The Upper-Level Writing Requirement Advising, Answering Student Questions, and Figuring It Out Ourselves
Today’s Agenda • Introductions • Objectives for the meeting • Outcomes for 300-level courses • English department 300-level courses • Briefly describe how four existing 300-level classes meet program outcomes • Help us! Developing FAQs • Contact us with questions or ideas
Introductions • Elizabeth Birmingham • Kevin Brooks • Eunice Johnston • Amy Rupiper-Taggart • Dale Sullivan • Make sure you know everyone at your table
Objectives • Introduce you to some of the people you may contact with questions about the upper-level writing requirement. • Discuss courses you may want your students to consider taking to meet the upper-level writing requirement. • Share the outcomes for the upper-level writing courses. • Generate a list of questions that would help you advise students and better understand the upper-level writing program.
Outcomes for Upper-Level Writing Courses • General Education Outcome 1: Communicate effectively in a variety of contexts and [genres], using a variety of communication skills. • General Education Outcome 6: Integrate knowledge and ideas in a coherent and meaningful manner.
Outcomes for Upper-Level Writing Courses (continued) • English Department Outcome 4: Manage sophisticated writing and research projects, planning, documenting, completing, and assessing work on-time and within the constraints of the project. • English Department Outcome 7: Develop professionalism exhibited in such qualities as self-direction, cooperation, civility, reliability, and care in editing and presenting the final product.
Outcomes for Upper-Level Writing Courses (continued) • Disciplinary Outcome: Master the discourses and generic conventions of the discipline(s).
300-level English Courses • Business and Professional Writing • Creative Writing I • Creative Writing II • Visual Culture and Language • Writing in the Design Professions • Writing in the Health Professions • Writing in the Humanities and Social Sciences • Writing in the Sciences • Writing in the Technical Professions
320: Business and Professional Writing • English 320 provides intensive practice employing the conventions of professional genres to write for business and professional contexts. This course teaches you to respond to a variety of workplace tasks by designing appropriate documents and presentations, individually and in teams. While it isn’t possible to duplicate a work environment in the classroom, this course provides activities, assignments, and opportunities that will develop the skills and habits you will need to write and function professionally in corporate, non-profit, or small business environments.
320: Assignments • Job packet: research report, informational interview (memo), letter of application, resume • Web design: website presenting research into organizational communication, design analysis, rhetorical analysis • Project management: proposal, progress report, project, oral presentation, final report
321: Writing in the Technical Professions • Intensive practice employing the conventions of professional genres to write about technology development and use for expert, business, and more general audiences. This class is appropriate for engineering students and others who intend to work in the technical disciplines including technical writers.
321: Assignments • Instructions and usability testing: group project with multiple drafts and testing by actual users. • Review of literature: proposal, annotated bibliography, abstract, presentation, formal paper. • Reports: recommendation, feasibility, evaluation • Job application package • Technical definition and description • Reporting numerical information (memo) • Reporting problems (email) or analysis of a case study of the communications related to a problem • Public writing on an issue related to technology
324: Writing in the Sciences • English 324, Writing in the Sciences, explores the sciences as social systems that produce knowledge through research, communication, publication, and review.
Class Modules for English 324 • Module 1: Science as a Social Enterprise. Students read a book like The Nemesis Affair, look up a primary article associated with the case in the book, and write an essay that describes the article’s place in the case and analyzes the arguments used in it. • Module 2: Writing a Research Report. Students propose a research project, design the study, conduct the research, report progress, write portions of the report for review, and then compile the final research report in the traditional IMRAD structure. • Module 3: The Genres of Science Writing. Students study a case chronologically by reading documents from different stages in the research project’s cycle. They write an essay describing the case and explaining how different documents in the case helped move it along. • Module 4: Writing Popular Science. Students identify a current or historical case in science, collect primary articles from the case, read them, and create a journalistic story describing the research project.
358: Writing in the Humanities and Social Sciences • Theory and practice for writing multiple genres in the humanities and social sciences. My section of 358 takes popular culture as its common object of analysis; students across the disciplines share some common knowledge of pop culture, but typically have not spent much time approaching it as academics rather than as consumers. The emphasis is on approaching popular culture texts critically, reading them closely, and developing skills and knowledge for writing three very different genres that require a critical stance in relationship to popular culture. The class uses whole class workshop, small and large group activities, model analysis, and reading of rhetorical theory as primary approaches to teaching and learning.
358: Assignments • Popular review of pop culture text • Scholarly analysis of pop culture artifact(s) using rhetorical criticism • Collaborative parody of pop culture text or trend
Help! • Please choose a group recorder (the person at your table whose birthday is soonest). • Read through the FAQ sheet at your table and talk to the people around you. • Help us with a two tasks: • Respond to FAQ sheet • Generate more questions
Task One: • Circle those questions/answers on the sheet that your group identifies as useful. • Strike through any questions that seem too obvious or not useful. • Tell us if you think there is a better way to say something. • Please have your recorder compile all of your responses on one FAQ sheet.
Task Two: • Provide questions that you or other academic advisors might have had this week concerning the upper-level writing requirement as you were talking to students about their courses. • Provide those questions about the upper-level writing requirement that you are hearing from students that confuse or stump you. • Do you have any questions you would like us to try to respond to today? • Chat with each other and please have your recorder write down the questions you have.
Feedback: • We will revise our FAQ sheets based on your feedback, and make sure that they are sent out to all of you who registered for this lunch. • We want to encourage you to contact us if you have questions or concerns about the upper-level writing course(s) that would be most appropriate for your majors.
Thank you! Contact us: • Elizabeth.Birmingham@ndsu.edu • Kevin.Brooks@ndsu.edu • Dale.Sullivan@ndsu.edu Betsy—upper-level writing courses Kevin—first-year writing courses Dale—if you are confused by Betsy or Kevin (happens a lot).