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First-Year Writing Program

The first-year writing sequence teaches rhetorical concepts, skills, and strategies to help students communicate effectively both in and beyond the academy. Our first-year courses follow outcome guidelines adopted by the National Council of Writing Program Administrators. Click here for a complete list of national outcomes.

ENC 1101 and ENC 1102 fulfill half the Core Curriculum Gordon Rule writing requirement. To earn credit for these courses, students must earn a C or better.

  • ENC 1101

    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.

    Texts

    • 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.
  • ENC 1102

    ENC 1102 expands upon the writing and rhetorical skills learned in ENC 1101 by placing additional emphasis on argument and researched writing. Through a deeper focus on research, writers will hone their abilities to locate, evaluate, and document sources, and to incorporate them smoothly and responsibly into their own writing. Students will learn about primary and secondary research, employing the research methods that best fit their chosen rhetorical purpose and audience. The course reviews rhetorical concepts covered in ENC 1101 to ensure that students leave first-year writing with a rhetorical understanding and vocabulary that will assist them in other writing contexts. It then takes students through an extended research process.

    Through structured invention activities, students generate ideas for their final project early in the term. Ideally students will thoroughly research their primary topic throughout the term, producing thoughtful and engaging researched arguments that respond to research questions that engage students and their chosen audiences.

    Course work consists of four major projects (1,000-2,000 words in length).

    Course Outcomes

    By the end of ENC 1102, students will

    • Write to achieve varying purposes and to engage different audiences;
    • Understand the structure of closed-form arguments (including claim, reasons, evidence, counter-argument, and underlying assumptions);
    • Employ effective persuasive appeals;
    • Generate research questions that lead to meaningful inquiry;
    • Show knowledge of conventions of academic research, including the ability to locate, evaluate, and document sources and to incorporate sources effectively into their work;
    • Further their rhetorical vocabulary for understanding and talking about writing, becoming more adept at understanding and employing rhetorical concepts taught in ENC 1101 and learning new concepts related to research and argumentation.
    • Understand the complexities of academic plagiarism.
    • Major Writing Projects with Unit Learning Outcomes
    • Instructors should choose three major writing projects along with a research proposal.

    Research Proposal

    At the end of the unit, students should:

    • Complete a writing project with the purpose of convincing their reader of the feasibility of their proposed research project;
    • Define an area of interest appropriate for extended research;
    • Define a problematic, significant and interesting question which will be explored and refined in the research;
    • Demonstrate that adequate resources are available for the topic;
    • Identify an audience or discipline appropriate for the topic;
    • Develop a plan for effectively managing, organizing and conducting a research project.

    Writing to Explore

    Instructors assign either an exploratory narrative or an annotated bibliography with critical preface. At the end of the unit, students should

    • Show a promising start to their capstone extended writing project, engaging with sources related to their research question and illustrating a feasible approach to research;
    • Pose a timely research question that is likely to engage a chosen audience;
    • Conduct relevant research (taking detailed notes while rhetorically locating, evaluating and analyzing sources);
    • Choose sources purposefully and reflectively, rather than randomly;
    • Effectively summarize, analyze, and synthesize the ideas of others;
    • Read sources with attention to their rhetorical context;
    • Employ dialectic thinking using thesis, antithesis, and synthesis;
    • Demonstrate engagement with sources and wrestling with ideas to explore the research question;
    • Document the evolution of the writer’s thinking by recounting the research process and subsequent analysis;
    • Employ editing strategies appropriate to the audience and purpose to cultivate a convincing scholarly ethos.

    Understanding Field Research

    Instructors assign either an analysis of field research data or an informative essay. At the end of the unit, students should

    • Write with a primary rhetorical purpose to inform;
    • Respond to the needs of chosen or assigned audience;
    • Demonstrate engagement with focused and meaningful research questions;
    • Demonstrate rhetorically-effective use of primary research (interview, observation, survey questionnaire, or a combination of the three);
    • Cite primary sources correctly in appropriate citation style;
    • Effectively incorporate research materials into the document;
    • 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.

    Writing to Persuade

    Instructors assign a classical argument or a proposal to solve a problem. At the end of the unit, students should

    • Produce a thoughtful, logically structured, and well-researched argument;
    • Show evidence of engagement with a timely topic and research question;
    • Use secondary sources that are effective for the chosen audience and rhetorical purpose;
    • Document secondary research (both in-text and in Works Cited) correctly according to a specified citation style;
    • Use appropriately summary, paraphrase, and direct quotations to support and develop claims;
    • Employ rhetorical appeals effectively;
    • Produce a final draft that shows evidence of a thoughtful writing process, including invention, revision, and editing;
    • Use syntax, punctuation, and spelling effectively in service of rhetorical purpose and to support the writer’s ethos.

    Additionally, proposals should

    • Employ rhetorical appeals effectively to create presence for the problem;
    • Describe the problem in ways that appeal to the interests and values of the audience;
    • Write a well-designed argument justifying a workable solution to the problem;
    • Address counterargument by discussing alternatives, rationale, and outcomes;
    • Employ an effective document design using appropriate layout, clear headings, and visuals;
    • Use conventions of the discipline and/or decision-making group your project addresses;
    • Employ editing strategies appropriate to the audience and purpose.

    Texts

    • Lunsford, Andrea. The Everyday Writer. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s. Customized for Florida International University.
    • Ramage, John, John Bean and June Johnson. The Allyn & Bacon Guide to Writing. New York: Pearson, 2012. Customized for Florida International University. Fifth Edition.

For students needing introductory writing instruction before embarking on the first-year sequence, ENC 1930 provides foundational instruction while introducing the expectations of university-level writing.

