Major in English.

Survey of General Education Courses in English

There are three General Education courses in the English program:

  • CoRE English
  • Composition I
  • Composition II

Students in South Dakota’s university system must pass CoRE English (ENGL 101C) or Composition I (ENGL 101) and Composition II (ENGL 201) in order to obtain a degree. Verbal scores lower than 18 on the ACT or lower than 74 on the COMPASS require placement in CoRE English, a course that combines the remedial instruction of English 032 with the writing instruction of English 101.

Find out more information regarding recommended and required Text Books and the South Dakota Board of Regents' Outcomes.

Board of Regents Outcomes

The South Dakota Board of Regents (SDBOR) lists four Student Learning Outcomes that apply to General Education English writing courses. The Outcomes are reproduced in the syllabi for your English courses, but here they are again, verbatim, for your information.

As a result of taking courses meeting this goal, students will: 1) Write using Standard American English, including correct punctuation, grammar, and sentence structure; 2) Write logically; 3) Write persuasively, with a variety of rhetorical strategies (e.g., expository, argumentative, descriptive); 4) Incorporate formal research and documentation into their writing, including research obtained through modern, technology-based research tools.

Goals one and two apply to CoRE English, primarily, and Composition I, secondarily. Number three applies primarily to Composition II, although Composition I concludes with a persuasive essay to be written during the Common Final. Goal four also applies to that final essay/exam in ENGL-101, but Composition II continues to elaborate upon synthesis and research methods.


CoRE English

Students who score 1-17 on the ACT or 1-73 on the COMPASS exam place in CoRE English. Students who have a 3.0 high school GPA in addition to this score may challenge this placement if they so wish. Information regarding the placement test can be found here.

Activities
CoRE English is a 5-credit, co-requisite course that combines the remedial instruction of English 032 with the writing instruction of English 101. Designed as an intensive writing lab and hybrid course, students will meet for three hours of classroom instruction and two credits of supplemental work outside of the classroom each week. Student writers will receive instruction focusing on higher level concerns (thesis, organization, and support) and lower level concerns (sentence-level and grammatical issues), while fulfilling the requirements of Composition I to produce eighteen pages of finished text written on various subjects. Students will draft, revise, and edit expository essays in a variety of rhetorical modes, such as description, definition, comparison and contrast, analogies, examples and illustrations, texts relating to or examining cause and effect, classification and division, evaluation, and argumentation. The rhetorical strategies will be determined by the instructor.

Learning Objectives
Students who successfully complete CoRE English course will learn to:

  • understand Standard American English (according to SDBOR)
  • engage in critical thinking and reading
  • identify thesis statements in academic and peer writing
  • construct foundational or persuasive thesis statements and support said thesis statements with details, examples, and evidence
  • recognize and craft topic sentences and transitions for organization and clarity
  • employ audience analysis to determine structure, context, and angle of approach
  • implement invention strategies to generate prose
  • engage in an individual writing process by drafting, revising, and editing prose
  • write within varied rhetorical strategies
  • become familiar with information literacy by finding, evaluating, and incorporating research
  • implement academic format and style for academic papers in MLA or APA, as specified by the professor
  • find, evaluate, and incorporate academic research ethically and accurately
  • communicate with concision and precision
  • learn the expectations of the community of academic writers
  • contend with new and diverse perspectives in a thoughtful, sophisticated manner


Goals
CoRE English fulfills developmental and credit-bearing requirements and prepares students for Composition II. Students are introduced to academic expectations and the proper occasions and methods for citation. Most importantly, it is structured as an intensive writing lab with supplemental work assigned outside of the classroom. Writers practice within the various forms of writing and receive extensive feedback on their prose. Students often have the opportunity to examine the writing of other students and work with peers and writing consultants. Also, through guided reading and writing, individuals become aware of the basic grammatical issues that pertain to their personal writing needs. CoRE English provides students the skills necessary to write with confidence in undergraduate courses. The final paper in CoRE English (ENGL 101C) is timed and written in a classroom—the Common Final (fall semester). Students will respond to a writing prompt presented to them on that day; however, students are provided several sources (articles, statistics, on-line sources) prior to the final. Writers are expected to examine these sources and use them to strengthen their texts. This argumentative essay launches the composition student into their second composition course (ENGL-201).

Course Description
ENGL 032: “Remedial Course: Intensive work in grammar and usage, punctuation, and paragraph development. Does not count toward graduation” (BHSU Academic Catalog).

ENGL 101: “Practice in the skills, research, and documentation needed for the [sic] effective academic writing. Analysis of a variety of academic and non-academic texts, rhetorical structures, critical thinking, and audience will be included” (BHSU Academic Catalog).

Composition I

Activities
Students who score 18-36 on the ACT or 74-100 on the COMPASS exam are placed in Composition I. In Composition I (ENGL 101), student writers produce eighteen pages of finished text written on various subjects. Students draft, revise, and edit expository essays in a variety of rhetorical modes, such as description, definition, comparison and contrast, analogies, examples and illustrations, texts relating to or examining cause and effect, classification and division, evaluation, and argumentation. The rhetorical strategies will be determined by the instructor.

The final paper in Composition I is timed and written in a classroom—the Common Final (fall semester). All students taking Composition I respond to a writing prompt presented to them on that day; however, students are provided several sources (articles, statistics, on-line sources) prior to the final. Writers are expected to examine these sources and use them to strengthen their texts. This argumentative essay launches the composition student into their second composition course (ENGL-201).

