Core 110: Effective Writing

Fall 2001

Ms. Linda Sloan


Office: Hafey Marian 406

Phone: ext. 5240


Office Hours: MWF 10:00-10:50, TH 8:30-9:20, and by appointment


Course Description

The liberally educated person must be able to discover ideas and express them clearly and effectively.  A creative art, writing allows us to shape our experience into knowledge, and is therefore essential to our development as mature and socially responsible people.  As a facet of effective communication, writing is also a practical art, one that society respects and regards as necessary for success in all careers and professions.  In this course you will learn to consider writing as a process through which you explore and refine ideas.  Through the process of drafting and revising, you will learn to present a strong thesis which is organized and developed in a clear, coherent essay.

Objectives and Goals

In this course, you will

  1. use creative strategies to discover ideas for writing,

  2. narrow a general subject to a specific one,

  3. translate a topic into a thesis statement.  

  4. develop and support that thesis statement using specific evidence and concrete details,

  5. use techniques of drafting and editing in the writing process,

  6. outline or plan a logically clear and rhetorically effective development of the thesis

  7. recognize and use methods of development such as illustration, comparison/contrast, cause effect, process analysis, classification, definition, narration, and description


Texts and Materials

You will need two texts for this class: 

Kirszner, Laurie G and Stephen R. Mandell.  The Brief Holt Handbook.  3rd ed. Fort Worth: Harcourt, 2001.

Warner, J. Sterling, et al.  Visions Across the Americas.  Fort Worth:  Harcourt, 1998.

In addition, you will need two folders, one that you use as a portfolio and the other that you use for final draft submissions.   All work done throughout the semester must be saved in a portfolio.  The portfolio will consist of assigned papers, journal entries, and in and out of class writing assignments.  Please keep all of your work; you will need it for your final paper!

Methods and Procedures

Class sessions will consist of lectures, discussions, teacher-student conferences, peer review and editing workshops, in-class writing, quizzes, and critical reading.  You will be expected to share your work with your peers, either in a large or small group.



Your final grade for this course will be based on the following

10%  Essay One

60 % Essays Two through Five (15% for each essay)

10%  Final In-class Essay

10% Class Participation (based on participation in class discussions, peer editing workshops, preparation, quiz grades, and overall effort)

10% Journal

Individual Papers will be graded numerically with the following equivalents:

3.75 to 4.00 = A

3.50 to 3.74 = B+

3.00 to 3.49 = B

2.75 to 2.99 = C+

2.00 to 2.74 = C

1.00 to 1.99 = D

Below 1.00  = F

Attendance and Tardiness

Students in first-year courses are required to attend all classes.  If you are absent from class more than three times during the semester, I will reduce your final grade by one-third letter for each absence: a student finishing the course with an A and four absences, for example, will earn a B+.  Class will begin promptly at the scheduled time.  If you arrive after the beginning of class, you will be considered late.  Three lates during the term will count as one absence.

Please note that I am here to help you.  You may communicate with me through e-mail, office phone, college mail, or just by dropping by during office hours.  If the office hours do not fit into your schedule, we will arrange a mutually convenient time to meet. 

Schedule for Comparison/Contrast Assignment

Planning Sheet for Comparison/Contrast Assignment

Evaluation Sheet for Comparison/Contrast Assignment