Survey of General Education Courses in English

There are three General Education courses in the English program:

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.

Composition II

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.

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.

Categories: ENGL
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