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English 101:  English Composition I

English 101 Outcomes and Teaching Guidelines

Updated 3 April 2015
To be applied starting Fall 2015.

Student Learning Outcomes
The following are the course outcomes for English 101.  Students who are successful in English 101 will be able to:

  • Write texts that demonstrate awareness of audience, purpose, and genre across multiple communities and contexts.
  • Analyze, respond to, and document a variety of complex written and visual texts.
  • Develop flexible strategies for planning, drafting, revising, and editing.
  • Collaborate effectively and respectfully with peers throughout the writing process.
  • Reflect on, assess, and articulate writing choices.
  • Apply situation-appropriate conventions at the sentence level.

Teaching guidelines

The following are guidelines for building your individual English 101 course:

  • At least 70% of the students’ final grades should come from 3,000 to 5,000 “high stakes,” revised words during the quarter. Students will complete major assignments including the following:
  1. A written argument that includes a claim, position, or response representing the student’s views; it must engage at some point with a textual, visual, or audio source that can be summarized, quoted, and/or paraphrased.
  2. A written reflection, in which students directly assess and discuss how and to what extent they have met each of the course outcomes.
  3. Other revised, high-stakes assignments, which may include:
  • Letter
  • Summary
  • Proposal
  • Analysis
  • Email
  • Response
  • Open letter
  • Critique
  • Review
  • Synthesis
  • Position paper
  • Extended definition
  • Interview
  • Report
  • Others
  • Students should also complete ungraded or lower-stakes assignments during the quarter. Possibilities for these lower-stakes words include:
  • Lower-stakes versions of assignments listed above
  • Online discussions and forums
  • Non-graded drafts of major assignments
  • Presentations
  • Peer review
  • Journals
  • Freewriting
  • Narrative
  • Description
  • Timed response
  • Others
  • Students should read and analyze a variety of texts such as:
  • Essays
  • Arguments
  • FilmsImages
  • Graphics
  • Comics
  • Advertisements
  • Speeches
  • Social media
  • College documents
    • Textbooks
    • Assignment prompts


  • Students should develop skills in focusing, developing ideas, organizing, and using language effectively, including improving their skills in editing and proofreading.
  • Instructors should promote a growth mindset for students and encourage students to develop college skills and attitudes over time, including rhetorical awareness, collaboration, experimentation, and risk taking.


In order to promote critical thinking and sustained engagement with an idea or concept, the department recommends that instructors focus their course around a theme. Themes have included language/literacy, food, mythology, media, current events, consumerism, personal finance, education, and many others.

If you have any questions about curriculum, assessment, or anything else regarding English 101, contact the department coordinator.

Documents and Links

The following pages and files may be useful to English 101 instructors planning their courses.

Teaching guidelines (pdf file)

Syllabus template (docx file) Everyone must use -- contains outcomes, portfolio blurb, & common grading scale

English 101 writing assessment guidelines (pdf):  Use this document to guide you in creating your own rubric for each writing assignment

English 101 sample materials (assignment templates, sample courses, book choice, etc)

PLA: Getting Prior Learning Approval credit for English 101