To prepare students for reading and writing for academic audiences.
Basic Writing courses (ENGH 0890 and 0990) focus on three primary academic reading/writing activities: summarizing, analyzing (including evaluating) and synthesizing. In the course of summarizing a text, students are instructed in and asked to practice finding the overall main idea, the major supporting details and the minor supporting details. Class instruction also includes discussions of difficult vocabulary, inferences and connotative language. Students practice the skills of analyzing a text (written and/or visual), including the consideration of an author’s audience, context, purpose, biases, evidence, and sources. Students also write an analysis essay in which they evaluate the appropriateness of certain kinds of evidences, the credibility and reliability of sources, the author’s use of logic and the overall persuasiveness of the text. Instruction in analysis is extended into the synthesis unit where students bring into conversation a variety of texts/authors, contrasting and comparing authors’ viewpoints, the evidences they use, and their argumentation methods.
The department offers all sections as hybrid classes which frees up campus classroom and may reduce the need for students to come to campus one day a week. The department may pilot a complete online textbook solution and/or department Wiki for efficiency. We have also recently developed a case statement to attract donors.
Advocate for improved adjunct pay and continue strengthening adjunct preparation to achieve the consistent implementation of curricular ideals across sections. Class size should ideally be reduced to match NCTE guidelines of 16-18 students. The number of adjuncts should be reduced and more full-time contract faculty hired.