First-Year Writing (For Faculty)

Mission of First-Year Writing

Mission
The First-Year Writing (FYW) Program in the Department of Writing and Linguistics at Georgia Southern University exists to give students a foundation for communicating successfully in school, at work, and throughout their communities. We accomplish this by introducing students to the complex writing, reading, critical thinking, and research tasks they will encounter. By doing so, we fully support the university’s mission to promote student growth and life success.

As part of the only freestanding writing and linguistics department in Georgia, FYW distinguishes itself by combining the production and sharing of robust scholarship in teaching and learning with a deep commitment to interactive, student-centered teaching. Our faculty, staff, students, and alumni use their diverse strengths to advance our core values: integrity, excellence, and individual responsibility for academic achievement.

Preamble
Learning to write is a complex, individualized process, which takes place over time and with continued practice. Therefore, the Department of Writing and Linguistics has adopted outcomes, which reflect an understanding of how students actually learn to write better. These outcomes are a careful integration of practice, research, and theory, and they describe what first-year students should have achieved by the end of the two-course sequence.

The ability to write, which is fostered by the core composition courses, is essential for achieving academic excellence. However, as students move beyond the two-course sequence, their abilities diversify along disciplinary and professional lines; they move to new levels where demands for writing expand, multiply, and diverge. Therefore, the University community should recognize that writing education needs to continue throughout students’ college careers and build on these outcomes.

Fundamental ideas for these outcomes were influenced by the Council of Writing Program Administrators’ student learning outcomes for first-year writing. The Department of Writing and Linguistics follows the recommendations of the Council of Writing Program Administrators’ Framework for Success in Postsecondary Writing.

ENGL 1101


Value of Attendance and Class Participation in First-Year Writing

The First-Year Writing Program stresses the importance of participation to help our students succeed at Georgia Southern as well as in their future workplace. Best practices encourage writing workshops and community building via participatory activities requiring attendance.

The Frameworks for Success in Post-Secondary Writing (Council of Writing Program Administrators) states that successful students must develop key Habits of Mind:

  • Engagement
  • Responsibility
  • Persistence

These Habits of Mind require that students

  • feel “a sense of investment and involvement in learning… developed when writers are encouraged to make connections between their own ideas and those of others”;
  • “take ownership of their actions and understand the consequences of those actions for themselves and others”;
  • “recognize their own role in learning”;
  • “act on the understanding that learning is shared among the writer and others–students, instructors, and the institution.”

To cultivate these habits, students must “take advantage of in-class as well as out-of-class opportunities to improve and refine their work.”

In their first-year writing outcomes, the Council of Writing Program Administrators stress that to become successful writers, students must

  • Develop flexible strategies for reading, drafting, reviewing, collaborating, revisiting, rewriting, rereading, and editing
  • Experience the collaborative and social aspects of writing processes

To help students fulfill these outcomes and cultivate the Habits of Mind, we must promote regular participation and attendance in first-year writing classes.

Though first-year college students are legal adults and may be ready for the challenges of college, we want to enable them to develop responsibility for their own learning (Barlow and Fleischer).

Here at Georgia Southern, our code of conduct explains:

  • Students are expected to attend all classes
  • Professors set specific policies concerning attendance beyond the first class meeting, including whether they will allow missed work to be made up
  • Professors should also clearly state policies to each class and make clear what constitutes excessive absences

 


ENGL 1101 Student Learning Outcomes
Georgia Southern University’s First-Year Writing Program has identified specific learning outcomes for each of its first-year writing courses. Students must complete the course with a “C” average or better to earn credit. At the completion of ENGL1101, students will be able to:

  • Develop flexible strategies to achieve a defined purpose for writing;
  • Compose texts to examine their ideas in relation to those from a range of sources;
  • Respond to various rhetorical situations and genre conventions.

 


ENGL 1101 Guidelines for Instructors

All ENGL 1101 courses must include three graded papers or assignments, each developed from drafts and peer-reviewed. Students are expected to produce approximately 4000-6000 words of writing during the course (this number includes early and final drafts). Students should also have documentation practice in at least two citation styles.

Each faculty member will participate in scheduled grade norming, assessment, and professional development sessions. The department chair will provide details about these expectations. Writing activities and assignments should clearly align with Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs). More detailed guidelines for faculty are available on Google Drive.

 


Common Assignment Parameters for ENGL 1101

ENGL 1101 should culminate in a common assignment. The 1101 final assignment must be a form of rhetorical analysis, taught in the last third of the semester.

While individual instructors have discretion and flexibility in designing the assignment, the final assignment collected at the end of the semester for the purpose of assessment must meet the following criteria.

