ENGL 1100 - Objectives, Requirements, and Grading
Objectives for ENGL 1100
- To become adept at using writing processes that will help students achieve the general objectives of English Composition. Processes include various kinds of prewriting and discovery, drafting and reviewing drafts, editing and revising, and submitting polished essays on time and in the appropriate format.
- To develop and articulate a claim that answers to the requirements of the assignment and that represents a thoughtful understanding of the issues the student is writing about.
- To support the claim with evidence that answers to the requirements of the assignment and that demonstrates the student’s ability to make appropriate rhetorical and logical choices.
- To become proficient in the conventions of standard written English appropriate for an academic audience or educated readers and to apply these conventions to meet the requirements of the assignment.
- To become proficient in writing with some stylistic fluency and to begin to attain a mature understanding of prose style.
- To identify and assess the rhetorical effectiveness and appropriateness of various kinds of texts and to make critical judgments about these texts.
Course Requirements for ENGL 1100
The instructor’s supplemental syllabus will list the textbooks students are required to buy. Instructors with one or more year of experience teaching composition at Auburn may select their own texts, provided that these include a handbook, an anthology of nonfiction readings (commonly called a reader), and a text that provides instruction in the writing process (a rhetoric). A single text that combines two or more of these functions can also be used.
Instructors teaching composition for the first time at Auburn are required to select their textbooks from the following list:
Hult, Christine A. and Thomas N. Huckin. The New Century Handbook. 3d ed. New York: Pearson/Longman, 2005. (Includes some rhetoric.) (Custom edition only, ISBN D-536-90693-9)
Reader and/or Rhetoric. NOTE: Some of the texts below include rhetorical and handbook parts. Instructors may want to review these books, since some of them could be used in place of The New Century Handbook or other texts listed below.
Axelrod, Rise B. and Charles R. Cooper. Reading Critically, Writing Well. 6 th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2002.
Cooley, Thomas. The Norton Sampler: Short Essays for Composition. 5 th ed. New York: Norton, 1997.
Mauk, John and John Metz. The Composition of Everyday Life: A Guide to Writing. 2 nd ed. Boston: Thomson/Wadsworth, 2007.
Rottenberg, Annette T. Elements of Argument. 6 th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2002.
Silverman, Jonathan and Dean Rader. The World is a Text. 2 nd ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2006.
Writing Requirements for ENGL 1100
Students will write between 3500-4500 words for graded work. This will be divided among the following writing assignments:
- Four essays to be written out of class. These essays will count for 80% of the course grade. Instructors should require students to practice drafting and revision for all essays.
- Writing that supports the four essays. This may include short papers, journals, and responses to reading assignments. Instructors will generally score or grade this work, and the details for doing so will be explained in their syllabus. This writing counts for 10% of the course grade.
- A final exam, to be written during the university-mandated exam time, and counting for 10% of the course grade.
The four essays for this course are described below:
- An essay that explores the significance of an experience in the student’s life. The student should strive to make a claim or reach a conclusion about the meaning of the experience and that goes beyond the statement of a simple moral or lesson learned. The essay can be exploratory, in that the student confronts a question or problem he or she has been unable to resolve. Instructors should set boundaries as to how personal or confessional the essay can be.
- An essay that describes, in some detail, what the student has observed and that attempts to make some sense of the meaning of these observations. The assignment may ask the student to argue for an interpretation, though an argumentative thesis is not required. The essay should, however, present an organized response to the student’s observations and, like the personal experience essay, be more than an itemized description followed by a moral or lesson.
- A critical reading of a non-fiction text, chosen by the instructor or by the student in consultation with the instructor. Critical reading should include an assessment of the rhetorical features of the text. The requirement that this essay be confined to a non-fiction text is based on two considerations: program objectives, which emphasize improving students’ proficiency in reading non-fiction, and university assessments, which have indicated weaknesses in Auburn University students’ reading skills.
- An expository essay of a type and on a topic chosen by the instructor or by the instructor and students. The genre, topic, and subject matter are at the instructor’s discretion, but the assignment should address the objectives of ENGL 1100 and help students improve their ability to meet these objectives .
