Introductory Comments:

Freshman Composition is a course in the "fundamental principles of non-fiction prose writing," offering "practice in developing college-level competency in writing skills".  This section of the course will generally operate as a writing workshop, giving you opportunities to select your own topics, carry each paper through a process of prewriting, writing, and revision, and interact with other student writers undergoing the same experience.  Because competency in writing can come about only with extensive experience, you will continually need to write, to work at organizing, developing, and clarifying your writing, to analyze yourself as a writer and student, and to evaluate your own writing and that of others.  Most class sessions will involve your discussing work-in-progress (your own and others') with classmates and teacher and actively working on the generation of ideas, texts, and revisions; since the workshop approach depends on interaction, frequent and regular attendance will be stressed and linked to the final grade in the course.  Because writing is a means of thinking as well as a means of communicating, you will have two kinds of writing assignments: workaday writing such as logs and journal entries (private and semi-private responses to material given in class and events, occurrences, ideas, and situations you confront on your own) and formal, public writing taken through a process of prewriting, writing, revision, and editing.

Because a writing course attempts to take students from present abilities to improved abilities, grades are given in this course only at the end, although a relative grade may be learned by consulting the teacher.  Comments on the papers returned should give you a clear understanding of their relative merit; you should read the comments as a way of understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each paper, the ways in which each might be improved, and the ways in which the next paper might profit from the experience of the current one.  Each paper will be expected to be revised until it is at least an acceptable piece of work.  Moreover, since this section is attempting to replicate the conditions under which people really write, while you will have to complete five papers in the course, the final grade will be determined by a portfolio of papers selected and revised by you.

CMU provides students with disabilities reasonable accommodation to participate in educational programs, activities or services.  Students with disabilities requiring accommodations to participate in class activities or meet course requirements should contact me as early as possible.

Required Texts: Available at the Bovee Center Bookstore and SBX.

Plus: 30 5" X 8" Ruled Notecards and two IBM-formatted 3 1/2 floppy disks.

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