  • ENC 1930: Essay Writing

    ENC 1930 introduces the expectations of university-level writing. Students complete four writing projects in multiple genres and for a variety of purposes and audiences. Instruction emphasizes critical reading and provides a context for the writing process that focuses on grammar/mechanics, sentence structure, and paragraph development. At least three writing projects will engage the complete writing process, from invention through composing multiple drafts. Writing projects are approximately 1,000 words. This course does not fulfill core curriculum requirements, and is used as a precursor to ENC 1101.

    Course Outcomes

    By the end of ENC 1930, students will:

    • Write with a particular purpose to develop a central idea with supporting details;
    • Develop a rhetorical vocabulary and apply persuasive strategies appropriate for a specific purpose, audience, and genre;
    • Read and compose in various genres to understand how genre conventions are shaped by readers’ and writers’ practices and purposes;
    • Begin developing the ability to adapt conventions such as format, structure, document design, and style for the chosen genre and rhetorical context;
    • Understand writing as a means to discover and reconsider ideas;
    • Develop flexible strategies for reading, composing, reviewing, collaborating, revising, rewriting, and editing;
    • Learn to give and to act on productive feedback to works in progress;
    • Reflect on your developing identity as a writer and your composing processes;
    • Produce focused and logically organized paragraphs and writing projects;
    • Use rhetorically effective college-level spelling, grammar, mechanics, and word choice for the target audience.

    Texts (choose one)

    • Choices, A Writing Guide with Readings, 5th Edition. Mangelsdorf, Kate; Posey, Evelyn. Bedford/St. Martins, ISBN: 978-0-312-61140-8
    • Everyday Writing, Glau, Gregory R.; De Duttagupta, Chitralekha. Pearson. ISBN: 978-0-205-73659-1
    • Ideas & Aims, Taylor, Tim; Copeland, Linda. Pearson ISBN: 9780321956033

    Required Text

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

Transfer students with more than 30 transfer credits who have not taken ENC 1101 and 1102 at the previous institution can satisfy the first-year composition requirement by taking ENC 2304 and one of the following: ENC 3213 or ENC 3311.

  • ENC 2304: College Writing for Transfer Students

    ENC 2304 introduces transfer students to various kinds of writing they will encounter at the University. Students will compose essays for a variety of purposes and audiences, and learn the conventions of academic research. Reflection about writing and writing processes is also a key component of the course. The skills taught in this class will help students in any major or career path they might choose.

    For transfer students, ENC 2304 is a prerequisite for upper-division ENC core writing classes.

    Course Outcomes

    By the end of ENC 2304, students should:

    • Compose texts that have a clear rhetorical purpose and appropriate audience;
    • Develop an effective thesis and support it with evidence;
    • Read and respond critically to various texts, including those of their peers;
    • Develop effective writing processes for completion of writing projects;
    • Use reflective writing to gauge strengths, weaknesses, and growth as writers;
    • Understand and apply rhetorical strategies and persuasive appeals;
    • Choose and incorporate citations according to academic conventions;
    • Exhibit appropriate syntax, grammar, punctuation, and spelling.

    Texts

    • Lunsford, Andrea. The Everyday Writer. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s. 4th edition, 2009. Customized for Florida International University.
    • Ramage, John, John Bean and June Johnson. The Allyn & Bacon Guide to Writing. New York: Pearson, 2010. Customized for Florida International University. Fourth Edition.
  • ENC 3213: Professional and Technical Writing

    ENC 3213 introduces students to the expectations of writing in the workplace and explores the ways in which technology and media help shape professional communication. Students will hone their writing skills and study audience analysis, persuasion strategies, ethics, and working collaboratively. While students will practice communicating using traditional business genres such as memos, employment correspondence, reports, and proposals, they will also develop skills in document design, effective use of graphics, and oral presentation. Assignment topics are based on the students’ major, career goals, and interests.

    Course Outcomes

    By the end of ENC 3213, students will:

    • Produce documents in a variety of professional genres such as memos, proposals, and analytical reports;
    • Produce documents that respond to the needs of multiple audiences, including international/global audiences;
    • Develop document designs that maximize effectiveness for the audience and purpose;
    • Create effective multimedia presentations;
    • Conduct and incorporate primary and secondary research to support rhetorical aims;
    • Appropriately adapt tone, style, and content depending on audience, purpose and genre;
    • Write clearly and concisely, with grammar and usage appropriate to the rhetorical situation.
  • ENC 3311: Advanced Writing and Research

    ENC 3311 focuses on presenting and designing advanced research, critical response, and argumentation. Students report and develop their primary and secondary research in various formats, including argumentative and investigative essays, reports, and proposals. Students are encouraged to follow their research interests, to improve writing and research abilities, and to engage in critical inquiry. The course presents a series of small writing/research assignments (such as a proposal, a progress report, synthesis of previous research, field notes, summaries, etc.), leading into a longer researched essay of 12-15 pages.

    Course Outcomes

    By the end of ENC 3311, students will:

    • Generate meaningful and relevant research questions;
    • Design and follow an effective research plan;
    • Demonstrate advanced ability to evaluate and analyze internet, library database, and print sources;
    • Conduct primary research (as needed) based on observations and interviews;
    • Effectively incorporate primary and secondary research into their writing, using appropriate documentation;
    • Produce documents that present research clearly and effectively, to a variety of audiences, rhetorical purposes, and genres;
    • Continue to refine their writing process, learning to revise their work according to self-assessment and reader responses;
    • Improve their writing style (word choice, syntax, and sentence structure) beyond first-year levels.