Learning Objectives
Composition I has ten basic learning objectives. Students who successfully complete the course will learn to:

  • understand Standard American English (according to SDBOR)
  • engage in critical thinking and reading
  • write within varied rhetorical strategies
  • implement invention strategies to generate prose
  • engage in an individual writing process by drafting, revising, and editing prose
  • implement academic format and style for academic papers in MLA or APA, as specified by the professor
  • find, evaluate, and incorporate academic research ethically and accurately
  • communicate with concision and precision
  • learn the expectations of the community of academic writers
  • contend with new and diverse perspectives in a thoughtful, sophisticated manner

While Composition I courses are founded on common objectives, students will encounter diverse perspectives and ideas in the various classrooms. The Humanities department shares in the Higher Learning Commission’s view that “[i]ndividual and group differences add richness to teaching and learning and also challenge them. People become more aware of their differences and similarities in a variety of ways, including through the processes of discovery and exploration, interaction, collaboration, and partnering1.” The diverse topics and concepts introduced in the classrooms also prepare students in writing for audience members’ diverse experiences.

Goals
Composition I prepares students for Composition II. It enables students to produce acceptable academic papers. Composition I increases the student’s awareness of audience and the writing process.

Course Description
“Practice in the skills, research, and documentation needed for the [sic] effective academic writing. Analysis of a variety of academic and non-academic texts, rhetorical structures, critical thinking, and audience will be included” (BHSU Academic Catalog).

 


 

1“Commission Statement on Diversity.” Higher Learning Commission. Chicago, HLC, 2003.

Composition II

Activities
In Composition II (ENGL 201), writers learn more about attending to logical relations (coherence), building arguments, supporting claims, questioning assumptions, and recognizing logical fallacies. Throughout the semester, students will draft, revise, and edit their work with the final goal of producing twenty-five pages of finished text. In this course writers are taught to employ critical thinking and intellectual engagement crucial to all fields.

Learning Objectives
Composition II has seven basic learning objectives. Students who successfully complete the course will learn to:

  • analyze persuasive and other academic texts to understand and engage in the process of argumentation
  • analyze the rhetorical nature of academic texts, including rhetoric, structure, context, audience analysis, and syntax
  • respond to complex arguments to strengthen critical reading and analytical skills
  • implement academic format and style for academic papers in MLA or APA, as specified by the professor
  • find, evaluate, and incorporate scholarly research ethically and accurately
  • produce scholarly, persuasive texts for academic purposes
  • contend with new and diverse perspectives in a thoughtful, sophisticated manner 

Students learn that discourse consists of many conversations, and that they are expected to enter into the discussion. Writers develop claims and counterclaims and assemble the support required. Overall, students work toward communicating ideas in a convincing manner, in an ethical way, and with confidence.

Goals
Composition II prepares the student writer for academic research and the argumentative process foundational to a variety of disciplines. Upon completing ENGL-201, writers produce thoroughly argued and better organized texts. Writers improve their skills in finding, evaluating, and incorporating the research of others into their texts, and in the process become adept at citation. The successful completion of Composition II enables individuals to produce quality academic papers.

Like Composition I, this course is founded on common objectives but students will encounter diverse perspectives and ideas in the various classrooms. The Humanities department shares in the Higher Learning Commission’s view that “[i]ndividual and group differences add richness to teaching and learning and also challenge them. People become more aware of their differences and similarities in a variety of ways, including through the processes of discovery and exploration, interaction, collaboration, and partnering1.” The diverse topics and concepts introduced in the classrooms also prepare students in writing for audience members’ diverse experiences.


Course Description
“Study of and practice in writing persuasive prose, with the aim to improve writing skills in all disciplines” (BHSU Academic Catalog).


1“Commission Statement on Diversity.” Higher Learning Commission. Chicago, HLC, 2003.

Textbooks

The English program recommends books we call “default textbooks” for each course. This is a list of the most commonly used books. However, students should not assume that these same books will be used in the course for which they are listed. It is best to speak with employees in the bookstore before purchasing textbooks.

The Penguin Handbook is used in both ENGL-101 and ENGL-201. Students are advised to keep their copies from ENGL-101 for ENGL-201.

Basic English (ENGL-033)
Gaetz, Lynne, & Suneeti Phadke. The Writer’s World:
     Essays. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.,
     2009. (Including workbook.)

Composition I (ENGL-101)
Faigley, Lester. The Penguin Handbook. 3rd ed. NY: Pearson
     Longman, 2009.

Rosa, Alfred & Paul Eschholz. Models for Writers: Short 
     Essays for Composition. 10th ed. Boston: Bedford/St.
     Martin’s, 2010.
McWhorter, Kathleen T. Seeing the Pattern: Readings for
     Successful Writing. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2006.

Composition II (ENGL-201)
Faigley, Lester. The Penguin Handbook. 3rd ed. NY: Pearson
     Longman, 2009.

Rottenberg, Annette T. The Structure of Argument. 6th ed.
     Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2009.
Rottenberg, Annette T. & Donna Haisty Winchell. The
     Elements of Argument: A Text and Reader. 9th ed.
     Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2009.

Paperbacks are preferred in all cases in which they are available.