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COM 1101 Composition and Rhetoric

Course Description

This course focuses on writing essays using various rhetorical modes: persuasion, description, comparison and analysis. It also presents basic methods of library research, as well as the MLA documentation system. Students write one research paper and several essays. First course in a two-course sequence.

Course Objectives

The objective of this course is to help students develop the ability to write clear, persuasive prose. This 8-week course is the first in a series of two courses. Students will hone critical thinking skills while they increase reading comprehension and vocabulary. They will also compose a persuasive research paper using MLA format, and in the process will review elements of grammar and diction.

Week 1

Lecture: Course Overview


  • Perfect the ability to write clear theses
  • Demonstrate proficiency in writing well-constructed introductory, body, and concluding paragraphs
  • Demonstrate proficiency in writing essays in several rhetorical modes
  • Attain the ability to proofread, edit, and revise writing assignments
  • Develop and compose a persuasive research paper
  • Apply the rules of grammar and mechanics to their writing
Lecture: Prewriting


  • Recognize the importance of good writing
  • Perform the preparation stage of writing
  • Follow the steps of the writing process
  • Use techniques for generating ideas
  • Register with and follow its guidelines
Lecture: Developing a Thesis and Examples


  • Create a thesis statement
  • List the components of an effective thesis statement
  • Discuss the need for examples in writing
  • Use different types of examples in writing
  • Formulate a research question

Week 2

Lecture: Drafting the Essay


  • Compose a 12-point essay
  • Explain the relationship between the 12-point essay and the 500-word essay (12-point essay is the basic framework in the process of writing a well-developed 500-word essay)
  • Create an introduction and a conclusion
  • Recognize common mistakes made in the introduction and conclusion
Lecture: Process Analysis Essay


  • Identify a process analysis essay
  • Differentiate between the directive process analysis and the information process analysis
  • Write an effective process analysis essay

Week 3

Lecture: Paragraph Writing


  • Recognize the importance of creating solid paragraphs
  • Perform the introductory steps in conducting research in preparation for writing a scholarly research paper
  • Begin the research paper assignment for this course
Lecture: Definition Essay


  • Recognize a definition essay
  • List the three characteristics of the definition essay
  • Write an effective definition essay

Week 4

Lecture: Revision


  • Explain what revision entails
  • Define the difference between revision and proofreading
  • Recognize and use different revision techniques
  • Perform the steps in evaluating sources for a research paper
Lecture: Narrative Essay


  • Recognize a narrative essay
  • Explain the role of description in a narrative essay
  • Describe the characteristics of the narrative essay
  • Define sequence of events and point of view
  • Write an effective narrative essay

Week 5

Lecture: Fragments, Comma Splices, and Fused Sentences


  • Recognize and correct fragments, comma splices, and fused or run-on sentences
  • Practice the correct general uses of the comma
Lecture: Cause and Effect Essay


  • Recognize a cause and effect essay
  • Explain the difference between a cause and an effect
  • Write a successful cause and effect essay

Week 6

Lecture: Agreement


  • Use the rules for creating subject/verb agreement
  • Use the rules for creating pronoun agreement
Lecture: Compare and Contrast Essay


  • Recognize a compare and contrast essay
  • Define the characteristics of the compare and contrast essay
  • Write an effective compare and contrast essay

Week 7

Lecture: Punctuation


  • Properly use commas and semicolons within sentences
  • Effectively use introductory words, clauses, and phrases
  • Properly use apostrophes, colons, and quotation marks
Lecture: Argumentative Essay


  • Recognize an argumentative essay
  • Define the main parts of an argumentative essay
  • Discuss the concept of counterargument
  • Effectively write an effective argumentative essay and research paper

Week 8

Lecture: Plagiarism


  • Define plagiarism
  • Explain plagiarism as it relates to writing
  • Follow and understand the guidelines for avoiding plagiarism

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