Curriculum and Objectives

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 prepare students for communicating successfully in their academic courses, as well as in their work, personal, and civic lives. Because of what the National Council of Teachers of English calls the importance of 21st-century literacies, most of the course will be devoted to writing, but students will also practice and analyze oral, visual, and electronic communication. Students will also compile and reflect on an ISUComm ePortfolio of their work. Specifically, at the end of English 150 they should be able to meet these course outcomes:

Written

  • adapt their 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
  • design effective presentation forms by attending to spacing, margins, headings, color, and typography
  • develop strategies to revise their own writing
  • reflect upon their communication processes, strengths, goals, and growth

Oral

  • ask effective questions and listening 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

Visual

  • use typography effectively, particularly in creating headings and subheadings
  • create an appropriate layout format for a bookmark, brochure, fact sheet, or newsletter
  • analyze visual communication, such as art on campus
  • use visuals effectively (e.g., imported, scanned, or digital pictures) and integrate them with written texts
  • accurately document visual sources

Electronic

  • 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.
  • create an electronic composition (a poster or infographic and an ISUComm ePortfolio)
  • choose one or more suitable media for delivering communication to its intended auidence

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.
Communication Portfolio
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 a more perceptive consumer of information, but also a communicator better able to make effective decisions in their own academic life and work. A central concept in this course is that “arguments are all around us, in every medium, in every genre, in everything we do….An argument can be any text–written, spoken, aural, or visual–that expresses a point of view” (Everything’s an Argument 5). In this course, students will summarize, analyze, and evaluate various types of communication and then use those skills in four kinds of assignments: summaries, rhetorical analyses (both textual and visual), exploratory/persuasive texts, and documented research.

 

Written

  • analyze professional writing to assess its purpose, audience, and rhetorical strategies
  • construct arguments that integrate logical, ethical, and emotional appeals
  • write source papers analyzing a rhetorical situation and identifying and accurately documenting appropriate source material
  • avoid distracting or confusing sentence-level errors
  • reflect systematically on all of their communication processes, strengths, goals, and growth

Oral

  • give an oral presentation, either individually or as part of a team, using effective invention, organization, language, and delivery strategies
  • be an effective team member in small groups as contributor, listener, collaborator, and presenter

Visual

  • rhetorically analyze visual communication, such as an advertisement, Public Service Announcement (PSA), etc.
  • create a visual argument (i.e., advertisement, bookmark, poster, slide presentation)

Electronic

  • rhetorically analyze electronic communication, such as websites
  • create an electronic composition (e.g., communication ePortfolio)

WOVE

  • 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.
Rhetorical Analysis
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.
Visual Analysis
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.
Documented Essay
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.
Communication Portfolio
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.