Director: Dr. Jonathan Goodwin
The First-Year Writing Program at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette consists of a two-course sequence, English 101 and English 102. Throughout both courses, engagement in co-curricular activities such as museum exhibits, local theater and film series, lectures, and poetry and fiction readings, is encouraged. The purpose of the First-Year Writing Program is to introduce students to the critical thinking, reading, and writing skills required of them in the academy by focusing on rhetorical awareness and argument. Students in the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s First-Year Writing Program will:
- Develop a writing project through multiple drafts
- Learn to give and to act on productive feedback to works in progress
- Develop facility in responding to a variety of situations and contexts calling for purposeful shifts in voice, tone, level of formality, design, medium, and/or structure
- Locate and evaluate (for credibility, sufficiency, accuracy, timeliness, bias and so on) primary and secondary research materials, including journal articles and essays, books, scholarly and professionally established and maintained databases or archives, and informal electronic networks and internet sources
- Use strategies—such as interpretation, synthesis, response, critique, and design/redesign—to compose texts that integrate the writer's ideas with those from appropriate sources
- Practice applying citation conventions systematically in their own work
By the end of the writing sequence, students should be able to write thesis-driven and research-question-driven essays. To meet this goal, instructors are expected to structure assignments so that students have ample practice constructing this type of essay. English 101 focuses on expository writing, which can take the form of narrative and essays based on observation and interview, and English 102 focuses on research writing using primary and secondary sources.
English 101: Introduction to Academic Writing. This course is designed to introduce students to the critical thinking, reading, and writing skills required in the university and beyond. All students enrolled in English 101 must complete a semester total of 15-20 pages of polished prose, writing that has been reviewed and revised. Teachers often assign in-class writing that students are not given an opportunity to revise and expand, but this writing does not count towards the polished prose requirement.
English 102: Writing and Research About Culture. Prerequisite: score of 28 ACT English (630 SAT Verbal) or C or higher in English 101. Through exploration of cultural themes, students will build on and advance the thinking, reading, and writing skills learned in English 101 while focusing on rhetoric and research. The purpose of English 102 is to build on the writing skills students learned in English 101 by focusing on academic research. All students enrolled in English 102 must complete a semester total of 20-25 pages of polished prose.
Placement and Exemption
Students who make a score of 3 on the College Board's Advanced Placement (AP) Exam are exempt from English 101, and a score of 4 or higher carries English 102 credit.
Students who score a 28 ACT English subscore (630 SAT Verbal) or higher are exempt from English 101.
Students who take the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) exam in English Composition and score a 55 or higher may qualify for English 101 credit. The student must also submit at least one writing sample (additional writing samples increase the probability of success) to the Director of First-Year Writing for review.
The Advance Credit Exam in English is an opportunity to receive automatic credit for English 102. In English 102, students are required to write at least 20-25 pages of revised and polished prose, including research-based argument-centered essays. To correspond with the expectations and outcomes of English 102, the First-Year Writing Program requires a portfolio of writing samples rather than a timed exam. To be eligible to submit a portfolio for English 102 credit through the Advance Credit Exam portfolio process, students must have a minimum ACT English subscore of 32. The portfolio must contain the following to be considered for English 102 credit:
- At least 20-25 pages of writing overall.
- A letter (2-3 pages) prefacing the portfolio that explains your choices in the portfolio: where each writing sample originated and why you selected it for inclusion in the portfolio. The letter must also provide an explanation of why you believe, based on the criteria in our writing program's list of outcomes and rubric (cite criteria directly and specifically), that you qualify for English 102 credit. You can find the outcomes and rubric on this page below.
- A 7-10 page research paper using MLA citation style. The paper can be on any subject but must have a clear position (argument) on the topic, supported by adequate evidence from scholarly sources (minimum of 4 sources).
- Pieces of nonfiction prose of your choice: shorter analysis/response papers, a senior thesis project, papers for classes other than English, writing for publications such as student newspapers, etc.
You may send the portfolio by mail to:
Jonathan Goodwin, Director of First-Year Writing
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
P.O. Box 44691
Lafayette LA 70504
Or electronically as one document in PDF or DOCX format to firstname.lastname@example.org.
International students whose first language is not English and who have not graduated from a U.S. high school are required to take First-Year Writing in the Department of Modern Languages (ESOL 101 and 102). Students who are non-native speakers of English but who are U.S. residents and who have graduated from a U.S. high school have the option to take English or ESOL writing courses. However, students must finish the sequence they originally chose; for example, a student cannot go from English 101 to ESOL 102 or ESOL 101 to English 102.
