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Writing Course Requirements

You are required to take four writing courses: two courses in composition and two writing-intensive courses, one of which must be in your major.

Composition Writing Course Requirement

The primary mission of the Composition Program is to help you acquire the knowledge of writing and the writing skills you will need in college, the workplace, and the community. The program has five core values:

  • Mutual respect and human dignity, including a just wage and improved working conditions to support all faculty in their mission for teaching writing
  • Competency in writing, including rhetorical knowledge, critical thinking, reading and writing processes, and knowledge of conventions
  • Commitment to high quality, informed teaching
  • Accuracy, fairness, and honesty
  • Celebration of student writing

The overall goals of the Composition Program are those expressed in the Outcomes Statement of the Council of Writing Program Administrators (WPA). The Council of Writing Program Administrators is a national association of college and university faculty with professional responsibilities for directing writing programs. Members include directors of freshman composition, undergraduate writing, writing across the curriculum programs, writing in the disciplines programs, and writing centers, as well as department chairs, division heads, deans, and so on. The WPA Council Outcomes Statement outlines fundamental, widely-held goals for first-year composition programs in the areas of rhetorical knowledge, critical thinking, reading and writing processes, and knowledge of conventions. For a complete statement of the goals, see http://wpacouncil.org/positions/outcomes.html.

The composition courses pay special attention to the WPA outcomes related to genre, writing as a social-cultural practice, and writing with technology (numbers 1-3 below) and the General Education outcomes specified by SUNY for Category 10: Basic Communication (numbers 4-6 below).

Students should

  1. “understand how genres shape reading and writing,” “write in several genres,” and “develop knowledge of genre conventions.”
  2. “understand the relationships among language, knowledge, and power.”
  3. “use a variety of technologies to address a range of audiences.”
  4. be able to produce coherent texts within common college-level written formats.
  5. be able to demonstrate the ability to revise and improve their written texts.
  6. be able to demonstrate the ability to research a topic, develop an argument, and organize supporting details.

Required Composition Courses

  • Writing Studies I (CPN 100) or Writing Studies in the Community I (CPN 102)
  • Writing Studies II (CPN 101) or Writing Studies in the Community II (CPN 103)

CPN 102 and CPN 103 are service learning courses. Students apply course lessons to real-life situations from community engagement activities and draw on community engagement activities to help expand on class lessons.

The first course in the composition sequence, offers you introductory rhetorical skills in the study of how genres and rhetorical situations shape composition practices.

  • CPN 100 Writing Studies I (A) Introduction to the study and practice of writing with an emphasis on critical reading and thinking skills. Not open to students with credit for CPN 102. Fulfills: GE10; LASR (3 cr. hrs.)
  • CPN 102: Writing Studies in the Community I (A) Introduction to the study and practice of writing with an emphasis on critical reading and thinking skills. Includes 30 hours of service learning work in the community. Not open to students with credit for CPN 100. Fulfills: GE10; LASR (4 cr. hrs.)

The second course in the composition sequence gives you the opportunity to refine your writing skills in a course that stresses theme-based critical inquiry and research into topics and issues of public import. You will explore the theme from different angles.

  • CPN 101 Writing Studies II (A) Theme-based critical inquiry and research into topics and issues of public import. Not open to students with credit for CPN 103. Prerequisite: A grade of C- or better in CPN 100 or CPN 102. Fulfills: GE10; LASR  (3 cr. hrs.)
  • CPN 103 Writing Studies in the Community II (A) Theme-based critical inquiry and research into topics and issues of public import. Includes 30 hours of service learning work in the community. Not open to students with credit for CPN 101. Prerequisite: A grade of C- or better in CPN 100 or CPN 102. Fulfills: GE10; LASR  (4 cr. hrs.)

CPN 100 - Sample Essays

CPN 101 & 103 – Sample Essays

Note: Some texts do not reflect original formatting such as italicized and underlined titles.

Writing Intensive Course Requirement

In addition to two composition courses, you are required to complete six hours of coursework in WRITING INTENSIVE courses. At least three of these credit hours must be completed in your major, since that is the area of writing most important to your academic career.

Writing Intensive courses are based on three premises: that writing improves with practice in diverse settings; that writing engages students and improves the learning of the material being taught; and that writing develops thinking skills.

Courses that are labeled “Writing Intensive” have the following characteristics:

  1. They require you to write the equivalent of 15 typed pages
  2. They require at least 2 pieces of writing; or, in some courses, you may be required to complete one project, which you will submit in multiple drafts.
  3. Any writing for a final examination is NOT included in the 15 pages of writing required.
  4. You must have opportunities for revision of your work.

Library Instruction

While you are enrolled in CPN 101 or CPN 103, you will participate in a Composition Library Instruction Program (CLIP) taught by a librarian in the Interactive Reference Area of the Memorial Library.  CLIP will introduce you to the online catalog and subject-specific databases that you can use to complete assignments and write papers throughout your college career.