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COM 0110 Basic Writing Skills


Course Description

Grammar and syntax, and their application to the writing process. Students learn correct spelling, punctuation rules, and how to construct accurate sentences and develop coherent paragraphs. Credit cannot be applied toward any Florida Tech degree. This course is required for students with low placement test scores.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, student should be able to

  • Expand and improve vocabularies
  • Demonstrate at least minimal college-level skills in spelling, punctuation, and grammar
  • Perfect the ability to write grammatical sentences
  • Practice college-level reading, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills
  • Prepare to take and pass Communications 1101 – Composition and Rhetoric

Week 1


Lecture: Course Overview/The Parts of a Sentence

Outcomes

  • Recognize the need for good writing skills in all college work
  • Develop and strengthen good study habits
  • Realize the need for a good vocabulary
  • Use a dictionary
  • Appreciate the connection between reading good writing and improving one’s own writing
  • Distinguish the difference between a summary and a reaction
  • Write a reaction
  • Write a summary
  • Identify the basic structural elements of a sentence
  • Identify subjects and verbs
  • Identify clauses
  • Identify phrases
Lecture: Prewriting Techniques

Outcomes

  • Ascertain that writing is a developmental process
  • Recognize the need to consider subject, audience, and purpose
  • List several prewriting techniques, including freewriting, clustering and brainstorming
  • Identify the parts of a paragraph
  • Develop a paragraph with supporting details
  • Describe later stages of the writing process: drafting, revising, proofreading and editing

Week 2


Lecture: Improving Spelling and Understanding Clauses

Outcomes

  • Recognize the need for a disciplined plan to improve spelling
  • Determine the value of making a list of misspelled words and learning the correct spelling
  • Identify with words that are often confused
  • Distinguish the correct usage for words often confused
  • Recognize the differences between an independent and dependent clause
  • Explain coordination and be able to recognize coordinating conjunctions
  • Discuss subordination and be able to recognize subordinating conjunctions
Lecture: The Illustration and Narrative Paragraphs

Outcomes

  • Recognize coherence in writing
  • Learn several methods to achieve coherence
  • Learn transitions to facilitate coherence
  • Explore the purpose of an illustrative paragraph
  • Discuss the need for effective use of examples
  • Use examples effectively in an illustrative paragraph
  • Analyze the transitions that facilitate coherence in an illustrative paragraph
  • Recount the purpose of a narrative paragraph
  • Recognize the need to arrange details effectively
  • List the transitions recommended to facilitate coherence in a narrative paragraph

Week 3


Lecture: Sentence Structure

Outcomes

  • Recognize and repair sentence fragments
  • Identify verbals
  • Recognize and repair run-on sentences
  • Identify comma splices
Lecture: Process and Definition Paragraphs

Outcomes

  • Specify the purpose and forms of a process paragraph
  • Distinguish between the directive process pattern and the informative process pattern
  • Describe the need to select appropriate and logical details in a process
  • List the methods to develop a process paragraph
  • Recount the transitions that facilitate coherence in a process paragraph
  • Describe the purpose of a definition paragraph
  • Evaluate the ways to develop a definition paragraph
  • List the transitions that facilitate coherence in a definition paragraph

Week 4


Lecture: Contractions, Possessives, and Verb Agreement

Outcomes

  • Recognize and form a contraction correctly
  • Form singular and plural possessive forms in nouns and pronouns
  • Identify verb phrases
  • Distinguish the difference between verbs and adverbs
  • List the differences between regular and irregular verbs
Lecture: Comparison, Contrast, and Classification Paragraphs

Outcomes

  • Differentiate between the terms “to compare” and “to contrast”
  • Describe the purpose of a comparison paragraph
  • Explain the purpose of a contrast paragraph
  • Define the subject-by-subject and point-by-point methods of development
  • Delineate transitions that facilitate coherence in comparison and contrast paragraphs
  • Identify comparison and contrast paragraphs
  • Explore the purpose of the classification paragraph
  • List the methods of developing a classification paragraph
  • Determine transitions that facilitate coherence in a classification paragraph

