The Core Composition Sequence at Kingsborough Community College, CUNY

Course Design Resources | Comp II

In designing your section of Comp II, we suggest that you begin by reflecting on our shared Course Learning Outcomes and imagining the kinds of assignments and experiences that will best target those goals. While Comp II is intended to deepen and extend the learning begin in Comp I, it is distinct in its emphasis on public writing and in asking students to practice some small amount of primary research as well as engaging in secondary (text-based) research.

We recognize that there are a range of activities that will help students develop their rhetorical knowledge, critical reading and writing skills, and composing practices, and there are various ways to incorporate primary research into writing projects that imagine a larger audience. That is why we are offering a range of sample assignments to illustrate the various possible approaches teachers might take, even in pursuing the same learning goals.

However, since this is a required course, we also appreciate the importance of some continuity and consistency across sections. The following guidelines are intended to encourage faculty to aim for some ground in their approach and consensus around the amount of work assigned.

What theme/topics should I teach?

As with Composition I, while instructors maintain the freedom to develop their own theme and topics for the section of Composition II they are teaching, we ask that they elevate the study of writing as a subject to the level of content. This means writing itself should be front and center rather than simply a practice that happens as a byproduct of focusing attention on other topics. All course readings or discussions needn’t be solely about writing or reading, but all sections of the course should teach certain content knowledge about writing and reading. As is true for Comp I, Comp II is not a course in literary study and analysis, so the texts, reading habits, and types of writing taught should not be primarily or exclusively literary but should, instead, represent a range of types of texts and focus on helping students meet the Course Learning Outcomes.

Instructors interested in using open-access materials may want to assign portions of the following online texts:

Students also have access to the following free resources:

About how much should students write? 

While the amount of writing produced will vary from one student to the next and from one section of Comp II to the next, students should aim to produce at least 3,000 words, or approximately 10 double-spaced pages, of revised or polished writing. This does not include all the low-stakes writing they might do, including informal reflections, blog posts, journal entries,  annotations, planning notes, outlines, drafts and writing as part of peer review. This writing will probably exceed 3000 words, leading to a total of closer to 7000 words for the course.

We are not offering these numbers as hard and fast goals, and teachers will not be asked to demonstrate that students have produced this much writing. Instead, the aim is to give people a sense of about how much writing they might expect from students and to ensure that students will be asked to produce a comparable quantity of writing across different sections of Comp II. Please see the sample syllabi for examples of courses in which students are asked to produce at least 7,000 words of writing.

What kinds of writing should I assign?

Per local and CUNY wide outcomes, some writing in the course must include at least a small amount of outside research. However, this does not mean that all assignments need to be conventional “academic essays.” Please see this chart for brief descriptions of sample assignments shared by KCC faculty. These “snapshots” do not utilize the language of assignment handout or provide all of the information that would typically appear in a handout for students; rather, the aim is to provide faculty with a broad overview of different ways types of assignments and how they align with the new Course Learning Outcomes.