Standards for Student Writing
While instructors may have assignment-specific rubrics for the purposes of grading, the following rubrics will be useful in assessing overall performance in 101 and 102 courses.
|Outcome: Develop a writing project through multiple drafts|
No evidence of engagement with writing process:
Missing deadlines for rough drafts
Mostly consistent engagement with writing process:
Meeting deadlines for rough drafts
Excellent engagement with writing process:
|Outcome: Learn to give and to act on productive feedback to works in progress|
Not participating in peer response activities, or minimal feedback on peers’ drafts Missing scheduled office conferences, or attending unprepared Not acting on or reflecting on feedback received
Participating in peer response activities, providing mostly useful feedback for peers Participating in scheduled office conferences and being prepared in advance Reflecting on feedback received and acting on most feedback
Excellent participation in peer response activities, providing consistently productive feedback for peers Participating in scheduled office conferences, being prepared in advance, and seeking additional Insightfully reflecting on feedback received, substantially revising according to feedback
|Outcome: Develop facility in responding to a variety of situations and contexts calling for purposeful shifts in voice, tone, level of formality, design, medium, and/or structure|
Effectiveness of tone/voice according to conventions of the genre
Excessive insertion of (or suppression of) writerly presence in tone/voice according to conventions of the genre
Writerly presence in tone/voice that is mostly appropriate for the genre
Writerly presence in tone/voice that is appropriate for the genre
|Consistency of tone/voice||Jarring shifts in voice or tone in the same piece of writing||Voice and tone are mostly consistent throughout the piece of writing||Tone and voice are consistent throughout the piece of writing|
|Formality in document formatting/ presentation and style conventions||Document features (line spacing, font, margins, page numbering, etc.) fail to meet expectations of the genre Writing contains many sentence-level errors (several per paragraph)||Document features mostly meet expectations of the genre Writing is mostly free of sentence-level errors (1-2 per page||Document features meet expectations of the genre in every respect Writing is almost completely free of sentence-level errors (1-2 per paper)|
|Outcome: Locate and evaluate (for credibility, sufficiency, accuracy, timeliness, bias and so on), including journal articles and essays, books, scholarly and professionally established and maintained databases or archives, and informal electronic networks and internet sources|
|Use of library resources||Inability to navigate stacks Inability to use library databases, overreliance on internet search engines||Basic knowledge of how to find books in stacks Knowledge of one or two library databases||Knowledge of LOC numbers in student’s own areas of interest Knowledge of several library databases|
|Evaluating sources||Using sources that are outdated, not credible, inaccurate, or insufficient Not recognizing bias||Using sources that are mostly current, credible, accurate, and sufficient Some recognition of bias||Using sources that are current, credible, accurate, and sufficient Recognition of bias most of the time|
|Outcome: Use strategies—such as interpretation, synthesis, and critique,—to compose texts that integrate the writer's ideas with those from appropriate sources|
Data dump from sources (very little or none of student’s own analysis);
Source material is presented passively
Mostly even balance of student’s ideas with outside sources
Some knowledge of moves in They Say/I Say – agreement, disagreement, etc.
|Even balance of student’s ideas with those of outside sources Source use is purposeful: variety of strategies of engagement such as interpretation, synthesis, response, critique|
|Outcome: Practice applying citation conventions systematically in their own work|
|Not understanding what information needs to be cited or why Source information not integrated well at the sentence level – patchwriting Works Cited pages not present or not formatted according to a specific documentation style (MLA, etc.)||Basic understanding of citation norms and concept of common knowledge Basic understanding of attributive tags and in-text citation: conventions of quoting and paraphrasing Works Cited pages present and formatted in a specific documentation style (MLA, etc.), though some errors may be present||Nuanced understanding of citation norms and sophisticated concept of common knowledge Strong understanding of attributive tags and in-text citation: conventions of quoting and paraphrasing Works Cited pages present and formatted in a specific documentation style (MLA, etc.) with minimal formatting errors|
Ann Dobie Outstanding Freshman Essay Awards
Each year the First-Year Writing Program gives two cash awards, one for Outstanding Narrative/Personal Essay and one for Outstanding Research Paper. They are given during the English Department's annual spring awards ceremony. To be eligible for the awards, students must be enrolled full-time during the spring semester when the award is given and must have an overall GPA of at least 2.5.