Category A1 or A2 Composition Course Guidelines

CMP 100-level Courses

1. Students' writing is a significant focus of instructional time. That focus is reflected in the items below.

2. Students should compose three or four major projects, totaling 4000 to 5000 words. This word count is determined using the final drafts of those projects only; revisions do not count towards the total. While three may seem a small number, this reduction allows for more drafts and time in class dedicated to discussing revisions. Students may certainly be composing for class in addition to these major projects.

3. Projects should include at least 2 rough drafts and a final draft, for three drafts for each project. The rough drafts should be discussed in some combination of class workshops, peer reviews, or one-on-one conferences with the professor.

4. Instructional time should be spent on considerations of audiences, purposes, and stylistic choices for the texts students compose. That is, students consider the expectations of their audiences in concert with the tools (genre, rhetorical, grammatical) that will aid them in achieving their purposes.

5. Professors may provide discipline-specific themes, issues, or genres introduced via the course readings, about which students may write. For example, education, digital technologies, immigration, evolution, the criminal justice system, poetry.

6. While students may write in conversation with other texts (interpreting, analyzing, or otherwise referencing them), research writing or research methods are not the focus of CMP 100-level courses. Instructional time should be spent on the principles of ethical attribution, as appropriate. Students should be encouraged to, first, practice the attribution method most appropriate to the genre at hand and, second, to practice the attribution method associated with the discipline.

7. Students should be reading examples of the genres that they are being asked to produce. E.g.: short stories in a creative writing course, or educational case studies in an education course, or field notes in an environmental science course.

8. As much as possible, grammar, punctuation, syntax, and structure should be addressed in the context of students' drafts. Worksheets, drills, and tests are supplementary materials and cannot replace the application of concepts to student work as they edit and proofread projects. The cultural, discipline-specific, and contextual nature of standards should be acknowledged, discussed, and applied as appropriate.

CMP 200-level Courses. 200-level courses are differentiated from 100-level courses by addressing all of the following:

1. More in-depth or advanced instruction in any of the proposed areas described in the recommendations for 100-level courses

2. In-depth practice in research methods or information literacy

3. In-depth examination of discipline-specific genres and language conventions example courses might include: Creative Nonfiction; Ethnography in Social Work; Assessing Sources in the Digital Era; Writing with Research in (insert discipline or profession). Courses may differ in the number of projects and drafts assigned, but should still incorporate drafting and revising processes.