Student Outcomes

At its core, an English 1000 class is built around writing assignments, formal and informal, that offer students direct instruction and practice in writing as a process, thinking rhetorically, using sources, and giving and receiving feedback. No one course can teach students all they need to know about writing. Instead, English 1000 provides students with one semester of intensive, guided practice that will allow them to grow as writers and thinkers.

General Course Outcomes 


The Composition Program at MU endorses the Council of Writing Program Administrators (WPA) outcomes statement for composition students. The chart below borrows language directly from the revised July 2014 WPA Outcomes Statement.

Writing Knowledge and Practices

Outcomes

Rhetorical Knowledge

"Rhetorical knowledge is the ability to analyze contexts and audiences and then to act on that analysis in comprehending and creating texts. . . . Writers develop rhetorical knowledge by negotiating purpose, audience, context, and conventions as they compose a variety of texts for different situations."

 

By the end of English 1000, students should

  • Learn and use key rhetorical concepts through analyzing and composing a variety of texts
  • Gain experience reading and composing in several genres to understand how genre conventions shape and are shaped by readers’ and writers’ practices and purposes
  • Develop facility in responding to a variety of situations and contexts calling for purposeful shifts in voice, tone, level of formality, design, medium, and/or structure
  • Understand and use a variety of technologies to address a range of audiences
  • Match the capacities of different environments (e.g., print and electronic) to varying rhetorical situations

Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing

"Critical thinking is the ability to analyze, synthesize, interpret, and evaluate ideas, information, situations, and texts. When writers think critically about the materials they use—whether print texts, photographs, data sets, videos, or other materials—they separate assertion from evidence, evaluate sources and evidence, recognize and evaluate underlying assumptions, read across texts for connections and patterns, identify and evaluate chains of reasoning, and compose appropriately qualified and developed claims and generalizations."

By the end of English 1000, students should

  • Use composing and reading for inquiry, learning, thinking, and communicating in various rhetorical contexts
  • Read a diverse range of texts, attending especially to relationships between assertion and evidence, to patterns of organization, to the interplay between verbal and nonverbal elements, and to how these features function for different audiences and situations
  • Locate and evaluate (for credibility, sufficiency, accuracy, timeliness, bias and so on) primary and secondary research materials, including journal articles and essays, books, scholarly and professionally established and maintained databases or archives, and informal electronic networks and internet sources
  • Use strategies—such as interpretation, synthesis, response, critique, and design/redesign—to compose texts that integrate the writer's ideas with those from appropriate sources

Processes

"Writers use multiple strategies, or composing processes, to conceptualize, develop, and finalize projects.  Composing processes are seldom linear: a writer may research a topic before drafting, then conduct additional research while revising or after consulting a colleague. Composing processes are also flexible: successful writers can adapt their composing processes to different contexts and occasions."

 

By the end of English 1000, students should

  • Develop a writing project through multiple drafts
  • Develop flexible strategies for reading, drafting, reviewing, collaborating, revising, rewriting, rereading, and editing
  • Use composing processes and tools as a means to discover and reconsider ideas
  • Experience the collaborative and social aspects of writing processes   
  • Learn to give and to act on productive feedback to works in progress  
  • Adapt composing processes for a variety of technologies and modalities
  • Reflect on the development of composing practices and how those practices influence their work

Knowledge of Conventions

"Conventions are the formal rules and informal guidelines that define genres, and in so doing, shape readers’ and writers’ perceptions of correctness or appropriateness. Most obviously, conventions govern such things as mechanics, usage, spelling, and citation practices. But they also influence content, style, organization, graphics, and document design.  

Conventions arise from a history of use and facilitate reading by invoking common expectations between writers and readers.These expectations are not universal; they vary by genre (conventions for lab notebooks and discussion-board exchanges differ), by discipline (conventional moves in literature reviews in Psychology differ from those in English), and by occasion (meeting minutes and executive summaries use different registers). A writer’s grasp of conventions in one context does not mean a firm grasp in another. "

 

By the end of English 1000, students should

  • Develop knowledge of linguistic structures, including grammar, punctuation, and spelling, through practice in composing and revising
  • Understand why genre conventions for structure, paragraphing, tone, and mechanics vary
  • Gain experience negotiating variations in genre conventions
  • Learn common formats and/or design features for different kinds of texts
  • Explore the concepts of intellectual property (such as fair use and copyright) that motivate documentation conventions
  • Practice applying citation conventions systematically in their own work

How English 1000 Relates to Writing Intensive Courses

The University of Missouri is committed to cultivating a rich writing culture, one that sustains inquiry in and across the disciplines as well as in public arenas. To this end, MU students must satisfy a three-part writing requirement: English 1000 (Exposition and Argumentation, taught primarily by English faculty) and two writing-intensive (WI) courses (taught primarily by faculty "in the disciplines"). Ideally, MU students engage in writing in many other classes, not just in these three required courses. By continuing to link writing to each new learning situation, students grow as writers.

Faculty in all departments can facilitate students' growth as writers by building on the knowledge and practices cultivated in English 1000. The WPA Outcomes Statement outlines the following strategies:

Rhetorical Knowledge

Faculty in all programs and departments can build on this preparation by helping students learn

  • The expectations of readers in their fields
  • The main features of genres in their fields
  • The main purposes of composing in their fields

Critical Thinking, Reading, and Composing

Faculty in all programs and departments can build on this preparation by helping students learn

  • The kinds of critical thinking important in their disciplines
  • The kinds of questions, problems, and evidence that define their disciplines
  • Strategies for reading a range of texts in their fields

Processes

Faculty in all programs and departments can build on this preparation by helping students learn

  • To employ the methods and technologies commonly used for research and communication within their fields
  • To develop projects using the characteristic processes of their fields
  • To review work-in-progress for the purpose of developing ideas before surface-level editing
  • To participate effectively in collaborative processes typical of their field

Knowledge of Conventions

Faculty in all programs and departments can build on this preparation by helping students learn

  • The reasons behind conventions of usage, specialized vocabulary, format, and citation systems in their fields or disciplines
  • Strategies for controlling conventions in their fields or disciplines
  • Factors that influence the ways work is designed, documented, and disseminated in their fields
  • Ways to make informed decisions about intellectual property issues connected to common genres and modalities in their fields.