Department of English Language and Literature   SIUE
Rhetoric and Composition Studies

The Writing Program @ SIUE

Mission Statement

English 101 and English 102 are "skills" courses required by Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's general education program. The University expects students to continue to develop critical thinking and writing abilities in their first-year composition courses. Students, too, expect that they will learn what is necessary for them to write papers for the academic community.

The following assumptions underlie the first-year writing program:

  • The ability to write for a variety of audiences and purposes is an important rhetorical skill.
  • Thinking, reading, and writing are integrated activities involving analysis, interpretation, and evaluation.
  • Revision and collaboration are integral parts of all the elements of the composing process.
  • Composing processes are most usefully taught in the context of rhetorical knowledge.
  • Receiving appropriate instructor feedback is an essential part of students' ability to improve their writing.
  • An increased degree of rhetorical sophistication differentiates the work of English 102 from English 101.

First-year writing, as a required course sequence for all SIUE undergraduates, makes a very specific contribution to SIUE's mission to provide an "excellent undergraduate education." English Department faculty (many of whom teach first-year composition at some point in the academic year), lecturers, and graduate teaching assistants recognize the important role of the first-year writing program. To that regard, we subscribe to the following mission statement:

Because writing effectively is a lifelong learning process, the mission of the first-year writing sequence is to help students prepare for the complex writing and critical thinking tasks they will encounter throughout college and later in the workplace and community.

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