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University Core Curriculum

 

 

6 credits in English Composition

The English composition requirement ensures that University undergraduates have intensive training in written communication in two small classes. The two composition courses focus not only on surface correctness (absence of errors) but also on critical thinking and reading, analysis of written and visual texts, evaluation of sources of information, recognition of the difference between literary and nonliterary texts, and uses of technology to construct and analyze messages. In the English composition courses the students acquire the basic skills required not only to write well for their college classes but also to apply those skills in their professions and in their roles as responsible citizens.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the English composition course sequence, students are able to

1. Identify the strategies of argument used in written rhetoric;

2. Recognize and analyze works of poetry, fiction, and drama;

3. Produce thesis-driven, coherently-organized, evidence-based, respectful, persuasive, academic writing, appropriate not only for their later college assignments but also for their post-graduate life;

4. Write with a focus on process rather than only on the product, and recognize the purpose of drafting both for their writing and for their critical thinking;

5. Write with a good command of grammatically correct standard English, and understand what resources to consult with questions about grammar, mechanics, or style;

6. Use sources responsibly and ethically, document sources correctly, and understand how to use professionally-sanctioned citation and documentation systems;

7. Assess what they have learned;

8. Apply communication skills taught in 101 to other University courses.

 

Policies

Attendance:

Attendance policies are up to the instructor; however, students may NOT miss 6 TR or 9 MWF classes (20%)—excused or unexcused—and pass the class.

Writing Assignments:

Written work is the primary focus for this class; writing assignments will be many and varied. Please feel free to ask questions if you do not understand a particular writing assignment. For your own protection, you must keep all work that you produce for this class—including drafts and in-class notes—until the end of the term.

In-class writing assignments will be unannounced and will be graded as a part of your participation grade.

Essays: The bulk of the writing required in this course will be in the form of four formal, academic essays. Specific essay topics and requirements will be presented in class.

Portfolio: At the end of the term, you will be required to turn in a portfolio of your work that will consist of your final paper, a revised version of an earlier, graded paper, and a short reflective essay in which you argue for the grade you deserve in the class.

Academic Honesty:

Please see the Statement on Academic Integrity.  If you have any questions about this policy or any part of it, please see your instructor. If you are unsure about your own proper use of outside sources, please consult with your instructor prior to handing in the assignment. You may also want to consult the Duquesne University Academic Integrity Policy found in your Student Handbook. All violations of the Academic Integrity Policy, intentional or inadvertent, will be recorded with the Director of Judicial Affairs, and intentional violations—ranging from unattributed cut-and-pasted sections in your paper to bought essays—will result in heavy sanctions ranging from failure on the paper to expulsion from the university.

Disabilities:

If you have any disabilities that may impact your performance in this class, please speak to your instructor within the first week of classes.

Athletics:

If you are involved in a university athletic program and will miss class because of it, you must bring an official list of the classes you will be missing from the athletic department in the first week of class. Moreover, ALL work is to be submitted prior to the excused absence. You are responsible for any announcements and/or class notes that you miss.

 


For more information, please contact the Director of First-Year Writing.

UCOR 101

Thinking & Writing Across the Curriculum

3 credits

An introduction to the expectations and practices of academic writing; UCOR 101 introduces students to the principles of rhetoric. Students learn how to identify audiences and create arguments that rely on logic, a credible voice, and that take into consideration an audience's values. Through reading nonfiction prose students engage in critical thinking and analysis and write between three and six papers (totaling between 16-25 pages of final-draft writing) with careful attention to the process of invention, drafting, and feedback. Students will also learn how to incorporate other voices into their own writing and how to properly document their use of those outside sources.

Required texts:
Quick Access Compact by Lynn Q. Troyka and Doug Hesse
Everything's an Argument by Andrea Lunsford and John Ruszkiewicz/Everything's an Argument with Readings by Andrea Lunsford, John Ruszkiewicz, and Keith Walters


UCOR 102

Imaginative Literature & Critical Thinking

3 credits

UCOR 102, "Imaginative Literature and Critical Writing," takes the lessons of thesis-driven, well-supported academic writing taught in UCOR 101 "Thinking and Writing Across the Curriculum" and applies them to the analysis of literature. All UCOR 102 classes achieve the same goals and are, in that sense, identical in terms of the type of work that students will be doing.
However, many the sections deal with a certain theme or subject matter and are listed according to this theme, or "cluster." Listed below are the descriptions of the clusters, along with the section number. Consult your schedule on Banner for the most updates times and places for each section.

This schedule is subject to change; you are not guaranteed to end up in a cluster just because you signed up for it. The English department and the Director of First-Year Writing may find it necessary to shuffle instructors and sections around until classes begin in the Spring. You may not end up in the class you want; if there is room during the first week, you may be able to end up in your desired section, but this is not certain.

Cluster descriptions for Spring 2015 include:


'REEL READING': LITERATURE AND FILM
In this course, students will read literary texts, see filmed adaptations of those texts, and complete writing assignments based on both the films and the literature.

GODS AND MONSTERS
This cluster deals with "frontiers" in literature-the places where we move a step beyond reality and into the terrifying unknown. By looking at the supernatural, the freakish, the grotesque, the readings question what it means to be human, thereby forcing students to learn about issues that often go unexamined in society, and by extension, themselves.

FANTASY AND REALITY
This cluster also investigates border territories between the "fantastic" and the "real," with a primary focus on myths, fairy tales, and fantasy works. By understanding strategies authors use in constructing these stories, students are able to develop their own understandings and critiques of these issues in their writing and during class meetings.

LITERATURE AND THE IMMIGRANT EXPERIENCE
How have writers depicted the experience of being an immigrant, or of having immigrant come to their lands? How does one balance maintaining a cultural identity and assimilating to a new culture?

GENDER AND LITERATURE
How is sex different from gender? What does it mean to be male or female? How are gender stereotypes created? How does society affect masculine and feminine roles? Do male authors write differently than female authors? Do men and women read differently? These are just some of the questions this class will examine as we study images of men and women in literature (fiction, short story, drama, poetry) and film.

CREATING REALITY
How do we tell stories about the events that happen to us, that shape who we are as individuals, communities, nations, and cultures? How do those stories create our realities and help us to understand the world and our place in it? The texts we study in this class will investigate our relationship to reality, suggesting both the ways we make it and the ways it makes us by focusing on the interactions between historical events and literary texts.

COMING OF AGE IN LITERATURE

What does it mean to become a "person"? How can literature help to illustrate the process of finding one's identity? What part do cultural rituals play in becoming a member of society? What things must happen (rebellion, self-actualization, individuation, etc.) in order for one to "come of age"? In this course, we will examine these questions as we read and write about literature (short stories, novels, poetry, and drama) across cultures.

PLEASE CONTACT YOUR ADVISOR FOR INFORMATION ON THE SECTIONS THAT ARE DESIGNATED IN ONE OF THESE CLUSTERS.

IHP 104

Honors Seminar

3 credits

The IHP is a university-wide honors program that accepts students based on their high school records, test scores, and recommendations. For these students, the IHP Core curriculum replaces the University Core; IHP students from the College of Liberal Arts still follow the College Core.

First-Year Writing Contest

Each semester, students in UCOR & IHP classes have an opportunity to enter the First-Year Writing Contest.  One or two students from each class will be chosen by their instructor for exemplifying excellence in writing, and invited to submit their best essay from the semester to enter the contest.

The submissions will be reviewed by the First-Year Writing Committee, and three winners will be chosen each semester (fall and spring). Each of the winners will receive a cash prize and publication in First Class: A Journal of First-Year Composition.

Check out the current version of First Class with last year's winners!