English 102

ENGL 102
Reading, Writing, and Research Skills

Catalog Entry

ENGL 102. Reading, Writing, and Research Skills
Three hours lecture (3).

Prerequisite: ENGL 101.

Development of writing skills and processes begun in ENGL 101 and introduction to such research skills as summarizing, paraphrasing, footnoting, note-taking and using library sources. General Education credit—Communication.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

Emphasis is on the development of critical and analytical reading skills, academic writing strategies, and some essential research techniques. Particular attention is paid to the construction of logical arguments aimed at a particular audience. As a corollary, speaking as an academic skill is also stressed.

Readings may feature a variety of genres and forms, both literary and non-literary, aimed at different audiences and with different purposes.


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

Class format revolves around various reading and informal writing activities, individual and/or collaborative, that exercise the students' developing skills with criticism and analysis of different literary and non-literary styles. The conduct of the class is designed to make students active participants in their own learning, as they discuss features of the texts they examine (including their own). These features include the contexts that have determined the writers' choices, rhetorical strategies, and the personal dimension of academic writing. Several formal writing assignments are also required, to assess the growth of the students' ability to handle progressively more sophisticated academic writing skills, such as summary, paraphrase, argument, synthesis, and comparison/contrast. Class time features instruction in these formats. Ample opportunity to revise allows the student to practice and develop an appreciation for the necessity of revision and the recursive nature of the writing process. These assignments are integrated with the readings for the course.

The research facet of the course emphasizes the process of research as well as the final product of the term paper. A tour of the Radford University library and exposure to its various research tools, such as the computerized catalog system, major indexes, and electronic sources orients the students to the library's offerings. They also learn about the variety of sources, such as observation and personal interviews, to be found beyond the walls of the library.

Students are encouraged to design their own research projects in conjunction with personal interests and/or the readings in the course. Instructors assess the various steps in the research process as well as the finished product, and students are encouraged to report on their research both orally and in writing.


Goals and Objectives of Course

Students gain further experience with basic concepts of the writing process such as focusing and unity, topic development, an understanding of audience and purpose, and the use and importance of revision and editing that were mastered in ENG 101. In addition, they will be able to: (1) read critically and analytically writing composed for a variety of audiences and purposes; (2) recognize and analyze the audience, purpose, subject, and context of various types of writing, including their own; (3) use effective research processes and report on their own research both orally and in writing; and (4) understand the role of logic in constructing an effective essay.


Assessment Measures

The objectives of the course may be measured by a variety of assessment efforts, both oral and written. Class and group participation with reading assignments may be measured by such exercises as in-class writing assignments, informal group collaborative writing projects, and reading journals. Students may also be asked to summarize, paraphrase, and model various reading assignments to further assess their developing skills with critical reading. Formal papers may include such academic formats as the critique, the persuasive essay, causal analysis, and the synthesis.

Mastery of the research process may assessed by the evaluation of such steps as the written proposal, the working bibliography, practice with Modern Language Association documentation form, oral reports to the teacher and/or group about the progress of the assignment, and the final paper itself.


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