Birds eye view on Kulshan students

Composition

Print

Curriculum

The composition program at Whatcom Community College introduces students to “college writing,” in all its richness and complexity. As faculty, we seek to meet students where they are in their academic journey and help them become more aware of themselves as student-writers and as student-scholars. We seek to help students understand the expectations of academic community, the rhetoric and conventions of academic discourse, and writing as a process of inquiry and communication. The composition program at WCC comprises three core courses: English 100, English 101, and English 102. All of our core composition courses teach within the same paradigm to the same sets of skills but to different degrees of sophistication and complexity. In general, ideas of convention, process, idea development, and the analysis and use of sources inform our teaching throughout the sequence.

 

The "Big Ideas" of the composition sequence

“Big Ideas” of the Composition Sequence

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Big Ideas”

  • “Academic writing” has conventions—writing as part of an on-going conversation, with audience expectations.
  • Writing is a process in which feedback has value throughout.
  • An idea is more than an opinion; it arises in a context of sources and data and leads to a thesis.
  • Analyzing and using sources in an essential feature of academic writing. *1
  • Citing sources and formatting papers, following an established style (MLA/APA), is a basic element of academic writing.
  • An idea can, and often should, be developed into a complex thesis by:
  • asking “So what?” to explore the significance and consequences of ideas;
  • synthesizing an analyzing sources *2
  • being aware of and anticipating audience responses
  • Conducting research skillfully and ethically is an important feature of writing in the academy.
  • A complex thesis often evolves as it is tested against and incorporates complicating data.
  • Good academic writing acknowledges multiple perspectives and displays self-awareness of one’s own perspective. *3
  • Different disciplines have specific disciplinary conventions which modify shared academic conventions (such as the incorporation of data).

English 100

Encourage Mastery

Introduce

Introduce

English 101

Review

Encourage Mastery

Introduce

English 102

Review

Review

Encourage Mastery

  1. Analyzing sources: to read a textual source and recognize the overall purpose of the text and the major moves of the author; to recognize the major claim and sub-claims and to identify data used to develop those claims; to recognize assumptions and possible counter-arguments (this last may be called “critical” reading and writing).
  2. Synthesizing sources: to see connections and disconnections between/among claims from multiple sources; to suggest multiple implications of the claims of a single source as a means of developing one’s own ideas; to suggest implications of connections or disconnections among sources.
  3. Self-awareness suggests “reflective” reading and writing, thought which reflects upon the thought of the student reader and writer. Thus, with note #1 above, we have reading and writing that is analytical critical, synthetic, and reflective.

 

English 100 panel

A number of years ago, we instituted a reading panel for English 100 as a way to ensure that students completing the course had developed the necessary skills to be successful in college; consequently, English 100 instructors do not grade their students’ work. This frees both instructors and students to focus on developing students’ reading, writing and thinking abilities in a constructive, non-judgmental atmosphere. The criteria for the panel’s judgment are those specified on the English Department evaluation guidelines, which instructors share with their students.

FAQs

  • What are the panel readers?
  • What is the panel looking for?
  • What if I don’t make the submission deadline?
  • What does my grade mean?
  • When will I know how I did?
More »

Preparing for the Accuplacer Test and the English placement process (Under Construction)

FAQs

No faqs found.