Overview of First-Year Rhetoric and Writing Program

Rhetoric is a discipline in the humanities, one that examines diverse forms of persuasion across genres, cultures, and historical moments. Rhetoric is also an art, one that enables practitioners to communicate clearly and effectively in written and verbal modes. Students in our First-Year Rhetoric and Writing Program explore rhetorical and writing theories and processes while analyzing and producing written, oral, visual, and digital texts. Students strengthen their critical and communicative skills within Rhetoric and Writing courses while also fulfilling the core writing course requirements in UCCS's Compass Curriculum.

English 1300+1305 or 1310: Rhetoric and Writing I-Academic Reading and Analytical Writing:

Rhetoric and Writing I is the first of two core writing courses required of all students at UCCS. The English 1300/1305/1310 curriculum reaches purposefully beyond the high school writing curriculum by asking students to analyze civic and academic arguments, to prepare for the critical analysis of academic texts, and to gain intellectual control of writing tasks necessary in college courses and contexts beyond the university classroom. Presenting the idea that language matters, the course takes rhetorical and writing process theory as the course content, which is a signature feature of our writing-about-writing curriculum. Instructors of Rhetoric and Writing I design academic units around topics found in the custom course reader, Language Acts, 2nd edition, edited by Ceil Malek (Fountainhead, 2015).

To complete the first core writing requirement, students take either English 1310 or English 1300 plus English 1305. English 1300+1305 comprise a two-semester sequence that stretches the work of English 1310 over two courses. We have designed this two-semester version of English 1310 to give beginning writers more time to learn university standards and expectations. Students with an English ACT score of 19 or above are placed into English 1310; students with an English ACT score of 18 or below are placed into English 1300 and then 1305. Students enroll in English 1305 after they have completed English 1300 with a grade of C- or higher. Both English 1300 and 1305 are credit-bearing courses: 1300 counts as three hours of elective credit, and 1305 is the three-credit-hour equivalent of 1310.

In addition to the course reader, Language Acts, students use one of three rhetoric textbooks in Rhetoric and Writing I: The Academic Writer: A Brief Guide, 4th edition, by Lisa Ede (Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2017), Praxis: A Brief Rhetoric, 2nd edition, by Carol Lea Clark (Fountainhead, 2012) or Rhetorical Analysis: A Brief Guide for Writers by Mark Garrett Longaker and Jeffrey Walker (Longman, 2011).

After students complete English 1300+1305 or English 1310, they move on to the second core writing requirement. The second required writing course depends on a student's major: Students take ENGL 1410, ENGL 2080, ENGL 2090, or INOV 2100. Students should check the requirements of their major to determine which course they are required to take to fulfill the second core writing requirement at UCCS.

English 1410: Rhetoric and Writing II-Academic Argument and Research:

Rhetoric and Writing II focuses on academic inquiry and argument, building upon the basic analytical and rhetorical proficiencies learned in ENGL 1300/1305/1310. In ENGL 1410, students learn stasis theory, which guides them to analyze definitional, causal, evaluative, and proposal arguments and to compose arguments in one of these four stases. Each 1410 class is focused on a theme such as education, immigration, the 1960s, food, or technology, and students write in-depth researched arguments on substantive issues related to the course theme. In the process of making these arguments, students engage in extended inquiry that encompasses identifying, evaluating, documenting, and integrating print and non-print sources into their research. Librarians from the Kraemer Family Library provide in-class instruction to teach students in English 1410 how to use library resources to locate and evaluate outside sources.

Students use one of two research writing textbooks in Rhetoric and Writing II: Writing Arguments: A Rhetoric with Readings, brief 10th edition, by John D. Ramage, John C. Bean, and June Johnson (Pearson, 2016) or A Rhetoric of Argument, 3rd edition, by Jeanne Fahnestock and Marie Secor (McGraw-Hill, 2003). In English 1410, faculty also assign additional texts based on the course theme.

English 1410 course themes