Program Overview

What can I Expect in a First-Year Writing Class?

Our courses develop strong critical reading skills and use a process based writing model. This means that students can expect to spend 3 hours outside of class reading as well as 3-6 hours outside of class writing a week. These are general estimates but most students will need to plan for these additional working hours. Reading is an integral part of successful argumentation. Students will read, talk about, and address in writing hundreds of pages, including the course rhetoric, and other academic texts. Students demonstrate reading comprehension through exercises that ask for paraphrasing, summarizing, written response, and class discussion. Writing constitutes a part of almost every class period and / or homework assignment. Students hand in for grading a minimum of 25 typewritten pages of academic prose. These assignments include at least three well-developed five-page essays addressed to an academic audience, as well as shorter papers that may include summaries, summary/response essays, and in-class essays. Students are expected to write at all stages of their processesinvention, exploration, drafting, revision, and editing. We teach revision as an important means for improving both the writing process and the final written product, and, consequently, drafting is encouraged. Instructors require drafts of all major essays in order to aid in this revision process. Additionally, students participate in peer review of at least one draft of each essay that is written outside of class. Some of this peer review occurs in written form, as well as during workshop environments in class.

Some Final Words on Reading and Writing Rhetorically

Some of the advantages of reading and writing rhetorically should be clear to you by now. Here are some further reasons why you should ALWAYS consider the rhetorical situation of the texts you read and write:

1. Rhetorical thinking accords with what we know about how language works. We all know that even when an entire class reads the same text, not everyone comprehends, interprets, or recalls that text in exactly the same way. The rhetorical situation accounts for this variation because it changes every time the reader/listener changes.

2. Rhetorical thinking increases reading comprehension. Studies show that we comprehend texts more deeply when we know something about the person writing, know something about the topic of the text, and read with the expectation of responding in writing.

3. Expert readers and writers think rhetorically. Studies show that experts read as if they are in conversation with a friend: they activate everything they know about the topic, they activate everything they know about the writer, and, rather than trying to memorize the text, they think critically about it and respond to it by marking the text, writing notes in the margins, and speaking aloud to the text. When experts write, they do so because they feel the need tosay something. They also investigate, and think long and hard about, the topic on which they’re writing. Finally, expert writers give a lot of thought to the audience for whom they’re writing.

4. Rhetorical thinking is empowering. If you’ve been taught to think that meaning exists in the words on the page, or that there’s only one way to write effectively, then you might think that your struggles with reading and writing are a reflection of your intelligence. They’re not. Your struggles may simply be an effect of being a newcomer to academic conversations. Rhetorical thinking can show you what is needed: to sit in and listen for a while until what you hear begins to make sense and you discover something to contribute.

Courses

ENGL 1301 RHETORIC AND COMPOSITION I: This course satisfies the University of Texas at Arlington core curriculum requirement in communication.

This course will require students to read rhetorically and analyze scholarly texts on a variety of subjects. The course emphasizes writing to specific audiences and understanding how information is context dependent and audience specific. Students must engage with a variety of ideas and learn how to synthesize those in college level essays.

Core Objectives:

  • Critical Thinking Skills: To include creative thinking, innovation, inquiry, and analysis, evaluation and synthesis of information.
  • Communication Skills: To include effective development and expression of ideas through written, oral, and visual communication.
  • Teamwork: To include the ability to consider different points of view and to work effectively with others to support a shared purpose or goal.
  • Personal Responsibility: To include the ability to connect choices, actions and consequences to ethical decision-making.

Expected Learning Outcomes. By the end of ENGL 1301, students should be able to demonstrate:

Rhetorical Knowledge

  • Use knowledge of the rhetorical situation—author, audience, exigence, constraints—to analyze and construct texts
  • Compose texts in a variety of genres, expanding their repertoire beyond predictable forms
  • Adjust voice, tone, diction, syntax, level of formality, and structure to meet the demands of different rhetorical situations
Critical Reading, Thinking, and Writing
  • Use writing, reading, and discussion for inquiry, learning, communicating, and examining assumptions
  • Employ critical reading strategies to identify an author’s position, main ideas, genre conventions, and rhetorical strategies
  • Summarize, analyze, and respond to texts
  • Find, evaluate, and synthesize appropriate sources to inform, support, and situate their own claims
  • Produce texts with a focus, thesis, and controlling idea, and identify these elements in others’ texts

Processes

  • Practice flexible strategies for generating, revising, and editing texts
  • Practice writing as a recursive process that can lead to substantive changes in ideas, structure, and supporting evidence through multiple revisions
  • Use the collaborative and social aspects of writing to critique their own and others’ texts

Conventions

  • Apply knowledge of genre conventions ranging from structure and paragraphing to tone and mechanics
  • Summarize, paraphrase, and quote from sources using appropriate documentation style
  • Control such surface features as syntax, grammar, punctuation, and spelling
  • Employ technologies to format texts according to appropriate stylistic conventions

ENGL 1302 RHETORIC AND COMPOSITION II: This course satisfies the University of Texas at Arlington core curriculum requirement in communication.

