Written English (6 term hours)

Students must successfully complete a two- or three-course sequence in Written English. Most students will satisfy this requirement by taking ENGL 1301 (Introduction to College Writing) in the fall term, and ENGL 1302 (First-Year Seminar in Rhetoric: Contemporary Issues) in the spring; scoring a 4 on the Advanced Placement Test will place students out of 1301; scoring a 5 on the Advanced Placement Test will place students out of 1301 and 1302. In either case, the first-year writing seminars allow students to work closely with faculty in small classes focusing on topics of mutual interest. All seminars share the goal of assisting first-year students in the development of skills in critical reading and expository writing.

Written English Rules

  • Students must be enrolled in each term and may not drop an appropriate English writing course until completing the Written English requirement.

  • A minimum grade of C- is required to pass each course. 

  • Students participating in the University Honors Program satisfy their written English requirements with ENGL 2305 and ENGL 2306 in the fall and spring terms of their first year.

    The following guidelines govern the placement of students in Written English courses:

  • If the Verbal SAT score is 470 or below, students will be required to take ENGL 1300 before enrolling in ENGL 1301 and 1302.

  • If the Verbal SAT score is above 470, students will take ENGL 1301 and 1302 in the fall and spring terms of their first year.

Written English Courses

The list of Written English courses offered per term can be accessed at http://access.smu.edu/  (click on “View Schedule of Classes”).

ENGL 1300. Foundations for Rhetoric. 
Students will write paragraphs and short, analytic, thesis-directed essays, employing a blend of personal and text-based supports.  Principles of effective sentence construction and punctuation will be emphasized.

ENGL 1301. Introduction to College Writing.
This course prepares students to read, write, and think competently, analytically and critically – which means “with discernment” – at the college level. Students draft and revise thesis-directed essays that encourage them to explore their ideas in writing and to develop and practice the skills of analysis and argumentation. Each section of the course will be organized around a few short texts chosen by the instructor to represent a range of genres. While the course emphasizes skills involved in formulating a thesis and purposefully and coherently developing an argument, attention will also be given to the conventions of grammar, punctuation and usage, and to standards of correctness and lucidity.

ENGL 1302. First-Year Seminar in Rhetoric:  Contemporary Issues.
For most students, this will be the final course in a two-semester sequence of writing courses; for some, it will be the first of those courses. It has the role, therefore, of consolidating skills already achieved (in high school or ENGL 1301) and of preparing students for further training in academic writing that may be provided by the individual departments of the university. Students will work to strengthen their critical reading and writing skills through a focus on the production and articulation of new knowledge.  ENGL 1302 will also continue to pursue goals identified in the descriptions of ENGL 1300 and 1301 in more complex and sophisticated contexts; that is, students will address considerations of audience and purpose at every stage of the reading and writing processes and will attend to the analytic and mechanical skills involved in formulating a thesis, structuring and supporting an argument and writing clearly and correctly.

ENGL 1305. Perspectives of Thought  (Hilltop Scholars)
Focus on analytical writing while exploring major modes of interpreting the world and defining what constitutes knowledge in the 21st century. This course is for those students enrolled in the Hilltop Scholars Program who wish to apply to the University Honors Program. The course provides a bridge between HSP and the UHP. Students who wish to apply to the UHP after taking this course and receiving the grade of A- will have the advantage of covering much of the material of ENGL 2305, the first semester of the two-semester Honors English sequence.  All students who take the course will receive elective credit for it; if they enter the UHP, the course will also take place of ENGL 2305.  Restricted to Hilltop Scholars placing out of ENGL 1301.

ESL Rhetoric.
The ESL sequence of First-Year Writing (ENGL 1300, 1301, 1302) aims to provide students with the tools they will need to successfully complete writing assignments required of them during their university course work.  At the beginning of each term, students recommended to take the ESL sequence are given a written assessment to accurately place them into the level most appropriate to their needs.  The ultimate goal of ESL Rhetoric is to bring students' analytical reading and writing skills in line with the standards expected of their native English-speaking peers.  In addition to the principles of effective writing taught in regular Rhetoric classes, ESL Rhetoric students are given extra practice in vocabulary development, grammar skills, standard American English pronunciation and conversational fluency.  ESL 1302 sections are specially designed around themes that are pertinent to the realities and experiences of non-native speakers of English.

ENGL 2305. (Honors Rhetoric). Interpreting, Understanding and Doubting. 
This course brings insights from literature, linguistics, philosophy, psychology and science that explore major modes of interpreting the world in the 20
PPthPP century and what constitutes knowledge in the twenty-first century. For example, why do we believe what we believe about dreams, political action, science and the relation between the sexes?

ENGL 2306. (Honors Rhetoric). The Ethical, the Catastrophic and Human Responsibility.
This course confronts profound ethical questions derived from history, literature, psychology, anthropology and philosophy, focusing on historical challenges to the bases of ethics, racism, individual freedom and community responsibility.  Beginning with a Tolstoy story that poses a question about meaningful life, the course investigates the Holocaust, an event which challenged the foundations of philosophy, religion, and other basic views of ethics.

ENGL 2406. (Honors Rhetoric). Ethical Issues and Community Action.
This course parallels ENGL 2306 and includes exploration of major ethical ideas and problems through literary texts, testing and reflecting upon them through practical involvement in the community:  In addition to course work, students will make a substantive commitment (a minimum of two hours a week) to do volunteer work in the community. This activity normally involves an additional hour of transportation to and from the volunteer site.


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