ENG 101: First-Year Composition

Course Description and Objectives

In most writing classes, students are asked to write for a variety of assignments, but the focus of those writing assignments is often on something other than writing. In this class, our focus will be writing about writing, especially the multiple processes of writing. The field of writing studies examines how people write; what we talk about when we talk about writing; how genres and/or disciplines affect the ways writing is produced, transmitted, and received; how we evaluate writing; how writing should be taught (if it even can be taught); and what writing really is. In this class, we will be looking at some of these ideas, and you will offer your expert opinion as a writer.

Most people write to do something–to enter into the “conversations” of a variety of communities, and to share ideas and perspectives that may shape or change what is already known. In English 101, we will analyze and practice the different skills and strategies that writers use to fulfill such writing goals in different contexts and for different audiences. Instead of focusing only on your final texts, we will focus on exploring and using the processes of writing, including how to find and develop ideas that might be of interest and value to certain communities (invention strategies, research strategies, and audience analysis); how to explore such ideas in writing, experimenting with a variety of writing features and techniques (drafting); how to adjust or change our drafts based on others’ responses to our texts (revision); and how to present our ideas in the forms that our readers expect and value (documentation, editing and proofreading).  We will discuss and practice each process, and explore how such processes overlap and double back and repeat.

Course Goals

Through this course, students will:

  • develop a better understanding of one’s own writing process,
  • recognize the value of participating in a writing community,
  • synthesize and analyze multiple points of view,
  • articulate and support one’s own position regarding various issues,
  • adjust writing to multiple audiences, purposes, and conventions,
  • become conscientious and responsible writers, both for college and beyond,
  • learn to access and become involved with the discourses of the university community, and
  • develop questioning abilities that move them beyond the passive acceptance of new materials to thinkers who can hold those materials up to genuinely informed scrutiny

Relevant Documents (PDF format):


Writing Project One: Who Are You as a Writer?

Conducting a Think Aloud Protocol (Bommarito and Chappelow)

Writing Project Two: How Does Writing Evolve through Revisions?

WP2 Data Collection Instrument (Bommarito and Chappelow)

Writing Project Three: How Is “Process” Related to Research?

Final Course Reflection: How Has This Course Been a Process of Learning?

Individual Writer Development Log (Bommarito and Chappelow)