Continues ENGL 1301, but with an emphasis on advanced techniques of academic argument. Includes issue identification, independent library research, analysis and evaluation of sources, and synthesis of sources with students’ own claims, reasons, and evidence. This course focuses on critical engagement with ethical and social issues and the development of academic arguments that communicate a specific point of view. Prerequisite: Grade of C or better in ENGL 1301.

Core Objectives:

Critical Thinking Skills: To include creative thinking, innovation, inquiry, and analysis, evaluation and synthesis of information.

Communication Skills: To include effective development and expression of ideas through written, oral, and visual communication.

Teamwork: To include the ability to consider different points of view and to work effectively with others to support a shared purpose or goal.Personal

Responsibility: To include the ability to connect choices, actions and consequences to ethical decision-making.

Expected Learning Outcomes

In ENGL 1302, students build on the knowledge and information that they learned in ENGL 1301. By the end of ENGL 1302, students should be able to:

Rhetorical Knowledge

  • Identify and analyze the components and complexities of a rhetorical situation
  • Use knowledge of audience, exigence, constraints, genre, tone, diction, syntax, and structure to produce situation-appropriate argumentative texts, including texts that move beyond formulaic structures
  • Know and use special terminology for analyzing and producing arguments
  • Practice and analyze informal logic as used in argumentative texts

Critical Reading, Thinking, and Writing

  • Understand the interactions among critical thinking, critical reading, and writing
  • Integrate personal experiences, values, and beliefs into larger social conversations and contexts
  • Find, evaluate, and analyze primary and secondary sources for appropriateness, timeliness, and validity
  • Produce situation-appropriate argumentative texts that synthesize sources with their own ideas and advance the conversation on an important issue
  • Provide valid, reliable, and appropriate support for claims, and analyze evidentiary support in others’ texts

Processes

  • Practice flexible strategies for generating, revising, and editing complex argumentative texts
  • Engage in all stages of advanced, independent library research
  • Practice writing as a recursive process that can lead to substantive changes in ideas, structure, and supporting evidence through multiple revisions
  • Use the collaborative and social aspects of writing to critique their own and others’ arguments

Conventions

  • Apply and develop knowledge of genre conventions ranging from structure and paragraphing to tone and mechanics, and be aware of the field-specific nature of these conventions
  • Summarize, paraphrase, and quote from sources using appropriate documentation style
  • Revise for style and edit for features such as syntax, grammar, punctuation, and spelling
  • Employ technologies to format texts according to appropriate stylistic conventions

Developmental English

What Is Developmental Education?

Developmental education in English is designed to improve your critical reading and writing skills.Your score on the placement exam will determine your need for developmental education. Grades earned in developmental courses and workshops do not calculate into overall grade point average but do appear on your transcript.

Academic Advising

New students must take the Texas Success Initiative Assessment (TSIA). If you do not test into college level coursework, you are required to enroll in developmental education. Students receive academic advising until they complete developmental education or re-test at passing level. Advisors at University College will assist you in understanding which course or workshop you will need.

Courses and Workshops

ENGL 0300 INTRODUCTION TO CRITICAL READING AND WRITING (3 Hours)

ENGL 0300 offers college preparation in academic reading and writing. Course focus is on comprehending college-level reading material and writing academic essays in standard written English.

ENGL 0301 INTEGRATED READING AND WRITING (3 Hours)

ENGL 0301 is a co-requisite developmental workshop that focuses on the rhetorical knowledge, critical thinking and processes required in ENGL 1301. Students work with an instructor to analyze assignment prompts, revise and edit essays, and review ENGL 1301 readings and lectures. This course fulfills Texas Success Initiative (TSI) requirements for reading and/or writing. This course may not substitute for any other English course, and credit in this course does not fulfill any degree requirements.

