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Composition at The Beach

A Look at CSULB's First-Year Composition Program
by

Sarah Arroyo

on 3 February 2013

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Transcript of Composition at The Beach

Composition at The Beach Revised and Updated SCO for Composition 100 Composition 100 is neither a literature nor creative writing course. The main focus is on thesis-driven, research-based academic writing. Each essay project asks students to respond to a series of readings and make a contribution to the conversation presented in the readings beyond simple agreement or disagreement. Instructors design activities to facilitate reading comprehension and analysis, so students can practice critical response. Students should leave our composition courses understanding the relationship among reading, writing, inquiry, research, and life-long learning. Composition 100 emphasizes academic writing, focusing primarily on analytical reading and thesis-driven writing. The course introduces methods for conducting university-level research and systems of documentation. Students write a minimum of 8000 words, including both formal and informal writing. Informal writing consists of responses to readings, online postings, etc., and formal writing includes thesis-driven, full-length essays that undergo several revisions. Formal essays include Works Cited pages with appropriate documentation. Areas of Focus Developing Fluency Developing Skills for Inquiry and Critical Thinking Developing Rhetorical Skills Understanding and Practicing Writing as a Social Act Reading Essay assignments always ask students to integrate and respond to expository readings. Since systemic reading instruction generally ends after fourth grade, our instructors teach strategies for critical reading including pre-reading, annotating, reading with and against the grain, summarizing, evaluating and imitating/modeling rhetorical strategies of strong writers. Sarah Arroyo:
Continuing to develop a web-presence for composition program
Professional Development for all instructors
Public Relations: Introducing composition across campus Composition Co-Coordinators Carol Zitzer-Comfort:
Revising composition curriculum/SCO
Reviewing instructors’ syllabi
Lecturer liaison Shared Responsibilities:
Observing and evaluating composition faculty
Conferring with instructors and reviewing textbooks to develop a list of appropriate composition texts
Consulting with students during the beginning of the semester
Articulation agreements Content Organization Reasoning Rhetoric Conventions Responding to Student Writing Citation Systems Textbooks We will adopt five texts each academic year We have adopted one, common handbook, customized by Bedford / St. Martin's for our students and university Instructors inform students to what extent they have met the objectives of each assignment by composing a response that includes the following:
describes what the instructor understands the essay to say
explains in what ways the essay did/did not achieve its purpose(s)
describes elements of the essay that meet audience expectations
suggests what the student might do to enhance the essay’s overall effectiveness
suggests areas the student might pay particular attention to in the next assignment Instructors make every effort to pose meaningful questions and comments about students’ writing during and after the writing process for each formal assignment. Nearly all instructors respond to students' papers during the writing process and before the student submits the paper for a grade. All assignments respond to a reading or set of readings
At least one essay project must be an informed, research-based argument
Other formal essays are also thesis-driven academic essays with outside sources Assignment Design Measurable Outcomes Composition at The Beach
http://compositionatthebeach.com/ Writing Program Administration The main activity in Composition 100 is expository writing generated through varying modes of inquiry and writing in response to non-fiction readings. General Goals Understanding writing as a social process is integral to the mission of the university and to a liberal arts view of education whereby students and faculty exchange ideas and offer constructive feedback in the spirit of creating, testing, disseminating, and challenging all claims to knowledge. Learning to write is a complex process that takes place over time with continued practice and informed guidance. Therefore, it is important that teachers, administrators, and a concerned public do not imagine that these outcomes can be taught in reduced or simple ways. Articulate a clear topic and purpose
Exhibit a specific focus
Respond to all aspects of the assignment
Support claims with appropriate reasons and evidence
Provide relevant and necessary supporting details
Paraphrase or quote information from sources accurately and consistently
Use electronic environments for drafting, reviewing, revising, editing, and sharing texts Write coherently
Present ideas and support in a logical order appropriate for the writer’s purpose
Relate all parts of the essay to the overarching focus and purpose
Use transitional devices to guide readers through the text
Give appropriate emphasis to important ideas Relate a clear significance for the topic
Recognize assumptions
Provide logical, consistent, and well-developed analysis
Integrate visual or multimedia material with the analysis
Provide a logical conclusion that follows from the claims and evidence presented Choose a genre and form appropriate for the task and the writer’s purpose
Demonstrate awareness of audience
Acknowledge, respect, and represent other points of view accurately
Contextualize claims within existing research
Adopt appropriate voice, tone, and level of formality for the topic, task, and audience
Write grammatically correct prose to enhance credibility Demonstrate control of sentence structure, grammar, punctuation, spelling, and mechanics
Learn common formats for different kinds of texts
Develop knowledge of genre conventions ranging from structure and paragraphing to tone and mechanics Cite sources appropriately
Understand the assumptions behind various citations systems such as MLA, APA, and the Chicago Manual of Style
Understand the concepts behind the rules Rhetoric and Composition Spring 2013 Assessment Project
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