WRT120 - Effective Writing 1

Course Description

This course focuses on building students' composition skills. What does that mean? Let's start with the good news: you already have lots of experience writing and composing. Just think about it. Every day, you probably compose text messages, emails, tweets, facebook statuses, comments, and more. As you compose these various communications, you think about the audience that will receive them, the context you're communicating in, and the purpose you have for communicating. When you do that, you're already practicing the basic skills of composition.

Now for the not-so-good news. Just as being able to walk to class doesn't mean you're ready to hike the Appalachian Trail, the composing you do every day doesn't mean your composition skills are ready to serve you in the varied challenges you'll encounter in, and after, college. This course, then, is designed to build from the composition experience you already have, and prepare you for those future challenges. We will do this by learning to analyze and reflect on our own composition process, and the composition process employed by others. Our goal is not to teach you any one form or method of writing, but rather to give you experience adapting to new writing situations, and a framework for accomplishing this adaptation.

Course Goals

This course meets the Academic Foundations in English Composition component of the WCU General Education curriculum.  It meets three General Education goals that will help students learn to

  • Communicate effectively
  • Respond thoughtfully to diversity
  • Think critically and analytically

This course is also designed to fulfill WCU’s three First-Year Writing Program Outcomes:

  • Think with writing: Use composing processes and tools as a means to discover ideas, engage deeply with questions, reconsider concepts and beliefs, explore problems, and promote local and global change, including but not limited to engaging those questions, problems and concepts currently of relevance to the academy.
  • Think about writing: Develop metacognitive awareness about writing and rhetoric.
  • Compose writing: Demonstrate genre awareness and rhetorical agility through both producing and problematizing academic and public, dominant and non-dominant, genres, in both written and multimodal forms.
Readings, writing assignments, workshop activities, discussions, and conferences are all designed to help you develop these abilities.

Contact Information and Office Hours

The best way to contact me is to use my West Chester email account: afamiglietti@wcupa.edu

My office hours will be held in XXX Main Hall: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 10am-11am and 3pm-5pm

If you can't make any of these times, and need to talk to me, contact me via email to set up an appointment.

Course Policies

In this class, I expect you to:

Be Here: Your attendance in class is required. You get 3 allowed absences, no questions asked (DO NOT send me excuses). Use them wisely. For each additional absence, after the third, you will lose one-half letter grade from your final score (four absences lowers an A to an A-, five lowers to a B+, etc.)

Be Polite: I expect our class to be a safe space for students of all religions, political beliefs, sexual orientations, class backgrounds, ethnicities, genders, and learning styles. Your writing and contributions to classroom discussions should take care to show respect for the diverse backgrounds of your classmates. Offensive or discriminatory language or actions will not be tolerated.

Do The Work: A great deal of our class work is focused on process. That is, it is designed to give you experience and practice using strategies and methods that will improve your composition skills. I do not expect everyone to become a publication-ready writer by the end of our class. I do expect everyone to complete every assignment, complete it on-time, and make a good-faith effort to engage with the process the assignment is designed to teach.

For a more complete list of required class policies, see the pdf version of this syllabus.

Assignments and Grade Breakdown

Snark or Elegy Composition20% of Final Grade
Digital Community Analysis Project20% of Final Grade
Theory of Writing 30% of Final Grade
Participation-Credit: homework & classroom activities20% of Final Grade
Portfolio10% of Final Grade

Evaluation and grading

Final grades are determined by the weighted scores given on the assignments above, following the University’s 100-point scale: