Writing Program Course Descriptions

FUNDAMENTALS OF COMPOSITION I (LACR 009)
LACR 009
develops students' critical reading and writing skills so that they can employ the writing processes expected at the college level. The emphasis is on reading comprehension and writing processes (analyzing, applying and evaluating), as well as on the technical aspects of writing. As this course is six hours per week, one-to-one time with the instructor is built into the class, so students can work on individual reading and writing issues.

Enrollment in LACR 009 is based on performance on the English Placement Test and SAT scores. Students will receive a grade, but this course does not count for credit toward graduation. Those who pass LACR 009 enter LACR 100, Fundamentals of Composition II. Upon successful completion of LACR 100, students enter LACR 102, First-Year Writing II, and complete the First-Year Writing sequence of classes. On rare occasions, a student may, with the instructor's recommendation and the Director of Writing’s approval, proceed directly from LACR 009 to LACR 102. The instructor and the Director of Writing will identify such a student by week 10 of the 009 course. With the instructor's guidance, the student will then develop a research essay that meets the requirements of the LACR 100 final project. The essay must be completed by the end of the 009 semester.  In this case, LACR 009 will be credit bearing and count toward graduation. The essay requirements are explained in the LACR 100 course objectives and the Director of Writing may provide the research essay assignment prompt.

LACR 009 Course Objectives
Successful students will:

  • Develop critical reading and writing skills: describing, summarizing, evaluating and interpreting.
  • Compose a thesis and support it in the body of the essay in well-structured paragraphs.
  • Analyze sources (locate the author's thesis and evidence).
  • Apply source material through quotation, paraphrase, and summary.
  • Understand how to avoid intentional or unintentional plagiarism.
  • Access source material in the stacks of the library (ultimately, learning how to navigate the library).
  • Recognize and edit patterns of grammatical error (sentence fragments, run-on sentences, subject-verb agreement, verb tense, punctuation and spelling) to write clear sentences.

009 Reading and Writing Processes

  • Describing: write a well-focused description of a primary object/text/subject.
  • Analyzing: explain how grasping elements of a primary object/text/subject can lead to an understanding of the whole.
  • Basic Applying: locate one aspect of a text and use it to support a thesis about a primary object/text/subject.
  • Summarizing: critically read a scholarly source (an author who positions his or her claim within previous scholarship and analyzes a primary object/text/subject; typically, there are footnotes) and summarize the author's main points: 1) locate the author's argument; 2) explain the author's evidence. This is an early step in the developmental process of synthesis.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF COMPOSITION II (LACR 100)*
LACR 100
emphasizes the reading and writing processes that lead to argumentation, as well as the technical aspects of writing. Students practice critical reading and writing skills in order to develop academic essays: describing, summarizing, analyzing, applying and synthesizing. They are introduced to the library holdings and taught to access and assess source material. As this course is six hours per week, one-to-one time with the instructor is built into the class, so students can work on individual reading and writing issues.

FIRST YEAR WRITING I (LACR 101)*
LACR 101 is the first part of a year-long writing, reading and research course that teaches the fundamental aspects of the responsible student-scholar. The emphasis is on the reading and writing processes that lead to argumentation, as well as on the technical aspects of writing. Students practice critical reading and writing skills to develop academic essays: describing, summarizing, analyzing, applying and synthesizing. They are introduced to the library holdings and taught to access and assess source material.

*LACR 100 and 101 share the same curriculum and thus the same objectives and processes. The difference between 100 and 101 is that 100 is a six-hour per week course. We place students who will benefit from one-to-one time with their instructor into 100 so they can focus on developing individual reading and writing skills. Our aim is to give students added attention so they can succeed in the research-based LACR 103 or 102 course and in their Liberal Arts classes.

LACR 100 & LACR 101 Course Objectives
Successful students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate the critical reading and writing skills needed to construct academic essays — describing, summarizing, analyzing, applying and basic synthesizing.
  • Compose a question-based research paper (about four pages in length) and support a thesis in the body of the essay in properly structured paragraphs.
    • Apply source material avoiding intentional or unintentional plagiarism through direct quotation and paraphrase, and cite in MLA format (in-text citations and bibliography).
    • Synthesize source material to support a deductive argument.
  • Assess scholarly sources (locate the author's thesis, evaluate evidence, and weigh credibility).
  • Access source material through the library holdings: reference section, on-line databases, stacks, and in-library periodicals.
  • Recognize and edit patterns of grammatical error (sentence fragments, run-on sentences, subject-verb agreement, verb tense, punctuation and spelling) to write clear sentences.

100 & 101 Reading and Writing Processes

  • Describing: write a well-focused description of a primary object/text/subject.
  • Analyzing: explain how grasping elements of a primary object/text/subject can lead to an understanding of the whole.
  • Summarizing: critically read a scholarly source (an author who positions his or her claim within previous scholarship and analyzes a primary object/text/subject; typically, there are footnotes) and summarize the author's main points: 1) locate the author's argument; 2) explain the author's evidence; 3) illustrate how the author's evidence supports his or her argument. This is an early step in the developmental process of synthesis.
  • Applying: critically read a scholarly source; locate one aspect of the author’s argument and use it to support a thesis about a primary object/text/subject. This is the next step to synthesis.
  • Basic Synthesizing: compare and contrast the arguments of two scholars on the same topic. This is the next step to synthesis.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF COMPOSITION III (LACR 103)*
A continuation of LACR 100, LACR 103 is the second part of a year-long course that builds on and develops the writing and reading processes that lead to argumentation. During this term an inquiry-based research paper is the focus, as well as the grammatical and structural elements of writing college-level essays. The independent research project allows students to utilize the critical reading and writing skills introduced in 100 — describing, summarizing, analyzing, applying and synthesizing — to develop a scholarly argument. To illustrate the importance of context in the process of research, a curriculum that is focused around a chosen period is examined. Students continue to access and assess the source material available from the library. As this course is six hours per week, one-to-one time with the instructor is built into the class, so students can work on individual reading and writing issues.

FIRST-YEAR WRITING II (LACR 102)*
A continuation of LACR 101, LACR 102 is the second part of a year-long course that builds on and develops the writing and reading processes that lead to argumentation. During this term an inquiry-based research paper is the focus, as well as the grammatical and structural elements of writing college-level essays. The independent research project allows students to utilize the critical reading and writing skills introduced in 101 — describing, summarizing, analyzing, applying and synthesizing — to develop a scholarly argument. To illustrate the importance of context in the process of research, a curriculum that is focused around a chosen period is examined. Students continue to access and assess the source material available from the library.

*LACR 103 and 102 share the same curriculum and thus the same objectives and processes. The difference between 103 and 102 is that 103 is a six-hour per week course. We place students who will benefit from one-to-one time with their instructor into 103 so they can focus on developing individual reading and writing skills. Our aim is to give students added attention so they can succeed in their Liberal Arts classes.

LACR 103 & LACR 102 Course Objectives
Successful students will be able to:

  • Employ and further develop the critical reading and writing skills introduced in 101 — describing, summarizing, analyzing, applying and synthesizing — to compose a major research essay (about seven pages in length) and build an argument based on a synthesis of previous scholarship, elaborating upon an author's argument orally and in writing.
    • Conduct independent research through books, periodicals, reference works, on-line databases, interviews, etc.
    • Synthesize primary and secondary source material to develop a scholarly argument.
    • Apply source material avoiding intentional or unintentional plagiarism through direct quotation and paraphrase and cite in MLA format (in-text citations and bibliography).
    • Create an annotated bibliography with five to seven sources that illustrates the ability to access and assess various types of source material.   
  • Assess primary and secondary sources (locate author's thesis, evaluate evidence, weigh credibility).
  • Access source material through the library holdings: reference section, on-line databases, stacks and in-library periodicals.
  • Recognize and edit patterns of grammatical error (sentence fragments, run-on sentences, subject-verb agreement, verb tense, punctuation and spelling) to write clear sentences.

103 & 102 Reading and Writing Processes

  • Describing: write a well-focused description of a primary object/text/subject.
  • Analyzing: explain how grasping elements of a primary object/text/subject can lead to an understanding of the whole.
  • Summarizing: critically read a scholarly source (an author who positions his or her claim within previous scholarship and analyzes a primary object/text/subject; typically, there are footnotes) and summarize the author's main points: 1) locate the author's argument; 2) explain the author's evidence; 3) illustrate how the author's evidence supports his or her argument; 4) weigh credibility of argument and evidence. This is an early step in the developmental process of synthesis and leads to building an argument based on previous scholarship.
  • Applying: critically read a scholarly source (secondary source) and/or a primary source; locate one aspect of the author's argument or theme and use it to support a thesis about a primary object/text/subject. This is the next step to synthesis.
  • Synthesizing: explore how a number of arguments on the same primary object/text/subject relate to one another (compare and contrast). Develop an argument that leads from the authors' claims.

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