ENGL 0100 INTEGRATED READING AND WRITING WORKSHOP (1 Hour)

ENGL 0100 is a corequisite developmental course that focuses on the rhetorical knowledge, critical thinking skills, and writing and revising processes required in ENGL 1301. Students work with an instructor to review assigned readings and revise essays. This course fulfills Texas Success Initiative (TSI) requirements for reading and/or writing. This course may not substitute  for any other English course, and credit in this course does not fulfill any degree requirements.

SUMMER BRIDGE

The 11-week Summer Bridge program is designed to help students successfully transition from high school to college. The program offers general college preparation workshops as well as credit-bearing and developmental education to qualifying freshman students.

Contacts

University Advising Center
The University of Texas at Arlington
105 Ransom Hall ▪ P.O. Box 19196 ▪ Arlington TX 76019
817.272.3140 ▪ uac@uta.edu

Developmental English Program
The University of Texas at Arlington
202 Carlisle Hall ▪ P.O. Box 19035 ▪ Arlington TX 76019
817.272.0952 ▪ joaward@uta.edu

Writing Resources

 

UTA's writing center, located on the 4th floor of the central library, offers services to help improve student writing. You can make appointments in 20, 40, or 60 minute blocks. Writing center staff are trained to tutor First-Year writing assignments. Make sure to book in advance to ensure plenty of time to revise your draft.

http://www.uta.edu/owl/

The library also has a LibGuide for First-Year Writing. This guide is designed to help you to develop your ideas and find resources for how to be successful in the First-Year Writing program.

http://libguides.uta.edu/firstyearenglish

Other Resources

The Purdue OWL has a reputation for its accessibility to citation style guides and other resources in grammar and mechanics.

https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/

Awards

Duncan W. Robinson (1905-1983) was a longtime professor of English at the University of Texas at Arlington and a noted authority on Southwest literature and Mark Twain. Robinson first joined the faculty in 1928 when the university was known as the North Texas Agricultural College. He served as chair of the English department, as a sponsor of the student newspaper, and as chairman of the UTA historical and archives committee. This award for exemplary writing in the First-Year Writing program honors his legacy. A judging committee selected from instructors in the program evaluates synthesis essays from 1301 and Research Position Papers in 1302. The first and second place winners receive a monetary award.

Contest Guidelines:

All UTA students enrolled in ENGL 1301 and ENGL 1302 during fall 2018 and spring 2019 are eligible to submit work for the contest. We also accept Synthesis and RPP essays from spring 2018. The deadline for submission is April 13, 2019.

  • Essays submitted should reflect the work of an individual student rather than a group.
  • Essays should be typed and double-spaced in 12-point Times New Roman font with one-inch margins. Use appropriate documentation style to the selected audience.
  • Complete Contest entries should include the following:
    • Essay contest submission form (with all fields completed)
    • Final Essay with UTA Student ID number on each page in the header (no names please)
  • Incomplete Contest Entries will not be forwarded for judging
  • Hardcopies of Contest Entries must be received by Vince Sosko (205 Carlisle Hall, Box 19035, Arlington, TX 76019) no later than April 13th, 2019 by 5:00 pm CST.

Duncan Robinson Winners: Excellence in Freshman Writing

2018

1st Place: KENNETH PASCUA

Student of Larry Huff

2nd Place: RENEE DOLORMENTE

Student of Timothy Ponce

2017

1st Place: ADAM MACKENZIE

Student of Hope McCarthy

2nd Place: SARAH BLAKENEY

Student of Catherine Corder

2016

1st Place: SARA STEARNS

Student of Jason Hogue

2nd Place: LEAH HARRIS

Student of Rachael Mariboho

2015

1st Place: OSVALDO RUIZ REYNA

Student of Stephanie Peebles-Tavera

2nd Place: MARK VALDOV

Student of Rachael Mariboho

Best Practices in Teaching Awards:

2017

Contextualizing Texts: Joul Smith

Use of Active Learning: Michael Hale

Classroom Management: Kaci McCourt

2016

Large Classroom Management: Mimi Rowntree

Class Lesson Plan: Jeffrey Marchand

Use of Active Learning: Hope McCarthy

Positive classroom Environment: Connor Stratman

2015

Classroom Management: Julie McCown

Class Lesson Plan: Alison Torres-Ramos

Use of Active Learning: Adam Knorr

Conducting Writing Workshop: Jason Hogue

Positive Classroom Environment: Hope McCarthy