English Department

Reading and Composition Program 



The R1A Requirements: The R1A course stresses the systematic practice of writing and reading and offers students frequent practice in a variety of forms of discourse leading towards exposition and argumentation in common standard English. The course aims at continuing to develop students' practical fluency with sentence, paragraph, and thesis, but with increasingly complex applications. A short essay is normally assigned at the beginning of the semester to assess students writing skills. Students will be assigned a minimum of 32 pages of writing, to be divided among a number of short essays (2-4 typewritten pages) and will be required to revise at least three of these essays. 

The R1B Requirements The R1B and 50 courses stress the systematic practice of writing and reading, and aim at developing students' practical fluency with larger expository and argumentative units, and at acquainting the students with research skills. A short essay is normally assigned at the beginning of the semester to assess student & writing skills and to refresh their memories of the skills practiced in R1A. Students will then be assigned at least two progressively longer essays (totaling a minimum of 16 typewritten pages) with at number of pages of preliminary drafting and least an equal revising (for a minimum overall course total of 32 pages). 


R1A, R1B, and 50 are not distinguished by topic or kind of reading. However, the content reading and/or viewing materials should be readily accessible to lower-division students without any preliminary experience of the discipline. In each course, a minimum of five works should be induced at least two of which should be book-length. Readings should be chosen to facilitate student writing projects and should be of two kinds: 1) published materials, of both literary and non-literary character, including expository or argumentative works of the sort that students are asked to read and write during their college careers; and 2) essays produced by the students themselves. The inclusion of the latter is particularly important in order to demonstrate that the same kinds of issues—of writing process, of audience, of organization, of style—are faced by students and professional writers alike.