DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

WPA Outcomes Statement for First-Year Composition--CCCC 2013

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Adopted by the Council of Writing Program Administrators (WPA), April 2000; amended July 2008.

Rhetorical Knowledge
By the end of first year composition, students should

  • Focus on a purpose
  • Respond to the needs of different audiences
  • Respond appropriately to different kinds of rhetorical situations
  • Use conventions of format and structure appropriate to the rhetorical situation
  • Adopt appropriate voice, tone, and level of formality
  • Understand how genres shape reading and writing
  • Write in several genres


Faculty in all programs and departments can build on this preparation by helping students learn

  • The main features of writing in their fields
  • The main uses of writing in their fields
  • The expectations of readers in their fields


Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing
By the end of first year composition, students should

  • Use writing and reading for inquiry, learning, thinking, and communicating
  • Understand a writing assignment as a series of tasks, including finding, evaluating, analyzing, and synthesizing appropriate primary and secondary sources
  • Integrate their own ideas with those of others
  • Understand the relationships among language, knowledge, and power


Faculty in all programs and departments can build on this preparation by helping students learn

  • The uses of writing as a critical thinking method
  • The interactions among critical thinking, critical reading, and writing
  • The relationships among language, knowledge, and power in their fields





Processes
By the end of first year composition, students should

  • Be aware that it usually takes multiple drafts to create and complete a successful text
  • Develop flexible strategies for generating, revising, editing, and proof-reading
  • Understand writing as an open process that permits writers to use later invention and re-thinking to revise their work
  • Understand the collaborative and social aspects of writing processes
  • Learn to critique their own and others' works
  • Learn to balance the advantages of relying on others with the responsibility of doing their part
  • Use a variety of technologies to address a range of audiences

Faculty in all programs and departments can build on this preparation by helping students learn

  • To build final results in stages
  • To review work-in-progress in collaborative peer groups for purposes other than editing
  • To save extensive editing for later parts of the writing process
  • To apply the technologies commonly used to research and communicate within their fields


Knowledge of Conventions
By the end of first year composition, students should

  • Learn common formats for different kinds of texts
  • Develop knowledge of genre conventions ranging from structure and paragraphing to tone and mechanics
  • Practice appropriate means of documenting their work
  • Control such surface features as syntax, grammar, punctuation, and spelling.


Faculty in all programs and departments can build on this preparation by helping students learn

  • The conventions of usage, specialized vocabulary, format, and documentation in their fields
  • Strategies through which better control of conventions can be achieved





Composing in Electronic Environments
As has become clear over the last twenty years, writing in the 21st-century involves the use of digital technologies for several purposes, from drafting to peer reviewing to editing. Therefore, although the kinds of composing processes and texts expected from students vary across programs and institutions, there are nonetheless common expectations.

By the end of first-year composition, students should:

  • Use electronic environments for drafting, reviewing, revising, editing, and sharing texts
  • Locate, evaluate, organize, and use research material collected from electronic sources, including scholarly library databases; other official databases (e.g., federal government databases); and informal electronic networks and internet sources
  • Understand and exploit the differences in the rhetorical strategies and in the affordances available for both print and electronic composing processes and texts


Faculty in all programs and departments can build on this preparation by helping students learn

  • How to engage in the electronic research and composing processes common in their fields
  • How to disseminate texts in both print and electronic forms in their fields
DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.