 4-6 revised and polished essays, informal writing assignments, and an electronic portfolio that enables students to integrate technology into their learning and reflect upon their development as writers.

Examples of Writing 100 ePortfolios

Course Goals and Objectives

To help students become more prepared and confident academic writers as they develop an e-portfolio that fosters self-reflection and demonstrates progress in writing.

Use an electronic portfolio to develop and present themselves as writers
  • develop a sense of audience and purpose.
  • reflect on collected pieces of writing.
  • integrate visual and textual composition.
  • reflect on the connections between academic writing and co-curricular experiences.
Develop an effective writing process
  • interpret writing assignments.
  • explore methods of topic selection.
  • learn organizational strategies.
  • develop skills for finding and citing sources.
  • provide and use feedback to improve drafts.
  • practice revision and editing skills.
Develop arguments in writing
  • practice various kinds of argumentation.
  • practice thesis statement development.
  • logically and coherently develop ideas within sentences, paragraphs, and essays.
  • integrate textual evidence via effective quotation selection and paraphrase.
  • understand principles of academic integrity.
Develop critical thinking and analytical reading skills
  • annotate a text to identify its arguments, sub-arguments, and organizational strategy.
  • develop analytical questions about a text.
  • read, summarize, and respond to others’ arguments.
Develop study skills
  • learn effective strategies for communicating with the instructor in conferences and via email.
  • manage their time to meet deadlines.
  • find and use campus resources (library, study table, writing center).
  • participate effectively in class discussions.