English 191: Introduction to Rhetorical and Analytical Writing

English 191 Exemption Information

Course Description

Analytical reading, writing, and critical reasoning for a variety of rhetorical purposes, including argumentation (broadly conceived). Practice in developing ideas, insights, and claims through use of both personal observation/experience and external texts and perspectives.

Departmental Positions on English 191

One of the strengths of our first-year writing program is its diversity in teaching styles and approaches--a diversity undergirded by unity of purpose. As a department, we share common objectives and criteria.

The department has adopted the criteria and objectives for use in developing course syllabi, for use in assessment, for use in administrative and academic communications and for distribution to advisors.

Course Guidelines

All sections of English 191 will have the following focal points:

  • Analyzing rhetorical situations and purposes
  • Articulating and developing critical and analytical perspectives in writing using researched evidence
  • Strategies for critically engaging information and developing it in writing as evidence for arguments
  • Study of writing in relation to articulating human values, cultural perspectives, or interdisciplinary understanding

All sections of English 191 will integrate the following secondary points:

  • Examining and using modes of inquiry and development
  • Research strategies
  • Modulating voice and style in relation to rhetorical situation
  • Evaluating and revision strategies
  • Copy editing
Minimum Graded Writing Assignments

Students will write approximately 5,000 words (20 Pages) in response to assignments that stress analysis, various modes of inquiry and development, and various rhetorical situations. Because analytical and rhetorical perspectives are grounded in experience and subject position, papers may draw on experiential dimensions of writing and use of expressive or creative modes of development. Because the purpose of the course is to teach diverse rhetorical strategies, it should not be considered as a course whose major purpose is either literary analysis, creative writing, or business or technical communications, although these types of writing may be used in ways related reasonably to the focal points of the course. In order to achieve the course goals specifically related to research, interpretation and use of outside sources, and documentation, at least eight of the 20 required pages should incorporate some form of research. Depending upon topic, purpose, and audience, this research might include interviews, observations, surveys, or analysis of published opinion, theory, and research. Multiple drafts of papers may be required, depending on the type of writing, pedagogical preferences, and evaluation strategies.

Other Course Work

The remaining amount of course work can include discussion of assigned reading, peer review of drafts or final papers, oral reports, journals, in-class writing assignments and the like. Mid-term and final exams may be given but neither is required.

Objectives For Students In English 191

Approved by the English Department in April 1998

Although sections of English 191 will vary in their course content, the Department of English has agreed upon the following objectives:

  • Students will improve rhetorical sophistication by learning to make choices as writers and by developing their abilities
    • to discern different situations, aims, and purposes in writing
    • to use different modes of inquiry, development, and presentation in writing
    • to modulate their written voices, diction, and style according to different rhetorical situations
    • to edit their own writing for grammatical correctness and appropriate usage
    • to develop in writing points, judgments and critical perspectives coherently with appropriate support and evidence
    • to respond to, evaluate, and revise their own and others' writing.
  • Students will develop their abilities to engage critically with various kinds of discourse, texts, and information learning
    • to describe, summarize, and analyze discourse, texts, and information accurately
    • to develop critical strategies for researching, evaluating, interpreting, and documenting various discourse, texts, and information
    • to use researched material for support and evidence in analytical and rhetorical writing.

In addition to developing skills and abilities in reading, writing and critical thinking, students will learn how written language informs or affects our understanding of human values, cultural perspectives or interrelatedness of disciplines.

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