ENC 1101: Writing & Rhetoric I

ENC 1101, the first of FIU's two-course writing sequence, introduces students to the writing, reading, and critical thinking skills required for college writing. Course materials and writing projects introduce rhetorical concepts and invite students to consider themselves as writers inside and outside the classroom. Students will read and analyze professional nonfiction texts to understand how experienced writers develop and present ideas through writing. They will complete four major writing projects for a variety of audiences and purposes.

Three of these projects (800-1,800 words in length) will be written in a multi-draft writing process, while a fourth project will offer students practice in timed writing contexts.

Course Outcomes

By the end of ENC 1101, students will

  • Respond in writing to various rhetorical purposes and address the needs of various audiences;
  • Develop their ideas through a recursive process of writing, revision, and editing;
  • Display appropriate format, structure and stylistic choices to meet audience needs and to satisfy their rhetorical purpose;
  • Develop an effective thesis and support it with reasons and evidence;
  • Interact with complex texts, explore alternative perspectives, and articulate and support their own perspective in response;
  • Incorporate sourced materials into their own work through effective use of quotation, summary, paraphrase and citation using MLA or other appropriate style manual;
  • Exhibit appropriate syntax, punctuation, and spelling;
  • Develop a rhetorical vocabulary for understanding and talking about writing.

Major Writing Projects with Learning Outcomes

Instructors should choose three major writing projects along with teaching a unit on writing under pressure. The final capstone project should stem from the Analyzing and Synthesizing Ideas chapter of the text.

Reading Rhetorically: The Writer as Strong Reader

The corresponding writing project would be a strong response or rhetorical analysis. Instructors are encouraged to spend more time with low-stakes writing projects during the first theoretical/introductory chapters of the text to ensure that students are grasping important rhetorical concepts.

At the end of the unit, students should

  • Demonstrate familiarity with/understanding of rhetorical concepts including rhetorical situation, rhetorical purpose/aim, audience, rhetorical appeals, genre, angle of vision; reading against the grain;
  • Recognize the rhetorical strategies and stylistic choices made by experienced communicators;
  • Read and summarize another writer's argument succinctly;
  • Articulate a clear perspective on the way the assigned text works rhetorically;
  • Purposefully incorporate quotations, summary, and paraphrase using attributive tags, quotation marks, and appropriate citation style;
  • Employ revision and editing strategies appropriate to the audience and purpose.

Literacy Narrative or Visual Analysis

For the second project, instructors choose a narrative or a visual analysis.

Writing a Literacy Narrative

At the end of the unit, students should

  • Produce a final written project that indicates a clear rhetorical purpose and that is appropriate for a diverse audience of peers;
  • Use conventions of open-form prose;
  • Show engagement with issues of language, literacy, rhetoric, or cultures;
  • Apply knowledge of the following persuasive appeals and rhetorical concepts: ethos, pathos, logos, angle of vision;
  • Use specific language (descriptive, figurative, with attention paid to word choice);
  • Produce a final draft that shows evidence of a thoughtful writing process, including invention, revision, and proof-reading;
  • Use syntax, punctuation, and spelling effectively in service of rhetorical purpose.

Analyzing Images

At the end of the unit, students should

  • Produce a clearly organized analysis that indicates understanding of the persuasive effects of images and that discusses angle of vision, compositional features, rhetorical choices, audience appeals, and cultural assumptions.
  • Continue to show evidence of “reading with and against the grain”;
  • Craft an introduction that hooks the reader;
  • Revise and edit to achieve a clear rhetorical purpose and to meet audience needs.

Analyzing and Synthesizing Ideas (capstone)

The ENC 1101 capstone project focuses on analyzing and synthesizing ideas from at least two complex texts. At the end of the unit, students should

  • Interact with a group of texts, explore alternative perspectives, and present a new perspective of their own;
  • Summarize multiple complex texts indicating understanding of the authors’ arguments and rhetorical strategies;
  • Develop a focused thesis that indicates their analysis and synthesis of assigned readings to arrive at their own perspective;
  • Use textual evidence effectively to support claims;
  • Cite sources appropriately using MLA or other assigned style manual;
  • Use syntax, punctuation, and spelling effectively in service of rhetorical purpose.

Essay Exams/Writing Under Pressure

At the end of the unit, students should

  • Demonstrate their ability to adapt their writing processes to an abbreviated time frame;
  • Analyze an essay exam question to understand what the question is looking for by recognizing cues and by interpreting and responding to key terms;
  • Produce a written document, written under time constraint, that responds effectively to the prompt and that exhibits a clear thesis, coherent organization, and content appropriate to the question.


Lunsford, Andrea. The Everyday Writer. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s. Customized for Florida International University.

Ramage, John, John Bean and June Johnson. The Allyn and Bacon Guide to Writing . New York: Pearson, 2012. Customized for Florida International University. Fifth Edition.