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ENG 111

English 111, Composition and Rhetoric, is a writing course focused on principles and practices of rhetoric and composition useful for producing writing that is effective for its purpose, audience, and context. English 111 focuses especially on helping students learn and apply rhetorical knowledge, methods, and strategies; analyze and construct arguments based in critical thinking and information literacy; understand, refine, and improve their composing practices; and develop the analytical and problem solving skills necessary to produce effective writing at the college level. The course emphasizes rhetorical inquiry and invention, promoting critical questioning, exploring, and researching, and teaching skills for planning, analysis, research, and development of ideas for a particular academic or public audience. It also teaches principles of effective organization and style and strategies for revision, editing, and proofreading.

As a Miami Plan course, the English 111 curriculum reflects the Four Pillars of the Miami Plan:

  • Civic-Mindedness and Social Engagement: As students investigate and develop solutions to real-world problems, ENG 111 assists in developing the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary for communicating concerns to various audiences in informed, effective, and ethical ways.
  • Critical and Integrative Thinking: Students analyze various rhetorical approaches and the complexity of real-world problems, composing projects to address these problems while enhancing critical and integrative thinking skills.
  • Communication and Expression: Various rhetorical strategies are studied and applied in communicative situations in and beyond college classrooms.
  • Collaboration and Innovation: ENG 111 stresses composition as a social act. Students collaborate with other class members as well as their instructor to generate ideas relevant to their projects and shape those projects in ways that effectively address their audience.

Course Outcomes

By the conclusion of ENG 111, students should have met the following outcomes:

Rhetorical knowledge

Students demonstrate an ability to write effectively for different contexts, audiences, purposes, and genres, developing an understanding of how rhetorical devices and moves can shape compositions in specific communicative situations.

Composing process

Students utilize effective strategies for developing ideas, researching topics, producing drafts, revising, peer responding, editing, and proofreading their writing. Students also practice delivering their writing via both print and digital media.

Inquiry, invention, and research

Students learn to ask critical questions, conduct research-based inquiries, and use invention techniques effectively to create ideas, evaluate differing perspectives, and synthesize findings into sustained arguments or narratives. Students locate, evaluate, integrate, and cite secondary sources of information effectively and ethically.

Writing Technologies

Students demonstrate a critical awareness of the affordances and limitations of the diverse writing technologies and modalities of communication, both digital and non-digital. Meanwhile, they will learn to effectively produce, share, and publish writing by using appropriate technologies of production, editing, commenting, delivery, and sharing.

Reflection and Meta-Cognitive Awareness

Students apply concepts and terms from the field of rhetoric and composition to analyze their own composing practices and rhetorical decisions, especially how their writing is shaped by and shapes their communities/identities, audiences, and the writing technologies in use.

Major Writing Assignments

Each major assignment must be submitted in order to pass the course.

Rhetorical Analysis & Reflection

At the beginning of the semester, students will compose a rhetorical analysis of a cultural artifact from a local community to which they belong. Along with the final draft of this assignment, students will also turn in a writer’s reflection in which they reflect on how they understood rhetoric in the past, how they understand it now, and how they might use it in their future major or career (1000–1500 words).

Topic Proposals

Students will write two short proposals (250-500 words each) which propose two different possible topics for a semester-long research topic. They will choose one of these topics after receiving instructor comments on both choices.

Annotated Bibliography

After students have chosen one topic to focus on for the remainder of the semester, they will begin researching that topic via the annotated bibliography assignment. In this assignment, students will find eight credible sources to consider using for their Research-Based Proposal Argument project (explained further in the next section). Some of these sources should be scholarly/peer-reviewed, and credible websites are acceptable as long as the majority of sources are not websites. Primary sources (interviews, a well-designed survey, etc.) are also acceptable, but again, students should use academic databases and annotate some sources found there. The annotated bibliography should not only summarize the source, but also critically evaluate the source and reflect on how it may—or may not—be used in the proposal argument. Each annotation should be approximately 100–150 words.

Research-Based Proposal Argument & Reflection

Students’ chosen semester-long topic and the sources they have gathered all build towards this assignment. Using that topic and some, if not all, of the research sources they have gathered up to this point, students will compose a written proposal argument in which they identify and define the issue concerning a local community they are part of and propose a solution to that issue. In the writer’s reflection, students will reflect on their past uses and understandings of information literacy and argumentation, how their understanding of both terms has changed, and how they foresee re-contextualizing these conceptions in their future majors or careers (1500-2000 words).

Remediated Argument & Reflection

After completing the written proposal argument, students will remediate that argument, composing it in a different genre. For this assignment, they will revise their proposal argument using digital, multimodal tools, remediating the argument in a new genre for a specific audience and purpose. In the writer’s reflection, students will reflect on the process of composing their remediation, including their rhetorical choices (namely genre, audience, and purpose). They will consider their past uses and understandings of multimodality, how their understanding of the term has changed, and how they foresee re-contextualizing this conception in their future major or career.

Amount and Frequency of Writing

In English 111, students can expect to produce approximately 50 pages of double-spaced prose or the equivalent (approximate number of words = 12,500). About half of that amount will be the final polished versions of the five major writing assignments; the other half will be generative and exploratory exercises, short in-and out-of-class writing assignments, rough drafts, written peer responses to classmates’ writing, etc. Students should expect to have some written assignment due in every class period over the entire semester — either writing due for class or writing done in class.


