English 150: Critical Thinking and Communication
(3-0) Cr. 3. F.S.SS.
Prereq: Concurrent enrollment in LIB 160 is recommended.
Application of critical reading and thinking abilities to topics of civic and cultural importance. Introduction of basic oral, visual, and electronic communication principles to support writing development. Initiation of communication portfolio.
English 250: Written, Oral, Visual, and Electronic Composition
(3-0) Cr. 3. F.S.SS.
Prereq: ENGL 150 or exemption from ENGL 150; sophomore classification or exemption from ENGL 150; credit for or concurrent enrollment in LIB 160
Analyzing, composing, and reflecting on written, oral, visual, and electronic (WOVE) discourse within academic, civic, and cultural contexts. Emphasis on supporting a claim and using primary and secondary sources. Continued development of communication portfolio. The University requires a minimum grade of C in ENGL 250 to meet the Communication Proficiency graduation requirement; some majors/degree programs may set higher standards.
English 250H: Written, Oral, Visual, and Electronic Composition: Honors
(3-0) Cr. 3. F.
Prereq: Exemption from ENGL 150 and admission to Freshman Honors Program; credit for or concurrent enrollment in LIB 160
In-depth analysis, composition, and reflection on written, oral, visual, and electronic (WOVE) discourse with academic, civic, and cultural contexts. Emphasis on argumentation: developing claims, generating reasons, providing evidence. Individual sections organized by special topics. Development of communication portfolio. The University requires a minimum grade of C in ENGL 250 to meet the Communication Proficiency graduation requirement; some majors/degree programs may set higher standards.
English 150 Objectives
The purpose of English 150 is to begin preparing students for academic courses, as well as providing communication skills for future careers. While most of the course will be devoted to writing, students will also work in small groups, interview others, analyze and create visual communication, and learn how to compose professional email correspondence. Instructors design their courses to address the following goals in a variety of ways.
- adapt your writing to specific purposes, audiences, and situational contexts
- integrate and document a range of informational sources, from personal interviews to print and electronic publications
- practice varied organizational strategies and transitional devices
- match expression to situation and audience, avoiding errors that distract or confuse
- develop strategies to revise your own writing
- reflect upon your communication processes, strengths, goals, and growth in a written or electronic portfolio
- ask effective questions and listen actively
- function as an effective team member in small groups as contributor, listener, collaborator, and presenter
- develop basic oral presentation skills, focusing on meaningful information, clear organization, and engaging delivery
- design effective layouts by attending to spacing, margins, headings, color, and typography
- create an appropriate layout format for a brochure, poster, or website
- analyze visual communication, such as art on campus
- use visuals effectively (e.g., imported, scanned, or digital pictures) and integrating them with written texts
- accurately document visual sources
- use appropriate format, voice, and language in a professional email (e.g., correspondence with an instructor)
- use word processing skills, including making headings, attachments, tables, etc.
- compose or analyze an electronic composition (e.g., web document)
- deliver a piece of communication to its intended audience, using one or more suitable media
Types of Assignments in English 150
Below are a few of the typical assignments included in English 150. Learning communities often modify assignments to their specific field.
|Baseline Writing Assignment: “Where I am From” (ungraded)||The first step in your place-based communication work is a narration and description about your home. We are all from somewhere and this place is more than a physical location: it is about memories, feelings, events, and people.|
|Sharing Experiences: A Letter or Essay||Describe an ISU campus place to someone who has not seen and experienced it, emphasizing its significance to you. Visually depict, describe, and explain the part of campus (perhaps a building, a portion of landscape, a piece of art, some plantings). You will be exploring and explaining what this piece of ISU campus represents to you and how it reflects ISU campus history and educational mission.|
|Exploring a Campus Program or Organization: Public Document and Profile||You will first look at the public documents pertaining to ISU’s mission and history as a land-grant university, and to your chosen university program or organization, including what the documents say about roles, goals, and the larger university within which the program or organization exists. Then, you will write a profile of the program or organization to deepen understanding of it.|
|Understanding Place or Artifact: Campus Landscape, Building, or Art||This assignment asks you to deepen your understanding of the history, importance, and appropriateness of a building or piece of art on the ISU campus. Your purpose is to find out all that you can about one facet of this new place of which you are now an inhabitant (one building, one work of art) and to analyze how and why the campus designers, architects, landscape architects, or artists chose to plan and create that particular feature as they did. This assignment’s purpose is to explore and explain how your chosen campus building or campus artifact was created and placed.|
|Designing, Presenting, and Reflecting on Visual Communication: Brochure or Poster||You will summarize the highlights of either your Profile of a Campus Program or Organization or Understanding Place or Artifact: Campus Landscape, Building, or Art assignment by composing visual communication in the form of a brochure or electronic poster. You will repurpose material you have presented primarily in the written and oral modes to the visual, electronic, and oral modes.|
||You will create an electronic portfolio in which you select and reflect on your communication growth over the last few months more completely than you have in the small reflections you’ve done after each assignment. As you finish English 150 and do this more in-depth self-assessment, you will 1) compose an overall reflection for your portfolio that introduces its contents and 2) explain in individual section reflections how the artifacts you’re including show your communication abilities. You may revise one essay and include it, along with its original and your analysis of how you have improved it in the revision.|
English 250 Objectives
The goals of English 250 are for students to develop skills in written, oral, visual, and electronic communication. As a result, students should become not only more perceptive consumers of information, but also communicators better able to make effective decisions in their own work. Throughout the course, students will learn to summarize, analyze, and evaluate various types of communication and then use those skills in four kinds of assignments: summaries, rhetorical analyses, argumentative and persuasive texts, and documented research. Individual instructors incorporate both the course goals and specific types of writing assignments listed below into the syllabi they design.
