Department of English Language and Literature   SIUE
Rhetoric and Composition Studies

The Writing Program @ SIUE

Objectives and Outcomes

Learning to write well at the college level is a complex endeavor. Building upon what students learned in high school, the first-year writing sequence at SIUE is designed to help students in becoming college writers by providing quality instruction in a theoretically grounded program. We maintain six goals that should be met in English 101, the first course in that sequence. Students who participate actively in their own education, invest in the writing process, and engage in dialogue about their writing can expect to meet the following goals with some measure of success.

This document is designed to communicate those goals to students, parents, faculty, administrators, and others interested in the first-year writing program at SIUE. While we have tried to make these goals accessible to the general reader, terms such as "rhetorical strategies" and "discourse community" have rich and complex meanings to professional writing teachers, meanings that cannot necessarily be fully articulated to the general public in this brief document.

Underneath each goal, we offer objectives -- or strategies -- that individual teachers may use to facilitate students in reaching these goals. Instructors may employ additional pedagogically sound objectives as they see fit.

In addition, each goal is designed to foster one or more of SIUE's College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) "Desired Characteristics and Capabilities of Graduates." These desired characteristics reflect the college's and university's commitment to the intrinsic value of a well-rounded undergraduate education.

Objectives

Goal #1: Students will gain an understanding of rhetorical strategies and processes of analyzing and composing a variety of print, visual, and digital media.
Related Objectives:
  • Work with texts and learn to interpret, incorporate, and evaluate them
  • Explore the multiple facets (ideological, social, cultural, political, economic, historical) of issues and use writing to construct informed, critical positions about these topics
  • Use various technological tools to explore texts
  • Encourage the use of multi-sensory engagement with texts and in writing assignments
This goal and its related objectives are designed to foster the development of the following "Desired Characteristics and Capabilities of Graduates.":
Goal #2: Students will gain a meta-awareness of their own development as writers
Related Objectives:
  • Engage in peer-reviewing activities
  • Participate in self-assessment activities, i.e. evaluate individual's own writing assignments based upon assignment criteria
This goal fosters this CAS "Desired Characteristic":
Goal #3: Students will use writing as a way of thinking through topics and ideas.
Related Objectives:
  • Engage in prewriting, journal writing, and class discussion techniques, such as traditional group discussions, listservs, chats, web forums, and email
  • Write multiple drafts
This goal fosters these CAS "Desired Characteristics":
Goal #4: Students will understand and use writing strategies and processes to analyze and write about issues that are important to specific audiences and specific purposes.
Related Objectives:
  • Read, discuss, and write about texts
  • Revise to accommodate specific audience and purpose
  • Articulate and respond to opposing viewpoints
  • Explore the writing situation as a tool of personal and civic empowerment
This goal fosters these CAS "Desired Characteristics":
Goal #5: Students will analyze the conventions of and write effectively in the university discourse community.
Related Objectives:
  • Read, analyze, and write about texts from various academic discourses
  • Investigate the principles of evidence used in academic writing, examining the characteristics of academic discourses
This goal fosters these CAS "Desired Characteristics":
Goal #6: Students will gain opportunities to collaborate effectively.
Related Objectives:
  • Conferencing
  • Collaborate in group writing projects
  • Use online writing centers and traditional writing centers
  • Participate in teacher conferences
  • Collaborate on writing projects with students from other schools
This goal fosters these CAS "Desired Characteristics":

Outcomes

The follwing outcomes for ENG 101 reflect the governing mission of the First-Year Writing Program as well as the ENG 101 Goals & Objectives set forth by the program and listed above.

It is important to note that as students move beyond English 101, "their writing abilities do not merely improve. Rather, students' abilities not only diversify along disciplinary and professional lines but also move into whole new levels where expected outcomes expand, multiply, and diverge" (Writing Program Administrators Outcomes Statement). It is our desire that students continue developing as writers long after they leave English 101, that they continue to be life-long writers in their academic, civic, and professional lives. English 101 is simply the starting point.

Invention

  • Purpose of the essay is clear and appropriate to the assignment.
  • Introduction engages the reader and creates interest.
  • Essay maintains interest by the creative choices made in content selection.

Arrangement

  • Organization is effective in developing and supporting a thesis.
  • Introduction includes an "essay map" (forecasting statement) and/or a clearly stated thesis.
  • Discussion paragraphs present a coherent, logical case in support of the thesis, with appropriate rhetorical strategies, examples, definitions, and explanations.
  • Essay concludes smoothly and powerfully.

Style

  • Language, content, and persona are appropriate to subject, audience, and purpose.
  • Essay exhibits sophisticated control of language and syntactic structures.

Conventions

  • Essay uses Edited American English and includes features of other dialects only when they serve particular rhetorical purposes.



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