WAC 101: Stretch First-Year Composition

Course Description and Objectives

WAC 101, the first course in Arizona State University’s first-year composition “stretch” curriculum, is based on the ideas that writing is a social activity, that writing should emphasize process, and that various discourse communities require various rhetorical conventions. WAC 101 is an academic writing course. Students will examine rhetorical issues related to writing as a learning and knowledge-making process. Students will be particularly concerned with how differing rhetorical situations alter purpose, audience, writer, and text.

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 WAC 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:

  • synthesize and analyze multiple points of view,
  • articulate and support one’s position regarding various issues,
  • adjust writing to multiple audiences, purposes, and conventions,
  • become conscientious and responsible writers, both in college and beyond, 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: Critical Analysis of a Visual Text

Writing Project Two: Summary and Strong Response

Writing Project Three: Synthesizing an Argument

Final Course Reflection