English 110: Seminar in Composition— Goals and Practices
Seminar (3 credit hours). An introduction to the process of academic writing that centers on the composition of analytical, research-based essays. RESTRICTIONS: Required of all students. Should be taken in the first year on campus.
English 110 will help you:
- Read texts and images critically and in context, considering multiple perspectives.
Reading carefully, deliberately, and considering context not only helps you learn, but it helps you develop your own ideas. You will practice approaching all sources with both generosity and skepticism.
- Consider issues of audience and context in your own compositions.
We aim to help you become rhetorically flexible. Because you always write to a unique audience in a particular situation, you will learn how to shape and support your ideas to address these needs in and outside the classroom by adjusting to each situation.
- Evaluate sources rigorously.
Information literacy is an essential skill. You will learn to research responsibly, assess the credibility of sources, and make informed decisions about how to use various kinds of sources in your research projects.
- Respond thoughtfully and constructively to the work of others.
As a part of a writing community, you and your peers will give and receive feedback on works in progress. This process will help you better understand the needs of readers while honing and clarifying your own ideas.
- Compose print, digital, and multimodal texts.
Composition for various audiences in the 21st century requires us to engage beyond words on the page or screen. In addition to writing print-based texts, you will also practice other modes of composition: online, visual, audio, and oral.
- Contribute to ongoing discussions or existing research.
Academic essays are almost always composed in response to and in conversation with other writers and other texts whether written, auditory, visual, or graphic. You will learn to find gaps in those conversations, and contribute to them by engaging with the work of others with integrity, honesty, and attention to nuance and detail.
- Use writing as an act of engaged citizenship.
We will encourage and equip students to use all of their reading and writing skills to engage in courageous, informed reflection on matters of social justice in our campus community and in society at large.
As a student in English 110, you will:
- Write frequently, in varying lengths and complexities, and write for different audiences.
You will compose a variety of texts, in multiple media and for various purposes and readers. In addition to a conventional, evidence-based composition with scholarly sources, you will develop your skills in frequent, shorter writing assignments, composed both in and out of class.
- Conduct research in order to deepen your understanding of a topic and engage with the ongoing conversations about it.
You will make use of a range of resources (including UD's library databases) to find credible, relevant sources. You will learn conscientious and thorough research strategies, close reading, and annotation, in order to summarize, paraphrase, quote, and synthesize sources to use in your own writing.
- Participate as a member of a community of writers.
English 110 is designed as an intersection of a seminar and a lab—a course in which the writing of students is regularly brought to the table for discussion. You will participate in a writer's workshop, sharing your work in progress with several of your classmates while reading, responding to, and giving feedback on theirs.
- Identify and consider the values that all writers bring to their work.
Communicative acts are rooted in values, beliefs, and biases that influence who we are, what we say, and what we do. You will reflect on the ways that your own background, identity and experience have shaped the values that inform how you read others' work, how you write, and how you interact with your peers.
- Read as a writer, and write as a reader.
You will read texts not simply for what they say, but also for how they say it, considering texts both as sources for ideas and as models for writing strategies you can use in your own work.
- Take several pieces through a process of drafting and revising.
Effective writing doesn't happen in solitude or all at once. Instead it usually involves an ongoing process of brainstorming, drafting, composing, sharing, and reworking a piece over several drafts. You will use feedback from your classmates and instructor to develop and revise your writing.
- Pause and reflect on your process, goals, and aims throughout writing.
Metacognition is a key element of learning and writing. While you compose, you will reflect on both your processes of writing and the texts you compose. In doing so, you will cultivate habits of mind and work that will help you develop as a writer beyond English 110.