At Texas A&M University, ENGL 104, ENGL 203, and ENGL 210 are the core writing courses that our department offers. If you have any questions, or need any help determining how or when to register for them, please feel free to contact us.
|Dr. Sara DiCaglio
Coordinator of Multi-Section Writing Courses
Core Writing Courses
English 104: Rhetoric and Composition. (3-0). Credit 3. Focus on referential and persuasive researched essays through the development of analytical reading ability, critical thinking, and library research skills.
Learning Outcomes/Course Objectives:
- Construct persuasive academic essays appropriate to the subject, occasion, and audience that implement key rhetorical concepts related to critical thinking.
- Synthesize scholarly research, employ analytical reading skills to compose persuasive arguments, and demonstrate personal responsibility by ethically citing sources.
- Collaborate with other students in groups to improve critical thinking and writing skills.
- Revise and edit to achieve clarity; meet the standards of appropriate style and conventions of edited global English, including grammatical correctness, appropriate word choice (diction), usage, clear and concise sentence structure, and punctuation.
English 203: Writing About Literature. (3-0) Credit 3. Reading in literature and responding to literature with analysis of literary elements: enhancement of communication and persuasive skills through the study of literature and audience; appropriate genres, thematic issues (social, individual, ethical), and critical approaches to literature; exploration of literacy skills as these involve professional levels of command in the oral, aural, visual and written analysis and interpretation of literature.
Learning Outcomes/Course Objectives: At the end of the semester, students will be able to do the following:
- Construct clear arguments about key issues, themes, and ideas in literature through oral, visual, and written assignments
- Discuss major authors, works, and critical approaches regarding literature in an informed manner
- Communicate clearly and persuasively to demonstrate critical thinking about principle themes and ideas in literature
- Collaborate with other students in groups to improve critical thinking and writing skills
- Synthesize research, cite, and document ideas and sources ethically in all forms of presentation about literature
English 210: Technical Business Writing: (3-0) Credit 3. Focus on writing for professional settings; correspondence and researched reports fundamental to the technical and business workplace—memoranda, business letters, research proposals and presentations, use of graphical and document design; emphasis on audience awareness, clarity of communication and collaborative teamwork.
Learning Outcomes/Course Objectives: At the end of the semester, you will be able to do the following:
- Locate, evaluate, and incorporate pertinent information for business and technical purposes using a variety of technological tools.
- Recognize, analyze, and accommodate diverse audiences and rhetorical situations.
- Analyze the ethical responsibilities involved in technical and business communications.
- Engage in the process of drafting technical documents and critiquing peer writing.
- Apply principles of document design to enhance readability and effectiveness of documents.
- Revise and edit to achieve clarity; meet the standards of appropriate purpose, style, conventions of edited global English including grammatical correctness, appropriate word choice (diction), usage, clear and concise sentence structure, and punctuation.
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Core Writing Objectives
All of our core writing courses align with Texas A&M’s core curriculum objectives as outlined below.
Core Curriculum Objectives:
- Critical Thinking Skills (CTS): The course will enhance critical thinking skills through regular reading, class discussion, and writing assignments focused on key ideas about persuasive discourse.
- Communication Skills (CS): The course promotes communication skills through small and large group discussion of major ideas, issues, and questions central to course readings; through regular practice in persuasive forms of writing.
- Teamwork (T): The course enhances the ability to work in teams by providing students with regular opportunities in and out of class to collaborate with classmates on relevant projects employing written skills, oral presentation skills, and classroom tasks.
- Personal Responsibility (PR): The course teaches personal responsibility by enhancing students’ understanding of how to use sources ethically while composing a persuasive argument or answer to an essay question; the course teaches personal responsibility by regular practice in teams and group discussion about ideas and issues.
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Assessment of Core Objectives:
- CTS: The assessment of critical thinking skills will be based on written work, exams, oral presentations, and/or participation in class discussions.
- CS: The assessment of communication skills will be based on written work, exams, oral presentations, and/or participation in class discussions, individually and/or in teamed groups.
- T: The assessment of teamwork ability will be based on participation in collaborative learning projects making interactive, cooperative use of differing points of view in course readings, writing assignments, and/or oral presentational skills to support a shared purpose or goal.
- PR: The assessment of personal responsibility will be based on assignments in which students are expected ethically to cite another person’s work in composing an oral presentation and/or written research essay.
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Frequently Asked Questions
When should I take English 104?
Students are encouraged to take English 104 as soon as they are able to, as it provides an important set of writing, research, and critical thinking skills that students will use throughout their college careers. Enrollment in English 104 is limited to U1 and U2 students only. If a student plans on taking English 104 at TAMU, he or she must enroll in the course before accumulating 60 hours of credit (transfer and credit by exam included). We do not make exceptions to this policy.
May I audit a core writing course?
Because core writing courses require student participation and teacher feedback, we do not permit auditing in English 104, 203, or 210.
I’ve already taken a first-year composition course elsewhere. Do I still have to take a writing course at A&M?
Students who have taken a first-year composition course at another college or university may petition for course substitution by submitting a full course syllabus and a course substitution form to the Undergraduate Office. Course substitutions are evaluated on the basis of the course’s measurable writing, research, and critical thinking outcomes. Students should see their academic advisor to begin the process of petitioning for course substitutions. CLEP exams are not offered for course credit.
I am interested in taking English 210 online. Can you tell me more about how online courses work?
Online courses operate very similarly to in-person classes, except without a specific course meeting time. Online courses are delivered through the University’s eCampus. On the first day of classes, the instructor will make the course available to students and send an email with specific instructions for accessing their online section.
Online courses are offered only to officially registered TAMU students. All required interactions will occur online, although instructors may choose to offer office hours in-person. As noted in the TAMU Student Rules, it is every student’s responsibility to check their Texas A&M University official e-mail account for University-related communications on a frequent and consistent basis. The University recommends checking e-mail at least once per day.
Online courses require students to participate in peer review, incorporate instructor feedback, and otherwise submit work in the sequence in which it is assigned. The University expects that students will attend class and submit all assignments in accordance with the deadlines listed in the course syllabus or posted on the course website. Failure to do so will result in a grade of F (see TAMU student rule 7). While attendance is not “formally” taken, all student access to the course’s Learning Management System is tracked and reported; hence, if a student fails to log into the system for more than seven days, the instructor may choose to submit an Excessive Unexcused Absence report to the student’s college advising office.
How does the program train and oversee its graduate student teachers?
The department is committed to preparing English graduate assistants for careers as college English teachers while ensuring the quality of learning in these courses. Graduate Assistant Teachers who teach core writing courses receive training, support, and supervision from the Department of English Undergraduate Office. Graduate assistants are provided an orientation to teaching prior to their first semester of teaching as well as course work in pedagogy and ongoing mentoring throughout their time at Texas A&M.
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