Week 5


Lecture: Spelling and Subject-Verb Agreement

Outcomes

  • Learn when to double a final letter
  • Learn how to form the plural of nouns
  • Learn when to change or keep the final y in a word
  • Learn the IE or EI spelling rule
  • Learn when to drop or keep the final e
  • Learn how to add a prefix
  • Identify the exceptions to all of these rules
  • Appreciate the need for subjects and verbs to agree in number
  • Recognize indefinite pronouns
  • Distinguish the singular and plural indefinite pronouns
  • Recognize collective nouns
  • Identify the placement of subjects in a sentence
  • Find how linking verbs agree with the subject
Lecture: Cause and Effect and Persuasion Paragraphs

Outcomes

  • Define the purpose of a cause and effect paragraph
  • Recognize the methods of development for a cause and effect paragraph
  • List areas to avoid when writing a cause and effect paragraph
  • Explore transitions that facilitate coherence in a cause and effect paragraph
  • Recognize the purpose of a persuasion paragraph
  • Evaluate the methods of development for a persuasion paragraph
  • Determine the transitions that facilitate coherence in a persuasion paragraph

Week 6


Lecture: Punctuation Marks and Revising Sentence Structure

Outcomes

  • Properly use a question mark, a period mark, a semicolon, a colon, and a dash
  • Follow strategies for making sentences more effective and interesting
  • Revise sentence structure by mixing long and short sentences, structuring the sentence as a question, beginning the sentence with an adverb or prepositional phrase, using an appositive, or a compound predicate
Lecture: Writing the Essay

Outcomes

  • Recognize the structural similarities of the paragraph and essay
  • Learn the parts of an essay
  • Appreciate the form and purpose of the introduction
  • Describe the form and purpose of the body paragraphs
  • Realize the form and purpose of the conclusion
  • Define a thesis statement
  • Analyze the method of creating a thesis statement
  • Consider the prewriting techniques effective in creating the body paragraphs
  • Assess the need for connecting ideas between paragraphs
  • Explore the purpose of the thesis in writing an illustration essay
  • Evaluate the need for examples in developing an illustration essay
  • Determine the purpose of the thesis in writing a narration essay
  • Explain the need for logical selection and arrangement of details in a narration essay
  • Consider the points of view in writing a narration essay

Week 7


Lecture: Comma Rules and Pronoun Usage

Outcomes

  • Properly use a comma
  • Recognize and use pronouns
  • Appreciate the need for the pronoun to agree with its antecedent in person and number
  • Ascertain the use of indefinite pronouns in determining number agreement
  • Recognize special singular antecedents
  • Correct vague, ambiguous, and repetitious pronoun references
  • Define subjective, possessive, and objective case pronouns
  • Recognize the correct usage of subjective, possessive, and objective case pronouns
Lecture: Process, Definition, and Comparison-Contrast Essays

Outcomes

  • Describe the purpose of the thesis in a process essay
  • Discuss the need to select the informative or directive method of development
  • Recognize the need for careful arrangement of details in the process essay
  • Realize the purpose of the thesis in the definition essay
  • Recognize the need for adequate examples in the definition essay
  • Describe the method of development in a definition essay
  • Explore the purpose of the thesis in the comparison or contrast essay
  • Enumerate the methods of development in the comparison or contrast essay

Week 8


Lecture: Capitalization, Mechanics, and Sentence Revision

Outcomes

  • Follow the rules of capitalization
  • Use the rules for using direct quotation marks
  • Appreciate the value of revising for consistency and parallelism
  • Realize the value of using consistent verb tense
  • Determine the value of using consistent number and person
Lecture: Classification, Cause and Effect, and Persuasion Essays

Outcomes

  • Appreciate the purpose of the thesis in a classification essay
  • Describe the process of creating categories
  • Discuss the need for sufficient areas of division
  • Recognize the need for effective arrangement of details
  • Analyze the purpose of the thesis in a cause and effect essay
  • Recognize the need to select effective points
  • Distinguish between the methods of development in a cause and effect essay
  • Identify the purpose of the thesis in a persuasion essay
  • Explore the need for credible evidence to achieve a convincing argument
  • Distinguish the differences between inductive and deductive reasoning
  • List ways to avoid errors in reasoning
  • Ascertain effective arrangement of details in a persuasion essay
  • Enumerate topics to avoid in effective persuasive writing

The course description, objectives and learning outcomes are subject to change without notice based on enhancements made to the course. November 2011