ENG 3313 - Composition II

pine treeEnglish 3313 is an advanced composition course for upper-level university students, who are required to have successfully completed ENG 1112 and 45 credit hours before enrolling in the course.

The primary purpose of the course is two-fold:

  1. to act as a formalized upper-level reinforcement and honing of students’ writing skills, as well as a kind of check of students’ writing ability before graduation,
  2. to reinforce, hone, and advance students’ thinking skills; through interaction with a variety of texts, students in the course are required to apply their broadened education and matured thinking to sophisticated analytical and critical approaches that encourage sound, vigorous, expansive, and self-realizing thought.

The assignments, activities, and texts of each section of the course are organized around a mutual theme (such as “Journeys” or “People and Places") that changes every three years.

Once the theme is selected, a core list of texts that explore the theme is established. These core texts are selected from a range of academic disciplines and encourage students to explore the theme from a variety of intellectual, historical, and cultural perspectives.

Course instructors are required to choose 4 to 6 texts from the core list to use in their classes. They are additionally required to select 2 to 4 texts that are not necessarily a part of the core list, but also reflect and extend students’ understanding of the course theme. It is further recommended that 1 or 2 of the texts selected should be on-campus events related to the theme (these might be films, lectures, concerts, theater productions, forums, or special campus events).

A portion of the formal essay writing in the course may include textual analysis, but more often textual considerations serve for students as springboards to analytical and critical explorations of themselves, their culture, and their world.

Throughout the course students are involved with writing as a process that includes prewriting, drafting, feedback, and revision.

Course Requirements and Related General Education Goals

The Advanced Writing Course will meet all of the following goals of general education:

  1. acquire knowledge of the foundations and characteristics of educated discourse;
  2. exhibit skills in critical and analytical thinking; exhibit skills in effective written and oral communication;
  3. exhibit inquiry and research; and
  4. develop dispositions to form opinions and modify positions based on evidence.

The Advanced Writing Course is not to be taken until a student has completed 45 credits of University-level work. A student must learn at least a C- in this course.

Course Objectives

Each advanced writing course for upper-level students will:

  1. have as its subject the improvement of students’ use of the writing process (and thus will include ample opportunities for pre- writing, drafting, feedback and revision);
  2. act as a check on students’ general academic writing skills (which means writing that is focused, organized, stylistically and grammatically proficient, and well-cited) before graduation; and,
  3. require students to write critical or analytical essays based on texts read for the course.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the advanced writing course, students will have demonstrated that they can:

  1. write reasonably well-focused, well-organized, and stylistically and grammatically proficient analytical and critical essays;
  2. use the writing process to initiate ideas, to create and revise drafts, and to produce a polished product;
  3. understand and respond to a moderately sophisticated set of texts; and,
  4. recognize, analyze, and employ rhetorical contexts and strategies.

Upon completion of the course, it is to be expected that students will have moved beyond the minimal level of competency in the relevant objectives.

Assessment Criteria and Procedures

During the course each student creates a minimum of about 4000 words of text from numerous informal writing assignments and 3 to 6 formal analytical and critical writing assignments. At least one of these assignments will incorporate outside sources. Each formal writing assignment is developed via the steps of the writing process and under the guidance of the instructor. A grade of at least "C-" is required to pass the course. Below is a criteria guideline for a "C-" evaluation of a final draft.

Content & Ideas

The writer does the following:

  1. clearly focuses and properly emphasizes the topic early in the discussion.
  2. presents ideas in a reasonably clear and considered manner.
  3. uses valid reasoning most of the time.
  4. appropriately develops most ideas presented.
  5. approaches the topic knowledgeably.
  6. evinces a basic understanding of the text referred to.
  7. diverges from or expands upon the ideas of a text to some degree.
  8. presents some original ideas.
  9. exhibits some ambitious analytical and/or critical thinking.
  10. generally meets the reader's informational needs.
  11. controls most of the ideas presented.


The writer does the following:

  1. clearly states the thesis and purpose in the introduction and attempt to engage the reader.
  2. uses most main ideas to specifically support the thesis.
  3. clearly defines most key terms that are not absolutely unmistakable.
  4. supports most main ideas with relevant details or evidence, even if some ideas are not well thought out, deliberate, or well-placed.
  5. writes prose relatively free of fallacies and ambiguities.
  6. generally uses transitions adequately, even if they don't always effectively guide the reader.
  7. moves an essay along at a basically effective pace, though at times writing may seem bogged down or hurried.
  8. wraps up discussion in the conclusion, but may be overly mechanical or leave some loose ends unattended.


The writer does the following:

  1. uses mostly clear language to communicates ideas, even though it may not always be fresh or specific.
  2. demonstrates stylistic sophistication at least occasionally in sentences.
  3. conveys relationships between ideas in sentence structure, but may not always be fluid and occasionally suffers from wordiness or clumsiness.
  4. exhibits at least moderate control of complex sentence structure.
  5. attempts to vary sentence structure effectively.
  6. usually makes use of exact and appropriate diction.
  7. shows basically consistent and controlled tone.
  8. uses voice to show signs of enthusiasm and commitment to the topic.


The following is true of the final draft:
  1. Paragraphing is basically proficient.
  2. Mechanics and punctuation errors are minimal.
  3. Spelling is usually correct.
  4. Usage errors are minimal.
  5. Moderate editing would be required to polish the text.