- summarize accurately and responsibly the main ideas of others, especially published sources
- analyze professional writing to assess its purpose, audience, and rhetorical strategies
- construct arguments that integrate ethical, logical, and emotional appeals (i.e., ethos, logos, pathos)
- continue to integrate appropriate source material, providing accurate and consistent documentation
- continue to demonstrate an ability to conform to usage conventions and to adapt expression to purpose and audience
- continue to reflect systematically upon all of your communication processes, strengths, goals, and growth (e.g., a written or electronic portfolio)
- give an oral presentation, either individually or as part of a team, using effective invention, organization, language, and delivery strategies
- continue to improve as an effective team member in small groups as contributor, listener, collaborator, and presenter
- apply the visual communication principles related to pattern, contrast, direction, chunking, and color
- compose or analyze the rhetoric of visual communication (e.g., advertisement, documentary film, political cartoon)
- create a visual argument (e.g., advertisement, poster, slide)
- apply the electronic communication principles related to content, layout, graphics, color, and interactivity
- compose or analyze electronic communication (e.g., TV commercials, videos, websites)
- deliver a piece of communication to its intended audience, using one or more suitable media
- ensure that all modes contribute to the primary message, purpose, and targeted audience
- develop clear, purposeful relationships between the modes
- exhibit a sensitivity to differences in modes and their cultural implications
- create a rich, interactive experience for the audience
- develop confidence in ability to adapt skills and knowledge used here to future situations
Types of Assignments in English 250
Below are a few of the typical assignments included in English 250. Learning communities often modify assignments to their specific field.
|Baseline Writing Assignment: Description and Narrative of Your Communicating Life (ungraded)
||The focus of this assignment is to describe your life thus far in terms of your communication experiences and habits. Generating your literacy autobiography now, at the beginning of your college career, can help you to pinpoint what communication tasks, contexts, and technologies interest you and in which you have experience. In turn, this literacy autobiography can suggest strengths and areas for you to develop in your future communication work in English 250 and in other classes at ISU.|
|Summary||You will learn how to identify main ideas and recast those ideas in your own words. Active reading skills will help you notice how writers express, organize, and support your points. You will not only learn the practical skill of accurately translating others’ ideas but also learn accountability for treating those ideas with respect.|
||You’ll also analyze readings to see how—and how successfully—the author uses substance, organization, style, and delivery to fit the particular context of purpose and audience. Learning to analyze rhetorically will allow you to become adept at noticing how an author accomplishes his/her purpose. This skill will help you plan your own communication efforts.|
||You’ll explore argument and persuasion by analyzing a variety of texts—essays, editorials, advertising, websites, film, etc. You’ll then apply this knowledge to construct your own arguments. For example, you might compose a rebuttal to one or more of the readings, an oral presentation recommending changes on campus, or a slide presentation argumenting your position on a controversial topic.|
||As you develop your own arguments, you’ll learn to support your ideas by interweaving sources into your compositions. In English 250, you’ll gain experience with basic research methods, standard documentation forms, and the appropriate uses of summary, paraphrase, and direct quotation—all of which will enhance the integrity of your writing. In addition to a written text, the instructor might ask you to share your research with classmates through a poster presentation or a group slide presentation.|
||You will create an electronic portfolio in which you select and reflect on your communication growth over the last few months more completely than you have in the small reflections you’ve done after each assignment. As you finish English 250 and do this more in-depth self-assessment, you will 1) compose an overall reflection for your portfolio that introduces its contents and 2) explain in individual section reflections how the artifacts you’re including show your communication abilities. You may revise one essay and include it, along with its original and your analysis of how you have improved it in the revision.|