Writing Studio Courses

English 104, Writing Studio (Fall, Summer) 

English 105, Writing Studio (Spring)

The Writing Studio course is a one-hour elective that students may take at any point in their academic careers. The purpose of the course is for students to get extra help on their writing in a small group tutoring context. Class size is typically limited to 5-8 students.

In a Writing Studio course, the focus of instruction is the students’ own writings from other courses. The instructor helps students understand writing assignments—e.g., reflect upon specific guidelines, goals, and contexts—and provides advice through the drafting, revision, and editing phases. There are different course section designators for Writing Studio. Although students may enroll in any open sections, “S” sections are intended primarily for students from the Scholastic Enhancement Program, and “I” sections are intended primarily for international students.

  • In both ENG 104 and ENG 105, small group interaction engages students in essential practices of college writing such as invention and design, peer response, critical thinking, research, documentation, revision, editing, and delivery.
  • In any given Studio session, students might closely read an assignment description and discuss how to enter a project, rhetorically analyze the purpose and audience of a given writing project, workshop drafts at any stage of the writing process, and actively reflect over writing choices.
  • The Studio asks students to share their final productions and process materials along the way.
  • In this space, students learn to ask critical questions about writings from varied disciplines, and the class engages in a wider, more nuanced, conversation about academic conventions.
  • In-class Studio activities may include invention exercises, small-group peer workshops, whole group discussion, reflective writing, written dialogues, questions, protocols, responses to other students’ writing, practice conferencing, question-posing and notetaking to facilitate revision.

For further information about Writing Studio courses, contact the Director of Composition in Bachelor Hall 356A, 513-529-5221.

English 225 Outcomes

Students have a range of options to meet Miami’s Advanced Writing requirement. As one option, the composition program offers English 225, an advanced writing course suitable for students from all majors. English 225 focuses on writing in diverse genres for specific audiences. Students engage in in-depth research across the term, integrating sources and methods from multiple academic disciplines. Advanced composition teaches students to analyze how writing strategies and genre conventions differ across academic disciplines and broader communities. Some instructors may choose an interdisciplinary inquiry theme to focus student research and writing, while others may guide students in generating their own inquiry questions to spur individual or group research across disciplines.

By the conclusion of ENG 225, students should have met the following outcomes:

  1. Knowledge of Genres and Discourse Communities: Students will analyze expectations of genres and discourse communities, articulating how writing conventions differ across rhetorical situations (including audience, purpose, context, and medium).

    ENG 225 students read and compose texts that focus on the concepts of discourse communities and genre. An understanding of the role of disciplinary and community conventions and how goals shape texts is integral to the study of discourse and genre, and course readings provide students with explanations and frameworks to help them understand these concepts, both in theory and practice. Three major projects compel students to analyze a discourse community’s use of spoken and written language (discourse) to meet their goals, to analyze a genre used by this discourse community, and to create a public, multimodal composition that disseminates the student’s research findings to an audience of stakeholders. As students do so, they will explore how writing conventions differ across rhetorical situations.

  2. Inquiry-Driven Research: Students will develop research questions that investigate discourse community/disciplinary conversations and examine their distinct rhetorical features.

    Projects one and two require students to conduct primary and secondary research into a specific discourse community’s communicative practices and its uses of a particular genre. As part of this process, students will create questions to guide their research, develop research methods appropriate to their goals, choose discourse communities and genres to investigate, locate appropriate sources (including participants in the community), collect and analyze evidence through primary and secondary research into their community of choice, and form conclusions based on this research. 

  3. Analytical and Argumentative Writing: Students will write sophisticated analytical and argumentative projects that integrate key concepts and focused lines of reasoning.

    The major projects require students to collect and analyze evidence through primary and secondary research into a discourse community and genre of their choice, making arguments based on this research and analysis. As they do so, students will connect key concepts from the course with their research, deepening their understanding and furthering their reasoning. Throughout the semester, students will collaboratively develop key term documents that explore key concepts and develop and refine their understanding; these documents serve to scaffold student learning as they develop their major projects.

  4. Revising, Editing, and Proofreading: Students will revise, edit, and proofread drafts in response to peer and instructor feedback, re-seeing their writing in light of genre conventions, stylistic concerns, audience expectations, and rhetorical knowledge.

    In ENG 225, students further explore ways freewriting, brainstorming lists, outlines, and dialogues with other writers can help them generate ideas and develop drafts. Students participate in writing studios and peer review, through which they provide feedback to other class members’ prose and multimodal compositions in multiple stages of the writing process; submit early drafts to their instructors for review and response; and develop and revise their projects in light of the feedback they receive. Students complete exercises and activities that enhance their considerations of style and improve their proofreading skills. Overall, ENG 225 emphasizes that writing is a recursive process full of stops and starts, new beginnings and new questions, as well as a process that progresses to completed projects that shape–and are shaped by–their audience, purpose, and genre.

  5. Reflective Transfer: Students will reflect on the writing strategies they have learned throughout their coursework, considering how they can apply and adapt those strategies to meet the writing challenges they will face in their majors, careers, and civic lives.

    Students learn and apply concepts and terms from the field of rhetoric and composition (such as revision, recursivity, genre, discourse, exigence, intertextuality, audience, etc.) to develop and reflect on their composing process and the effectiveness of their compositions. For each major project, students subsequently compose a written reflection that discusses their writing process and rhetorical choices. The reflections help students consider possible routes for revision and also help them enhance their meta-cognitive awareness of rhetorical tools, an awareness that facilitates the transfer/transformation of this knowledge from one rhetorical context to another. This knowledge helps students make choices in regard to the media/genres and rhetorics they might deploy to be effective in future situations.