The ENGL 1101 common assignment [rhetorical analysis] must:

  • Require internal documentation and a References/Works Cited page in a recognized academic style (no course-specific style sheets)
  • Require two to four sources (appropriate sources selections should be driven by audience and purpose)
  • Include a student-written reflective piece that serves as page 1 of the submission
  • Use sources to support and/or develop a rhetorical analysis
  • Be developed through at least two drafts
  • Have had the benefit of instructor and/or peer review
  • Be assigned, developed, and submitted in the last third of the course

ENGL1102


Value of Attendance and Class Participation in First-Year Writing

The First-Year Writing Program stresses the importance of participation to help our students succeed at Georgia Southern as well as in their future workplace. Best practices encourage writing workshops and community building via participatory activities requiring attendance.

The Frameworks for Success in Post-Secondary Writing (Council of Writing Program Administrators) states that successful students must develop key Habits of Mind:

  • Engagement
  • Responsibility
  • Persistence

These Habits of Mind require that students

  • feel “a sense of investment and involvement in learning… developed when writers are encouraged to make connections between their own ideas and those of others”;
  • “take ownership of their actions and understand the consequences of those actions for themselves and others”;
  • “recognize their own role in learning”;
  • “act on the understanding that learning is shared among the writer and others–students, instructors, and the institution.”

To cultivate these habits, students must “take advantage of in-class as well as out-of-class opportunities to improve and refine their work.”

In their first-year writing outcomes, the Council of Writing Program Administrators stress that to become successful writers, students must

  • Develop flexible strategies for reading, drafting, reviewing, collaborating, revisiting, rewriting, rereading, and editing
  • Experience the collaborative and social aspects of writing processes

To help students fulfill these outcomes and cultivate the Habits of Mind, we must promote regular participation and attendance in first-year writing classes.

Though first-year college students are legal adults and may be ready for the challenges of college, we want to enable them to develop responsibility for their own learning (Barlow and Fleischer).

Here at Georgia Southern, our code of conduct explains:

  • Students are expected to attend all classes
  • Professors set specific policies concerning attendance beyond the first class meeting, including whether they will allow missed work to be made up
  • Professors should also clearly state policies to each class and make clear what constitutes excessive absences

 


ENGL1102 Student Learning Outcomes

Georgia Southern University’s First-Year Writing Program has identified specific learning outcomes for each of its first-year writing courses. Students must complete the course with a “C” average or better to earn credit.

The ENGL 1102 focus will include as well as move beyond the ENGL 1101 Student Learning Outcomes. Thus, in addition to what they have learned in ENGL 1101, at the completion of ENGL 1102, students will:

Write Critically

  • Synthesize a variety of sources to participate in a scholarly conversation
  • Demonstrate purposeful and appropriate use of voice, tone, medium
  • Demonstrate reasonable fluency in linguistic structures (such as syntax, punctuation, and word choice)
  • Follow academic citation conventions

 

Read Critically

  • Use a variety of strategies for inquiry/discovery
  • Find and evaluate sources in multiple genres
  • Use rhetorical concepts to analyze a variety of genres

 


ENGL1102 Guidelines for Instructors

ENGL1102 syllabi should include both ENGL 1101 and ENGL 1102 Student Learning Outcomes to demonstrate the progression of learning that will be measured at the completion of the two-course sequence.

All ENGL 1102 courses must include three graded papers or assignments, each developed from drafts and peer-reviewed. Students are expected to produce approximately 4000-6000 words of writing during the course (this number includes early and final drafts). The focus of these writing assignments should be on research skills and knowledge transfer.

These writing practices are intended to introduce first-year students to writing and research practices that will be enhanced in upper-level courses within the students’ major or discipline. Passing ENGL 1102 does not guarantee mastery of writing in a specific discipline.

Each faculty member will participate in scheduled grade norming, assessment, and professional development sessions. The department chair will provide details about these expectations. Writing activities and assignments should clearly align with Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs). More detailed guidelines for faculty are available on Google Drive.

 


Common Assignment Parameters for ENGL 1102

ENGL 1102 should culminate in a common assignment. The 1102 final paper must be a synthesis piece, taught in the last third of the semester. This assignment must include at least five interdisciplinary sources and should be designed to enhance information literacy skills. The common assignment is not intended to be one giant research paper.

While individual instructors have discretion and flexibility in designing the assignment, the final assignment collected at the end of the semester for the purpose of assessment must meet the following criteria.

The ENGL 1102 common assignment must:

  • Focus on research skills and knowledge transfer (not necessarily the creation of one research paper as final product)
  • Be designed to enhance students’ information literacy skills
  • Require internal documentation and a References/Works Cited page in MLA or APA
  • Require at least three sources that represent more than one perspective
  • Be developed through at least two drafts
  • Have had the benefit of instructor and/or peer review
  • Be assigned, developed, and submitted in the last third of the course
  • Be accompanied by a student-composed reflective piece about the assignment that should serve as page 1

Last updated: 1/30/2018

Department of Writing & Linguistics • P.O. Box 8026 • Statesboro, GA 30460 • (912) 478-0739