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Materials for UWRT 100 & UWRT 150
First Year Writing (FYW)
First Year Writing is a General Education "Foundations" category of course that plays an essential role in students' transition from secondary to post-secondary education. What distinguishes FYW from the other WI course is that students learn about the social and intellectual aspects of writing in the university, and develop critical reading, writing, research and reflection practices required for academic success.
Over the course of the semester, students enrolled in UWRT 100 and UWRT 150 will complete a number of “low-stakes” writing exercises. These more informal writing activities are spread throughout the course and carefully scaffold the work required for the subsequent “high-stakes assignments.” For example, students may be asked to keep journals in which they reflect on their own writing processes and the choices they make as authors, as well as engage in online discussion forums with their peers as they attempt to understand and respond to complex texts written by more accomplished authors.
UWRT 100 Course Description
Critical Reading and Writing is a one semester, three-credit course limited to 15 students per section. This small size allows students to develop the literacy practices they will need to be successful in the university. It also promotes frequent one-on-one student-instructor and student-student interaction. Students will read, understand, interpret, and synthesize a variety of texts. Assignments are designed to challenge students intellectually, culturally and rhetorically. Through inquiry-based assignment sequences, students will improve their writing by developing academic research and literacy practices. Particular attention will be given to critical reading, academic writing conventions, and revision. The course also emphasizes the principles of intellectual property and academic honesty in academic writing. (Note: UWRT fills a General Education elective requirement)
UWRT 100 Assignments
The “high-stakes” assignments for UWRT 100: Critical Reading & Writing are described in more detail below:
This assignment is based on one of the course readings. Students will be asked to respond critically to a text about writing, discourse, and/or identity; reflect on how their own reading, writing, and language practices confirm or challenge the claims made in the text. (Final draft is a minimum of 1000 words.)
This assignment is based on two (or more) course readings. Students will be asked to join the “conversation” begun in two (or more) course readings about writing, discourse, and/or identity, use evidence from the readings to support their own claims, and develop an original argument situated in relation to the ideas and concepts of other authors. (Final draft is a minimum of 1200 words.)
Driven by research questions that students generate about writing, discourse, and identity, this assignment will combine both primary and secondary research methods as students work to build an essay that takes a position in response to at least one of their research questions. In addition to the research paper (Final draft is a minimum of 1500 words), students will also compose a short reflective piece in which they discuss their writing process.
UWRT 100 Sample of Readings
Mike Bunn’s “How to Read Like a Writer” (2011)
Bronwyn T. Williams’s “Home & Away: The Tensions of Community, Literacy, and Identity” (2005)
Sherman Alexie’s “The Joy of Reading and Writing: Superman & Me” (1997)
UWRT 150 Course Description
Writing Seminar is a three-credit course with 20 students per section. The course is designed to develop first year students’ proficiency in analytical and rhetorical reading and writing, and critical thinking. Students will read, understand, and interpret a variety of non-fiction texts representing different cultural perspectives and/or academic disciplines. These texts are designed to challenge students intellectually and to stimulate their writing for a variety of contexts and purposes. Through inquiry-based assignment sequences, students will develop academic research and literacy practices that will be further strengthened throughout their academic careers. Particular attention will be given to the writing process, including an emphasis on teacher-student conferencing, critical self-assessment, class discussion, peer review, formal and informal writing, research, and revision. The course also emphasizes the principles of intellectual property and academic integrity for both current academic and future professional writing.
UWRT 150 Assignments
The “high-stakes” assignments for UWRT 150: Writing Seminar are described in more detail below:
Students conduct a close examination of the “rhetorical moves” used in one or more of the course readings. They use accepted academic citation style; type two + drafts with peer and instructor review; 1000 words.
A “Dialogue” that compares and contrasts two provided academic sources. Students discuss main ideas and contexts of a source, and go beyond summary to incorporate their own perspectives on the reading. Two + drafts with peer and instructor review; 1200 words.
Inquiry-Based Research Project:
Students conduct research using the RIT library database to find, evaluate, and synthesize sources that represent different perspectives. Two + drafts with peer and instructor review. Complete the portfolio with critical reflective writing about their research, writing and revision; 1500 words.
UWRT 150 Sample of Readings
Nancy Sommers and Laura Saltz, “The Novice as Expert: Writing the Freshmen Year” (2004)
Vershawn Ashanti Young, “Should Writers Use They Own English?” (2010)
Bronwyn T. Williams, “From Screen to Screen: Student’s Use of Popular Culture Genres in Multimodal Writing Assignments” (2014)
Douglas Downs and Elizabeth Wardle, “Teaching about Writing, Righting Misconceptions” (2007)
Choose your first semester FYW class. <link Writing Placement>