English 100: Exposition and Argument

Cr. 3

Perhaps no single asset is more important to an individual's overall development and success than the ability to write well. This holds true not only in the humanities and the social and natural sciences, but also in the professional schools. Though the development of writing skills will be a major component of the Freshman Core program, some students might feel that they need to undertake additional practice in writing. If so, this course is a wise elective choice, since writing is the primary object of Exposition and Argument.

We learn from the experience of successful writers that good writing doesn't just happen, but instead results from processes that can be practiced and individualized. In this course students discover how to manage the process of writing, whatever the occasion or purpose, more effectively. This means learning to select or discover an appropriate topic; it means learning to write trial drafts that explore the topic and the means of presenting it; it means, perhaps most importantly, learning to revise drafts better to address the specific subject, purpose, audience, and occasion. For academic writing, it means learning how to produce a finished draft that conforms both to the conventions of standard English and to the accepted practices of academic documentation.

Writing and Classroom Requirements

The instructor will assist students in achieving the objectives of the course in a variety of ways. During the term students will complete from six to seven essays of approximately 500-1000 words in length (the minimum writing requirement is twenty-five pages of original non-fiction prose). At least one of these essays requires the use of basic methods of research and documentation. The instructor might require that students keep a journal. The class meets three times a week. Ordinarily the instructor will use class time for lecture, discussion, or workshop, and may occasionally use the time for individual or small group conferences.