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What You'll Learn... and Advice

What You'll Learn

The primary purpose of First Year English is to help all USCB students meet four general education outcomes. USCB aims to ensure that all graduates…

  • are able to formulate a thesis, organize complex ideas, support ideas with appropriate evidence, and render them in coherent, grammatical, and properly punctuated written English.
  • are able read carefully and think analytically, and critically.
  • are able find, evaluate, and appropriately use information.
  • understand and appreciate literature and the fine arts and their place in the culture.

Standard Learning Outcomes

English 101: Composition

Students who earn a grade of C or higher in English 101 should be able to...

  1. read with understanding, critical awareness, and an appreciation for style and structure appropriate to a text's purpose, audience, thesis, and disciplinary field.
  2. analyze, evaluate, and construct arguments,
  3. formulate a clear thesis,
  4. organize a paper using a logic appropriate to its purpose, audience, thesis, and disciplinary field,
  5. organize a complex idea according to consequential, not merely sequential, reasoning (That is, they should be able to create a chain of ideas, instead of employing the merely sequential logic of the five paragraph essay.),
  6. structure a paragraph so that it has a clear sense of unity, purpose, and coherence,
  7. use topic sentences to unify paragraphs and keep a thesis in focus throughout an essay,
  8. find, evaluate, and appropriately use information,
  9. write a research paper, using information technology to find appropriate sources, using evidence appropriately to advance a thesis, and citing sources correctly in MLA format,
  10. punctuate sentences correctly, and write grammatical sentences.

English 102: Composition and Literature

Students who earn a grade of C or higher in English 102 should be able to...

  1. appreciate and understand the basic elements of a) fiction, b) poetry, and c) drama
  2. read carefully, analytically, and critically, with appreciation for language, style, and nuance;
  3. read and discuss texts with some appreciation for the basic theoretical lenses that can be brought to bear on works of literature;
  4. write a research paper, using information technology to find appropriate sources, using these sources and careful attention to the text to support an argument, and citing sources correctly in MLA format;
  5. formulate a clear thesis;
  6. organize a complex idea according to consequential, not merely sequential, reasoning;
  7. structure a paragraph so that it has a clear sense of unity, purpose, and coherence;
  8. use topic sentences to unify paragraphs and keep a thesis in focus throughout an essay;
  9. punctuate sentences correctly;
  10. write grammatical sentences.

Advice from Tutors, Instructors, Librarians, and Former Students

  • The tutors are there to help you, not to write your essay for you. — Alyse, USCB graduate & Writing Center Tutor
  • If you don't understand something be sure to ask questions until you do understand. — Mary Alpern, Reference and Instruction Librarian
  • ALWAYS complete all the assigned reading! — Dr. Hoffer, English
  • Good English skills are your passport to a successful future, whatever that may be. — Ms. Bredwell, English
  • SparkNotes is your enemy. — Matt, USCB graduate
  • To all students: Say what you mean, and mean what you say; don't try to sound smart, just try to be smart. —Duffy, English
  • Speak up in class--you'll enjoy discussions with your professors and new friends even more when we get to hear your voice! — Dr. Barnes
  • You always learn more by admitting you don't know something than by pretending you do. — Dr. Pate
  • Get to know a/the librarian(s). Seriously. You won't regret it. — Natalee Reese, a librarian.