CSULA Department of English | Composition Resources

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Catalog Description | Learning Objectives
| Requirements | Recommended Textbooks
| ENGL 102 - Guidelines for Evaluating Essays

Catalog Description (back
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Prerequisite: ENGL 101 or equivalent. Continuing to
practice the rhetorical skills introduced in ENGL 101, students will develop
analytical, interpretive, and information literacy skills necessary for
constructing a well-supported, researched, academic argument. Graded A, B, C, NC.

Learning Objectives (back
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  • develop an ability to write about problems from
    historical, philosophical, rhetorical and/or cross-cultural and
    interdisciplinary perspectives;

  • engage in group discussions and activities to develop
    critical perspectives, a clear sense of audience, and a fluent and effective
    style;

  • plan, write, and revise three to four formal essays
    approximately 4-6 pages in length, at least one of which will involve research
    and the integration of multiple sources. Essays will include analytic,
    interpretive, and persuasive strategies to present and support a considered
    position;

  • continue to develop critical attitudes toward culture and
    media;

  • evaluate the relevance, validity and authority of
    information, and use and cite this information ethically.

Requirements (back to
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Students are expected to

  • Plan, write, and revise 3-4 formal essays approximately
    4-6 pages in length that demonstrate the ability to integrate multiple sources
    and do independent research

  • Learn research techniques and demonstrate information
    literacy when locating and evaluating outside sources

  • Read, analyze, interpret, and critique texts as assigned

  • Attend a minimum of 80% of the scheduled class sessions

  • Actively participate in prewriting and revision activities
    as well as in other activities that develop critical perspectives and an
    understanding of the way audience and purpose shape academic discourse

Recommended Textbooks (back
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)

Handbook

If you assign or
recommend a handbook, please consider using the following so that students
do not have to buy different handbooks over the course of several quarters in the
composition program.

The Everyday Writer (4th ed.), edited by Andrea Lunsford (Bedford/St.
Martin’s): A handbook with a strong rhetorical focus; the 4th edition includes
2009 MLA and 2010 APA updates along with other documentation formats.

Texts (* recommended for new faculty)

Readers:

*Behrens and Rosen, Writing
and Reading Across the Curriculum
10th ed. (Pearson Longman)

(Also available in a Brief Edition)

A
writing-across-the-curriculum rhetoric and reader, this text has chapters on
summary, critical reading, analysis, and synthesis, and thoughtfully-chosen,
connected readings from various disciplines (psychology, folklore, business,
etc.).

DiYanni and Hoy, Occasions
for Writing
(Thomson Wadsworth)

With
themes comprising the “usual suspects” (identity, gender, family, education,
ethics, work, etc.), well-chosen readings, and helpful apparatus, the book also
contains many visual “readings” and a section on finding, using, and
evaluating evidence.

Jacobus, World
of Ideas
7th ed. (Bedford/St. Martin’s)

Classic
“big ideas” reader, not for the faint of heart, this text is challenging for
students and instructors, but one’s efforts can be rewarded. 
It’s a bit dead-white-male but has a few affirmative-action additions
(some live white males and a chapter on feminism). 
Helpful apparatus, including annotations of unfamiliar terms and names.

Miller, The Informed Argument 7th ed. (Thomson Wadsworth)

A
classic argument text, with thoughtfully chosen readings arranged in interesting
themes and sub-themes, this book has several chapters on argument and research;
the readings have good discussion questions but no writing topics.

Rhetoric:

Ramage, Bean, and Johnson, Writing Arguments (Pearson
Longman)

Heavy-duty formal argument text, this book has
few readings that are not arranged thematically. 
Since it would almost have to be used in conjunction with a reader (or
additional readings), it might be a bit too much for a ten-week quarter.

ENGL 102 - Guidelines for Evaluating Essays (back
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)

The "A"
essay:

·        
is insightful, persuasive, and clearly focused on a dominant idea
or point of view

·        
is coherent, logical, and well organized with paragraphs that are
fully developed with specific and appropriate details; very effective
introductory and concluding paragraphs

·        
demonstrates excellent understanding of texts and critically
analyzes issues or ideas; supports the writer's point of view by effectively
integrating appropriate examples and quotations from well-chosen outside texts
and commenting on them to support claims and generalizations

·        
uses concrete, appropriate diction and mature, sophisticated
sentences

·        
exhibits a strong sense of audience and purpose

·        
skillfully employs conventions of formal academic discourse by
providing appropriate context for quotations and accurately paraphrasing,
quoting, and documenting sources

·        
has very few errors in grammar, spelling, or punctuation

 

The "B"
essay:

·        
is articulate and focused on a dominant idea or point of view

·        
is reasonably coherent, logical, and well organized with
paragraphs that are well developed with specific and appropriate details; good
introductory and concluding paragraphs

·        
demonstrates good understanding of texts and analyzes issues or
ideas in sufficient depth; supports the writer's point of view by integrating
appropriate examples and quotations from acceptable outside texts with some
commentary on them to support claims and generalizations

·        
exhibits a good sense of audience and purpose

·        
uses appropriate diction and complete and varied sentences

·        
generally employs conventions of formal academic discourse by
providing some context for quotations and adequately paraphrasing, quoting, and
documenting sources

·        
may have some errors in grammar, spelling and punctuation, but
they aren't numerous or serious

 

The "C"
essay:

·        
has a fairly clear focus and purpose

·        
is generally coherent and logical with fairly good organization
and paragraphs sufficiently developed to convey the writer's meaning; adequate
introductory and concluding paragraphs

·        
demonstrates adequate understanding of texts and analyzes the
issues or ideas, but the analysis may sometimes lack adequate depth and
misunderstand some aspects of the texts

·        
uses examples and quotations from outside texts to support the
writer's point of view but may sometimes rely on overgeneralized statements or
use examples not clearly related to the central idea of the essay, fail to
integrate quotes or comment on them, and have some poorly chosen sources

·        
word choice and sentence structure are adequate to convey the
writer's meaning

·        
adequate sense of audience and purpose

·        
employs conventions of formal academic discourse, including
paraphrasing, quotation of sources, and documentation, but not always
consistently and sometimes inaccurately

·        
usually has errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation, but they
are not so numerous as to distract the reader or serious enough to obscure
meaning

 

The "NC"
essay will generally have several of the following problems:

·        
unclear or inadequate thesis or focuses on several ideas rather
than a single dominant idea

·        
lacks coherence because ideas are not logically related or the
organization is poor or unclear

·        
no analysis or an incomplete or simplistic analysis of the issues
or ideas addressed

·        
paragraphs are not sufficiently developed to convey the writer's
meaning

·        
generalizes without providing adequate examples or evidence from
outside texts or provides examples that do not clearly support the
generalizations

·        
textual references consist of long summaries or paraphrases that
are not integrated into overall argument

·        
little or weak sense of audience and purpose

·        
insufficient or consistently inaccurate use of paraphrasing,
quotation of sources, and documentation

·        
serious errors in sentence structure and grammar and/or numerous
errors in spelling and punctuation, often obscuring the writer's meaning or
distracting the reader