Grades in ENGL 1100
General Grading Policy
Instructors of ENGL 1100 use their experience and professional judgment to evaluate and grade a student’s writing. The criteria for separate grades given below help guide them in their evaluation and can help students understand what will be expected of them in the course. As the criteria show, instructors evaluate more than the grammar and formal correctness of the essay. They’ll take into account support and evidence for claims, the quality of the prose, and other rhetorical features that aid the reader in understanding the essay.
Students are encouraged to read these criteria carefully and to ask their instructors to explain anything they don’t understand. As students will find, these criteria differ in many ways from those they might have become familiar with in high school. Just as importantly, students should not use their grades in high-school English as a predictor or indicator of their performance in college composition. Nor should they count on the opinions of former teachers or parents to overrule the evaluations of their ENGL 1100 instructor.
Instructors may build additional requirements into their assignments that will factor in to the grade a student gets. These factors should be consistent with the philosophy and objectives of the course.
Challenging a Grade on a Paper or for the Course
Students who wish to challenge the grade of a paper or for the course must follow the procedures for filing an academic grievance, as spelled out in The Tiger Cub. Before doing so, students should know specifically what kinds of grievances are possible. Merely believing that one should have gotten a higher grade does not usually qualify as a legitimate grievance. Students who believe they do have a legitimate grievance should first contact their instructor. If the instructor is unavailable (or upon referral from the instructor), they should come to the English Department and ask to speak with the Coordinator of Composition. After speaking with the Coordinator of Composition, they may be referred to the Department Head.
Grading Criteria for Essays in ENGL 1100
The “A” Essay
The “A” essay demonstrates the writer's ability to address rhetorical situations in innovative, creative, and perceptive ways. The writing is more than above average; it is exceptional. The purpose is distinguished by some depth or breadth of insight; all support offered is interesting, relevant, and boldly thought-provoking. The organization is not only coherent but marked by appropriateness to the specific rhetorical situation, and the transitions show sophistication and originality. The writing exhibits finesse on the writer's part in matters of style, diction, and usage. There are no grammatical errors.
The “B” Essay
The “B” essay demonstrates the writer's ability to address the rhetorical situation beyond mere competency. The writing goes beyond the basics in the following ways: the point is original and/or more exciting for the reader; the organization is clear and appropriate, the transitions are sophisticated and/or original, and the support offered is more than adequately substantive and/or relevant. The style and tone reflect more attention to rhetorical concerns and the readers' needs; the writer has used a more sophisticated and varied sentence structure throughout. The work is relatively free of distracting grammatical errors.
The “C” Essay
The “C” essay demonstrates the writer's ability to address the rhetorical situation competently. There is adequate support of a recognizable point; the paper meets the minimum page requirement of the assignment. The organization is logical but may at times be formulaic or not appropriate for the audience. Transitions may be formulaic in nature. The tone and style are appropriate though not exceptionally engaging to the audience. The papers are readable; the reader does not encounter awkward sentence structures or wording. There are few errors in usage and mechanics. A grade of "C" means that your writing is "good" in the sense that you are able to write at the level of competency expected of you by the University..
The “D” Essay
The “D” essay indicates the writer's ability to address rhetorical situations somewhatcompetently, but the writing contains weaknesses and/or errors that mark it as less than what is expected in one or more of the following ways: The purpose is confused or too general; the support offered is vague, unconvincing, inaccurate, irrelevant or too narrow in focus; the organization is confusing or unsuccessful; the style, voice or tone is inconsistent or inappropriate; the sentence structure is difficult to read or inappropriate. Numerous mechanical and grammatical errors hinder the readers’ ability to understand the text.
The “F” Paper
The “F” essay fails to address the assignment or contains weaknesses in one or more of the following ways: there is little or no awareness of the rhetorical situation or purpose; there is no support; the essay is unorganized and logically flawed. There is no sense of tone or voice. The sentence structure is very difficult to read or inappropriate. There are substantial errors in grammar and usage.
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Last updated July 11, 2006