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Course Description

 

Welcome to my class! I am pleased to have a chance to work with you this year. As we begin this semester, it is important that you understand my expectations. By signing this contract, you acknowledge your value as a member of this class and accept the responsibilities of membership.

COURSE DESCRIPTION

The ERWC course is a CSU-designed English course that focuses on non-fiction (expository) reading and writing skills. This course is designed to better prepare students for the type of expository reading and writing skills that they need to be successful in college and the workplace.

The goal of the Expository Reading and Writing Course is to prepare college-bound seniors for the literacy demands of higher education. Through a sequence of rigorous instructional modules, students in this year-long, rhetoric-based course develop advanced proficiencies in expository, analytical, and argumentative reading and writing. The cornerstone of the course—the assignment template—presents a process for helping students read, comprehend, and respond to nonfiction and literary texts. Modules also provide instruction in research methods and documentation conventions.  Students will be expected to increase their awareness of the rhetorical strategies employed by authors, and to apply those strategies in their own writing. They will read closely to examine the relationship between an author’s argument or theme and his or her audience and purpose, to analyze the impact of structural and rhetorical strategies and to examine the social, political, and philosophical assumptions that underlie the text. By the end of this year-long course, students will be expected to use this process independently when reading unfamiliar texts and writing in response to them. Course texts include contemporary essays, newspaper and magazine articles, editorials, reports, biographies, memos, assorted public documents, and other non-fiction texts. Written assessments and holistic scoring guides conclude each unit.

 

OBJECTIVES

Students in ERWC will:

  • Analyze an author’s use of rhetorical devices, patterns of organization, and word choice
  • Analyze an author’s explicit and implicit viewpoints
  • Critique and/or defend an author’s arguments by referring to and citing the text
  • Formulate personal viewpoints and make claims based on the text
  • Develop multiple academic and analytical essays that are focused and persuasive
  • Revise writing to improve argument and organization, and revise the work of peers
  • Record rubric scores for each essay in order to reflect and improve on subsequent essays
  • Practice strategies for “on-demand” timed essay tests
  • Practice Speaking/Listening Skills in a variety of ways

ORGANIZATION

ERWC is designed so that every unit follows the same sequential method of rhetorical reading and writing. Each topic we explore will take 2-6 weeks, depending on the length of the readings and will follow this sequence.

  • Reading Rhetorically (strategies and activities for Pre-Reading, Reading, and Post-Reading)
  • Connecting Reading to Writing (strategies and activities for Referencing Text, Negotiating Voices)
  • Writing Rhetorically (strategies and activities for Prewriting, Writing, Revising, Editing, Evaluating)
    • There may be additional speaking/listening abilities explored in these units (Speeches, Debates, Discussion, Class Presentations, etc)

 

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