UWP 101

Advanced Composition

  1. Catalog Description

    UWP 101. Advanced Composition (4) Lecture/discussion - 3 hours; extensive writing. Prerequisite: course 1 or English 3 or the equivalent and upper division standing. Instruction for students in all disciplines in advanced principles of expository writing. Focus on writing tasks both within and beyond the academy. Assignments provide practice in a variety of modes of writing: narrative, analysis, explanation, argument, critique. GE credit: Wrt (cannot be used to satisfy a college or university composition requirement and GE writing experience simultaneously). - I, II, III (I, II, III.)

  2. Course Goals
  • To improve students' analytical skills in reading and writing; to explore through readings and writing assignments issues  and problems both unique and common to particular disciplines and professions
  • To help students understand the rhetorical context of all writing, both academic and professional; to provide instruction in writing for different audiences and purposes
  • To give students an opportunity to explore a variety of non-fiction writing forms including narrative, analysis, explanation, argument, and critique
  • To adapt academic writing skills and modes of expression to the kinds of writing tasks that different professions and careers demand
  • To explore ways in which in variety of different research strategies (including, for example, field studies, surveys, interviews, and observations) can inform academic, literary, and professional non-fiction writing
  • To help students develop a clear, lively, and forceful prose style, and to adapt that style to different writing situations and audiences
  • To encourage students to develop appropriate and consistent strategies for organizing and developing written assignments
  • To provide students with principles of and experience in editing their own work and that of other student writers for content, clarity, and style
  1. Entry Level

    Students should have completed UWP 1 or ENL 3 or the equivalent and have upper division standing. They should be familiar with the general principles of good writing, including organization, development, sentence structure, grammar, and punctuation.

  2. Topical Outline
  • Reading and writing: rhetorical contexts and considerations
  • The concept of audience: writing for different audiences and adapting ideas and information to suit the needs of different audiences; differences among academic writing, literary non-fiction, and professional writing
  • Developing rhetorical problem-solving skills
  • Close reading and rereading: how to analyze different genres and reading
  • Steps in the writing process: inventing, drafting, composing, revising
  • Assessing the strengths and weaknesses of one's own writing and providing advice about revision for other writers
  • Using a variety of complex and rhetorical modes (e.g., argument, analysis, explanation, evaluation) to develop writing assignments
  • Principles and logic of argument: stating and defending a position
  • Writing evaluations and critiques
  • Problems of language and style in expository and analytical writing; developing a clear, sophisticated, and mature prose style; making stylistic choices based on audience and purpose
  1. Criteria for Grading      
  1. The course will be graded by a letter grade.
  2. Grades will be based on the student's performance on in- and out-of-class writing assignments and a final exam. Students will write a minimum of 6000 words; the number of assignments and the weight of each assignment will vary according to the instructor. Some timed, in-class writing (such as a midterm or final exam) will be part of the formal requirement.

    Assignments and sequencing vary from instructor to instructor, but in general, assignments over the quarter will be increasingly complex and sophisticated. In the out of class writing assignments students will be given an opportunity to practice a variety of different modes of nonfiction writing and to develop the language and style appropriate to those modes. Students in all sections will write, outside of class, between 4 and 6 different papers. Some revision of these assignments may be required, and at the instructor's discretion optional revisions to improve the grade on a paper may be allowed. The course grade may also reflect a student's performance in such aspects of the course as informal writing (e.g., journals, pre-writing exercises, focused freewriting), draft workshops, and class discussions.

  1. Reading

    Instructors will typically select an anthology of non-fiction essays written from a wide variety of disciplinary perspectives (e.g., Comley, et. al., Fields of Writing: Readings Across the Disciplines). Alternatively or as a supplement to the anthology, instructors might choose one or more short works of contemporary nonfiction (such as a collection of essays by a particular author or a collection focused on a broad theme or issue). Instructors may use their own compilations of supplemental materials: possibilities include examples of professional reports and analyses from different fields, or other examples of professional, academic, or literary nonfiction writing. However the instructor designs the reading component of the course, the readings should provide models of style, organization, argument, and evidence as well as provide topics for discussion and writing.

    Instructors will also select a rhetoric from among those targeted for advanced writers (e.g., Hairston, Successful Writing ); some instructors will also require students to purchase a writer's handbook. Often instructors will provide their own compilations of supplementary materials about writing.

  2. Explanation of Potential Course Overlap

    UWP 101 does not overlap with any other courses. It is distinguished from UWP 1, Expository Writing, by its focus on the interests and concerns of students taking upper division courses and preparing for graduate study, professional schools, or careers. The concepts and principles covered in UWP 101 are more advanced than those covered in UWP 1. UWP 101 is distinguished from courses in the UWP 102A-G series by its broad interdisciplinary approach and its concern with the commonalities of writing in different fields and professions.

  3. Justification of Units

    UWP 101 is a four-unit course. Three hours per week is lecture/discussion. An additional unit of credit is justified by the significant amount of work that students must do outside of class time to plan, draft, and revise the 6000 words of required writing. (The written requirement is equivalent to a term paper.) In addition to this substantial written requirement, students will meet individually with the instructor for discussion and evaluation of each student's work.