Composition is not a "grammar" or literature class. It is a writing class. No two Composition courses will be exactly the same. While course objectives will vary, the following guidelines help to insure that the workloads of all sections will be approximately the same.
Composition I (1003):
Students will write 6-8 papers/essays, most of them short (750 words or fewer) and at least one of them in class. Some instructors may choose to assign a longer paper involving research near the end of the semester. All Comp classes should place a substantial emphasis on helping student writers at all stages of the composing process--prewriting, drafting, revising, proofreading, and editing.
In addition to the major papers, students will also complete several other written assignments such as journal entries, exercises, reading responses, exams, freewritings, and collaborative work. Each student should expect to produce a total of about sixty pages of writing over the semester.
Comp I students should be able to write an essay containing the following:
1. a central thesis which is either explicit or clearly implied
2. evidence, details, and examples that support the thesis
3. logical organization: the smaller parts of the paper are ordered in a way that makes sense according to the overall purpose of the paper as a whole
4. fitting transitions between sentences and paragraphs; when topic sentences are used, paragraphs should be developed accordingly
5. adherence to the conventions of standard American English--its usage, punctuation, mechanics, diction, paragraphing, spelling, and dialect.
Comp II (1013):
Students will write 3-5 major papers over the course of the semester, most of them long (over 1000 words) and at least two of them involving substantial research. While the chief purpose of this course is to give students instruction and practice in writing arguments, conducting and employing research is also a major course goal in all 1013 sections. Major research papers should never be reports; rather, research should be employed to discover, establish, and provide evidence for the student's arguments.
All the criteria for Composition I apply to Composition II. As with Comp I, students of Comp II will also complete several other written assignments such as journal entries, exercises, reading responses, exams, freewritings, and collaborative work. Each student should (again) expect to produce a total of around sixty pages of writing over the semester.
In addition, Comp II students should be able to do the following:
2. gather pertinent information through the library, interviews, the Internet, lectures and other sources
3. judge the scope, usefulness, and merit of sources
4. successfully incorporate outside sources in their own work; this includes the ability to paraphrase, summarize, and use direct quotations
5. correctly use a standard form of citation, usually the MLA style of parenthetical documentation