English 102 and English 114: Composition II

Catalog description: Exploration of essay forms with particular attention to interpretation and argument; emphasis on analytical reading and writing, critical thinking and research methodologies.

ENG 102 is the core English course all freshmen must take or for which they must demonstrate equivalency. Core Writing students are placed in 102 if their ACT English score is greater than 30, their SAT Verbal/Critical Reading score is greater than 680 or they have completed ENG 100J or 101 with a grade of "D" or better.

This course focuses on the practice of research, reading and writing within a rhetorical situation, providing a foundation for the writing situations students may encounter in their Core Curriculum.

English 102 extends the writing habits developed in English 101: assessing rhetorical situations; adapting to different genre expectations; drafting and revising in a recursive, ongoing fashion; engaging peers and others for feedback; and reflecting on the writing process and its products. Building on these foundational writing habits, students will engage a contemporary rhetorical situation or problem by immersing themselves in the research practices, methods of analysis and writing genres necessary for engaged discussion of a particular area of concern. Students will be introduced to an ongoing debate through various perspectives, including scholarly, public and popular genres in order to map a rhetorical conversation. Students will critically analyze these readings to determine opportunities for moving the conversation forward-diversifying and complicating the ongoing discussion. Students will carry out research appropriate to the goals they have identified and produce multiple texts that engage different audiences on this issue. Students will write three or four formal papers that contribute to the contemporary discussion. These contributions will vary in length, genre and citation practice, but they should all be informed by substantive research, the exigencies of the issue and the constraints of the form and its audience. In addition to these texts, students will write a reflection on their writing, addressing such questions as what constitutes a rhetorical conversation, how can writing productively and diversely contribute to that conversation and how do ideas change and adapt as they move among scholarly, public and popular contexts. English 102 students will produce 20-25 pages of polished writing.

English 114: Composition II for international students (3 units) is a course for non-native English speakers and covers the exploration of essay forms with particular attention to interpretation and argument; emphasis on analytical reading and writing, critical thinking and research methodologies. It covers the English 102 requirement for non-native English speakers.

Learning objectives

Students are expected to achieve the following outcomes:

  • Students will be able to explain the writing process: pre-writing, composing, revising, responding, editing, attending to language and style, and writing with audience and purpose in mind.
  • Students will be able to engage in critical reading and interpretation of a wide range of texts.
  • Students will be able to summarize, analyze, synthesize, evaluate, and apply what they read - both orally and in writing.
  • Students will be able to frame complex research questions or problems.
  • Students will be able to produce a coherent, well-supported argument that shows critical thinking about of student's own and alternative viewpoints.
  • Students will be able to recognize, evaluate, and use a variety of information sources: expert people, publications of information agencies, popular and specialized periodicals, professional journals, books, and electronic resources.
  • Students will be able to conduct research that shows evidence of the ability to synthesize, use fairly, and credit the ideas of others using the appropriate citation style.
  • Students will be able to write coherently and observe the standards of academic English.

Core objective 1: Effective composition and communications

  • Silver Vein I: Fundamental Practice
  • Brief Description of Learning Objective: Students will be able to effectively compose written, oral, and multimedia texts for a variety of scholarly, professional, and creative purposes.

Core objective 3: Critical analysis and use of information

  • Silver Vein I: Fundamental Practice
  • Brief Description of Learning Objective: Students will be critical consumers of information, able to engage in systematic research processes, frame questions, read critically, and apply observational and experimental approaches to obtain information.

Additional information for instructors about course themes

The benefits of choosing a focused theme include allowing the instructor to draw on personal strengths, providing a narrowed focus to help students choose topics and conduct research, encouraging depth over breadth and engagement for students and instructors.

The theme-based course, however, requires instructors to keep several things in mind. The theme should be broad enough to allow a variety of different avenues for students to explore. While some students choose their ENG 102 section based on the theme, at least half choose their section because of the time or instructor. This means that about half of the students in every 102 course will not have a personal interest in the course theme. Flexibility within the theme allows for all students to find points of engagement.

Remember, the theme isn't everything. Keep in mind that 102 is still a composition class and the focus of the class should be on teaching students relevant practices related to research and writing. Literature can be incorporated into a 102 class, but we encourage instructors to devote less than 25 percent of the class to studying fictional texts (books, movies, television shows, internet videos, poetry, comics/graphic novels, etc.). 102 isn't a literature class.

Keep in mind that ENG 102 is the final Core Writing course and leads into the rest of a student's Core Curriculum, as well as courses in their major. Themes that are extremely creative may be difficult for students and other faculty members to identify connections between ENG 102 and other academic purposes

Additional information for international students

International students attending the University are placed into appropriate Core Writing courses based on TOEFL scores, interviews and special placement arrangements, all through the Intensive English Language Center. International students, therefore, have the same access to Core Writing Program courses as any other student and are expected to complete these courses in the same way.

However, those students for whom English still poses special challenges may be directed into (or elect) to take an alternative sequence of composition courses: ENG 113 and 114. For international students, these courses fulfill the university's composition requirements through ENG 102. As such, course outcomes are identical to ENG 101 and 102. In the deployment of this course content, however, instructors are expected to show increased sensitivity to the needs of second-language users and tailor scaffolding assignments to their differential language skills during what is also for many of these students a period of intense cultural adjustment. Assignments could include narratives of an encounter or an explanation of something important in the student's national or ethnic culture. Whatever the instructor's choices, reading, writing and revision activities in ENG 113 and 114 should still match those of ENG 101 and 102 respectively.

Instructors for ENG 113 and 114 are selected through a special application and after particular qualifications, training and/or experience have been verified. While one cannot elect to teach ENG 113 and 114 (e.g., on the semester course preference form, unless one has already been previously approved), if you possess the additional skills necessary to work with second-language learners, you may inquire with the Core Writing program in order to have your name and credentials passed on for consideration for future openings.

Additional information for honor students

Students taking ENG 102H are granted permission through the Honors Program and are registered in separate sections. While the general course outcomes are the same, instructors must abide by four additional requirements:

  • Honors students are required to present their work in multiple media, both oral and written. To that end, students will participate in a research symposium at the end of the semester for which they must prepare either a poster or digital presentation (such as PowerPoint or Prezi). For assistance with posters and digital formats, please see the Knowledge Center and for poster templates and tips.
  • Honors students are required to write a minimum of 25 pages of formal (revised, graded and excluding drafts) writing in a semester.
  • Because it is imperative that honors students understand how to find and evaluate credible academic research, final research papers for the course must include a minimum of eight scholarly sources.
  • In order to properly engage with academic discourse communities, final research papers much employ correct MLA or APA citation style.