The Core Composition Sequence at Kingsborough Community College, CUNY

5. Course Design and Sample Syllabi

While instructors maintain the freedom to develop their own theme and topics for the section of Composition 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 named in the Course Learning Outcomes. In order to provide a cohesive course experience that will allow students to build and enhance their knowledge and skills as they advance to English 24 and WI courses, it is important that essential rhetorical and critical reading and writing skills are taught across all sections of in English 12.

Some faculty might feel very confident in redesigning their approaches to Composition I to align with the new CLOs, while other faculty might want a fleshed out sample version of the course that they could use or modify as desired. To that end, we’re providing a sample syllabus themed around “How Writing Works.” This syllabus was designed with the CLOs in mind, and the assignments are annotated to show how each assignment targets a particular set of outcomes. Instructors interested in designing a course with writing as a theme also may want to consider the following open-access texts.

Since many of us teach Composition I as part of a learning community, we also offer a sample syllabus for an English 12 section linked with a philosophy course. Here, too, assignments are annotated to show how each one targets one or more of the CLOs.

Alternatively, an instructor teaching in a learning community might adapt the sample syllabus above by restricting the focus of the Inquiry Project to align with the focus of the particular learning community. This sample syllabus demonstrates how one instructor used developed a course centered on “The Craft of Writing” that includes units devoted to the linked Astronomy course.

Please click here for a course syllabus organized around the theme of “Knowledge and Education,” a theme that encourages metacognition and inquiry into education more broadly.

One final note as you select your texts and assignments: Composition I 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.

  1. Introduction
  2. Course Learning Outcomes
  3. Equity Awareness in Composition Courses
  4. Writing Projects and Expectations
  5. Course Design and Sample Syllabi
  6. Works Consulted




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