Rhetoric and Writing I, or English 1310, is the first course of a two-semester written communication sequence required of all UCCS students. The course introduces students to academic reading and writing processes. Students develop critical reading, writing and thinking skills through class discussion, the rhetorical analysis of academic and civic texts, and the writing of documented analytical essays. Students analyze texts that were written for a variety of purposes and audiences. Emphasis is given to reading and writing processes as multiple and rhetorically diverse. Course content focuses on writing process theory and rhetorical theory and criticism—language matters—as the subject matter of rhetoric and writing as a discipline. Students explore language theory and practice through diverse frameworks: multicultural language practices; the reading and criticism of classics of American rhetoric, and issues in literacy, language and technology. The course serves two complementary purposes—to prepare writers for academic reading and writing assignments at the university level, and to introduce students to rhetoric and writing as a field of study unto itself. Signature features of the UCCS ENGL 1310 experience include: rhetoric and writing process theory; writing instruction in a computer-mediated classroom; low course caps of 19 students; extensive small group and whole class discussion, and one-on-one writing conferences for all ENGL 1310 students.
Text: Texts afford students theoretical and practical access to rhetorical principles, concepts, and strategies as well as access to academic and civic texts for rhetorical analysis. The core texts for ENGL 1310 are the following:
Writing Assignments: ENGL 1310 includes four formal writing assignments: four documented analytical essays. Students write a total of twenty-five pages of revised prose for this course, approximately six prose pages per essay. Writing-to-learn activities include academic journals, peer reviews, invention exercises and other inclass writing assignments throughout the course. Writing-to-communicate activities include computer-mediated exchanges and online peer reviews and chats.
Reading Activities: ENGL 1310 incorporates critical reading activities as integral to academic work. Students read rhetoric and writing process theory as well as argumentative texts in a variety of genres and annotate texts throughout the course. Course readings provide the context for generating writing topics for subsequent essay assignments and the source material for the documented essays. Class discussion emphasizes the close, critical analysis of these texts for evaluative aims.
Oral Communication: ENGL 1310 incorporates discussion as a counterpart of academic reading and writing to enable students to participate as responsible members of a pluralistic society—locally, nationally and globally. Students develop oral communication skills through whole and small group discussion of academic readings and in the context of their writing conferences.
*Information adapted from Language Matters reader.
Rhetoric and Writing I at UCCS is aligned with the Council of Writing Program Administrators’ Recommended Outcomes for First-Year Writing Curricula (College English, Volume 63, Number 3, January 2001). These outcomes have been recast to constitute a writing-about-writing curricular framework encompassing: 1) content knowledge—rhetorical theory, process theory and genre theory; 2) rhetoric and writing skills; and 3) critical and meta-rhetorical reflection as essential to the transfer of theoretical tools to new reading and writing contexts across the disciplines and beyond. Students should expect reading and writing instruction in the following domains:
Rhetorical Knowledge: Theory, Skills and Meta-rhetorical Reflection
Critical Thinking, Reading and Writing
Writing Process Knowledge: Theory, Skills, and Critical Reflection
Knowledge of Conventions