Aerial photograph of the Immaculate Conception Chapel

Catalog Description

Introductory composition course focused on personal and academic literacies, with an emphasis on expository writing. Instruction and practice in developing college-level reading, writing, research, and critical thinking skills. Emphasis is on a process approach to writing effective academic prose. Students must pass the course with a grade of “C-” or higher to satisfy the University requirement in general reading and writing competencies.



ENG 100 focuses on personal and academic literacies, with an emphasis on expository writing and the development of college-level reading, writing, and critical thinking skills as well as a process approach to writing. With its focus on personal and academic literacies, the first-year writing seminar addresses directly the question, “What does it mean to be human?” as it explores the relationship between reading/writing (or literacy) and being human.


Humanities Commons Student Learning Goals

ENG 100 is a first-year Humanities Commons course within the Common Academic Program, which will replace the General Education program beginning fall 2013. As such, its student learning outcomes (listed in the next section) are designed to support the six student learning goals of the Humanities Commons.

By completing the courses within the Humanities Commons, students will:

  • Read primary texts closely and critically (including self-critically);
  • Analyze, in writing, a variety of texts contributing to larger historical conversations, debates, and traditions and as resources for understanding and appreciating the complexities of human identity, dignity, and experience;
  • Develop an understanding of their place in community, country, and world in relationship to multiple others, with particular attention to differences – such as class, gender, and race – upon which social inequalities are constructed and maintained;
  • Engage central concepts of Catholic intellectual tradition as they contribute to humanistic inquiry and reflection in the relevant academic discipline (English, History, Philosophy, or Religious Studies);
  • Examine the question of what it means to be human from a disciplinary perspective, and in the process make connections among disciplines and develop an appreciation for the ways in which learning is a process of integrating knowledge
  • Understand and practice academic honesty as foundational to the making and sharing of knowledge in a community of learners that is both local and global.


ENG 100 Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of ENG 100, students should be able to:

  • Write about primary and secondary texts on the topic of literacy from the perspective of English Studies and at least one additional discipline in the Humanities Commons in a manner that reflects their ability to read critically;
  • Engage in a process approach to writing college-level prose;
  • Produce rhetorically effective college-level expository prose;
  • Demonstrate effective use of scholarly sources in their writing;
  • Recount in college-level prose their personal literacy histories and current literacy practices;
  • Examine in writing the discourse of a community different from themselves with respect to factors such as race, class, gender, sexuality, and so forth.
  • Explore the relevance of Catholic intellectual tradition for the study of reading, writing, and/or rhetoric as human endeavors.


Readings and Textbooks

All sections of ENG 100 must use the following handbook: Lunsford, Andrea. The Everyday Writer. 4th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2010. Print.

All sections of ENG 100 are strongly encouraged to use the readings collected in Readings for ENG 100: Writing Seminar I. This collection includes a wide variety of primary and secondary texts that have been selected to support the student learning outcomes of the course. In addition, the readings are organized according to specific writing assignments that have been designed to enable students to achieve those learning outcomes. To order this reader for your course, contact the English Department Administrative Assistant (229-3434).

Faculty have the option to supplement or substitute readings for the course, provided the material used supports the student learning outcomes of the course and is appropriate for a first-year course at the University of Dayton. 


Writing Requirements

Informal Writing Assignments

A Diagnostic Essay: All students are required to write a brief (1-2 page) diagnostic essay in response to a prompt of the instructor’s choosing. The diagnostic essay may be written inside or outside of class but should be collected by the instructor no later than the second class meeting.

The primary purpose of the diagnostic essay is to give the instructor a sense of students’ writing abilities early in the course so that the instructor can teach as effectively as possible to each class. If a student’s diagnostic essay suggests strongly that they have been placed in the wrong composition course, contact the Director of Writing Programs. Individual placement issues should not be discussed with students.

Description and Analysis of Current Literacy Practices: Students describe and evaluate their current literacy practices and evaluate them for their ability to enable students to produce university-level prose in a short (1-2 page) essay.

Formal Writing Assignments

In addition to the diagnostic essay, students must write at least four formal essays totaling at least 16 pages of university-level prose (not counting revisions). The following assignments are recommended since they have been specifically designed to meet the student learning outcomes for the course.

Literacy Narrative/Response: In this paper, students recount their person literacy history as well as summarize and respond to the literacy narrative (provided in course materials) of someone from a diverse background. Students should respond by identifying and commenting on the similarities and differences between their own literacy narrative and the literacy narrative recounted in the reading.

CIT Response Essay: In this response, students summarize and then respond to a text from the Catholic Intellectual Tradition (provided in course readings) that addresses a concept or idea related to reading, writing, and/or rhetoric.

Discourse Community Ethnography: For this paper, students select an identifiable group (preferably on the UD campus) that differs from them in a significant way (in terms of race, class, gender, etc.). Students spend at least five hours observing that group and, on the basis of their observations and readings on discourse communities, write a paper in which they argue that the group either is or is not a discourse community.

Informative or Argumentative Synthesis: Students read secondary texts (provided in course materials) from English Studies and one other discipline from the Humanities Commons on an issue concerning literacy. At the instructor’s discretion, students write either an informative or an argumentative synthesis on the basis of these readings.


Information Literacy

Students must complete all three online library modules and quizzes through Isidore at To encourage students to take these tutorials seriously, instructors are strongly encouraged to make the scores that students earn on the quizzes associated with each tutorial part of the course grade for ENG 100.

Although students will develop work on their library research skills through the tutorials and quizzes, the student learning outcomes for ENG 100 do not require that students learn how to conduct searches in the Roesch Library catalogue or other databases. Conducting such searches is an important component of ENG 200. That is why none of the formal or informal writing assignments listed above require library research. Given that there is no such writing assignment, faculty are not encouraged to take their ENG 100 classes to Roesch Library for instruction by Roesch Library faculty. If an instructor wishes to include an assignment that does require library research and would like to request instruction from Roesch Library faculty, they should contact the LTC (229-4259).


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